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Author Topic: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)  (Read 19946 times)

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Cr7

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2018, 06:37:08 AM »

Good luck Android ! Wish you a very successful journey. I am sure that this diary is going to be very informative and it will help future llers a lot.

Regards
Cr7
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Microbe

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2018, 06:42:30 AM »

Wishing you all the best and hope you achieve your target. Stay strong bro!
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egocentrical

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2018, 03:13:33 PM »

When you say exhange the money before you get there - do you mean as in change your currency into ruble and take it in cash so when you get there you pay in cash?

« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 03:47:24 PM by egocentrical »
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myloginacc

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2018, 09:41:31 AM »

Hoping we can get some news as soon as it is physically possible for you...
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Formerly myloginacct; had issues with my login account.
Yes I do want to add, before doing this surgery, ask yourself if you have optimized your life to the fullest extent possible (job/career, personality, etc).

short2tall

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2018, 02:58:56 PM »

Awesome detailed diary so far Android! I'm really excited for you, and glad to hear the first surgery was a success! Looking forward to hearing more about it.
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Bilateral femurs with Dr. M on March 1st
Starting height: 5'8.5"
Shooting for 5'11"

Android

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2018, 07:08:04 AM »

Just wanted to pop in and say that I'm still doing well. I'm off epidural anesthesia now, so life's a bit tougher. I've made notes along the way, so I'll write them out in detail later. Thanks for all the support!
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5'4" and 1/4" (163.2 cm) | United States | early 30s | Cross-lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh

AR

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2018, 10:41:19 AM »

Hello Android,
I was the one who was with Dr Kulesh when you came to meet him - i'm now in saint elz. clinic doing external tibia - 6 days post surgery. i'm planing to move soon also to an apartment. i don't know what is the condition of your visa but if you here in Russia wit a visa make sure that the apartment owner can do the registration for you - other wise you will be in a big big trouble. i'm also looking for an apartment through airbnb
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- gained 4 cms External Tibias in Russia
- went from 171 to 175
- still recovering and having the frames
-English is not my first language

Racurz

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2018, 03:24:39 PM »

Android have you felt any since the operation if so how would you describe it on a 1-10 ratio other then that glad to see your doing well looking forward to hearing more about your surgery.
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Android

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2018, 04:51:30 PM »

Time to answer some more questions!

If your mom leaves on July 2, may I ask who will stay with you in Russia?  Have you hired an assistant?

She left today, I'll be alone for the lengthening phase. I'll go back home after correction and nailing, repeat once bones are consolidated.

Nice reading, what was the overall cost of cross lengthening with Solomin&Kulesh?

So far I've paid the doctors directly 240,500 rubles, just as the document says (200k for surgery at St. Elizabeth, 40.5k for frames).

for informational purposes could I ask you how much money you left your country with and how much money you estimate you're going to spend for the whole journey, all inclusive?

Thank you for your kind words. I expect to spend just over $30k total, I didn't take any cash with me (but you should, about $5k is safe). Money is still in US bank, accessible via debit card and wire transfers.

How long do you want to wait ? And how long will you have to wear frames in total if no complication occur?

what kind of methods have you decided for? (LON/LATN/Ilizarov)

I chose LATN, so I'll only wear frames during lengthening phase. So maybe 70 days or so if all goes well.

Android, why did you choose Solomin over Giotikas?

Although Dr. Giotikas offers Precice and seems experienced, I feel more comfortable going with a doctor that has had positive outcomes. And hey, can't deny that the price is more attractive!


When you say exhange the money before you get there - do you mean as in change your currency into ruble and take it in cash so when you get there you pay in cash?


From what I've read online, it's better to take USD/EUR and exchange it at a Russian bank since they have better rates. Don't bother trying to bring currencies like Japanese Yen though, so convert at home if not USD, EUR, or maybe GBP.


I was the one who was with Dr Kulesh when you came to meet him - i'm now in saint elz. clinic doing external tibia - 6 days post surgery. i'm planing to move soon also to an apartment. i don't know what is the condition of your visa but if you here in Russia wit a visa make sure that the apartment owner can do the registration for you - other wise you will be in a big big trouble. i'm also looking for an apartment through airbnb


That's funny, I was wondering if you were there for CLL too! I have a 3 year multi-entry, but I'll need to register my visa as well. I did it once at a hotel, I'm guessing I need to do it every time I change where I stay... Not sure. Hope to see you around!


Android have you felt any since the operation if so how would you describe it on a 1-10 ratio


Right out of surgery, no pain at all. Felt like myself, not even tired. First night was rough, called nurse three times. Second night, just once. Third night, which was yesterday, was absolutely awful since I'd been removed from epidural anesthesia in the evening. I'll write more about that in next entry now.
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5'4" and 1/4" (163.2 cm) | United States | early 30s | Cross-lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh

lucindaris

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2018, 07:00:44 PM »

Oh didn't know that the price is so cheap. May i ask you another question? I know it's an early stage but in your opinion what amount of money do you recommened to save for whole process (food/accommodation/extras etc.)?
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Tiger9898

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2018, 07:17:51 PM »

Thank you for your reply. Don't you think that it will be quite difficult to do dailly staffs with one broken femur and tibia alone there?
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Age-19
Starting height: 162,5-163 cm (5 feet 4 inches)
Goal: 6,5 cm femur lengthening

Android

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2018, 08:13:32 PM »

I'm resting the laptop on my femur frame as I write this... Convenient!



Literally haven't used laptop since I made the first post. Been either using phone or sleeping. Time flies by.

FYI, I'm on Instagram as android_cll.

Forgot to link this in first post when I said:
"...wrote the book on external fixation..."


Day 0: Night Before Surgery

Dr. Ivan, an anesthesiologist, came to visit me at night to briefly explain what he's going to do the next day in terms of anesthesia. Epidural catheter in my back, I said I trust him and that I'll see him tomorrow.


Day 1: Surgery

Here's me, enjoying crossing my legs for the last time in a while, waiting for my surgery.



Then without warning, three nurses came into my room in the hospital and told me to strip down. They said underwear too, so I made my mom turn around. They wrapped me in the blanket that was on the bed and rolled me to the elevator.



Went to the fifth floor, then carted across to another wing of the hospital. Asked my mom what time it was, 10 AM. Then she was told to wait outside.



The operating room was pretty large, with a panoramic window that gave me a great view of the city. Russian pop music blaring on the boombox.

A little platform was extended from the operating table I was laying in, and had my arm placed on it. They installed an IV entry point, which I still have in me four days post-op.



Exchanged WhatsApp info with Dr. Ivan, saying just message him if I have problems with pain. He then went over and turned down the pop music.

Got a nasal cannula installed, those plastic tubes that deliver air in your nostrils. I felt really nauseous, and I almost let someone know that I feel sick enough to vomit. Luckily it went away in about 20 seconds.

Dr. Ivan told me to lay on my side and to roll into a fetal position. Felt a tiny prick, but not painful at all, no pain after that. Legs started to get heavy, and I could feel my knees falling off the table so I let them know; a nurse rushed over to hold me in place.

I started to feel drowsy. They moved me so that I was laying on my back again, legs straightened, but my legs still felt like they were bent. Very strange sensation, like the nerves were frozen in time.

Fell asleep before seeing either Dr. Solomin or Dr. Kulesh.


Day 1: Post-surgery

No pain at all after surgery, I didn't even feel drowsy. I was wheeled back to my room, and the time was 2:40 PM.



They placed two metal apparatuses that elevated my legs. They use bandages to create a hammock of sorts for my legs to rest on, it's pretty comfortable.



I finally found out which legs got frames: right leg tibia, left leg femur.



I was shivering, cold but not freezing. They brought me an extra blanket, which helped immediately. This was a side-effect of waking from anesthesia.

They hooked me up to a machine that slowly injects a syringe full of anesthesia over time. Each syringe lasts about 8 hours. Also had some fluids injected in me via hand IV entry point as well.



