Re-Boot.

March 8, 2014 at 11:23 am 7 comments

Neither snow nor ice nor 10-degree temps could dampen our enthusiasm for our February visit to NYC.

But five little words took us down faster than the stock market plunge back in ’08.

Said the CE the morning after our arrival: “Something’s wrong with my foot.”

No, not THAT foot. Not the foot that dominated 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 with pain, surgery, pain, more surgery and more pain.

Frankenstein foot circa 2010

Frankenstein foot circa 2010

Looking a lot better three and a half years later.

Looking a lot better three and a half years later.

No, now it’s the OTHER foot. Same song, different verse. Or in the words of the iconic Dorothy Parker, WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS?!!!

As it turns out, the CE’s Achilles heel is his posterior tibialis tendon. His ankles have always been weak; growing up in Minnesota, he was the only kid on the block who didn’t ice-skate. Lots and lots of ankle sprains through the decades. When he started running 30-40 miles a week back in the late ’70’s, “orthotics” was not yet a buzz word. Unbenknownst to the CE, he literally ran his feet flat and in the March of 2010, the posterior tibialis tendon in his right foot rolled up like a cheap window shade.

“It’s just a sprain”, he insisted, limping around on a bum foot.

“Uh, don’t sprains heal after three months?” I asked sometime in June.

Under the you-don’t-know-what-you’ve-got-till-it’s-gone category, the posterior tibialis is one of the most important tendons in the leg. Take a moment to thank your posterior tibialis every time you raise your foot to step forward. The total flexing capacity of a healthy PTT is only three quarters of an inch, but is is very, very important three quarters of an inch.

The PTT attaches the calf muscle to the bones on the inside of the foot, allowing you to raise it when you take a step. (image from aaos.org)

The PTT attaches the calf muscle to the bones on the inside of the foot, allowing you to raise it when you take a step. (image from aaos.org)

When the ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away method didn’t work, the CE found his way to Dr. Richard Ferkel who told him that his rupture was one of the worst he had ever seen, and he has seen a lot of them. The surgery took twice as long as was expected and the rehab and post-rehab has been long and arduous. The foot is still not 100%, but recent PT to increase strength and flexibility has been helpful.

So when we arrived NYC three weeks ago and the CE pointed to the swelling in his other foot, I knew we were cooked. Since I operate at about 20% capacity with my own confounded neuromuscular issues, most everything falls to the CE, and after decades of figurative and literal “heavy lifting” combined with a probable genetic tendinous fragility, the CE’s posterior tibialis has gone on strike and screeched our hobbling little lives to a complete halt.

This photo illustrates the areas where pain will be experienced in posterior tibialis dysfunction. (image from aaos.org)

This photo illustrates the areas where pain will be experienced in posterior tibialis dysfunction. (image from aaos.org)

An x-ray earlier this week upon our return to CA suggested that the tendon is not yet ruptured, but close to it. So the CE is back in a boot. With crutches. For at least a month and probably two. Complete immobilization of the foot in the hopes that the tendon will heal. Ice. Anti-inflammatories. Patience. And lots of prayer. Yours will be gratefully appreciated!

Worst foot forward? The CE with his new accessories, boot and crutches.

Worst foot forward? The CE with his new accessories, boot and crutches.

"But wait - who's going to take me and my octopus for a walk?"

“But wait – who’s going to take me and my octopus for a walk?”

I know, I know, this too shall pass…

Entry filed under: All Things Family, Annoyances of Life. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Year of the Crow Music to My Ears: Aoife O’Donovan

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Phyllis  |  March 8, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Just the news this Mother Hen did not want to hear. The Patient is ever so patient saying, not so bad. But this time he does not have to be a passenger in my car, thank you Lord!

    Reply
  • 2. Katherine  |  March 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    oh nooooo! Would that I could send you my feet (how about a swap – one good foot for one of the CE’s good hips?) Good thing I hear he likes books – seems as though he’ll be reading a few in the next couple of months. So sorry.

    Reply
  • 3. dizzyguy  |  March 8, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Not giving up yet. Hopeful that full rupture of tendon can be avoided. Employing a four man sedan chair to get around town; laborers wanted, apply within.

    Reply
  • 4. Ang  |  March 8, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Love you both.

    Reply
  • 5. tdevir  |  March 8, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    This breaks my heart. I can’t imagine another surgery and recovery for Dad. I hope it doesn’t come to that.
    Bummer about the boot and crutches, but best to follow all doctor’s orders as if it can possibly heal the tendon then it’s worth it. Sending many foot prayers your way… And lots of love. Xo

    Reply
  • 6. Mrs. G  |  March 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

    We are so sad to get this news about foot #2. :-( The thought that what you have endured could happen again is very scary. Please, please recover without surgery. Many prayers. xoxo

    Reply
  • 7. pollo amigo  |  March 15, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Definitely we’ll be praying. Is there a patron saint for feet?

    Reply

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