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Author Topic: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020  (Read 6037 times)

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L8GrowthSpurt

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2020, 06:56:01 PM »

Hey BTM - Great diary! I am following your journey and rooting for you; I’m hopeful that I will replicate your successful journey in early 2021.  Stay strong 💪
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readyprecisestryde

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2020, 07:19:32 PM »

Please ask your physical therapist for Astym treatment or dry needling for your knee pain. Most physical therapy offices offer it included with the treatment and they usually don't charge extra for it.
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BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2020, 11:31:49 PM »

Hey BTM - Great diary! I am following your journey and rooting for you; I’m hopeful that I will replicate your successful journey in early 2021.  Stay strong 💪
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your encouragement!

Please ask your physical therapist for Astym treatment or dry needling for your knee pain. Most physical therapy offices offer it included with the treatment and they usually don't charge extra for it.
I know the PT in Las Vegas offers dry needling, but I saw that being on blood thinners might make it more dangerous. Not familiar with ASTYM treatment. I actually found a solution my knee pain for now, but if it gets worse later on I will definitely look into those.
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Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2020, 06:36:11 AM »

Surgery Day +19, Lengthening Day 16 (+1mm, 16.66mm total)

For the first time in a while I can say that I got a good night of sleep, and not because of the quantity of sleep, but rather the quality of it. I went to sleep quite a bit later than usual since I was browsing the web on my laptop last night. I woke up naturally at 7am and didn’t remember waking up once before then. I lay in bed for a moment trying to fall back asleep, but my legs were tight and stiff and the uncomfortable feeling was too pronounced for me to fall asleep. I got up to go to the bathroom, and as I walked I noticed my left knee area was still in quite a bit of pain. I would actually rate the pain a 5-6/10 since it was a sharp pain every time I lifted my left leg to take a step and it makes walking very difficult. When I got back to bed, I sat down and started selecting pills for the morning. Xarelto, just like every morning, then half a hydrocodone to get me ready for the first exercises of the day. Since nothing else was fixing the knee pain, I decided to try an MS Contin, since it had been a while since I used it, and maybe it would work on my knee pain. Also, I took a laxative to counter out the impact of MS Contin on my digestive system.

Now that I was fully awake, I checked my sleep data. I got 6.3 hours of sleep out of 6.7 hours in bed. That’s actually more sleep than I’ve gotten on some nights with over 8 hours in bed. According to the watch I only woke up twice last night (neither of which I remembered) and I didn’t need to go to the bathroom either time. Scrolling back on the data, it looked like the last time I got this quality of sleep was 6 nights ago. Since the painkillers hadn’t kicked in yet I felt a little hungry and I got up to make breakfast. I feel like this is usually the best meal of my day unless I order out, since my kitchenette doesn’t have a stove but it does have a toaster and microwave, so breakfast always feels legit. After standing in the kitchen and eating I walked back to the bed with some more knee pain and checked the morning news on my phone. As I sat for a bit, my legs had already warmed up a bit and weren’t feeling as tight as they did first thing in the morning. At this point, the painkillers should have kicked in already, but when I got up to test my left knee there was not even the slightest reduction in pain. Looks like MS Contin was not going to solve the problem, so I will go back to not taking it at all.

At this point it was time to start my exercises before the first lengthening of the day. I made the bed and lay on top with all my exercise “equipment”. I did all my PT exercises and stretches, after which my legs felt pretty good. It’s still strange to me that none of the PT exercises trigger the left knee pain that I get from walking. Afterwards I grabbed the ERC and ran it on both legs. I felt no aftereffects, so everything was great. Since my legs weren’t distracting me at all, I decided to try and catch up on some work since I wasn’t all that productive yesterday. I got my work laptop out, found a comfortable position and started working. I got about 30 minutes of work in before I got bored and started playing games on my phone. I was playing really well and went on a big win streak and before I realized it, it was almost 2pm. Also, I had eaten about 600 calories worth of fruit snacks, so I got up and stretched a bit and then decided that I should take a walk today. The weather was really nice outside and I figured I could try walking outside with the cane. I planned to return the walker and wheelchair to Dr. D’s office before leaving Las Vegas since I don’t have any way to transport them on the plane and I don’t need either of them.

Since my left knee was still in pain, I decided to try something new - two acetaminophen 500mg pills at once, which is the max dose for a 6 hour period. I had no idea if it was going to help or not, but after taking the pills and also some bone supplements I headed outside with just the cane. As soon as I stepped outside, the scent of fresh air hit me along with the warm desert sun. My mood immediately improved. I started walking down the driveway to the sidewalk one slow step at a time. I used the cane in my right hand to assist my left leg with weight bearing. My right leg was fine on its own. I felt like I was actually walking relatively quickly with this method. As I walked along the sidewalk I realized that the pain in my left knee was actually tolerable. Maybe the acetaminophen worked, or walking outside psychologically suppressed the pain. Either way, I had absolutely no trouble walking at all, which amazed me since I struggled to go from the bed to the bathroom this morning. I kept going and when I got to the stopping point from my previous walks, I felt good enough to keep going. I turned right into the next neighborhood and kept walking along the sidewalk. This sidewalk was uneven with a 10 degree slope from left to right. I was able to keep balance and continue walking forward with my cane.

Eventually when my watch showed 0.25 miles walked I figured it was a good stopping point and I turned around. As I was walking back toward the Airbnb, I focused on my gait and tried to keep my legs close together. Although my walk is not normal at all, my hip sway has greatly diminished from when I was using the walker. As I got closer to the Airbnb, my legs got more and more tired, but not to the point where I was worried about not being able to make it back. I could still walk, but I couldn’t walk with a controlled gait as I was limping a bit. When I finally got back to the Airbnb I remembered to take out the trash since I already had my shoes on. Then I went inside and changed into flip flops. My watch showed that I walked half a mile in under 20 minutes, at about a 37 min/mi pace. I can’t believe how much my legs have improved since last week! I literally wrote that my left leg had regressed in the last journal entry, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. All I can say is that it seems like taking walks and getting lots of steps in is incredibly important when lengthening with Stryde. Just one day ago I thought that I would need to take a 3 day break for my left knee pain to heal, but two acetaminophen pills later I could walk half a mile! I suppose technically I am on MS Contin as well, so I can’t write that off yet. Next time I have knee pain I will try the double acetaminophen without MS Contin to see if that works.

While my legs were feeling good, I went into the kitchen to clean the dirty dishes. I was already in a 7/10 good mood before my walk (which is why I even had the motivation to take that walk.) After the walk I would say I was in a 10/10 good mood, and feeling strongly optimistic for the first time since surgery. Less than a day ago I had replied to someone on this forum that I would be okay with doing 5cm, but I think part of it may have been from my constant left knee pain. I was just not confident that I could lengthen the whole 8cm so maybe I was really trying to convince myself ahead of time so I could accept it. Now I certainly have the confidence that I will have a great shot at getting all 8cm! Once I finished cleaning the dishes, I took a sip of Gatorade from an ice cold bottle that I got out of the mini-fridge and sighed with contentment. I thought about taking a video of my walk today, but I didn’t have a tripod so I’m not sure how I would have recorded it. I will definitely try to record a walking video before I leave Las Vegas though.

Since it was early afternoon, it was time for the second lengthening of the day. I figured it would be easy while my legs were fully warmed up, so I started stretching right away. Stretches were easy even though I didn’t do any exercises beforehand. That’s the power of walking! Lengthening was easy as well with no aftereffect. At this point I was pretty comfortable, and since I hadn’t gotten much work done in the morning I pulled my work laptop back out and started working. I had to bend and straighten my legs every 10 or 15 minutes to keep them from getting stiff, but I was actually pretty productive and worked all the way until I was hungry. Unfortunately, since I had eaten so much candy in the morning that I wasn’t hungry until pretty late. I got up and went into the kitchen to make food. The first thing I noticed was my left knee wasn’t that bad, maybe a 2/10 pain when walking. The second thing I noticed was that my tailbone area was a little numb, probably because I had just sat for hours without getting up.

As I wandered into the kitchen, I noticed that I still had quite a bit of food in the pantry, so I will have to try and eat most of it before I leave Las Vegas so it doesn’t go to waste. I’m still here for over a week though, so I should be able to get through most of it. I heated up some salmon risotto, leftover corn, chips and salsa, and some sliced ham. I also had a protein bar and blueberries for dessert. I was pretty stuffed, and after I cleaned up my meal I walked back to the bed. This time my left knee pain shot up to a 4-5/10 and I actually felt weak even putting weight on it. It’s amazing how fast things turn, CLL is really a roller coaster ride of pain. Since the tailbone area of my butt was still a little uncomfortable, I decided to lay in bed on my stomach, and I put a pillow under my chest, which propped me up a little so I could use my laptop. At this point my legs were starting to get stiff again, but it was too early to do the last lengthening of the day and go to bed. I watched YouTube for a while in this position and of course my neck started hurting a bit because I was craning my head to see the laptop screen.

Finally, it was late enough for the last lengthening session. I hadn’t taken any pills for over seven hours but I was not in pain as long as I was stationary. I sat on the edge of the bed and took one acetaminophen pill and one cyclobenzaprine pill. Then I leaned back into position to start doing PT exercises. It was a bit rougher than normal, maybe because I was tired from all the physical activity today, but I did just enough to warm my legs up and then I did a full set of stretches. Finally, I hopped off the bed and grabbed the ERC. I ran it on each leg and only feel slightly uncomfortable afterwards. Doing some long quad stretches helped with that. At this point I don't expect to feel anything bad after lengthening yet, and I hope that lasts as long as possible. I went to the bathroom to get ready to go to bed, then came back and turned off all the lights. I was originally planning to accumulate a couple of entries before posting since I didn’t think anything exciting was going to happen, but since today was so positive overall that I decided to post this entry by itself. Now I’m going to sleep. Good night!
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Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2020, 07:06:58 AM »

Surgery Day +20, Lengthening Day 17 (+1mm, 17.66mm total)

Last night I started feeling uncomfortable in my legs before I managed to fall asleep. I would describe it as general stiffness and restlessness. It was difficult to fall asleep, but I did manage to eventually. I woke up to my alarm and snoozed it twice before actually getting up as I was quite tired. Data from my watch showed that I woke up 7 times last night, but I didn’t remember waking up at all. I had slept for 7.3 hours out of the 8.1 hours I was in bed. My legs felt uncomfortable as soon as I woke up but as long as I didn’t move them it was tolerable. I sat up in bed and felt a bit light headed and woozy. I was also hungry, which was surprising because I ate a lot for dinner the night before, and pretty late at night as well. I got off the bed and started walking toward the bathroom. I had to support myself with both the cane and random furniture as my legs felt extremely weak and putting weight on my left leg was a bit painful. In the bathroom I did my morning routine, and splashed some cold water on my face as well to help wake me up and shock away the dizziness. It only helped a little.

I walked back to the main room and sat down on the bed. I took a Xarelto and half a hydrocodone pill. Then I adjusted my position and leaned back into some pillows to rest for a bit, hoping that the hydrocodone would kick in and make me feel better. As I was reading the morning news on my laptop, 30 minutes had passed and my legs did feel a little better, though they were certainly still tight. I got up to eat breakfast though it turned out that even though my stomach was growling I wasn’t all that hungry. I ate a bit of food, but less than I thought I could. In general I felt very slow all morning. After breakfast I made the bed and climbed on top with all my exercise gear. I usually start with clamshells and then exercise my quads, hamstrings, and glutes. After those I did long stretches on both my quads and hamstrings, then I stretched some of my smaller side muscles as well. I also decided to work out my upper body a little. I did some dips on the walker and some crunches in bed. I wasn’t sure if I could do push-ups, but I’ll ask the doctor at the next appointment. Working out was easier than last night, but still a bit tiring.

Now it was time for the lengthening session of the day. I turned on the ERC and it told me that the battery was low and to plug it in. It was showing 2/5 bars, so I assume the ERC requires a certain voltage to operate and that the battery had fallen below that threshold. I plugged the ERC in the power outlet for the first time since I got it. Then I ran it on each leg while it was plugged in. The charging cable is pretty long so I was able to lengthen normally in my usual spot. Humans are creatures of ritual, and I have a dedicated lengthening corner on the bed (heh.) Interestingly, after lengthening the ERC said to keep the device plugged in and powered on. Normally, after lengthening it just reminds me to power it down. My legs felt good after lengthening, with no aftereffect. I probably wasn’t going to be able to keep my legs warmed up all the way until my early afternoon walk though.

Now that lengthening was out of the way, I sat back and watched a new episode of a TV show that I was following. Once that finished, I got my work laptop out and started working. If I manage to be productive today then I will have more time to stretch and lengthen during the week instead of scrambling to get both work and lengthening done. I managed to work for a couple of hours until my late lunchtime. I wasn’t too hungry at first but when I heated up my food and smelled it from the microwave, I had a much bigger appetite. I ended up eating a lot and of course that meant after lunch I had to go #2. I will note that it was a perfect 4 on the Bristol scale for the first time since surgery, which means I’m managing my laxative usage and fiber intake well. After that I figured it would be a good time to take my daily walk. My left leg was feeling a bit better but it still hurts when walking on it. I took two acetaminophen pills again and did some standing leg stretches while waiting for the painkillers to kick in. Then I realized it would be a good time to record a walking video before my outdoor walk made my legs really tired. I changed into my LL video clothes, cleared out a walking path in the Airbnb, and then took the following video on my phone:


I think my walking looks okay for three weeks after surgery. Compared to the last video my post-surgery swelling is completely gone, my stride length has increased, and my hip sway has gone down a bit. I still have a lot of work to do on flexibility and stamina though.

Now it was about time to go outside. It was a bit cloudy and chillier than yesterday, so changing to the long sleeves and pants worked out well. I put on my sneakers and mask and started tracking the walk on my watch. Then I stepped outside and walked down the driveway. The sky was mostly blue, but the sun was hidden behind the clouds so it didn’t feel very warm. I feel like the pain in my left knee area decreased as soon as I started walking outside, so maybe the pain is really somehow associated with walking indoors. Maybe it was only being triggered when I’m walking slowly and meticulously around a room. Regardless, I couldn’t tell if the acetaminophen was actually helping with anything. Maybe next time I could try the walk with one less acetaminophen pill, though with all the PT I had scheduled for next week I’m not sure when my next chance for an outdoor walk would be.

As I walked I focused on my gait and stride length. I feel like my current stride length is still quite a bit shorter than what it was before surgery, mostly because my flexibility isn’t great yet. I also don’t have the muscle strength to lift my legs high enough to push against the limits of my flexibility while walking normally. Keeping my legs close was not too difficult, but it did require some effort. Walking with a better gait takes quite a bit more effort than walking in the way that is most natural in my current state and even with putting in all this effort I still don’t have a perfect gait, it’s merely better than hobbling around. I wasn’t feeling as good as yesterday, so I turned around at the 0.15 mile mark. I walked back at a pace that felt brisk as I didn’t care as much about my gait anymore since my legs were feeling pretty tired. Upon returning, I saw that my overall pace was about 40 min/mile.

I changed back into indoor clothing and then rearranged everything back to the way it was before I cleared out a path for the video. I sat on the bed and did a full set of stretches, and then it was time to lengthen. I noticed that the ERC had turned itself off after fully charging, so I unplugged it and brought it over to the bed. After lengthening each leg I felt no aftereffects, so I returned the ERC to the table it was on, then hopped back onto the bed and sat down to relax for a bit. I was texting with some friends and I had a football game on in the background, and I eventually dozed off. I guess I wasn’t caught up on sleep. I’m the type of person who can survive on 6 hours of sleep a night during weeknights and then sleep in on the weekend. However, if I’m sleeping for 6 hours on average every night, then I’m going to be tired during the day.

It wasn’t that long before I woke up though, since I fell asleep in a sitting position. My legs weren’t in pain, but they were feeling slightly uncomfortable at this point, no matter what position I sat in. The best way to describe it is that my upper legs felt swollen, but in reality they were not swollen at all so it was just a phantom feeling. However, it was making me uncomfortable. The only thing that I could try was to lay down and see if that would help. I tried several positions, even laying on my stomach and stretching, but nothing could get rid of the feeling. I checked the time, and it was only two and a half hours since I had taken the acetaminophen. I figured that I should probably wait another hour and a half until I took any hydrocodone since that had some acetaminophen in it as well. I stood up and walked around, and that did help a bit on the swollen feeling, but walking around inside causes knee pain. I wasn’t sure what else I could do.

The only thing I had left to try now was to distract myself. I got some more fruit snacks and loaded up a game on my phone and put on some music on my laptop. If I couldn’t get rid of the feeling, then I would just have to try and make myself forget it. Amazingly it actually worked. One match in and I had lost focus on my legs. Afterwards it was nearly the arbitrary time I had set to take my hydrocodone. However, since my legs weren’t feeling bad anymore, I didn’t need to take any drugs at all. I guess what I was suffering wasn't really pain, so painkillers may or may not have helped with it anyway. I got up to use the bathroom and then sat back down in bed. At this point I remembered that I was going to order delivery tonight. I excitedly went online to search for a place to order from. I was in the mood for Chinese food today and found a place with good reviews that was close to the Airbnb in hopes that delivery would be faster. I placed my order and then picked up my work laptop to try and get some more work done before dinner.

My food arrived less than 30 minutes after I ordered. I have been tipping a bit more than usual since I feel bad for delivery drivers working during the pandemic, so maybe that helped. I had ordered about three meals worth of food, so I would have plenty of leftovers that I could just heat up later for a quick meal. The food smelled so good I was salivating before I even got a chance to try it. Unfortunately they did not give me any chopsticks, so I had to use a fork from the Airbnb to eat. Fortunately the food tasted as good as it smelled and I was able to do a little bit more work while I was eating. I ate too much though and I felt stuffed after dinner. I surely could have fallen asleep at this point if I didn’t have to wait another hour or two for the final lengthening session of the day. Instead I begrudgingly continued to do more work while I waited out my lengthening countdown.

Finally it was nearing 10pm, so I took my cyclobenzaprine and acetaminophen. I might try not taking cyclobenzaprine tomorrow night and see if I still have muscle spasms at night. I can always take it if I wake up in the middle of the night with them. I did a full set of PT exercises and stretches, which actually takes a while, as the physical therapist has shown me more and more exercises over the weeks. I felt pretty good during the workout, definitely better than I felt last night around the same time. Afterwards I ran the ERC on both legs. I did feel a bit of an uncomfortable aftereffect, and stretching didn't really help with it. I sat in bed for a while and it faded a bit. Then I had to use the bathroom again. After I came out of the bathroom the uncomfortable feeling had more or less subsided. Now I can post this and finally go to bed!
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Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

Froggy

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2020, 11:12:04 PM »

Your gait looks great. Congrats on the various positive developments!
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itseasy

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2020, 10:24:16 AM »

I did femurs with Dr D a few months ago too. Let’s me tell you, for me it was a smooth ride right up to 5cm. After that the tightness came in like a bat out of hell and you’ll need gabapentin for nerves stretch pain at the shins.

I got a couple more weeks and should hit 8cm. I take some days where I only do 1 or 2 sessions ERC sessions. But keep pushing. You’ll knees start to bend and hamstrings will feel like they are in contracture mode, but get to your goal so you can enjoy getting rid of the ERC machine and let the body start getting back to how it used to be.

The last 2cm is where all the fun starts and pain pills and other meds will be needed for pain management. Sleep will be hell during the last 2 cm, but don’t worry. All will be well when the ERC machine will go bye bye.
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BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2020, 07:31:57 AM »

Your gait looks great. Congrats on the various positive developments!
Thanks! It looks okay but I feel like a walking zombie.

I did femurs with Dr D a few months ago too. Let’s me tell you, for me it was a smooth ride right up to 5cm. After that the tightness came in like a bat out of hell and you’ll need gabapentin for nerves stretch pain at the shins.

I got a couple more weeks and should hit 8cm. I take some days where I only do 1 or 2 sessions ERC sessions. But keep pushing. You’ll knees start to bend and hamstrings will feel like they are in contracture mode, but get to your goal so you can enjoy getting rid of the ERC machine and let the body start getting back to how it used to be.

The last 2cm is where all the fun starts and pain pills and other meds will be needed for pain management. Sleep will be hell during the last 2 cm, but don’t worry. All will be well when the ERC machine will go bye bye.
Got your first post hah. Yeah, the lengthening part hasn't been too bad for me yet, I'm sure I've got a lot of struggles to look forward to. I have some extra time planned out so I can reduce lengthening speed at the end if necessary.

Surgery Day +21, Lengthening Day 18 (+1mm, 18.66mm total)

After posting last night’s entry but before falling asleep I noticed a weird feeling on my skin, slightly painful on both feet, just above my heels. When I touched the area I realized I had a red rash there. It was partially covered by my leg hair but there were several red bumps on both legs, just above the heel. It seemed odd to me that something on my skin could appear on both legs at the same time but what do I know. It didn’t hurt much but was uncomfortable to touch. Also, I noticed that I was still bruised on the left side of my right foot and I have had this big bruise since surgery. I was too tired to deal with these though, so I just tried to go to sleep.

I woke up many times last night so I know my sleep was terrible. My legs were super stiff and it was hard to sleep. I woke up to my alarm, hit snooze, then turned off the alarm when it went off again and fell back asleep. Then I awakened to a meeting reminder on my work laptop. I had almost forgotten that I was hosting an early morning meeting. This shocked me awake and I went to the bathroom to get ready, returning with a few minutes to spare. I took all my morning pills and sat on the bed with my legs still a little uncomfortable and dialed into the meeting. While I had to do most of the talking during the meeting, I managed to sneak in breakfast while other people were talking. Afterwards, I checked my sleep data. I had gotten about 5.7 hours of sleep out of 7.6 hours in bed. It’s not great, but I could try taking a nap after PT today if I was tired. I then started doing exercises and stretches to get ready for the first lengthening of the day. Everything went smoothly and I had no uncomfortable feelings post-lengthening. I then returned my focus to work.

Just before noon I had a short break and heated up some leftovers. I was pretty hungry so I wolfed those down pretty quickly. Even though I had been sitting in bed all morning, my legs weren’t that stiff when I got up for lunch. However, I would still have to sit down for a few more hours in the afternoon to do more work so I’m not sure if my legs would continue to feel fine. I got pulled into a few extra meetings in the afternoon, including during my planned time for the second lengthening session. However, I wasn’t going to interrupt my lengthening timing for a last minute meeting when I can just multitask - that’s what earbuds are for. At this point my legs really didn’t feel that bad so I didn’t take any painkillers before I started. I did a light set of exercises and stretches since I didn’t want to work out too hard just before PT. Lengthening was okay, and while I felt a mild aftereffect, it went away fairly quickly. I stayed on the phone and continued to work all the way until it was time to head to PT.

I called an Uber and quickly took half a Norco and an acetaminophen pill so I would be at 100% at the PT clinic. I left the Airbnb with just my cane again. Getting in and out of cars is much easier with the cane than the walker since the driver doesn’t have to get out of the car to help me put the walker in the trunk. I arrived slightly early, and got started on the stationary bike. I was expecting my left knee to be in pain on the bike as usual, but surprisingly it wasn’t bad at all. At first it felt like my left knee would almost pop with every rotation of the pedals but it didn’t. After about two minutes I was warmed up and I actually was able to pedal at a normal speed, like how fast I would pedal casually if I was riding a bike. I don’t think I could go any faster with my legs currently, but I was pedaling at least 100 rpm, which is way faster than I could last week. It’s always good to be surprised by positive recovery stats. Next, I did a couple of the standard PT exercises with the PT assistant.

Eventually the head PT came over and checked on me. I told him that my left knee up through the quad was still giving me a bit of pain. He poked my quad a bunch of times and said it did feel very tight and was possibly knotted. So he went to get one of those massage rollers things and proceeded to use it on my left quad. He was using a decent amount of pressure and it tickled and hurt at the same time. However, it was also somehow relieving my soreness, so I just tried to endure it. After he finished with my leg, he told me not to do any leg lifts for a day or two. Then he checked my flexibility and said that I was very flexible at this point in my recovery. My knee flexion has indeed been improving even though I’m adding length every day, because I haven’t actually lengthened that much yet and my original flexibility has been slowly returning post-surgery. I can almost touch my heels to my butt again. I’m sure at some point when I lengthen more, the lengthened amount will make me less flexible until the consolidation phase.

Afterwards I did a bunch of other exercises, nothing was too hard except the last one where I needed to stand up from a sitting position without using my hands. I could do it, but my legs were tired from all the other exercises, so it was a bit difficult and painful to finish the full set. However, it was satisfying to get it done. As I was leaving the PT clinic, the head PT pointed out to me that my cane was set way too high and adjusted it down to the correct height for me. Apparently my arms have been tired when using the cane because I’ve been supporting my body weight with my arm bent instead of straight down. Hopefully this will help me take longer outdoor walks going forward. I called another Uber to get back to the Airbnb but this driver was kind of annoying and kept talking even though I wasn’t engaging him in conversation. It felt extra peaceful and quiet in the Airbnb by myself when I finally got back. It wasn’t that late at night yet, but I was hungry enough to eat dinner. I heated up some leftovers and watched football highlights from Sunday while I was eating. After that I had more work to do so I worked all the way until the last lengthening of the day.

Since I had been sitting down for a couple of hours, my legs were a bit stiff. Fortunately, it didn’t hinder me from doing my exercises or stretches. After finishing those I did the final lengthening session of the day. There was a minor uncomfortable feeling afterwards, but I figured it would go away after going to the bathroom and doing my night routine to get ready for bed. This was indeed the case and I went to bed feeling okay in my legs. I hadn’t taken any medication since right before PT and I didn’t feel like I needed any. I was planning to take half a Norco tonight though if I woke up with leg pain and couldn’t fall asleep. I know sleep is supposed to not be as good on opioids compared to normal sleep, but sleep on opioids is probably better than laying in bed with perpetually stiff legs and being unable to fall asleep. I had to get up pretty early the next day, so I turned off the lights and went to sleep.

