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Author Topic: ThangQueBietBay - External Tibias - Dr. Mahboubian - 2013 - Dr. M Saves My Legs From Horror!  (Read 42927 times)
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2013, 05:01:32 PM »

I'm glad to hear that Dr. M is getting you fixed up. I look forward to hearing more about your story and what happened with your original doctor that messed things up so badly.
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ThangQueBietBay
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2013, 09:34:55 PM »

Quote from: SysOp link=topic=6084. msg80420#msg80420 date=1367427692
I'm glad to hear that Dr.  M is getting you fixed up.  I look forward to hearing more about your story and what happened with your original doctor that messed things up so badly. 

Thank you SysOp for helping me starting this diary.   I will start by rewriting the events that took place which led to where I am to day.  I am grateful for everyone's concern & kind words.
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ThangQueBietBay
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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2013, 10:38:03 PM »

The story began approximately 2 years ago, when I was hunting for a job in my field of study (I will not dwell into the specific in fear of someone close to me being able to identify who I actually am).   In the US at that time, there was hardly any company hiring let alone any company hiring in the field I desperately wanted to get into.  Being a Vietnamese born American I naturally have many Vietnamese friends.  Some of whom came to the US recently.  They told me that I might want to look into the Vietnamese job market.  They always value bilingual professional over there.  I studied English in Vietnam at a very young age, so when I came to the States, English was not a big issue for me.  I also was able to retain my Vietnamese speaking / reading & writing so I am fluent in both languages.  So I began to look for Vietnamese employment ads online.  I found a few.  I spoke to a lot of people. I had many telephone interviews.  No one up to that point mentioned anything to me about height requirement.  They basically ask me for my academic credentials & work experience.  I was very confident because I possess more than what they were asking for.  One particular company invited me to a job fair where they select a pool of potential candidates and introduce them to the company and interview would also take place.  It was supposed to be a 3 –days event.  I packed my bag and went on a voyage to seek for my dream job.  It was the second time I return to the country I was born in, over the spread of 17 years. I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on September 3rd, 2012.

After I arrived, I met up with a few friends and we went out for a week straight.  Eating out, amusement park, bowling, laser tag, water park, karaoke...yes karaoke almost everynight ^;^.  We did that for a week straight.  I must have spent at least a grand during that week just for going out.   

The first day at the job fair there were approximately 60-70 candidates.  There were many speakers.  The majority of the time every speaker were speaking in English and the majority of the candidates  were having trouble asking, answering questions because they were not fluent in English.  At that point I felt very confident that I would get a job because of my skills and abilities.  I was 1 of the 2 who had any guts to present questions to the company chief operating officer (who is a Caucasian Australian).  I love his accent btw; he was a very nice man.  Most people, including candidates & company personnel who speak English well, had a very hard time understand his Australian accent.  As for me, I grew up watching Steve Irwin and his Crocodile Hunter show, so that was no problem for me.  The first day ended with each candidate receiving a number for an interview during the next day.
Second day was fun; the candidates were mingling talking with each other waiting their turn for the actual interview.  There were 2 panels set up. Each panel consisted of 4 upper management persons.  Each person takes turn grilling the candidate.  I had absolutely no problem answering their questions.  I even returned the favor and find out more about the company for myself. Now thinking back I wonder if I came across as being an arrogant jerk to them.  The second day end with them telling us of those who will be going home (they provide voucher for travel ticket).  Those who remain will come back the next day for a second round of interview.
Third day was intense; nervousness filled the room as we all sat around awaiting our turn to be grilled.  This time there were 8 upper management people conducting the interview.  They ask me many questions.  Personal background, family background, professional experience, academic experience, scenario interpretation & possible reaction to the scenario…etc… I thought I did quite well comparing to some other folks who came out of the conference room with fear in their eyes.  I was very happy with the way I conduct myself during the interview.  There was one particular Vietnamese manager who did not seem so fond of me.  She kept asking me why I would come all the way back to Vietnam from America to seek for a job.  She said wouldn’t you make more money in the US.  I answer yes, and explained to her that I might be able to make more money than what they are offering me but I will not have a good chance at doing what I really want to do.  I still remember the way she looked at me.  I wonder if hatred from the war had anything to do with it.  She could be ex-military fighting for the communist North (my father was an officer in the South Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War).  The third day ended with some being told to go home that day.  Some, including me, were to expect a phone call the next day for a decision.  That night I hardly slept.  I was so excited that I made it thus far. 
The following day was a sad day of my life.  I woke up around 11 AM. I took a shower and went down the street to find food.  Street vendors are everywhere in Ho Chi Minh City.  I made sure I took my phone with me. I even called a few friends to make sure I phone was in working order.  At around 1 PM I got a phone call from the HR office telling me that I was not part of the final selection.  I asked her why that is, she hesitated and told me that I did not meet the 165cm height requirement.  I could not believe what I was hearing.  I asked her why didn’t anyone told me of this requirement from the initial telephone interview. She said that she did not conduct my telephone interview and she will reprimand whoever did.  I then asked her to show me proof because I refuse to believe that I was disqualified.  She said she was going to send me the full job requirement.  She was right, later that evening I received her email with explicit 165mc height requirement for male candidates.  That night I went out drinking.
At that point I had 7 days left until my schedule flight back to the States. 
The next day went by uneventful.  A few friends invited me to the club that night.  The place was called Lan Kwai Fong. It was fun, I ha d a good buzz leaving the club.  When I was on the bike leaving the parking deck (below ground) I hit a water patch and went skidding across the ground, my left leg was caught underneath the bike hitting a row of parked bike.  As the bike fell, my leg was pin harder to the ground.  By the time they got me up I was ok.  There was only mild pain in my left ankle.  A taxi took me back to the hotel.

