So, I’ve been pretty busy with work and just... everything. Haven’t had much time to catch up on my recovery from being Floxed by Cipro, the last few weeks.
Got a fair amount to address - the walks, an upcoming surgery, and flexibility.
The walking was going GREAT... until it wasn’t.
Pain & Recovery
Every day I took a walk, I’d be more or less fine for the walk, then everything would seize up as soon as I stopped walking.
I’d spend the rest of the day hobbling - or staying off my feet altogether. Some days, it’d get better after a few hours, others saw the pain and stiffness lasting all through the day, into the evening.
Then the next morning, I’d wake up fine.... so I’d go for another long walk. Lather, rinse, repeat.
At first I thought it was me just getting used to it, that the recovery period would go way, but it really wasn’t.
I thought maybe my shoes were breaking down a bit, so I tried a newer pair, arch supports, even my compression socks, but the seizing up continued.
It was always fine the next morning, though.
The Weight Gain
The thing is, I was gaining a TON of weight on the walk days. After the first few, I put on 5 lbs, and that came off after a few days.
I assumed it was just water uptake into the muscles, and/or some gain in muscles.
As I got to walking more and more, the weight just kept piling on - I put on 10 lbs after something like 5 days of walking.
I didn’t feel bloated or anything, and it definitely wasn’t diet related - if anything, I was way UNDER on caloric intake on the walking days.
I have a hard enough time getting enough calories in as it is, and those walks were creating a HUGE deficit.
Still, it’s one thing to hold onto weight when not eating enough, the 10 lbs was ... worrisome.
I ended up having to take some time off walking - more on that in a minute - and most of the weight came off within several days of stopping the walks.
I hate that - while we’re all surrounded by “it’s just calories in vs out!”, actually losing weight is HARD.
I’ve never been an overeater, and I need to eat a lot MORE in order to lose weight. It’s annoying.
Now I get the fun of “physical activity is causing weight gain”.
I wish my body would just follow the rules.
I’m kind of assuming the weight gain is an inflammatory thing, rather than fat, but still.
My right big toe was very unhappy with the walking, and went VERY ingrown and infected.
Plenty of room in my shoes, so I’m figuring it’s just my genes - I’ve been dealing with them off and on since I was probably 12 or 13.
More on this in a bit...
Loss of Strength
This is the weirdest thing about the walking.
While I can walk for 5 or 6 km, rough terrain, etc... it’s been killing the strength in my feet.
All of that Physio Progress I made in April, with one legged calf raises and all?
Completely out the window, as soon as I started walking.
The both of us assumed that walking and hiking would only help build the strength in my feet. NOPE.
I completely lost the ability to do calf raises for a few weeks, and now can only do 10-15... so long as it’s both feet.
I’m right back to not being able to do a single leg calf raise on either side.
As much as I was loving the walks, I decided that having full mobility all day - and avoiding the other downsides - is more important.
SO, I stopped taking the long walks. My last walk was May 25, at the Toronto Lakefront.
I’m waiting for the weight and inflammation to come down a bit before I start any more physical activity, but I suspect that skating and weights will be fine.
Before I started the walks, roller skating and regular weight training didn’t cause any inflammatory weight gain, etc.
I’m assuming it has something to do with the motion of walking (vs skating), and probably to do with the heel pain and the achilles / plantar issues that the fluroroquinolone toxicity left me with.
Maybe some day things will get better about walking, but in the meantime I think it’s best I just work on the weight loss and building strength.
Anyway, back to the toe issues...
Back in maybe 2002 or so, I have a partial nail avulsion done to my left big toe, for the same reason.
I don’t remember it being anything dramatic - I’m pretty sure I drove myself home from the hospital after having it done. It worked really well, the toenail hasn’t given me any problems since.
The thing is, while it’s a minor surgery, it does involve 2 chemicals/etc.
First, there’s the numbing shot - injected right into the toe.