Surgery Day +22, Lengthening Day 19 (+1mm, 19.66mm total)

I remember waking up once last night, and only an hour or two after I went to sleep. I couldn’t fall back asleep so I took half a Norco like I had planned to. I eventually fell asleep again. I woke up to my alarm and snoozed it twice. I managed to get up after the second snooze since I had an early morning meeting to attend. My watch data showed 6.6 hours of sleep out of 7.2 hours in bed, which is a good ratio. Aside from the time I remember waking up, the data also showed that I woke up once around 4am. I got up and went through my morning routine, including taking Xarelto and acetaminophen, and started working. My legs weren’t tight at all sitting in bed so I worked for about an hour, then I had a chance to take a break to eat breakfast and lengthen.

Doing PT exercises was okay. It was a bit cold in the room so working out actually helped me warm up. Lengthening was also routine. I didn’t feel any aftereffect so things are still going well as I slowly gain my millimeters. I continued to work all the way until lunch. I didn’t eat much and ate quickly since I was pretty busy with work. Finally, after my last meeting I had time to take a break and do the second lengthening of the day. Again, I didn’t exercise too hard since I wanted to give my legs a chance to rest. I did my full set of stretches before lengthening though. The lengthening process itself went smoothly again, so no comments there. After lengthening, I lay on my stomach to do the hard quad stretch and upon finishing that I closed my eyes for a second in a position that was far too comfortable. Next thing I knew 20 minutes had passed by. Since I was still technically supposed to be working, I flipped around back into a sitting position feeling a bit refreshed from my nap and continued to work until dinnertime.

As I was working I wasn’t focused on my legs, but as I got ready to heat up my dinner I realized that my legs were actually at 1-2/10 pain just sitting there in bed, probably for sitting too long without doing anything. I hadn’t taken any painkillers today except that acetaminophen in the morning and almost 12 hours had passed already. I didn’t see a reason to restrict myself on acetaminophen, so I took another one without thinking too much about it. While eating dinner I noticed some of the last remaining bandages over my incisions were loose. I used a pair of small scissors to trim down the loose parts. I also went outside to dump the garbage, which was the only time I went outside today.

For the rest of the evening I just worked, and occasionally got up for snacks or to stretch. I also alternated between sitting on the bed and laying on my stomach so I wouldn’t be stuck in one position for too long. I probably didn’t take too many steps today, but I think I’ll have plenty of opportunities to get more in for the rest of the week. As usual, I did the last lengthening session of the day right before going to bed. Again, I didn’t feel a strong aftereffect, so I basically went straight to bed afterwards.

Surgery Day +23, Lengthening Day 20 (+1mm, 20.66mm total)

When I got up this morning, I was 99% sure that last night would be the worst sleep I’ve had since surgery. Somehow my watch showed 6.4 hours of sleep out of 7.6 hours in bed. I remembered waking up during the 12am hour, the 1am hour, and the 2am hour for an extended period each time and feeling miserable not being able to fall asleep. The second time I woke up I took half a Norco but that only got me 45 minutes of sleep until my legs woke me up again. Fortunately after the third time I didn’t wake up again until my alarm went off. I snoozed it three times, and quickly fell asleep after each time, but then I had to get up for an early morning meeting. I’m sure I could have slept an extra hour or two if I didn’t have to get up for work. With over 6 hours of sleep though, I wasn’t missing out on too much, so I got up and got my day started.

I took my Xarelto and acetaminophen and my legs started feeling better about 15 minutes later. In another 15 minutes my legs felt great, with 0/10 pain and stiffness as long as I didn’t move. After my first meeting and addressing some early morning requests, I got up to make breakfast. I’m finally starting to run out of food in the pantry and fridge, which is great since I’m leaving Vegas soon. Although I wasn’t that hungry in the morning, once I started eating my appetite warmed up as well. After breakfast it was time to lengthen. I was determined to lengthen earlier today, not just because I had to get my second session in before PT in the afternoon, but I wanted to try lengthening earlier at night as well. It could be that I had trouble sleeping because I’m sleeping right after lengthening. I wanted to test that theory at least. I did a light set of PT exercises and then all my stretches. It was a little bit more difficult than most mornings, so my legs were definitely not feeling it. My right leg also was a little sore around the bone break area. Somehow my left knee wasn't really feeling all that bad though. At least lengthening was quick and easy, and I hit the 2cm mark!

Time moves fast sometimes and slow at other times, but lengthening is certainly moving along each day. I suppose 20 days of lengthening is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but with broken legs days really drag on and on. I’ll be honest, I don’t feel the slightest bit taller yet. It could be because the lengthened amount is too small, or it could be because of my bad posture (APT), or it could be that I’m in the Airbnb day in and day out so there’s no way to possibly notice the incremental difference between each day. Based on my experience so far though, I find it simply incredible that anyone would consider doing this for just 3 or 4cm of height. I’ll be just past the one inch mark when I go home and I hope to notice a difference then because I haven’t been home for over a month so everything at home should feel an inch lower than it did before. On the other hand, I have noticed that my thighs are longer than they used to be. However, since I feel like my original thighs were too short and thick, I definitely don’t mind the longer, thinner look. Three inches will probably be too long in terms of the thigh proportion though, but I need every cm of height I can get and I’m definitely not doing my tibias if I get anywhere close to my goal on femurs. Worst case scenario I’ll just wear my pants lower. If by some miracle the next 6cm is as easy as the first 2cm then this will have physically been a really easy process. I don’t anticipate that this will be the case though, as I will eventually have to deal with more soft tissue stretching issues, at which point I hope slowing down will help.

After lengthening, I got back to work, and continued working all the way to lunch time. I got up to make some food and my legs were very tight. My legs were also still hurting a bit in the same areas as they were in the morning. I didn’t take any more painkillers though. I was planning on taking something strong before PT today, and it was already past noon, so I needed to hold out until 3:30 or so.

After eating I needed to use the bathroom. As I was standing still in front of the sink and washing my hands, I heard a light popping sound in my left femur and felt something move. This obviously scared the living crap out of me, but nothing seemed to be wrong as I slowly tested my leg function. I could still walk, lift my leg up and down, and twist it a little left and right. My leg didn’t make any other popping sounds when I moved around. I immediately walked back to the bed, then sat down and texted Dr. D’s team. They got back to me right away and Dr. D said it shouldn’t be an issue as long as there was no pain and everything was functioning normally. We could wait for the x-ray on my next appointment since it was coming soon. Since I really didn’t feel any different and I wasn’t on any painkillers I don’t think anything bad happened to my hardware. It doesn’t seem like the nail bent or broke since I would definitely feel that and the popping sound wasn’t very loud and the movement I felt wasn’t very big. My biggest fear is that the lengthening mechanism somehow broke, in which case I probably wouldn’t feel any different in my leg, but this would be a huge obstacle in my path forward. Best case scenario it was only my hip (or maybe knee) popping and I just happened to feel it in my femur. I will continue forward normally, and if there is something wrong then I should physically be able to tell.

At this point, I decided to do a light set of stretches since I figured it shouldn’t hurt me if the popping sound was nothing important. Nothing felt abnormal during my stretches, and I didn’t hold back on them either. I realized that it was actually almost time for the second lengthening session, so I figured I’d just do it now since I was stretched anyway. No issues from lengthening, and everything felt the same as this morning. I had spent a lot of time on this problem at this point, so I sat back down on the bed and continued to work until it was time for PT. I set a reminder for all business day PT sessions on my work calendar so I would definitely see it and not miss my appointment. When it finally came time for PT, I called an Uber and popped half a Norco and an acetaminophen. I grabbed my jacket since it would be cold after dark, and went outside with my cane to wait for the car.

I arrived at PT a little early, as usual. The painkillers had not kicked in as I struggled to walk into the clinic and had to support my body weight with both hands on my cane while waiting in line to check in. I got started on the stationary bike, and at first it was a little rougher than last time. My left knee kept wanting to crack but couldn’t, so eventually I thought to cover it with my hand which finally made it crack. After that pedaling was comfortable for the remainder of the time on the bike. After riding the bike I was warmed up, and walking was a lot easier. Now strangely enough I stopped having extra pain in my left knee area, but my bone cut site on both legs seemed to be in a little pain, and the pain was on all sides as well, with the quads, hamstring and outer skin (incision side) all feeling a little bit. The right side was a little worse than the left side, but both sides were feeling some pain, especially when stretching my quads.

Fortunately that didn’t impact my training for the day. I was able to do everything that the PT assistant threw at me, though my weighted leg extensions were a bit weaker than before on my left leg. For my last exercise, I was not able to do all the sit-to-stands from the chair though. I felt much more pain using my full leg power to stand up than last time, but I pushed through to do five reps. I was also afraid of any lingering issue with my left nail, so I didn’t want to put too much weight on it. I can always increase my training load after I get another set of x-rays. Finally, I got a chance to meet with the head PT. He said that my post-surgical pain should be mostly gone by now since it has been over 3 weeks since surgery. It’s definitely possible to feel some pain around the site of the bone cut, though it was probably a mix between that and muscular pain. He used the roller on both of my quads at that center spot where the bone was cut, and it did relieve some of the pain. We also did a new exercise for the hip, and I laid on my side for the first time. Surprisingly it was not painful since the surface of the training table was harder than a bed, and I usually feel a little bit of pain on the side of my leg when I’m rolling over to lay on my stomach. I think I will try to lay on my side for a longer period when I get back to the Airbnb. It would definitely be nice to be able to sleep on my side.

I called a car to get back to the Airbnb and tried to order food on the ride back. Unfortunately the driver was not the smoothest driver and I started to get carsick while reading menus on my phone. I put my phone down and partially rolled down the window to get some fresh air. Somehow even when I got out of the car, I remained a little bit nauseated. I tried sitting down and then laying in bed and I still needed to order food, but every time I looked at the computer screen I would feel more nauseated, so I didn’t know what to do. I tried to close my eyes to rest but it didn’t really help. I lay down and pulled the blanket over myself so I could take a nap. I didn’t set an alarm or anything, I would just wait until I awakened naturally. I managed to fall asleep for about 30 minutes, after which I felt a bit better. While I still had some lingering nausea, I was able to order some sushi. I figured something light would probably be best right now, and hopefully getting some food in my stomach would solve the problem.

The food arrived super fast again (maybe delivery drivers in Las Vegas are just really good.) I got everything out and ate near the kitchen sink just in case I wanted to throw up. Fortunately as soon as I started eating, the nausea went away and I finally felt better. After eating and putting the leftovers in the fridge, I went back to sit down on the bed. There was still a tiny bit of lingering nausea (like it wasn’t really there, but I could somehow still feel it.) It wasn’t preventing me from using the computer though, so I watched a little bit of YouTube to relax. Afterwards, I went back to work to try and catch up on some of the things I didn’t do since I had lost focus during a big part of the day. My focus still wasn’t that great, but I was at least able to power through some of my work. The nausea finally went away sometime while I was working since I realized it was gone afterwards. Since I had planned to lengthen early today and give myself some extra time to rest my legs after lengthening and before going to sleep, I started stretching before 9pm. I did not take any additional painkillers since I took some before PT. After a long and stressful day and a hard PT session, I didn’t have the energy to push very hard before my last lengthening of the day. However, I got all the basic stretches done, and my legs felt somewhat loose.

I ran the ERC on each leg and felt okay afterwards. I have switched to using the ERC with my knees straight and my legs fully on the bed, whereas for the first few weeks I had been running it with my knees bent and legs dangling off the bed. I think lengthening with legs straight has been better since dangling actually makes my legs uncomfortable after a few minutes (and I had previously even thought it was due to the lengthening process.) With my legs straight I pretty much don’t feel anything after running the ERC. And yes, I’m pretty sure I’m lengthening correctly in this position since I still have my “X” stickers on my leg and the ERC is showing the green check mark which means it detects the nail. I’ll be getting x-rays in less than half a centimeter anyway, so if anything went wrong (knock on wood) I’ll find out soon.

Now that I was done lengthening early and since it wasn’t time for bed yet, I planned to do something that I needed to do pretty badly but had not done yet - that is to take a real shower. I ran out of bath wipes recently, which I had been using to clean my body of sweat when necessary. However, I didn’t use them on my face and my hair was super oily and needed a shampoo badly. However, the Airbnb didn’t have handicap bars in the shower. In fact, there is nothing for me to hold onto at all standing up, and even the side of the tub was hard to hold onto because of the glass shower door frame. The showerhead was not removable either, which would have been helpful. At least there was an anti-slip mat on the floor of the shower so that should help a tiny bit. I decided the safe solution was to take a shower sitting down. With the tub drain open, water wouldn’t collect and turn into a bath, and if I was sitting down I wouldn’t be at risk of slipping. I could also shampoo my hair, which was the biggest reason I wanted to shower. Dr. D had cleared me to take a shower on my last office visit, but since the bandages over my incisions were still partially intact, I wasn’t sure I wanted to shower since they would probably fall off and I didn’t know if I should let them naturally fall off (while dry) or let them get soaked and fall off because they were wet. I could also take a picture of my incisions and send it to Dr. D’s team to see if I could get cleared to take a bath, but I don’t really want to soak in the Airbnb bathtub either, for obvious reasons.

I realize I just wrote an entire paragraph theorizing how to take a shower, and I really did think through all that right before going into the bathroom, but here’s what actually happened once I stepped into the shower to test how difficult it would be to use. It was very easy to lift my leg over the tub wall. I noted that the anti slip mat was very secure and my feet definitely weren’t going to slip. Then I realized I could use the top of the shower door metal frame to support myself if I needed to move. (A benefit of being slightly taller hah.) So I decided then and there to just turn the shower on. The shower was fine, and I actually ended up spending over 30 minutes in there. Not just because I was super grimy, but also when my remaining incision bandages got soaked just from the shower pressure they all started losing stickiness and peeling off (which is not surprising.) Therefore, I had to spend a lot of time carefully peeling each bandage off without painfully yanking on the surgical sutures or pulling off my leg hairs as well. Standing for over 30 minutes nonstop was not a problem and I enjoyed the hot water coursing over my skin.

After showering I felt super fresh and in a good mood. The hot water helped calm my legs, but I was a little hot so after I dried off I went into the fridge and chugged half an ice cold Gatorade. Of course I immediately got a brain freeze and regretted it. Then I walked over to the bed and hopped on. I feel like my legs weren’t all that stiff, so fingers crossed for a good night’s sleep. Since my hair was still a bit wet I didn’t want to put my head on the pillow right away so I browsed the web on my phone for a bit. Eventually I got sleepy and my hair was probably dry enough so I slid down from a partial sitting position into a lying down position on the bed. I feel like I definitely needed some extra sleep after last night. If not then I hope I can catch up on some sleep over the weekend. Either way my eyelids started feeling heavy and I drifted off.

Surgery Day +24, Lengthening Day 21 (+1mm, 21.66mm total)

Shortly after I fell asleep I awakened. This was going to be another night just like last night and lengthening early did not help at all, so there goes that theory. My legs were very tight and I couldn’t sleep because I could feel my legs and they were just so distracting. I fell asleep briefly then woke up again. I took half a Norco and when it kicked in I got a little more sleep, but I still woke up a few more times. Finally, I fell asleep for a while but I was trapped in a weird dream. Then I realized the dream was a dream and suddenly woke up. It was almost dawn. I drifted in and out of sleep (mostly out) for the next two hours, trying so many different positions, but not being able to fall asleep consistently. Finally, almost 30 minutes before my alarm was set to go off, I gave up on sleeping and decided to get up so I turned off all my alarms. My sleep data showed that I got 5.4 hours of sleep out of 7.5 hours in bed. It definitely felt like I slept much less than that, and the quality of my sleep was terrible. My watch showed that I woke up over a dozen times last night, which corresponds to my experience as well. If I sleep like this every night for the next 3-4 months, it would be the worst experience of my life by far. I really hope I can figure out a way to get more sleep.

I got up and went to the bathroom for my morning routine, and splashed some cold water on my face. I was awake enough to start the day, though I was definitely hoping to be able to take a nap later. I came back to the main room feeling cold with my stomach growling too. Since I have been eating a big dinner every night and getting completely full, I’m always surprised that I’m so hungry in the morning. It could definitely be related to bone growth. I quickly got dressed and went into the kitchen to make breakfast. Warm food made me feel a lot better, though my legs were still tired and my bone break spot still hurt a bit on my right hamstring side. Around the time my alarm was supposed to go off I sat back onto the bed and took my morning medication. I finished the Vitamin D (weekly doses) so I got to throw away my first empty pill container. After that I signed onto my work laptop. While I was going to be busy today, it didn’t look like I had anything urgent scheduled for the morning. Therefore I decided to do my lengthening session a bit early.

I figured that exercising would also help me warm up my legs a bit, since they weren’t feeling that great even though I had taken acetaminophen. I started with bicycle kicks as a warmup, lately I’ve been doing that as the first thing before my PT exercises. I didn’t want to work any specific muscle group too hard since I had PT in the afternoon, but I did a set of all of my PT exercises. Then I did a full set of stretches and got the ERC ready. Lengthening was quick and easy, and I didn’t feel anything afterwards. After I set the ERC machine back in its place I started working for a bit. It would be a while until lunchtime and I had a lot to do. My legs eventually settled down a bit and I felt better sitting in bed.

When lunchtime arrived, I excitedly went into the kitchen to get my leftovers ready for consumption. I think food has been the highlight of my day lately since sleep is absolutely terrible and makes me miserable. It probably doesn’t help that my Airbnb isn’t very warm. I planned to try sleeping with pajamas to see if that could help a little. When I got up, my legs immediately reminded me that they were still stiff and in pain. Although I had gotten some work done in the morning, I was certainly not as productive as I could have been if my mind were fully focused. The uncomfortableness in my legs is persistent and always noticeable. I ate standing up in the kitchen to give my legs a bit of work since they were stiff from sitting for too long. Afterwards I hopped back onto the bed and returned to work as I would be busy until it was time to leave for PT.

As the work day winded down, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t done my second lengthening of the day yet and it was only an hour until I had to be at the PT clinic. If I wasn’t careful, I could potentially be feeling the aftereffects of lengthening during PT, which could make PT more difficult. I immediately started my stretches and did all of them quickly, though since I had to hold them for a certain amount of time, it wasn’t really possible to do them that much quicker. Then I grabbed the ERC and ran it on each leg. Afterwards I did feel a mild effect and it was almost time to call a ride to the PT clinic. I decided to do some more stretches first though in hopes that it would help me. I also took my usual pre-PT painkillers as I’m sure I would need it this time around. I’m not sure if stretching actually helped, but walking to the car and riding over I felt the exact same as it did normally.

When I arrived at PT, things were a little different. Both the PT assistant and the receptionist had changed so I had to do a double take to make sure I was in the right place. After I checked in at the front desk, I sat down and waited for the new PT assistant to get me started on the stationary bike. Now that I had a couple of tricks up my sleeves, I had no fear of the bike anymore. After the ride I did not feel as warmed up as I did the day before. However, I could walk around without too much stiffness. The PT clinic was busy with a lot of people. The new PT assistant was trying to keep up, but I basically ended up doing all the exercises by myself, with a little help getting all the bands and weights and stuff. While exercising, I noticed that my incision sites were bigger and redder than before. I googled it and it didn’t seem like it was an infection or anything like that. Since I had taken a shower yesterday, maybe there was a risk of getting my incisions dirty somehow. (Later on when I had returned to the Airbnb, the incisions looked normal to me again. I think it was just the fluorescent lighting at the PT clinic that made my incisions look bigger and redder than usual.)

I was a lot more warmed up after the exercises and I could walk around with no problems. I talked to the head PT briefly, and he showed me a new exercise, which was just walking from side-to-side for a longer distance, which I had no trouble doing since I was warmed up. He also told me that sleep is very important for recovery and if I was having trouble sleeping, then maybe a Norco before bedtime could help me get at least 4 hours of continuous sleep. Getting continuous sleep for long enough to enter deep sleep is just as important as the total hours of sleep in a night. I could try taking something before bed, though I don’t know how different it would be from taking it at 1 or 2am. Finally I got the heat pad for 10 minutes and ultimately left the clinic about 30 minutes later than I should have. Fortunately I wasn’t in a rush or anything like that. Only one more PT session in Las Vegas and I’ll be going home! I’m looking forward to it, though I think I will miss this little PT clinic since it has definitely been one of the highlights of my time here.

When I got back to the Airbnb I heated up my remaining leftovers and devoured them. I feel like my appetite is getting bigger, which is probably good since people keep saying on the forum that you easily need 4000+ calories a day to even maintain body weight while your new bone is growing. After eating, I cleaned up and sat back down on the bed. I had some work I needed to get done before tomorrow morning, so I started on that. My legs were feeling good, as they usually do after PT, so I was actually able to focus okay, though I felt quite tired at this point due to the lack of sleep. If I didn’t have work, I might have been able to take an evening nap, but who knows how that would affect my sleep. One other thing I could try is working out a bit more before going to sleep, and possibly having legs that are a little more limber before going to bed, though I feel like the process of going to bed (maybe laying down or sleeping) somehow tightens my legs, so I don’t know how well it would work. Regardless, I think I would have to try something different tonight to get better quality sleep.

I was still working when I noticed it was time for my last lengthening. I took a break from my work laptop and started my pre-lengthening stretches. I noticed that my right foot was now having that weird feeling that I had at the start of surgery where if I shifted or wobbled it left or right it would feel like there was something moving inside my foot or leg. It wasn’t painful or anything, just really weird. I also realized that I did not have this feeling at all in my left foot anymore. I think it may have to do with the IT band cut or something to do with weakened muscles after the surgery. I don’t think it’s a skeletal issue. Anyway, I wasn’t too concerned about it since it went away on my left foot so I’m sure it would go away in my right foot too. My right leg was still hurting more than my left leg in the hamstring side of the area of the bone cut. I actually don’t really care about this kind of pain, it’s like barely 1-2/10 pain but it’s actual pain so I can deal with it without even taking painkillers. What I can’t deal with is the stuffiness, tightness, and tiredness that I feel in my upper legs when I try to sleep at night. It’s not really so much pain as it is just this super uncomfortable feeling that forces me to think about my legs constantly and makes it nearly impossible to focus on anything else. I think it’s much worse than pain, and it’s probably what makes limb lengtheners suffer the most. Of course, I haven’t reached the latter part of the distraction phase yet, so I’m sure it will get worse, and I don’t think there is any way to prepare for it.

Anyway, aside from thinking about pain and weird leg stuff, I didn’t have any issues doing all the stretches, though I did not feel as flexible as I did during PT. I finished up the stretches and then ran the ERC on both legs. I didn’t have any post-lengthening issues either, so I started working again. I only managed to get about 30 more minutes of work in before I was too tired to continue. I would have to finish in the morning. At this point while I was sitting on the bed my legs didn’t feel bad at all. Like the PT told me to, right before going to bed I took half a Norco so hopefully that will help me finally get a solid night of sleep, which I probably need badly to focus on work and my leg workouts. Oh yeah, and I wore pajamas to bed to see if that would help as well (not quite the compression pants that other people mentioned, but worth a shot.)

Surgery Day +25, Lengthening Day 22 (+1mm, 22.66mm total)

Sleep was about the same as last night. I had a little bit of trouble falling asleep at first, but eventually managed to drift off. The first block of sleep was the best, which I’m guessing is because I took Norco right before going to bed. Then I woke up a bunch of times from 3-4am but was eventually able to fall back asleep and get another 90 minute block of sleep in. That’s when the troubles started. From about 5:30 I was no longer able to sleep. My legs were feeling stuffy and stiff no matter what position I was in. Eventually I couldn’t think of what else to do, so I did a full set of my PT exercises and stretches in hopes that would loosen up my legs. It actually worked a little, and my legs didn’t feel as tight as they did before. After tossing and turning a bunch, I managed to fall in and out of sleep for another hour or so. I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm was going to go off and I added 30 minutes to the alarm and tried to sleep again. Finally I woke up 20 minutes later and decided to give up on trying to sleep and got up. My health data showed 5.3 hours of sleep out of 6.7 hours in bed. I really hope I get a chance to catch up on some sleep over the weekend.

I needed to figure out what exactly was happening every morning that makes my legs feel tolerable. When I first wake up, my legs feel so stiff and tight, but by the time I’m sitting on the bed and working, they don’t feel that bad or distracting anymore. It could be from standing up for a while, it could be from eating breakfast, it could be from sitting instead of laying down, and it could be from taking acetaminophen in the morning. It could also be a combination of the above, but I just don’t know what exactly was making my legs feel okay in the morning. If I could figure it out and then apply it when I can’t fall asleep at night to get more sleep, it would definitely help me a ton with this process.

I had a very early meeting, so I did my morning routine and got ready very quickly. I wanted to do my first lengthening session beforehand but didn’t have enough time. However, I was able to start my exercises and stretching during the call. I went through everything and then ran the ERC. I had no problems yet even though I hadn’t taken any acetaminophen this morning. Standing up and returning the ERC to the opposite side of the room, my legs actually felt pretty good since they were fully warmed up. I took an acetaminophen afterwards anyway, just to see what the effect would be. I felt pretty normal and continued working until lunchtime. There was no tightness in my legs as long as I wasn’t moving so I was pretty focused. I’m still not sure why I feel so much better during the day than at night. I wonder if it would make sense to try and take naps during the day when my legs don't feel as bad.

For lunch I ate some more of my food in the pantry. I’m almost done clearing it out, and I’m proud of estimating the exact amount of food I’d need for my month in Vegas so nothing would go to waste! I only had a short break planned for lunch today since I was very busy at work today with meetings throughout most of the day. I continued to work until it was time for my midday lengthening, when I took another short break and got started on PT exercises and stretches right away. I finished all the exercises and the lengthening process in under 30 minutes and then I continued to work. Finally, after a few more hours it was about time to sign off since everyone else was offline by now. I still had some more work leftover that I still needed to get done, but I could work on it over the weekend under no pressure.

Next I decided to order some delivery, and I really wanted some Indian food (garlic naan plus some kind of curry) but then I thought I might not want to eat something too spicy after surgery, so I refrained. I ended up getting Japanese food again, sushi + some entrees, since it was delicious and easy to reheat later. Then I watched random videos on my phone and texted with some friends while I was waiting for the delivery to arrive. Sometimes I think about how crazy the world is right now; it’s perfectly normal for me to avoid seeing anyone I know and just communicate with them digitally without arousing any suspicion. I’m literally growing taller under their noses, but everything about me seems normal to them. We’re all working from home and bored out of our minds. My 5’9” and 5’10” friends may be in for a shock in a couple of months! I’m certainly not going to say I’m taller and I’ll act like nothing happened. I can’t imagine that they would have the slightest clue what I did. I plan to continue to work out my upper body as well and try to return to my peak physical shape since I still have a few months. If they say I look different, I’ll just say I got bigger, which will be true, just not in the way they think. Anyway, right now I’m really looking forward to the future, not just because I will finally be the height that I always pictured myself as, but I also want to be able to sleep normally again and not feel like my legs are constantly uncomfortable. Also, the concept of going out with a group of friends on Friday night seems so appealing to me right now, and not just because I’m stuck inside lengthening.

