Another reconstructive foot surgery ...

Discussion in 'Prayer Requests / Praise Reports' started by Echodelta, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. The Mighty Gerbil

    The Mighty Gerbil Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin Staff Member

    Echo been thinking about you, great to see you! Good to hear about the improvement in your right foot, bad to hear about the toe though. I know it's hard but keep up with them exercises, having feet is no good to you if you never use them :) .
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
    Echodelta likes this.
  2. anlptgtsg

    anlptgtsg Member

    Sorry this is happening for a long time. Will pray Echo.
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  3. Echodelta

    Echodelta Member

    Thanks. Yeah, I've been busy not just dealing with my feet. There's been other issues I choose not to discuss. But I also forgot about my elbow. It still hasn't healed 100%. Even last month I got another cortisone shot in it because it continues to have pain & issues. It now makes this dull "pop" that occurs when I bend it that causes even more pain if I continue. It never popped prior to last year's operation. I have this feeling that it needs another operation too :( I'm returning to my doctor to have it examined again in the first week of July.

    One thing I haven't really shared much is physical therapy. In 4 years, I've worked with 4 different physical therapists at 3 different clinics. Each physical therapist has had this look of hopelessness and have basically said this, "I don't know what to do with you. I feel anything I do will only cause more pain." This caused them to provide rather easy therapy sessions. Early on, I decided that if I wanted any progress, it began with the ability to push past the pain. In fact, early on, I took Switchfoot's song, "I Dare You to Move" and made it my anthem. I even added this to the title, "Even When It Hurts, I Dare You to Move." Like I said, every day, I try to do something to benefit progress and while it makes the pain worse, I still believe it's beneficial.

    Also I never discussed the doubters, or in today's vernacular, the haters. I have them; former friends, church members and even family members who doubt my claims of pain. Many think I fake it. Admittedly, this causes anger and I often say, "Don't walk in my shoes, try walking with my feet." I rarely think about that, only when confronted with it.

    It's been one painful journey. I've always relied on the Lord to carry me through it. I also have to thank the people at CGA and CCGR. Thank you again for the support and prayers.
  4. ursen

    ursen Officer SOE/LoE/Where's "here"?

    Dealing with a 100% disability I know where you are coming from on the doubters. Too often people speak without thinking and say unwise, hurtful things and learning to deal with that takes a lot of prayer to take it with grace and peace. Will continue for the Lord to bless you even through this awful time.
    Echodelta likes this.
  5. The Mighty Gerbil

    The Mighty Gerbil Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin Staff Member

    Doubting your pain never crossed my mind and I don't know why anyone who has seen your feet would, they are very clearly damaged.

    If it was me I'd choose to believe I'm so tough and manly the true pain doesn't show, because I am, right? >.> <.< :p .
  6. Echodelta

    Echodelta Member

    I can tell you speak from experience Ursen. That's probably what's been the most shocking are the doubters, including people you know. I'd never consciously say something so hurtful to another person, especially those with health issues.

    Most of the time, I never say a word. But it does show or people will comment why my shoes look "funny." I do try to stay humble. I know people deal with a lot in their own lives. I'd say the only pride I have is the drive to overcome my foot issues. I've never believed that my foot issues trump anyone's health problems.

    I have some news to share. Last Friday, I had a "lumbar spinal injection" on the right side of my spine. The injection focused on the sympathetic nerves that travel from the spine to my right foot. This was in conjunction with the recent diagnosis of CRPS. It was performed by my doctor at the pain clinic. Long story short, I complained, they apologized, & scheduled the procedure. This was a painful procedure & it's only today that my hip & lower back feel better.

    My doctor said that I should be able to tell immediately if the injection worked. Afterwards on Friday, there was no difference. I was still in a lot of pain when standing and walking. Admittedly, I was very upset. On Saturday, however, I did notice that the pain wasn't as bad as before. It's no longer "agonizing" when standing or walking after 10 minutes. While there's still a lot of pain, including joint pain, I'm able to tolerate it better. I'm using less pain medication too. So this Friday, I'm having the left side of my spine injected to address the left foot.

    Also, next Tuesday, I'm seeing an orthopedic surgeon for the big toe & small toe of the right foot. I couldn't wait any longer as they're both painful & problematic.

    As always, thanks for the prayers,
  7. ursen

    ursen Officer SOE/LoE/Where's "here"?

    Any improvement no matter how small is good.

    LITSAFALDA Prayer Angel, Moderator


    You know we have our own conversations as well as what we share in your thread. The whole "people don't believe you have" is heartbreaking in many ways. I will not put my experiences out here for everyone to see, but relatives and friends can be more harming than good at times.

    I'm glad the shot seems to help and hope it keeps doing so. Sometimes they do and other times not so much.