My toes started to move, at least on my right leg with the tibial frame. Mom touched my toes and I was able to guess most of them right. Femur side was not as responsive.

Got a whole laundry list of medications: Fraxiparine, Cefotaxime, Perfalgan to name a few.



Also taking a pair of Omeprazole capsules, once in the morning and at night.



Before mom left at 5 PM, I was able to move my femur side toes. I could move my ankles as well, which the tibia side couldn't do.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bknn1ynHERK/?taken-by=android_cll

Dinner is at 6 PM, no trouble eating aside from having to eat slowly since I'm nearly horizontal. No nausea at all.

I felt muscle spasms in my femur leg once in a while, not painful. Just uncomfoirtable. Maybe happened six times.

Messaged Dr. Ivan at 7 PM, he said he'd come by in 3-4 hours to change the syringe.

Nurse came in at 8:15 PM to administer a shot right under my belly button. No pain, not idea what it is.

8:30 PM, she came back to give me an IV drip. Said to call her when bag is empty. I fell asleep and she woke me up to an empty bag at 8:55 PM, so keep in mind that it'll only take about 30 min. She swapped out a (probably) saline bag with a glass bottle of Perfalgan.

She emptied my urine bag at this point, it was shocking how much I peed since I can't feel a thing down there. For those who are against catheters... Get it! You do not want to be peeing your bed, because you won't feel the urge to go.



30 min passed and the glass bottle is now empty too. Had nurse open the window since it was so hot; removed the extra blanket they gave me too. Nurse checked my temperature just in case, I told her not to worry via Google Translate because "I'm always hot."

Fell asleep around 10 PM. Woke up at 10:45 PM with some pain. Anesthesia was running out, but Dr. Ivan was on his way; good to have him on WhatsApp. What's strange was that the pain I felt was my ankle of the femur frame leg.

Topped up on anesthesia at 11:27 PM. Should last me through the night...

But at 12:30 AM, I felt VERY hot and nauseous. Left leg with femur frame started to hurt at the ankle, pain level 2-3. Waited a few minutes, called nurse. Two nurses arrived in a few minutes, opened window. They took my blood pressure and temperature, blood pressure was low. They suggested I drink some tea.

Then... Around 12:45 AM or so, my left leg started to hurt even more, especially the ankle. Strange, since no frames in the tibia; probably nerves from femur pins. I initially told nurse that the pain was tolerable, but by the time they brought back my tea, it pain level 5 or so, steadily increasing. She gave me a shot of anesthesia in my right thigh (she says it'll travel throughout both legs) and hooked me back up on IV. She used Google translate herself to say that the pain will get better in 20-30 minutes. Waited for it to kick in...

1:27 AM, nurse just left after removing IV. Still in pain, but it's better, still about 4. Hopefully it keeps improving. She told me to try to sleep. Asked if she ever sleeps, she chuckled and replied in English: "tomorrow, home."

Woke up again at 3 AM from left leg pain. Called nurse, she came immediately. Told her the same leg is hurting again, she left and came back with another needle for my right thigh. She said if I don't feel better in 40 minutes, ring again

She came again, can't remember if I called her or not. She said let's wait more since pain was going down a little. Then I was able to finally sleep until 8:15 AM.


Day 2: Not Too Bad

My mom came to visit with full energy while I was trying to catch up on sleep. After listeing to her troubles visiting me, I told her that I need to rest some more.

Felt some pain in catheter, just enough to know that anesthesia was wearing off. Got another top up and IV too, which is also a mild pain killer. I did't feel loopy or lethargic at all. Pain takes a while to go away, but it's not too bad.

However my back was killing me. There's a metal bar that goes under my back, right on the border where anesthesia doesn't reach (of course). Tried all kinds of ways to help with the pain, like using my memory foam travel pillow and even squeezing my hand under my butt. These methods worked okay.



Napped for 90 minutes, very deep sleep without pain.

Lunch came around, main dish was soup so my mom transferred it to a mug so I can drink it easier.

Mom managed to ask around and find a cushion for me, one that's really thin so that I can slide it under my back. The difference is night and day, feels awesome! Still using it.



FYI, in above pic. My hand gets rebandaged after IV injection, and that clear tube is for the urinary catheter.

The other guy in the suite moved out. Picture of bed frame is his bed, but same thing as mine. Mom took the photo since I haven't left the bed yet.

Woke up from nap at 7:38 PM. Minor uninary catheter irritation and left leg with femur frame starting to hurt. Getting injection.

Dr. Kulesh came to visit me at 7:45 AM, just to check on me. He said I don't look terrible (he's a funny guy), and that he'll get my bandages changed tomorrow, July 1.

8 PM, I can move right foot (tibial frame) toes up and down, ankle in all directions, but not much. Left foot (femoral frame), I can bend toes downwards but not up, and can move ankle in all directions much more than right.

8:20 PM got a shot under my belly button. Small prick, nothing bad. Seems like it's time for an IV too.

She came back around 8:45 PM, put syringe into IV plug, and then hooked me up to IV too. Got a couple more pills, told me to call her once IV bottle is empty.

Briefly woke up around 11:30 PM and 12:30 AM due to discomfort with urinary catheter and also proctalgia fugax, which I get from time to time. For those who don't know, it's a really strong pain right in the butt, which lasts around 5 minutes. I usually just get up from bed and writhe on the floor, but can't do that with frames. It went away, then Dr. Ivan arrived at 1:05 AM to exchange anesthesia syringe once more. I am very sleepy at this point.

2:51 AM, woke up from pain in legs, worse in right leg at the foot. Got an injection just a minute after calling nurse. First injection of the night, despite all this I'm getting much better rest than yesterday night.


Day 3: Heaven and Hell

6:22 AM. Well fellas, it happened... Morning wood. I think it started a little the day before, but it happened a few more times today, and for longer. Thank God for the pain killer, because I suspect this would hurt more with a urinary catheter inside. All I can do is think about random stuff or read the news to make it go away.

Dr. Ivan came in this morning to replace anesthesia syringe, also told me that he'll remove the epidural catheter in 7-8 hours. I misunderstood this thinking that he'd remove the urinary catheter, this would haunt me later.

So far I haven't had the need to go No. 2 (AKA poop), so that's a relief. Hopefully I'll be able to go myself soon enough.

1:55 PM Sunday July 1: first rebandage change by Dr. Kulesh and a very cute nurse. Some delays in getting extra equipment, just finished at 2:45 PM. Tibias were ok, but femurs were very painful. Dried blood stuck to pins and stitches equals pain. It's also strange to have a cute girl look at your flaccid catheter penis in all its glory before even knowing her name.

Here's how it looked before rebandage:



Dr. Kulesh said that I didn't need to pay attention to the rebandaging, since this isn't the pinsite care that I'll be taught later. He suggests that a doctor do it once a week, saying that perhaps I'll be more inclined to follow his advice if Alice did it. I said to them that I'd be happy to do it five times a week if that's the case.

6:37 PM, anesthesia machine started beeping. Messaged Dr. Ivan, he said call the nurse, and that he'll come over  later. It's 7:24 PMm, and it's really starting to hurt. Ahhhhh!!!!

Alice, the cute nurse, fixed the beeping after a few tries. We talked a bit, turns out we somewhat have similar backgrounds. She asked me questions, joked a bit... Very good for pain management.

Still no Dr. Ivan, 8:25 PM. Pain level around 6.5 or 7, bearable but very uncomfortable. Nurse Alice did what she can with injections to the thigh.

Doctor replied saying no more epidural catheter anesthesia due to risk of infection. All this time I thought we were removing the urinary catheter, so it hit me that I'd be going to sleep without local anesthesia. He instructed Alice with alternative pain killers. It's 9:06 PM.

About 9:20 PM, Alice came to remove my epidural catheter from my back. Also gave me a shot of pain killer in the thigh once more.

Pain is still the same, called Alice again at 10:55 PM. Got another shot. Pain is about 7.

Stuck it out, no painkiller for the rest of the night. Alice asked next morning how I slept, I said terribly. She asked why I didn't call her, I just didn't think it'd help.


