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Author Topic: Greekster - Internal Femurs - Dr. Betz - 2009 - Greekster's Diary  (Read 150598 times)
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Greekster
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« on: April 13, 2009, 06:56:38 PM »

Ok, I've decided to start a diary.  At first I decided not to, because my experience so far is so atypical and thus my daily activities also quite abnormal for an LL patient.  But I'm so used to having criticisms thrown at me here so I'm not afraid of more, since I may actually learn from them.  Just keep in mind, that chances are your LL experience will most likely not be like mine during the first 3 cm (or even after that).

Let me summarize the first 3 cm so far.  My operation was on March 18, one day after Growing's.  Dr. Betz said that my operation was more difficult than usual because my bones were so thin.  After the operation, I felt no pain, and when my morphin bag was used up, I did not need more.  The nurses expressed surprise when my morphine bag was finished, saying "No pain???".  I was able to start bending my hips and knees about 45 degrees about half an hour after the operation, and Dr. Betz encouraged me to do more.  I had an accidental click a few minutes later while bending my legs, and Growing saw it too.  Then Dr. Betz decided to click me twice on each leg.

My first day of physiotherapy was ok, but because my legs were skinny to begin with, I didn't have the leg strength to stand up without help.  Walking was very slow for the first 5 days, but then it became quite good by day 7.  Growing has seen my walk when I'm at my best, fully erect, walking at about half normal walking speed, and feet close together.  I'm glad to say that I have no duck-ass, and neither does he.  After lengthening 3 cm, my walking quality has been maintained.  I must say that I was shocked to see how slow and awkward some of the LL patients at parkhotel walked, though I've been told that walking deterioration will occur after 5 cm or so.  I hope to maintain my walking ability as I continue to lengthen.  When I reached 2.0 cm, I flew home, since the Betz team said that after 1.5 to 2.0 cm of lengthening, you will never need anaesthetic clicking.  So I felt self-sufficient enough to go home, and I went to work the next day, driving my car.  Two days later, one colleague asked me if I was taller, and I told him that my leg operation was straightening my curved femurs (sounds medical enough?), so theoretically I should be taller.  The other colleagues who were listening in on the conversation therefore know that I am a bit taller now.  I have yet to find out what they are truly thinking at this point.

Clicking has been very painless for me, and Growing has seen me click with great ease.  In fact, I clicked so easily that one time I clicked accidentally 7 times in 2 minutes when trying to stand up, freaking out with each click, and Growing couldn't stop laughing as the nurse watched totally confused.  Since I was experiencing zero pain everyday, I decided not to take any meds, since they make you sleepy and cause other side effects like itchiness.  But due to the language barrier in the hospital, I didn't know that one of the meds, called Tetrazepam, is not for pain but for muscle stiffness, so as a result I lost some flexibility.  I struggled to get my knee flexion back to 90 degrees, and by the time I left the hospital, I was able to bend it 120 degrees.  I must say that knee flexion was my greatest challenge in recovery during my hospital stay.  Now, I'm able to bend my knee about 150 degrees, thanks to my daily stretches and the Tetrazepam.  Everyday, I am constantly stretching, even at work.  I don't go even half an hour without doing some kind of stretch, the two most important being hip flexion and knee flexion in my opinion.  My flexibility after waking up is also getting better and better, and I'm able to bring my knee to my chest immediately after waking up.

One day, much to my surprise, clicking actually caused me pain.  And I had to let my left leg heal for one hour before I could get out of bed.  From that day onwards, I decided to start taking my pain meds, but only 1.5 hours before clicking, for the sole purpose of not experiencing pain during clicking, kind of like an anaesthesia for clicking.  It has worked.  Everyday now, I take my pain meds together, then stretch for 1.5 hours to loosen up my muscles while watching "Cheers" on DVD (where the 6'3" chick magnet Sam Malone keeps me focussed on my goal of lengthening), and then I bust out all my clicks for the day, each click about 3 seconds apart.  Everyone would agree that the first click is the most painful, but I found that if I do 5 to 10 "warm up inward rotations" with the leg, each inward rotation getting closer and closer to the point of clicking, then the first click will have a pain level of just 1 out of 10.  The other clicks then have a pain level of 0.5.  By the way, Dr. Betz said that doing all 15 clicks at once is best for bone recovery, though most patients won't do it and don't consider it standard.

