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Mitsugirly BREAKAWAYs for a summer cruise: Review/Pictorial


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Kim OMG so sorry to hear about your accident and all the mess that has been going on with it!

I haven't been on CC much lately and am started to research for my Feb 2020 Eastern Carib cruise and one of the pages I was on had a thread you commented on. I clicked on your name to see what you are up to these days and have been reading for hours now. I'm sorry the surgery didn't go as planned and am glad to see on the latest few pages it looks like things are starting to go in the right direction! 

Not sure if you remember me but when we first were cruising I seemed to be following you all around the Caribbean and loved learning from your reviews! I remember us discussing taking Sakari cave tubing in Belize and she was only 4. I thought it might be too scary but you knew she was brave and did it if I remember.

The pictures of her now are 😱 she is so grown up! 

Anyway just wanted you to now I'll be sending some healing prayers your way!! I had a knee replacement August 2018 and had complications -us nurses are the worst pts huh! (still have numbness and nephropathy in my foot...also on Gabapentin) so I as many on here feel you pain and hope it goes away for you quickly!

PT is a wonderful thing and even when it is painful it helps your body get back to pre injury health

Good luck Kim hope you heal up good!

Trish

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Whew, it's been a crazy few weeks but wanted to update everyone with what I can remember at this point. LOL

 

So I had my first PT appointment 2 weeks ago. I have to say that my therapist is....well....quite "bland". He never smiles, his voice is monotone and when he tries to explain something and I ask questions about doing it, he pretty much repeats himself. Kendra took me to that appointment and I kept getting the "stink eye" from her about his responses. He gave me a list of things to do...and by list I mean like 6 pages with about 5 things on each page! 😮 My appointments are about 1 hour long. I am to do these 1-2x daily.

 

I went home and immediately started doing my exercises....2-3x daily and the max amount that is listed on each activity (example do 10-20 reps and hold for 5-10 seconds...I'm doing 20 and holding for 10 seconds). Now before anyone says "take it easy" or "start out slow" Imma remind you all I have a goal of being mobile by December in order to book a cruise! 😆 Also, I know everyone said "PT is the best thing ever for you to get back up on your feet and that it's going to be very painful, but remind yourself of the goals and it really does a lot of good".   Well, so far, it hasn't been too painful. Actually it feels quite good!!! I love doing them and will find myself sitting around doing them when I'm not actually "doing my list" because it loosens up my foot and makes it feel better.

 

In regards to the swelling...not really any better. 😞 When I question the therapist about it, I'm told be up for 2 hours and lay down with my foot up for 20 minutes. Well 20 minutes isn't going to take any of the swelling away. In all honestly, I have to lay down ALL DAY in order for no swelling to occur or reduce any swelling from the day before. That's just not going to happen. I'm done with laying around. I just can't!!!!

 

Now for this past week. I was LOADED DOWN with appointments. Sakari has "officially" started wearing glasses. She was told she needed to wear glasses around 1st grade (and I bought her at least 2 pairs over the years) and she refused to wear them and would hide them. Well, obviously it's the new "cool" thing in school and she was begging for them. I didn't realize just how blind she was until now! WOW! I don't even know how she's been getting around or functioning seriously. I had a mammogram (since it's been 3 years since my last) and then more appointments regarding my leg.

 

I ran out of my blood thinners on Monday and had to have an "emergency" appointment with my PCP to obtain another 30 days supply and the need to cut off another hand to pay for the prescription. The pharmacists searched everywhere trying to find discounts and so on to help me out. They are wonderful there.

 

Next up was my appointment with a Hematologist. My PCP referred me here saying that I needed to do some type of extensive testing (genetic, predisposed, likelihood) to see if I'm "prone" to getting blood clots in the future. This will tell me just how long I needed to be on blood thinners...3 months, 6 months, 1 year, or forever. While meeting with the Hematologist...he informed me that the guidelines for this extensive testing is ONLY for those that acquire blood clots for no reason. I definitely had a reason...the break and trauma. So..."there's really no reason for this visit" I was told, while getting a little steamed that I had to pay $80 for the visit for "no reason". He told me "guidelines" for someone that has a blood clot due to an injury is to be on blood thinners for 3 months and "then you are done". Of course, I questioned about getting another ultrasound to make sure that the last remaining blood clot is gone and he went into the "chronic" talk and said that blood clots leave behind some scar tissue sometimes and there's nothing that can be done about that and it does not create any life-threatening issues or need to continue blood thinners. I still do not feel confident in "just stopping" the blood thinners until I KNOW that the last one is gone. So, I might request another ultrasound from my PCP after this next 30 days are up.

