A Date With Destiny.

 

Like I have mentioned a few times in  previous entries about my ankle, it’s been nice to get out the house, feel apart of training, see people I haven’t seen in ages and get back on my fitness path. It was tough in the first instance, being so unfit but it has become easier over time. Currently I’m feeling better than I have in a long time and can see and feel the differences too. I am feeling sorry for myself too, because even though I am in constant ankle pain, I have enjoyed being able to do a few vaults and jumps these past couple of months. Once I have been operated on, that will all be taken away from me for many months, the summer months of all times, when people will be the most active, whilst I will be stuck inside bored and in pain. It’s a scary prospect, but again, it has to be done for me to move forward.

 

Surgery.

Surgery.

 

Finally, after many unforeseen circumstances and health issues I have encountered along my agonising two and a half years of  waiting for surgery on my right ankle. I now have a date set in stone for my ankle reconstruction surgery. I’m very glad, but in all honesty I hadn’t thought too much about it and had put it to the back of my mind, knowing it would arrive sooner or later, the latter at some stage in the future. Seeing the letter with a time, place and date on it in person is scary, as you know it will happen, it has to happen! I have been suffering from a ongoing, painful ankle ever since I first injured it way back in January 2012 [1]. It took a long time to get initially to the surgery stage, weeks and months of waiting out the ‘sprain’ period which they misdiagnosed and thought all it was, going back and forth to the GP explaining that it wasn’t getting any better and it didn’t feel right. Then trying physiotherapy, which didn’t work at all and then finally getting it to be seen as serious issue with the last resort of seeing a surgeon, who in matter of seconds of examination told me what was wrong and how to fix it. I was told I might not be able to do sports again and had a possibility of it not completely ridding my pain either, which was hard to hear. I had planned to have this surgery back in 2013, though due to other health issues to do with my kidneys, I wasn’t allowed to have it done and so it was postponed until my kidney issue had been investigated and resolved, which took a year to get to the bottom of.

In regards to my kidneys I had started to develop a constant thirst which wouldn’t go away, no matter how much I drank. I’ve always been an active fellow and have always consumed a fair amount of fluids daily, between 1-3 litres. Though now I had started to consume, much, much more… I didn’t know just how much until I started to monitor it and it got to it’s tipping point where I had to have a bottle of water constantly next to me drinking every few minutes. That of course also came with it’s negatives, I was going to toilet to urinate more often than not and got to the stage where I had to go hourly or even every 20 minutes and felt like I couldn’t hold anything in my bladder. It had gotten ridiculous, I was hitting between 7-12 litres of fluid a day, unable to go out, due to fear of not being able to get to a toilet in time. I felt rubbish and drained all the time, I wasn’t even sleeping any more as I was up each hour to go to the toilet even when I hadn’t drank anything which was disrupting my sleeping pattern completely. I had forgotten what it was like to sleep through the night, the amount of fluids was also giving me upset stomachs and constant changing fevers too, not to mention my stomach was distended and the size of a beach ball and wouldn’t go down, it was horrendous. People reading this may be screaming diabetes alert! Though that wasn’t the case as the GP had me tested for it multiple times, it wasn’t a psychosomatic response either, as I couldn’t control it, even if I tried. In the end after many different blood and urine tests I got referred to a specialist to see what they thought to it all, that and they would know much more about conditions involving my symptoms more so than the GP.

While in the waiting stages between appointments and since I had this ‘condition’ I spent most of my time sullen indoors, a hermit and a hairy one at that! I had stopped shaving and being bothered about my appearance and grew an epic beard [2] it was a very depressing and dark time for me, hence why there was a lack of content on my blog for a long time. Weight gain ensued too, I was unfit, lethargic, feeling aches and pains all over, even developing chest pains and heart palpitations and was generally unhappy with life. Thankfully once I had seen the specialist, they sent me off for more delving tests which would be able to confirm if what they though I had (Diabetes Insipidus) was present or not. Even though it has the name diabetes, it’s completely unrelated to the others and only having the increased thirst and urinating in common with it. I had to have a test where I had to be admitted to hospital as a day case getting there for 7am and then couldn’t drink anything all day and had to have my blood and urine taken ever two hours, I could eat, but only dry foods… What sort of torture was this? Only able to eat dry foods when you are not allowed to drink fluids, which in turn would make you more thirsty! The day was torture, I had a pounding headache from not being able to drink or eat, bored out my brain while I tried to focus on watching TV shows on my laptop. Only for the staff to mess up the test later in the day, with it being such a rare condition to test for they didn’t really have much idea about the process and so everything was void and I had to then go through the process again, for a second time!