Day 4: Post-Op X-rays

Morning came, mom visited but I was not in the best mood. We talked a bit, she helped me eat, and brush my teeth. She prayed for me and went to the airport. Tried to sleep.

Around 11:45 AM, nurses came with a stretcher. Dr Roslin was there, explained to me it's time for x-rays. Got my urinary catheter removed; I audibly said "ohh!", it felt strange but not painful at all. Put my arms around Dr. Roslin's neck, nurses grabbed my legs, and transferred me onto the stretcher.

Went all the way to the x-ray room on a different floor. Every bump hurt a little. On the x-ray platform, it was pretty tough getting into the right angles; upper body strength was required for femur shot. After a lot of pain, I'm back in my room at 12:20 PM. They give me a shot in the thigh. Now I don't have a urinary catheter anymore, I have a urine bottle. Pain level is about 5 or 6 right now.

Met new next-door neighbor, an English speaker. He's scheduled for surgery tomorrow, classic Ilizarov on his tibias. Talked a great deal about our issues and decisions that lead up to where we are. Great guy in his mid 20s. Gave him an idea of what to expect for the next few days.

Used urine bottle for first time at 4:50 PM. No problem! Just positioned it between my legs, noodle it in, and go. Keep baby wipes around for good measure, call the nurse when you're done.



Dr. Kulesh came to visit around 6:20 PM to show me my first post operative x-rays. He said they looked good, no problems. I only looked at them briefly, but I have Z-cut osteotomy for my tibias and a straight osteotomy for the femurs; will need to double check.

He gave me some pain killer tablets (10), no more than 3 per day. It's Nurofen, basically ibuprofen, so I'll try not to take these as it may delay bone regeneration. Pain level as I write this at 10:03 PM is at 1-2, but I've had some shots and IV earlier this evening.



Got the same nurse as I did on first day, Dr. Kulesh said that she is the best and I believe him; she's great!

I asked when I'd be able to walk assisted, he said there's no way to tell since every one is different. I'll see a physical trainer tomorrow at 5-6pm and we'll see from there.
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5'4" and 1/4" (163.2 cm) | United States | early 30s | Cross-lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh

Android

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2018, 08:23:15 PM »

I know it's an early stage but in your opinion what amount of money do you recommened to save for whole process (food/accommodation/extras etc.)?

I'd have at least $40k if you intend to follow the doctor's recommendations, which I plan to do (namely regular rebandages and physiotherapy sessions). I went with the cheaper clinic and plan to go with the Russian (i.e. cheapest) nails, but I plan to play it very conservatively for recovery.

Don't you think that it will be quite difficult to do dailly staffs with one broken femur and tibia alone there?

I do think it will be difficult, yes. I plan to have a cleaning person once a week or so, and there are grocery stores that deliver. Luckily there's a restaurant that has free delivery until 11 PM daily at my apartment as well, so that'll come in handy.

Dr. Kulesh also mentioned that physiotherapists can visit you instead of going to the clinic, so that's a nice option too.
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5'4" and 1/4" (163.2 cm) | United States | early 30s | Cross-lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh

Johnson1111

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2018, 08:58:06 PM »

Thanks for the detailed updates Android they're great and I hope you continue them in a similar fashion throughout your process.

So damn. You're getting injected many times per day between pain killers, IV, etc? You've probably been pricked quite a bit since you've arrived there lol with the blood tests and epidural as well. I hate needles myself but don't avoid them when I need them.


So do you recall anything from the operating table? How was it? You pretty much saw Solomin and Kulesh walk in and then you were out and woke up? Was it like people say, you felt like you were falling asleep and that no time passed and you woke up right away?

So is external femur as painful as you would have thought it would be so far? I know we discussed before how we think it's a bit barbaric but is it better or worse than you had thought?
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Great321

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #45 on: July 02, 2018, 10:25:55 PM »

Happy to hear from you!

A few things. You actually don't feel the urge to pee because of the catheter, because the bladder is being emptied constantly before you can even develop that urge. At least that's my experience with surgeries. Or do you mean you couldn't feel your lower areas at all?

Also when you said "I'm always hot" the nurse might have thought you want to flirt with her  ;D

Good night ! Hopefully you'll be able to sleep. I can relate to the back pain. It was the worst when I had to lay on my back for a longer time.

This product - I only know the German version - : ( https://www.amazon.de/ENSBONA-Teufelssalbe-hei%C3%9F-200-Salbe/dp/B00Q98VFVA )

helped me. In the beginning it is really hot and you feel like burning but that goes away soon and you don't feel your backpain anymore. After that I was able to sleep. But never mix it with other gels, always clean your back before trying something else as you could be allergic to the chemical reactions. And wash your hands afterwards! Maybe someone else can help you, too...
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myloginacc

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2018, 12:31:41 AM »

So glad to see you doing this well to be posting all that. I know it must still be super rough right now, but you're still doing well enough to write and hit that "post" button, and that's what matters to me.

Super glad Solomin & Kulesh elevate the legs of their patients! I wasn't sure if they would, and I was really worried about that after the tragic case with the Korean man.

They also already prescribed you anticoagulants and painkillers... I'm so relieved now. Of course, thanks for such detailed posts and the pictures, too. Love the mini-Android!

And hey, your hands look much bigger than mine from the pics! So weird how the body can vary drastically like that (like my shoes' size not matching my height at all). Your legs are also quite hairy. You won't have to worry much about the scars!

Still wishing you all the best!! Onward and upward!
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Formerly myloginacct; had issues with my login account.
Yes I do want to add, before doing this surgery, ask yourself if you have optimized your life to the fullest extent possible (job/career, personality, etc).

myloginacc

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2018, 12:52:51 AM »

Thanks for the detailed updates Android they're great and I hope you continue them in a similar fashion throughout your process.

So damn. You're getting injected many times per day between pain killers, IV, etc? You've probably been pricked quite a bit since you've arrived there lol with the blood tests and epidural as well. I hate needles myself but don't avoid them when I need them.


So do you recall anything from the operating table? How was it? You pretty much saw Solomin and Kulesh walk in and then you were out and woke up? Was it like people say, you felt like you were falling asleep and that no time passed and you woke up right away?

So is external femur as painful as you would have thought it would be so far? I know we discussed before how we think it's a bit barbaric but is it better or worse than you had thought?

I've had general anesthesia before, and, indeed, for me it was: I just went unconscious in a matter of about 10 seconds, then I was instantly up "moments" later with everything finished. The actual procedure actually took at least half an hour.

Your mind will have trouble comprehending time had even passed. To this day, I still know on a logical and scientific level everything that happened, but it just doesn't feel like anything transpired; it felt like I was turned off, then on again.
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Formerly myloginacct; had issues with my login account.
Yes I do want to add, before doing this surgery, ask yourself if you have optimized your life to the fullest extent possible (job/career, personality, etc).

myloginacc

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #48 on: July 03, 2018, 01:03:20 AM »

Also, Android, I can help with transliterating the name of any meds you're taking from Cyrillic, should you need any of that at any point! Seems like you've got it all handled, however!

EDIT:

Quote
Got my urinary catheter removed; I audibly said "ohh!", it felt strange but not painful at all.

That's one annoying inconvenience off my list. ;D
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Yes I do want to add, before doing this surgery, ask yourself if you have optimized your life to the fullest extent possible (job/career, personality, etc).

doomsday

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #49 on: July 03, 2018, 02:16:40 AM »

That femur frame looks grim. Hopefully you will be able to sit on a toilet somehow. Anyway try to stay positive and maybe watch the office US. It saved my life during lengthening.
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AR

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #50 on: July 03, 2018, 05:21:56 AM »

Hello Android i wish to see you too - i send you a PM.
my situation is different than you even my body but i had some tough days. for me i walked 4 days after the surgery - i guess that i may able to do it earlier but i was in a great pain - swollen legs - and right knee sharp pain ( reduced now but still exists ). and also Dr Kulesh doesn't encourage to walk a lot - just train train train as much as you - i wish that you will be able to walk as soon as possible laying down in bed is such a terrible idea.
--------------------------------------
Dr Ivan came to me the day of your operation and told me that there is a guy who has frames in his tibia and femur he is American,  I didn't take time to figure out that it was you. any way i wish you and me good luck and please don't ever forgot to do any registration of your visa you will be fined and i don't know what is else in the Russian law.