 

At my ortho appointment, I had to see the PA instead of the ortho doctor this time. I guess they figured I'm good enough to not have to see him now that the healing process has started to improve. She decided she was going to pick off all of my scabs with the hard end of a q-tip 😮, except for the big one that is where the blackened area I've been having issues with from the bone laying against my skin...which wasn't about to give up easily to her picking😫. She also dug in the area that is still somewhat open (this seems to be where the suture line was at right below the blackened area) and is having an issue healing and also where I was having a discharge from the infection prior to surgery. She peeled open an area of skin and dug around in it "to see if there are any underlying conditions that would be of concern to her". Um...ok, it's trying to heal...just stop already. I'm a slow healer and I'm pretty sure she just set me back at least a week on healing by doing that if not more!!!! I bled and had a yellowish discharge for 2 days after that and now just have the icky stuff on my gauze daily from it. They decided that I didn't need to be seen again for another 6 weeks unless there was some type of problem.

 

Ortho continued: When I inquired about the surgery in December: I was told from the day of surgery and every visit with my ortho after that they would be doing another surgery in December to remove the hardware (plate and screws) on the right side (used basically to "draw back my bone into position, which would pull the upper broken bone of my fibula back into place to heal and also allow repair of my ligaments that were torn to go back into place and heal) and also be removing the 2 screws that run from the tibia and fibula stabilizing them together. The PA went to inquire about this with the ortho and returned saying "It's up to you if you want to have it removed". I immediately went into question mode of course. Why is it up to me and isn't it required? No, only if you want to have it removed if it is bothering you or painful. Isn't it going to limit my full mobility and being able to bend like normal? Yes, it could limit you. Then why wouldn't I want to have it removed? Because any time we go in and open you up, it's another open wound that could cause complications. (Although she didn't say it but I started wondering about another chance of more blood clots with another surgery and I do know that any time you are opened up you are at risk, but my ortho doctor has said from day 1 that this was going to be done and "you'll be up and walking on it by that night"). So I was advised unless there are problems or pain, don't do it. Next up was What about the screws fusing my tib and fib together? She said those could be left in too. (Knowing that my neighbor had plates on both sides and only ONE screw fusing his, where I have TWO, he was told absolutely NO weight bearing on the foot until they went back in and removed those screws because they could break and if they did, that would be an extensive surgery to go in on both sides to get them out). I ask about them breaking and told her my neighbors ortho story. Her reply was "yes, they can break and that's ok". How is this "ok"???? She said a lot of people have screws that break and unless it causes problems or is painful, they don't need to be removed...they can just stay in there broken. 😬 My husband ask her what type of screws...are they titanium? She said stainless steal. Now being a nurse, I read up on things like this and from what I have read it is controversial whether to allow weight bearing due to concern of the screws breaking. Many advocate to have them removed first. Many suggest removal to reduce chances of breakage and also because there is a limit to ankle movement. At this point, I guess I'm playing it by ear. 🤷‍♀️ I also let them know that they have NOT did an xray on my upper fibula since the day I broke it and they have been focusing on the ankle area and tib break below. So, the PA immediately sent me off the xray, which showed the break has NOT healed (and to me, it looks the same). Before I left, I was fitted with an ankle brace and told to have my PT start working with me to get me out of the boot and into the ankle brace with a shoe. Now remember this "brace" isn't what it seems like. When I hear the word "brace" I think of something that is sturdy or hard on the side. This is not. It's material that you slide your foot into and it goes just around the ankle area. You lace it up like a shoe, a strap criss crosses in the front and to the side and another around the back. Then you slide your foot into a shoe. Yea, this foot isn't going into ANY of my shoes. It's just too swollen. I tried for sheetz and giggles. 

