My 2018 Reflection
The year 2018 is coming to an end. It is time for me to reflect on what I’ve done and accomplished. As I reflect on this year, I can either view it positively or negatively. Granted I didn’t get to travel but it was in my best interest not to.
Not A Great Beginning
You see, 2018 was a rough one for me. I began the year with two torn tendons on my left foot. Since this was an injury from 2017 which was not properly taken care of by the then podiatrist, I decided to begin the year with a second opinion. My first appointment was in early February 2018. The new podiatrist, suggested I get an MRI to compare with the one previously done by the prior podiatrist.
How It All Began
Let’s backtrack a little to understand where I’m coming from. In June 2017, I underwent a partial left knee replacement procedure. The surgery went perfectly well. I was feeling great, except for my left foot which was swollen. When I asked the surgeon about it he said that it was because of the surgery and I just needed to give it time. It made sense to me so I didn’t worry much about it. But, when my knee healed perfectly and my foot just got worst, I began to worry.
It Wasn’t Getting Better
One Sunday morning the pain was so unbearable, I had to visit the Urgent Care Clinic. At that point, I knew there was something more. The x-rays taken showed no broken bones, so the diagnosis was a sprained ankle. Beats me how I sprained my ankle when all I had been doing was resting my foot and cautiously walked with a walker and a cane. But okay, I accepted the diagnosis and began to treat it as such. However, it did not get better, it got worse.
Finally a Diagnosis
I decided to visit the same orthopedic group where I had the knee replacement surgery and have the podiatrist take a look at my foot. After more x-rays and no broken bones (of course), he ordered an MRI and gave me a steroid injection. I had the MRI done a week later and returned to the doctor’s office to discuss the results. The doctor confirmed that I had two torn tendons and placed me on a CAM boot for six weeks.
No Hope or Relief
Once on the boot, I followed instructions to a tee. I was determined to return to my normal routine as soon as possible. So after six weeks on the boot, I was ordered eight weeks of physical therapy. The therapy was horrible and the pain excruciating. On my sixth week of physical therapy, I went for a follow-up. The doctor looked at my swollen foot and asked me, “How is it feeling?” I lifted my foot and while pointing to it replied, “As you can see it is still swollen and painful.” He got up from the chair and while walking towards the door, padded me on the shoulder and said, “Good, I’m happy with the progress. I’ll see you in three weeks.” And he left the room.
Sometimes We Need a Second Opinion
“Wait, what? Did I hear that correctly?” I thought. I was in shock so I put on my shoe and walked to the reception area to exit the premises. The receptionist asked me about the next appointment, and all I thought was, “Are you crazy? That nut didn’t even listen to what I said! Heck no!” But I only responded that I didn’t want to schedule it because I was going for a second opinion. That was the last time I visited their office. It was already December 2017 so I waited for the holidays to be over before scheduling an appointment with a different podiatrist.
Is There Any Hope For Me?
I finally visited the new podiatrist and as I stated above, before proceeding with anything, she wanted to know if the six weeks on a CAM boot and eight weeks of physical therapy improved the tendons in any way. In the meantime, I was back on a smaller CAM boot for six more weeks.
The CAM Boot and I Are Becoming Close
I had the MRI done and unfortunately, the results were not good. The second MRI revealed that my foot was worse. According to the doctor, it was at a surgery stage. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe all the time in a CAM boot and physical therapy was just wasted time. I asked her if there was anything else she could do, besides surgery. She said laser therapy might work but there’s no guarantee that it would. I didn’t want to go through another surgery so I opt to do the laser therapy. I was on my way to seven sessions in three weeks of laser therapy treatment. I followed all the instructions given to me by the doctor and even slept with a Night Splint on my foot. I missed many days of work or sometimes left work early whenever my foot swelled too much. I spent many days with my foot elevated high. I was becoming an expert on foot elevation. 😊
Worst Part of the Treatment
It was now April 2018, the laser therapy sessions were completed, however, the treatment seemed to work about 50%. There was still some inflammation and needed more time to completely heal. The doctor didn’t want to take any chances of further injury so she had a non-walking cast placed on my foot. It was very difficult for me to walk on crutches. Heck, it was difficult to do anything. My poor husband had to work around meeting my needs. I felt useless and so hopeless! After three weeks on a cast, I could no longer take it so I called the doctor and asked if we could do another round of laser therapy. If it worked about 50% of the way, maybe it’ll heal completely with another round. She agreed to remove the cast and the second round of laser therapy.
It Was Finally Looking Better
The doctor removed the cast in early May 2018. While I went through the laser therapy, I had to continue using the CAM boot. So here I was with the boot again for the next three weeks. It was beginning to grow on me. 😊 Frankly, I preferred the boot to the cast. After seven more rounds of laser therapy, it was finally over. The sonogram revealed there was just a little bit of inflammation. Leaning on the cautious side, the doctor ordered a pair of custom-made orthotics and custom-made brace. Meanwhile, I continued on a temporary brace until the custom-made brace and orthotics arrived.
It was now mid -June 2018 when the orthotics and brace arrived. I was to wear the brace for eight weeks before using the orthotics. I then graduated to alternating between orthotics one day and brace the next day for six weeks. Little by little, it began to heal. I am now using orthotics alone. In the event that I’d be walking on uneven terrain or for extensive periods of time, I need to wear the brace.
I Am Healed!
Yes, I endured a lot of pain and difficult moments but I won’t say it was a bad year. Amidst all the pain and difficulties, I was able to do a few things I had been wanting to do for a very long time. I enjoy writing and had been putting together my diary notes from my journey through grief which I wanted to convert into a book. I also thought about starting a travel blog. But my busy schedule would not allow me the time to write. This was the opportunity I was looking for. I was finally able to complete and self-publish my book, Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart, and began my blog, Traveler Wows, which launched in March 2018, and travel agency, Traveler WOWs Agency! I also continued writing for this blog. Come to think about it, I did do a lot!
A Blessing in Disguise
So, I didn’t get to do fun things. Most of my year was spent sitting down with an elevated foot. But I’m not complaining, I am healthy, alive and happy. I didn’t get to travel and you see why it was in my best interest not to. But, I traveled within my imagination when I wrote about all the wonderful places and experiences I had through my previous trips. Therefore, I’ll say that 2018 was a great year for me and that 2019 will be even better and will allow me to travel again. My advice to you is to always look for the positive in bad situations. Sometimes it’s a blessing in disguise.
I wish you many blessing and hope you have a Happy New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2019!
Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.