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Author Topic: Ilike8cm - External Tibias - Dr. Xia - 2012 - OUCH THAT HURTS!!!  (Read 96213 times)
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Iiike8cm
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« on: May 19, 2012, 02:17:20 AM »

Hello MMT friends and foes!

This is the beginning of my diarrhea. Just a disclaimer -- in college I majored in several sciences and engineering for several months before switching to Business. This makes me somewhat analytical and logical and therefore a poor writer. The purpose of my diary is (in order of priority):

1. Practice & improve my writing skills
2. Post my complications and the downs of my experience so I can get free psychiatric help
3. Share my experience in Beijing so that other ppl thinking of coming here can get a feel of what it is like

What I will not do:

1. I will not answer all questions. In fact, I will pick and chose questions I want to answer. Please don't take it personally if I don't answer your question. I am actually pretty busy here in Beijing .. got lots of STDs.... **** to do's

2. Do not message me until you have messaged @deus ex or @ballsackrevenge first

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Personal info:
I was born in Vietnam.
Lived in the States for 20+ years.
I am 27 years old.
Starting height 152 CM.
Goal 8 CM

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reason for choosing Beijing
-Learn Chinese
-Live in clinic
-Maids, nurses available 24/7
-Always a doctor around (or so I have heard)
-Many other patients here doing LL... feels like a community (moral support)
-Many successful diaries coming out of Beijing

What I like about Beijing after being here:
-The maids are AWESOME! Very helpful! They work 7 days/week and over 12-15 hours per day!! I feel bad at how much they have to work. They live here at the clinic as well...away from their families  Sad .. but thank you maids!
-I like the courtyard/garden... feels nice to be outside in the shade with birds chirping.. makes you feel great!

What I don't like about Beijing after being here:
-Mosquitos
-Fruit flies (they look like fruit flies... even though I don't have any fruit laying around)
-Sewer system very rudimentary. I THINK it is just a pipe that openly dumps to canal outside.. I heard stories of a rat crawling through sewer and up to the toilet) -- there is no P trap like in the U.S.... P trap or J trap... to trap gases from reentering the house. Google it.
-Fruit flies come out of the shower drain all the time! and the drain emits horrendous smell!
-This is a live in clinic for practically disabled people...there should be handrails everywhere ... yet there are NONE! None in the room, none in the bathroom, none in the hallway. If this Beijing hospital is to become a premier international external lengthening clinic .... INSTALL HANDRAILS!!

to be continued...my maid is nagging me to eat breakfast... it is 10:17AM.
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stevie
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 02:45:21 AM »

Hi Ilike8cm,

I'm thinking of going to Beijing this October, I have same reasons as you listed to pick China over India.

I have one question for you though. 30000 usd is a lot of money and I can't think of anyway to pay them yet.

Thanks
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Deus Ex
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 03:51:35 AM »

Nice diary man Smiley
I like the pros and cons lol

Post up your X-rays!
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Iiike8cm
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 04:57:00 AM »

Day 1 – 3 ----- May 7 - 9
I woke up early the morning of my surgery at around 7:20AM. The nurse came and took my temperature. Then I showered for the last time (Morning of May 7). My maid brought special clothes for me to wear to the operating room.  They were just baggy pants and button up shirt made of simple cloth. Either they were baggy or I am tiny. I am 152 cm (5’0”) and weight 106 lbs. The shirt is supposed to be worn backwards so that when you are laying down on the operating table, the doctor can just pull the shirt off of you.

I remember feeling nervous walking to the operating room … there were doubts in my mind whether I should really really do this because if I don’t want to, this would be the optimal time to turn around. However, I kept following the guide to the operating room.

Once I got in the operating room, the nurse had me switch out my sandals with operating room sandals…still thoughts of turning around was circling in my head. I switched the sandals and followed guide to the operating table.

The operating room is very nice. Very clean throughout and had modern looking equipment.  As opposed to the X-Ray room which looks as if the equipment is from the 1950’s.

I laid down on the operating table.  Dr. Zhao told me to relax and get into a fetal (like a fetus in the womb) position. Another doctor pulled down the backside of my pants.  Somewhere in the process they inserted the catheter and gave me IV. Wearing the button up shirt backwards without buttoning it up leaves my spine open. The doctor gave me an epidural. The epidural feels like putting a thumbtack into a pushpin board...epidural does not hurt at all…hurt less than getting IV.

Dr. Zhao said “you won’t feel your legs”…
I said “I can feel my legs fine”…
Zhao said “but you cannot feel pain” and smiled.

The other doctor injected something else into my back and Dr. Zhao said “you will fall asleep soon”….I was asleep within minutes.