So far, I experienced zero pain and discomfort all day everyday, even immediately after clicking.  My legs do feel a bit "heavier" than before the operation, but I don't consider that a discomfort.  I also sleep about 6 to 8 hours per day, which allows me to go to work with a fresh head.  Since I click after work, I have no pain meds in my system while at work, so my mental focus and concentration is pretty good at work as well.  On my bathroom wall, I have marked the heights of 5'8", 5'9", 5'10", 5'11" and 6'0".  I started off at 5'8", and when I look at the mirror now beside the wall, I looks to be about 5'9.5".  In theory, I have lengthened 3 cm, but against the wall it seems like a bit more (perhaps, I was a little more than 5'8" to begin with).  So far, everything is going nice, and I hope it will stay that way.  I have heeded the caveats that things may get worse after 4 or 5 cm, but I continue to hope for the best.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 09:22:43 AM by SysOp » Logged

Lengthened femurs 4 inches with Dr. Betz in 2009, and lengthened tibias 3 inches in Beijing Institute in 2011.  Went from 5'8 to 6'3.  Life has been absolutely great ever since!
DavidH
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2009, 08:59:48 PM »

Greekster,

Thank you for contributing your diary to everyone.  Science often gains it's greatest insights by behavior that it not the "normative model."  I hope if future diary entries you'll include more personal information about yourself that might shed some light on why your experience with LL has been so different than most so far.  Given all the variables involved in limb lengthening, I doesn't seem reasonable that "thin bones" is the only difference -- unless thin ligaments and tendons are part of the "thin bone" package.

The biggest difference I noticed in your account is the amount and quality of sleep you've been getting compared to the typical LL patient.  Here is a link to an article I read this morning in Discover magazine about the latest research on the purpose of sleep in animals, including humans.  http://discovermagazine.com/2009/apr/22-new-theory-about-why-sleep-maintain-immune-system

It's no secret that sleep deprivation stresses the body and interferes with optimum healing, etc., but the article discusses the science behind it, and some of the information might be useful to those not as blessed as you've been with good sleep.

Hopefully, in future posts you can share the specifics of your diet, past exercise and diet history, as the more information we have the more likely we might be able to figure out what has contributed to your, thus far, relatively benign LL experience. 

Another element of difference seems to be the amount of time you spend stretching.  I'm still catching up on all the diaries, but of the ones I've read, your pattern of stretching seems more consistent and frequent than other LL patients.  Most discuss breaking their stretching into two or three dedicated sessions a day, interspersed with formal physiotherapy, whereas, you are moving and stretching incessantly.  Aside from any genetic advantages you may possess, it seems likely that your lack of pain, and sparing use of drugs make the additional stretching possible.  Again, most likely this is also directly linked to your sleep advantage.

Again, many thanks for sharing your diary.

DavidH

   

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Greekster
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2009, 10:17:01 PM »

Hopefully, in future posts you can share the specifics of your diet, past exercise and diet history, as the more information we have the more likely we might be able to figure out what has contributed to your, thus far, relatively benign LL experience. 
I make sure that I get at least 150 grams of protein per day, 30 grams per meal, each low in fat, spaced at least 3 hours apart.  At least two of these meals are just protein drinks.  I do this both for the leg lengthening and for maintaining my upper body muscle.  And yes, I still lift weights for my upper body, as do a few other LL patients at parkhotel, but of course only those exercises that do not apply pressure on the legs.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 10:33:05 PM by greekster » Logged

Lengthened femurs 4 inches with Dr. Betz in 2009, and lengthened tibias 3 inches in Beijing Institute in 2011.  Went from 5'8 to 6'3.  Life has been absolutely great ever since!
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2009, 12:27:23 AM »

Greekster,

I'm glad you decided to share your diary.  It is really great that you are getting taller and not having any pain. 

Brother11 
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2009, 12:58:58 AM »

Hey Greekster,

your LL journey is impressive, comparing to what i've read and heard, until now.