The next day was hell, my left knee and ankle swelled up and hurtled real bad.  I asked a friend to take me to the hospital. And it all began.
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ThangQueBietBay
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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2013, 11:32:10 PM »

When we get to the hospital we were dropped off at the entrance and I basically had to hop my way about 100 feet to the security / bike watcher table.  To my right was a multi-story building with a big sign that read STO Phuong Dong.  To my left was a small room with a small bed, they put me in that room.  I sat there and waited for about half an hour until a nurse came with a wheel chair and pick me up.  She wheeled me across a small parking area (about 50 feet wide) toward the main entrance of the building.  She then asked me if I could walk up the stair otherwise she would have to wheel me around the back to the basement level of the building where there is an elevator entrance.  That should have been a wakeup call but being me, I told her I could walk up the stair but in my mind I was thinking “then why the hell did you put me in a wheel chair for”.  I was then put in another small room and told to wait.  Another half an hour went by, a doctor (I can’t recall if his name was Phuong or Quynh) I think it was more like Phuong but I cannot be sure.  He ask me how my hurt my leg.  I told him what happened. He ordered me to get an x-ray and told me to go pay before the hospital can do anything else for me.  My friend paid a million Vietnamese dong as admission fee and we went to the basement level of the hospital to get my leg x-rayed.  Another hour of waiting in the hall outside the x-ray room next to the x-ray room was the MRI room, across from that was a small room with two beds where I saw people lying face down with a red light shining on their backs.  After the x-ray I was given the film and told to bring it back up the first floor and give it to the nurse at the receptionist desk.  We did just that.  The nurse then told us to sit and wait as she contacted the doctor.  We sat and wait again.  By that time I was so hungry but I was afraid to leave because the doctor might come back when I was gone.  So my friend and I just sat there and wait.  12 o’clock went by and the doctor showed up. We went back into the little room and he looked at my x-ray, he said I have a small fracture below my knee and a sprain ankle.  I was told that I have to be cast.  He started filling out my paper work and I didn’t have an address for him.  He looked at me like I am crazy.  I didn’t want to tell him I was an ex-pat then I told him I’ll get my friend to give him an address.  He said it’s ok, he knows I am an ex-pat.  I can’t recall exactly how it came out but I was telling him of how I was so angry that I got disqualified for a job because of my height.  He asked me if I knew that they do height increasing procedure at the hospital.  At that point I only knew of LL through some articles I didn’t know it was wide spread.  He then called another doctor, Le Duc To, he call this man “thay” or “master”.  He told me that Le Duc To is the man who built the hospital and he is the chief surgeon there.  Le Duc To asked me if I knew much about height increasing operation.  He told me he went to Russia during the 50’s to learn the procedure from the man who invented it.  He also showed me a small book documenting the cases of Vietnamese patient whom he had treated.  I still have that book today.  Doctor Paley is actually told in that book also.  Le Duc To told me it was a simple straight forward procedure during which I can still live a normal life (as also documented in his book).  He said if I want to do it I have to decide quick because he has to leave for a business trip in 3 days.  I ask him what about my left leg.  He said it doesn’t have to cast right away and ask a nurse to give me some pain medication. They were these yellow pills that put me to sleep quite well.  I told him to give me a day to consider. 
September 11th, 2012 (I know, how ironically).  I decided that I should take the chance, I came back to the hospital and ask to speak to Le Duc To.  The nurse called him and asked me to sit and wait.  15 minutes later he showed up and wheeled me to his office on the second floor.  There he asked me for 120 million Vietnamese dong for the procedure ($6000 approx.).  I told him I only have $1500 on me at the time.  I said it’s ok he’ll take the $1500 and I can pay him the rest later.  I called my cousin to bring me the rest of the money that evening.  After that he called a nurse, gave her a note and asked her to take me where I needed to go.  I was wheeled to the blood testing place right outside of Le Duc Top’s office on the second floor. They drew my blood.  Next, I was wheeled to the ultrasound room (can’t recall the floor) where they did an ultrasound of my chest and abdomen.  I was told by the ultrasound lady that I have a slightly open heart valve.  I didn’t know what that meant but she said it’s not serious.  Next I was taken to the basement and did a chest x-ray where I almost fell on my face because I had to hold on to the x-ray contraption thing.  I was then told to go to a room on the 4th floor. There I met the girl who did her tibia back in February 2012; she was there for her follow up visit.  We didn’t talk much at that point because I was tired so I fell asleep.  About 2 hours later I woke up and asked a nurse where to get some food she told me I cannot eat because they were going to do my surgery that day.  My cousin came and she complained that I was very tired and in pain.  The nurse then hooked me up to an IV, gave me some more pain pills and I went back to sleep.  Around 5 PM I was wheeled to 7th floor. They put me in a room gave me a dark green robe and a pair of slippers.  I was told to strip and put on the robe.  I was wheeled to the operating room.  There were 3 people in the room at the time, they put me on the table, one stick a needle into my back another hook the IV line to another line next to the table and they put a pulse reader on my left index finger.  About 15 minutes later 4 more people came in.  1 of which is Le Duc To, 1 of the other 3 was the doctor who saw me originally.  Le Duc To was on my right with a female doctor.  The other 2 were on my left.  At that point I felt nothing in my legs. I was drifted in and out of sleep.  I woke up in a large room with a few nurses in green scrub (regular nurses wear white).  There was a very nice nurse, her face was round and spoke with a very soft voice.  She was very caring and told me that I was in the recovery room.  There were 3-4 more beds there at the time.  The nurse called me “em” in vietnamese meaning “little brother” and called herself “chi.” meaning big sister.  I still remember her face till today.  She asked if I was ok. I told her I was very cold. She took a heating lamp and placed it next to my bed.  I went back to sleep.
I woke up again in a different room with my cousin sitting besides me looking as if she saw a ghost.  She told me she had no idea that it was so serious.  At that point I still felt no pain and told her not too worried, I even tried to crack a few jokes.  Shortly after, they took me up to the 5th floor where I remain for the rest of my stay.
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ThangQueBietBay
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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2013, 12:00:33 AM »