My food arrived fairly quickly and I whipped out my laptop and decided to start watching a movie while eating. I could finally take a break from work tonight. Honestly, my life isn’t much different than if I wasn’t lengthening. Once I get home and start cooking again, I think everything will feel normal, especially if I can start getting decent sleep again. I can’t imagine lengthening will impact my daily activities during the pandemic when I’m home all day. I suppose I will actually go outside more than before since I need to see a physical therapist a few times each week. I also plan to look into massage therapy and see if that has the potential to help me recover, though that’s not as important as PT.

After finishing the movie it wasn’t that late, so I still needed something to do for the rest of the night before the last lengthening. I definitely did not feel like doing any work and it’s not like I could go out anywhere for many reasons. I got my phone out and played some games on it, which burned an hour. Then I remembered that I had a bunch of journal entries to check and post, so I spent the rest of the evening working on that. It worked out well, because it's pretty late now and I'm pretty tired and I just finished editing all the entries for the week. So I'm posting it now and going to bed. Good night!
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Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2020, 08:34:03 AM »

Surgery Day +26, Lengthening Day 23 (+1mm, 23.66mm total)

Sleep was not great last night, but okay. Since I really wanted to try and catch up on sleep I took a full Norco right before bed. I think it actually helped me a ton. I briefly woke up about three hours after I fell asleep and then stayed asleep until dawn. While I was only in bed for 6 hours total, I feel like I was asleep most of the time and didn’t really remember waking up and struggling to sleep. However, when I got up to use the restroom and drank some water I realized that I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep. Of course, I was tired and hungry, but I just didn’t feel sleepy at all. Since 6 hours had passed since I last took a Norco, I decided to take another one to see if it would help me get a little more sleep. After taking it nothing happened for a while. I just sat in bed and talked to people on my phone, though I felt a little dizzy. Then about an hour later it kicked in. I was so sleepy that all I could do was lie down and pass out. I slept for almost two hours. Then I awakened again, though a bit groggy. I didn’t really have the energy to do anything at this point, though it was about time for my first ERC session. I continued to lay in bed awake, not sleepy but still tired, browsing the web and chatting with people on my phone. Finally, I decided to get up since I thought I might also be dizzy and tired because I was hungry and I hadn't eaten anything yet. I went to the kitchen and made some breakfast, though at this point it might be better called brunch. Don’t be me and don’t take Norco on an empty stomach.

After eating, I started my PT exercises hoping that it would help kickstart my day. My legs felt okay, and that’s probably because I was still on Norco. In fact, the bone cut site pain on my right leg was completely gone, which made sense since opioids would be able to address this kind of pain. My legs were generally just feeling a little dull but not having any pain at all. The exercises were easy, though stretching afterwards was just as hard as usual. I don’t mind though, since that means I’m actually getting a good stretch in, just becoming less and less flexible. Then I ran the ERC on each leg and felt absolutely no aftereffect. Now I wasn’t sure what to do so I sat on the bed and browsed the web some more on my laptop. I could feel like I was getting sleepy again, so maybe I could try to take another nap. I closed my eyes while sitting on the bed and leaned back into the pillows. I’m not sure if I fell asleep but I think so since I started daydreaming. I was awakened or at least startled by my phone when I got a notification. Now that I was awake again, I realized that I didn’t feel so good, mostly due to being dizzy/nauseated. I guess I should not have taken a full Norco both last night and this morning. Hopefully it wears off soon, though it was at least tolerable while I was sitting in bed.

I decided to lay down for a while and get some rest, regardless if I could fall asleep and take a nap or not. I dozed off briefly for about 20 minutes. I was awakened by a call from the pharmacist. I was getting the drugs delivered to Dr. D’s office to pick up during my office visit next week and the pharmacy needed payment. Fortunately it cost less than last month since I didn’t need to refill everything, but the Xarelto isn’t cheap. After hanging up I noticed that I wasn’t feeling as bad as before, but I was still a little bit nauseated, though not quite as dizzy. It was past noon, so I could eat lunch. Hopefully filling my stomach would help as well. When I got up from the bed my legs reminded me that I was not on any painkillers anymore and that I had been sitting or laying in bed all morning. I was stiff and sore, and I probably should have done some stretches before standing up. Since I was already up though, I heated up my leftovers and ate everything quickly since I was quite hungry. I checked the time and the warmest point of the day would be in about two hours, so I could do my outdoor walk then. For now, I sat back down on the bed and decided to distract myself so I could feel better using an old trick - gaming on my phone. It can’t be just some casual puzzle game or something, it has to be a competitive and real-time game against other players and I have to want to win so that I have 100% focus on the game, but it really works for me as a distraction from my legs. After two matches I no longer felt any nausea from this morning, or any pain in my legs when sitting still.

Now that I was feeling better and I still had a little bit of time to burn, I got my laptop out and checked to see if any of the shows I was following had updated for the week yet, and two of them did. I had enough time to watch one before my outdoor walk. Afterwards I checked the weather and I still had a little bit of time before the daytime high temperature, so I decided to try and warm up my legs a bit by doing some light exercises and stretches before going outside. I also popped an acetaminophen pill. Then I changed into outdoor clothes, put on my shoes, grabbed my phone and keys, and stepped outside. I tossed out a bag of garbage that I had brought out with me, then proceeded to walk to the front of the house with my cane. I found a spot by the garage door that I could set my phone down to record a video. Here is the video of me walking down the driveway and back. The driveway has a slight incline, but no more than 5 or 10 degrees.



I definitely walk a little worse if the ground isn’t perfectly flat, but I’ve walked down this driveway so many times that I’m also kind of used to it. Next, I proceeded to follow my old path along the sidewalk to the next neighborhood down. Since my legs didn’t feel tired at all I kept going. The late afternoon sun was shining on my face and it felt great. I proceeded down the sidewalk all the way until it ended and I would have had to cross a street to continue. I figured I had already gone a bit further than my previous longest walk, so I turned around and headed back. I wasn’t tired at all on the way back, so I was still able to focus on keeping a better gait and walking with my legs closer to each other. I also tried walking without any support from the cane. Since I was only using the cane to support my left leg, and my left leg wasn’t really weaker, in more pain, or worse at walking than my right leg I guess I didn’t actually need to support my weight with the cane while walking, except for general safety reasons. So for a good part of the walk back, I did it fully weight bearing on both legs with the cane hovering just above the ground in case I slipped or needed support.

When I got back inside I checked my watch and I had walked a total of 0.75 miles (or 1.2km.) I was sure that I could have walked over a mile if I wanted to, but no reason to push myself too hard. As soon as I got inside and stopped walking my legs decided that they were tired again. I think they have a mind of their own since my body must be able to subconsciously differentiate between when I am walking indoors with the bed nearby and when I am walking outside and need to move forward just to survive. I changed into my indoor clothes and hopped onto the bed. I started chatting with people on the phone and then suddenly realized I was supposed to lengthen after the walk while my legs were still warmed up. Fortunately, my legs were still feeling okay so I stretched lightly and then grabbed the ERC to do my midday lengthening. I felt great after lengthening, so I just stayed in bed for a little while longer and then it was dark. During this time of the year it gets dark so early! It wasn’t even 5pm yet so I wanted to wait a little longer before ordering dinner. I played a couple more rounds of my favorite phone game to pass some time and then put in an order for food. Since I didn’t want to get interrupted in the middle of a match, I switched to watching YouTube while waiting for my delivery.

When the food arrived and I got off the bed to pick it up, my legs were surprisingly still not too stiff. I guess doing a long distance walk has its perks. I’m sure my legs would be stiff by the end of the night though and make me feel terrible when I try to sleep, but what can you do? After eating I put the leftovers in the fridge. Hopefully I have enough for the next day or two so I don't have to order out again. After dinner I felt much better in general. I wasn’t hungry, tired, or in pain, which is a lot to ask for during the distraction phase. I debated if I wanted to try and get some work done or if I wanted to consume some more empty entertainment and opted for the latter. I still had that other episode of TV to watch, then I browsed the web and played more games. I tried to enjoy Saturday like anyone else would while stuck indoors during the pandemic.

Finally I noticed it was kind of late, and ended up lengthening around 11pm, after doing exercises and stretches. I stayed up for a while though, and while I was sitting on the bed browsing the web, I realized that my legs were actually feeling an uncomfortable aftereffect after the lengthening session. It went away after about an hour, but I hadn't felt that in a while, so hopefully it doesn't mean I'm hitting any kind of limit. I was getting pretty tired, but I remembered to finish writing and post this entry. Now it's really time to go to bed since I still need to keep some kind of semblance of a daily schedule since I still have work on Monday. Before going to sleep, I plan to pop a Norco and do a set of stretches. Hopefully I get good sleep tonight and I manage to sleep in since it's the weekend.
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Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

Froggy

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2020, 09:18:24 PM »

Thanks for the update. I feel ya on the discomfort after lengthening sessions. Keep up the energy and dedication!
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L8GrowthSpurt

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2020, 02:18:56 AM »

Hey BTM - Thanks for the detailed diary.  Very helpful. You go back home and work already? Your gait on the last vid looked pretty damn good! Hope you’re doing well. Stay strong 💪
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edsvkg

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2020, 03:55:39 PM »

Hey BTM, I am following your diary and I can say that it is a great collaboration for this forum, especially for me that I am planning to perform LL in a few years with Dr. Debiparshad, I hope you have a good recovery and that everything will go well by the end of the process. ;)
I would like to emphasize that your videos are great for us to know how your LL process is going.

I'm sorry for my english from google translator, i will improve it. ;D
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BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2020, 05:25:01 AM »

Thanks for the update. I feel ya on the discomfort after lengthening sessions. Keep up the energy and dedication!
Thanks, you keep pushing too!

Hey BTM - Thanks for the detailed diary.  Very helpful. You go back home and work already? Your gait on the last vid looked pretty damn good! Hope you’re doing well. Stay strong
I've been working since week 3 and I just got home.

Hey BTM, I am following your diary and I can say that it is a great collaboration for this forum, especially for me that I am planning to perform LL in a few years with Dr. Debiparshad, I hope you have a good recovery and that everything will go well by the end of the process. ;)
I would like to emphasize that your videos are great for us to know how your LL process is going.
Good luck with everything. I will try and post videos when I feel like there's something interesting to show. I don't know if I'm going to improve my gait much over the next two months though tbh.

Surgery Day +27, Lengthening Day 24 (+1mm, 24.66mm total)

Sleep was so bad last night that I simply gave up on sleeping after just four hours in bed. Even though I took a Norco right before going to bed, I basically woke up once every single hour and after four hours I was fully awake, hungry, and still super tired. I felt like I spent the whole night tossing and turning, trying to sleep in every single position but not being able to get rid of the pain no matter what. After getting up and going to the bathroom, I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep, so I did my morning routine then returned and sat on the bed. My brain wasn’t functioning very quickly, so all I could do is consume some mindless entertainment, and hoping that I would be tired enough to want to take a nap at some point. After the fiasco yesterday with the second Norco pill, I was not going to try taking a second pill again today. After watching TV for an hour and still feeling like crap in my legs, I decided to take an acetaminophen and eat breakfast. Sometimes I feel like the distraction phase is just one giant experiment with different pain medications.

After breakfast I was feeling a bit better. I watched some more TV to distract myself, but it didn’t really work. After a short while I was ready to do my first lengthening session of the day. I did a full set of PT exercises and stretches. Surprisingly all of the previous pain I had when exercising is gone now. My original left knee area pain has been gone for days, and today the pain I was feeling around the bone cut area over the last few days is gone as well. I can do all of my exercises normally, although everything is a little tighter than before. I do have one new type of pain, but it only happens when I do the quad stretch too far on my left side. I think my knee has a little bit of pain when that happens, though it feels quite different than the previous knee pain (pain from using my muscles before vs pain from stretching now.) I didn’t have a lot of energy while doing the exercises and stretching, but I got them done.

Next I used the ERC on each leg. I felt a bit tired even holding the ERC over my quad. I didn’t feel anything in my legs immediately after using the ERC, but after I had walked around a bit and set the ERC down, I noticed that I was feeling a little bit of the uncomfortable lengthening aftereffect. I sat down on the bed and massaged my legs, though it didn’t help much. I was hoping that it would just go away soon. I played some music on my laptop, but that didn’t help my mood much. I did start to get a little sleepy though, and I repositioned my pillow so I was in more of a reclining position. That made me fall asleep for just over an hour, which was nice. Unfortunately I wasn’t really any more refreshed when I woke up, and my legs had the exact same level of stiffness and uncomfortableness that they did just before I fell asleep. I would have to try my old trick - playing games.

Fortunately this worked well. I was distracted and forgot all about my pain and it lasted past when I stopped playing. At this point it was barely noon and I was already starving even though I ate a big breakfast. I think lengthening and building new bones definitely uses more calories than normal, and this is definitely something I can observe from my diet. However, painkillers and being in pain definitely affects my appetite and mood as well. Since I was hungry, I got up to use the bathroom and heat up some food. While walking around the Airbnb I felt pretty good even though I didn’t have any painkillers and my legs weren’t really warmed up. I thought about taking a walk outside later. Today’s high was in the single digits Celsius (~40 F) so it would be pretty cold, but I figured it wouldn’t be a problem to take a walk anyway since I could just wear my jacket out. It’s still warmer than it would be back home and I don’t know how much public walking I’m willing to do in a densely populated area where I might run into someone I know. Also, if it hasn’t already snowed back home, I’m sure the snow will accumulate soon. It’s one thing to fully weight-bear on the Stryde nails, but I don’t think any doctor would recommend walking outdoors as exercise on icy sidewalks lol.

After lunch I decided to try and get some work done. I didn’t do any work at all yesterday, so I would have to try and do some today so next week won’t be that hectic, especially with a mid-week flight. First though, I would stretch a little. I don’t think it would hurt to increase my daily stretching. I’m not sure if I currently am stretching too little, but I do feel like it’s getting harder to stretch my hamstrings as far as I used to be able to. Fortunately I can still get a good angle, but I think I can barely hook my fingers over my toes now. While stretching I realized I could watch some football, so I turned the TV on and let it play in the background while I finished my stretches, then continued to work a bit. Unfortunately, the whole time I was trying to work I was distracted. My legs were very uncomfortable, in the same way that I feel an aftereffect from lengthening. Pretty much nothing was able to get rid of the feeling so I just suffered and worked and I was kind of tired and sleepy too, but didn’t feel like going to sleep.

Eventually I decided to do another set of stretches, take acetaminophen, and then do my outdoor walk. Since my legs didn’t feel as good today as they did yesterday (both indoors and outdoors) I realized I wouldn’t be able to walk as far, so I focused on my gait instead. I did two shorter laps on the main sidewalk without going into the next neighborhood down. One interesting thing I noticed was that my left leg was indeed still weaker than my right leg. The main reason I didn’t notice it before was because I could walk on it without the cane and it felt about the same as my right leg. However, when I was practicing my gait, I found that my entire body swung to the left when I was fully weight bearing on my left leg, but when I was partially supporting the weight on my cane, my body didn’t swing because I was counterbalancing the weakness with the cane. My body was distributing the weight so well I didn’t even notice. I think if I didn’t notice this and continued only using the cane on my left leg, I would eventually have an even bigger difference between my left and right leg. Therefore, for part of the walk I used the cane on my right side, and on my left side I would put my weight down while trying not to sway.

My left leg got tired pretty quickly though, which is good. I think what I’m doing probably beats out exercising in terms of workout efficiency and I know that fixing this issue will improve my gait. After that I just walked back to the Airbnb sloppily since I didn’t have enough muscle strength left to walk with a proper gait. Overall, I was much more tired than yesterday the whole time. I don’t know if it’s my legs that are weak or if I lack sleep, or one of the many other reasons that I could be weaker today, but regardless of the reason I pushed a bit and ended up walking half a mile (800m) in just under 20 minutes, so a 40 minute per mile pace. I walked my fastest yesterday (about 36 minutes per mile) even including slanted sidewalks and a longer distance, so both in terms of feelings and objective stats, I was weaker today.

When I got back inside I changed back into indoor clothing. The TV was still on so I did some stretches on the bed while watching football and then used the ERC on each leg. My legs still felt uncomfortable after the lengthening, but not to the point of pain. Still, the noise in the background was a great distraction. After that I lay in bed trying to get some work done while managing the pain in my legs. I planned to take a hot shower at night as a form of pain management. Then I began to feel very sleepy. Even though it was dinnertime, here was my chance to take a nap. I draped a towel over my legs as a blanket and then closed my eyes. As I had already started feeling it, I passed out quickly. I woke up a few times to adjust my legs, but I basically got a nap that was over two hours long. In fact, when I got up I was still sleepy and could have probably continued to sleep for a while, but I didn’t because I didn’t want to mess up my sleep routine too badly. My legs were very stiff, stuffy and uncomfortable when I woke up. Why is it that I can fall asleep with legs like this right now, but not in the middle of the night? My sleep was so solid that I had what felt like a continuous dream over the entire two hours.

As I got up, I hobbled over to the bathroom and then to the kitchenette. It was a bit late for dinner, but I was hungry so I heated up a ton of leftovers. I find it a bit crazy how hungry I have been every few hours, given how much I feel like I’m eating with every meal. But it also means that my food prep back at home was correct. I have a ton of healthy calories stored in my pantry and freezer back at home waiting for me to go back and enjoy without having to go outside. I think cooking will put me in a better mood as well, as I like to make my own food (since I work out.) After waking up from my overall grogginess, I did feel quite refreshed with that nap. Combined with my few hours of sleep last night and the nap earlier in the day I think I almost have a full day's worth of sleep. I’m not sure the biological recovery is the same as actually getting 8 hours of sleep, but it’s better than sleeping sporadically for 3 or 4 hours last night and not taking any naps.

While eating and watching YouTube, I realized that my legs weren’t as painful as when I had just woken up. It was almost like every morning, when my legs would be quite stiff when I had just awakened, but somehow always felt better after I had been up for a bit. I wasn’t going to complain about my legs feeling better though, but I had another lengthening to do before going to bed, which might tighten my legs up again. It was getting a bit late, so I decided to take a shower. The second shower was much easier than the first and I didn’t even really think much of it. My legs got tired sooner than last time, but I did go out for a walk today so that’s probably why. After drying off and changing into pajamas, I did a set of stretches on the bed. Surprisingly I thought that after taking a hot shower that I would be more limber and flexible, but this was not the case. I’m honestly feeling like I’m getting less and less flexible each day, which might be due to the lengthening, even though I’m not even at one inch yet. One inch of growth is probably worth more than one inch of loss in flexibility.

I finished the stretches, even though it was a little difficult. Then I lengthened each leg and put away the ERC. I felt a light aftereffect, but only on the left leg this time. I’m still assuming the right leg successfully lengthened though, since I don’t always get the aftereffect every time I lengthen. However, before this if I felt the uncomfortable aftereffect of lengthening at all it would have been on both legs. This is actually the first time I only felt it on one leg. At this point I figured I could go to bed. Even though it was late, if I slept now I would probably wake up way early the next morning, which is fine since the weekend kind of just flew by and I still need to catch up on work somehow. I took a Norco and then went to bed.

Surgery Day +28, Lengthening Day 25 (+1mm, 25.66mm total)

Last night when I went to bed I wasn’t tired or sleepy. I tossed and turned for a bit since my legs felt stiff and at one point I was on my stomach and I lifted my left leg up but the blanket was stuck and it hurt my knee a bunch. I felt like the Norco I took wasn’t doing anything since I was in pain from that. Fortunately it wasn’t like this for too long since I somehow managed to fall asleep shortly afterwards. I remember waking up once in the middle of the night and looking at my watch, but aside from that I slept very well until my alarm went off. My watch data shows that my total sleep time was just shy of 6 hours out of 6.4 hours in bed and that I woke up only twice last night and both times were very brief. That's probably the best ratio I’ve had in quite a while. When I woke up I turned off the alarm and lay in bed for about the length of a snooze. I wasn’t tired or sleepy, but my legs were a bit stiff as usual and I was thinking that I could have slept more if my alarm didn’t go off. However, it was time to get up and start working.

I got up and walked to the bathroom or my morning routine. The first few steps were weak, but my legs quickly regained their strength as I got to the bathroom and stood for a while. I came back to the main room and I was already feeling okay in my legs. The Wifi was down in the Airbnb, but I tethered my work laptop to my phone and signed on. It didn’t look like anyone was looking for me yet, though I knew it would get very busy today so I needed to get a few things completed before then. I took my morning Xarelto, but no painkillers since I didn’t feel like I needed any yet. Then I proceeded to make and eat a dinner-sized breakfast, then got ready to start my exercise and stretch routines. After doing those, I lengthened both legs with the ERC. I didn’t really feel an aftereffect immediately in either leg, so I proceeded to focus on work for the rest of the morning.

About an hour later I realized that my legs were actually kind of feeling the lengthening aftereffect a little bit. They weren’t in pain, but uncomfortable enough to distract my focus. I decided to take an acetaminophen since it was still pretty early in the morning and I wouldn’t be going to PT until later in the afternoon and I would be clear to take more painkillers by then. I continued to work all morning, only taking a break when Ronnie from Dr. D’s office came to pick up the wheelchair and walker I borrowed from the office, which I was really thankful for since I did not have a rental car or an easy way to return them before leaving Las Vegas. I actually only used the wheelchair once to go like 10 feet the night I got out of the hospital, so I don’t I actually needed the wheelchair. The walker I did use for quite a while though, even when I was perfectly capable of just using the cane, since I felt safer with the walker.

While working all day, I occasionally took bathroom and snack breaks and each time I got up I felt a bit stiff, but while sitting in bed working my legs didn’t really feel that bad. I took an extra long break to do some exercises and the midday lengthening session. Everything was normal for this session, though I feel like half an hour after lengthening, the area in the back of my legs (opposite of the knee, between hamstrings and calves) was feeling a little tight. Sitting with my knees bent made that feeling go away, but I think I need to do more hamstring stretches in general to continue lengthening, or I will quickly lose flexibility. Finally, after a full day of meetings and trying to get work done at the same time, I had to sign off and get to PT on time. I took my painkillers and called a car and headed over quickly. This was my last day of PT in Vegas, so it was time to say goodbye to all the staff that have been working with me over the last month.

I entered PT and checked in at the front desk. Another new PT assistant was working today, but overall the place wasn’t as busy as last time, so he was able to help with all of the equipment I needed and I got through all my exercises pretty efficiently. I actually did many of them with more weight or resistance. For PT, I feel like I am much stronger than last week so I’m definitely gaining some more access to my leg muscles. Even when standing up from a sitting position, I was able to stand up from a very low bench, where my knees were bent 90 degrees while sitting. I don’t think I can do anything resembling a squat yet, but I also haven’t needed to do that. Overall I left PT in a good mood and feeling like I was improving. I was determined to walk to the pizza place nearby and order a pizza for takeout. However, I walked about 200 meters and then realized that I left my phone at PT, so I had to walk back and get it, then walk all the way to the pizza place. The pizza place was in the same direction as the 7-Eleven that I visited earlier in my journal, but a bit further of a walk. In total since I had to turn around I walked 0.6 miles (about 1km) when I should have walked 0.35 miles (600 meters.)

I arrived at the pizza place and the door was almost too heavy for me to pull open. However, I managed it and then went to the front to place an order. I got a large specialty pizza since it seemed pretty big. That way I should have some leftovers to eat for breakfast or lunch tomorrow. It took about 15 minutes for my pizza to finish cooking and then I called a car and waited another 5 or so minutes for that. While I was leaving I actually couldn’t push the front door all the way open with my cane in one hand and pizza in the other, but fortunately a waitress was nearby and rushed over to help me. That was probably the single moment that I needed the most help in public since the surgery. After that it was smooth sailing to get back to the Airbnb. Upon arriving and getting ready to eat I realized that the pizza I ordered was a thin crust. No wonder it seemed so light given the size of the box. Sadly I would not have any leftovers for tomorrow. I devoured the entire large pizza in about 10 minutes and honestly I’m not even 100% sure I was full, but I knew I probably wouldn’t need to eat for the rest of the night at least.

Afterwards, I got up to use the bathroom and realized that my legs were kind of dead. After resting for a few minutes and then eating, my legs finally stopped having to work hard, so they must have decided to go stiff. Maybe stiff legs aren’t as painful when resting. Regardless I wasn’t planning on doing much physical activity for the rest of the night except for the last lengthening. At this point I remembered that I still had quite a bit of work to catch up on since I would be very busy tomorrow and probably wouldn’t get any work done at all. I had a few hours so I continued to work. The Airbnb host had some friends over for some kind of party and they were playing a game that sounded like they needed to shuffle tiles every so often so it was quite loud when they did. I don’t think it’s Mahjong because they were speaking Spanish, but it sure sounded like it was. I just played some music to drown out their noise in my room. It wasn’t distracting to the point where I would lose focus on work, and even in that case it’s probably better to be distracted by noise than leg pain.

Finally, it was time for the last lengthening of the day on my last night in Las Vegas. I did a light set of exercises and a full set of stretches. The stretches felt extra hard, but I was in no rush so I waited a little longer between stretches. After that I lengthened each leg past the one inch mark. Time has passed by slowly, but it has also passed quickly. I can’t believe I’m at the one inch mark now! I feel like I should notice a difference in my height, and sometimes I think I do, but not to the point where I’m sure I’m taller. Maybe that will change when I return to a familiar environment, but I won’t know until I do. Both my legs were uncomfortable after lengthening, but I tried to relax for a little bit before it was time to go to bed. Eventually I popped a Norco and got ready to go to bed. Dr D’s office had called earlier and moved my appointment to first thing in the morning, so I would definitely have to wake up early. Since I’ve been waking up super early for work, it shouldn’t be a problem. I returned from the bathroom and turned off all the lights and went to sleep thinking excitedly about how I was finally about to go home.

