Cast-Away -- 1/3/01

The day finally arrived. It was time to saw off the cast and begin the next phase of my road to recovery. After a short check-in at work, I drove myself to the doctor's office. As before, the Orthopedic Services office was full of patients with various bone maladies.

After a moderate wait for the "cast" room to become available, the assistant escorted me in. She then deftly sawed into my cast with a small rotary saw, occasionally brushing my skin and giving me a bit of a scare. She then pried open the cast and revealed to me...

...a scrawny leg. Actually it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The color was quite nice, matching my other leg pretty well. There was no wild growth of leg hair that I had anticipated. The calf had atrophied, but not to the point of looking like I was stricken with famine. The incision had healed nicely, with a smooth line and no prominent keeloid.

The assistant gave me a towel soaked in alcolol, and I tried to scrub off the dead skin. The leg was full-on stiff, but I was afraid of moving it and potentially reinjure myself.

Dr. Marumoto came in soon after to check me out. I had a ton of questions about the operation and the healing, all of which he responded to very quickly. He told me that I could start stretching it out and putting weight on it, but I would have to come back in three weeks. Only after that would I officially start rehab. This was a bit of a bummer to me because I wanted to start rehab immediately.

However, I understand that I do need some time to work out the stiffness and stretch it out before I start strengthening it. Just gotta be patient, I guess.

I was fitted with this very stylish orthopedic boot that looked like a black motocross boot. The beauty is that it is totally removable, with Velcro straps all the way up to the knee. It's actually a little heavier and bulkier than the old one, but having the ability to take it off is way more desirable.

When I got home, I showed my wife my scrawny leg. After a bit of pondering, she said that she preferred my skinny calf--"It looks prettier." I was livid! Nah! By heredity I have slightly larger than normal calves, and she never liked the "daikon" leg look.

"It looks prettier," she said. I told her, "I don't want pretty; I want manly!" The nerve!

And so it begins.