And the hellish nightmare began.
The next day my cousin came in again and told me that I should have told her about my decision because she is not prepared.  She told me that she cannot take care of me as she has to go to work.  I told it was ok the nurses can take care of me.  She told me that, it’s not how it works in Vietnam. Nurses do not take care of patients like in the US.  Nurses basically just there to give pills, call doctor do injection, take temperature & blood pressure…etc… My cousin said I need someone to take care of me like dumping my urinal or bedpans etc…that’s when reality hits me.  My cousin went to speak with Le Duc To, he told her that he can contact some maid service but we have to pay him extra.  She also asked him about food, he said we have to provide our own food and that usually they only let patient who do height increasing operation stay for 4 days.  Beyond that one would have to pay extra.  So maid service money, food money, private wheelchair money, walker money, things are starting to add up.  I was in a room with at least 3 other patient at all times.  None of which were there for LL.  They were there for broken arm, legs, spinal surgery…etc….  The condition was horrendous.  The bathroom was filthy.  Every time I wanted to go number 2 I would have to take 2 large garbage bags and put them over my legs because I was afraid of the dirty water hitting my open wounds.  Every step was torture.  The maid was nice but she was slow.  There was no internet connection.  I ended up there 23 days because I was in so much pain the day I was supposed to return. 
The flight back to the State was ok, I sat in the same plane seat for 18 hours straight from Taipei to New York (there is no direct flight from HCM city to NYC).  I did not move at all. I did not eat or drink because I was afraid I would have to go to the bathroom.  When I arrive back home my parents were scared, worried, angry, sad.  I felt pain, guilt, anger & sad, worried.  Despite all the guilt, anger, pain & sadness I dealt with the pain without any pain meds (I truly don’t know how I did it but I did).  I religiously turn the threaded rod on the frame every day, 3 times a day until I start noticing how they began to deform.  That’s when I start to really get scared.  The whole time up to that point I did everything Le Duc To asked of me:  clean my pinsite, turn the screw and practice standing.  But when I saw the frame start to bend I knew I had to something about it.  I began going online and do research on the procedure.  I found Dr. Rosbruck, I emailed but he refuse to help.  I emailed doctor Paley and he agreed to help.  I also emailed Dr. Mahboubian and he also agreed to help me.  I went to a doctor I knew a while back and asked him for an x-ray & CAT scan script.  The x-ray was only $90 but the CT-scan was almost $600.  My parents were nice enough to let me borrow money.  I email my x-ray picture & CT-Scan to Dr. Mahboubian (I chose him because his consultation cost is lower than Dr. Paley).  Dr. M told me I had to see him ASAP.
As one might have wonder how I found Dr. M.  I found him by watching Alex’s video clips.  When I saw the videos I wish I had just casted my legs and never bothered with LL.  But what’s done is done, I flew out to see Dr. M and he said “it’s criminal what they have done to you over there”.  I agreed with him but it was partly my fault.  I brought this upon myself.  It was my poor decision that leads me to this. 
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« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2013, 12:29:19 AM »