Surgery Day +29, Lengthening Day 26 (+1mm, 26.66mm total)

When I woke up I actually didn’t remember too much from how I slept the night before, but I did remember that sleep wasn’t too great. I was still pretty tired, but had been tossing and turning for the last 15 minutes fully conscious. When I checked my watch data, I saw that it took forever to fall asleep, I woke up for a while in the middle, and then when I last woke up just before 5:30 I couldn’t fall asleep again. In total for 5.1 hours in bed I slept for 4.4 hours. I got up to use the bathroom and decided to stay awake. I would actually have quite a few chances to nap later today. Unfortunately, I had some work to do and I didn’t want to take my Xarelto before 7am, so I worked for a while pre-dawn with no painkillers. It wasn’t too bad, since the act of waking up and sitting makes my legs less stiff somehow. Then my alarm for 7am went off and I took a Xarelto and acetaminophen.

I proceeded to do my leg exercises and stretching to get ready for an early lengthening. I felt okay with the workout, especially given how bad my rest was last night. I proceeded to run the ERC on each leg and hit the 26 mm mark. I then had some snacks and water, and browsed the morning news since I had a tiny bit of time to burn before heading to Dr. D’s office. Once it was time I called a car to head over to the clinic. I assumed the waiting area should be relatively empty today since it was so early in the morning and this was indeed the case. Everything was kind of like clockwork now, I went in and got my height and weight measured. I lost about 5 pounds in the last two weeks and it looked like I was a bit above 5’7” on the stadiometer, though I have some APT so I definitely am not able to stand at my full height. Next came the full set of x-rays, which were easier to take than last time. It’s not easy to stand or lay down and hold a certain position for the machine without feeling any pain. After that and answering all the basic questions, it was time to meet with the doctor.

Dr. D inspected my incisions and my gait. It looks like my incisions are healing up very nicely, but he was concerned about pigmentation in the scars and recommended a bleaching cream to try when I was further along in the scarring phase. He told me to avoid the sun on my scars the best I can since it can cause hyperpigmentation. He also cleared me for swimming, hot tubs, baths, etc. which I was very happy about since I have heard hot baths help a lot during the lengthening phase, especially when your knees are in pain. As for my gait, he also noticed that I swayed more when weight bearing on my left foot and said I needed to strengthen my hip abductors to reduce sway. Walking with the cane and compensating for the sway with the cane wouldn’t make it go away by itself. Aside from that, he said I was making good progress on my walk, but there were definitely other lengtheners who had better gait than me at this point. He also pointed out that I was taking less painkillers than the average lengthener at this point, but that I didn’t necessarily need to avoid taking painkillers, especially if I was feeling pain at PT, for example. He also said that I needed to be stretching constantly if I could, like doing reps with the resistance band while working, for example. He said that’s what the people who had the best gait did.

Next, for the x-rays they came out perfectly again. For the full leg x-ray, both sides were lengthened by exactly the same amount on the measuring tool. Both the front and lateral thigh x-rays showed callus growth on both sides, so I have clean growth on all four sides of both bones. The rate of callus growth is also good. Not so slow that I would have to slow lengthening and take more bone supplements, but not so fast that I’m at risk of premature consolidation. Really there’s nothing to complain about here. He mentioned that most people do not slow down after the first inch, but slowing down actually makes the process less painful since your soft tissue has more time to stretch and catch up with the bone growth. Slowing down costs time though, which is a valuable resource as well. I wonder if there is some point between 4-6 months after surgery, where both a fast lengthener and slow lengthener would be in the consolidation phase, that the slow lengthener catches up to the fast lengthener? Since consolidation by itself seems to make recovery faster. Who would actually be further along with consolidation and who would be more flexible? I would think that slowing down the rate of lengthening would slow you down on getting to consolidation, but lengthening slowly, you might be more flexible at the point of reaching 8cm than someone who lengthened fast, but maybe the person who lengthened fast would catch up on flexibility at some point further along when both people are the same number of days out from surgery.

For my lack of sleep, Dr. D said he could change my muscle relaxant to Valium and I could try Ambien as well. He also didn’t seem to be concerned about me taking Norco before sleeping. I just needed to send him a pharmacy back home to send the prescription to. I didn’t ask about any alternative forms of sleep therapy, and at this point I’m certainly willing to try what the doctor recommends. I will definitely be trying other methods to sleep though because not sleeping is just not going to work for me. Hopefully just being home would help my sleep, but I’m willing to take whatever helps me sleep. Also, I had completely forgotten to ask Dr. D if there was anything showing in the X-ray that might be reflective of the popping sound in my left femur, but he actually remembered this himself and told me that he looked closely at the left nail and there did not seem to be anything wrong with it. Since I had perfectly equal lengthening on both sides, that also means both nails should certainly be working correctly.

I also picked up the drugs that I ordered for the second month from the office. For my next set of x-rays, I got an x-ray order from Dr. D's team that I could bring into any radiology center to get the correct x-rays sent to the office, though apparently some places only take the order if it is directly faxed from the doctor. Also, there is no need to specifically find an EOS machine or worry about radiation apparently. EOS machines tend to be in children’s hospitals anyway, since they are more affected by X-ray radiation. For PT, I already had an idea of which PT I wanted to go to, so I would text that to Dr. D’s team later and they would also send that PT a referral and an order with all the exercise and stretch information that they needed to treat me. Dr. D said that getting massages was fine as well, so I plan to go to a licensed massage therapist once a week and PT at least 3 times a week once I get home, depending on how my schedule looks. Finally, I asked about flying and he said being on Xarelto makes flying a lot safer and that I didn’t need to move around constantly, but I should still move my legs if I remember to (and it’s something I would do even if I didn’t have CLL.) I felt better knowing that I could take a nap on the plane if I wanted to, because I definitely planned to try and sleep on the plane if I could. When I was leaving I did not schedule an appointment for my next visit since I wanted to check my early January schedule and flight prices, but I would probably schedule soon so I could save on travel costs. Everything is pretty much on track, so I left the doctor’s office quite content.

When I got back to the Airbnb from Dr. D’s office, I realized I was very hungry and hadn’t eaten anything yet. I didn’t have any leftovers, but I heated up two cans of soup in the microwave to tide me over until I could get to the airport food court. I consumed my soup quickly, along with some snacks and water. My Airbnb host texted me asking when I planned to check-out time and said I could check out later than usual if I needed to. I did plan to try and get another lengthening session completed before leaving the Airbnb since I would be checking the ERC in as soon as I reached the airport. First though, I needed to do some work. I proceeded to work for almost two hours even though I took the day off.

Finally it was time to pack my bags. I should at least try and get out of the Airbnb quickly since it was past check-out time. I mixed my old Xarelto pills into the new Xarelto bottle, and my old Norco pills into the new Norco bottle so I could toss two more pill containers and save some space in my bags. The expiration date on both is a year from now, so I don’t think mixing them really matters. I was going back with a little more stuff than I came with, so I would have to pack intelligently. Most of my clothes were in the dirty laundry bag, so I’d have to just stuff that in my luggage with as much air pushed out as I could. All the rest of my clothes I folded up and fit into my checked bag as well. I grabbed all the stuff in the bathroom and shoved it into my checked bag. All the stuff on the nightstand went into my backpack. I put my work laptop in my backpack in case I get bored at the airport and stuffed my personal laptop into my checked bag so I wouldn’t have to carry so much weight in my backpack. Not having to put the cane in my checked bag saved a little space as well. Overall I felt like my backpack was pretty light and wouldn’t put any extra strain on my nails, especially if I was walking with the cane.

Now it was time to do one last lengthening before leaving the Airbnb. I started my PT exercises and stretching. My legs actually still felt a bit tired, possibly from going to the doctor’s office earlier in the morning. It’s pretty sad when I can’t even handle a 90 minute appointment without being tired later in the day. I think it will definitely be a while before I physically recover from everything I’ve gone through. I managed to get through all the exercises and stretches though, and lengthened each leg. Although it had only been four hours since my first lengthening of the day, I surprisingly didn’t feel bad at all. Now came a moment of truth that I had been waiting for. I had come to Las Vegas with a pair of 30 inseam jeans that I wear often, but are normally a bit too long for me, and the bottom of the jeans covers the top part of my sneakers. Now I could see if I fit into these pants perfectly with my slightly longer legs. I took off my gym shorts and changed into the jeans. They went to my ankles instead of almost to my heels. I didn’t feel all that excited though, since it felt more like my pants shrank than my legs grew! I'm pretty sure I won't be able to wear these jeans with another two inches on my legs though! I then packed the ERC into it’s luggage container.

Finally, there was nothing left to do in the Airbnb except call a car to go to the airport. When my car almost got here, I texted the host that I was leaving and brought my stuff outside one item at a time. My checked bag was significantly heavier than the ERC, but it also had more wheels. Hopefully I wouldn’t need to lift the bag at any point, but if I did, I should be okay as long as both my feet are firmly planted on the ground. My ride arrived shortly after, and helped me load my bags into the trunk. I took a picture of the outside of the Airbnb that I lived in for a month with broken legs as a memory. Then we proceeded to head to the airport. This driver had actually picked me up before from Dr. D's office three weeks ago. I guess Vegas is a small enough place to get the same Uber driver twice. He actually remembered me since I had a walker last time and he said it looks like I’ve improved since I switched to the cane.

We arrived at the airport departures area next to a curbside check-in. The driver helped me unload my baggage at the side of the road, wished me well, and then drove off. The curbside check-in counter was empty as expected. I didn’t see anyone in sight that could help me. The ERC had two wheels and my checked luggage had four wheels. I basically used my luggage as a walker and pulled the ERC behind me and slowly made it to the baggage check area. I tagged both bags myself and then dropped them off with the airline staff. They didn’t even bother to check if my second checked bag was a medical device. I guess it looked close enough from the outside? The person checking my bags looked at my ticket and ID but didn’t look anything up on the computer or call me the wheelchair service.

I figured I was feeling pretty good at the moment so I could probably walk to the airport lounge and take a break there and then walk to the gate. I had quite a bit of time before my flight so I needed somewhere comfortable to sit, preferably with the ability to rest my feet on something. I didn’t really want to get wheeled around in a wheelchair anyway with the attention it would draw. I walked about 100 feet before starting to regret my decision. The first pre-check security gate was not open, I had to walk twice as far to get to the next open security gate. Going through security was interesting. It looked like they wanted me to go through the metal detector but then asked me if I had any metal in my body, to which I responded yes, so I had to go through the regular body scanner. They gave me a wooden cane and ran my metal one through the x-ray machine as well. Even after going through the body scanner they had to pat down my lower legs for some reason. At least it wasn’t my upper legs.

Once I got out of security I headed toward the airport lounge. Both it and my gate were in a different terminal, so I had to take two escalators and a tram to get to the right gate. At first I was nervous getting on the escalator, but I had enough speed to match the escalator when getting on and off. The tram ride was really short but I took one of the handicap seats since I really needed to sit down for a bit. On the other side I had to take a giant escalator up to the gates, which by this point I was an expert at already. When I got to the entrance of the concourse I took a look at the map. The lounge was not in the same branch as my departure gate, but I had plenty of time before my flight. I walked toward the lounge. Right outside the lounge there was a sub shop. I was pretty hungry so I ordered a giant sub and chomped it down, sitting in their socially distant seating area. Then I walked over to the entrance of the lounge only to see a tiny sheet of paper on the door that said the airport lounge was closed. I probably should have checked online. Unfortunately I had walked an extra few hundred meters for nothing.

I had nothing else to do here, so I walked over to my departure gate. I was so early that it was still “full” from all the people waiting for the flight departing before mine from the same gate. I found somewhere to sit down and unfortunately there would be nowhere to rest my feet so I tried to endure the pain. I wasn’t very successful. I tried a couple of different positions putting different amounts of pressure on my butt and feet, and bending my knees at various angles. Nothing was too comfortable. I think this is one thing that pre-LLers won’t understand until they experience it. Every single one of these sitting positions would have been fine before LL. I wouldn’t have to think twice about any of them before since no matter how I sat my baseline level of pain would always be 0/10. Now it basically varied from 2-4/10 depending on how I sat, and I couldn’t even stay in one position for too long either. The airport WiFi was fast so I tried to play a game on my phone. I could hardly focus and the screen literally felt like it was too far away for me to see things 100% clearly, even though it was the same distance I normally held my phone at. I think the phone felt further away because I was so focused on my legs. I did not get any benefit from the game and did not lose focus on my legs for even a second.

I had planned to get some work done while sitting on a comfortable couch in the airport lounge, but instead here I was suffering in the general boarding area where the chairs are basically designed to be uncomfortable. There was no way I could work right now. I didn’t even bother getting my laptop out. I saw a “laptop workstation” by the gate that had chargers and small tables to work on, but all the chairs were high stools, so I think those would have been even more uncomfortable than the gate seats. I eventually found some weird positions that I could tolerate. The first one was sitting on the edge of the seat and holding both armrests with my legs out straight in front of me. I looked like I was about to fall out of the chair, but this position allowed my legs to feel comfortable when they needed to be straight. However, when my knees needed to bend the best position was leaning forward with my knees as far back under the chair as possible and my elbows on the armrests. In fact this position worked so well that I actually dozed off for a bit, though it must have looked very weird to others when I was napping in that position (also lookalike like I was about to fall forward off of the chair.)

Finally it was around time to board the flight. I walked over to the restroom at the pace of a snail so I could go before boarding the plane. In the bathroom there was a row of guys at the urinals. Naturally when I lined up, my height dysphoria still kicked in since I realized I was the second shortest out of over 10 guys. My lengthening and hard work hadn’t really done anything yet, and the only guy shorter than me was clearly shorter than my original height. I really hope that the second and third inch do a lot more than the first one. I do think being another two inches taller here would have muddied the heights enough that I wouldn’t be able to tell if a good chunk of the guys were a little taller than me or the same height. Anyway, I quickly forgot about it and returned to the gate. An airline worker actually called me over and she said that she thought I would be here with a wheelchair. I said that I didn’t end up needing one but I would like them to get one ready for me at the destination. My home airport is huge and I was not planning to walk around over there. I already had over 5000 steps today and Dr. D said I should be averaging 2500/day during week five. Obviously my legs were already very tired.

Right when I sat back down, the flight actually started boarding. An airline employee found me in the gate area and asked If I wanted to board first and if I needed any help. I got onto the plane and I only had my light backpack on me so I was flying barebones, which is ideal. I put my backpack in the overhead bin since I was in the front row and didn’t have a seat in front of me to put it under. The flight attendant also said I had to put my cane in the overhead bin, which was reasonable. I didn’t want to hold onto it for the whole flight anyway. Plus the lavatory was right next to me so I didn’t need the cane even if I had to use the restroom. After everyone else boarded I remembered that I was planning to take a Norco for the flight, so I got my backpack back out of the overhead bin so I could pop the pill. The flight attendants hadn't given me any water yet, so I did the only thing I could, which is accumulate enough saliva to swallow the whole pill. It’s not a small pill by any means either. I managed to succeed by sticking a starburst candy under my tongue which produced a decent amount of saliva. Then I swallowed the pill, which was already a little bitter since I’m sure it was starting to dissolve in my saliva. I think the painkiller helped a bit as my legs hurt a bit less, though they were still constantly uncomfortable in the aircraft seat.

The flight itself wasn’t too bad. It was actually not packed at all on board, or at least I didn’t see too many people around me. I was able to stream movies onboard so I watched the new Harley Quinn movie, which was a perfect braindead action movie where I wouldn’t need to think about the plot at all. The whole time during the movie I would just switch my legs from straight and pushing off the wall in front of me to knees bent. Neither position was super comfortable, but the act of changing positions generally helped with pain. It was like at night when I have to keep changing positions to find a comfortable one, but I wasn't actively trying to fall asleep. After the first movie I still had time to watch at least part of a second one, so I watched Mulan. This one shows the crippled dad multiple times in the beginning, which immediately made me think of my own legs. At first I thought at least my impairment is only temporary unlike this character, but then I remember the character is just an actor who isn't actually crippled. I didn’t get a chance to finish the movie before the plane landed, but the couple of hours I was in the air were definitely tolerable. However, the thought of doing it two more times roundtrip before the end of the distraction phase made me shudder though.

I was one of the first to get off the plane, and there was a guy standing behind a wheelchair just outside the plane holding a sign with my name. I greeted him and sat down on the wheelchair and put my backpack on my lap. He pushed me to the baggage claim and my bags came out pretty quickly. Fortunately the ERC was still there. Even though I have like one or two grand worth of electronics in my other bag, the ERC would have cost me way more if I lost it. After grabbing both checked bags, he put the ERC under the wheelchair and pushed me with one hand while pulling my luggage in the other hand. We went to the rideshare pickup area in the airport. I had called a car as soon as he helped grab my luggage and it was waiting already. It’s much more expensive here than in Las Vegas because the airport is further out from the city, but I wasn’t exactly planning to take public transportation home. It was very cold outside and I only had a light jacket, but both the wheelchair pusher and the Uber driver were friendly and got me and my luggage into the car asap. I tipped the wheelchair guy and then headed out of the airport.

We took the highway into the city, which was not as congested as usual. When I finally got home it was almost midnight local time. Even though everything had gone perfectly smoothly and the plane even landed early, I still got back very late. The driver was even nice enough to bring my luggage into the front lobby of my building. When I entered my front door I realized that my place had a little musty smell, like no one had lived there for over a month. At least the lights still worked! It was cold since I had turned the heat to the minimum when I left, so I turned the heat back to a livable temperature and then I proceeded to unload just the basics from my luggage, which were my toiletries and chargers for my electronics. Then I went back out and grabbed the mail since I was pretty sure the mailbox was full. After I got back inside I looked around and disappointedly realized that I wasn’t any taller than before. I went over to the doorframe where I notched the wall at 169.5cm and 168cm for my morning and night heights. I took a measurement. I was barely over 170cm. I guess I’m only at 26mm right now, so that shouldn’t be surprising for my night height. Plus I have some APT, which is making it hard to straighten my back out perfectly and is surely reducing my height measurement. Nevertheless, the amount of height I had right this moment over my morning height was imperceivable, which led to a slight sense of disappointment. I can see now why many say the second and third inches make a much bigger difference in perception.

I heated up some food, then grabbed my laptop and took some notes down for my journal so I wouldn’t forget what to write about for today. While I was eating and writing I thought about all the stuff I could do now that I was at home, but I still needed to do my last lengthening of the day and then get some rest, so I’d basically have to push everything off to tomorrow. I can’t believe I still had enough energy to keep going at this point even though I didn’t take a nap during the day and barely slept last night. I laid out a yoga mat on the floor and started doing some PT exercises. I realized that I may or may not even be able to get up off the ground, but I’d deal with that later. First, exercises and stretching. Doing it on the ground was actually a bit easier than doing it on the bed at the Airbnb. Since the bed would move around and had no resistance it was actually harder to balance while doing some of the exercises. Once I finished my full set of everything I sat down on the couch with my feet on the ottoman to lengthen. This was probably the most comfortable I had been since I left the Airbnb this morning. Lengthening went great, and afterwards I immediately went to the bathroom to do my nighttime routine. Then I went to my bedroom, set an extra alarm, took a Norco, and tried to pass out quickly.

Surgery Day +30, Lengthening Day 27 (+1mm, 27.66mm total)

It’s true that there’s nowhere like home. My bed was much more comfortable than the one in the Airbnb. I don’t like the bed slipping around on hardwood when I move and the one in the Airbnb was on wheels. I had to constantly push it back against the wall, which was annoying. My own bed has a nice frame and backboard, and anti-slip pads under the feet so I don’t ever have to worry about it moving around no matter how much I move around on it. Somehow it was much more comfortable in my own bed in every single position compared to the Airbnb. I don’t know if it’s the type of mattress, or that I’m just used to it, or that the heat is turned to the exact temperature I want, but regardless of the reason, even when I woke up with stiff legs in the middle of the night, it felt better. It was almost to the point of questioning whether I should have returned after the first office visit instead of the second one. However, I would have had a much harder time getting around the airport at the two week mark as opposed to the four week mark. I did wake up at one point in the night with my whole body shivering. I don't think it was that cold in my room, so I'm just going to blame the Norco. I remember warming up quickly and falling back asleep though.

I woke up before my alarm, as usual in the past few weeks. I decided to get up so I turned off all my alarms. I checked my sleep data and saw that I got 5.5 hours of sleep out of 6 hours in bed, including a solid block of almost four hours. Not bad at all! Considering how late I slept due to the late flight and having a change in time zones, and walking so much yesterday, I think it was good sleep all things considered. Normally I should be able to stay in bed for eight hours trying to sleep. I also noticed my final step count for yesterday was over 7300, which I think is pretty crazy at the 1 month mark. Even over the last few days when I’ve been doing long walks outside every day, I’m only in the 3000-4000 range. That means I probably walked the equivalent of two miles over the course of yesterday! I’m very curious to see how my recovery progresses over the next few months. After going to the bathroom and doing my morning routine I checked my work email and I was immediately bombarded with urgent requests. It certainly felt like a Monday since I took yesterday off, but the amount of work I have in front of me also makes it feel like a Monday.

I made some breakfast quickly and then started working. I marked an empty spot on my calendar after my first meeting to lengthen. Since it was only a 15 minute block, I wouldn’t even have time to do a full PT and stretch set. I did the following: bicycle kicks, quad lifts, Thomas stretch, towel quad stretch, butterfly stretch, and a hip adductor exercise. Those added up to about 12 minutes, and I saved the last three minutes to run the ERC. This was the most rushed lengthening session I’ve had. I didn’t have time to stretch afterwards either, and immediately called into my next meeting and continued to work for the rest of the morning. Like Dr. D suggested yesterday, I tried to get in some hip exercises and other stretches while working if I could. I think it actually helped a decent amount because I was 99% sure that my workstation at home would be uncomfortable to use since my chair was pretty high, but I realized that there were two metal bars under my desk that were perfect for resting my legs on, or even doing exercises with. It guess it’s like one of those treadmill desks for normal people, except for LL patients hah.

I got a chance to take a break at lunch, where I spent a little more time heating up food to eat. Since it was cold out, hot food definitely uplifts my mood. After eating it I was back to work, but I was pretty sure I could get to a good spot and wrap everything up for the day before it was time for my next lengthening session. For the rest of the afternoon I ended up working partly on my desk and partly on the couch when I needed to rest my legs while they are extended with full support. Fortunately I did manage to finish up relatively early today and started exercising right afterwards. I did a medium set of PT exercises and stretches in anticipation of the next lengthening session. I feel like my hamstrings are falling behind a bit, so I need to focus on hamstrings, but they are the most painful as well (which sounds about right since they are the tightest big muscle for me.) Afterwards, I lengthened in my new dedicated lengthening spot on the couch. Haven’t really felt any aftereffects yet when lengthening at home, but I think I’m definitely a little bit tighter overall than a few days ago.

After my second lengthening I was a tiny bit sweaty from exercising, though not really that much since it was kind of cold even with the heat on. It was time to do what I was looking forward to quite a bit - take a bath. I got into the tub first before filling it with hot water because my tub walls are pretty high and I didn’t want to try getting in there with water. At my current flexibility level I was barely able to get over the edge since I had to bend my knee more than 90 degrees. I sat down and once the hot water covered my legs completely, I realized why hot baths had such a good rep on these forums. I really didn’t feel any pain in my legs in the bath and my skin felt really good as well. Unfortunately I was a little uncomfortable in my tailbone area since my butt has basically disappeared since the surgery and leaning back just a little bit made that bone push into the tub floor. Overall it was okay though, and if I bent my knees and lowered my body into the water it wouldn’t hurt there anymore, and if I really wanted to I'm sure I could find something soft to sit on. I soaked in the bath for way too long while thinking about life, CLL, and how I got here. Before the operation I would often sit in the tub with my feet about three inches away from the wall to feel how much further out of the water I would be if I was three inches taller. It always felt like a big difference and I would feel like the bathtub would become too small if I was taller. Of course, in reality this isn't the case. At just over an inch, when I sat with my feet flush against the tub wall I didn’t feel a thing. Even with my feet two inches from the tub wall, I still didn’t feel a thing. So far I haven’t felt any impact from lengthening yet. I really hope that changes after I cross 5cm. I definitely haven’t reached the point where I can say “this was worth it” yet and I’ve been working at it for a full month. I'm still running on projections and hope.

After my bath I showered as well to actually clean myself, then dried off and went to make dinner. I still wasn’t in the mood to cook, but I had plenty of microwavable food including protein sources, so I continued to heat up easy food to eat. I plan to start cooking by this weekend at the latest. I ate slowly on my desk and realized that my legs were in a little bit of pain, no matter if my knees were bent or straight. I hadn’t taken any painkillers today except for one acetaminophen first thing in the morning, so I probably didn’t have anything in me right now. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take anything for the last lengthening, but I still had a few hours before then. Now that I actually had some free time, there were a few things that I needed to get done that I couldn’t in Las Vegas now that I was at home. I also had a ton of chores to do and I haven't even unpacked everything from my trip yet. Therefore I stayed pretty busy until late at night when it was time to do my last lengthening.

Also, after dinner I noticed that the local PT office that I had selected was closed already. Dr. D’s team had forwarded a referral and instructions to them this morning. However, they didn’t contact me at all today. I guess I will call in tomorrow to see when I can start scheduling PT since I didn’t want to fall too far behind. I’m definitely one of those people who needs the extra push from PT for stretching, especially if there is pain involved. Before LL when I was trying to lift heavy in the gym, the type of pain I would feel if I was doing the lift correctly is nothing compared to LL pains. When I push myself hard at PT, there is no "good pain". There are only two levels of pain: 1) “don’t feel it with the painkiller, keep going” pain and 2) “hurts even with the painkiller, make it stop” pain. I don't want to deal with the pain on my own so I'm basically outsourcing some of the suffering to the PT, who will have to hear me shout and complain. I also haven’t asked Dr D’s office for the prescription sleep aid yet. I want to try a few things and see if I can fall asleep without taking Valium, Ambien, or even an OTC antihistamine. Given that I had a relatively good night of sleep on my first night back home, I have some hope still. I haven’t given any thought as to where I was going to get my x-ray in two weeks, but I should probably schedule it soon. Knowing how slow some things happen in the medical world I might need to schedule it now to even get it in two weeks.

