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  • Paul Fink

Splatt update: Few nervous moments…

The operation was three weeks ago and the surgeon was very pleased with the progress. The first 10 after the surgery I had (expected) pain in my wound and the heavy painkillers medication were doing their job. After that, I was feeling good with minimal pain, continuing non-weight-bearing, sleeping through the night, not taking any medication and continuing to elevate my leg at any chance I get. But it was a very interesting last week for me. Two things happened that made me nervous. Luckily, all's well. 

Firstly, on last Sunday I had a shower and I totally forgot to cover my plaster cast 😬🤦🏻‍♂️. It was not saturated though so I was not really worried and stopped my shower prematurely - after three minutes - when I discovered my mistake. But speaking to the surgeon, he was keen to get a closer look because if not checked, it is possible to affect my healing. Given that I have very poor sensation in my leg, I was ‘flying blind’ because I had no idea that my cast was wet or dry in the leg. We went to the surgeon's office on Thursday and he confirmed that the cast was a little bit wet, so he removed it and made a new one. He was happy with going to his office - earlier than I expected though - because it is important to maintain the cast and prevent getting wet. 

Secondly, the next day (Monday last week), I had lunch with my father in law - a great burger place in Bentleigh - and sitting there, I was keen to elevate my leg during lunch. I was using a small stool but the stool gave way and my leg dropped down on the floor of the hard concrete floor. There was a very loud sound hitting the cast on the floor, but the cast was so strong that I never felt any discomfort or pain. Obviously it was an accident, but I was really disappointed in myself for having to be in a vulnerable situation. Still, without any pain, I thought I’ll be okay, however on early Tuesday (like 2:30am) I woke up with some pain. The pain level was less severe compared to the few days after the operation, but I was pretty worried and I was cursing myself that I could setback my timeline recovery or could affect my healing from the wound. So I started using the painkillers again. 

Before seeing the surgeon on Thursday, I was struggling because of the anxiety or stress of the unknown - I had a few bad nights of sleep. I used a few methods (like deep breathing, listening to soothing music) to calm my nerves and try to continue being positive, but for a few days I was very nervous because if you read my blog before the surgery, you would know that this surgery is a huge step in my overall recovery and has risks for my quality of life. 

Fortunately, the surgeon was very happy with me and my leg - especially for the very minimal swelling after removing the cast. Beside the jolted incident on Monday, he complimented me on the way I did care about my leg (eg. elevating it a lot) and he was not concerned at all the jolt. It was a huge relief. He made a new cast, and one of the good things about seeing him earlier is that he allowed me to wait-bear the leg now so I am practising standing up with two legs evenly.  

This weekend, I will commence my rehab Epworth Hospital - starting with removing the cast, using a new custom-made AFO and staying in the hospital for two weeks. Currently I am still using a wheelchair and hopefully I will transition to walking at the hospital. In the meantime and more recently, I am enjoying my book, a few Netflix shows, live sports, I connected with the Stroke community online, I went out a few times with my mates, I went to two kids school functions and tomorrow I am going to the footy with my wife - Go Dees!! ❤️💙

All the best 


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