My right tibia was lengthened somewhat along with my right fibular.  There was some misalignment where my right foot got turn outward and my right shin bow out slightly.   My left was severely deformed.  I could not straighten my left leg because the top portion of my left tibia was bent outward at least 30 degree.  My left fibular consolidated while the left tibia did not make any bridge at all.  Some of you might have seen the picture’s on Dr. M’s website.  Before I saw Dr. M for the first time I kept trying to straighten out my left leg with my fibular already fused.  As the result the top of my left fibular was pull out of its' socket at least 2 cm.
Dr. Mr. felt really bad for me and he agreed to help me by putting on Taylor Spatial Frame to correct the deformity.  He also has to re-break the right tibia, the right fibular and the left fibular to make the correction.
I arrived in LA 2 days before the surgery date.  I went to Dr. Dardashi’s office to get all my blood work done. Then I went to St. Joseph to get my chest x-rayed. 
2 days later, early in the morning, I went to St. Joseph I was taken to the short stay area, given a hospital gown, a pair of socks (cute ^;^) and laid there watching TV waiting.  While I was there a nice nurse came to take all my information, medical history and entered them into the computer.  The anesthetist came to see me.  I was calm and happy, I felt safe.  I was then wheeled (on the bed) to the operating room around 11 AM.  The nurse put on some music   The anesthetist said he was going to give me anesthesia below my legs but when Dr. M came in he told the anesthetist to put me under general anesthesia.  I saw in injecting me with a clear yellow liquid and I was out in less than 10 second after that (I was actually counting to see how many second I was going to go out).  I woke up around 8PM feeling so well rested and strangely happy.  Perhaps it was the happiness of the sedative given to me.  I felt no pain.  I woke up again around midnight.  A nice Filipino nurse name Chris was there, she told me if I have to go pee. I said no, she said I should try to pee or she would have to catheterize me again.  Apparently they took out the catheter before I woke up.  Chris gave me some apple juice.  I drank the apple juice and try to be a good patient. I really tried to pee and boy did it hurt.  It really burns when the urine came up.  But being me, I just took the pain like a man ^; ^.   I went back to sleep and periodically woke up from a lady screaming loudly across the hall.  Chris told me she has Alzheimer so don’t worry too much about her.  Chris came into periodically check up on me.  The next morning Dr. Came in and check on me.  He asked if I had any pain pills, I told him no and he was quite surprise.  His medical student also came and checked on me.  I felt so cared for.  The day went by very pleasant, I was well fed, had plenty of apple juice, the nurse told me that they were surprise how much I was able to pee.  That night my aunt and uncle came to pick me up at around 10-11ish.  We went to the pharmacy to pick up my pills and went to their house.  For the next 2 days I took Norco to help with the pain and inject myself in the tummy with anti blood clot medication.  Yes I injected myself in the tummy, who else can say that… .  I stop taking pain pills on the 3rd day.  I do occasionally take a pill here and there for a car ride or a plane ride to head off any unexpected pain.  5 days after the surgery, I went back to Dr. M’s office to see him.  The nurse took off the bandage and Dr. M inspected my legs.  He gave me a script for adjusting the frame.  He also asked me to schedule an appointment to go back to see him because he needs to change out my strut.  After that, I was on the plan heading back home.
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ThangQueBietBay
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« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2013, 12:42:35 AM »