I woke up the last 10 minutes or so of the surgery.  Like Zhao said… I cannot feel pain…which I did not feel at all. I THINK I heard drills. The doctors had something that covered my crotch like a bed in breakfast table covered in some sort of operating room cloth so I could not see what they were doing.

There was a cabinet to my right side which had glass doors and the cabinet was open in a way that I could see the doctor’s reflection. I looked into it but all I saw were the Doctors standing in positions that had obstructed my view of my legs. I was able to look left, up, right and down….but looking around was no use since I was not able to see much.

Soon, doctors and nurses were transferring me over to the stretcher with wheels (like the ones you would see in a hospital movie) and rolled me down to my room.  Once I got into my room, they transferred me over to my bed. I believe I was awake during this whole time but I did not feel anything.  Once I was in my bed, I was soon asleep.

During the next 2 days, I was in and out of sleep. I was on IV during this whole time. I had 3 days of IV in the same right arm since surgery…and I was very happy they switched to my left arm.  My right arm was in the same position for over 3 days… and had developed pain and discomfort when I tried to move it.  My right arm was fine after a couple days of stretching and moving.

To be continued….
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JoeDud
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2012, 07:38:34 AM »

Ilike8cm is doing very well right now and very active.
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2012, 08:02:10 AM »

@Ilike8cm.....best of luck on your journey....hope to see some pics also you must hav don only extrnal frmes....can you giv some more detail of th dilemma and th coping up experiece...
th toilets without p trap can be vry unbearable not only th toilet but th whole room or th corridor can bcom smelly you should  Smiley :)bring this thing in th notice of dr zia it wldnt cost him much.....
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Iiike8cm
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2012, 09:29:51 AM »

Actually, I think the toilet does have a P trap.  When the toilet is not in use, there is standing water. After you do #2, you flush, all of it goes down, and the water level in the toilet bowl goes up to normal level again.  I must have been wrong about the toilet not having a P trap.

I am certain that the show shower drain does NOT have a P trap.  "Fruit flies" enter the building via this method all the time (along with sewer odor).  My solution is...I place the trashcan on top of the shower drain as a way to "close" the opening and not allow flies and odor to enter. Works well so far.

Sink...not sure if it has P trap or not.....i don't recall seeing any fruit flies coming out of the sink so maybe it does have a P trap...I will just go look and see next time I am near the restroom.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Regarding external frames
I am on day 12 post operation. In my opinion, the worse days so far were the first 3 days post op.  You lay in ONE position the whole time. Your butt, back, and tailbone will be SORE...very SORE, UNBEARABLE SORE.  I also got a fever off and on during the first week.  I heard it was very common.  Fever with butt, back, tailbone being sore... very uncomfortable.

The feeling of the frames...feels like your legs are trap....like a wild bird in a cage... you are not used to the feeling and your legs just want to be released and free...your legs will feel tight .. and squeezed...and it is uncomfortable. During the first 10 days post op or so, every movement that involves your legs will hurt...you will feel minor pain..but it is nothing unbearable. I think it is probably because of all the pin hole cuts healing and also your bone fracture. Once you move your leg... the pin hole cut rubs against unhealed cut/flesh.

After about 5 or 6 days... you get used to the frames. The first few times you put your feet on the floor...usually during the first 10 days post op, you feel feel blood rushing to your feet and it feels like it may burst/explode..but after setting your legs on the floor for a 10 minutes straight...the sensation goes away.  I don't feel that blood rush/tight sensation anymore...probably because my legs are somewhat healed.

Regarding sleep --  The first 5 days or so, I did not take any sleeping pill so sleep was tough.. and I did sleep in increments, but it did not bother me. Now I sleep fine. I sleep 6-8 hours straight unlike some of the other patients here who sleep in increments even at later stages.  Also, I had the maid add extra padding to my bed.  She puts a comforter folded in half on my bed and covers it with bed sheets...feels very comfortable!  I wish I knew this from day 1 post op.

Now on day 12, everything feels normal. I don't even notice the frames much to be honest with you.

Also, today is the first day I went to do #2 by myself.  Feels great to be independent again!

I guess I will skip from day 4 - day 11 and jump to my current status from now on.
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Iiike8cm
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2012, 09:52:38 AM »

Day 12
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My left leg is superb! Strong ... very active... no pain!
My right leg... has problems. I think it is because of an unnecessary fracture as shown in red circle on xray.

