Friday, 26 December 2014


As I sit at the pc on my own, with no one but two extremely sleepy cats for company, I feel the strange weight of a recent acquisition around the top of my left calf. It is my new 3 hour buddy and companion: the orthofix... dun-dun-duuuuuh!

My left leg and its new companion, the Orthofix, at the start of another 3 hour session.

After a visit with the surgeon it transpires that I have what is commonly know (to them) as a 'delayed-union'; this is where a bone fracture begins to heal but then slows or stops altogether, leaving the healing process at a greatly reduced rate or a complete stop.
So, this gizmo I've been given helps to stimulate bone growth via PEMF stimulation (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field). Apparently electrical fields have been used to heal bones since the mid-1800s. However, it wasn't until the 1950s that scientists made an important discovery. When  human bone is bent or broken, it generates an electrical field. It is this low-level electrical field that activates the body's own repair mechanism, which in turn stimulates bone healing.

The Orthofix PEMF bone growth stimulator generates a uniform, low-level, pulsed electromagnetic field similar to the electrical field generated by the body. Application of PEMF directly to the fusion or fracture site helps activate and augment the body's natural healing process to enhance bone fusion.

The scar site. Note shaved area - I did this to see if my leg WAS still bruised. Yes it is, 12 weeks later.

Personally, I'm disappointed to have the need for this device as in the past I've been such a good, strong and pretty fast healer, but this time round it seems to be a whole new ball game. I've started my exercise regime of the 10x10x10 repitions x 5 to begin the process of strengthening all muscles throughout my body, especially my legs and glutes.

This routine consists of 10 squats with a 4kg medicine ball, then striaght down tothe floor for 10 crunches, then flip over for 10 push-ups, and this is repeated 5 times with as little rest as possible. Some time ago I posted about this session on my blog and listed the time I was able to complete this cycle in, which was somewhere around 3 minutes 30-40 seconds.

Now it takes me the best part of 15-20 minutes. Crazy how things change.

But my legs are getting stronger, muscle mass is returning and I can almost do a complete heel lift on my left foot. The strange thing is, I've been having the weirdest dreams about running. I've never had dreams about running - not as a fitness thing, being chased by some nightmare, yes, but not running as in a recreational sense?

Funnily, one night I had a dream of running through this industrial area and recall thinking within the dream, 'I don't recognise this place... oh, and hey! I'm pain-free and can run!', and having that lovely sense of freedom I used to get when I did a lot of running, wash over me. A couple of nights later I have yet another dream about running, and I'm going through the same area, but this time I recall thinking, 'I recognise this place... I was running through here in my last dream.' Bizarre.

Now I'm just concerned about work, as the surgeon has signed me off for a further 6 weeks, which will make a total of 18 weeks off work. Roughly at the 10 week stage I received a letter from my work requesting I call my dept manager. I did. She is, at best,a volitile personality who flips from being all smiles to F-bombing the crap out of a situation with minimal people skills and likes to get her own way if at all possible. So after a lot of to-and-fro during the phone conversation I asked her to tell me, in a nutshell, what I was looking at. She said, "Return to work or hand in your notice."

Uncharacteristically, this has caused me no end of worry, even though the union have been gobsmacked by her words and have reassured me I have nothing to worry about. Still, it makes for an awkward return from a situation not of my doing, and puts a damp squib on this Christmas - hence my seeking comfort in the arms of another. See the picture below.

"Hello, my pretty." Name the film that dialogue came from, and which character said it?

Although some good has come out of all this - I've decided to return to Sports Massage Therapy. I have missed it and helping others to get better. And if I'm truly honest, I was very good at it. So I'll be looking to work out of a chiropractor's clinic once more in a part-time capacity, whilst still working my current job. Once I'm re-established a strong client base and regular clinic days, then I'll have great pleasure in handing in my notice in order to fully focus on massage once more.

Roll on 2015. Let's see what greatness the new year has in store for us, shall we. Onwards and upwards, people.


  1. I thought for something like this, places couldn't fire you so I'm confused. Have you talked to her boss? Glad the union says things will be okay.

  2. Basically this woman makes up the rules as she goes along, hoping that people will be cowed enough to not question her. Of course she's in the wrong, and she's aware of that.

    But what she isn't aware of is that the operation of the type I've had is for people of a certain age range and physical activity level who are (still active and) showing signs of osteoarthritis (one of the joys of leading a 'healthy & physically active' life since the age of 12) through wear and tear, instead of performing a partial or full knee replacement.

    My left knee has early signs of OA. Nothing major if looked after, but unattended, could only get worse. Now in the scheme of things, anything that comes under the osteoarthritis umbrella is classed within the disability range of health issues when it comes to the workplace. So if the silly women does try to sack me (which is highly doubtful), her arse would be in the proverbial sling, with the union holding the trigger and a tribunal for unfair dismissal.

    I fully understand it's a pain in the butt to have an employee off for what will be a total of 18 weeks, and it's a situation I've not felt comfortable with, and I'm still experiencing pain and discomfort, plus a problem with walking due to my leg giving way at random moments - I have issue with the peroneus brevis and longus muscle (and possible some nerve innovation issues) that run down the outside on my left calf and feed into the outer edge of the foot. Also, the statutory sick pay I get is around £87 a week, but the company can (and no doubt will and does) claim this back from the government. So they are not losing out financially, plus it is something we pay into in the form of National Insurance out of our monthly wages, whether we want to or not.

    There was a slight complication during the operation, where the head of the tibia sheered off completely, instead of breaking slightly into an open wedge formation. Apparently this is one of several risks. Lucky me. So this has lengthened the whole healing process from day one. Mechanically, everything from the pelvis, hip, femur, knee, tibia & fibula and foot has changed, and that too has come with some hidden surprises.

    Anyway, it's now Boxing Day and I'm going to hit my rehab session set. Enjoy your turkey sandwiches and thank you for stopping by ;o)

    1. Do you eat turkey for xmas? We don't. But lots do. We don't do the ham thing, either.

      Thanks for the long reply and wow, you're really going through a lot that I wish you didn't have to. Hoping that come spring, you're more healed up.

      How's your new office space doing for ya?