Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Centres

Nowadays I go to the Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Centre as they are specialized in sport injuries, and in particular in ligament problems. The moment I started going there I’ve already received 40 sessions of physiotherapy, so I didn’t start from scratch. At that time I could already walk, but my leg muscles were extremely weak and atrophied. So their job was to help me build up my muscles.

I have the physiotherapist and kinesiology specialist who work on me there. They are assisting me in getting back my full range of my leg motions. The exercises are extremely strenuous and painful. But it does a great job as I can feel my improvement day by day. I appreciate the specialists to help me go through that and assist me in getting me back on my feet.

Passion Fruit (Passioflora)

It was my first day in Puerto Rico. I remember myself walking around construction site and suddenly I saw this magnificent flower. It was the most beautiful flower I’ve seen. I went to talk to my husband and asked what kind of plan it was. So he went and picked one of the fruits that were hanging there for me to try.

Since that day I got addicted to passion fruits and even started making juices, cakes, fruit salads with it. I like it best in the tropical fruit salad.
Passion fruits taste like a mild strawberry, slightly sweet but often soury and have seeds that are surrounded by jelly.

The only problem with the plant itself is that it’s of one of those climbing types that climb up your fence and as it’s very heavy it can break it down. Though I think it’s worth it:)

And at they even say that passion fruit is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and iron. One passion fruit has only 16 calories. When eaten with the seeds, a serving is an excellent source of fiber.

And  do you have anything to share, like recipes, or natural remedies?

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Physiotherapy at the Ottawa Riverside Hospital

I would never know how a typical day goes when you have to go through the physiotherapy for the first time. Well, that’s how it was for me: I ended up at the Physiotherapy Hospital after my ski accident and they started the treatment a week later. At the beginning they could only relieve the pain. That’s all they do at that stage – they put ice on you to remove the inflammation and meantime they try to diagnose you.
After my MRI when they already knew what my problem was, they made an action plan for my recovery. The physiotherapist regularly checked on me to see the progress and reported to my orthopedic surgeon. I have to mention here how supportive and encouraging physiotherapist and his assistant was, as it made a big impact on me and speeded up my healing.
Some days were easy on me, others were like hell...
And while I was going through all this I was observing the other patients around me. I started talking to them and that was part of the healing as well. We shared our experiences, pains, doctors we saw. And this experience was so therapeutic as it removed me from my world of isolation and gave me an encouragement. I saw a lot of people who were in much worse conditions, but they were improving and getting better as the time passed. They would also encourage me to write these posts so that other people can relate as well.
Looking back at few previous months of my life and the pain I was going through, I realize how all the people I met at the Department of the Ottawa Riverside Hospital were helpful, caring and supportive to me. I greatly appreciate each and everyone you!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Challenges of being injured in winter

The stress of having an injured leg during the winter time is very high. One of the challenges is to keep your driveway free of snow and ice. Every time there is a one or two inches of snow, you have to worry about who is going to remove it. Because I like to shovel snow and I find it more efficient to remove the snow myself, I did not renew my snow removal contract for the winter season of 2010-2012. I must say, It was a big mistake.
I had my ski accident on January 28, 2011. The following week it did not snow but a week a later we had a huge storm. The next morning after the storm I called few snow removal companies including the one that I usually hired. I requested them to give me an estimate for the end of the season and they told me that they cannot take my contract because they only do the full season. To make the story short, I ended up having to beg my neighbors and friends to shovel my driveway. It may seem like it is no big deal for a mobile person, but for someone who cannot walk it means that you cannot go out at all. You become completely isolated. Also, another problem was the ice building up on my house walk way. It was out of the question to walk on ice and risk falling. Therefore it was necessary to use ice salt. Once again, I had to rely on my generous neighbors and friends. Finally at the end of April it was over and I could journey anywhere without worrying of snow or ice.

Saturday, 23 July 2011


Today I want to talk about Papaya! They have very mild-sugary taste with extremely gentle texture.
Do you know how it grows? It grows on a tree that looks like this:
And these are the papaya fruits. They are still green here, but they will become ripe once parts of them turn yellowish.
 This is perfect time to harvest! And you have to hurry, because the birds will eat them soon.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

What?!.. Another torn ligament?!

It seems like the aftermath of my ski accident never stopped. I knew the problem was there, but I kept postponing it as I had to take care of my leg. So, today I finally went to see a shoulder specialist. To my surprise the doctor told me that I might have torn ligament in my right shoulder. Though, I still need to go through an ultra sound test and X-ray to know for sure. The good news is now my left leg is getting much better so I can proceed with the testing and rehabilitation of my shoulder. To be continued…

Monday, 18 July 2011


One of the most difficult things is that there is no collaboration between doctor and technician, in my case physiotherapist and orthopedics surgeon. They tend to disagree on diagnosis and treatment and it confuses patients as they don’t understand what problem they have and who to believe.
Another thing that I found difficult to deal with is when people hear your case, they start telling you stories they heard of that are similar to yours. And how people in those stories were really bad and needed years to recover. With each story it felt like the drama was increasing.
You have to remember always to listen to the doctor first. He is a specialist and he knows what he is doing. I had to go through a struggle as I didn’t believe them. And it was my mistake.
And the most important thing of all is that every patient is completely different from the other. Even when they tell you that someone got better in two months, it’s not going to be same for you as there are many factors involved, i.e. your age, your health condition, your motivation to get better, etc. So do not ever compare yourself to others. Your case is unique. And if you understand this you will avoid yourself a lot of anxiety and stress.