I hope to see you soon
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- gained 4 cms External Tibias in Russia
- went from 171 to 175
- still recovering and having the frames
-English is not my first language

Tiger9898

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #51 on: July 03, 2018, 06:55:38 AM »

Hey Android, thank you again for such a detailed diary.
Your femur frame looks more bulky compared to the ones that Pope have . Have u noticee that? Once Dr kulesh told me that it is possible to use more compact femur frames instead of monorail. Maybe you didn't ask him to use something compact before surgery
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 09:13:09 AM by Tiger9898 »
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Age-19
Starting height: 162,5-163 cm (5 feet 4 inches)
Goal: 6,5 cm femur lengthening

wishadream

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #52 on: July 03, 2018, 04:16:15 PM »

Hi Android. Thanks for very detaile dairy. From what I read so far, I think these two doctors are the bests in russia. I am saving money for surgery and consider them for my first option. We will appreciate if you inform us, at what centimiter you need ATL surgery on your tibia. Prof Catagney belives after 4 cm, 90% of the patients need it. I will follow your dairy carefully.
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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #53 on: July 04, 2018, 06:32:34 PM »

Great job Android, obviously the cross leg thing will look a lil confusing to those who don't know much. How will it help you gain more length though?
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Zeo

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #54 on: July 05, 2018, 01:43:40 AM »

Hey Android, loving the diary, you really know how to paint a picture. How is it compared to what you imagined? better? worse? or is it pretty much how you imagined it was going to be like?

Stay strong and God speed brother. I’ll be sending good vibes your way.

Oh and happy 4th of July!
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I will be grateful for this day. I will be grateful for each day to come.

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #55 on: July 06, 2018, 05:37:06 PM »

Yes, that's right. I'm in Russia.


About Me

I learned about cosmetic limb lengthening maybe a decade ago, most likely late at night, seeing what the internet can tell me about height increase. I found the old forum, and during those days it seemed as if every other patient was going to Beijing, as it was the affordable option at the time. I read into the surgery a bit back then, but not too much in depth since I was a busy student with a girlfriend. My mind was occupied and I didn't feel the need for the surgery, so I forgot about it for many years.

Fast forward to around 2017, and I was looking into increasing my height again. After a couple long (and one short) relationships, I was single. I've been at the same job for a few years, and while it paid well for the amount of work I had to do (there were weeks that I'd just surf the web), I didn't feel that I was growing professionally. I began to spend a lot of time on this forum, learning and planning.

I told my mom about it pretty early on. She was at first hesitant, but later agreed that this would be good for me. She's quite short herself at around 159 cm (4'11"), and confided in me that she too wanted to be taller--like her mom--when she was younger.

While planning, a couple things happened. First, I met a girl. She's beautiful, intelligent, ambitious, and thoughtful. Then I got approached for a job that would pay considerably more. I decided that if one of those two things worked out, I'd postpone the surgery. Obviously they didn't pan out, but I'm still in touch with the girl, so we'll see what happens after my journey.


Why Doctors Solomin and Kulesh?

Let's get the obvious one out of the way: the price. The dollar is quite strong compared to the ruble right now, so it's an advantageous time to look across the pond. I'm not particularly wealthy, nor do I want to take on debt, so doctors overseas looked particularly attractive.

My shortlist for a time was Dr. Solomin/Dr. Kulesh, Dr. Parihar, Dr. Birkholtz, Dr. Giotikas, and Dr. Mahboubian. I didn't contact all of them, but their combination of experience, reputation, location, and price were what made them attractive to me. After exchanging emails, the expertise and punctuality had the most impact.

With a starting height of around 163 cm, I wanted to lengthen both tibias and femurs. Only a few offered cross-lengthening (good primer on the method here), and Dr. Solomin's reputation both on the forum (specifically Overdozer, badwolf, and later Jim_dabarber) and among his peers sealed the deal for me. He co-created the Ortho-SUV hexapod (the "S" is for Solomin), wrote the book on external fixation, and the forward was written by Dr. Paley. That was enough validation for me.


Contacting the Doctors

I emailed both Dr. Kulesh and Dr. Solomin for the first time in January 2018, with the same emails in the doctor information threads. For the most part you will be talking to Dr. Kulesh; in fact, I've yet to receive an email from Dr. Solomin, aside from the occasional out-of-office reply.

My impression is that Dr. Kulesh is punctual, to the point, and helpful. He seems to work late often, so I was surprised when he'd email me past his midnight.

After a couple dozen emails, Dr. Kulesh and I decided when the surgery would take place: late June. He asked me to remind him a month before I arrive and to ask any questions that I may have before then.


Sharing My Journey

I've told several people in real life about my journey. I've told my mom and around six friends. My mom has shared it with her closest friends as well, including her church pastor (who is surprisingly very positive about this idea).

I told my friends after my plans were in place, so it was matter of fact. I wasn't looking for direction, just telling them that my real reason for moving was for my surgery.

So far the reactions are at first surprise, curiosity, then support. No one has said that it's crazy (at least not to my face!), and they're looking forward to seeing the new me.

There are some people that I'm really close to that I haven't told yet, because I can't imagine their reaction being that great. It's harder for me to share with men, especially if they're about my height. I don't want to seem like a "traitor," as silly as that sounds. I haven't told my dad yet either, since he's a tough guy that managed to combat height neurosis with a strong--and sometimes abrasive--personality.

It won't be a secret for long, so I'll cross that bridge when I get to it!


Preparing to Move

I decided to stay in St. Petersburg for the entire duration of the lengthening phase to maximize the success rate. So I had to quit my job, sell all my things, and completely change my life. It was tough, but it wasn't too bad in hindsight.

As for the job, I told them half truths. I said that my mom's living alone in Japan, and I'm an only child, so I wanted to help her out in a time of need. All of that is true, except that she doesn't quite need my help so badly; she just wants me to help her create side gigs down the line. I liked my coworkers and didn't want to burn bridges, so this worked out fine.

The logistics of completely selling my accumulation of stuff was pretty stressful. I didn't start selling things until a couple months before the move, so it's really my fault. I used Facebook Marketplace (had the most success here), eBay (best for big-ticket items), letgo, and Craigslist (large furniture) for all my sales.

I was planning to sell my car, but my dad offered to fly to me and drive it back home. He's several states away, but likes to drive so it wasn't a big deal for him. It also allowed me to pack some things I wanted to keep for my eventual return.


Payment

This was a huge headache, as both Pope and shortygirl already mentioned. I was naive and arrived without a ruble to my name, since I could use the ATM for small purchases and pay the doctors with PayPal, an accepted payment method according to their files.

But! PayPal has recently become more strict, and payments to Russian accounts are unreliable. My payment to Dr. Kulesh was blocked almost immediately, and he also got the failure message. I then tried to wire the money, but it takes several business days, so it's not ideal if your surgery date is soon after arrival.

So next I tried Western Union. I tried to send it directly to Dr. Kulesh, but I didn't have all the details (his address), so I had the bright idea of sending it to myself. Unfortunately that was blocked as well.

So then, ATMs! I found a few down the street, was able to withdraw 9000 rubles a few times. Then I got an error, so I hit another ATM. Got a few thousand more, then another error. Called my debit card company (Chase), and they informed me that I hit my daily $500 withdrawal limit. They allowed me to temporarily increase my daily limit to $1000 for a week, so I got some more rubles after the call. Be sure to only use a debit card, as you'll get a hefty charge for cash advances with a credit card.

