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Author Topic: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020  (Read 526 times)

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BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« on: October 12, 2020, 05:37:11 AM »

Greetings everyone, I will be doing Stryde bilateral femurs with Dr. Debiparshad approximately one month from now. Therefore, I’m starting a journal to document this process as many have before me. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to write a journal at first as I’d like to keep this procedure as private as possible, but having read so many of these over the years and having learned so much from past patients’ experiences, I thought it was only right to do my part and give back to the community as well. Also, Dr. D still doesn’t have that many data points on here yet, so I thought it was especially important to add my contribution to the mix.

This will likely not be a daily journal, but I will try to make as many updates as my schedule allows. I plan to detail both the good and bad as accurately as I can, and really dive into what I think about the process and my personal experience living with legs of varying degrees of functionality over the next few months. I’m not sure if I’ll post any media yet as I want to remain as anonymous as possible (as I mentioned) but I might change my mind on that a bit over time. Also, if you see me being vague about exact dates, it’s on purpose. However, if you have any questions for me I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability.

Basic Stats
  • Demographics: Early-Mid 30s, Male, USA
  • Starting Height: 169cm (5'6.5")
  • Wingspan: 169cm (5'6.5")
  • Lengthening Goal: 8cm (3.15")
  • Starting Body Type: 155 lbs (70kg), 14% body fat
  • Starting Inseam: 29” (73.5cm)
  • Staring Tibia-to-Femur Ratio: ~0.805

Starting Height and Lengthening Goal
I measured myself at 169.5cm (5'6.7") first thing in the morning and 168cm (5'6.1") before bed. I stood under a box, marked the wall with a pencil, then used a tape measure. I actually forgot to ask what my measured height was during my in-person consultation, but I think my own measurements are fine. I also left the two marks on the wall so I can compare them to my final height when I’m done lengthening.

I will be going for the full 8cm. As long as my bone growth isn’t so fast as to risk premature consolidation I’m willing to slow down considerably toward the end, at the cost of increasing the duration of the lengthening phase. I plan to get the full value out of my nail as long as I am able to physically. For simplicity sake, I’m just going to say I’m going from 169cm to 177cm. With dress shoes or thick-soled sneakers I’d be comfortable calling myself 180cm (5'11") which is more than enough for me.

Overall, I don’t care too much about proportions as I think the most important thing is to get my eye level a couple of inches higher so I don’t have to look up at as many people when interacting with them. I highly doubt anyone is going to look at my legs carefully and judge my proportions unless they know about it, and even then I doubt they can tell if I'm wearing regular pants. Otherwise, I think my baseline stats are pretty typical for a short man.

Physical Shape
I was at my personal peak shape right before the pandemic started. However, since March 2020 I’ve been avoiding going to the gym so I have gradually been losing muscle and gaining fat, putting me at my current stats. I’m not totally out of shape as my diet is fairly clean, but I’m not at the optimal strength to weight ratio either.

I’m part of an amateur tennis league and I certainly won't be able to play next spring, but I hope to get back to it someday. Losing agility and explosiveness is definitely going to make me worse, but I’m not too concerned about it since I’m not super competitive anyway.

I used to do endurance sports a long time ago, with multiple marathons and Olympic distance triathlons under my belt. However, I quit running to reduce the long-term risk to my knees, so being able to do these is not a concern for me post-LL. However, at my peak, my best mile (1600m) was just over 5:30 and my best two-mile (3200m) time was just over 12 minutes. However, that was five years ago when I was still in my 20s, so I don’t think I could ever get back to that, even if I wasn’t going to do LL. If I can run a 9 minute mile after my rods are out, I think I’d be okay with that (not that I’ve actually run a whole mile even once in the last year or two) but I plan to do some timed runs once I’m healthy enough to, so that I can benchmark and share my recovery progress.