 

Onto PT....had my second meeting with him. When I first got to PT I was at -5 flexing back toward my leg (Dorsiflexion). By the end of my PT session, I was able to get it to 0, which is a neutral position. (We should be able to flex 10-30 in that direction). At the second PT session, he measured me after a week of doing my PT at home and I had made it to +5. Yippee progress! Plantar flexion (think pointing your toes out) I can't remember what he said I was at to start with but he did say that I had gained +10. I really didn't think I had gained anything because it didn't seem like it, but I was happy! As far as adduction (bending toward the inside toward the other foot) it is not as good as abduction (bending outwards) but he didn't give me any numbers on that nor did he measure it (not sure if you can?). He added a lot of things that involved strengthening my leg (it is skinny and flabby with no muscle tone) and also started having me stand on both feet (barefoot) and leaning from side to side and to the front while my feet are planted flat on the ground. Now that hurt! He mentioned bringing the ankle brace next time and we'd try that out. He said to go to some place cheap and buy a cheap pair of big shoes that would allow it to fit in and we'd try it out.

 

 

So...update around the house. I'm walking really good with just 1 crutch and the boot on. I've tried walking a lot without any crutches. I'm getting better at it but it's killing the left side of my knee (which has been hurting since the day I fell and when they xrayed it, it shows fine as far as the bones). I did try the other day to walk with 1 crutch and in my ankle brace and was able to do it (after doing my exercises and getting things moveable) and did fine, but not far. I just wanted to see if I could do it and apply the pressure. I'm well on my way to recovery and I'm going to keep at this as much as possible.

 

I do have an update pick of my ankle and it's still really bruised, but looks so much better.

 

IMG_0990-M.jpg

 

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Good to see you are making progress! That information you are receiving about having the surgery to remove the screws or not is so interesting and so much more than I ever heard from my ortho. I'll be interested to see what you decide to do.

Heather

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All I can say, Kim, is that is a whole load of info to try and make sense of.  Glad you at least have a medical background to help you with decisions, but just Wow!  At least your ankle actually looks like an an ankle now, and it does seem like you're making progress.  So here's to your next cruise!

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Congrats Kim, so glad to year you've made it to PT and that it's helping. I don't know what to say about your Ortho, it seems they don't want to 'tell' people what to do anymore, and now just lay out suggestions and ask you to choose?? How about putting all that expensive medical training to good use and give me your best recommendation? What would you want your wife/mom to do if she were in my shoes??? 

 

Anyway, Best of luck on your rehab. I know you'll keep pushing towards your goal, but still listen to your body. Your foot looks much better, and hopefully it is starting to feel more 'normal' and not so tingly. Post a pic of Sakari in her new 'cool' glasses, I'l bet she'll look adorable in them.

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I can't recall if I've posted anything yet but I've been following along and thinking and praying  for you.  Holy cow you've been through the wringer!   The gas hose has always made me nervous and I'd rarely step over one.  But now I look at it in horror and think......oh helllllllllllllllllllllll NO!  Glad you are making progress.  Hang in there.  Thanks for all the info you've shared over the years on Cruise Critic.  Like many, I've benefited from it.  Here's hoping you get to cruise in December!  😎

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... just catching up after being home for going on two weeks and finally got around to reading your good news. I must say you’ve MADE MY DAY Kim! 😊😊

 

Keep up the great work and please keep us all up to speed. 

 

Ellen

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Just got back from 11 days vacation in FL on Sunday and this is my first chance to get to CC and where do I come first?  So happy to see that things seem to be coming along and that you're making progress!  It seems like you may actually be ahead of schedule after all you've been through with this, but like you said it will hurt but knowing what the goals are will be worth it.  The pic of your ankle now compared to the last ones looks so much better too, and I have no experience whatsoever.  I can see that it is finally taking on the shape of a normal ankle/foot.  Thank you for keeping us updated and, again, so glad to see that things are FINALLY heading in the right direction for you.  Will keep the positive vibes/juju/prayers coming your way that things continue to go well for you so you can your December cruise. 