I have 3 exercises that I need to do.
1. Roll my legs from side to side.... easy to do
2. Flex my quads... easy to do (i find it easiest to flex my quad by lifting my legs)
3. Flex my calves ... by pointing my toes to the ceiling.. the farther the better (but don't go overboard)

When doing exercise 2, I lift my legs... lifting leg leg is easy. Lifting my right leg is very painful. I think it is because of that "extra" fracture. My shin feels like it is going to snap when I try to lift my right leg. I asked Dr. Zhao about this and he said "It is okay. No problem. Don't worry. Wait for it to heal" or something of that nature.

The dates of these photos are around May 15 2012.


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Iiike8cm
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2012, 10:09:26 AM »

OPINION
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So far, I made a good decision going to Beijing.  My operation went well with that one small exception.

I am enjoying the hospital food (all paid for ...for 4 months). I have the taste buds for Asian food and also...the chef here cooks better than my mom 90% of the time.  So definitely, I am not complaining about the food.

I have read several diaries about external frames and how painful it is... so far....it has been cake (easy and bearable) for me.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More personal info
I enjoy being active. I like to play sports... specifically basketball (I have twisted my ankle many many times... that pain is more unbearable than this operation ... so far).  I like to jog, lift weight, eat healthy...the simpler the food the better.  Meaning... not too much processed food.

Maybe my lifestyle has somewhat an advantage for this procedure.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Time and boredom
Not the case for me. I am 27. I have two degrees. I always have something to do, something to read, something to learn, something to improve in my career.  At this point, my priority is to learn Chinese...going well so far.

I am very surprise at how many young patients are here for lengthening...18 year olds, 19 year olds, and 20 year olds. No offense if you are reading this.....start to read good books...come see me and i'll recommend some for you!
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Dookieman
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2012, 03:48:18 PM »

Wow, the way you described Beijing makes Manila sound like Beverly Hills! LOL, I'm actually in Hong Kong right now and really like it. And yes learning Chinese comes in handy. I know both Cantonese and Mandarin and it's so good to be able to speak both with as much as I travel to mainland, HK, and Macau.

Sounds like things are going fairly well for you. I'm glad you decided to start a diary. better late than not at all!
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171.5cm
oldboy
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2012, 04:50:43 PM »

good to see you have your own diary

I am a chinese but not china mainland
you know there are different culture between "China"
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Dookieman
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2012, 04:59:38 PM »

Hey oldboy- I don't know if that question was addressed to me but I'll still chime in. China is huge and has over 50 recognized ethnic groups and languages. I know HK is for all intents and purposes China but It's still hard for me to see it as such. 
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171.5cm
deaddog
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2012, 05:14:11 PM »

OPINION
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So far, I made a good decision going to Beijing.  My operation went well with that one small exception.

Hi Ilike8cm,

I was just wondering about the "extra" fracture in your right leg. Specifically, why was this cut done and why only on your right leg? Was it discussed with you prior to your surgery?

Also are you planning to do your femurs later and what is your goal height?

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Iiike8cm
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2012, 12:53:29 AM »

Everything in red is the hospital’s property. This hospital does other things in addition to limb lengthening such as fixing deformities, dwarfism, leg accidents, etc…. it just so happens that many foreigners come here and turn the hospital into an international lengthening clinic.

I think in the future, this clinic will become well known internationally for external limb lengthening, but like I said earlier, if this clinic is to become THE premier international external lengthening clinic…start investing in all the little things, the nitty details that will make international patients more comfortable. I heard that Sarin in India is constructing a new building and implementing the Beijing model of a live in clinic/maids/nurses/doctors.  I am sure the design of this new building in India will be handicap friendly/accessible meaning handrails everywhere, wider hallways for wheel chairs, wider everything to accommodate a patient with broken legs to move easily move around. And the cost of the operation in India is even lower than in Beijing.  I can go on and on and on about Beijing’s potential improvements….however in my opinion, for the time being, Beijing is the best choice for now…..

Anywho here is the layout of the hospital.
1.   South Building - my room & other foreign patients’ rooms (east half are patient rooms, from courtyard entrance going east until my room are local patient rooms, from my room on eastward are foreign patients)
2.   Garden/courtyard
3.   Parking lot
4.   Kitchen – patients cannot go there but this is where food is prepared
5.   North building - other foreign patients’ rooms – East half (right half of building is foreign patients, West half (left half is local patients)
6.   Back entrance (gated) – you will enter this back if driver picks you up from airport
7.   Main entrance
8.   Nurses’ station and operating room
9.   GPS location is off by 50 or 100 feet or so
10.   New building – with water fountain with coy fish, also where the Xray room is. This image is old because there is now a roof and looks nice inside.
11.   Biggest nearest street – walk west (to the right) for 5 minutes or so and you will reach Tesco (similar to walmart…google it)
12.   Not numbered…. But to the west of #2 (left of 2) was the Karaoke/entertainment … no longer available.. currently being used as storage…. Such a shame!…. Many of the foreign patients would like a large hangout spot. Currently we don’t have a hangout spot where all of us can go. Also Euro 2012 is coming up in June and it will suck not being able to watch it.

