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Skin grafts and various leg lengthening ideas were discussed but before any of this could take place I took a turn for the worse as the pain returned with avengeance, so its back to Ascot where Mr Maudsley performed another operation after which the pain returned to torture levels. After a few more months it was back to Windsor and again the question of reconstruction surgery to help the healing but my parents thought that by now I had been through enough and that it would be better left to see if natural healing would be best no matter how long it took.
Months passed and there were no more episodes. Thoughts turned to getting me back on my feet. I haven't walked for 3+years so physiotherapy was the new watch word.
After another 6 months of daily painful and hardworking Physio it was finally decided that although my ankle was still not fully healed and there was always going to be a large hole there I was allowed home using a wheelchair.
Back then we had a lovely district nurse that came in 7 days a week to change the dressings also monthly visits to Ascot to see the wonderful Mr Maudsley for the next couple of years or so.
These gradually tailed off and walking became a good way to get about but the pain should that ankle get bent is enough to make you pass out.
Being able to walk long distances was a challenge and has got worse as I have got older. I would never use a stick. I have to now.
My left leg was 2 1/2 inches shorter than my right leg and being a teenager now I wasn't about to start looking any different to the other teenagers so I wasn't going to have a built up shoe.
Back to school after missing over 4+ years was tough, bullied unmercifully because I limped led me to start missing school at every opportunity so my schooling really finished at the age of 9.
I have paid for walking crooked all those years. At the age of 40 I decided that built up shoe was a good idea but my spine was already badly curved.
I cannot stand for more than a few seconds without suffering pain in my left ankle and also my right hip.
My right leg has been worn out after doing all the work for so many years and my spine has curved so bad that it crushes the nerves giving me no sense of feeling in my lower legs and feet but after a day my feet swell up and become very painful.
I have physiotherapy on my spine which is a great help and I also take daily 4 x Co-codamol 15mg
4 x Co-codamol 30mg
1 x Ramipril 10mg Blood pressure.
Even with all the above I still go to bed every night in pain with the left ankle and swollen feet, in fact when I come to think about it I haven't had a pain free day since I was 9 years old.
Mum and Dad said while I was in Hillingdon I did go down to the operating theatre to have the leg amputated from below the knee and I have thought on many occasions I wish that had happened. I know I would still have had problems with a prosthetic leg but I would have at least walked upright and therefore not had the spinal problems I now have and I would certainly not have missed the daily pain and also the pain should that ankle get bent accidentally.
I have had three other attacks of the dreaded Osteo 1. when I was about 35 in my right wrist. 2. when I was 42 in my right elbow and thirdly about 5 years ago in my right knee.
On all those occasions massive doses of antibiotics stopped it in its tracks but the pain was on each occasion just unbearable. On a scale of 1 to 10 definitely 20+.
I always remember an episode of Coronation Street a few years ago when the character Les Battersby contracted Osteo and it was all over in a few days, how I wished I lived in the TV world where things are cured so quickly.
I should think by now if you are still reading this you must have amazing staying power as all I have seem to do is moan my way through 56 years of life but I have had a happy and full life. I have been happily married for 33 years with a wonderful wife, son and daughter and now also have two beautiful grand children a girl and a boy.
I am forever grateful to those mentioned in this story without whom I would most certainly have died.
My heart goes out to anyone who has ever suffered and is still suffering with and the after-effects of Osteomyelitis.
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