Good news: no more crutches!

For the past three days, I have been nervously awaiting my appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to find out about the injury I mentioned in my last blog post. I am so used to going to the doctor for digestive- and colon-related issues. It felt a bit unsettling to go in for something entirely new like a bone problem. And I was even more anxious because the pain had gotten a little worse over the past couple of days. It had been especially intense at night — even keeping me awake for several hours.

At the clinic, the orthopedic surgeon looked at my x-rays and examined the area of my injury. He thought the stress fracture was small enough that I could ditch the crutches (unless I was having pain) and just take it easy. He said soon I could try some light exercise such as swimming or maybe easy biking, and to listen to my body and stop something if it causes any discomfort. However, because I have been experiencing the worsening pain at night, he wants me to get an MRI in 7-10 days to rule out a few things that could be more serious.

I was so ecstatic as I walked out of the doctor’s office sans crutches. I have a huge appreciation for those who have dealt with them for long periods of time. Using crutches is incredibly tiring, and it was difficult to rely on others to constantly carry my stuff or bring me things. It is next to impossible to have anything in your hands with crutches. My coworkers joked that they were going to get me a cowbell to ring every time I needed help. Thanks goodness I won’t be needing that.

Bye bye crutches!

So I am relieved with the circumstances for now and will cross my fingers that nothing strange shows up on the MRI. I know I will still have to cancel some activities in the upcoming month or so as I heal up, but I am confident that the plans I made for later in the summer will stay intact even if I have to tone them down a notch.

For this weekend, sitting in the grass with my sketchbook still sounds just about right.

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7 thoughts on “Good news: no more crutches!

  1. So good to see you standing unaided! I had a feeling good news would come to you. Stand strong and lube that chain!

    1. Thanks Darren,
      Eagerly awaiting the MRI so I can find out more details and get a better idea of how long this will likely take to heal. But for now at least I am able to walk around which feel so good!
      -Heidi

  2. These are really good news and you look really great!
    By the way, when my son was hospitalized first two and a half years ago, they put him on high dose prednisone prednisone for 10 days. He had to tape down it for about two months after that. Prednisone did not help him at all with UC, but it effected his bone calcium levels. Prednisone could be the reason for your fracture also. My son had twice bone x-rays tests; the last one was about two years after stopping prednisone. His calcium is still little bit low, and he is 19-years old male. As far as I know, blood test is not enough to check your bone calcium levels, but I maybe wrong.

    1. Anna,
      Yes- my doctor does think it was due to prednisone. I was on a 40 mg taper of prednisone for a month in 2007, a 40 mg taper for a month in 2008, a 20 mg taper for two weeks in 2009 and then a huge dose for my final flare in 2010 when I was in the hospital– 40mg for a couple of weeks and then upped to 80 mg for a week then tapered slowly over several months. So all in all about 7 months total during the 10 years I had UC. Over the years, prednisone became less and less effective for me.

      My doctor did test my bone density last fall, and I found out than that I have osteopenia. She thinks it is reversible since I am no longer on prednisone and has me taking calcium and vitamin D. This fracture was a surprise, but it should heal up fine, and then I will keep taking the calcium and vitamin D and hopefully the bones will get strong again.

      Hopefully your son’s bones will continue to strengthen too now that he isn’t on prednisone. Getting off that nasty drugs is one of the best things about surgery.

      Take Care,
      Heidi

  3. Good to know that things are going better. I was on and off prednisone during the 17 years of UC and prior to the operation I experienced some severe back problems and pain. Since I had the operation seven months ago the pain has disappeared. As you say, getting rid of that medication was a positive side effect of the ileostomy. Best.

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