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Iiike8cm
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2012, 01:21:10 AM »

@deaddog - not all surgeries are perfect, 100% according to plan. Who knows, I may have moved my leg during the op or my bone is weak in that area.

The shattered piece I circled in red on xray, is not unusually. It will heal. My sister who is a Physician in the states, say that fracture is not uncommon. She has seen a lot a lot a lot worse and when patients come into her hospital from a CAR ACCIDENT.

I am happy the way my surgery went. It could have been worse. Anywho, it is the past and I prefer not to dwell on what I have no control over. Let's not comment on that anymore.

Regarding femurs -- it is my tempting. Financially, I cannot afford it at this time and will take me several years to save up 100K for femurs. I heard that is how much it cost in total from a patient here who did femurs at Betz (op, food & accommodation, physiotherapy). In several years, I will be 30+ years old...and will be locked into a job.. so opportunity to have the operation is slim.

I have been going to college off and on for 7 years, and my mom is getting tired of me leeching off of her (she still loves me). I have only worked 2 years since leaving college.  I made 44K and 34K for the last two years, however I do spend a lot of money going out and random bullshit. I spend every dime I made.  I found out about this surgery mid March 2012 and at the time did not have much money. I had to borrow my mom's money...again leeching off of her.  I feel I can make this money back in no time once I get working again.  This time I will save and save and save. 

In short (no pun intended), yes I would like to do femurs ... up to 2.5 inches. My current goal for Beijing is 3 inches but will see... maybe 2.8 inches.
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Iiike8cm
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« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2012, 01:59:20 AM »

@Dookieman - Beijing itself is very modern. Lots of hi-rises. Two days before my surgery, I walked from the hospital to the forbidden city (where the emperor of China used to live). It was a 12+km walk. I saw Beijing, very modern and clean.

It is just this area the hospital is located...sewage system is not so great.  Also I think they are beginning to start construction on this outer edge of the city.  The farther you walk away from downtown Beijing, the less hi rises you will see and the dirtier and smeller it will get…that is of course to a certain extent because if you walk way way far from the city.. you’ll probably end up on farmlands and forest which will be clean I am sure.  Yes, I do notice that I am stating the obvious. My point is Beijing is a nice city.  Just our area of town is not so modern/nice/clean/sanitary.

Red X is the forbidden city and blue circle bottom left corner is my location. Yes, iphone GPS works here w/o internet data plan. I use Citimaps to go or something like that where I have downloaded the map ahead of time.

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earl25
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« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2012, 02:42:16 AM »

Good luck Ilike8cm. Hope you heal well. did they give you a time fram when they expect you to go home?
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Dookieman
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« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2012, 03:59:03 AM »

China is a huge place and like I said once cannot judge two places the same. I agree with what you said about Beijing and the forbidden city is amazing. My family comes from Guangzhou, Xiamen and Hong Kong. I am very familiar with a lot of places in China. I once stayed in Kunming in the western part of China. Totally different from say Beijing or Shanghai.

You have a great attitude about your surgery. I hope everything works out for you..
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Iiike8cm
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« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2012, 04:33:04 PM »

@earl25 - 4 months are paid for. If I lengthen 4 turns per day which is 0.67mm... and my goal is 7.5 - 8.0cm depending on how I feel in the later stages of lengthening. It is late, I can't/enable to do the math...but I will be here until I want to leave.  I have been alternating 1 day 4 turns, the next day 5 turns. 5 turns equals to (5/6)*1mm which is 0.8 something.

Ronne, the international office who looks after the foreign patients is very helpful. She explained to me at the very beginning...but at the time, everything went in one ear and out the other.  I was just amazed what and where I am. Just a month and a half ago, I was in the states living my day to day life and now I am in a foreign country doing a HUGE operation. Feels like I am in a dream...lucid dream like that one Vanilla Skies movie.  My families and friends were shocked as well at how fast I made my decision.

Anyways, to answer your question, yes they did tell me how long to expect..but it is also easy to calculate the time myself. Also, one must consider complications such as pin infections, knee bending, ballerina feet, and pin loss. I have no problem staying here until end of November.  I enjoy learning chinese soo much that I am willing to stay just for the cultural/linguistic experience.
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Iiike8cm
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« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2012, 04:47:53 PM »

Video of the courtyard/garden
*correction in the video when I said 360 degrees.. it is actually 180 degrees.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY5fksOuCLc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY5fksOuCLc</a>
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