2 questions:

how many cm could betz lenghten during your operation?

do you have any phisyio session with profesionals at your home, or you do it yourself with what you've learned?

keep the great work man

best regards

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BBA
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2009, 06:45:06 AM »

Man it makes me nervous to hear that Dr. Betz commented on how thin your bones were.  Please do me a favor and make sure you keep your calcium intake high (you're not going to pre-consolidate!) and do lots of walking and stair climbing.

Hope you are well back home.
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2009, 08:34:04 AM »

Greekster, for your diary to be useful, you really need to tell us EVERYTHING that is happening, not just the good bits.

Please can you make sure that you keep us fully updated on all developments - good and bad Wink

Cheers,

MMT
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knightfall
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2009, 10:47:50 AM »

Man it makes me nervous to hear that Dr. Betz commented on how thin your bones were.  Please do me a favor and make sure you keep your calcium intake high (you're not going to pre-consolidate!) and do lots of walking and stair climbing.

Hope you are well back home.

I think it was only difficult to have thin bones for the operation when installing the device.  I don't think its a big deal otherwise

And is their alot of benefit in consuming so much protein?

And doing weights, doesn't that put your body under unneccesary stress.  For example your body has to repair the muscles in your leg from LL and now it needs to repair those from weight lifting? Hope that makes sense
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 11:19:28 AM by knightfall » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2009, 04:06:06 PM »

I think it was only difficult to have thin bones for the operation when installing the device.  I don't think its a big deal otherwise

And is their alot of benefit in consuming so much protein?

And doing weights, doesn't that put your body under unneccesary stress.  For example your body has to repair the muscles in your leg from LL and now it needs to repair those from weight lifting? Hope that makes sense

I hope you're right regarding the thin bones.  My intuition suggests otherwise.

The thing with protein consumption is that the more you eat, provided you are also eating other macronutrients to spare the protein, the more protein you can synthesize.  It is therefore reasonable to assume that maintaining a higher protein intake can help in the repair and construction of tissues.

Regarding weight lifting, I am also lifting 3-4 days/week and have only seen a benefit to my state of well-being.  Studies suggest that weight lifting positively influences growth hormone and testosterone output.  Furthermore, I think it's helping my posture.  Greekster and I have found incredible benefit from lifting thus far.
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2009, 04:10:59 PM »

I hope you're right regarding the thin bones.  My intuition suggests otherwise.

The thing with protein consumption is that the more you eat, provided you are also eating other macronutrients to spare the protein, the more protein you can synthesize.  It is therefore reasonable to assume that maintaining a higher protein intake can help in the repair and construction of tissues.

Regarding weight lifting, I am also lifting 3-4 days/week and have only seen a benefit to my state of well-being.  Studies suggest that weight lifting positively influences growth hormone and testosterone output.  Furthermore, I think it's helping my posture.  Greekster and I have found incredible benefit from lifting thus far.

You are right, but you have to be careful of over training. I would say 4 days a week is too much for someone under going LL. 2 days a week would be better in my opinion.
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2009, 04:35:25 PM »

You are right, but you have to be careful of over training. I would say 4 days a week is too much for someone under going LL. 2 days a week would be better in my opinion.

Yeah.  My workload capacity is pretty low right now.  My workouts are only about 30 minutes long, consisting of circuit style training.  I'll do 3 sets in superset fashion of chest, bi's, and abs.  Then 3 sets in superset fashion of back, tri's, and abs.  Excellent cardiovascular workout and gets me in and out in a hurry with a relatively low training volume per muscle group.  I've been going in a one day on, one day off fashion.

Also been finding tremendous benefit to doing lots of abs/core work.  I see benefits across the board from it: from clicking, to posture, to walking stamina.

But I'm with you, Bruce.  Gotta be really careful to not overpush ourselves in this weakened state.
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Greekster
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2009, 08:07:04 PM »

Greekster, for your diary to be useful, you really need to tell us EVERYTHING that is happening, not just the good bits.