Finally, I snowboard and ski and I’ve heard that snowsports are one of the few sports where it’s possible to return to almost 100% after lengthening so I’m definitely looking forward to that! I will definitely report back on my performance in all sports related stuff over time, but I think first I’ll have to walk normally and consolidate before I can even think about any of these ;)

I’ve been stretching about an hour almost every day for the last month, and will continue to do so for the month leading up to surgery. I’ve been doing stretches from the YouTube videos in some of the journals here that I’ve been rereading. I also have a guide from Dr. D’s office. I know some people on here don’t believe in stretching pre-op, but I’ve seen multiple sources say that stretching consistently pre-op will definitely help with flexibility during the lengthening phase. I also don’t think it would hurt to consistently stretch leading up to the day of surgery (as long as you don’t get injured) so even if it doesn’t help with tightness, it will at least help with establishing the habit.

I did gymnastics as a kid and used to be very flexible. In middle school I could do a front split with my left leg forward, and could almost do one with my right leg forward. I could nearly do a side split with my crotch only 1-2 inches off the ground. I could also easily touch the ground with my palms with my legs straight and touch my knees with my face. While doing a back arch, I could also grab my ankles. With that said, I’m not sure how useful any of these are for femur lengthening and currently my flexibility is not as good as when I was younger anyway.

While my legs are straight, I can still touch the ground with my palms, barely. On both my side and back, with both legs straight, I can lift one leg up just past 90 degrees. Doing a side split, I can get my crotch about 10-12 inches off the ground. I can barely do a back arch. At max stretch all of these positions are very hard to hold for more than a few seconds. However, I have noticed some gain in flexibility over the last month. Dr. D said I was pretty flexible at the consult as well, though what he tested is different than the stretches I described. My goal by surgery day is to be able to touch my wrist to my heel with my legs straight for my hamstrings, and to improve stretches on everything else as well, especially my buttocks.

Health Status
I last got a full physical three years ago and the only thing concerning was that I was Vitamin D deficient. Unfortunately, this impacts calcium intake and bone growth. However, Dr. D says that I wouldn’t be the first person starting this process with a Vitamin D deficiency, if I still have one. I’ve started supplementing Vitamin D since my phone consultation, but I don’t think I’ll know what my current Vitamin D levels are at until I get the pre-surgery blood work done (if that's even part of the testing.) I also won’t know what the impact of all this is on my callus formation until my first post-op X-rays, so fingers crossed! I have no other health concerns at the moment, though I am as paranoid as the rest of you about complications.

My Backstory
I’ve known about CLL for almost seven years and have been a member of both the old forum and this one. The original thing that got me to look into this was (of course) my girlfriend at the time – let’s just say she left me for a tall guy and told me the reason was because I was too short. Eventually I realized that my height wasn’t actually the primary reason that I got dumped; it was just the primary excuse. Unfortunately, by then I had already developed height dysphoria and it has stayed with me ever since.

After that experience, anyone who has casually mentioned my height has left a negative mark on me. Every time I get my car back from the valet and have to adjust the seat forward, I think about my height. Every time I meet a new group of people, I think about how I’m usually the shortest guy. Whenever I’m outside walking amongst a crowd of people I start comparing everyone’s heights. These are just a few examples, and anyone reading this is likely to have their own experiences with being short, but I think this surgery will finally fix these issues for me personally. I don’t need to be very tall; I just don’t want to feel short all the time and think about height constantly.

Who Knows About This
I told my best friend about the surgery back when I got dumped by the girl noted above. However, I haven’t mentioned it to him even once since then so hopefully he has forgotten about it. I know my mom is aware of the surgery since she saw a segment about it on TV a few years back, though she probably thinks it’s still performed with leg cages. I’m considering telling my sister about it as she would possibly understand since she only dates tall guys. For now though, I haven’t told anyone that I’m actually going through with it, but I think some of the people I interact with a lot will figure it out and I’ll just deal with it as it comes up. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission imo. I don’t plan on seeing anyone until my gait is fixed anyway.

For post-inpatient assistance I plan on hiring a part-time home health aide, maybe for a couple of hours a day in the first week. I don’t think the cost will be that high if they’re not staying with me 24/7. I will try to do everything myself though and accurately log what can or can’t be done alone.

Cost of the Procedure
Dr. D’s current prices are listed on his website and I’m paying full retail price. I plan to write an entire entry on costs later, once I have a better idea of what I’ll be spending outside of what I’m paying the doctor.

