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Friday, February 26, 2010

We have UNION!

After three months of being non-weight bearing, I finally got to go to Dr. Carbonell to check on the status of my ankle. The X-ray revealed the miraculous growth of my bone! Basically, my bone has grown through and around the cadaver bone that was inserted into my ankle during the surgery in November. The bones of the ankle have also fused together into one non-moving mass. This is awesome news.

So, now that step one of my healing is completed, we are on for the next step. Basically, the bone has grown—but now it needs to be strengthened. My ankle still wants to flex in order to walk. Therefore, if I were to step on my foot without the boot, the newly-formed bone would most likely break. So, for the next six weeks, I need to SLOWLY and gradually begin putting more and more weight on my foot (while wearing the boot). This will cause the bone to become more dense and strong.

Sounds strange, but Dr. Carbonell explained that this process is called Wolff’s law of bone growth. It is so cool. In the 19th century, Wolff discovered that the bone of a healthy person or animal will adapt to the loads it is placed under. If the loading on a particular bone increases, the bone will remodel itself over time to become stronger to resist that sort of loading. So the bones of a racquetball player’s racquet-holding arm will become much more dense and strong than the bones of the other arm. Likewise, astronauts who spend a long time in space will often return to Earth with weaker bones, since gravity hasn’t been exerting a load on their bones.

So—hopefully Wolff’s law will work its magic on my ankle so I can one day walk without this boot.

Although I have a way to go, it is wonderful to see a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel.

Dr. Carbonell also told me that I can now DRIVE! Doug has been driving all of us (and my scooter) for the last three months. Although it has been nice to have just one kid in my car at a time, leave school when I want to, or avoid going on errands—I have to admit that I slightly miss our family togetherness time in the car.

Having been on my scooter for a long time, I have gotten pretty good at zipping around the house and our school campus like a woman on a mission. Now I am back to travelling .02 miles per hour on my walker (and looking about 129 years old). No big deal. It is just so nice to be getting closer to walking on my own. The kids at school are so excited to see me walking “like a normal person.” They have prayed for me so faithfully and are encouraged to see any signs of change or improvement. So sweet.

Dr. Carbonell also told me that I can sleep without wearing my boot. So wierd. In the past, I have always slept on my belly. However, ever since I fell I have had to sleep on my back with my leg elevated in the boot. Well, the other night, I tried for the first time to sleep on my belly. My foot felt so naked and vulnerable—I hardly knew where to stick it. So, since my foot doesn’t bend anymore, I find that if I scoot down way under the covers and let my foot fall off the end of the bed—I can sleep on my stomach—and keep my foot safe. Sweet victory!

I feel so blessed to be moving forward. I thank each of you who have faithfully prayed for me and my ankle. It feels so good to have a big thing go right in my healing. I just have to try not to do anything dumb during the next six weeks to mess it up! Thanks for your prayers.

Love to you all!


P.S. My amazing Grandma turns 90 this weekend and she is having a big party in Chicago. I am bummed that I couldn’t be there but I didn’t dare try to tackle icy sidewalks and unknown terrain with my walker. I love you, Grandma! Happy Birthday!

1 comment:

  1. Anne, you are such an inspiration. I am blessed just by knowing you and your amazing family.

    I pray God has continued his miracles in your life.




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