So far since the surgery, I saw Dr. M on 3 separate follow up visits.    Each time I get better than the last.  Each time he checks the script, checks my frame, checks my legs, takes X-ray.  The last time he handed me a pair of crutches and ask me to stand on crutches and I was able to do that just fine.  Since then I have been using crutches 90% of the time.  I am also doing PT 2-3 times a week.  As soon as I figure out how to show pictures on my diary I will post some of the images of my legs with the original frame and my legs with the new Taylor Spatial frame for everyone to see.  I even have some video clips of the nurse in Vietnam changing my bandages.  I also have a clip of me trying to walk 6 days after the first operation.  Once I figure out how to, I will post them on here. 
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« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2013, 03:43:27 AM »

The Doc's in Vietnam really took advantage of you when you were in an emotionally vulnerable and sort of traumatized state of mind. That was disgusting what they did to you. You didn't even know what you were getting into. I'm glad Dr. M is taking such good care of you. It sounds like he'll have you back in shape in the near future.

Thanks for sharing your story. It's really interesting and a lesson...
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« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2013, 03:19:14 AM »

Yesterday, my father helped me take off the hand control on the car and I drive with my foot on the pedals now.  It feels good to be getting back some normalcy of my life.  I will be seeing the doctor next Friday.  I have a length discrepancy between my left and my right.  My left is still bowing inward.  Dr. M. said that he will fine tune all of that.  I really hope to get my leg straighten out and walk normally again. 
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« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2013, 12:50:15 PM »

Yesterday, my father helped me take off the hand control on the car and I drive with my foot on the pedals now.  It feels good to be getting back some normalcy of my life.  I will be seeing the doctor next Friday.  I have a length discrepancy between my left and my right.  My left is still bowing inward.  Dr. M. said that he will fine tune all of that.  I really hope to get my leg straighten out and walk normally again. 

Hey ... I'm.. Glad your in safe hands..   DR ..M. Has really helped you... Thanks God:-)
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« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2013, 03:24:05 PM »

Hey ... I'm.. Glad your in safe hands..   DR ..M. Has really helped you... Thanks God:-)

Thank you Lex. I have a 2 cm discrepancy between my left and my right (my left is shorter).  It's a struggle everyday to deal with the pain as I make it a personal policy not to use any pain pills unless it is absolutely necessary.  So far there were 3 periods when I had to use pain killers.  The first period was right after the first surgery, the second period was when my left fibula got pulled away from its' socket, the third was the few days after my second surgery with Dr. M.  I have a really bad case of ballerina foot.  Every time I stand with my crutches I have to way at least 30 seconds before my right heel to come close to the ground.  I do fine with shoes on but when I am bare foot, I still can not have my right heel contact the ground at all time.  As for the left because it is 2 cm shorter than the right, I constantly have to tiptoe on my left.  Therefore until my left is lengthened to match the right I can not do much about it.  The only time when I feel like both feet are flat and stable is when I place a 2-cm thick book underneath my left foot. 
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« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2013, 03:53:36 PM »

