Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Joe Update

Strewth it's been mental at work, non-stop, so I'm knackered and just haven't had time to update the blog. In addition Joe and Ben  have discovered Mine Craft and the PC is being used to play that almost every waking hour that they have. Not my idea see the Missus...

So the recent story. Back in the summer - (these visits are becoming less and less frequent) we were told that Joe's leg would be looked at in late Aug, early Sept time to consider having the pins out. There was a visit a few weeks back where the main orthopeadic surgeon wasn't around and his less senior mate was not inclined to say 'Yeah go for it' erring on the side of caution. The main reason being that where Joes bones all came out of his skin and scratched across the road, there was a strong possibility that there might be bone infection which is really serious. So to reduce the chances of that happening, they cleaned the bones up before wrapping them up again inside his leg, but also the worst affected bit they nibbled the dirty ends off the bone to guarantee it was clean. Remember this is six months now... The whole process is far slower than your average sports break because of how detached his bones became from the flesh around them. In a sports break, the tissue that's attached to the bone remains pretty much intact, so one it's all stuck back together and re-aligned, what with still being inside the leg, all the necessary hormones and calcium is soon supplied to the bone to fix it and bingo some people are up and around in weeks. Not so with Joe, in his case all the flesh, sinew, veins and tissue has to re-configure itself and re-attach to the bone first in order that the bone growing and fixing starts in earnest.

So three weeks ago when we didn't get to see the latest Xray we only heard about the fact that there was a gap that still has to be bridged and filled with new bone in order for the pins to be removed. But last Thursday we got to see a new Xray which is here below...

 You can clearly see the gap in the edge of the bone, and because of this and the fact that the main gap in the bone where it snapped is still pretty much visible, so on this visit the other bloke (2nd in command) said he's spoken to his boss and they'd both looked at the situation and concluded that the pins have to remain in until at least late Dec.

So that's it now for a few months and then we return again just before Christmas and it's checked again to see how it's progressing. They've said that if it's looking good an appointment may be made then and after Christmas in Januray some time they'll possibly remove the pins. I'm not holding my breath, the main bloke 'Dr Wakeman' said right at the start that this was going to be a long haul - at least a year. But it's 6.5 months and Joe's doing pretty well, so I'd imagine that the year landmark which heralds the start of the cricket season - we should hopefully see him doning his whites again and playing cricket properly?

Incidentally, I mentioned that Joe had been having a knock about every now and then and that one of these little knock abouts where Joe twisted - putting a lot of pressure on the break - resulted in him ending up in pain for a short period. He was okay the next day and has been okay since, but the 2nd in command bloke did say that - bounding down the wicket was taking things a bit too fast!

So, the stage Joe's at now is...

  • At home he doesn't use his crutches and he's trying to walk as normal as possible.
  • If we go anywhere, the crutches come, but stay in the car and we encourage him to walk as much as possible.
  • At school he takes his crutches - this seems to be just as a precaution as there's so many kids around and I think he uses them as a warning sign to kids - so that they know he's injured, Michelle says that they also act as a 'Babe magnet' because he does seem to be surrounded by older girls all the time - looking after him and Ben says they're all the 'Fit ones'.
  • Physio is difficult, in the summer it wasn't that bad and we got it done and towards the end there was so much of it, getting it done took 20-25 minutes. But now they're back at school and Joe gets piled with shed loads of homework and life just happens, the physio seems to have taken a back seat and is done in a haphazard irregular manner. But having said that he is walking around pretty normally and doing the weight - bearing thing that promotes the calcium growth.
  • Formal Physio; We're waiting for a date as far as I know for the first exercise class at the hospital, again that seems to be very few and far between?
  • Scars - these are doing well it seems, especially 'The hole', which back in April/May looked like hell and it was just inconceivable that it would ever fill-in, but it is. Joe's quite good with this aspect. It does seem that where the scar is covering areas of thin skin over the bone, the bone beneath is still tender, so he doesn't massage that very vigorously, but the other more fleshy areas, he's increasingly doing it heavier and with more vigour. He uses Bio oil and rubs this in 2 or 3 times a day and on a week by week basis you can see it filling in and feeling the difference between hard lumpy scar tissue and places where it's a lot softer because of the massage. So that aspects is going well.
  • Mental aspects - He's doing well, he's been bright and cheerful throughout the whole recovery process and has remained positive from the very start. It was only in the first weeks when he was on morphine and suffering pain that there was any glimmer of any other emotion.
This weekend we went down the beach at Leigh - on -sea and had a walk around and you can see that Joe commandered Ben's scooter and had a go on it. We were there for a couple of hours walking around on the beach and in the mud and he was fine.

My only concern is that he's putting on a bit of weight and I'm worried that he's going to have trouble losing it.  Here's a couple of links to Youtube videos, showing how his walking is coming along...

His main area of weakness seems to be his thigh muscles, I'm hoping they'll just get stronger bit by bit and he'll be okay in the end. Overall he's doing well.