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Author Topic: Balzakin - External Tibias - Dr. Xia - 2012 - A foreign devil in Peking  (Read 50366 times)
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simple888
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« Reply #140 on: December 10, 2012, 03:00:34 PM »

that's not good. It's a double edged sword.
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earl25
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« Reply #141 on: December 25, 2012, 01:53:27 AM »

balzakin, i know you mentioned its difficult to keep the open wound covered and thats why it gets infected. Since it can't be covered do you think spraying it lie 4x a day with a bacitracin spray like bactine would do anything to prevent infection?

http://www.amazon.com/Bactine-Original-First-5-Ounce-Bottles/dp/B001G7QGHW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356400259&sr=8-1&keywords=bactin
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balzakin
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« Reply #142 on: December 28, 2012, 03:04:44 PM »

Time for an update. I'm now at 4cm which puts me around 175/176cm. I've had around 1.5cm pin loss.
I have no knee bending. I have slight ballerina starting to develop in my left foot but it goes down after about 2 mins of standing.

I feel like i'm at the business end of lengthening now. I can feel my calves stretching tight. I'm starting to stand multiple times per
day but walking less to reduce pin loss. I'm sticking with 0.666mm/ 4 turns per day. Yesterday I tried 0.8mm/5 turns and it hurt like hell.
Other than that, pain is manageable but still present. I take codeine/paracetamol when i need to.

I have lost some weight which i have been told has been noticeable. This was a good thing for me because my stomach has flattened out
somewhat. I still have some muscle tone in arms but less so in my legs, particularly my thighs. I think this is normal though.

Pin site infections are under control at the moment. I have around 3cm to go. I should achieve this around mid February. I can see the end
in site now.
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SysOp
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« Reply #143 on: December 28, 2012, 03:29:00 PM »

Congrats Balzakin. Slow and steady wins the race. You are well on your way to getting there. Smiley
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Dookieman
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« Reply #144 on: January 01, 2013, 01:56:23 PM »

Congratulations Balzakin! I was just wondering about you!
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171.5cm
roadwarrior
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« Reply #145 on: January 02, 2013, 03:59:29 AM »

Hey Balzakin, Congrats and happy new year! You are getting closer to your goal, Hang in there. I think the quick break from the Hospital to the hotel was a good idea.


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Starting height:172.7 cm
Goal: 185.5 cm
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
kentonite
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« Reply #146 on: January 02, 2013, 12:26:42 PM »

hey happy new year and merry christmas
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balzakin
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« Reply #147 on: January 12, 2013, 04:41:40 PM »

thanks for all your well wishes and happy new year to all.

I've turned just over 6.5cm, so my actual increase should be around 5cm.
Things are starting to tighten up now, particularly in my calf muscles.

 A few weeks ago I had my ankle lock removed as it was causing too much pain. Part
of the reason was I think it was very loose. In about 1 week, ballerina foot was present
in my left foot. I had my ankle locks reinserted about two weeks after that. I feel they are
fitted more tightly now and are not causing alot of swelling in my heel like they were before.
I can really feel they are doing their job now at 5cm, that is, pulling on my achilles tendon.

From here on, its a matter of how much more my body will allow me to lengthen. My goal is 7cm but
I will see how my body copes. I'm turning down my lengthening rate to 0.5mm per day as I've
started to feel some serious pain over the last few days. So by the end of February I should reach my
goal. I am still walking with the walker every day and standing as much as I can. I think weight bearing
exercise is important.

I've been using Exogen ultrasound bone stimulator since the beginning almost
everyday. I don't know if this has made a difference, as my bone growth has been described as 'normal'.
Perhaps it would be worse if I didnt use it, I don't know. I find that having access to good nutritious food
has been a problem here. I've lost alot of weight and my muscles have atrophied significantly around my
thighs. This has been due to being not as active and not having enough calories as I normally do. There is a limited
choice of fruit and vegetables, but not enough required for this procedure in my opinion. I'm not overly
worried about it though, as nutrition plays a more important part during bone consolidation when I get back home.
Right now its all about stretching the soft tissues in my legs.