How I’m Paying
I work in a career that pays decently well and I’m currently employed at a large and profitable company. Having been out of college for about a decade, I’ve climbed the corporate ladder to a middle management role. However, what’s more important than the job itself is the fact that I’ve always been aware of the concept of financial independence and have been working toward it since my first job. The cost of the surgery coming out of my investments now will push back my estimated date of financial independence by about 5 months.

I’ve technically had enough liquid savings to get the surgery done since 2017. However, I haven’t been single since then, so I didn’t really have a strong drive to get it done. Now that I’m single again and there’s not exactly a lot to do during the pandemic, I figure this is probably my best chance to do it. Realistically, if I don’t do it now and life resumes after the pandemic, in all likelihood I’d probably never get as good of a chance to do it, which means I’d potentially be stuck with height dysphoria for the rest of my life. Having waited just long enough to be able to do femurs with Stryde and not have to take a break from work is just dumb luck.

Time Off Work
Everyone at my company is working from home right now. I picked the end of the year for lengthening because there will be a lot of holidays off and work is generally not very busy. I can also double dip on both floating holidays and purchased PTO. I’ll be capped on regular PTO going into the surgery as well. Basically, I won’t have to work much at all during lengthening if I’m unable to. However, based on the journals I’ve read I should be able to perform remote work throughout a good part of the lengthening phase, especially if I can manage my pain without opioids. If I don’t feel like working, I’ll just take some time off. I definitely plan to discuss in detail my ability to get work done during the different phases of lengthening.

When I eventually return to the office, I won’t have seen any of my coworkers for at least a year. My boss is a solid 6’3” (190cm) so I doubt he’ll notice the difference in my height. I don’t really care what anyone else in the office thinks, though I think it’ll be likely that some people near my original height will notice.

Why Dr. D?
I initially reached out to the major US CLL doctors by email. I was able to book an initial online consultation with Dr. D the quickest as his office is pretty responsive. He had availability around the time I wanted to get the procedure done, so everything kind of just worked out. He seems very focused and straight to the point each time we’ve talked which I appreciate, and his clinic is pretty nice as well.

I have no doubts as to his competency as a surgeon as his education and medical background are top notch, and a big part of the lengthening phase and successful outcomes is dependent on the patient’s own dedication to PT, which won’t necessarily vary by doctor.

I've recently re-read a bunch of Stryde journals in various phases of the CLL process in preparation for this. In reverse chronological order: Amanexp, StrydeNailChallenge, Movie, TheAlchemist, VerticalPush, BoneStretching, and InFullStryde. I also want to give a shout out to DoingItForMe, OldieButGoldie, and leechlet, whose journals have also inspired me over the years. Hopefully I didn't miss anyone! Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences regarding the process. Hopefully someday my own journal will help someone else as much as all your journals have helped me.

Next Steps
One of the reasons I'm starting the journal a bit early is that I think it's important to discuss pre-op preparation. I'm interested in anyone's thoughts on what needs to be done before the operation. I’m continuing to stretch and expanding my repertoire of stretches. I may go up to two or three stretching sessions a day and then rest a few days before the operation. I’m also preparing a shopping list for equipment and supplies, and making sure that everything is wrapped up at work before I go on my “long vacation”. My travel and lodging is already booked, so I'm just counting the days now!

Finally, I just wanted to say that I’m looking forward to sharing my personal experience going through this procedure with all of you, and I’m hoping to get some encouragement on here as well, especially on any of those tough days during the lengthening phase!
Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)

Current Status: Pre-Op Phase


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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2020, 06:05:47 AM »

Let's goooo BTM.

177cm the dream 😍😍
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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2020, 04:27:46 PM »

Congrats on moving forward with LL BTM! I remember researching LL back in 2017 and appreciating the perspectives and insights from your posts, it's great to see you moving forward with the procedure.

Amazing first diary post- your diary will be a valuable resource to both yourself and this community. I found that journaling through my diary was helpful and therapeutic for me in reflecting and navigating through all the uncertainty of the LL journey. It made me feel connected to others going through it at a point in my life where I felt alone and isolated from my friends and family..... I think it will be of great use to you. I've found a bit of myself in your story and I think you will reap all the benefits I have, and many others have, from this procedure. Very excited for you man!