Please can you make sure that you keep us fully updated on all developments - good and bad Wink


Ok, here is the worst thing I can think of right now, and it may gross you out.  Because my lower body was so skinny to begin with, and I have lost a lot of leg and gluteal muscle, my tailbone really sticks out now, and sitting at a 45 degree incline hurts.  Sorry if that grosses you out, but let the truth be told.  I really hope to gain back my lower body muscle when all this is over.
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Lengthened femurs 4 inches with Dr. Betz in 2009, and lengthened tibias 3 inches in Beijing Institute in 2011.  Went from 5'8 to 6'3.  Life has been absolutely great ever since!
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2009, 09:15:21 PM »

I'm pretty certain that you won't be willing to share them, but it would be good to see some pictures of you and your legs, Greekster - it will help to add colour to your story.
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Greekster
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2009, 11:10:38 PM »

Ok, before the surgery, and now, 3 cm longer.  The muscles should be regainable after consolidation, though I didn't have much leg muscle to begin with.



By the way, a physiotherapist at Parkhotel who had messaged both my legs and FR's legs said that our legs are practically identical.  This may give a clue as to why FR and I are having a painless time.  But I think many would rather have nice-sized thighs and suffer some pain than to have my and FR's skinny legs.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 11:20:30 PM by greekster » Logged

Lengthened femurs 4 inches with Dr. Betz in 2009, and lengthened tibias 3 inches in Beijing Institute in 2011.  Went from 5'8 to 6'3.  Life has been absolutely great ever since!
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2009, 12:03:28 AM »

Ok, before the surgery, and now, 3 cm longer.  The muscles should be regainable after consolidation, though I didn't have much leg muscle to begin with.



By the way, a physiotherapist at Parkhotel who had messaged both my legs and FR's legs said that our legs are practically identical.  This may give a clue as to why FR and I are having a painless time.  But I think many would rather have nice-sized thighs and suffer some pain than to have my and FR's skinny legs.

Did you consider tibiae first? Looking at your shins, they look pretty bowed, even more so than mine before surgery. If you had done tibiae you would have been able to also correct them at the same time.
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Greekster
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2009, 01:00:20 AM »

That's another reason why I want to do tibias after.  But I did femurs first because my femurs were actually too short for my body.  Betz said that he inserted my nail such that my bows will be corrected partially but not fully.
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Lengthened femurs 4 inches with Dr. Betz in 2009, and lengthened tibias 3 inches in Beijing Institute in 2011.  Went from 5'8 to 6'3.  Life has been absolutely great ever since!
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2009, 01:49:38 AM »

Wow - that's a lot of bowing that you have there - it will be interesting to see how your legs look afterwards.

Thanks for sharing.
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2009, 03:18:17 PM »

Hello greekster -

Congrats on your progress with Dr. Betz! I was in Lebach recently and I am also considering doing a two-stage femurs-then-tibias lengthening with the good Professor Doctor. Have you decided when you will do your tibias in relation to your femur lengthening? In other words, do you plan to finish the lengthening phase for your femurs and then go directly to the tibia procedure? I think one of Dr. Betz's assistants did this. Or do you plan to wait for femur consolidation and/or complete femur recovery before proceeding with tibias?

Thanks!

DLL
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Greekster
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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2009, 10:39:36 PM »

When I do my tibias depends on whether my legs and butt will continue to atrophy or not.  If so, then I must regain the muscle back first (which may take up to a year), else I will not even have the strength to walk/stand during the second LL!

Right now, my ass is so bony that sitting on a hard seat hurts.  Driving hurts my tailbone because of the angle of the sitting.  Does anyone know of some sort of ass-padding thingamabob I can get to get some artificial butt muscle for the next few months???
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 10:57:08 PM by greekster » Logged

Lengthened femurs 4 inches with Dr. Betz in 2009, and lengthened tibias 3 inches in Beijing Institute in 2011.  Went from 5'8 to 6'3.  Life has been absolutely great ever since!
Mad Max
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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2009, 03:02:11 AM »

Right now, my ass is so bony that sitting on a hard seat hurts. Driving hurts my tailbone because of the angle of the sitting. Does anyone know of some sort of ass-padding thingamabob I can get to get some artificial butt muscle for the next few months???

They make them.
http://sitincomfort.com/cocusesucu.html
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