Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Putting Things Into Perspective

I got my hard cast on Monday. As expected, heavier and more uncomfortable. Positive thing about it is that it restricts to a large extent movement from calf to toes, and it is this lack of movement which is supposed to help heal my tendon.

I watched two programmes on the Learning Channel on Sunday night (or was it Monday morning?) which kind of put things back into perspective for me and reminded me to be grateful for everything I have. The first was about primordial dwarfs ("The Smallest People in the World") and it was quite enlightening. Adapting to a world not built for small people and furthermore the smallest and rarest of the two hundred types of dwarves takes character. Most of us never think about these people as we go about our lives everyday. The second one ("A New Face for Marlie") was about a Haitian girl who because of a non-hereditary genetic disorder had started growing a lesion on her face and which had over the years grown into a huge mass protruding from her face/neck. Scorned by fellow Haitians, her face engulfed by the growth which had made eating and breathing almost impossible and Haitian doctors unable to treat her, Marlie would have died if not for the help of a charity which took her to Miami and doctors there who waived their fees. The lesion was removed and she has since undergone further reconstructive surgery. So next time I feel like complaining about my foot, I will bear in mind what the Creator has blessed me with.

One of my sisters was telling me the other day that I will put on lots of weight sitting at home doing nothing and this is actually one of my fears. I am trying to eat light but I have resigned myself to some regression. Those who know me know about my rather healthy appetite (yes Mr. C I saw your comment about my eating an entire pizza in one go when I was at university), but many who have not seen me nor had a meal with me recently would be quite amazed at how much I now eat and the weight I have lost. I used to laugh when people would tell me when I was a teenager and in my early twenties that one day all the food I was consuming would catch up with me and I would not remain skinny forever. Well the trust I put in my fast metabolism was ill-founded and in the last few years I put on quite a bit of weight. I joined a gym in the fall of 2005 but was too inconsistent. That is until I saw my pics from a trip to Quito in April 2006. I was appalled and decided I needed to take some action. I don’t believe in all those fad diets etc. I think if one maintains a balanced, healthy diet of appropriate portions and exercises, then you are fine. I gradually reduced my portions, cut out the fats and unhealthy stuff, started snacking a lot on fruits and health bars so I wouldn’t be famished at meal times and tried to keep my gym attendance consistent. The result: weight loss and almost causing my sisters panic attacks when I went home last August. My sisters are from the old school- cook lots of food and feed the men and kids. When I went home in June/July 2005 I put on twenty-five pounds in a month so you know these women don’t play around when it comes to food!!!

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Lazy Weekend

I went to sleep around 4:30 am on Saturday morning- I was up watching tv, talking on the phone and then online mostly reading. The sort of material one can be labelled a dissenter for merely glancing at :) McCarthyism is alive and well.

I ended up waking up around 2:30 pm because I went to sleep so late. A friend came and visited me and was kind enough to take out my garbage, put away some clothes and go to the shop to pick up a few items. Obviously a female can’t stop there, so she proceeded to clean my kitchen (which was not dirty!) and tidy up the rest of the place. Compared to most men I am quite good when it comes to tidiness, keeping a place clean etc (comes from having four older sisters) but obviously the standards are never high enough for the female species!

I went to sleep around 5 am this morning (Sunday) and woke up around 2:30 again, had lunch, watched a bit of tv and talked on the phone. That has been my day. I think I have watched more tv in the last few days that I have done in the last year. I have mostly been watching National Geographic, Discovery, Travel Channel, Food Network, Thirteen etc. but also some sprinklings of other stuff.

West Indies finally won a game on their short tour of India. If I was a betting man, I would put my money on them losing the final one-day. I mean it’s too much to expect them to go into the World Cup on a winning streak. Not to mention, their losing record over the last seven or eight games is more realistic and in keeping with the last ten years of heartache they have caused us. Serena won the Australian Open- take that all of you who wrote her off- so sports wise it was an ok weekend. It would have been much better if Pakistan had beaten South Africa, but then what can you expect from the most inconsistent team in world cricket after the West Indies.

Friday, 26 January 2007


Good news about my knee. Mr. Orthopaedist read the MRI report, examined my knee, did more x-rays (I have been subjected to an inordinate amount of radiation recently!!!) and his conclusion was that most importantly there is no meniscal tear and the problem is not very serious. YIPPEEEE. According to him it just seems to be some tendonitis which rest and a brace will take care of. Obviously with my cast I can't wear a brace so I will have to wear it when the cast comes off, especially when I go to the gym. I am relieved at the good news. I was grinning like a clown in his office!