On the subject of pin loss, I think some give in the frames is good. Pin loss allows your muscles to fight back naturally
at their own rate. Different people would have different levels of resistance from the muscles in their legs.
If you were to simply grow at the rate you turn, I think this would be a more painful experience. Incidentally, the pin loss
is alot from muscle resistance, not just weight bearing gravity. I can see on my frames near my ankles that the pins are bent upwards,
while the pins around my knees are bent downwards.

Thats all for now. I'm on the home stretch now, my last 2cm. Let's see if I can get there. I can't wait to get home.
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OzManXX
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Im the callus monster


« Reply #148 on: January 14, 2013, 03:49:06 PM »

Home stretch baby yeaaaaaa ! im just above u at 6cms got 1cm to go and im out out out !
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lengthened : roughly 7cm
balzakin
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« Reply #149 on: February 08, 2013, 11:36:10 AM »

I am now just under 177.5cm. My goal is to reach 178cm or 5'10" with about 10 days of turning left.
I don't have any knee bending but I have slight ballerina. This goes down after standing for a few minutes.
I am just standing now, no walking.

The pain is okay throughout most of the day. I find it worst around 6am. I get serious pain on my inner knee.
This could possibly be cause by standing on my slight x-leg. I am told that this is corrected when I finish turning.

I have lost quite a bit of weight, about 7 or 8 kilos, hard to tell with the frames on. Alot of that has been lost
through leg muscle mass of course. I struggle to eat, not that there is alot of good food to eat here. The food situation
has been a problem for me throughout.

At this stage, I'm planning to get a second surgery to get the rod inserted. I'm hella scared of surgery. I'm tired, I'm thin, and I just
want to go home and get fat. For me its been a mental as well as physical struggle. The biggest struggle is keeping your mind
occupied with pain in the background.

I'll check in again when I reach my goal. Over and out.
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Dookieman
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« Reply #150 on: February 09, 2013, 05:19:47 AM »

Always good to hear from you friend.
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171.5cm
balzakin
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« Reply #151 on: April 13, 2013, 10:02:35 AM »

Its been a while since my last post and alot has happened. I reached my goal of 7cm, so that's around 179cm in the morning
and 178cm at night. I don't really think I could have lengthened much more without things getting complicated.

Because I was doing LATN, I was thinking of not getting the second operation and just consolidate with the frames on. In the
end I decided against it. It was just too cumbersome to fly home with the frames on and because I lengthened so much, I was looking
at atleast 10 months with the frames on. I think it would have also been too distressing for people around me.

The second operation I have too say was painful. Not immediately, but after a few days, the pain persisted for a good 2 to 3 weeks.
The pain I would describe as aching pain in my tibias. This made it uncomfortable sleeping.

My second operation was carried out on 11 March, so as of now, its almost been 5 weeks. The pain has subsided and I am now walking on crutches. My heels can touch the ground, but my muscles are still very tight in the morning. I estimate that it will only take a few more weeks
until I walk normally. I'm not taking any pain killers now and I feel pretty good.

I havn't really noticed my increase height as yet, mostly because I havn't interacted with alot of people. I do notice my girlfriend is a whole lot
shorter. Also bench tops and sinks look a little lower too. I think I am glad I did this operation, mostly because I dont want to think about height again. I'm not the tallest person by todays standards, but not the shortest either. the average male height in Australia is 5'10", quite a tall average. I am taller than most woman, I would say 85-90% in Australia.

The scarring on my legs are excellent and have almost faded already. The scar on my knee (rod insertion) is barely a 1.5cm slither. In a few weeks it will be totally unnoticeable. I cannot feel any of the three screws on my knees, and only a slight bump on my 2 ankle screws. The surgeons have done an excellent job on me. As they do this operation day in, day out, I get the feeling they really know what they are doing. Right before my second operation, my 'doctor' who was looking after me went to another hospital for some reason or another. But it didn't matter. There were plenty of others to step in. Dr Xia has left his legacy and passed on his knowledge to others.