However! I didn't have enough days to gather the required funds. So I tried Western Union again, this time for $2000 worth of rubles via debit card... And it worked! I walked to three banks listed on the Western Union site, and the doors even had the Western Union logo on it, but they turned me away. Found a place right across from MEDEM (the private clinic) called Alfa-Bank, and was able to transfer rubles on the same day. It's inside this mall on the first floor, go inside past the escalators and it'll be on the right side (not the one right by the entrance!). Here's a business card:



This was a stressful few days. If the rates and fees are reasonable, I suggest transferring your home currency to rubles before you take off for Russia.

As for paying the doctors, I finally did this yesterday after all the consultations and tests. I hadn't paid a ruble before that. So far I've given only the advance payment of 240,500 rubles for step one of the surgery (i.e. putting the frames on).


Prepping for Russia

As much as you think you're ready, you won't be.

For the visa I got it processed at a local Russian visa agency, Rush In Documentation Center. It was quite easy, and it felt more secure than sending the passport myself. It cost about $500 for a 3 year multi-entry visa, which is only applicable for citizens of the United States.

Be sure to have the right power plug adapter for your devices. I bought myself a compatible adapter, but it's pretty awful since the shape is all wrong for Russia; it's a square peg trying to fit into a smaller circular outlet, so the adapter keeps falling out. I'll need to buy better ones online, like this one.

I asked my mom to get me a power strip (with USB ports if they have it), and she came through beautifully: no more adapters popping out with any small movement! I plugged my power strip from te US into it and it admittedly looks a bit crazy now, but it works. Quick note, I can buy things for myself, but asked mom since I'm in a hospital room now (more on that way below).



I brought my Nintendo 3DS, but the charger doesn't work even with a plug adapter! I found a couple stores selling the handhelds but not the charger, so I'll have to get it online (I recommend AliExpress). I recommend getting the USB charger cable if you have one, I unfortunately donated it during the move.

Only clothing I brought were shirts (around 10), underwear (5), socks (4), shorts (3), pants (1), and jackets (2). Brought one pair each of sneakers and sandals as well. Toiletries like toothbrushes and shavers are a given, but be sure you bring your favorites like toothpaste and deodorant since you might not be able to find one that you like. I had this problem, but luckily you can find Old Spice here.

I also bought some awesome pajamas from Uniqlo called Ultra Stretch. They're extremely stretchy, so they should be able to accommodate frames. I'll probably need to cut the cuffs, we'll see soon enough.


Supplements

I was concerned about nutrition, so I stocked up on protein powder. First, I've been consuming Schmilk (I like chocolate flavor) for a couple years now, which is a nutritionally complete meal in powder form; just add milk. I won't be completely replacing meals, but it'll be a good supplement.

Losing weight due to muscle atrophy is common, so I bought weight gainer protein powder as well: Optimum Nutrition's Serious Mass. We'll see how well this works, I really liked Gold Standard whey while I was hitting the gym.

I bought some supplements for bone growth as well, Vitamin Code's Grow Bone System. It has the nutrients that I was looking for, namely vitamins D, K, magnesium, and silica. I'm hoping that this helps in the long run.


Flight to Russia

Pretty normal stuff, flew via Aeroflot. Food wasn't too bad. In-flight entertainment was extremely slow, I audibly and visibly saw a woman getting frustrated with it. Airport bathrooms were filthy!

Worthy of mention, wear a hygienic mask if you can. They're cheap, and Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh won't operate on patients with influenza!


St. Petersburg, Russia

This is a beautiful city, especially this time of year. June through July is what they call White Nights, in which the sky remains bright even throughout the night. Here's the city at 1 AM:



I picked a relatively expensive time to be here, since it's also during the FIFA World Cup. Silver lining is that the city is very lively now, and it probably helped restaurants prepare English menus. Not too common, but they're around!

Speaking of costs, this is a much less expensive city compared to Los Angeles... Even in the city! Draft beer can cost around $6-8 in LA, but it's under $3 here in SPb. I was worried that I'd dislike the food, but everything has been delicious (and affordable) so far.

ATMs are everywhere, so you won't be stranded for cash as long as you have a Visa or Mastercard debit card. Many restaurants take card, and they even bring their card reader machine to the table.

Tipping is sometimes included, so be sure to read the receipt first. Tipping isn't necessary, but it's becoming more common, so I leave 10% in cash (you can't tip via card). So be sure to get some smaller bills when you can.


Accommodation: Pre-operative

My mom came with me, and will be with me a few days after surgery, so we had to get a place that we could share. Hotels are expensive right now, so I only stayed at one for a couple nights, since we landed past midnight; a bit difficult to find a 24-hour Airbnb.

Another merit to staying at a hotel is that they'll register your visa without breaking a sweat. Registration of a visa is strange: basically you have to register with your host within your first week of being in Russia, there's no cost to you. Be sure to do this, as failure to do so will mean fines and/or (though rare) deportation.

After that we relocated to a rental I found on Airbnb. It cost just over $1000 for two weeks, and it's in the heart of the city. It's also in walking distance to MEDEM, which made it convenient. This apartment was obviously newly created for short-stay users, since there were a few similar units next door inside a comparatively old building.






Getting Around

At first I thought I'd be using Uber, but it turns out that the local market is more saturated with Gett. I had no idea what it was, but I saw ads in the airport and decided to give it a try.

If you've used Uber, it's pretty much the same deal. Gett is cheaper though, so I recommend using it if in Russia.


X-rays and Tests

The day after I landed, I went to RNIITO to get x-rays by Dr. Nikita, who works with Dr. Kulesh. This was about 35 minutes away (15 km or 9.3 miles) from where I was staying; this cost around 718 rubles ($11.40). I initially had some trouble on seeing him since the hospital staff didn't speak much English. After using Google Translate, showing emails, and of course name dropping, they managed to find Dr. Nikita for me.



Dr. Nikita spoke some English, so I had an easier time communicating with him. He walked me through corridors to get to the x-ray room, and I was asked to take my pants off. We took some long film x-rays while standing, and then I laid down for some tibial x-rays. Dr. Nikita said he'd email the results to Dr. Kulesh, then he walked me out. I think I was there for 30 minutes or so total.





Since I have a birth defect of the heart, I was recommended to see a cardiologist. Dr. Kulesh scheduled an appointment for me at MEDEM, so I headed back to the city. After some paperwork and waiting for a few minutes, I got a cardiogram and got the results right away. This cost me just under $25.




Consultation: Dr. Kulesh

The very same evening I went to see Dr. Kulesh at St. George's Hospital. Very nice building, much newer than RNIITO. After some more Google Translate, I was able to find Dr. Kulesh's office, but there was another person waiting outside his door. There was already another patient inside his office as well, so I waited about an hour or more before being seen. Luckily they had Wi-Fi, so I was able to kill time pretty easily.





At last, meeting the man himself, Dr. Kulesh! We talked about my goals, method, timeline estimates, and recommendations. He showed me a handful of patient x-rays and photos to give me a better idea of what's to come, and the first patient was Jim_dabarber! He said that Jim is a good patient, and that he's doing very well with physiotherapy.

The doctor also shared stories of non-compliant patients, like a person who flew home one day post-op (!) and decided to lengthen 3 mm a day (!) because he was in a hurry. In the end the doctors were able to help him to recovery, but it was a tough one. Another patient lengthened 13 cm on his femurs and 7 cm on his tibias. Again, very tough recovery, and having joint problems.

He explained that they can only offer recommendations and guidelines, but if a patient is insistent, they will do it. But please, use some common sense. Those two guys mentioned above are not shining examples of good outcomes.

He also had a funny anecdote about patients wanting absolute perfection. One patient would scrutinize his x-rays, saying that one leg was 1-2 mm longer than the other. After correction, the nails were inserted since the method chosen was LATN; the meticulous correction wasn't fruitful, since jamming intramedullary nails will shift your bones a little bit. In the end there was minor discrepancy, but the mechanical axis was good, and the patient was happy with their result.