 

Uugh.

 

I also had to have a brain MRI scan, not something you want to hear and more so when they were quite coy with the reasons why and said it’s all routine. It sounded all the more serious when they wanted to rule out possible brain tumours… All this from constant thirst, it’s quite crazy! Due to the location of the gland the only way to see it was from a MRI scan. I had to lay in the tunnel for thirty minutes, it’s a good job I’m not overly claustrophobic, even though it makes you panic a little laying there so enclosed with the machine nearly touching your nose. I then had to have some dye injected into my system too before going back into the machine for another amount of time. Thankfully I can report I didn’t have any brain tumours, though nothing else was revealed at the time until I went back to the consultant months later, but was told if it was anything serious they would contact me. The water deprivation tests did in fact prove I have Diabetes Insipidus (DI) a rare condition which affects 1 in 25,000 people. What are the chances of that then, eh?! I’ve never been a simple case for anything that happens to me, I seem to have all the luck when needed and then all the misfortune too with conditions, sprains, tears and breaks. The other downside to this rare condition is that there is no cure, it just keeps getting better and better… At least it can be maintained via tablets which have to be taken between 2-3 times daily which makes my body absorb and retain water like a normal person again. Though the tablets effects run out every seven hours, give or take and I need to see what my dosage is for them, as I might be able to still drink through them if the dose is too low. They found on my brain scan that my pituitary gland was smaller than normal and had been half destroyed, either by my own immune system or it could have always been that way but there is no way to tell for sure how it happened. It’s still strange how that had happened and how I had only just developed DI recently, either way that gland was responsible for hormone balance and the reason I wasn’t retaining water, due to lack of a certain hormone, which the tablets gave me synthetically.

Obviously since being medicated, it has resolved my masses of fluid intake and brought it down to a more normal level for me, being 3 litres, which is still higher than most drink daily and what the specialist wants me to be down too, which is 1-2 litres a day. I still have to try and force myself from drinking as much at times, though I do feel hungry all the time now as well, no doubt a compensating effect due to not drinking as much. It can be a chore having to take tablets daily, but it’s better than being how I was before them and it makes me able to sleep through the night and get on with my life. Being a rare condition it means it’s not as researched for a cure as other serious conditions and diseases out there. I don’t know if it was down to me being unhealthy and unfit too, but I began getting a lot more heart palpitations on a regular basis, they also came with chest pains which would radiate across my chest, upper back and even down my arms at times. The pains would last minutes or even hours at worse. I’ve always got the odd palpitation since I was in my teens and weighed hardly anything at all, but once I became fitter and put on more weight they soon disappeared all together. I did have my heart checked with various tests, and ECGs to check it and things sounded normal. I even had to wear a heart monitor for a week but it was hard to catch a palpitation, as low and behold I didn’t get any episodes while wearing one. Once I started to get fit they had disappeared once again, as quickly as they had appeared, a strange case indeed. If there is something wrong, it’s very minute and only seems to flare up when I’m unfit, otherwise it’s impossible to diagnosis?

Back on topic about my ankle operation, as I seemed to have gone off on a bit of tangent… Since the start of the year I have made a concious effort to try and get fit again, wanting to be back to how I used to be all those years ago and to be fit and healthy for operation too. The biggest problem I have encountered was how difficult everything was to do workout wise, even basic sets of press ups were difficult for me to do two or three repetitions, never mind ten or more in sets. Pull ups were currently an impossibility, as were dips and any other form of heavy duty bodyweight exercises. I felt like nothing would go back to how they were and the fact I fatigued so easily made it feel like the very small amounts I was able to do, had no impact on my health or increased my fitness. I carried on with small amounts in the beginning, slowing seeing the reps increase over the weeks and months. I also tried to get out to the park as much as possible to workout and do some Parkour when my ankle felt not as bad. It was nice to get in the fresh air, see the other guys and try to keep fit. Progression was good, I knew I was on the road to recovery. Once the operation was done I would and should be able to be fit again, no more ankle pain, able to train again and get back on with my life. It would be amazing and so different to be able to walk normally without constant pain, no worry about such restraints.

 

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