Finally, it was the end of the day and time to lengthen. I got all my tools and put them next to the yoga mat. I would do some upper body exercise as well since I didn’t want my non-leg muscles to atrophy as well. Of course that means I would need to eat more to maintain everything, but I should be able to pull that off. I worked out and stretched for over 30 minutes, which is a pretty long session for me at home. My legs were tired and in a little bit of pain, but working out made them less stiff and my whole workout was tolerable. Afterwards I lengthened and then got ready to go to bed. Instead of taking Norco before bed, I had something different to try - a chocolate edible. I know these worked pretty well in the past and made me very sleepy, and other lengtheners have given good reviews on it as well so it was worth a shot. After eating it and drinking a bunch of water, I sat in bed and got ready to sleep, though first I checked the forum and posted my backlog of journal entries. Now I’m going to go read something boring while I wait for my sleep aid to kick in. Good night, forum.
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Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

InFullStryde

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2020, 03:39:15 PM »

Incredible diary.  The details are so helpful to both prospect and current, CLL'ers.  You're doing great, buddy.  Keep fighting the good fight!

All the best,

IFS
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"Make the BEST of what you have and Make what you have, the BEST"
InFullSTRYDE with Dr. Mahboubian - Jan 2019
Start Height/End Height: 5'1.25"/5'4.25"
Status: Gained 3" and Recovered Successfully! | Stryde Nails Removed: November 2020
Diary: http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=9671

L8GrowthSpurt

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #45 on: December 18, 2020, 04:48:36 AM »

Thanks for the details; very helpful and appreciated! Stay strong, brutha 💪
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BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2020, 04:42:00 AM »

Incredible diary.  The details are so helpful to both prospect and current, CLL'ers.  You're doing great, buddy.  Keep fighting the good fight!

All the best,

IFS
Thanks for the support, IFS!

Thanks for the details; very helpful and appreciated! Stay strong, brutha
Glad you find it helpful!

Surgery Day +31, Lengthening Day 28 (+1mm, 28.66mm total)

I think I ate the edible too late last night. It took about two hours to kick in, at which point I was pain free, but not really sleepy. After another 30-60 minutes I was finally sleepy enough to fall asleep. I’m not sure if the edible made me sleepy or if it was just really late at night. Next time I definitely need to take it earlier in the night. I remember waking up a few times in the middle of the night, and I was awake enough to check the time once. However, when I looked at my watch data in the morning, I had woken up many times last night so the sleep quality wasn’t that good. Regardless, I had 5.9 hours of sleep out of 7.1 hours in bed, which is tolerable. I actually didn’t wake up until my alarm went off and I was still a little reluctant to get out of bed, and I think I could have gone back to sleep, so those are good signs that things are getting better with sleep.

While I was making breakfast my phone rang with an out of area number. I assumed it was spam and didn’t pick it up. However, I got a voicemail saying it was the local physical therapist that I picked and they left me a local callback number. It was strange, but after eating I called them back to schedule. They had all my information from Dr. D already so they just asked a few basic questions about the procedure, but ultimately were unable to schedule me until Monday, and even then they only had availability while I would be working. That’s fine with me though, no one is going to notice me missing for an hour or two around lunch on a holiday week when half the office is on vacation. Some PT is definitely better than no PT, and the place is a five minute drive from where I live. After that, I called the biggest hospital in my city to schedule an X-ray since I know they are in network with my insurance. They told me that X-rays can be done during a walk-in and if I had my doctor’s orders then I could just bring them when I walked in. I need to get an X-ray the week between Christmas and New Years so hopefully it’s not too busy at the hospital. I won’t be very busy at work, so I plan to go in the middle of the day. I also scheduled my next appointment with Dr. D. During the last visit he had suggested a weekend appointment so I wouldn’t have to take time off work, but he wasn’t available on the weekend closest to my 8-week checkup, so I scheduled a regular weekday appointment. I have tons of vacation time anyway, so I don’t mind taking off a day or two.

I had enough time to lengthen before my first meeting of the day, so I set my exercise area up with all my equipment. I have noticed that it’s getting harder to keep my legs together when they are straight, though I can still do it. Most surprising to me is my hamstrings. I have been stretching them pretty consistently, but I have lost significant flexibility there. Before surgery I could basically touch my toes with my wrist. After surgery I could barely touch my toes, but as I recovered I was able to touch with my second knuckle. So basically I’m assuming I lost about 4 inches of flexibility from the surgery itself that I would be able to recover later. However, at this point with just 28mm in, I can’t even get close to touching my toes with my fingers, I’m maybe 4 inches away. I’ve lost these 4 inches of flexibility over the last week or so, so in total I have lost maybe 8 inches of flexibility in my hamstring stretch, and I’m barely over 1 inch in lengthening. Something seems a bit off, and maybe it’s even related to my APT, but I just need to try and maintain everything until Monday so I can see the new PT and hopefully they can solve all my flexibility problems.

Afterwards I worked until lunchtime. I still wasn’t yet in the mood to cook, and my frozen chicken that I put in the fridge still hadn’t thawed yet, so I microwaved some convenient food and chowed it down. I might order out over the weekend so I have some more variety, but I feel like I need to cook at least once soon so I get in the habit and so I don’t get too lazy. I had a decent amount of work to do for the afternoon, so I planned to grind through all of it and then do my second lengthening of the day. Unfortunately my plan didn’t work because my pain started becoming intolerable by the early afternoon. I had basically been at 1-3/10 pain all day because it was hard to find a comfortable position to stand in. I had an important meeting coming up and just 30 minutes beforehand I had zero focus, so I took a full Norco. I lay in bed and waited for it to kick in. Just before the meeting I started feeling much better, which worked out perfectly. After the meeting I was still feeling no pain so I did a pre-lengthening workout and stretch session and then ran the ERC. Lately I still haven’t been feeling any post-lengthening pains, but I am getting more and more concerned about my hamstrings. It’s definitely getting hard for me to stand with my legs together and I’m not even at 3cm yet. I’ve had APT the whole time as well. I decided that I was going to try and stretch my hamstrings every 1-3 hours going forward as long as I remembered.

I decided to cook dinner since it was still early in the evening and I was quite hungry. I’m surprised the Norco I took didn’t make me lose my appetite, but that’s good because I’d prefer to eat a lot right now, especially if it’s healthy food. Neither standing by the stove for an extended duration nor carrying the giant pan full of food gave me any trouble. I remembered that before the surgery when I was preparing everything at home I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to carry a pan full of food from the stove to the counter. I really had no concept of what I’d be physically capable of at this point, even what I’d be like at all, but I’m way stronger and more capable that I thought I would be one month after surgery. While eating, I remembered that I wanted to finish the Mulan movie since I had watched part of it on the plane, so I put it on TV. Honestly the lengthening life is really not that different from regular quarantine life, the main difference is just that I have to spend a lot of time stretching and managing my pain throughout the day. The rest of the time I am just doing what I would be doing anyway. While I haven’t had the chance to appreciate any height gain yet, I am certainly glad that I’m lengthening at a time when everyone else is stuck at home too. I’m pretty sure the lives of my friends are just as boring as mine right now based on their complaints. I suppose they aren’t in pain like me, but they’re also not growing!

With so much more stuff to do at home than when traveling, the night passed by quickly and it was time to take another sleep aid - the same one as last night. This time I took it over an hour earlier since it took so long to kick in last night. I had over an hour to exercise and do the last lengthening of the day and then I would be in bed and ready to go to sleep early by the time it kicked in. I actually spent about two hours doing stuff and it never kicked in. I proceeded to stretch and do some exercises and the last lengthening. One thing I’ve definitely noticed now is that my legs are swollen again. I think the reason is because I walked around too much on the day I flew back. I think it is impacting how flexible I am, though my hamstring could just be losing flexibility. I also think my IT band is also tight around the knee. Hopefully the swelling goes down soon. I went to bed after lengthening and the edible never kicked in. I just went to sleep normally.

Surgery Day +32, Lengthening Day 29 (+1mm, 29.66mm total)

I woke up many times overnight, and I was very stiff each time so it was hard to fall back asleep. I also had to get up and go to the bathroom twice, and making that quick walk was difficult each time. My sleep data matched what I felt, I got 5.8 hours of sleep out of 8.6 hours in bed, which is a pretty bad ratio. I also woke up 17 times in the night and didn’t get any solid blocks of sleep that lasted more than one hour without waking up. I was sleepy and tired when I got up, but my alarm had gone off so it was time to start the day. I was also in 3/10 pain laying in bed, and I was hoping that the act of getting up would help with that. I could try to take a nap later in the afternoon. I made breakfast quickly, then I had to call into a meeting. Fortunately I wasn’t presenting anything, so I was able to eat while listening in on the call. Afterwards I wanted to get ready for lengthening, but I was very tired still, and my legs were swollen. I had no energy to do PT exercises. I lay down in bed and elevated my legs with pillows. In that position I fell asleep for a bit.

I was awakened by another alert on my work laptop and I got up. I had a little bit of time to lengthen now, so I forced myself to start exercising. Again, I had zero energy or motivation to lengthen and every action was a struggle. I got through my exercises and stretches one at a time. I feel like my hamstring stretch was another 1-2 inches worse than yesterday. It must be related to the swelling because I don’t think I should be randomly losing flexibility. When I finally got through everything I sat down in my lengthening spot on the couch and felt a bit of relief. Lengthening itself wasn’t painful and had no aftereffect. I think my biggest problem these next few days is going to be the swelling, so hopefully there’s a way to get rid of it quickly. I really didn’t expect that my legs would get swollen again. I really should have taken the wheelchair service at the Las Vegas airport earlier in the week. I’m also certain all that walking plus a flight is the reason that my legs are swollen. Fortunately my fridge at home can make ice, so with some ziploc bags and towels I could make some ice packs to use later.

I was still a bit busy with work and I had to eat lunch as well, so I didn’t plan on icing my legs until later in the day. In the afternoon I brought my work laptop to my bed and sat in bed working instead of at my desk. It definitely helped a bit to keep my legs comfortable since they weren’t doing that well in a sitting position with my knees bent (3/10 pain from the swelling/stiffness.) I think if I maintained a sitting position I would probably have to take a Norco sooner or later. I planned on taking half a Norco later to help me get through the middle lengthening of the day though. When I finally signed off work, I went to lay down with my legs elevated for a bit to help with swelling. Unfortunately my legs hurt, so it wasn’t easy to position them. I think I will need to use the help of painkillers to get me through the swelling. I did some more research on swelling and it does seem like flying is a contributing factor as well as working out too hard. However, to reduce swelling I need to drink more water to get fluids moving and improve my circulation. Raising my thighs above my heart level could help as well as icing them and massaging them.

I took half a Norco pill after work (though honestly it might have been better to take it earlier to improve my focus at work.) I browsed the web and ate some snacks while waiting for it to kick in. I gave it 30 minutes and then started my PT exercises and stretching. I selected exercises that would both help my strength and flexibility, and would help improve blood flow and reduce swelling in my legs. My flexibility was still absurdly bad with the hamstrings, but I’ll be more concerned if it stays this bad after the swelling goes down. Afterwards I lengthened both sides and then it was time to make dinner. I did the dishes and watched some TV while waiting for my pan to dry so I could cook on it again. Overall, my legs are okay post-Norco, but I’m still having some trouble sitting in a chair unless my feet are flat on the ground. Standing actually feels better, but if I straighten my legs too hard, it puts some pressure on my IT bands, though that might be good since I think I’d be stretching them.

After cooking and eating dinner, I figured it would be a good chance to ice my legs. Since my freezer hadn’t made enough ice for me to use yet, I decided to take an “ice bath” on my legs. I wasn’t sure how well I would be able to handle an ice bath during the winter, but I really needed to fight back against the excessive swelling. The water felt pretty cold, but I’m pretty sure it was at least 10 degrees above freezing. It was actually harder to keep my legs flush against the bottom of the tub than it was to endure the cold. I stayed in there for 15 minutes and then mixed in some hot water so the tub would be warm at least. Afterwards I elevated my legs above my heart level and played on my phone until I got bored. Of course my legs weren’t elevated the whole time, I still had to move them around to keep them comfortable. After I got out of the tub I ate another edible. I’m fairly certain it’s going to do absolutely nothing because I’m pretty sure the batch I’m eating is expired. I could go shopping for more tomorrow. I sat in bed for a while reading and then later at night it was time to do the last lengthening.

I wasn’t feeling great, but somehow I still had a little more energy than I did in the morning. I did my exercises and stretches half heartedly and then ran the ERC on each leg. I felt no lengthening aftereffect but I did another set of stretches afterwards just to try and push myself a little. Finally it was time to go to bed. Indeed I did not feel anything from the edible even hours later, so I would be going to bed with no painkillers again. Hopefully I manage to get better sleep, and if not at least there’s no reason to wake up early tomorrow.

Surgery Day +33, Lengthening Day 30 (+1mm, 30.66mm total)

I remember waking up many times last night. My sleep data showed 6.2 hours asleep out of 8.1 hours in bed. I woke up a total of 12 times but at least got a block of over 2 hours of consecutive sleep. As bad as it was, it’s still better than the night before. I got up pretty early considering my alarm was set to noon. I think sleeping in during the weekend is impossible anyway when you wake up stiff and in 3/10 pain and completely unable to fall back asleep. I got up and went to the bathroom for my morning routine. I took a Xarelto and Tylenol as my morning pills. Then I ate breakfast to fully wake myself up. At this point I wasn’t really feeling any pain anymore so I started preparing for my first lengthening. Once I got it out of the way I would have lots of other stuff to do today. While exercising I still felt completely out of it, though I managed to push a little harder than last night. I noticed that my swelling had actually gone down a bit since yesterday since I can actually tell where my knee ends and thigh starts whereas yesterday It was all one giant blob. Maybe the cold water bath worked. I could try soaking for 15 minutes in the cold tub again today. As long as it can get rid of my swelling the suffering will be worth it. The swelling makes it extra hard to lengthen because I don’t know if my pain and tightness are from swelling or lengthening.

After finishing my stretches, I ran the ERC on each leg. I just hit the 3cm mark but it doesn’t really feel that special. I didn’t notice anything at an inch and I still don’t notice anything now. At least things are still moving along, and reduced swelling today is a good sign as well. I should certainly hit the 4cm mark before the end of 2020. It looks like half my lengthening will happen in 2020 and half in 2021. I’m not sure when, or if I will need to slow down my lengthening rate, but so far my legs have been okay overall. I can feel like it’s getting harder to keep my legs together when walking, I can also feel that I’m losing some flexibility in my hamstrings, but it hasn’t affected me keeping my legs straight. My quads are the most flexible, and I have no problem bending my knees. I can feel my IT band stretch when I stand super straight and push my knees backward, but I’m hoping that they haven’t fully healed yet and can still be stretched. I hope that any reduced flexibility right now is still due to my thighs being swollen. I am a bit concerned about swelling being caused by flying, so I plan to take the wheelchair service next time even if I can walk better than I did on my first visit to the airport.

Now that I was done lengthening it was time to run some errands. I planned to drive for the first time and I didn’t have any painkillers in me, so I was ready to go out. Driving was no problem, especially since I was going to a lot of places not too far from each other so I could alternate between sitting in the car and walking around. My first stop was the bank since I needed to get some cash. After that I went to the local dispensary. I’m sure they up-sold me since it cost way more than I remember, though it has been years since I last bought any. I asked for a sleep aid and pain relief and got a pack of each to try. If it works I will come back for more. Next, I stopped by a drive through for lunch and then realized I was completely out of gas. Too bad I can’t reach across time and slap my pre-surgery self for leaving a car with an empty fuel tank for my currently crippled self. Fortunately it wasn’t that hard to fill up the car and honestly I feel like I can do most of the things that I need to do by myself. After that I went home with all my goodies.

When I got home, my legs were quite tired from walking around. It wasn’t late enough to start the second lengthening session of the day and I didn’t want to take any pain medication. I changed into indoor clothes and sat on my bed and watched TV for a while. My legs were pretty comfortable and I stretched my hamstrings occasionally. When it was about dark out I started exercising and did my second lengthening of the day. I have noticed that I’m at my strongest around the time of the second lengthening of the day. I’m not sure why this is, but it’s easier to do reps and stretch at this point in the day. I’m weaker in the morning and right before going to bed. Nothing too special about this lengthening session. Afterwards I sat in bed and watched some more TV and then when I started getting hungry I went to the kitchen to make dinner.

After dinner it was time for my ice bath. I plan to keep taking them until my thighs are no longer swollen. I plan to record a stair climbing video for you guys as well once my legs are not swollen anymore. I just really dislike the fat thighs look. Fifteen minutes in the cold water was easier today than yesterday and I think the water was actually a bit colder. Maybe my body is already adapting to this, heh. Again, after the cold water part I filled the tub up to warm water and then elevated my legs and played with my phone while soaking for a bit. When I was about to get out of the tub I took one of the sleeping edibles that I bought today. It said it could take up to 2-4 hours to take effect so I figured I would need to take it early for it to kick in when I needed to sleep. I planned to workout and do the last lengthening about an hour or so after eating the edible. If I was lucky then the painkiller effect would have kicked in but not the sleepiness. I dried off and went back to my bedroom to relax for a bit.

The time came quickly for me to do the last lengthening of the day. I started doing my PT exercises and I’m pretty sure in the middle of them my edible kicked in (much earlier than expected.) I went from struggling to sit down onto the yoga mat to having more than enough energy to do all the exercises and stretches. After I finished lengthening, I drank a bunch of water and then went straight to bed.

Surgery Day +34, Lengthening Day 31 (+1mm, 31.66mm total)

I think I took the edible too early last night. I did fall asleep fairly quickly, but I usually don’t have trouble falling asleep. I have the most trouble staying asleep for a longer duration. My sleep data showed 5.6 hours asleep out of 8.1 hours in bed, waking up 16 times and no single block of sleep over 2 hours without waking up. The worst period was between 5am and 6am, where I was awake for much longer than I was asleep. I remember not being able to sleep during this period last night as well and thinking that I might have to get up and start my day early. I’m not sure what else I can do for sleep at this point, other than to just sleep normally and then take something if and when I wake up in the middle of the night. I’m quite envious of the lengtheners who are getting 7-8 hours of actual sleep, or at least are able to sleep for long blocks of time. I’m sure they are more effective and focused when working than I am. I got up, went to the bathroom and started my day.

The first thing to do was to take my pills of course. I’ve been taking a Tylenol in the morning with my Xarelto, but I’m not sure I feel anything at all from acetaminophen anymore. Maybe the type of pain I’m experiencing isn’t really impacted by acetaminophen or maybe I’m too used to it and it has no effect on me. Regardless, I think it still has some sort of placebo effect because I’m not sure if I feel better or not after taking it. I made breakfast and ate it while watching some internet videos. I definitely feel very low energy today. Working out did not help at all. I did manage to finish a full set of exercises and stretches before my first lengthening though. Afterwards I sat down on the bed for a while and played with my laptop and phone. I really didn’t have the energy to go anywhere, do anything, or even think about anything. I’m glad I went outside yesterday when I actually had some energy because I don’t think I’d be able to today.

The morning passed by quickly and I made lunch and ate it. I decided to try and get some work done ahead of time to reduce my stress during the upcoming work week. Although I didn’t think I could focus I figured I could at least test my capability of focusing, and possibly take a painkiller to address it. Like I’ve said before, the distraction phase is all about finding painkillers that work for you. When I’m in 0/10 pain and focused, I can see how people say they can easily work during the distraction phase. When I’m at a baseline pain level of more than 0 and I can’t focus well, I can also understand all the people who took a break from work for the entire lengthening period. I think I’m somewhere in the middle. My job is flexible enough that I have been able to get away with it so far, but if I kept this level of job performance for an extended period it would definitely not look good on me.

I was actually able to focus for a little bit and get work done without any painkillers. I sat on the couch with my work laptop on my legs. I don’t think I could have done any work on my desk though since my legs are still pretty sensitive in certain sitting positions. After about half an hour I started feeling a bit uncomfortable in my legs, so I took half a Norco and then my focus went to 100%. It kicked in about 30 minutes later and I was feeling no pain in my legs, but amusingly I started noticing little things that I don’t feel when I’m in pain, like my incision sites and some of the skin near my knees itching. Anyway, I took a 20 minute break from work to exercise and lengthen, where I was full of energy and got through all my exercises and stretches enthusiastically. I guess painkillers still make a huge difference. Aside from my lengthening break I completed nearly 3 hours of uninterrupted work and cleared out much of my inbox. I should be able to slack off a bit next week if nothing urgent comes up :D

Next it was time to make dinner. As soon as I got up from the couch, I realized that the Norco had pretty much worn off already. However, I wasn’t really in that much pain, just back to my uncomfortable baseline. I cleaned the dishes by hand and then waited a little bit for them to dry. Once the cutting board dried I started preparing my meal. I think cooking during the lengthening phase is both good exercise and uplifting to the spirit. When you’re in pain, stiff, and uncomfortable most of each day, every happy distraction is welcome. Once dinner was ready I sat down in front of the TV to watch while I ate. It’s times like this that make me feel like having broken legs during LL is not that different than usual, but each time I wake up in the middle of the night I am reminded how different going through LL is than just being holed up in the middle of the pandemic. Of course, from the outside no one knows. My friends all think I’m going through the same things that they are, but I’m really taking biding my time during the pandemic to another level.

After finishing dinner and a couple of TV episodes it was getting a bit late so I decided not to take an ice bath today. While my swelling has definitely gone down a bit in the last two days, if I had more time tonight I would have taken another ice bath. I’m not sure if I can attribute all of the improvement to the ice baths, but I’m sure it’s helping, along with elevating my legs and massaging them in the direction of my body. I haven’t really noticed an improvement in my hamstring stretch though as my swelling has gone down, so I’ll definitely bring that up with the PT when I finally get a chance to go tomorrow. One other problem I have on flexibility is that my left leg can no longer do the butterfly stretch. It just starts hurting when I try - not even when I stretch too far but as soon as I stretch a tiny bit I get a burning feeling. I’ve been doing this stretch on my own as no PT has told me to do it so I don’t know if it’s even necessary, but it’s still a little concerning to suddenly not be able to do the stretch since it's technically a thigh stretch. I guess most lengtheners are more concerned about not being able to keep their legs together as opposed to worry about not being able to separate them. I also started doing a new IT band stretch in the last few days. I feel the stretch the most around the butt area, but it has actually greatly improved my ability to stand straight without feeling any pressure from the IT band around my knee area. I guess the whole body is interconnected so something that might not seem helpful can actually be helpful. Hopefully I find something similar that helps my hamstrings.

I decided to do my last lengthening session of the day just to get it over with so I could go to bed and rest even if I didn't fall asleep right away. Since I had already been stretching while I was watching TV I didn’t have to work out too hard before lengthening. My energy level was actually okay considering I hadn’t taken any painkillers. After lengthening I took another one of those sleep aid edibles. I brushed my teeth, drank some water, and went straight to bed without waiting for it to kick in. Hopefully I can fall asleep quickly and have the effects of the edible help me stay asleep for a few hours.
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Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

Froggy

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2020, 08:07:42 PM »

Great Journal entries as usual. I can’t imagine flying in my current state. I noticed the same thing with my hamstring and butterfly stretch recently. I’m right around where you were at the 1 inch mark. It hopefully won’t regress much further. Hang in there. Almost halfway done!
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L8GrowthSpurt

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #48 on: December 23, 2020, 04:58:14 AM »

BTM - dude you’re like 1/2 way through distraction, right? How goes the battle? Stay strong, you got this. 💪
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BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2020, 03:19:01 PM »

Great Journal entries as usual. I can’t imagine flying in my current state. I noticed the same thing with my hamstring and butterfly stretch recently. I’m right around where you were at the 1 inch mark. It hopefully won’t regress much further. Hang in there. Almost halfway done!
It's good to know that someone is in the exact same stage as me - makes me feel less alone doing this! How are you doing now?

BTM - dude you’re like 1/2 way through distraction, right? How goes the battle? Stay strong, you got this.
Not quite halfway yet, but I will be before the end of the year. Thanks for the encouragement!

Surgery Day +35, Lengthening Day 32 (+1mm, 32.66mm total)

Another morning, another sleep report. I got about 5.5 hours of sleep out of 7.4 hours in bed. I woke up 14 times in the middle of the night but almost got a 2 hour solid block of sleep. I was super tired, but I got up and took my medicine including a Tylenol. My legs were actually in 3/10 pain walking around in the morning (which is a good bit worse than usual.) I sat back down in bed and got out my laptop. As I was using it, I dozed off. I woke up 20 minutes later and rearranged everything so I was in a laying down position and I took a one hour nap. After that I felt a bit better rested. It wasn’t that early in the morning anymore but at least I was more refreshed. I got up again and went to make breakfast and start my first lengthening of the day. I wanted some rest between lengthening and PT so I wouldn’t feel any aftereffects from lengthening while I was at PT.

While exercising and stretching I noticed that my energy level was pretty low, but I was able to get through my full routine. I lengthened (with no aftereffect) and then worked for a little bit. Shortly after that it was time to go to my new PT clinic. I took a Norco and quickly headed over. I showed up 20 minutes early to get my paperwork, insurance, and payment set up. When everything was ready, I went into the facility and met with the PT who I would be working with. She seemed very nice and asked me a bunch of questions about the procedure. She also tested my strength and flexibility in a bunch of different positions. Finally we spent some time doing PT exercises which were similar to the ones I’ve done before. She also used a massage roller on the outside of my thighs, which I thought would hurt since it was over my incisions and femur screws, but it was actually okay and helped loosen up my IT band a bit. Before leaving I scheduled PT sessions all the way out until the end of next month. I actually feel a lot better having a physical therapist that I can talk to, since it feels like I have someone supporting me through the lengthening phase. In the 6 days that I didn’t have any PT, I was just stretching by myself at home and it definitely felt a lot more like I was doing this all alone.