Another patient had curvature problems with their femur, which was not detectable from the outside. During lengthening the patient became concerned, Photoshopping the x-rays to straighten the femur, to say that is the result they wanted. Local doctors were also concerned, saying it should be fixed. However, the mechanical axis of the bones were good, so it was a non-issue. And again, it was undetectable from outside the body.

As for me, I currently have near-perfect mechanical axis, very slight valgus deformity (3-4 mm) at the knees. Right femur is around 47 cm, left within 4 mm of that. Right tibia is 36 cm, left is within 2 mm of that. I've tried to measure my own legs before and I was waaaay off, so keep that in mind.

We talked about methods a bit. He does not recommend LON at all, because of the higher infection rate. He had one patient with deep infection, and said "one is enough." Therefore he prefers LATN, but his utmost recommendation was conventional Ilizarov without intramedullary nails. Yes, the patient will have to wear the frames for a while longer, but it has the best outcomes. Unfortunately it's not a reality for many, especially for those who travel abroad on limited visas, so use your best judgement.

He prefaced this by saying that it's only his opinion, and that the final judgement comes down to the professor (Dr. Solomin), but that he does not think that weight-bearing during lengthening is beneficial. He was also inconclusive about the S (or Z) cut osteotomy, saying that there's more research required.

We started talking about potential surgery dates and location. At first I thought my only choice was MEDEM since it can take 1-3 weeks to get an appointment at the municipal clinic, St. Elizabeth's Hospital. However Dr. Kulesh said it's possible and that he'd get back to me on it after he talks to the professor. We made loose plans on when I'd get to meet Dr. Solomin.


Which Clinic?

The very next day Dr. Kulesh let me know that they can book a room on Friday, June 29. I was mentally prepared for MEDEM, with its fancy architecture, hotel-like rooms, appetizing food, and English-speaking staff... But I originally asked for the municipal clinic, so I agreed.

Until then, I rounded up the advance payment, got an x-ray of my femurs, and met Dr. Solomin back at RNIITO. Dr. Kulesh was there as well.


Consultation: Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh

Again with the help of Google Translate and patient staff, I was able to find Dr. Solomin's office at RNIITO. This time my mom came along.

While waiting, Dr. Kulesh arrived. A few minutes later, I saw Dr. Solomin briskly walking down the hallway. He was very energetic, and offered us coffee or tea, which he made for us. He started off by apologizing, that he has a lecture that morning, so that he'll have to leave in a few minutes.

He mentioned that while he was quiet, he has been reading my emails. Dr. Kulesh pulled up x-rays, checked my mechanical axis/lengths/diameters, and said it looked fine for LATN.

He then disappeared for a while for his lecture, which was about fractures of the femur for about 16 other doctors.

When he came back, we talked about my goals. I said that my wish is 7 cm femurs, 6 cm tibias. He said his recommendation is 10% of the starting bone length, and I told him yes, that was just my wish. He added that after we start lengthening, we can see how my body responds. If the femurs can get to 7 cm, then to 8 cm, that's fine by him. Dr. Kulesh added that a patient once came in for lengthening, and a day after surgery changed their mind, saying that they just want the bone back in one piece; you really don't know how you'll react to such trauma.

As for when we could start the next set of legs in the cross-lengthening journey, Dr. Kulesh recommended a year apart. Dr. Solomin said as soon as the bones look consolidated via x-rays. Dr. Kulesh admitted that only one patient has ever taken his advice, adding that they had a great recovery.

I asked how many patients he has worked on. "Thousands. Perhaps finally, you will be my first successful patient!" Really, he was a charming guy. He talks very fast, and when he was lecturing, I told Dr. Kulesh that she had a hard time understanding since he has an accent too. To which he replied, "yes, he can be hard to understand, he talks just as fast in Russian!"

My mom asked if they sell or recommend special underwear for patients like me, to which they said "our patients usually just figure it out." So yeah, think ahead about this one!

They let me know that I'll be checked into the hospital on Thursday morning, then surgery on Friday. It's Thursday evening as I write this.

After the consultation, Dr. Kulesh walked us to St. Elizabeth's Hospital since it's close by. Beautiful day, perfect weather. Once inside and up a few flights, Dr. Kulesh left us with Dr. Roslan (not sure about spelling), saying that he'll help me get some tests done while I'm there. Did a blood test, urine test, and cardiogram once more. We were done in under an hour.




Accommodation: Lengthening

Found a place a little north of the clinic which was affordable, just under $1500 for 91 days. Scoped the place out recently, there was a good restaurant downstairs that has free delivery until 11 PM. Score!

More about this place once I move in.


Preparing for Surgery

I was asked yesterday that I needed to shave my own legs, either the night before or on the morning of surgery. I have a lot of hair, so I decided to get a head start yesterday night.

Used my beard trimmer to chop away most of it, then used some shaving cream and a Venus razor to take care of the rest.

I haven't seen my nked legs in decades, it's a strange sight. It also feels very strange too. I'll admit that I've got some pretty legs!




Moving into St. Elizabeth's Hospital

Got up early today and used Gett once more. I was asked by Dr. Kulesh to go to the emergency department and then call Dr. Roslan; it was a confusing few minutes for the staff since I came with two suitcases, a mother, and without an injury in sight. After a few minutes we saw Dr. Roslan, and we proceeded to my room.







I'll be staying here for two weeks, leaving around July 14th or so to the apartment I mentioned. So far I've had three meals, and while bland looking, I actually enjoyed them. I'm used to eating rice porridge, called okayu, which they served twice today. They gave me some cheese for dinner, which was pretty exciting. Thankfully I'm a small eater so I actually got full eating this, but I also get hungry really fast so I'm hungry again after only two hours. Mom left me snacks, but I'll be a good boy and abstain since you don't want a full stomach before surgery.

The rooms are more than adequate. Door from hallway leads to a common room, with a kitchen and separate doors to the bathroom and shower. Then there are two connected rooms, one of which I'm typing this from. The beds aren't very soft, but I've fared worse. I brought a memory foam travel pillow, and it has served me well so far when I want to sit and type with my back against the wall.

There's an older guy in the other room, no apparent injury, but is on IV sometimes. His meals are different from mine as well.

Just took a shower, it's pretty cramped and outdated. The handle on the side of the wall is practically coming off the wall, so I won't be able to depend on that. The shower head holder is made of plastic and is also coming off the wall, so I've really got to be careful. Actually, maybe they'll replace it if I break it...


Closing Thoughts

That's it for part one, while I'm still my old self. It's almost 11 PM and I'm getting pretty sleepy. Surgery after 9 AM tomorrow morning (June 29, Friday), still not sure when exactly really. Still pretty bright out, looks like dusk back at home.

Onward and upward!

At last, was waiting for you my man Android to start it, was keen to see whom you choose, all the best mate - you are an awesome dude and I know you will do great. Keep us posted please and keep being as helpful as you always have been.
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Android

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #56 on: July 06, 2018, 05:47:01 PM »

Sorry I haven't updated or replied to new questions, my laptop has refusing to connect to my phone as a hotspot. I'll either fix it soon or wait for WiFi, which is a little over a week away.

I started lengthening today, officially in the distraction phase! Here's a short video:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk5iGTvHTiF/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=94zcj7tn45hy
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5'4" and 1/4" (163.2 cm) | United States | early 30s | Cross-lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh

7231

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #57 on: July 07, 2018, 02:54:36 PM »

"Actually, maybe they'll replace it if I break it..."

 - haha, that's what I call a smart guy, break it dude - for convenience of future LLers and yourself

"Epidural catheter in my back"

- I thought they put one in your johnson as well,right? that's for pissing right? what is this 'back' catheter for? by 'back' do you mean the hole where the sun does not shine?
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Android

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #58 on: July 09, 2018, 08:27:45 PM »

Hooray, phone's hotspot works again! Let's answer some questions.

So do you recall anything from the operating table? How was it? You pretty much saw Solomin and Kulesh walk in and then you were out and woke up? Was it like people say, you felt like you were falling asleep and that no time passed and you woke up right away?

