Cankle life…

I’m not sure that I have mentioned this previously on my blog (probably the only place I haven’t mentioned it!) but I’ve had a bit of a crap ankle for the past two years now.

I’d love to say that this began in a way which I was completely innocent in causing the damage but in actual fact it was completely my fault!

Whilst out celebrating a friend’s birthday in May 2013 I decided that the ridiculously high heels I was wearing were a terrible idea and I was going to take them off, I then proceeded to knock my ankle (twice I might add) on the metal edging of a nearby step.

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(For some strange reason I have a picture of me standing next to that fatal step on this exact night just before it happened … hmmmmm.)

Now I know this does not sound extreme but it has caused me nothing but trouble ever since!

I woke up the next day with a lovely bruise and a cankle. (For those of you who don’t know, this is where your calf links straight to your foot with no dip for an ankle, in fact as you can see mine actually go the opposite way! This is something I have now become quite known for… just what I’ve always wanted!).

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After a week in pain I decided it was time to visit the doctor, they informed me that I had probably sprained a muscle and that it will take a couple of weeks to heal.

I went back about a month later, still with a giant ankle, it didn’t hurt anymore but I was sick of looking like my old math teacher (a fellow cankle sufferer who I now feel deep sympathy for!) Since I’d previously had knee and wrist problems the doctor wanted to rule out any arthritis, this was an adventure in itself… never having had a blood test before, it did not go very well, my body decided to make me look stupid and I ended up laying on the floor of the surgery with the nurse shouting LAURA OPEN YOUR EYES AND TALK TO ME, not my finest hour and my mums friend now refuses to ever come with me again!

So it wasn’t arthritis (thank god!) but still no closer to figuring out the problem. I basically gave up after this appointment as nobody seemed to know what was wrong, nor did they seem to care. It wasn’t causing me pain anymore it was just fat and you know there are worse things in the world.

So I plodded on dragging my cankle around… that is until July 2014 when I decided to pretend I was fit and healthy and do the race for life. I’m not going to lie to you, I walked the entire thing, that is until I could see the end and I sprinted the last section in the hope that the crowd would be like “wow look at her, not even breaking a sweat!” (I think I pulled it off!)

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After the race everything was fine. Not being able to figure out where the bus came to, my friend and I decided to walk home. I was round the corner from my flat and suddenly couldn’t walk! I’d not felt pain like this before, like a shooting pain from underneath my foot at random intervals. I managed to get home and grabbed the frozen veg (which people always have just for these occasions, never for consumption) I kept the foot iced and elevated. BUT gay pride was on it the park next to my flat and being a huge gay supporter it was not something I was prepared to miss, especially with it being so close to home giving me a chance to support the local gays!

I hobbled to the park with a cider for pain relief, ended up getting bandaged by the first aid tent and hopping around on one leg in front of the stage having a great time. (In hind sight obviously not the best idea.)

This was a Sunday, on the Monday I got up for work and started to walk through the park, the pain started again! By the time I got off the train at Liverpool street I couldn’t take it anymore so I tried to find the walk in center (I failed in my search which meant id unnecessarily walked on my foot a lot more than needed) I got into work and googled the closest place which turned out to be the minor injury clinic in St Pauls – usually a walkable distance but this time I had to catch a bus – I told my manager I would be back after I’d got some medical help. I left the office at 11am… I got seen at 5pm! And all I achieved from this visit was a letter for my doctors saying I needed an MRI scan. Long story short my doctor refused to give me the scan and sent me for an xray and physical therapy instead. The xray showed nothing and the physio didn’t help, back to square one!

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Again, I left it for a while, till I got to a point where I could no longer walk, I went back to the doctor who put me on the list to see a specialist and sent me for more blood tests (to rule out arthritis again). A couple of days later the pain was too much so my mum took me to A&E which apparently is not the place to go for chronic issues and I left with another letter telling my doctor I need an MRI. Once again they refused as “in the current financial climate” it is not something they can get approved unless it’s for a brain scan!

Frustrated is not a strong enough word for how that made me feel!

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So I sat back and waited for my specialist appointment, all the while my ankle got more and more painful! Even just walking now can trigger a couple of days needed rest! Luckily a friend gave me some crutches which has enabled me to get about on my bad days.

So at my first specialist appointment I was given another xray and I met my consultant, he was great! A breath of fresh air in comparison to my normal doctors! He said that the xray came back fine but he thought I may have damaged my peroneal tendon, he told me I would need a scan (AT LAST!!!) so he could take a better look. I booked in an ultrasound scan for 2 days later and went back the next week for the results.

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D Day came, the day I would finally find out what has been causing me such issues for the last 2 years….

So it turns out I have a split in my peroneal tendon! (Or technically speaking… pernoeus longus longitudinal split with tendinopathy). I was so relieved to finally have a diagnosis, especially as I was starting to think that people didn’t believe me. The bad news was that it will need to be operated on to fix the damage, and that is really the basis for this rather long winded post! I am basically planning to document my recovery from the operation, this was spurred on by a blog I stumbled across during my research of the operation, where a girl did just that and I found it very useful.

My hope is that by documenting a factual and personal representation of how I recover it will help people in deciding whether they too will go ahead for the operation, I can’t promise I will put anyone’s mind at ease as I’m going to be as honest as possible, no sugar coating! So wish me luck 🙂

I have been given an operation date – Wednesday 23rd September, so keep an eye out for updates after then!

If anyone has been through this procedure before and has any hints and tips for recovery they would be much appreciated 🙂

Laura x

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