I'll offer a few tips in preparation of the procedure:

1) Build a solid sleep plan. Practice sleeping on your back every night. Pre LL I had been a slide sleeper all my lfie. During the first few months of distraction it will be nearly impossible to sleep on your sides due to the surgery wound trauma. It took me a few weeks to really train myself to sleep on my back and it cost me dozens of hours of valuable sleep time.

2) Build a social network. Just like you, I did LL privately and none of my family and friends knew what I was doing. The loneliness and solitude were A LOT harder to deal with than I anticipated. Being bed ridden, and crippled, in a hotel room all day, will eat away at you. Humans are social creatures after all. What really saved me from going crazy was staying at a recommended LL hotel where many Paley patients stayed and building friendships with many of the other LLers. There's a strong bond that forms between people going through incredibly difficult times, you find that you can help each other with resources, talk things out, or even have a laugh about getting taller as grown adults in our 30s.....all of it helps. I would reach out to Dr. D and see if any patients would be willing to network before the procedure, or perhaps reach out to folks through this forum, to try and build that network before you head out to Vegas. Ideally you find a hotel with other LLers to hang with in the common areas.

3) Build up a backlog of Audiobooks, podcasts, and TV shows...basically passive entertainment - when planning for LL I was overly ambitious and thought I'd learn new skills, work on new projects, and find new hobbies. I did none of that and I consier myself a pretty hard working, dedicated guy. Between stretching, physical therapy, and pain management, LL was a full time job. Keep in mind you will be sleep deprived where the majority of your calories will be dedicated to rebuilding a broken bone that get's stretched every day so you won't have much energy left for anything else. My cognitive abilities dropped significantly and I could barely read a book or even draft an email. I would plan to occupy your time with passive activities like audiobooks, podcasts, or TV shoes. Preferably those that are in line with your interests, or those about stoicism to help you through the grind of LL.

I'll be checking in on the diary, best of luck man!

Dr. Paley Patient: Femurs (Stryde) / 8 CM gained
Surgery: Sep 17 2019 / Distraction completed: Dec 14 2019
Starting height: 5'9 or 175cm / Ending Height: 6'0 ft or 183 cm


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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2020, 02:18:10 AM »

Thanks guys!

@TheAlchemist: I'm glad you stopped by and I'll definitely take your suggestions to heart.

1) I'm usually a side sleeper too, though I can fall asleep on my back so we'll see how things are. I've read about other people putting pillows under their knees and stuff, so I plan to try out a bunch of different things to see what works for me.

2) I would be more afraid of the social isolation, but due to the pandemic I was alone from March to July having minimal contact with the outside world. Having done it once, I think I'll be more ready the second time. Of course the pandemic is a double-edged sword and it won't be as easy to meet up with other LLers while I'm in Vegas, but I've been reaching out to and talking to more people about this online. If anyone else is starting in November, definitely let me know!

3) I did start an entertainment backlog already, and I bought a laptop just so I wouldn't be going to Vegas with only my work laptop heh. I'm probably still in the ambitious thinking phase though since I'm hoping to stay caught up on work. As long as I'm caught up, I can get away with doing less than 4 hours of focused work each day, which leaves me plenty of time for lengthening-related activities. I am a bit concerned about the lack of sleep, though I think I sleep less than a normal person, so if I can get 4-6 hours a night, that's probably enough for me to function normally. I've seen people talk about napping during the day as well, but I'm not really a napper so we'll see if that's possible.
Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)

Current Status: Pre-Op Phase


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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2020, 06:07:25 AM »

This is great news! I am glad you are finally starting the journey. Go and beat the stryde out of this challenge!  I'll make sure to follow your journey into it :)


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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2020, 10:54:42 PM »

Nice bro!! I’m super excited for you, I know you will do great and you will be supper happy!! That’s so awesome!!

Let’s gooooooo!!!


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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2020, 06:23:05 AM »

All the best man.
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