So is external femur as painful as you would have thought it would be so far? I know we discussed before how we think it's a bit barbaric but is it better or worse than you had thought?

I honestly don't remember anything other than the stuff I wrote: epidural catheter in back, nasal cannula, and I was out not much long after that. I briefly remember someone with a bolt cutter shortening the pins in my frames, but can't remember if that was in operating room (must have been). But that's it, so far the easiest part of the journey hands down: instant and painless.

External femur isn't that painful, just has its own challenges like much more restricted range of motion. I can bend my tibia frame leg 90 degrees, but it's like 15 degrees on my femoral frame leg. Granted I need more PT, but that's how it starts. I've had more pain in my tibial frame leg actually. Even now the femur is painless while tibia is about a 2-3.

You actually don't feel the urge to pee because of the catheter, because the bladder is being emptied constantly before you can even develop that urge. At least that's my experience with surgeries. Or do you mean you couldn't feel your lower areas at all?

This product - I only know the German version - : ( https://www.amazon.de/ENSBONA-Teufelssalbe-hei%C3%9F-200-Salbe/dp/B00Q98VFVA ) helped me.

Ah, makes sense. Add to that, yes, my lower half of the body was a little numb too, so I wasn't sure.

Thanks for the suggestion! Back's better now, but you never know when it'll strike again... And then there's always round two.

They also already prescribed you anticoagulants and painkillers... I'm so relieved now. Of course, thanks for such detailed posts and the pictures, too. Love the mini-Android!

And hey, your hands look much bigger than mine from the pics! So weird how the body can vary drastically like that (like my shoes' size not matching my height at all). Your legs are also quite hairy. You won't have to worry much about the scars!

Yeah, just today I started taking Pradaxa (another drug to prevent blood clots) to replace the shots I was getting on my belly. I'll be taking these for months! Yeah, glad I found this mini-Android while packing to go to Russia. Unfortunately one of the antennae broke, hopefully I'll find it in the suitcase one of these days...

My hands are small, I assure you! Dr. Kulesh poked fun at nurse Alice, saying she has chicken fingers. Then later when she administered my hand plug IV, she laughed and said I have chicken fingers too. Not offended, enjoyed the moment.

And yeah, I got plenty of body hair to spare. Let's see how it plays out!

That femur frame looks grim. Hopefully you will be able to sit on a toilet somehow. Anyway try to stay positive and maybe watch the office US. It saved my life during lengthening.

So far it has been really comfortable, I can sleep fine with it. My butt cheek completely touches the bed, so there's no frame around back. Haven't sat on a toilet yet, but I think the bigger issue will be knee ROM.

I'll definitely keep The Office in mind, I've started and stopped it because I was busy at the time. This is my chance!

Hey Android, thank you again for such a detailed diary.
Your femur frame looks more bulky compared to the ones that Pope have . Have u noticee that? Once Dr kulesh told me that it is possible to use more compact femur frames instead of monorail. Maybe you didn't ask him to use something compact before surgery

Nope, didn't ask at all for smaller frames, didn't even think to ask. His definitely must be more comfortable, but maybe it doesn't weight bear as much since he expects him to stay in bed more often... Who knows. Honestly I don't mind the ones I have now that I have them.

Great job Android, obviously the cross leg thing will look a lil confusing to those who don't know much. How will it help you gain more length though?

Simple, both femurs and tibias are being lengthened! This method is a compromise as external femurs are not as well tolerated by patients due to discomfort. For those that can afford it, internal femurs are the way to go, then do the tibias either way.

How is it compared to what you imagined? better? worse? or is it pretty much how you imagined it was going to be like?

I wasn't prepared for how long I'd be stuck in bed, that's for sure! Bed sores, itching, neck pain, and the like were unexpected. But really, it's not that bad. Surgery was quick, hospital staff are friendly, I've eaten every bite of the food, and the doctors are friendly. The pain can really suck sometimes, but it's managed in around 30 min by readjusting.

"Epidural catheter in my back"

- I thought they put one in your johnson as well,right? that's for pissing right? what is this 'back' catheter for? by 'back' do you mean the hole where the sun does not shine?

Epidural catheter is to administer local anesthesia which goes along my spinal cord, urinary catheter is for the urine bag and goes right into the urethra.
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5'4" and 1/4" (163.2 cm) | United States | early 30s | Cross-lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #59 on: July 09, 2018, 08:51:54 PM »

Day 4: Continued

After the last post I tried to sleep. My IV plug hand felt a little sharp pain for a few minutes since I was typing so much! Took about an hour to write that update.

Because it took so long, the mild IV pain killer had started to wear off, so pain level was around 4. Manageable, but harder to fall asleep. My left foot with femur frame was practically resting directly on the metal rack, and it was really starting to hurt. I tried repositioning and stretching for a LONG time, gave up and called the nurse to place my memory foam travel pillow under my foot.

Instant relief! But I had and new pain from readjusting the leg, which wasn't too bad. Most of the pain I felt was the right tibial frame leg, specifically the top of the foot. The foot is dropping, classic ballerina foot in the works. For those unaware, this is due to a tightening Achilles tendon, making your foot point downward like a ballerina's feet.

I'm stretching every 30 min or so when awake, at first I could only move a few millimeters but I can extend it back to the neutral 90 degree angle and beyond now. Takes a little warming up to do it again after a break. It feels like muscle pain you feel when you stretch the day after a very hard workout. Somewhat feels like the veins on top of the foot are going to pop out. It's not pleasant, but it reminds me of muscle soreness from the gym, which is tolerable.

I couldn't sleep right away and my body was itching, so I decided to give myself a cleaning with baby wipes. Haven't been able to shower yet which drives me crazy since I usually shower at night; I prefer to sleep in a relatively clean bed every night. Buy baby wipes, and don't forget deodorant! You never know who you might meet along your journey.

Anyway, was finally able to sleep. Woke up an hour later at 1:27 AM, Dr. Kulesh had sent me some emails so I replied and went back to sleep. Woke up again later, back to sleep.

Day 5 (July 3): The Bedpan

Finally was able to sleep undisturbed, waking up after 8 AM. On a rare sunny day, the sun sears through the missing window blinds, making the room pretty hot at 9 AM. I learned how to say "open/close window" in Russian pretty fast.

10:48 AM, my suitemate just got wheeled away for his surgery. Good luck to him, he's in good hands!

10:50 AM, I called the nurse to say that I need to use the bedpan.

It's about 11:15 AM now, took maybe 10 min to use it. It was no big deal, though managing to fit the bedpan in front of my leg raisers was a challenge. Again, upper body strength came in handy. I was a bit constipated so it took a while, and it's really hard to get a good angle, but the deed was done. Luckily the person that helped was a sweet told lady that really got to be friendly with my mom and I, she's like a grandma figure. She has seen it all, not a hint of disgust in her eyes. I feel 1000% better.

Again, I can't stress this enough... Get baby wipes!! Bring some small plastic bags too, like from the produce section of the grocery store. Or, come to think of it, dog poop bags. I had a few with me, and I asked the staff for more and now I have an endless supply of trash bags. Really handy for the little bits of trash you'll accumulate, which I tie off after the bedpan wipes are in there. I place it next to the bedpan when I call them again, and they throw it away.

11:30 AM, doctors Solomin and Kulesh came to see me. First time seeing Dr. Solomin since our consultation, at least for me since I was unconscious during surgery. He asked why I didn't have my tibia frame foot in a 90 degree position via bandage, Dr. Kulesh responded it has only been like this for a day (he removed it during rebandage for my comfort). Dr. Solomin said that I should see the Canadian girl who didn't do any physiotherapy, I'm guessing because she has ballerina feet. I told them I'm ready to put them back on, that I've been stretching often, that I'm ready for physiotherapy! They smiled and rushed off to my suitemate's surgery.

Time for another IV. This time my hand hurt, so she removed the entry point and injected into my arm. Much less painful, just less convenient I guess. Feels good to have that thing out of my hand. It was fine most of the time, but it would hurt once in a while if I moved my hand in a certain way, like readjusting on the bed or scratching an itch. I don't mind needles so the arm works better for me anyway.