Friday, 15 July 2011

My Blog One-month Anniversary

Today is one-month anniversary of me blogging. I really proved to myself that social media works – with using only facebook, twitter, and linkedin I’ve got over 500 pageviews in one month.
Isn't it fabulous?!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

My blood clot diagnosis (5th part)

Last Friday (8th of July) I went to the Ottawa Civic Hospital for my final ultra sound. The technician took forever to do the test. She took good 10 minutes, and previously it wouldn’t even take 5 minutes to perform. This time it was painful as well. I asked her if there was still a blood clot there, in her opinion. I told her that I understood she wasn’t a doctor, but I just wanted to know what she thought. She said that it was probably almost gone.
Few minutes after, I went to the thrombosis department, where I had an appointment with my doctor. As soon as I arrived there, there was an intern who made me fill out the research questionnaire. After, the doctor’s assistant came in and he told me that I have done a really good job in taking medication and doing my exercises, so they will allow me now to stop the medication as the blood clot is at its minimum and it’s not life-threatening any more.
For the next month I have to be vigilant though, as there is a possibility of it coming back. The doctor explained that once I was diagnosed with the blood clot, it’s more likely to reoccur, specifically in case I am operated. So if I will need a surgery, I would need to get in touch with them.
At the end my specialist came in. He was very happy to see that I’ve done everything they advised me and that now I am on my way to full recovery. He said that it’s wonderful to see that they managed to help me and to see me healthy and doing well. He said it was one of his biggest rewards to witness people recovering and getting back to their normal lives.
I came out of there and as I was walking down those hospital halls, I felt such a huge relieve and a feeling of victory and exhilaration. It was like a survivor’s pride!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

My blood clot diagnosis (4th part)

After 3 weeks of tests and my third ultra sound they found out that my blood clot was going up the leg, therefore there was absolutely no other option for me rather than take Coumadin. And if I didn’t I could have had a heart attack. It was now a life-threatening situation, so I gave in. They showed me how to inject myself with it… for me that was an equivalent to becoming a junky. I was resisting all the way. Another challenge was to find the right dosage for me. That was a reason why I needed to keep taking the INR test.
But I was happy because my curfew of staying within 25 kilometers radius of the Ottawa Civic Hospital was over. They finally found the Anticoagulation Therapy for me that would prevent the blood clot. I had to follow the curfew before because they couldn’t figure out the right dosage and the danger of it was too thin blood that would cause excessive bleeding even from a small cut.
And now I am just taking my medication and waiting for the final result that would tell me I have no more blood clot!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

My blood clot diagnosis (3rd part)

The next day when I got to thrombosis unit, they told me that I had to go and get another ultra sound test. It was too far away from the thrombosis department to the ultras sound unit, so they put me in a wheel chair. This experience of being on a wheel chair made me feel so old and helpless and handicap. It was such a down feeling of despair…
When I got to the ultra sound department, it was full of motionless people. They looked like they were half dead taking their last breaths. It was very dramatic, especially that I didn’t even look sick and I found myself around people who were literally dying. So at that moment I really got to understand the severity of my situation…
After they made an ultra sound test, I went back to see my doctor at the thrombosis unit. His assistant tried to convince me to enroll in the research department, but I refused because I am an anti-drug person and I consider taking drugs only if it’s absolutely necessary. Needless to say, they were not happy about it, so as a consequence they told me that I had to take 4 blood tests and an ultra sound every week. And that’s outside of the hospital clinic, which was a problem because of the transportation. Imagine Monday morning you have to get to the clinic at 7am, wearing the leg brace and barely moving. It’s minus 25 Celsius outside and you are waiting outside among other 20 people for the door to open. By 8:00 – 8:30 am they take your blood, and right after you have to rush to the physiotherapy for the treatment. That went on for 3 weeks.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

My blood clot diagnosis (2nd part)

When I arrived to the emergency room I did not go to the registration. All my paperwork was already done for me and that made me very suspicious that something was majorly wrong here. Fifteen minutes later a technician was performing an ultra sound on my leg. Being a curious person I started asking her all kinds of questions, but she would not answer me and she kept telling me that the doctor will talk to me afterwards.
For five hours there I did not know what was happening. I was laying down there trying to figure out how come that nobody wanted to give me any help right after the accident, but now 6 weeks later I feel little bit of pain and all the doors are open and everybody is so eager to give me attention and care.
Finally five hours later I saw two doctors and they gave me a compassionate look and told me: “You have a blood clot in your left leg and fortunately for you it is not above the knee. Therefore the treatment can wait until the next day”. If it was above the knee they would hospitalize me right away, but it was not the case, so they sent me home with the appointment for the next day with the Thrombosis department. I was clueless of what was happening to me, so when I arrived home I searched the internet and I got what the fuss was all about. Basically if I had the blood clot above the knee and didn’t get to the emergency room, I would have had a heart attack within 24 hours or so. Now I got the message!

Monday, 4 July 2011

My blood clot diagnosis (1st part)

Monday, March-14-11, was like any other day of physical recovery. First thing in the morning I went to physiotherapy at the Riverside hospital. Shortly after my arrival, I got ready on the bed to start stretching my injured leg and after only two movements I felt this excruciating pain in my calf. In sports we tend to think that pain is a good sign for building muscles and we push through it, but in physiotherapy it’s the opposite. And as I did my first movements, I felt the resistance, but when I went to the third movement I had the feeling that a knife stabbed me and without realizing I started to cry. My physiotherapist saw me tearing and asked what was going on, and I told her about the pain. In a matter of minutes, they dressed me up and sent me to the Ottawa Civic Emergency room...