Some criticisms.
I don't want to give the impression that the whole process was all peachy - it wasn't. The language barrier was at times very frustrating, particularly when it came to communicating with the doctors. There is no substitute for communicating fluently with your doctor about
your various concerns.

Another issue I'd like to address was the price. The reason I chose China over India was that it was a tried and tested hospital. A number of foreign people returned to the hospital after a year or two to have they internal rods removed and they all seemed fine. This was somewhat reassuring. I'm sure India offers a comparable service but for me when I was making this decision, I wanted a proven track record. I just didn't want to gamble with my legs. Guys in India, don't take this the wrong way. From what I've heard, Dr Sarin seems to be very competent so you should all be fine.

Having said that, I was a bit annoyed at all the little extra living expenses you had to pay in China. Considering the amount of money already paid, I found it a little bit rude that we also had to pay for drinking water and toilet paper. Also when I had to go into the city which I had to do a number of times (for example to renew visa), the hospital driver that was provided way too expensive (200 yuan) as compared to the local taxi service (30 yuan). The total cost of the two operations was a bit over 31,000 USD including 6 months stay. I know that compared to the west, this is alot cheaper but it still hurt none the less. All foreign patients know that local patients pay half the price. Is it right to offer medical treatment so discriminately? I leave it to the reader to decide. What I will say is that I knew the price going in and the job was well done. I got what I wanted.

Now comes my main criticism - the food. Please, please, please China do something about your food! Staying somewhere for six months with crappy food is shi*. What they do is offer a seperate 'western' menu, which is basically greasy unhealthy and bad tasting food. For the last couple of months I could not eat any more. What makes matters worse is that the hospital is situated well out of the city center so ordering out is not feasable as the deliver costs are astronomical. So that leaves two choices, ordering MacDonalds (which I did almost every day for the last few weeks) and ordering from the local Chinese restaurant next door (the food here is also not good and way over priced). What makes it frustrating is that there is a fresh fruit, vegetable and meat market right next door that is very cheap but for some reason the hospital doesn't make use of it. It is not difficult to do to offer good food and it makes life bearable when doing LL. So China, lift your game and offer better food. And don't give me this cra* about taste differences between westerners and Chinese. Good food is good food - end of story.

Overall I got a good result, I reached 7cm and no health issues so far. Would I recommend China? Yes but be prepared to spend extra on food and alot of other little extras. Medically they were very good. I did have a number of pin site infections that were treated promptly.
Hopefully my internal rods will hold up without infection. I'm going to keep this diary updated from time to time because I think post surgery phase is just as important.


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Dookieman
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« Reply #152 on: April 14, 2013, 11:21:41 PM »

A fantastic and candid update. I wish you a speedy recovery!
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balzakin
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« Reply #153 on: May 08, 2013, 02:25:32 PM »

Its two months since my operation and I'm now walking with a slight limp. Last week I went out to the city on the train
and the new height felt pretty great. I also noticed that I got a couple of looks from the ladies aswell. I have lost about
8kg from the whole process, mainly due to the bad food in China, but this has meant that I lost alot of belly fat too.

I try to walk a little bit each day, but some days I can't due to the pain. I still find that I have to take a couple of paracetamol
about every second night due to leg pain. I also use aspirin. The pain is getting less but you can really feel it after you have had
a good walk. I would say that my recovery has been quite fast due to the fact that I was quite muscular before and my body retained
some muscle memory. I'd say another month and I'll be walking pretty much normally, but not running. I'm not going to run until I get my
rods out. In the meantime I have been doing some swimming. This friday I will be going to a birthday party at a night club, so this will be the first real social event to try out my new height.