Got in contact with AR on WhatsApp. Nice guy, glad to have someone to talk to that is a few days ahead of you, much like I was able to chat with my suitemate before his surgery. He has been able to walk much earlier than me, so hopefully I'll start soon too. My legs feel so heavy, but I'm sure they'll cooperate once I get some initial help.

Took a long nap, woke up to lunch. Lots to eat today, but the sweet tea made it easier to eat. My suitemate just came back at 3:05 PM. Congrats to him!

It's 5:38 PM, just finished physiotherapy with Irina. She spoke English well, no problems with communication. Lasted about 25 minutes, and it was brutal! Simple stretching and bending exercises of the feet, ankle, and knees. Sat for the first time today off the edge of bed with her assistance. I'll see her again in three days, wish it was sooner so I can get better faster.

Doctors Kulesh and Nikita came to visit at around 6 PM. Talked about my first PT session and that first day of lengthening will be determined by Dr. Solomin. We may do rebandages tomorrow.

Injected last IV for mild pain killer before 10 PM. Fell asleep ASAP, since the night before I stayed awake to post on the forum after injection. The painkiller doesn't last long, so it's best to fall asleep right after.

Day 6 (July 4): Pain

It's 2:12 AM, and my legs feel very heavy, pain level 3-4. Uncomfortable. A lot of neck pain.

Took Nurofen. Neck pain is almost gone, legs seem a little better, but not enough to fall asleep. It's 3:45 AM, been reading news and talking to friends on the other side of the world. Another benefit to sharing your journey with a select few that you trust. Listing to podcasts while playing a game, I'll take a nap later after my day time injection.

The pain feels like a heavy plate is pushing down on your legs. It's not sharp pain, but constant pain. It's not dull pain since it's a higher level than that; it feels like blunt force trauma, like getting hit with a bat or getting slowly squished between two cars. It won't make you cry, it's just nonstop pain that prevents you from getting good rest.

4:27 AM, pain is not as bad now. Might be able to sleep, but now I'm mentally awake!

5:08 AM, let's try this again.

5:30 AM, nope. Not gonna work, too awake and now I'm hungry. I'll do some stretches to prevent ballerina.

Finally fell sleep at around 7:11 AM, it's 9:12 AM now. Woken up for food, neck hurts again. After breakfast I had an IV of three different fluids. Went to sleep.

1:15 PM, Dr. Nikita is here for rebandages, my second one. It took an hour and went fairly well, a few pins and wires hurt (sharp but short-lived pain lasting up to 10 seconds), while some don't at all. Feels good to be disinfected!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkzuhIUHtlc/?taken-by=android_cll

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bkzu2C9Hhkp/?taken-by=android_cll

First time I got a good look at the parts that I'll be lengthening. Looks simple enough.

Rest of day was peaceful, I managed to stretch my right foot to prevent ballerina as much as possible. Dr. Kulesh liked my solution of using my stretchy sweatpants to do it, but felt that it was unnecessary until distraction phase begins.

Barrage of shots and IV starting at 8:30 PM. Asked for bedpan, wiped myself down, brushed teeth, and going to sleep at 10:10 PM.

11:40 PM, woke up to pee. Right leg feels heavy again, painful. Not sure why.

5 AM. Same issue, stretching legs again to help me sleep. Pain level 6 or 7. Hour has passed, still stretching.

Eventually fell asleep again, woke up for breakfast. Right leg with tibia frame still hurts, pain level 5/10.

Day 7 (July 5): Lots of Sleep

Slept well during the day after another hot morning. Nothing really happened until Dr. Nikita came over around 4:40 PM to create a makeshift dorsiflexion boot for me, to prevent ballerina foot on my tibial frame leg. The stretch feels good!



Ok, so it's 7 PM now, and the foot is really starting to hurt. It's like a sore pain, as if you've been walking all day with a bad shoe. I twitched my leg while sleeping and it was a jolt of sharp pain. This is going to suck, but additional surgery for Achilles tendon lengthening (ATL) will suck more, so I'll suck it up.

Call button for the nurse seems to be linked to the suite, not the individual room. Called nurse three times, each time they went to my suitemate. Had other people drop by help me instead. Fourth time, as she finished with the other guy and was about to leave, I called out for her. Very strange.

Woke up at 2:20 AM to really bad neck pain. Took Nurofen, still waiting for it to kick in.

Day 8 (July 6): First Lengthening

Slept through the night! Woke up around 8:30 AM. Shortly after breakfast at 9:45 AM, Dr. Kulesh and came over with a colleague, who measured my frames to make custom covers. Briefly saw Dr. Solomin, just to say things are fine.

4:10 PM Dr. Nikita and a new person came to rebandage, plus teaching me to lengthen for the first time!!!! Very simple, here's a short video.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk5iGTvHTiF/?taken-by=android_cll

Second PT session with Irina, invaluable for me. Right leg with frame dangled off the bed, what a milestone! Femur leg not so much, there's also the fact that I can't bend it 90 degrees anyway since my calf hits the frame before that.

Trying to sleep, but there's knee pain on tibia frame leg. Took a while to figure out, but it was because it was bent too much. Funny, since it bent so much more during PT; like it has reset. To be fair, I did lengthen them again; they're a different beast now. I straightened it, fell asleep. Got 7.5 hours!

Day 9 (July 7): Easy Day

Not much happened today, though there's some good news: cute nurse Alice is in, nice old ladies brought me cookies & peaches, and... Dr. Kulesh brought me a walker! Too bad I can't reach it, I doubt I can even use it right now.



Had a lot of trouble getting comfortable to sleep again. Placed a cushion under my butt to minimize right leg's knee angle. After fixing that, I slept like a baby.

Day 10 (July 8 ): Walker

Irina came at around 2:40 PM for a surprise physiotherapy session. Did some of the usual stretches, then cracked open the walker!!

Practiced getting up from the bed and sitting back down, which was brutal. Did this twice, then my legs became stiff as a rock. Irina suggested we remove the leg raisers from the bed permanently, feels great.



Day 11 (July 9): Crazy Freaking Itching

2:40 AM, woken up by extremely tight legs. I can barely bend them and they're extremely itchy. Driving me absolutely crazy.

Took what felt like an hour to fall back asleep. It was misery to feel an itch that you can't scratch. I will order antihistamines ASAP.

Not much happened today, did finally look at my tibial frame leg to see why my sole is a little numb. Inflammation, gross! Wish they would poke a needle and drain this mess.



Did some self-PT today, managed to dangle tibial frame leg off the side of the bed. Thought about it for my other leg, but knee wouldn't bend so I decided not to do it. Good thinking, because it was a pain getting back into my neutral bed position. I really don't want to fall off the bed with these things on!

No more belly shots, replaced with Pradaxa pills. Once per day, no big deal.

Time to sleep, starting to itch again...
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5'4" and 1/4" (163.2 cm) | United States | early 30s | Cross-lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh

totallyred

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #60 on: July 09, 2018, 08:57:59 PM »

"Actually, maybe they'll replace it if I break it..."

 - haha, that's what I call a smart guy, break it dude - for convenience of future LLers and yourself

"Epidural catheter in my back"

- I thought they put one in your johnson as well,right? that's for pissing right? what is this 'back' catheter for? by 'back' do you mean the hole where the sun does not shine?

Is it necessary to have epidural catheter, can't we have a general anaesthesia given?
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Great321

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Re: Android's Cross Lengthening with Dr. Solomin & Dr. Kulesh (2018)
« Reply #61 on: July 09, 2018, 10:58:24 PM »

Happy to hear from you Android!

Is it possible for you to get sleeping pills since sleep is really important to recover...and if you just take it for the first 2-3 weeks I'm sure you won't get addicted to it. I took strong sleeping pills whenever I was in a hospital.

The itching, do you think it's an allergic reaction, since you mentioned antihistamines?

What helps against the inflammation of your foot?

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