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Kim, I’m glad to see your foot looking, well, more like a foot! It certainly looks better than the last picturesI saw. I’m glad you’ve been able to start with PT. I hope you have good progress in getting back on your feet again, and back to planning your wonderful vacations! 

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Wow!  I guess I was really really late to the party and not-so-fun after-party,  just finished reading your entire review. What a roller coaster!  I hope everything is still on an upward trend for you and you are able to cruise during the holidays. Positive wishes for your continued recovery!

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On 8/15/2019 at 10:19 AM, mitsugirly said:

Sorry it will be awhile before I continue. Fell at gas station and broke leg in both fib and fib and ankle yesterday and have been in the hospital. Surgery today to get plates screws and who knows what else. I’m going to be down for several months so once I get moving around I’ll get going. 

 

Kim,

 

If I had to make a list of items most likely to injure you, my list would contain:

  • Dune buggy, boat, ATV, sea-do, motorcycle, golf cart, moped accident.
  • Scuba or snorkeling accident.
  • Something to do with Kendra.  Her punctuality and a weak heart.  Pet monkey bite.
  • Crocodile, alligator, eel, arapaima, great white, puffer fish attack because of all the time you spend in the water. 
  • norovirus from being on so many cruises. 

Filling your car up with gas would not have been on my list.  Especially an injury this severe.  Although I am joking with my post, this injury looks so bad and I hope you get back to cruising, work, and your real life very soon.  

 

As always, love the reviews.  Hadn't expected to see one until fall from you so this review was a surprise.     

 

If you can find a full service gas station going forward, might be money well spent once you re-gain your health.

 

Hope my post made you smile.

 

Bruce...   

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Hi Kim, glad you are doing better!  Are you cruising in Thanksgiving break again?  I was just wondering about that, guessing probably not this year.  We just booked the Conquest for Feb!  I went back and looked at all your photos from your trip and I am so stoked.  Take care and stay in touch!  

 

robin

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17 hours ago, my_crib_too said:

 

Kim,

 

If I had to make a list of items most likely to injure you, my list would contain:

  • Dune buggy, boat, ATV, sea-do, motorcycle, golf cart, moped accident.
  • Scuba or snorkeling accident.
  • Something to do with Kendra.  Her punctuality and a weak heart.  Pet monkey bite.
  • Crocodile, alligator, eel, arapaima, great white, puffer fish attack because of all the time you spend in the water. 
  • norovirus from being on so many cruises. 

Filling your car up with gas would not have been on my list.  Especially an injury this severe.  Although I am joking with my post, this injury looks so bad and I hope you get back to cruising, work, and your real life very soon.  

 

As always, love the reviews.  Hadn't expected to see one until fall from you so this review was a surprise.     

 

If you can find a full service gas station going forward, might be money well spent once you re-gain your health.

 

Hope my post made you smile.

 

Bruce...   

 

OMG!!! This totally had me cracking up!! I was in tears and thinking...man Bruce knows me too well. haha  Although I haven't had many of the accidents you've listed (keeping my fingers crossed that I don't) I have caught the noro on one cruise and you do seem to know Kendra pretty well with her punctuality issues. LOL  (I had to show her this post). ;) I have managed to break 2 things while cruising so far as well. I swear I'm not normally danger prone. :D

 

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2 hours ago, ABQrobin said:

Hi Kim, glad you are doing better!  Are you cruising in Thanksgiving break again?  I was just wondering about that, guessing probably not this year.  We just booked the Conquest for Feb!  I went back and looked at all your photos from your trip and I am so stoked.  Take care and stay in touch!  

 

robin

 

Hi Robin, 

 

Not cruising at Thanksgiving break but Kendra is trying to talk me into a Christmas cruise or land vacation. I know either way it's going to be tough on me. I will have to take my wheelchair and be in my walking boot to be able to do anything. I'm not sure how that will play out. But things are improving so I'm trying to stay positive and figure something out soon. Time is ticking. I just hate I will have to miss out on scuba diving since I have really started to enjoy it since I no longer get anxiety about it. :(

 

I hope you have a wonderful cruise in February! I can't wait to see any dive experiences you have then. 

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