19.4.12

Homeopaths on homeopathy

I'm normally a bit dismissive of articles attacking the scientific evidence (specifically the lack of) homeopathy. I mean, it's a bit like picking on Jeremy Clarkson for not having any dress sense. But I found this article on guardian.co.uk reasonably amusing. And then it got me thinking. Maybe we're all missing a trick ...

On the basis that homeopathic remedies are essentially water, I assume that they should be a lot cheaper to manufacture than conventional medicines. If there are enough people out there that believe in the power of homeopathy sufficiently to get a placebo effect from them then maybe there's some efficiencies to be gained. From my recollection of the arguments in Ben Goldacre's rather excellent Bad Science, the placebo effect is generally not a non-zero effect and can often lead to good medical outcomes. Medical treatment is surely mostly about outcomes. If you can get good outcomes for a lower cost wouldn't that be good?

Note, I'm not saying placebo effect outcomes are necessarily as good as "real" treatments. And, yes, I'm being flippant. But there's a lot of aggression directed to homeopathy. Perhaps we should embrace the seemingly unstoppable dumbing down of society and save some money?

17.4.12

Progress

Das Boot
It's definitely progress. Although it doesn't feel as good as it probably should.

I had my cast removed after 65 days. I am now in the boot that you can see in the picture. It's designed to limit the range of motion so that I don't actually stretch the tendon too far and set myself back to square one. Right now, it's set to allow me to go no more than 18 degrees from neutral (90 degrees). When I get to neutral I'm heading towards losing the brace and thinking about weight bearing. That's probably around four weeks away.

The boot is much heavier than the cast. I've immediately found that things are a little bit more awkward than they were before. But I won't complain about that too much as it will give my upper leg a bit more exercise.

A real benefit of the boot is that I am allowed to remove it. Actually, I have to remove it to get dressed, so it's not just optional. But it is great to be able to give my leg some air and to have a full shower without having to use a Limbo (absolutely superb, life-enhancing, product and brilliant customer service. I can't recommend it highly enough if you are unfortunate enough to get in the same situation as me).

It does feel brilliant to be able to start to flex my ankle and feel that there is a tendon there and that I can start stretching it. The only reason that the progress doesn't feel as good as it could is that going back to the hospital really does re-emphasize how long the recovery process is going to be. It's probably going to be eight weeks before I can drive again. Getting to back to light exercise could be four months from now. The muscle wastage in my leg is horrible. My right leg is about half the size of my left. Even my foot is smaller.

At least now I can actually do something towards my recovery by stretching out my tendon on a regular basis. It's progress, but it's a long road ahead.

4.4.12

Achilles Tendon - Day 53

I'm nearly at the next step. My next appointment at the hospital is on April 16th. I feel like there has been progress. It feels like I can push my foot against the bottom of my cast as if I'm pointing my toes. You definitely can't do that without an Achilles tendon.

I made the mistake of reading about the injury on the internet again last night. That did not help my morale. The blogs that people post always seem to talk about having had an operation (I didn't), about seeing the doctors to get casts changed (I haven't) and about early active recovery exercises (nope). What if I haven't had the right advice? What if I'm months behind where I should be? What if I never recover fully? What if I can't do sport the same way for the rest of my life? What if it's weak and I re-rupture it as soon as I try to do sport again?

Even those blogs with their active recovery regimes still don't sound like they are back to normal activities before six months. It feels like a long time to go. But I guess I have to keep telling myself that that is back to "normal". In between, there is clearly exercise, just not at the same level. That will keep me going. A bit.
And to motivate me, I think I need to plan some proper adventures on the assumption that I get fit. How about this for 2014?