    Blessings and Hugs,
  9. Echodelta

    Echodelta Member

    Hi everyone,

    Well it’s been about 6 months since my last update. This will be a lengthy read so I apologize in advance.

    As the year closes, I’ve spent much time reflecting on the year. The year of 2017 was the first time since 2012 where I didn’t have an operation to one or both of my feet. I spent the year recovering from last year’s operation to my right foot, pondering an amputation, as well as exploring non-surgical options.

    As noted in the July update, I began getting “lumbar spinal blocks” to deaden the sympathetic nerves that travel from the brain, through the spine, and onto the foot. I had three total to the right side and one to the left. The left showed no change as I determined the majority of the pain comes from my right foot. The second injection to the right side showed a lesser reduction in pain and the third unfortunately showed no change at all. As a result, my pain management doctor and I decided to stop with the injections.

    Also in July, I stated I was planning to see an orthopedic surgeon about the right foot’s big toe and small pinky toe. In visiting her the first time, we talked about the history of my right foot and discussed amputation. She stated that while an amputation is reasonable, she posed if I had ever considered a special type of leg brace. This began a journey that began in July and continues onto 2018.

    It’s called the “ExoSym Leg Brace,” which is a hybrid prosthetic/orthotic originally developed for military veterans with a severe lower limb injury who seek to continue active service. The original designer went on to the private sector and now works for the Hanger Clinic servicing individuals considering amputation. I contacted the Hanger Clinic and sent medical forms, doctor chart notes, x-rays, pictures, and videos of me walking. Since my original injury was an “on-the-job” injury, it depended on whether my worker’s compensation approves of the leg braces. The Hanger Clinic sent the entire file, including separate statements by my doctors (main doc, orthopedic surgeon, and pain management doc) to my worker’s compensation in September. In early November, worker’s comp denied the leg braces due to the cost: $31,900. I knew they were expensive, but even I was shocked at the price.

    The letter stated that I had to seek two other suppliers of the ExoSym leg brace. Here's a portion of the letter. The problem is that this device is patented which I stated numerous times. Nevertheless, in performing more research, I discovered that these types of leg braces are called AFO’s (ankle-foot orthosis) and are known as “unloaders.” These take the weight of the energy needed to create a “step” from the foot and transfers it to the knee joint. During this month (December), I met with two local suppliers. One is made in-house and the other is made in another state. The developer who designed his version in-house, I’ve established a good rapport over the past 2 years. I worked with him last year where he custom-made the orthotic and altered the new shoes that I still use today. His cost was about 1/3 less of the ExoSym. The other supplier is a basic AFO device and costs about $6k. I sent all this new information to my worker’s comp about two weeks ago. January 6, 2018, will mark 2 months from the original denial letter. I should know of their decision probably in January or early February.

    In a recent visit with my orthopedic surgeon, I still need surgery for my toes. This is regardless if the leg braces are approved. The big toe needs to be fused. It definitely hurts, even just to touch it. Here’s an x-ray taken in July that shows a “ridge” at the toe joint. That wasn’t there in April 2016, when the foot was reconstructed again. As for the pinky toe, my doctor stated that while it’s possible to reconstruct the toe, the least complicated procedure is to amputate it. I said that I knew that there was a possible amputation but I did not want to hear that. I’ve had complications with almost every operation. I have an appointment with her on January 3 and will give the approval to amputate the small toe. I needed some time to think about it.

    Back to my feet, that April 2016 operation did eliminate the bone pain I had at mid-foot. Other than that, overall it made the pain worse. About 2 months ago, I thought I was doing better so I took myself off painkillers. The results were very painful and shocking. The pain was unbearable as I could only walk a couple steps before it became agonizing again. I realized that in order to be comfortable and reduce painful triggers, it’s best to stay home and only go out when necessary.

    Therefore, I’ve spent the entire year busy dealing with my feet. I still think about an amputation for my right foot and weigh the pros and cons. I think I’d be better off with an amputation. I’m just unsure if the pain would be reduced as other docs have stated it may make the pain worse. In addition, I still have my left foot to deal with. On the other hand, my right foot has been through so much: 25 operations, physical scars, emotional distress, endless amounts of pain, difficulties walking, and the list goes on. It would be a waste to amputate the foot. That’s my nonsensical thinking. I’ll wait for the news on the leg braces and hope to have this new operation soon and will provide better updates.

    My outlook for 2018 remains hopeful.

    Thanks for the continued support and prayers,

    The Mighty Gerbil likes this.
  10. The Mighty Gerbil

    The Mighty Gerbil Tribe of Judah TF 2 Chapter Leader & CGA Admin Staff Member

    Thanks for the update Echo, still praying for you :/ .

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