Secondly, they put something onto/into (?) Nail bed matrix, to kill it and prevent the sides of the nails growing in as they were.
Like I said, the first one was no big deal... but now there’s 2 separate chemical issues that have the potential to cause another flare.
I’m still pretty traumatized over the Gluosamine flare, and that was over a year ago.
This toe has been terribly affected by the cipro toxicity- it’s the one that swelled up so bad, the whole toenail just came off.
I’ve REALLY been enjoying my freedom of late, even without taking the walks.
I can raise up on my toes, walk around the house, cook for hours, and not have to worry about getting the closest parking possible, to whatever I’m doing.
I can stand up to get out of the bath - rather then have to crawl out over the side.
Hell, I can even walk up stairs without having to pull my weight up the railing. I don’t even have to USE the railing, most days.
I am SUPER nervous about the possibility of this procedure causing a flare, and I ave absolutely no way of knowing whether it will or not, until the surgery is done.
It’s scary, I am legitimately terrified.
I’ve weathered nasty flares before, I know that anything that COULD happen will likely be temporary... but those flares are wildly painful.
Still, the procedure clearly needs to happen, and I would really rather have it done and never have to worry about an ingrown toenail again, than to wait it out and REALLY need it - as an emergency - during skating season.
The New Podiatrist
I haven’t seen my podiatrist since he took one look at the condition of foot - during the flare the glucosamine caused - and Noped out entirely.
The foot was super swollen and red, pretty horrifying - he took one look, told me it was out of his area, and that I needed to get to the ER, and/or an orthopedic surgeon ASAP.
I emailed him about the partial nail avulsion recently, and he noped out again - says that he’s not comfortable working with the toe as a result of the Cipro stuff, recommended I go to a general surgeon.
Uh.. I’d rather take the potential flare, than another round of anesthetized surgery, especially over something so minor.
So I called a few podiatry offices near me, spoke to a few people, and settled on a new Dr. The secretary was SUPER nice - and actually interested in getting info for me.
She had me talk to the doctor, too. While he’d never dealt with a fluoroquinolone toxicity victim, he’d HEARD of it, and was willing to learn more.
I went for my appointment this past week, I like him. He’d actually done some research since talking to me, and he seemed confident that we can do this surgery without incident.
He also said he’s down for helping me out with all of this nonsense going forward, so that’s good!
That second toe on the right foot has been a little swollen for a while - to really visibly so, just feeling - and not bending.
He immediately zeroed in on it and pointed out that the tendon on top was “just completely overwhelming” the tendon on the bottom of the toe, explaining that’s why I can’t bend it.
I asked if this was a permanent thing, or a fixable thing, and he already has physiotherapy exercises in mind, figures we can clear it right up!
Says we’ll look at that after we get the big toe dealt with, so that’s good.
Planning for the Worst
Anyway, I booked my surgery appointment.
I’ve got less than 2 weeks until I may lose my mobility again, so I’ve been racing to get every done that I can.
None of the other major flares had any warning at all, this one - if it happens - we can plan for.
So, you know, getting the bed rotated, caught up on ALL the laundry, getting the house clean, planning for future meals, doing any prep work I can, that sort of thing.
Of course, the more we prepare for another disabling event, the less likely there will be one, LOL.
Anyway, in other news...
My birthday was at the end of May, and I came to a decision. Probably a dumb one, but hey - I’m a figure skater.
The decision: “I am not getting any younger, I am going to start seriously stretching ... with the goal of getting my Biellmann back”.
Yes, I’m a fat 43 year old on the end of over 2 years of being severely disabled - with no idea when it’ll be safe to get back on the ice - and I am working towards getting my Biellmann back.
Anyway, it’s a long-road kind of goal. A lot of people seem to think the Biellmann is just hip/leg flexibility, but there’s so much more to it than that.
So I’m working quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, low back, shoulders, and triceps for flexibility, while also working on targeted strength for the core, shoulders, and triceps.
