If the female Dual G (gimpy and grumpy) is being truthful, she’d admit that she’s been on the look out for members of the local sports teams who take advantage of the all star cast of doctors at SOAR (Dillingham etc, and of course, her surgeon, Larry Oloff) – especially “her” San Francisco Giants. There seems to be a greater chance of an encounter since her appointments have been in the “cast room,” which shares three treatment tables. But it really was just as delightful to walk in yesterday morning and find friend Marty on the next table – who later demonstrated what it’s like to be almost crutch free.
The female DG’s milestone was more incremental. She graduated to a new cast (all pink again) that allows her to be 25% weight bearing for the next week and 50% weight bearing the following week. She’s always been clear about “no weight bearing.” That means “don’t you dare take a step or even touch down on the foot that’s now supported by a surgically repaired Achilles tendon.” And thanks to master caster extraordinaire Joe Bulcao (pictured), she now understands that 25% means you use the afflicted limb as one of three prongs, the other two being crutches. Fifty percent means that foot/ankle takes a bit of weight as you step – but only if pain free.
On the pain issue, there was some today. Still mild – 3 on the “during childbirth” spectrum but more than the almost zero she’s had beginning the third day post surgery. To get the clearance to start some weight bearing, she had to get her foot in a 90-degree angle, which it hasn’t been for three weeks. Joe was good enough to reinforce thatwhat she was feeling wasn’t pain but a “stretch.” And the motivation was easy – start some weight bearing and continue on the path to recovery.
There is a downside to the new regime. It puts her on crutches, a slower form of navigation than her scooter and one that requires use of both hands/arms (a challenge when you’re already down one arm in the household; being down three out of four makes things tougher). There’s also a new bootie around the foot of her cast that elevates that side, so her legs are now uneven. She thinks she may have one shoe that has a bit of a platform – otherwise it’s back to the shoe shop.
All of this orthopedic news happened on the same day that the male DG had a conversation with his neuro-oncologist and decided another treatment round requiring infusion was the prudent course of action. That decision was fairly straightforward. Making it happen – with the necessary insurance authorization, blood work, and UCSF office visit – takes time and patience.
Photos by Chris Gulker