Update February 2019 After Ankle Surgery

Holy smokes guys that month was a wild ride but I’m back!

If you don’t want to read about ankle surgery this is what’s coming soon:

Coming soon:

  • A year on the all-beef blood-work
  • Microbiome test comparison before and after FMT (need to do the test first but I’m really looking forward to this)

Surgery in Switzerland:

Surgery went really well. I was awake during it which was honestly incredibly scary. I was very happy to avoid the drugs from general anaesthetic though! The anesthesiologist actually spoke with me the day before and said if I really didn’t want to have general anaesthetic done, I could just get a spinal nerve block and a knee nerve block. I’ve done general a number of times and the recovery sucks, it takes days to get over and I was worried about triggering the depression. This was a breeze in comparison. But scary. And I don’t get scared easily. I took pictures during the surgery.

Opening up my foot to remove the tibial component and all the extra bone.

It took about an hour and a half and I could feel them pounding and chipping away at the bone but there was no pain. I even filmed part of it on Instagram.

Upper portion of the replacement out and all the extra bone shaved off.

Not that I could see anything, just hear the hammering and drilling. It was so weird being awake. I had headphones so I was blasting music, but yikes. Do not want to repeat that experience again ever. It was so absurd and so unpleasant.

New ankle!

At the end¬†of the surgery I saw the surgeon move my ankle and I burst into tears. I haven’t seen my ankle move in over 10 years.

Then the next day the nerve block in my leg stopped working. I was attached to a machine that was continually putting medication into a needle in a nerve behind my knee, and the nurse accidentally caught the tubing in part of the machine and the medication stopped getting to the nerve. I went from a 0 to a 9 on the pain scale within 5 minutes and holy smokes it was bad. They gave me a shot of morphine (I wasn’t hooked up to a pump at the time) and that brought the pain to an 8.5. Honestly didn’t make much of a difference. It took the anesthesiologist an hour and a half to get to me and by that time I had gotten out of bed, examined the machine, and realized the tube was stuck and fixed the problem.

OUCH.

Also this gross thing was stuck to me for a couple of days to drain the fluid. Ew. Sorry, needed to share.

Other than that though, it was pretty good. It was pretty painful but eventually, they gave me a morphine pump. They should have done that right after surgery but waited a couple of days for some reason. I took intravenous pain medication and didn’t really react to it! YAY. I was SO scared of getting depressed again but intravenous and subcutaneous medication was absolutely fine. I also ended up taking morphine orally (the liquid kind that goes in epidurals that doesn’t have any added ingredients). That would have been impossible here.

Dad came along with me and cooked me meat. I did not eat hospital food. I would rather starve. This is me happily munching on beef.

Back in Canada:

A week later I flew home. I almost threw up at the airport, it was very unpleasant to travel.

Then the fun happens. The Swiss doctors gave me some liquid morphine to take home but only enough for two days. They also gave me a prescription for the same stuff in Canada but obviously, Canada doesn’t fill Swiss prescriptions. Fortunately I realized that I could inject it instead of drink it and I stretched it for a week. (You inject far less than you take orally and it was an injectable formula anyway). It took me a week to figure out what morphine I was comfortable with taking and I had my doctor write me a prescription for injectable hydromorphone. I probably gave myself 30 injections in the last 2 weeks but c’est la vie, nothing I haven’t experience before really. I didn’t react to that either!!!

Then I started getting hives. A different reaction, much less bad than depression/an autoimmune disorder, but still unpleasant and incredibly annoying. Turns out the hydromorphone and I don’t get along – I’m still recovering from hives all over my body…. hahaha.

Before the infection.

THEN, a week after I got home, my incision got infected!!! I woke up one night at 4 am and my foot was on fire. I went to the walk in clinic a few days later. It took me a couple of days because I was waiting for an appointment with my doctor… and hoping it would go away. The walk in doctor looked at my foot and told me I might have a bone infection and told me to go to emergency. I do not like hospitals or antibiotics so I went home instead to remove the stitches that felt like burning. Fortunately I also got a doctor to come check on me for a second opinion. He wrote me a prescription for antibiotics, and said if the redness spread, start taking them. He didn’t have anything to take out the stitches with and they really needed to come out so I ended up taking them out myself. Which wasn’t fun but they were burning. I drew a circle around the redness and waited another two days and when the redness went past the line, I went to emergency. I was hoping for intravenous antibiotics so I could avoid the fillers in the pills.

I go through LENGTHS to avoid being depressed again.

They told me I had to wait 10 days to see an orthopaedic surgeon (that appointment is this Wednesday, thanks Canada), and to take oral antibiotics. Nothing intravenous.

So I started antibiotics which I REALLY didn’t want to do because I think that’s part of the reason I’m so sensitive now, and because they’re full of gross things! These giant orange pills smelled like vanilla for God’s sake. Do you really need sweet tasting pills? I was so scared the depression was going to come back. I told myself I would only take antibiotics again if it was life or death but this was that. Spreading foot infection with the potential of bone infection? No thanks.

So I took those for 1 day and then found a capsule version of the antibiotic instead of the orange tablets, and bought gelatin capsules. I’ve been dumping the powdered antibiotic into the gelatin capsule and taking those.

I know this sounds extreme, but I haven’t ingested anything other than vodka, bourbon, beef, lamb, bison and salt for over a year. I do not want to be depressed ever again.

SO! Even though I took those gross pills for a day and a half I’ve only had a bit of a skin breakout but nothing else! I’m very surprised. And so incredibly relieved. During my first ankle replacement, I had a terrible infection and I was honestly surprised it happened this time as I’m not on immune suppressants and I’m pretty healthy. It was scary too. They were talking about bone infections, blood infections, etc., I may have shed legitimate tears twice in emergency (morphine makes me cry and so do infections) but I’m all good now. It was fairly minor compared to how bad it could have been (although it looked disgusting).

Then when the antibiotics started to work on day 4 I stopped taking the hydromorphone. I weaned down as low as I could go and stopped. The next day sucked. I was freezing and sweating and had crawling feelings on my skin and couldn’t sleep. I took Oxycontin for an entire year when I was a teenager and I remember the withdrawal feeling well. The next day (day 2) was way better though, although I still had difficulty sleeping, and today (day 3 off of morphine) I’m pretty much back to normal. So that was way faster than expected…

Now I’m on my feet again but I need to wear a boot for 3 more weeks. And it’s not healed yet, it’s still open in one area. I am going to have a GNARLY scar on the front. Not that it’ll be as bad as last time but… it ain’t gonna be cute.

I’m back.

BUT I can stand properly and almost walk properly. Kinda.. That might be a bit generous. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do squats which is what I was hoping for but hey, walking properly sounds good too!

It’s been a whirlwind but I’ve been incredibly lucky to avoid a reaction. I’m not going to share pictures of my ankle because it’s still gross and you guys don’t need that. I’ll share them in a month when it’s a sick scar instead.

I’m heading to the Bahamas this Saturday (February 16) to start the microbiome transplant Monday. Seriously looking forward to this as my digestion is a disaster.

Morphine withdrawal + C. Diff + Antibiotics = a terrible digestive time.

Serious thanks to everyone for all the support in the last month! Really excited to see how my ankle heals up and the movement I can get. Also, there are over 48 000 subscribers here!! Crazy. I’m going to do a website redesign to make it more user-friendly¬†as soon as I can!

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