The Starting Point
May 30 was my first “hardcore” stretch session, and just kind of assessing where I’m at with all of that.
It was...pretty bad.
I’ve been doing light stretching almost daily for months, and not seeing much/any improvement.
Before Cipro, I could go years without stretching, and just a week or so of attention to it would get me really limber. Yes, even while fat.
Since Cipro, making any gains on flexibility has been nearly impossible.
I’m assuming it has something to do with the “destroys collagen and the production of it” thing, but I have no idea how any of that works.
Anyway, I stopped stretching like a cipro victim, and went back to stretching like a figure skater.
That first day, I was surprised that I could still do the splits - it had been over 2 years since the last time I tried - but it was only in one direction, and I could only hold it for like 2 seconds.
There was no fallout from that nonsense, so I took a few days just in case, and then started again.
Last night - June 4 - I tried the splits again, twice.
First attempt was about 5 seconds, took a break for a few seconds, then did it again for about 9 seconds.
So that was some pretty nice improvement, quickly. Maybe I’m out of the woods for THAT whole aspect of the FQ damage also?
Anyway, this morning I did some more “assessment” work.
Can hold the splits even longer than last night, AND last as flat on my leg as my tits will allow for.
I guess I should start working “right in front” splits also? I never bothered, as a kid... but as an adult, I’m learning how bad imbalance is, so I’m trying to be better about such things.
I have been working side splits, facing the wall. I can get my pelvis 10" from the wall, so that’s not awful... but it HURTS.
Stretching for relaxation is just a whole world away from stretching for skating, LOL.
Anyway, I also tried a standing Y stretch thing for the first time since Cipro, both sides.
Pleasantly surprised at how well it went - the good side wasn’t awful, and the bad side was WAY better than I expected it to be!
It’s nice to feel like I’m making progress on something, especially in light of having to stop the walks!
Walked Again. Whoops.
Anyway, this morning we were out playing Pokemon GO, as there was a big event going on. It’s a fun thing we can play with our friends, from a long distance away.
Well, this event ended up involving walking tasks - two of them.
Porter offered to grab my phone and do it himself, but I decided to go for “a little walk” to get part of it for the first task (needing 1.3 km total for that one), and figured he could do the second one (1 km) if I couldn’t, later.
We were playing at Battlefield Park - site of his future citizenship party, if the pandemic ever clears up.
Anyway, I figured I’d walk the ~.25 km to the gate and back, and call it. Well, I “if you give a mouse a cookie”-d it, again.
There’s a big chunk of the park that I’ve never seen, as the past mobility issues prevented it.
So, when I got to the gate, I wanted to go “just over there” to get a look off to the side.
Then I wanted to go a bit further to see something else.
... but then I saw the stairs up to the memorial, and obviously I had to walk over to the base of them to take a photo up them.
Well, I walked up them (no problems!), walked around up there, came back down, wandered the grounds in that area, then walked the perimeter of that side of the park to take the long way back to the car, rather than cut back the way we came.
Gorgeous walk, though!
Later on, I decided to just walk that 1 km for the second task, as well.
We were at Confederation Park at that point, and I was shocked at how tropical it was looking / feeling:
Anyway, was pretty stiff and sore after it, but it did feel good to be able to go walking again. I think I may have developed a bit of an addiction to it.
So, once everything calms down, I think I’m going to break out the recreational inline skates and look at trying trail skating.
Hopefully that’ll screw me up less than walking did. I think it’ll be fine.
Anyway, that’s where things are at right now, figured I should update!
My Floxed Timeline
For the first year and a half or so, I kept a regular diary of symptoms and improvements. Here are the links to those posts:
...After the 20th month, things started to turn a corner. I stopped writing in my Cipro diary, and started blogging about my recovery - and I DO seem to be in actual recovery, now.
Also, you can see how I'm doing in general by seeing the All Blog Posts category.