Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cast On, Cast Off

I knew when Limelet went to sleep at the early, early hour of 9:30 pm that he would awake after one sleep cycle, then be awake for 4 hours.   I was right.  But that was just too bad; we all had to get up two hours later regardless.  I had a pretty early appointment to get my cast off.
So I got the cast off, which was kind of scary, even though the guy showed me that the little saw didn't harm him even when he pressed it against his bare arm.  My  leg was definitely a zombie leg underneath. 
It still is, as I have just gotten home and have not yet had my anticipated three-hour shower yet.  Actually, it may still be baths for a while, but at least I can have both legs in the tub now, instead of propping the one awkwardly against the wall.  Anyway, I guess I pictured having the cast off and then being able to walk pretty normally, if not exactly like a spring lamb.  My leg was starting to feel more normal inside the cast. 
However, now that it's off, it turns out that it's not only a zombie leg, but a Jell-o leg.  A painful, Jell-o, zombie leg.  I was fitted with an "air cast," which is basically a brace that velcroes (velcros?) on.  So I can walk with it on, but quite slowly and with a severe limp.  (Thus I may not be standing in the shower any time soon, as I'd have to leave the brace on to stand up, which wouldn't do at all.) 
The doctor explained why my ligaments were fine--I was worried that they could be secretly unhealed and would snap in two like guitar strings when I tried to stand up or anything--but would take another several months to heal.  In fact, the soft tissues will take about a year to heal entirely, although the bone itself is now pretty much set and just has to solidify over the next couple months.
I wasn't as desperate to scratch as one might think.  Possibly because I had a scratching system in place while casted, so it didn't build up insanely.  I am still trying to decide whether I'll get in the bath first, or scratch the whole leg first while it's still dry.
After the doctor appointment, I had an evaluation at their associated physical  The PT lady told me that it will get worse before it gets better, as I am starting to use and stretch everything now, which will cause a lot of swelling and pain.  Great!  The ankle was swollen, which was sort of surprising to me, but apparently pretty normal.  My calf has shrunken to a size familiar from junior high, although the troll-like fur coat is different.  (Yes, I did think ahead and get new razors in anticipation.)
The PT lady also told me that I won't be able to go down stairs very well.  Yet, when I got home, I immediately forgot and tried to go down the stairs, which painfully shocked me into remembering that she did in fact warn me about that.  Yikes.  I'm supposed to ice and elevate daily; guess I should do this now that I wrenched the poor thing on the stairs.
All told, I am very happy to have the cast off, despite the continued lack of mobility, etc. It's certainly better.  Now, I just have to figure out a way to get down the stairs.

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