The PT center is in a strip mall so there are a ton of food options nearby. I grabbed some food to go before heading home. When I got home, I sat at my desk and worked for a while without feeling uncomfortable in my legs. Doing PT helps my legs feel more comfortable for a while even after the session, though I suppose the Norco I took before PT was probably doing its job as well. I continued to work for the remainder of the afternoon, though I took a lot of breaks so I would be moving around and not just sitting in one place the whole time. The afternoon wasn’t too busy and after I signed off work I started doing more PT exercises to get ready for the second lengthening session of the day. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure how much my PT actually knows about the procedure. I should probably bring it up to her tomorrow to see exactly what Dr. D’s office told the PT clinic. I want to be sure that she knows that I’m still lengthening and that I will get less and less flexible. She might think that I’m already done lengthening and am just trying to recover, which would probably result in a different treatment. After my exercises and stretches, I ran the ERC on each leg, again with no aftereffect. I’m starting to think that I’m in that middle phase where lengthening isn’t too bad and I don’t really have any surgical pains anymore. Hopefully it stays this way for a while.

After lengthening I wasn’t hungry enough to eat a big dinner yet, so I decided it would be a good time to take that ice bath that I missed out on yesterday. I actually brought a thermometer into the bathroom this time to see what temperature the water was at. It’s a cooking thermometer so I don’t know how well it reads low temperatures, but the water coming out of the faucet was 7C (45F) but it was warming up once it came out of the faucet due to ambient temperature, body heat, etc. After five minutes the equilibrium temperature of the bath water was 15C (59F) so that’s probably why it gets pretty easy for me to tolerate. I’m not sure I could keep it colder unless I actually dumped ice cubes into the bath, but for the purposes of reducing swelling in my thighs I think a 15 minute soak at this temperature is fine.

After the cold bath and a lukewarm shower I was still not hungry. I took a Norco earlier today, so maybe that affected my appetite, but I’m really just not that hungry overall, especially given how many extra calories I’m supposed to eat every day. I’m sure I’m losing weight as we speak, but it’s really hard to be motivated to eat when you’re not hungry, let alone cook, eat, and do dishes as well. For future lengtheners I would definitely plan to eat out more or have someone cook for you if you want to try and maintain a high caloric intake. At this point my legs were actually in 3/10 pain. I’m not sure what caused it, but it was there. I tried sitting down in bed with my laptop and distracting myself, but it didn’t reduce the pain at all. I kept changing positions with my legs, and eventually, after maybe 20 minutes or so, the pain finally went away. I wonder if it’s like this in the middle of the night when I wake up - 20 minutes of pain keeping me awake and then falling back asleep when it goes away. I’m usually too tired and sleepy to be able to tell what the problem is when I wake up in the middle of the night since I’m just focused on trying to fall back asleep.

Finally it was getting kind of late, so if I didn’t cook dinner now I would end up not eating dinner or just eating snacks. Sure, my brain isn’t hungry, but I need that protein and other nutrients to fuel my body’s bone regeneration. I cooked a meal and ate it quickly and then started getting ready for the last lengthening. I ate an edible sleep aid as well since I figured it would kick in shortly after running the ERC. Of course nothing went to plan. Halfway through my exercises, the edible kicked in and I lost all motivation to finish them. I half heartedly did a couple more stretches and then ran the ERC on each leg. Fortunately I had no uncomfortable aftereffect, otherwise I don’t know if I would have had the energy to try and do more stretches to counteract it. At this point I was super ready to go to sleep and quickly got ready to do so. I collapsed into bed and immediately passed out.

Surgery Day +36, Lengthening Day 33 (+1mm, 33.66mm total)

For the past six nights I still haven’t managed to get a good night's sleep. I’m sure it’s affecting me negatively, but I’m not sure how much I can do about it. I got 5.8 hours of sleep out of 7.4 hours in bed waking up 13 times with no single block of sleep over 90 minutes. When I got up I struggled to walk to the bathroom. My legs were in 3-4/10 pain just from standing and walking. The pain didn’t go away for the 10 minutes or so while I was doing my morning routine. I took my morning pills of Tylenol and Xarelto and sat back down in bed dressed up. I waited a while for the Tylenol to kick in and hopefully return me to a baseline pain level of 0/10. I don’t think I was as sleepy as the previous morning where I was able to take a nap shortly after getting up. Fortunately the Tylenol worked after a bit and I wasn’t in pain even when just sitting in the bed and not moving.

My stomach was growling at this point and I went to make breakfast. I should probably try to somehow better distribute my calories across the day since I was too full to finish my meal last night, yet very hungry first thing in the morning today. After breakfast I felt a bit better in my legs, but I had some stuff to do for work. I got it done as quickly as possible so I could start my first lengthening session of the day. I was definitely feeling low energy at this point, but I did a couple of exercises and then lengthened. Afterwards, I finished the rest of my exercises and stretches slowly. I think the sensitivity of my left leg to butterfly stretches is getting worse. Although I haven’t done any butterfly stretches recently, there are a lot of ways for my leg to accidentally stretch in that way whether I’m sitting or laying down and the pain is no good. It is a very different kind of pain than anything else I’ve experienced since surgery.

After my exercises I lay down on the couch briefly while working off of my phone. Before I knew it I had dozed off. I slept on and off until almost noon. I felt much better when I got up and I decided to make lunch, but my legs were still stiff, and in a bit of pain walking around. I tried to eat my lunch over the countertop in the kitchen but halfway through the meal my legs got too tired and I had to take a break and sit on the couch for a few minutes. The last few days haven’t been all that great in terms of lengthening, today included. I got up and finished my meal, and then worked for a little bit. It was almost time to go to PT so I popped a Norco and changed into my gym clothes. By the time I got everything ready it was time to head out, so I got into my car and drove over to PT. As usual, I didn’t feel anything from the Norco until after PT started, and based on how they’re pushing me, I definitely think I need it.

The PT facility was pretty empty when I got there. I suppose early afternoon on a weekday isn’t exactly primetime. I got on the stationary bike to warm up, and it’s pretty trivial for me to pedal compared to the first first few weeks out of surgery. At resistance level 3 I rode 1.19 miles in 10 minutes. It’s sad to think that I used to be able to run faster than that. Then I got on one of the tables and started doing PT exercises. There was a different PT today who was training me. I’m still not sure if this PT knew exactly what my surgical procedure was, but he definitely seemed to know that I have metal rods in my legs attached by screws. He also used the foam roller on the outside of my thighs, which was slightly painful but helped loosen up the IT band. We did the same exercises as I did with the other PT yesterday, and a couple of new ones which were kind of tough. He then did some range of motion tests and helped me stretch my hamstrings, then used the foam roller on my hamstrings as well. Overall I would say I came out of PT feeling much better than I did going in. I’m sure part of it is the exercise I’m getting and part of it may just be the timing of when I take Norco. I suppose it’s possible for someone to lengthen at home doing all the necessary exercises and stretches, but for me it definitely helps to have an outside party assisting with this even if it costs money.

This PT facility has a lot of mirrors and two of the exercises I did toward the end were standing exercises, so I got a good look at my current proportions. From about 15 feet away I couldn’t really tell if my legs were any longer yet, which is not surprising at only 3cm lengthened. My upper body is still in pretty good shape, and I think I look better overall than before, with a longer thinner look from waist down. I’m not sure how the other 5cm will affect my look, but at 3cm I can definitely say my proportions are more pleasing to the eye than before. When I got home I was still thinking about my height gained and I took a look at my starting mark on the wall. My current eye level is about two inches below that mark. Therefore, if I can hit 8cm then my new eye level will be approximately where the top of my head started out at. If that’s not a big perspective change, then I don’t know what is. Before lengthening I would be basically eye-to-eye with a 5’6” girl in flats. Going from that to looking at the top of her head is a huge difference. If she wears heels we’d be the same height instead of me being shorter. I think I’m finally starting to see and feel some solid evidence that I’m growing, but again it’s not to the point where I can confidently say that CLL is worth it yet.

I ate some snacks and then decided to lengthen right after I got back from PT since I was already fully warmed up. I did some minor stretches while waiting for the ERC to power on and then ran it on each leg once it was ready. I felt no lengthening aftereffect and I didn’t expect to feel anything because my legs were doing great. After that I worked for a couple of hours in the afternoon with no problems since my legs were doing good. After I signed off work, I sat on the couch and played games for a while - probably too long since my butt got a little numb from sitting in one position. I had to recharge my phone and laptop, so I did some stretching in the meantime. As before, I’m really not that hungry in the early evening, but I don’t want to wait until too late to eat because it throws off my schedule. I decided to cook something and I could relax and watch some TV at night and do some casual stretching. I guess I would be skipping the ice bath today. I don’t think my thigh swelling has fully gone away, but it’s not so bad now that it’s making my legs feel significantly worse.

I decided to try the high CBD content edible tonight. Who knows, maybe it would help me sleep better than the other one. I wasn’t planning to let it get in the way of my PT exercises though, so I made sure to warm up first and get ready to lengthen before ingesting anything. Since I had been stretching while watching TV I was already feeling good before starting my PT exercises. Once I was fully warmed up, I ran the ERC on each leg with no aftereffects. The ERC reminded me to charge it again, so it looks like you can get about 2-3 weeks of use out of each charge. Finally it was time to go to bed. I went to the restroom to do my nighttime routine and then hopped into bed before the edible kicked in. Fingers crossed for getting a better night of sleep! Lack of sleep definitely impacts how I feel and I actually think the last week in Vegas felt like it passed by quicker than this first full week that I’ve been home. Just need to hold out for one more week and I’ll be at the halfway point. It certainly hasn’t been easy and the pain that I feel tests my resolve every day, but I’m still holding on for that greater payoff in the near future.

Surgery Day +37, Lengthening Day 34 (+1mm, 34.66mm total)

The edible kicked in last night before I fell asleep. Since I was already laying down and sleepy I didn’t really notice it. It looks like I fell asleep about 30 minutes after laying down. I slept for 5.8 hours out of 7.8 hours in bed, waking up 12 times. Two of the times I woke up were for over 30 minutes each. I remember waking up both times and not being able to fall back asleep. When I got up in the morning it was quite early, but I was ready to get out of bed since I didn’t think I’d be able to fall back asleep. Based on the last two days I could probably take a nap later in the morning if I got tired. I got up to do my morning routine, then took a Tylenol and Xarelto. I sat back down on my bed because my legs were hurting a bit. I would say again I woke up with 3/10 pain in my thighs, which is exacerbated by walking around. Hopefully the Tylenol could help a bit but in the meantime I didn’t want to put any extra pressure on my legs.

I eventually got a little sleepy, but I hadn’t eaten breakfast so I didn’t want to take a nap. I got up to make and eat breakfast and then I started doing some work. Before I knew it half the morning had passed by. I had to lengthen soon otherwise it might interfere with PT, which I had around lunchtime today. Since I had PT I didn’t want to push myself too hard for the hour or two beforehand, so I half heartedly did my exercises and stretches, then ran the ERC. Fortunately I didn’t feel a lengthening aftereffect, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I did given how poorly I’ve been stretching lately. I continued to work for a bit and then headed to PT a bit early. I didn’t want to be late again so I gave myself some extra driving time.

I’m starting to get used to PT here and I did 10 minutes on the stationary bike as a warmup. I pushed myself very hard today, averaging over 100rpm on the bike at resistance level 2. I went 1.53 miles in 10 minutes according to the bike, which is still not as fast as my top running speed, but getting pretty close. Even the PT commented that I was going very fast on the bike. I actually managed to push my heart rate up to almost 160 during the bike ride, so I think this is actually the first time that I’ve really done any cardio since the surgery. I don’t believe I’ve gone over 130 bpm with any exercise before, and that’s with a post-surgery RHR of 90 or so. (My RHR back when I was doing distance running was around 54.) After the bike ride, I had to do a bunch of standing exercises, the most painful of which was a calf stretch. Apparently on the back of my leg it’s not just the hamstring that is excessively tight, my calf is very tight as well. This would explain why my sit and reach is so bad - in fact maybe my back is tight too. I’m still not 100% sure how lengthening my femur has made all these other muscle groups tighter by so much more than what I’ve lengthened so far. After the standing exercises, I lay on a table and did a set of PT exercises lying down. Afterwards the PT worked on my range of motion (including my hip adductor) and then rolled my IT band again.

After PT I got some takeout at one of the nearby food joints and then headed home. It was around this point that I realized that I had completely forgotten to take Norco before heading to PT. I wasn’t in pain at any point up until now, but as soon as I realized I didn’t have any Norco in me, I felt like I was in a bit of pain with every step I took. That goes to show that there’s certainly a psychological aspect with the pain. I got home and ate my lunch, then worked for a bit, though I think I was quite distracted because my legs legitimately were in a bit of pain for a while. About two hours after I got home I decided to take a Norco for some relief, and also because I would be doing the midday lengthening session soon, and I should be able to exercise better with the Norco in me. I sat down in bed with my work laptop and continued to work for a bit. Of course, I got a bit sleepy after a while since I hadn’t taken a nap yet. I didn’t want to sleep right before lengthening and get stiff, so I tried to stay awake. However, I still dozed off for a few minutes. Fortunately a coworker messaged me and woke me up. By this point my legs were feeling great again. As much as I try to avoid taking Norco, it really does work wonders on me. Maybe part of the reason it still works so well is because I’ve been limiting my intake so my body doesn’t really have a chance to build any tolerance to it.

I got out of bed and started doing more PT exercises. My life is currently centered around PT exercises and stretching for sure. Everything else is just a distraction to get time to pass by until the next lengthening session. Since the painkiller was working well, I pushed myself a bit harder on stretches. I didn’t increase the number of reps or duration for any exercise though. After that I ran the ERC on both legs with minimal aftereffect. I will say I am starting to feel a little uncomfortable on my left shin after lengthening, but it’s not numbness or a shocking pain, so it probably isn’t an issue with my nerves, but it could be an early sign of nerve issues so probably something I should check with Dr. D’s team. After the lengthening session I worked for a bit to wrap things up for the day. After that I decided to relax for a bit and played some games on my phone, but I didn’t get very far when a bunch of friends randomly messaged me (independently.) I spent the rest of the evening just chatting with people. I probably spend too much time isolated right now and having some social interaction outside of talking to coworkers is pretty nice.

It was getting pretty late and I hadn’t done anything in the evening except drain my phone battery. I quickly started making dinner - something simple and quick. I also thought through which exercises and stretches I needed to do before my last lengthening. I ate my light dinner quickly, then took an edible as a sleep aid, and finally started doing my pre-lengthening exercises. I got through everything fairly quickly since I did one less set of each exercise, but I did each stretch for its full duration. I ran the ERC on each leg afterwards and there were no issues post-lengthening, except for my left shin still. I wonder how often nerve pain comes only in one leg, would I have to slow down both legs if only one was in pain? I’m thinking yes, but it would be interesting to finish on one leg first while the other one slowly catches up. You could start consolidation on the finished leg and it would be comfortable and able to support you while the other leg was still recovering. Anyway, I had nothing else to do for the night, so I went to bed. It wasn’t that late yet, and nothing had kicked in, so I didn’t fall asleep right away. I pulled my laptop out and browsed the web for a bit. The edible kicked in and I slid down into a sleeping position and passed out.

Surgery Day +38, Lengthening Day 35 (+0.66mm, 35.32mm total)

When I woke up I figured I got decent sleep since I only remembered waking up once last night to go to the bathroom. However, my sleep data only showed 5.2 hours of sleep out of 6.9 hours in bed and waking up 11 times, which is not so great. I got up and did my morning routine, then ate my pills and breakfast. Overall I would say I was in 2/10 pain walking around first thing in the morning, so a tiny bit better than the last few days, but it’s still not great to be in pain while walking around right after getting out of bed. I signed onto my work computer and started working for a bit, planning to take a break for lengthening sometime in the morning. After about an hour I felt like I was not in pain anymore, so I figured it would be a good time to lengthen. The sun was also fully up and it seemed to be a nice sunny day (even though it was very cold outside) which boosted my mood a bit. I ran through the full set of exercises and stretches and then lengthened with the ERC. I didn’t feel too uncomfortable in my left shin this morning, so hopefully I’m still staying ahead of any flexibility issues at 1mm/day.

After that I continued to work until it was time for PT. Since it was an early afternoon PT session I skipped lunch and had some snacks instead. I figured that I could just get some takeout nearby after PT. This time I remembered to take my Norco before PT. Since I know the PT is going to push me (as they have every other day this week) it’s probably still better to go in with Norco. When I got to PT I started with 10 minutes on the bike. I went back up to resistance level 3 and I definitely didn’t have as much energy as yesterday, so I only rode for 1.21 miles in 10 minutes, and generated less wattage than yesterday. Afterwards, I did some standing stretches and exercises, and some laying on the table. The PT manually stretched out my hamstrings and hip afterwards, and then rolled my IT band. I also found out that my copay for this PT facility is actually cheaper than what I had to pay in Las Vegas (though only by 10%.) Since I will be going to quite a bit of PT here, the savings will still add up I suppose.

After PT I got some food nearby and then headed home. When I got back, I ate quickly while standing around (didn’t want to rest yet) and then did a lengthening session since I was still warmed up. I felt okay immediately afterwards, but after a while my left shin started hurting again. I don’t think what I’m feeling is nerve damage, but since it has been recurring I messaged Dr. D’s team with a description of my issue. Dr. D said I could reduce lengthening to 0.66mm/day for five days to see how my body reacts to that. I suppose I’m okay with slowing down this early in the distraction phase if it’s temporary. Five days of reduced lengthening is 1.7 extra days of distraction added on at the end. I’ll still pass the halfway mark before the new year and with a reduced number of PT sessions over the holidays a corresponding break with lengthening is okay with me as well. However, since I had already lengthened twice early in the day today, I figured I would start at the reduced speed tomorrow.

I was already off work and the sun was setting at 4pm so it was dark and dreary out even though it didn’t feel that late. I considered taking a nap, but I still had a bunch of stuff I needed to get done so I kept myself busy for a while. I wasn’t hungry at dinner time since I had stuffed myself with a late lunch, so I didn’t eat again until pretty late. I took a bath in the early evening, though not an ice bath as my thighs were not that swollen anymore. I took a hot bath instead, though unfortunately it didn’t really help that much with pain. I couldn’t stay in the bath for too long since my legs were uncomfortable, and after getting out of the tub my legs were in 3/10 pain while walking around and feeling both tight and stiff. I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to skip the last lengthening session of the day, or finish at 1mm today and reduce my lengthening speed tomorrow. On one hand my leg pain definitely pointed to giving myself some rest today, but on the other hand my second lengthening session was early enough in the day that I would have over 8 hours of rest before the last session.

The decision was made for me when I was lounging around in bed around 10pm and simply fell asleep. It would have been good to do an extra exercise and stretch session even if I didn’t do an extra lengthening, but I can’t do any of that if I’m asleep. Sleep is very important as well during lengthening since it’s hard to come by. This is actually the first time I’ve fallen asleep without preemptively taking a painkiller in weeks. I woke up quite a few times but managed to stay partially asleep until about 2:30am. I got up to use the bathroom and just walking around I was in 4/10 pain. I took a Norco and then sat in bed watching YouTube videos and trying to find a comfortable position while waiting for it to kick in. Once it did, I felt pretty good, but I wasn’t sleepy at all anymore. However, I figured if I didn’t fall asleep before it wore off I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep at all, so I turned off all the lights and lay there, and eventually I fell asleep again.

Surgery Day +39, Lengthening Day 36 (+0.66mm, 35.98mm total)

Apparently my sleep wasn’t too great after taking the Norco. I remember staying asleep for a solid hour or so and then waking up to realize that the painkiller had worn off. I struggled to sleep for a while, but then it looks like I got two solid chunks of sleep in and didn’t get up again until dawn. In total my sleep data shows 6.1 hours of sleep out of 8.9 hours in bed. However, if you don’t count the 90 or so minutes I was awake watching YouTube in the middle of the night, then the ratio looks a bit better. When I got up I didn’t get out of bed right away. I sat up and replied to messages on my phone since I had a ton of them. By the time I got up to start my morning routine, my legs were at 0-1/10 pain, which is much better than any of the previous mornings this week. I only had a protein bar for breakfast since I planned to eat a huge lunch.

Next I thought about lengthening in general. Slowing down my lengthening speed, while a little sad for a few reasons including having to spend more time in the distraction phase and seeing my progress slow down as well, I think overall it’s still going to be beneficial for me. I get to test how my body reacts to slowing down to see how good of a tool it will be later on. I can also lengthen once in the morning and once in the evening without having to try and fit one in mid-day, which is usually the hardest one to do. I think ultimately slow and steady wins this race, and I went into this fully prepared to slow down and add more time to the distraction phase. Between my left shin and the inside of my left thigh I think there’s definitely some tightness/pain that could use a little bit of rest. I will continue to stretch at least as much as I did when I was lengthening at full speed though. After a few days I will return to normal lengthening speed and hopefully by then my flexibility will have caught up a bit to my current length.

As long as there is no risk of premature consolidation, the biggest drawback from slowing down is just spending more time in the distraction phase (the loss of time itself is not so bad compared to the extra suffering experienced during that time.) However, I wonder if in the long term it really makes a difference or not. If I spend an extra 10 days lengthening will it take 10 more days to recover my walking gait? I don’t think so because either way the soft tissue has had the same amount of time to grow. It might not even slow down bone consolidation since the bone is constantly growing even while lengthening. Anyway, I’m probably just trying to internally justify slowing down or psychologically convince myself that it is good. We’ll find out in a few days how helpful it is, and I certainly do hope it makes things easier for a while.

It was late in the morning and I actually had to do the lengthening session. While I wasn’t in pain, I was still relatively low energy today. I have been relying on PT for energy boosts, but I can’t expect PT to be open on a holiday so I would have to motivate myself to do the exercises and stretches. I did an extra long workout session (over 30 minutes of actually working out) and then I was ready to do the first lengthening of the day, after a long break from yesterday’s last session. Running the ERC was no problem and I didn’t really feel any aftereffects. That’s a good sign, and I’m definitely continuing to look out for any issues with my shin or inner thigh. I had a lot of stuff to do after lengthening, and everything I do takes longer than normal. For example, taking out the garbage and recyclables would have taken one trip with working legs, but in my current state it takes three trips. I stayed busy until lunchtime, at which point I ate a ton. After that I continued to go through my to do list.

I did another stretching session for over 30 minutes in the late afternoon, even though I wasn’t going to lengthen. I think I need every stretch I can get, even at the reduced lengthening rate. Although it isn’t easy to motivate myself to do anything, let alone painful stretches, I know I have to continue with it. I can feel that the second half of the distraction phase is actually going to be harder than the first half so while I’m not really looking forward to it. However, I am very much looking forward to being completely done with this so I need to use that as motivation to keep driving myself forward. Unfortunately after my stretching session my legs were in about 3/10 pain when I was walking around inside so I took a Norco. I figured once it kicked in I could stretch some more. I didn’t have too much energy though, and I also didn’t feel the Norco kick in as hard as last night. I’m always fearful of building up a tolerance so I try to save my Norco for a rainy day. I ended up only doing a few light stretches after resting for a bit.

I decided to take a bath to heat up my legs and body as I felt like all my extremities were a bit cold. (Nothing to do with lengthening, just a cold day.) I can still only barely lift my legs high enough to get into the tub, so I consider it a risky maneuver, but I have a chair right next to the tub that I’ve been using for support. It’s also a great place to put my phone when I’m not using it. Anyway, in the tub I noticed that my butt was even flatter than before (due to both muscle and fat loss) and it’s getting harder for me to sit down on a hard surface. I’ve also been doing my exercises/stretches on the couch and in bed instead of on the ground on my yoga mat because it’s just too painful whenever I roll over my tailbone. Because of this, I ordered a full body bath pillow online. Once it gets here I will let everyone know how useful it is. I feel like being able to lay down comfortably in the bath where your legs feel very light due to buoyancy should be very good for pain. Since I can’t sit or lay down too comfortably in the bathtub I have to soak in weird positions which makes it harder for my legs to stay comfortable as well. As I got out of the tub I noticed that my toenails were quite long since I hadn’t clipped them since before my surgery. At first I wasn’t sure if I would be flexible enough to do it myself, but I sat on my chair next to the bathtub and put my feet on the side of the tub and it was very easy to reach.

Normally at this point in the day I should have been getting hungry, but the Norco I took earlier was probably suppressing my hunger. I did eat a big lunch earlier, but that’s still only one meal. If I didn’t get hungry before bedtime, I would have to try and eat something before going to sleep. Although yesterday I somehow managed to fall asleep without taking a preemptive sleep aid, I wasn’t planning to let sleep come naturally tonight. I spent most of the evening talking with family, and before I knew it, it was well past 9pm and I realized that I still had zero hunger, so I prepared a meal purely for the sake of nutrition intake. I’m sure the Norco had already worn off by this point so I’m not sure why my appetite was still so bad. I was not in pain walking around though, so maybe it’s still lingering in my bloodstream. One thing I’ve started trying to do (when I remember) is to march instead of walk. I think deliberately exaggerating a proper walking gait might do more to stretch and train the correct muscles for walking than limping around with my cane and walking in the way that is currently the most comfortable for me. While I was eating I thought about other things that I could do to increase the amount of stretching I was doing, but all I could think of is that I need to somehow get a lot more motivation.

After dinner, I ate an edible and then raced against the clock to finish my workout and second lengthening before it kicked in. I did a fairly long workout, but even so I didn’t expect the edible to kick in so quickly. I suddenly felt it right when I was about to start running the ERC. Fortunately I had already finished exercising because it hit me pretty hard. I was barely able to operate the ERC correctly, and after I finished lengthening I drank some water and then immediately went to bed and passed out.

Surgery Day +40, Lengthening Day 37 (+0.66mm, 36.64mm total)

I really don’t like the way the Apple Watch sends sleep data to the phone. If you wake up earlier than your alarm and turn off the alarm, it doesn’t seem to detect that you woke up half the time and then deletes your sleep tracking data, which is just terrible. I have no sleep data from last night, but based on what I remember waking up in the middle of the night and how tired I was this morning I don’t think my sleep was any different than any of the past nights this week. I was not sure if I would be able to take a nap at some point during the day, but that would probably be beneficial for me. I got up to use the restroom, with 3/10 pain in my legs walking over, though the process of walking was still okay for me. I took my morning medication and then grabbed a protein bar and hopped back into bed to eat it. I played on my phone and laptop for a bit before deciding to get up and start the first lengthening session of the day. I was at 0/10 pain when not moving so I wasn’t planning to take any additional painkillers. I might stop taking Tylenol first thing in the morning because it doesn’t seem to actually do anything for me.