To be honest I'm in two minds about whether this surgery has been worth it. I think there are alot of deep ethical issues involved and in reality I'm
wondering if this change is really going to affect my life that much. For anyone thinking about this surgery I would highly recommend talking
to someone about it first. I keep asking myself why I did this in the first place, was it to attract women or gain more respect? I can't remember.
All I remember is lying on the surgical table and thinking to myself I am totally nuts. Then for months after, enduring alot of pain. Its all over now but
I may end of talking to someone about it myself, who knows.
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balzakin
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« Reply #154 on: May 08, 2013, 02:32:35 PM »

I'd also like to add that before the second surgery to insert the rod, I was thinking not to have it done and having
the frames on to consolidate. In hindsight, this would have been a disaster. This is because it would have meant having
ten months in frames and psychologically this would have been highly detrimental. I would have been basically housebound
all this time and severely depressed.

Just today I went for a walk on the beach, watching the sunset and I can tell you that after months in frames, you can't
put a price on it. It also meant that I wouldn't have been able to swim, showering would have been awkward and just plain
miserable. So if you have the option of LON or LATN then do it. To all of those who encouraged me to get the rod in, thankyou.
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kusop
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« Reply #155 on: May 08, 2013, 05:14:36 PM »


To be honest I'm in two minds about whether this surgery has been worth it.

so the LL hasnt drastically improved your life for the better?
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OneSevenOne
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« Reply #156 on: May 08, 2013, 07:46:12 PM »

Balzakin we're all here if you wanna talk.  Perhaps we are not the demographic you're after though.

Thanks for keeping us posted on your recovery, I wish you continue to do so, warts and all.

I am just as guilty as the next man as thinking only of the positives and really we need to be a subjective as possible about all of this.

Continue the good work mate,

171.
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"The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave."

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« Reply #157 on: May 08, 2013, 08:05:48 PM »

balzakin,

Thank you so much for sharing with honesty. Really appreciated>

I hope you heal rapidly and all the pain and issues become a faint memory.
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balzakin
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« Reply #158 on: May 09, 2013, 07:51:42 AM »

Thanks for all your support guys.

At Kusop,
its hard to tell the effects of gaining 3 inches because I havn't interacted with society on a full time basis yet,
I'm still recovering. I'm just starting back at my job next week so it will be interesting. I've also got a couple of
social events coming up. Halo once told me that the effects are subtle and they take effect over time. I suspect that
I will be a little more comfortable in my skin and not constantly worrying about being short. Someone close to me said they
thought they did notice a difference in my confidence but I think its more being more comfortable than confident.

But I will still have the same anxieties that I had before, such as talking to pretty girls etc. its not going to vanish over night. Recently I've been watching alot of pick up artist stuff on youtube (PUA). These guys really go out there and confront their fears and some of them are
very short yet they have great success. Look at Tom Torrero and Sasha day game. I've also witnessed this myself in real life.

I'd like to explain my recent post a little more. So I'm thinking, cool, I've gained 3 inches, I'm now 5'10", the average Australian male. Now what happens? will I be treated differently, more positively? If so, then we are living in one sick society. You mean I had to go through all that shi* to gain some respect? In a way I'm hoping that I don't get treated differently. I'm still the same person. I certainly don't feel any different. Maybe the sink is a little lower. I was still a great and capable person at 5'7. You know what will happen if a pretty girls comes up to me? I'm going to feel resentment and its going to come out. I'm going to think "where the hell were you before?". The same is going to happen to pretty much anyone who I've known before, and I can see treat me differently. I'm gonna be like that fat chick who lost alot of weight and now is a glamour. Mind you, I'm not that tall to be categorized as a himbo, to alot I will still be considered 'not tall'.

So I don't think that my life will be completely transformed by being a little higher off the ground. I will still have to work hard, and make effort in relationships. I read something interesting that said that people who blame their lack of success will blame their height, something they can't control, because it can't possibly be them, right? Well I think no. You can always improve what you have, and blaming it on your height may be a mistake.
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balzakin
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« Reply #159 on: May 09, 2013, 07:55:23 AM »

@onesevenone - demographic? are you saying..I'm old? Smiley No dude, I'm still the same as you Smiley) I'm none the wiser.
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