Besides the visit to the doc, I spent the rest of my day watching tv,
talking on the phone and came online for a little while. I love reading but somehow I wasn't in the mood to read today. I have some books on my shelf that I have not read or read a long time ago so reading material should not be a problem. When those are exhausted, there is always amazon and b&n :)

Thursday, 25 January 2007


Using crutches is a pain!!! Since yesterday afternoon, I've dropped a pizza and nearly fell twice!!! I have been feeling like eating pizza for weeks and finally decided to be unhealty last night. Serves me right! I ate half and dropped the other half. thankfully it stayed in the box although the floor got some toppings. So there I was cleaning the floor whilst avoiding putting any weight on one foot. Rather difficult.

I decided to go into work today to finish off some stuff and try to clear up my desk. Took me just over two hours to get ready!!! Showering was a challenge!!! People at work while showing concern also saw the lighter side of things (which one of de women beat you up? somebody man like he beat you for he woman! come leh me kick you in dah foot). I bought indian food for lunch. Bought 2 sets so that I could take home some for later. Actually it should last me about four meals! Not my old gluttonous self anymore. A year ago that would have been demolished in two sittings.

My left foot hurts more than my right when I am using the crutches. It looks so easy when people walk with them. And standing on one foot is not fun either. I had to do that this morning waiting on the cab and this evening waiting on the driver from work to take me home. The latter was worse as the medical shoe offers absolutely no protection from the elements. I am dreading the trip to the orthopaedist tomorrow- its going to be bloody cold, single digits in farenheit!!!

One minute we are having spring weather and record highs in January and the next its well below freezing. Global warming or as my dry cleaner says, global destruction. Don't tell the US Government that though!!!


So, seeing that I will be home for the next 8 weeks, I have decided that I will start doing this blogging/journal thing as one of the ways to occupy myself!! I am not sure if I will keep up or get bored after a while. I will see how it goes.

Eight weeks home. I am kind of alarmed at the thought. Not as alarmed though as I was over the weekend when the podiatrist had told me I would require surgery, then have to wear a special shoe followed by therapy, all adding up to about 3 months home!

I've been having pain in my foot for a while now on and off. Went to the doctor on MLK day (Jan. 15th) and the podiatrist was also there so he examined me right away. I had to do x-ray and MRI the next morning. When I went back to see him last Saturday (Jan. 20th) about the results, he told me that basically I have a very badly torn tendon in my foot near my ankle. In addition the torn tendon seems to have caused “chronic altered bio-mechanics” so I have tendonitis etc in other tendons. This is what the MRI report says:

RIGHT ANKLE: Peroneus longus partial tear just proximal to cuboid tunnel with surrounding tenosynovitis. Calcaneocuboid atypical joint space narrowing, medial aspect, suggesting fibrous coalition. Tibialis anterior and posterior mild insertional tendinosis with tenosynovitis. Findings suggest chronic altered bio-mechanics. Insertional achilles paratenonitis.

RIGHT MID FOOT: Mild peroneus longus tenosynovitis. No evidence of lisfranc subluxation or fracture.

In other words, my foot seems to be royally *&(^%!!!!!!

It seems as if it was much worse that time in Barbados when I had hurt my foot (jammed it in a huge hole running for a ball on MTW’s crater filled field) and the stupid doctor said it was just inflamed, give me some pain killers and told me to bandage it when I was playing cricket. She should have sent me to do x-ray and MRI to make sure nothing was torn. So now instead of having a normal tear of a few millimetres like normal tears are, mine is just over a centimetre!!! I cringe every time I think about what I have been doing in the past 3 or so years and the damage I was doing to my foot. Only last week I was doing all manner of jumping and running at the gym. Some with weights on my ankles!!!!!!

I saw the doctor again today (Jan 24th). He had to speak to the radiologist who did the MRI to find out if the tear is transverse or longitudinal. Luckily it is transverse which is not as bad. That means I don't have to do surgery at least not at this point. I will be in a cast for around 8 weeks and then if it hasn’t healed I will have to do the surgery. He put a soft cast on me today and I have to go back for a hard one on Monday. I am walking with crutches. I also have to go to an orthopaedist on Friday to make sure nothing is seriously wrong with my knee. Lots of pain in my knee also and podiatrist thinks the MRI results are serious enough to warrant further examination by orthopaedist. MRI report of my knee says:

RIGHT KNEE: Mild medial patellar tilt associated with subacute/ chronic sprain of inferomedial patellar retinaculum and mild patellar tendonitis. Findings are suggestive of a mild patellofemoral tracking disorder. No meniscal tear. Minimal interstitial degeneration in femoral attachment, posterior cruciate ligament.

In other words, my knee also seems to be royally *&(^%!!!!!!

I am trying to get all of this digested, its all happening so quickly! I have to figure out a way to shower, eat, shop etc as I can’t put any weight on the foot and have to use crutches. Steve has volunteered to take me shopping so I can buy a whole set of stuff. I will still have to figure out a way to get everyday perishable items like milk and bread etc. I will have to swallow my pride and ask someone for assistance. I am also fearful that 8 weeks home without activity will lead to significant regression in the gains I have made health and weight wise. I will have to try to stick to a very low fat and low calorie diet.