I found Dr. Rosbruck, I emailed but he refuse to help. 


im really glad and happy for you that dr m is helping you recover ! lucky he took shift action

i just curious as to why  Dr. Rosbruck refused to help his ment to on par with dr paley .. did he say why he was so unwilling to help ?
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« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2013, 07:12:39 PM »

hey dude, good luck.. i cant believe how they threated you in VN.
Whats your height anyway?
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Lex
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« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2013, 07:52:01 PM »

Thank you Lex. I have a 2 cm discrepancy between my left and my right (my left is shorter).  It's a struggle everyday to deal with the pain as I make it a personal policy not to use any pain pills unless it is absolutely necessary.  So far there were 3 periods when I had to use pain killers.  The first period was right after the first surgery, the second period was when my left fibula got pulled away from its' socket, the third was the few days after my second surgery with Dr. M.  I have a really bad case of ballerina foot.  Every time I stand with my crutches I have to way at least 30 seconds before my right heel to come close to the ground.  I do fine with shoes on but when I am bare foot, I still can not have my right heel contact the ground at all time.  As for the left because it is 2 cm shorter than the right, I constantly have to tiptoe on my left.  Therefore until my left is lengthened to match the right I can not do much about it.  The only time when I feel like both feet are flat and stable is when I place a 2-cm thick book underneath my left foot. 


I know you have gone through a lot of pain and suffering... But I feel with the help of DR M.. You can see things are improving... There is light at the end to the tunnel... I'm glad you are sharing this information.. About your past experience ... I think your information is very valuable to everyone on this site.. That's why this site has a doctors recommended list... Also we all can read other people diaries and other valuable information... And then decide if we would like to go any further with any of the doctors... Listed on the Internet.   

You are a very strong person...mentally and physically... Your parents have been great to give you there help and advice...  I wish you all the best and a normal recovery...

Godbless you... My Friend. Lex !!!!
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ThangQueBietBay
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« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2013, 08:08:18 PM »

im really glad and happy for you that dr m is helping you recover ! lucky he took shift action

i just curious as to why  Dr. Rosbruck refused to help his ment to on par with dr paley .. did he say why he was so unwilling to help ?

I think he just had too many patient and could not fit me into his schedule
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« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2013, 03:35:09 AM »

hey dude, good luck.. i cant believe how they threated you in VN.
Whats your height anyway?

Hi Kusop I am 158.5 cm.
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« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2013, 08:42:17 AM »

Would you able to lengthen while doing the correction Thang ?

Or rebreak the bones and lengthen after the correction. You already have the frames on.
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« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2013, 07:56:25 PM »

Would you able to lengthen while doing the correction Thang ?

Or rebreak the bones and lengthen after the correction. You already have the frames on.

Dr. M was afraid of non-union so he told me that he would do the correction first, get everything aligned and then will worry about the length.  Honestly I don't know how much I have lengthened as the previous frame they put on me in Vietnam deformed so badly.  He said he would rather go back in and break the callus rather than have me develop a non-union.  I do agree with him.  So far my calluses are growing fine.  I'll put up my newest x-ray soon.
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ThangQueBietBay
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« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2013, 04:07:40 PM »

Today I was able to stand unsupported (70% weight on my right) for 5 minutes.
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ThangQueBietBay
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« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2013, 08:05:00 PM »

I have decided that this time flying out to see Dr. M. I will not be traveling with my wheelchair anymore.  I'll do it on crutches.  I have been walking around a lot on crutches and it feels great (the pain is not so great, but the feeling of accomplishment trumps all pain..^;^).  Today is my last turning day on the script but I bet Dr. M is going to have another script for me since my left is still bowed and shorter than my right.  I am in good spirit today.  Thanks all for reading my whining.
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