For my first round of PT exercises in the morning my energy level was medium, but my motivation was super low. I just couldn’t seem to force myself to do anything. I half heartedly did my stretches, and even fell asleep for 10 minutes in the middle of stretching. I finally finished my stretches and ran the ERC. After that I did some extra stretches of my hamstrings and quads. Of course, things just can’t go without a hitch so after stretching my left quad I had some knee pain, so I had to stop. I kept myself busy for a little while longer and then it was time to eat lunch. I ate a ton for lunch, and after lunch I was feeling okay (left knee pain gone) so I decided to record a video for the journal. Here it is:



I’m still a little bit swollen in the thighs right now so that’s my excuse for my legs looking fat. My APT is also getting worse, so that makes me look a little fatter than normal along with the baggy clothes. I think I’m okay on the stairs given that it was actually my first time going up and down them. It feels much easier to go up the stairs than down them. As for walking I don’t think my gait is that good right now. I definitely feel like things are harder than they were earlier on in lengthening. I also took this video with a zoom lens instead of ultrawide, so there might be some differences from that as well. My step distance definitely seems shorter in this video.

Making the video burned a bit of time, but it was still only the early afternoon and I didn’t really have much to do for the rest of the day. I guess the only thing to do was waste the afternoon on TV shows. I could still occasionally stretch while watching TV and try to find positions that were comfortable for me. While I was watching TV it got dark outside. Around 7pm I decided to do a lengthening session. It would be under 12 hours from the first lengthening, but I figured I’d need to get my body used to lengthening with less than 12 hours of rest in between otherwise it would be hard to switch back to 1mm/day. I did my exercises pretty efficiently and then ran the ERC. Everything was great and I decided to eat a CBD edible and then take a bath.

The edible didn’t kick in right away and I was playing on my phone while enjoying the hot water (though my tailbone was so uncomfortable I don’t want to take any more baths until my bath mattress gets here.) I put my phone down and within a few minutes I felt super comfortable and drowsy. I knew that the edible had kicked in and I really enjoyed soaking in the water for a bit, but of course I was way too comfortable like this and fell asleep. I don’t even remember how long I slept because I was so out of it when I woke up that I didn’t remember to look at the time. All I knew was that I was shivering because the water was cold already. I started draining the tub and stood up. Fortunately the pain relieving effects of the edible were still in effect and although my legs were a little weak I was able to stand in the tub. I dried myself off quickly, which warmed me up and then I got out of the tub and limped into my bedroom. I changed into sleeping clothes, but then realized I was incredibly hungry (I wonder why?) While I hadn’t eaten dinner I was in absolutely no condition to cook. I stood in the kitchen and ate/drank about 800 calories worth of snacks and called it a meal. Then I went to bed with a smile on my face because I could tell that I was going to fall asleep very quickly the second that my head hit the pillow.
Logged
Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

L8GrowthSpurt

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #50 on: December 28, 2020, 03:34:32 AM »

BTM - Thanks for the update and video; I’m trying to plan for stairs which I’ll have to deal with lots during recovery.  You looked like you handled them well. Did you have increased pain when navigating the stairs? How’d that compare to baseline? Also, the edibles seem to me to be a great idea to try and ameliorate the low grade constant type pain and help with sleep. Any observations about their utility? Stay strong 💪; before you know it you’ll be there
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Froggy

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #51 on: December 28, 2020, 05:35:22 AM »

Hey BTM, great entry as usual. Glad to see you making steady progress towards your goal. I’ve tried reduced lengthening on occasion and they seem to help tremendously in terms of letting the soft tissues catch up and not feel as tight. Curious to see if you observe and feel the same during the 5 days of reduced lengthening.
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Stryde2021

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #52 on: December 28, 2020, 11:56:37 PM »

Great diary BTM, but it would be really nice to get a concise summary post on your progress for your next entry.  No offense--your entries are just a LOT to read to find the substantive info!

For example, where are you at on:
-Pain meds--what are you still taking?
-Mobility:  how far can you go with the cane?  Can you do any meaningful distance unassisted?
-Stretching routine:  how often?
-How tight?
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BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #53 on: December 30, 2020, 04:06:04 AM »

BTM - Thanks for the update and video; I’m trying to plan for stairs which I’ll have to deal with lots during recovery.  You looked like you handled them well. Did you have increased pain when navigating the stairs? How’d that compare to baseline? Also, the edibles seem to me to be a great idea to try and ameliorate the low grade constant type pain and help with sleep. Any observations about their utility? Stay strong; before you know it you’ll be there
I haven’t tried stairs until now, but I think they should be doable pretty early on in the process as long as you have the guardrail in one hand and a crutch or cane in the other hand. Edibles are okay, but I don’t think they are the magic sleep pill that some other lengtheners have called them. I do think it’s at least as effective as Norco for helping me with sleep though. I plan to try CBD without THC when I get a chance to see if CBD by itself can help with sleep.

Hey BTM, great entry as usual. Glad to see you making steady progress towards your goal. I’ve tried reduced lengthening on occasion and they seem to help tremendously in terms of letting the soft tissues catch up and not feel as tight. Curious to see if you observe and feel the same during the 5 days of reduced lengthening.
Hey Froggy, slowing down these five days has definitely helped with soft tissue tightness. I think that it greatly reduced the pain in my left shin and the inside of my left thigh. I’m afraid that as soon as I go back to 1mm/day all the early nerve pain signs will return though. I guess we’ll find out soon!

Great diary BTM, but it would be really nice to get a concise summary post on your progress for your next entry.  No offense--your entries are just a LOT to read to find the substantive info!

For example, where are you at on:
-Pain meds--what are you still taking?
-Mobility:  how far can you go with the cane?  Can you do any meaningful distance unassisted?
-Stretching routine:  how often?
-How tight?

What you consider to be substantive information right now will likely change once you start the LL process. The things you listed are going to vary a lot from patient to patient and doctor to doctor. You should be listening to your doctor’s advice for what to do regarding these and not some random person on the internet.

Surgery Day +41, Lengthening Day 38 (+0.66mm, 37.30mm total)

I woke up a few times last night and once again I couldn't fall back asleep after dawn. I think I finally figured out the best way to turn my alarm off early without losing my sleep data. It is to just set the alarm to the next few minutes and then let it go off. According to my sleep data I got 7.5 hours of sleep out of 8.3 hours in bed. I’m not sure how I slept so much and so efficiently, but I’ll take it! I only woke up 5 times last night, though the fifth time was for almost half an hour. I got nearly two 3-hour chunks of solid sleep as well and I actually remember dreaming, though not what I dreamed about. Hopefully I can figure out how to replicate this sleep success, because this morning I have more energy than I had any other morning this last week. I haven’t slept this well in over 10 days. I got up and did my morning routine. My legs were at 3/10 pain walking around, but I only took Xarelto and skipped the Tylenol since I wanted to see if it was actually doing anything in the morning (and I don’t think it does.) Next, I sat in bed for a while and worked on this journal and my log keeping for LL since I was so out of it last night that I didn’t write anything down.

After about an hour I got out of bed to make breakfast. I had been pretty hungry, but I was comfortable and making good progress on my journal so I didn’t want to move around yet. After breakfast I sat back in bed and continued to work on my laptop. I wanted to do my first lengthening fairly early today, but not so early that I wouldn’t be mentally ready for it. After another hour or so my legs were still a little uncomfortable, though not in any pain while sitting in bed, and I decided to just take a Tylenol. I still can't tell if the Tylenol has any pain relieving effect or if I was just distracted by other things but eventually I felt a little better. I got out of bed and started doing PT exercises and stretches to prepare for lengthening. My energy level was still pretty good and I was motivated enough to do full sets of even the harder stretches. I lengthened afterwards with no problems. After that I sat back in bed with my laptop for a bit. Around lunchtime I ordered takeout since the meat I had taken out of the freezer yesterday hadn’t finished defrosting yet. Since I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get some fresh air, I drove over to the restaurant to pick my food up in person.

When I got back I ate a ton for lunch, but still had plenty of leftovers. Then I kept busy with some errands and chatted with people for most of the afternoon. Towards the end of the afternoon I also decided to go to my building gym and try out the stationary bike. While it’s not completely safe to go to any gym during the pandemic, I was looking at the schedule for my gym and not a lot of people were signed up, especially over the holidays, so I think the risk is pretty low right now. I took a Norco right before heading down to the gym. When I peeked into the gym entrance, there was only one other person there and he ultimately ended up leaving about 10 minutes into my workout. I got on the Peloton bike and did a 20 minute beginner course. I scored in the bottom 14th percentile of males 30-39 with a weak 40kJ of output. While I’ve never scored in the bottom 14%ile on anything (except height) I didn’t actually feel bad about my biking score because I was too busy feeling bad for the ~4,000 people that I beat, because I’m pretty sure they did the course without any broken femurs (lol.)

One very important side note about biking during lengthening - the bikes that I was using at both the Vegas PT and my local PT were the kind that you could sit on comfortably and even lean back while pedaling. The Peloton was designed like a road bike, with an uncomfortable but aerodynamic seat. I was wearing regular gym shorts, I didn’t want to put too much weight on my legs, and my butt doesn’t provide a lot of padding right now, so it was extremely uncomfortable for me to sit on that bike seat and after I got off my perineum was slightly numb (awkward.) Fortunately, I have a pair of biking shorts from my triathlon days, so I will definitely remember to wear that the next time I use the Peloton. Keep that in mind if the bike you have access to is similar to mine. I still had about 15 minutes left in my allotted gym time, so I got a pair of 15 pound dumbbells to test out what I could safely do with my upper body. I carried the dumbbells one at a time to the bench and when I was using them I made sure not to put any extra weight or pressure on my legs. I hit my biceps and triceps, and also did multiple shoulder exercises. After doing a few sets of each lift, I felt really good (or the Norco finally kicked in.) My muscles were tired as I haven’t lifted anything with my upper body for a long time but it was the kind of soreness that makes you feel really satisfied. I was in an optimistic mood for the first time in a week or two, and I think I will be scheduling a lot more sessions in the gym, especially on days that I don’t have PT. Maybe if I improve my upper body build significantly while lengthening then I can just tell people that I got the Captain America treatment (and I’m only half joking.)



After that I left the gym and went home. I put a football game on in the background and started stretching for a lengthening session. Stretching was a lot easier after a workout and I spent about 15 minutes hitting all the usual stretches and then I lengthened with no issues, though I did feel a bit of pain on my left knee while stretching. It was definitely being dampened by the Norco because I’ve had the same pain before and it was a lot worse last time. I wasn’t hungry at all, and it wasn’t late yet. I tried to get some work done in the evening. As usual, it would help reduce my workload during the week so I could go offline in the middle of the day to go to PT and stuff. I was fairly productive for a while and I reached a good spot in preparation for the upcoming work week. At this point it was time to try the same sleep strategy as last night since it had worked so well. I took a CBD edible and finished watching the rest of the football game. I wasn’t going to take a bath and risk falling asleep in there again, but I did need to take a shower since I went to the gym today. After my shower I was hungry again and fortunately I had leftovers so I heated those up and ate them quickly. Then I went to bed feeling very good and anticipating that I should be able to fall asleep quickly.

Surgery Day +42, Lengthening Day 39 (+0.66mm, 37.96mm total)

I really don’t remember too much about last night, except that while I was half asleep I tried to stretch my left inner thigh (butterfly stretch) and it actually didn’t hurt that much since my pain was suppressed. I also remember waking up for a good 20 minutes around 2am and not being able to fall back asleep. During that time I got up to take a Norco and then immediately went back to bed. According to my watch, I slept for a total of 6.2 out of 7.6 hours in bed and woke up 8 times, but got nearly two 2-hour blocks of solid sleep. That’s about an average night for me during lengthening. However, I felt pretty refreshed this morning so I think I actually fell asleep before my watch started tracking my sleep. (Like I said before, the Apple Watch isn’t actually good at tracking sleep if you sleep before/after when the sleep start time is set or wake up before the alarm goes off.) I also think I fell into a relatively deep sleep last night because I remembered dreaming again. I don’t remember too many details about the dream, only that my hair was really messed up in it. Anyway, since I don’t feel tired at all I think I will continue my current sleep strategy.

I got out of bed to do my morning routine and take my pills, then grabbed my work laptop and sat back down in bed. After working in bed for about an hour, I realized that I was incredibly hungry and had completely forgotten to eat breakfast. I got up to make and eat breakfast, then I figured it would be best to lengthen early in the day. Today is the last of five consecutive days of lengthening at 2 sessions per day (0.66mm/day) so tomorrow I’m going back to full speed (1mm/day.) I planned to lengthen twice relatively early in the day today and then “skip” the last session; this way my body is at least used to two lengthenings relatively close to each other. I started doing my PT exercises and stretches, but didn’t overload myself since I had to actually go to PT today. After doing a set of everything I ran the ERC on each leg. I think slowing down has definitely helped me with overall pain, tightness, and stiffness as I feel less of all of it. However, it’s hard to quantify how much slowing down has helped though, because while less of something that’s tolerable is helpful, it may or may not be necessary. It is definitely helpful that both my left shin and left inner thigh hurt less than they did before, so I suppose slowing down has definitely helped with potential nerve issues.

I returned to work for the rest of the morning all the way until it was time to leave for PT. I headed over quite early since I needed to leave PT early and hoped that they would allow me to get started early so I wouldn’t miss out on too many exercises. Right when I drove out of the garage I realized that I had forgotten to take Norco before leaving, but it was too late already. However, since I had gone through PT a couple of times without any painkillers in the past it would probably be fine. I arrived at PT about 15 minutes early and they were ready to get me started, so I rode the stationary bike for 10 minutes. I got 1.32 miles at resistance level 3, so a bit of an improvement over last time, especially since I wasn’t trying very hard today. Although the PT I had been working with most of last week was present, I actually had a different PT working with me today. She had me lay down on the table and rolled out my hamstrings, then my IT bands. I felt a bit sore wherever the roller touched, but it was not the painful kind of sore, more like the sore feeling you get after working out. The roller was also relieving the soreness at the same time it was causing it, so maybe the soreness was already there. For some reason I got very ticklish when she rolled over my upper femur screws, I flinched but managed to stifle my laugh. After that I did a series of PT exercises on the table, and then a bunch of standing exercises and stretches. I finished up the last exercise right when I needed to leave, bid farewell to everyone at the PT facility, and rushed out to my car.

I immediately drove back to my place after PT and while I was in the building elevator I subconsciously leaned back onto the handrail (which I have been avoiding since the start of the pandemic) and suddenly realized that I had grown relative to the handrail. The handrail used to touch me at the hip level so it felt like it was just in the way when I leaned against it. Now it felt like I could almost sit on it and I’m sure once I’m done lengthening, it’ll actually be at a sitting height for me. It’s always good to get these tiny reminders that I’m taller, because I don’t really have that huge perspective shift yet (the one where I feel like everything looks lower than before because I’m taller.) I really hope to get that shift in perspective at some point during the distraction phase, because I think that’s what makes everyone so adamant that CLL is worth every penny. Anyway, I got home and called into a meeting and then after that continued to work for a bit. I ate the remaining leftovers in the fridge while I was working. I initially felt okay after PT, though as my legs got stiffer over time they were not as comfortable as before. Eventually, I had to take a Norco and I planned to keep working while I waited for it to kick in. However, right after I sat down I got distracted by a message from a friend and we talked for a while and I didn’t even notice when the Norco kicked in. It was already early evening so I just signed off my work computer and started my workout.

It was much easier to do PT exercises with a painkiller. Even though I was able to do them at the PT facility without a painkiller, I would not be able to do them all over again pain-free just 2-3 hours later without taking a painkiller. I got through a full set of everything since I wasn’t sure how much stretching I was going to do later in the night. Then I lengthened each side with minimal aftereffects (slight pain in the left knee.) I have felt pretty good physically while lengthening at 0.66 mm/day so I did some quick math on lengthening rates. Even if I stuck with 0.66 mm/day all the way to 8cm, I would still be done before the end of February 2021. If I lengthened at 1 mm/day every day, I still wouldn’t be done until the second week of February. The difference is less than 3 weeks, so if nothing goes wrong with my nails, I’m going to be done with distraction at some point in February no matter what speed I go at! Of course, I suppose things could get so bad that I would have to slow down to 0.33 mm/day, but let’s not think about that for now (or hopefully at all lol.)

After lengthening, I had a couple of TV shows to catch up on. I ate lunch pretty late so I wasn’t hungry yet, but I planned to cook dinner later. While I was watching TV I reminded myself again that even though I was suffering and bored every day, my life is actually not worse off than most people during the pandemic. The timing of everything should work out too, since I should be decently recovered by the time all the vaccines are massively available. I did some light stretching as well while I was watching TV, though I’m a bit lazy so I always have to remind myself to stretch when I’m doing passive activities. Time passed by pretty quickly and it was about time to cook dinner. I made a delicious meal out of my giant stash of frozen and canned food and ate it along with my CBD sleep aid. I quickly took a shower before the edible kicked in, and then got ready to go to sleep. Everything worked out perfectly timing-wise and I got into bed and browsed the web for a bit on my laptop. Once I got the smallest hint of being sleepy I immediately turned off the lights and passed out.

Surgery Day +43, Lengthening Day 40 (+1mm, 38.96mm total)

I guess going to bed early has its perks. I slept for 7.6 hours out of 8.6 hours spent in bed. However I woke up 9 times split up pretty evenly throughout the night, so I didn’t get any single block of sleep over 90 minutes. Still, I’m not too tired today, so I guess that counts for something. I got up pretty early in the morning and I did my morning routine and took my meds. I might need a refill of Xarelto before my next visit to the doctor, so I probably need to count the pills when I get a chance. I sat in bed trying to be productive for a while, but realized that I was very hungry. I always forget to eat breakfast when I wake up until I suddenly realize I'm hungry. I went to the kitchen to make and eat breakfast, which made me feel much better. I actually needed to lengthen early in the day today since I’m back to three sessions a day. I am bad at timing my lengthenings since I’m a hardcore procrastinator, so I had to just start for the first one. I did a set of PT exercises and stretches and then it was time to run the ERC. While it was quite early in the morning, it was more than half a day after the last lengthening so I didn’t expect it to be too difficult and it wasn’t.

After lengthening I got busy with work all the way until it was time for PT. While working I was in just enough pain that I had to sit in bed instead of at my desk and my focus was not really that great. I managed to get a bit of work done though. When it was time to leave for PT I remembered to take Norco today. I drove over to PT, which was pretty packed today, though most of the people present were there for OT. I started on the bike and did 1.66 miles in 10 minutes at resistance level 3, which is nearly a 90 watt output (not bad at all.) I think I will be able to score much higher on the Peloton when I get a chance to try again. Next I got onto one of the tables and the same PT as yesterday worked with me. She rolled my hamstrings and IT bands, then manually stretched my hip and quads. Since I took a painkiller earlier, none of the movements generated any pain at all (though I don't think it would hurt even if I didn't take a painkiller.) After that I did all my PT exercises, with additional weights, bands, and reps on each one. I feel like the PT can tell when I am able to do an exercise easily and just makes it harder. I don’t mind though, because the harder I train, the better my legs will get.

After the last exercise I left PT and went to a supplement store that was in the same strip mall. I had seen a sign on their door earlier that they sold CBD, so I thought they might have some CBD pills without THC that I could try for sleep, but it turns out that they only had topical products. They did have quite a variety of sleep aids though, so I picked one up that seems to help with staying asleep. I left and went home and then realized that I should probably check with the doctor before taking anything new, even if it's not a prescription drug. I’m planning to get X-rays tomorrow, so maybe I can bring it up when I send those over. On the other hand, I actually feel like my sleep is tolerable right now, so if it ain’t broke, don’t mess with it, right? No reason to try a new sleep aid if what I have works. After I got home I ate a bunch of snacks, though I didn’t have a proper lunch so I would need to eat a big dinner tonight. As soon as I got the chance, I ran the ERC on both legs. Since I was already 100% loose and still on Norco it was the best time of the day to get my middle lengthening session in. After lengthening, I felt no negative aftereffects, so I got back to work as I had a lot to do. I also remembered that I recently got a bill from a radiologist contracted by the hospital I had my surgery in for $70. I checked with Dr. D’s office and it is indeed not covered by the hospital fee, because the biller is not affiliated with the hospital. I still think it’s kind of ridiculous how that works, but that’s the U.S. healthcare system for you.

I wrapped up at work and started going through my personal to do list and the next thing I knew it was dark outside. My legs were feeling a little more in pain, but still at a tolerable level. I decided to cook dinner next. After eating and watching TV I took a shower and started doing my laundry. At this point I figured it was late enough at night to lengthen. I did another set of PT exercises, though these were the hardest of the day since my legs were tired and I had already done so many. I finished the exercises and stretched as well, then ran the ERC. I have no issues yet from going back to 1mm/day yet, but this is only the first day. I took a sleep aid (non-CBD) edible and went to bed.
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Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

L8GrowthSpurt

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #54 on: December 30, 2020, 03:22:59 PM »

Thanks for the update, BTM. Good to hear the lengthening adjustment is helping with the pain side effects.  February will be here before you know it! 👍
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DreamerLL

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #55 on: January 02, 2021, 12:11:42 AM »

LoL I feel the same "Captain American treatment" while I was doing lengthening .
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BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #56 on: January 02, 2021, 04:45:20 AM »

Thanks for the update, BTM. Good to hear the lengthening adjustment is helping with the pain side effects.  February will be here before you know it!
Yeah, all I can do is take it one day at a time!

LoL I feel the same "Captain American treatment" while I was doing lengthening .
He probably lengthened 20cm in a minute! Definitely worth it even at 10/10 pain the whole time :P

Surgery Day +44, Lengthening Day 41 (+0.66mm, 39.62mm total)

I slept well last night. I woke up at 3:30 and took a Norco pill, but aside from that I was asleep for most of the night. I got 7.8 hours of sleep out of 8.8 hours in bed. I woke up 5 times total and got some pretty big blocks of sleep. I don’t remember dreaming though. I was sleeping so well that I actually hit the snooze button for the first time in weeks. Normally I can’t fall asleep after dawn and I get up and turn off my alarm before it even goes off, but today I slept until my alarm went off. I got up after one snooze though, since I needed to be efficient today with a lot of stuff to do. While walking around first thing in the morning, I actually didn’t feel that stiff and my legs were only in 1/10 pain, which are both very good signs. I did my morning routine and took Xarelto, but didn’t take Tylenol since I didn’t need it at all. I made breakfast before I got hungry and ate it. Then I started doing PT exercises in preparation for lengthening. Lengthening itself went smoothly with no aftereffects so I ended up working all morning until it was time for PT.

I forgot to take Norco before leaving for PT again, but this time I was only 10 steps out the door when I realized it, so I went back inside to take one. Then I drove over to the PT facility. Everything was pretty standard today. In my 10 minutes on the bike I did 1.42 miles at resistance level 3, but I wasn’t pushing that hard (nor did I have the energy to) so I definitely was feeling a bit more tired than yesterday, but I had enough energy to get through PT. I started with standing PT exercises and stretches, then exercises where I was laying on the table. Finally, the PT wanted to roll my quads. I thought she was going to get the foam roller, but instead she got this small rod that looked like a metal rolling pin and started rolling it up and down my quads. At first it was a little ticklish, but that quickly turned to severe pain, like easily 7/10 pain (on Norco!) I’m pretty sure it hurt more than any LL related pain I’ve experienced since surgery. It took all I could muster to not shout out in pain. I told the PT that it hurt two times on each leg, but even with her reducing the pressure it was still terrible. Afterwards I had a couple more degrees of flexibility when bending my knee, but I don’t think it was worth it at all.

Fortunately the pain didn’t last beyond the rolling session. I left PT without any additional pain and got into my car. I drove straight to the hospital to get my two-week X-ray. I had Dr. D’s orders with me so hopefully everything would go smoothly. When I arrived at the hospital and parked, I realized that the hospital was huge so I would be walking around a lot today. I asked for directions to radiology and headed over there. I talked to a receptionist and handed her the X-ray orders. She grabbed my ID and insurance and told me to sit down while she filled out some paperwork. That took at least 30 minutes, but eventually she called me back and gave me a waiting number. A few minutes later a hospital worker called my number and I went into the waiting room. I sat in here for a good 15 minutes twiddling my thumbs and finally an X-ray technician came and brought me to the X-ray room. We discussed the orders and I made sure that she did the front and lateral femur shots. I’m not sure if they would be able to do the floor to pelvis shot. Actually taking the X-rays was quick, though I had to pose in eight different positions. After that they tried to get in contact with Dr. D regarding the optional X-ray, but the receptionist said he was in surgery, so I said to forget it and just give me the disk with the images they already took. That took another 30 minutes while I was just laying on the X-ray bed waiting. I finally got the disks, which were literally CD-ROMs. I was hoping that I would be able to see the X-rays myself, but I don’t own any computers old enough to have a CD drive in them. In total I spent almost two hours at the hospital, and I left quickly once everything was ready. I didn’t have to pay anything on the spot, but I expect a hefty bill from them in my mailbox in a month or two.

I figured I should send out the disks to Dr. D’s office as soon as possible, so when I got home I printed out a shipping label and boxed everything up. I planned to drop it off at the post office after PT tomorrow. I was hoping to do my second lengthening session for the day while I was still warmed up from PT, but my legs had gotten stiff from sitting around at the hospital for so long. After a couple of stretches I was a bit warmed up and I just ran the ERC on each leg. One note of concern is while I was doing stretches I noticed that my left shin was just a tiny bit numb. It is hardly noticeable, but if I rub both my left and right shin at the same time, my left shin clearly has a little less sensation. I reached out to Dr. D’s team about it, and tried to mentally prepare myself for 0.66mm/day until the end of February. Even though I keep saying that I’m okay with slowing down, I really really don’t want another eight weeks of being stuck in the distraction phase if I can get done in five and I was really hoping that my body could tolerate 1mm/day for a longer period of time. I also don’t know how my callus has been growing over the last two weeks and wouldn’t know until Dr. D’s team gets the X-ray CDs in hand.

