About two months ago Mark was given clearance to start putting weight on his right leg, where the femur is healing from a very serious break. Since that time, he’s been going to physical therapy about three times a week to gain his strength back in both legs, and to start learning to walk independently again. He is still using crutches to walk, but he has gained quite a bit more mobility and is able to put about half his body weight on the right leg. He’s also driving again, and has gone back to work, so things are feeling much more “normal” for us since we began this journey.
One of the main issues at this point is that Mark is still experiencing quite a bit of pain in his right knee when he tries to walk. His therapists are concerned that there has not been as much progress in the last few weeks as they would have hoped, because his knee cannot support his leg to walk independently of crutches. It has felt like a bit of a roadblock, physically and emotionally. Things seemed to progress so quickly in the hospital, that I think it is hard for us to be patient with this portion of the recovery, especially when it seems to have hit a plateau. He has been referred to a specialist, and will be having an MRI done next week to see if there was some damage sustained to the knee that went unnoticed before. For the time being, he is building up those triceps on the crutches!
The bigger concern, in terms of his long-term recovery, is that his broken leg is now significantly shorter than the other leg. He had it measured with a special x-ray last week, revealing a 3cm discrepancy between his leg lengths. This was more that the doctors had initially expected, and will require further medical attention. The doctors were hoping it would be less than 2cm, which is what they view as the critical point for intervention. So Mark is probably looking at another surgery in a few months to correct this, to avoid causing back or hip problems in the future from an uneven walk. (Even though Mark was tempted to buy some baggy clothes, a Snoop-Dog album and some bling-bling and make the pimp limp work for him. Mark’s in the hizzo for rizzo, dawg!)
This has definitely been an interesting season for us – a season of waiting and of focusing on the “basics”. Just this past week, Mark spent about ten hours in some sort of medical appointment . . . not exactly his favorite way to spend his free time, and quite a change from our previous jam-packed schedules, but a necessary part of this time. We go back and forth between wanting to dive back into our “normal” lives and move on, and then realizing that recovery needs to be a priority. Still, it feels good to have some sense of balance. I went back to work about a month ago (part-time), and I know Mark is happy to be back in action at church. He works quite a bit from home in his new office, which he loves. His energy level improves with every week, and his stomach is giving him trouble less often. (Taking his vitamins and eating right might help with this, so I’m inviting all of you to hold my non-compliant husband accountable!)
This week we are off for a much-needed vacation in Hawaii with both our families. Mark is excited about testing out his new hardware in the airport metal detectors. He’s also looking forward to practicing walking without crutches in the pool, which is really good therapy for him. (I’m looking forward to laying in the sun, which is really good therapy for me).