At this point it was almost time to sign off work, but since I had been outside pretty much all afternoon, I felt bad and tried to get some more work done. It didn’t last long though. I had no focus since I was worried about having to slow down lengthening again, worried about premature consolidation, and worried about nerve issues showing up only one day after I returned to a 1mm/day lengthening rate. I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast and I was starving. Fortunately I had done the dishes last night, so I could start cooking right away. I made a ton of food and then sat down on the couch to eat, watch TV, and try to forget about all my troubles. Unfortunately, after I finished eating I realized that my legs were getting more and more uncomfortable. I wasn’t feeling great in my right shin or my legs in general. It was getting kind of late, so I figured I needed a painkiller. I didn’t want to take Norco since I would probably have to take it in the middle of the night so I took a CBD gummy. I was tired and I figured I’d lay in the tub and soak for a bit. Clearly I had forgotten how painful it was to sit on my tailbone and couldn’t wait one more day for my bath mattress to arrive.

I figured since I took the edible on a very full stomach it wouldn’t kick in for a while. I was quite wrong as it kicked in after 30 minutes and I fell asleep in the tub again. I woke up shivering and got out quickly and dried myself. I stumbled over to my bed and lay down. At this point I checked my left shin and it still had a little bit less sensation than my right shin. I had the ERC right next to my bed and I wanted to run it, but I was not feeling very good at all. I was totally out of it and had no energy or focus to stretch or do any PT exercises. All I could really do was lay back, so I ultimately decided to just go to sleep. I closed my eyes and quickly fell asleep.

Surgery Day +45, Lengthening Day 42 (+1mm, 40.62mm total)

I woke up a couple of times at night, but was able to fall back asleep relatively quickly. My sleep data showed that I got 8.1 hours of sleep out of 9.2 hours in bed, woke up 7 times, and had one solid 3-hour block of sleep. I suppose the first time I slept for over 8 hours since surgery is an achievement in itself. I got up to take my pills and make breakfast. My legs were in 2-3/10 pain but it was tolerable. After eating, I sat down in bed with my laptop for a while to work on things. I noticed at some point that both of my shins felt about the same sensation when I ran my hands up and down them. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like both were normal, but rather it felt like both were slightly desensitized to touch. Now I’m wondering if that painful rolling on my quad that the PT did yesterday somehow impacted my femoral nerve and stretched it out too quickly or something. I suppose all I can do for now is continue monitoring my shins.

Next, it was time to do my exercises and stretches. I got in a decent 20 minute pre-lengthening workout. After running the ERC on each leg I’m happy to say that I’m now at the halfway mark (well technically I’m still 0.05mm short but we can round up.) I’m glad that I’ve made it to this point and even though I’ve been tight and stiff on many days, frequently uncomfortable in the legs, and often lacking sleep, this milestone still feels bigger than any of the earlier ones that I’ve achieved. Although I still don’t have that shift in perspective yet, I hope that it comes soon. After all, I can’t just keep growing and not feel any taller, right? That just wouldn’t make any sense, regardless of whether the growth was natural or artificial! I’m also glad that I reached this point before the end of 2020, so that I can say that half my lengthening journey was in 2020 and half will be in 2021.

After lengthening, I had to work all the way until PT. My shins were feeling okay, but not flawless like they were just a few days ago. Dr. D got back to me on the shin numbness and told me to keep an eye on it but to keep lengthening at 1mm/day. Maybe the numbness is not a big deal or maybe he doesn’t want me to slow down until he can see my bone growth from my latest X-rays. Unfortunately those X-ray discs are still sitting in my room and I wouldn’t get a chance to drop them off until after PT today. Dr. D’s office probably wouldn’t get them until early next week as well, so it looks like I have no choice but to keep lengthening at 1mm/day and hope for the best with nerve pain over the next few days. Finally, it was time for PT. I took a Norco and headed over to the facility.

The PT center was packed today, with around 15 patients when I arrived. I think there were only 4 or 5 PTs working as well. There was someone on the bike that I normally use so I had to use an upright bike (like the Peloton in my gym) but on first glance it had a wide and soft looking seat so I wasn’t too concerned. However, the second I got on the bike I realized that no matter how soft the seat was, putting my entire body weight on my perineum when I have no butt fat or glutes is not going to be a good time. Fortunately it was a lot more tolerable than the Peloton, and I only had to ride for 10 minutes. The PT assistant made me go up to 3.5 resistance level and I only got 1.34 miles. I think it’s mostly because I was so uncomfortable that I couldn’t ride fast at all. I wonder if that’s the reason I did poorly on the Peloton as well last week. I suppose tomorrow I’ll get a chance to try the Peloton again with the biking shorts to see if that makes a difference. After riding the stationary bike, I did a ton of different standing and walking exercises and stretches for the next 45 minutes. The PT didn’t have me do any table or sitting exercise today. After all my exercises I was actually quite tired. The PT had me lay on the table and manually stretched out my hip and quads, then rolled my IT band (with the foam roller fortunately.)

After that I headed out and went to pick up a chicken sandwich at a nearby spot in the same strip mall. It took almost 20 minutes for them to make the sandwich, which is really sad, and they also didn’t have any indoor seating due to the pandemic, so I had to stand the whole time, which was quite tiring right after PT. After getting my sandwich, I went to the post office to mail my X-ray CDs to Dr. D’s office. Somehow I don’t think the discs are going to arrive until next week even though I shipped via 2-day Priority Mail since packages often get delayed at this time of the year. After that I went home and ate my chicken sandwich. Then I stretched for about 10 minutes since we had skipped all those stretches at PT today, and then ran the ERC on each leg. About 15 minutes after lengthening, my left shin was numb, and quite a bit more so than yesterday. This was slightly surprising to me since it seemed like my shins were doing okay the whole morning. This feeling lasted for almost two hours, at which point my left shin became only slightly numb like it was this morning. It’s not a great sign, but I’ll continue to lengthen at 1mm/day and see what happens. I’m not too concerned if it doesn’t get any worse than this, but if it does get worse than this, then we’re going to have some problems. I really hope that my callus growth in the X-rays I sent out today is slow enough that I can slow down lengthening if needed.

At this point I was already off work and I got a notification that my bath mattress had arrived. I went down to the lobby to pick it up and figured now was as good of a time as any to try it out. It was shorter than I thought, but long enough to cover most of the tub. I set it up, filled the tub, then got in. It was at least half an inch thick so more than padding to comfortably sit on. I noticed that I still had to change my leg position every few minutes though, since keeping my legs straight or keeping them bent for too long would make them uncomfortable. I soaked for a while and the water was probably too hot since I was sweating, so I drained it and got out. I wasn’t hungry yet (usually not hungry at night) so I decided to watch some TV and stretch. If I stretched well enough I could just lengthen right away and if I didn’t then I could turn off the TV and do a focused stretching session. Fortunately I was able to concentrate pretty well on stretching while watching TV, in fact probably too well because I was more distracted by how numb my left shin was getting when I was doing quad stretches than what was on TV. I spent the entire hour stretching, though my stretches were relatively light and long in duration. At this point I felt like my shins were very numb and that they would get even more numb if I lengthened and I wasn’t sure if I could even lengthen. However, I got out the ERC and forced myself to do the lengthening process and got through it with no problem.

After lengthening my shins were actually not any more numb than they were before. In fact, after a while the numbness went down a bit as I was walking around. I was far too lazy to do the dishes and cook dinner, so I made a quick and easy meal instead. I still think anyone who is going through the process should order out as much as possible if no one else is cooking because you never know how much energy or motivation you’ll have at any given point to get things done. I took a sleep aid edible as well once I finished eating. After my late dinner, I got into bed and suddenly I was very sleepy. Maybe it was the edible or maybe it was food coma, but regardless I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Even though I was still concerned about numbness and constantly checking my shins, I passed out pretty quickly.

Surgery Day +46, Lengthening Day 43 (+1mm, 41.62mm total)

I woke up once in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. It was nearly 6am though, so I didn’t take a Norco since I didn’t expect to sleep for that much longer. I was correct and woke up not too long after that. I’m using a new sleep tracking app called AutoSleep that GHKid recommended. It should be more accurate than the default sleep app. Out of 8.2 hours in bed, the default app shows that I got 7.7 hours of sleep, but the AutoSleep app shows that I got 7.2 hours of sleep. The default app shows that I got a 4 hour block of continuous sleep, but the AutoSleep app shows that I got zero minutes of deep sleep. Either way, sleeping is still about the same as the last few days - not as good as before the surgery, but more than enough to keep me going. I got up for my morning routine, walked around in 2-3/10 pain for a bit, and then sat back down in bed.

It was barely light out and a cloudy day, so quite dreary. I figured I should probably get my first lengthening of the day done as soon as possible, but I didn’t have any energy to do it yet. I watched YouTube videos and distracted myself for a while, and suddenly it was almost noon. I had to lengthen soon, otherwise there would be no way to get three sessions in today. By the time I finished all my PT exercises and stretched it was already past noon and I finally lengthened. I felt like my shin was more numb while stretching my quads than after lengthening, which makes sense to me since lengthening is only stretching my nerve by 0.33mm (albeit permanently) while the act of stretching is going to stretch the nerve for much more than that temporarily. I think as long as I don’t feel extreme pain during the stretching session, then I should be able to run the ERC afterwards with no problem. After lengthening I felt a bit of pain on my left shin, maybe in the muscle or bone area, while simultaneously being numb on the skin above it. LL is truly a weird beast.

Now I had a few hours to spare, so I did the dishes and some other errands around the house while waiting for the time slot I signed up for at the gym. Before going down to the gym I changed into padded biking shorts (then wore my gym shorts over those so I’d have pockets) and took a Norco pill. I headed to the gym ready to bump up my score on the Peloton and defeat more “able legged people” and hoping that the gym wouldn’t be full of New Years resolutioners. When I arrived the gym was completely empty so I had everything to myself. I got on the bike and noticed the extra padding immediately. Unfortunately it was still a little bit uncomfortable, which goes to show just how flat my butt is right now. I did the same 20 minute workout as last time to see how much I’ve improved in one week, and boy did I improve. I increased my output from 40kJ last weekend to 60kJ today! I also realized that the 14th percentile I calculated last week was for the general population, not males 30-39. With this ride I climbed up to the 24th percentile of the general population and 13th percentile for males 30-39. Some of the top guys in my age bracket are outputting 150+kJ in 20 minutes, so I still have a long way to go to catch up. I feel like I’m operating near my personal peak capacity in my current condition though. My heart rate went all the way up to 167 during the ride and my leg power was being limited by the lactic acid that my quadriceps were producing (and of course my limited mobility.) It still feels good to be riding faster than nearly a quarter of all Peloton users with two broken femurs though :D

After the bike ride I found that my perineum was a bit numb again, so I think while the extra padding helps, I need to somehow put more weight on my feet while riding rather than my butt if possible. I haven’t decided if I want to ride the Peloton again tomorrow or take a break for my legs since I’m already signed up to ride two days from now. I’m also slightly afraid of my quads recovering too fast and getting too strong and thus increasing the difficulty of lengthening. After the bike ride I did a couple of sets of arm and shoulder exercises with my remaining allotted time. Right before leaving the gym I also wanted to see how many proper pull-ups I could still do, and the answer is sadly only three. When I touched the pull-up bar though, I noticed again that I was taller than before, because I could easily grip the pull-up bar with my feet flat on the ground, whereas before lengthening if my feet were flat I could barely touch it with the tip of my fingers. When I got home I was feeling great. I didn’t notice my left shin numbness at all (though it was definitely there) and I had 0/10 pain walking around or doing anything, really. I wanted to lengthen right away, but I decided to give it another 30 minutes since my first lengthening of the day was less than three hours ago. I sat on my bed to take a rest and browsed the web for a while. I didn’t want to sit around too long though, so I went to stretch for a bit before running the ERC.

It’s always easier to stretch after riding a bike, which is probably why riding the stationary bike is the first thing I’m supposed to do at PT every day. I got through all my major stretches and just ignored my left shin numbness. Afterwards I ran the ERC and continued my day with no additional aftereffects. I sat in bed for quite a while and watched random mindless stuff on YouTube and eventually I noticed it was dark out and I remembered that I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, so I made a pretty big meal and devoured it. At this point it wasn’t even that early anymore and it had been a few hours since my last lengthening, so I decided to start a long stretching session since I was watching TV anyway. Then I could lengthen at the end of it. This worked out pretty well and I stretched quite efficiently as well, hitting all the big and small muscle groups for the full target duration. I ran the ERC on each leg with no immediate issues, and afterwards I did two additional hip stretches that I couldn’t do on the couch - a standing TFL stretch and a hip flexor stretch laying on my stomach. Although my quadriceps started hurting a little bit afterwards, it wasn’t anything intolerable. My left shin has not increased in numbness at all today so I feel much better about continuing to lengthen at 1mm/day.

After lengthening, I took a strong CBD gummy since I hadn’t had any painkillers since my early afternoon Norco before biking. I drank some water and ate some snacks, then got ready to go to bed. I hopped into bed with my laptop and rushed to finish this post before the edible kicked in and it looks like I have succeeded. It is time to pass out now. Good night, forum. Happy New Year! I hope that 2021 will be a great year for everyone.
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Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2021, 04:36:51 AM »

Surgery Day +47, Lengthening Day 44 (+0.66mm, 42.28mm total)

I remember either having some trouble falling asleep or waking up early in the night from pain in my right shin. I don’t remember exactly how painful it was, but I do remember it was not only numb but I think I had shooting pains as well. I also remember waking up at 6am to go to the bathroom and drink some water. I managed to fall asleep after that all the way until my alarm went off. The new app showed that I slept for 7.9 hours out of 8.8 hours in bed, with about 30 minutes of deep sleep. I got up and did my morning routine, ate my pills and breakfast, having 3/10 pain the whole time as most mornings. It took quite a while for my legs to warm up this morning but they eventually did as I sat in bed resting. Eventually I noticed that my legs were finally in 0/10 pain while sitting, so I decided to get started with my first lengthening session of the day. Hopefully the issue with my right shin was just a one-off or I was dreaming about the pain because I didn’t feel anything when I woke up or at any point in the morning.

I started a stretching session making sure to hit my quads hard so I could see what the effect on my shin nerves would be. As I was stretching I noticed that the skin on the inner side of my left calf was a bit numb as well as sometimes feeling small shooting pains underneath the skin there, most notably when I was sitting with my legs dangling over the side of the couch but not touching the floor with my feet. I didn’t really notice anything with the numb part of my right shin though. I stretched pretty thoroughly for over 30 minutes and then ran the ERC. I didn’t feel anything from lengthening and I did a couple of additional hip stretches afterwards. I’m not really sure if it’s better to go at 1mm/day or 0.66mm/day at this point, and I really hope Dr. D can review my X-rays early next week and let me know if I at least have the option of slowing down. Looking at the tracking info on my package the X-ray CDs have left my city and are heading toward Las Vegas now.

While I was stretching I also noticed that my thighs were swollen again. I’ve been measuring the amount of swelling by wrapping my thumb and middle finger on both hands around my thigh near the knee to see how tight it feels. If I can barely close the circle then it’s swollen. If I can close the circle with some slack then it’s not that swollen. I would not be surprised at all if my swelling today was because I pushed myself too hard on the bike yesterday. Therefore, I planned to skip the bike ride today and just use my allotted gym time on upper body lifts. I also planned to take a cold water bath after working out to hopefully reduce some of the swelling.

It was almost lunchtime so I ordered takeout from a nearby restaurant. Last time they prepared it very fast, so I changed and got ready to go outside right away. Sure enough, by the time I was ready to head out I already got a text saying my food was ready for pickup. I drove over to the restaurant and realized that all the roads and sidewalks were icy. I parked in a relatively clean spot and carefully walked over and got the food and then went straight home. Fortunately I did not slip or fall. I ate my lunch while multitasking some other things I wanted to get done before it was time to go to the gym. I ordered enough food to have leftovers for the rest of the weekend so I wouldn’t have to cook. I put all the remaining food in the refrigerator, then went back to my computer and stayed busy until it was about time to go to the gym. I had texted Dr. D’s team earlier in the day about the shooting nerve pain in my left shin and Dr. D said I could go back to 0.66mm/day, which was a huge relief to me. Right now I can handle two sessions a day much better than three. Hopefully the bone callus growth in my X-rays supports slowing down because I don’t think my nerves are doing a very good job stretching beyond the 4cm mark. I think I need to psychologically prepare for the end of February as my target date for finishing the consolidation phase. If I somehow manage to get in a few more 1mm days and finish early, then that’s great, but I need to think of that as a bonus and not a given.

I then headed to the gym without taking any Norco. Since I wasn’t doing any leg exercises I didn’t think I needed a painkiller and I wasn’t going to lengthen after getting back from the gym now that I’m only doing two sessions a day. I’m still taking that ice bath when I get back though, because slowing down isn’t going to impact my swelling. One thing I need to get better at now is stretching three or more times a day even though I’m only doing two lengthening sessions. I still need the extra stretching even though I’m slowing down because my flexibility won’t improve if I reduce my stretching at the same time as slowing down lengthening. I’m glad that I’m doing PT at a facility and not just training at home because I personally feel like I am more productive in my hour at PT than I would be stretching for an hour at home.

Once I entered the gym I actually wanted to try a five minute bike ride to see if I could make the seat more comfortable if I lowered it. It didn’t really feel more comfortable since I didn’t have biking shorts on, but I think it actually was since I was able to ride fairly easily for five minutes. After the quick bike ride I worked out my upper body for over half an hour and then left the gym. Once I got home I didn’t have much to do so I decided to take that ice bath. I snuck in a pain-killing edible to see if I could get away with taking no Norco today. The ice bath felt pretty cold since I hadn’t taken one in a while, but I lasted the whole 15 minutes I set on the timer. After that I warmed up the water and soaked for a while and of course I fell asleep. I didn’t nap for too long though since the water wasn’t cold when I woke up. Surprisingly I don’t think the edible actually hit me at any point. I got out of the tub and dried off. As I was sitting on the edge of my bed putting clothes on, I made some wrong move with my left leg while it was off the ground and immediately got hit by multiple shooting pains in my left shin and on the inside of my left calf. It hurt very badly (7/10) and is definitely an indication that I should probably slow down lengthening. I will need to be a lot more careful when sitting down and moving my left leg around.

At this point I was hungry so I got up and heated my dinner up. I ate quickly and then went back to sit in bed because I was tired and my left lower leg was still in pain. However, I think even though the edible never kicked in, the CBD was making me quite sleepy, and I fell asleep while sitting in bed. I actually slept for a few hours until almost bedtime and then I realized I would have to get up and lengthen soon if I wanted to complete a second session today. I did a decent 20+ minute stretch routine which hit every muscle group a few times and then ran the ERC. I felt no aftereffects from lengthening but wouldn’t be surprised if I felt something later. I was now being careful not to trigger the shooting pains in my left leg when possible, but it’s difficult to avoid it 100% when moving my legs around to get up. I hopped back into bed and I still felt a little tired. While sitting, I was in 0/10 pain, though my left leg felt like it could “go off” at any time, which made me nervous anytime I changed positions. I got ready to sleep again and I’m guessing I’ll probably wake up pretty early in the morning.

Surgery Day +48, Lengthening Day 45 (+0.66mm, 42.94mm total)

After I went to bed last night I had trouble sleeping for about two hours. I drifted in and out of sleep, but kept triggering the shooting nerve pain in my left leg. At about 1:30am I got up and took a Norco and went back to bed. After that I slept well until about 5am, when I woke up and couldn’t fall back asleep. I checked my sleep data at this point and it showed that I slept for 5.4 hours last night out of 6 hours in bed, with over 60 minutes of deep sleep. I remembered having a couple of strange dreams as well. I had slept for about 2.5 hours during the evening yesterday, but it counted as yesterday’s sleep in the sleep tracker. It was also very shallow sleep, but technically I had slept for 8 hours so I stopped trying to fall asleep again. I think that overall my sleep efficiency has gone up in the last week, but I still need chemical assistance to sleep properly. CBD definitely helps me sleep for hours past when I take the edible, but doesn’t get me any deep sleep. Norco helps me sleep as well and doesn’t prevent me from getting deep sleep, but it doesn’t last very long.

I sat in bed with my laptop for a while since I was awake but pretty bored. So far my legs were in 0/10 pain as long as I didn’t move them and I was being extra careful not to trigger any nerve pain in my left leg. Finally, the sun came up and it was time to get out of bed and start my morning routine. I was walking around in 0/10 pain since I had already been awake for awhile and constantly adjusted my legs while I was sitting in bed. However, my left leg kept feeling like I was going to get nerve pains as I was walking around and sitting in a chair, but I never did. Still, it was very distracting since nerve pain is very uncomfortable (like worse than sharp pain imo) and I kept thinking it was going to hit me. After eating breakfast and using the computer all morning, I remembered that I still had to lengthen. I started exercising and got distracted by messages from a friend. I ended up stretching half heartedly while doing other stuff for almost 90 minutes, and kept accidentally triggering the nerve pain in my left leg. Finally, I finished stretching and ran the ERC. I haven’t had any issues from running the ERC lately, but I’m too distracted by the nerve pain in my left leg to notice any problems anyway.

After lengthening I heated up my lunch and ate it. I had a bit of time until it was time to go to the gym, and I had a couple of things to do, so I stayed busy. When it was time to head to the gym I took Norco and changed into biking shorts since I planned to ride the Peloton today. The gym was empty again when I arrived and I hopped onto the bike after wiping it down. I planned to do the 10 minute “easy ride” but after I started I quickly found out that “easy” was actually much harder than “beginner”. I struggled to keep up on the ride, but I did manage to output 42kJ of energy in 10 minutes, which is more than I output in 20 minutes just one week ago. It’s always good to see an improvement, though I only scored in the bottom 22nd percentile for the general population. Unfortunately even though it was only 10 minutes, the bike ride drained me and I was only able to half-heartedly do a couple of sets of upper body exercises. I had been hitting the same muscles with the dumbbells for 3 days in a row, so they were kind of sore already as well.

After I got back from the gym, I put on a football game and started stretching on the couch. Although I had done a bike ride and taken Norco, I feel like by the time I had started stretching all of that had worn off already, so it was like starting to stretch with stiff legs. The game was long though, so I had plenty of time to do light stretches the whole time. If I sat with my left leg at certain angles though, the shooting nerve pain would trigger, which was very unpleasant. Fortunately I figured out that if I wrapped my left calf tightly in a towel (which I was using to help with certain stretches) it would prevent the pain from being triggered. The towel wasn’t tight to the point where it was cutting off circulation, but it was tight enough to feel tight against my leg. With this newfound knowledge, I was able to enjoy watching the rest of the game without any nerve pain.

After the game ended I went to take an ice bath as I had planned. However, since I had long cooled down after returning from the gym, I decided to take only a short ice bath. I didn’t set a timer, but I’ve done this enough times to know that the skin on my thighs gets red after about 5 minutes in the water. I figured this was long enough for my blood vessels and lymph nodes to constrict. I ended up sitting in the cold water for 5-10 minutes, massaging my thighs. Then I replaced the cold water with hot water so my blood vessels and lymph nodes would expand and continued to massage my thighs toward my body while my legs were elevated above my heart level. I sat in the hot bath briefly, then took a shower. When I got back to my room, I decided to try wearing compression pants to see if that would provide enough pressure on my left lower leg to stop the nerve pain. Unfortunately it was not enough, so I would have to continue the towel wrapping strategy.

I made dinner and ate it quickly, and then spent a bit of time preparing for the following work week. I wanted to go to bed early, but I also didn’t want to lengthen too early. It was late enough to start stretching for the second lengthening session though. I spent about 20 minutes stretching and then ran the ERC on each leg. After that I took a CBD edible and now I'm getting ready to go to bed.
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Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

BelowTheMean

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #58 on: January 04, 2021, 04:51:19 AM »

I want to let everyone know that I’ve decided to take a break from journaling. I’m writing this post so people don’t think I just disappeared or something. This newfound nerve pain and the idea of drastically slowing down lengthening are hitting me pretty hard. Although I’ve lengthened over half the maximum of the nail, I’m almost certain that I’m less than halfway to hitting 8cm in terms of time spent, and I’m not very confident I can even hit 8cm.

It takes a lot of energy and motivation to write and I just don’t have much of either to spare anymore. Work is going to get a bit busier for me with the new year and I have other stuff to deal with too. Just stretching a few times a day and doing two lengthening sessions feels like a lot to me right now. Time is passing by incredibly slowly in my head and I can’t see or feel the end of lengthening as I’m nowhere near it. Lengthening is definitely a process with ups and downs and I’m feeling pretty down right now.

I can definitely see why people disappear and leave the forum entirely at various stages of the LL process. Reading any section of this forum except patient experiences is the opposite of therapeutic for anyone going through this process or having completed it. I’m glad there are those who have the patience to stay on here to answer questions even after they are completely done with LL, but I know I’m not one of those people. Best of luck, everyone.
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Stryde Femurs - Debiparshad - Nov 2020
169cm -> 177cm (goal)
http://www.limblengtheningforum.com/index.php?topic=65617

Current Status: Distraction Phase

small

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #59 on: January 04, 2021, 05:04:32 AM »

Stay strong man, it's a very tough journey but will be worth it in the end. I'll be praying that you reach your goal. Thanks a lot for actually explaining your situation rather than just vanishing which would've left us all wondering what happened. I'm sure it's tough documenting every step of the process on this forum along with balancing everything else going on in life. Especially since your journal is very detailed. If you do decide to come back you can always provide quick updates instead of long detailed posts since I'm sure they can take a lot of time and effort. Quick updates would still be very helpful. Good luck on the rest of this journey and work as well!
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L8GrowthSpurt

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2021, 05:29:36 AM »

BTM - Thanks for the note.  Many who have chosen this path have described the roller coaster of ups and downs.  It will all be worth it in the end. It’s a marathon and this is just another hill. Take a break; climb that next hill but don’t forget to come back and tell us all you conquered that hill after you’ve done it. Stay strong my brotha 💪; I and others are rooting for you!! And will continue to do so...
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Froggy

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Re: BelowTheMean – Stryde Femurs w/ Dr. Debiparshad – Nov 2020
« Reply #61 on: January 05, 2021, 05:33:41 AM »

Really appreciate the journaling you’ve done. I can totally relate to how you’re feeling. I’m dealing with nerve issues as well, and it’s really draining both physically and mentally. I hope you’ll be able to hit your goal and have a good recovery, BTM. Stay strong.
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