Saturday, February 24, 2007

The second wave

I've been really impressed with the shock wave results so far. Since I'm psychotic about note taking, I have information on how his leg looked each day since the first treatment (well, I actually take notes every day for my horse, so I have a complete diary of what's been happening with Kaswyn for the past five years or so...). In addition to noting any heat in the leg, I also came up with categories that describe the appearance of the leg that give me a better idea what's going on than just "swollen" or "not swollen". That's just too vague.

Normal - The best case. No swelling, no heat. Tendons tight.
Thick - No swelling. The tendons under the knee appear thicker, but still tight.
Spongy - Slight swelling, with the tendons softer and no longer tight. Fingers can be pushed into the tendons with a spongy feel that gives to pressure. Tendons still distinguishable from bone.
Filled - Discernable swelling. Areas between tendons and bone are filled in with inflammation so that the tendons are not easily distinguishable from bone, but swelling does not exceed the outer edge of the bone.
Swelled - Considerable swelling, with tissue extending past the outer edge of bone.

The first five days after the treatment Kaswyn was on bute and aspirin to keep some of the swelling down, and it worked beautifully. His leg looked normal and cold. The day after the meds were stopped his leg was thick. The next day it was spongy, the next it was filled, with moderate heat. Dr. B. said he wanted to have some swelling in the area, with the thought being that some inflammatory response was good. Thankfully the inflammation didn't get out of control, because it never reached the swelled stage. After hovering between filled and thick for almost a week, two days before the second treatment his leg went back to normal.

Yesterday he had the second shock wave treatment. Of course he was a fantastic boy for it, thanks to some nice drugs which made him a sleepy pony. Today his leg looks totally normal. I know he's on meds and that in five days he'll get some inflammation again, but this time I anticipate that it will go away. Just in time for treatment number three. After which Dr. B. wants to take some x-rays to see how he's healing. The pre-treatment x-rays are from Dr. G's and they are digital. I thought I'd have to bring Kaswyn there for more digital x-rays so we can compare apples to apples. However, the awesome thing is that Dr. B. just got a digital x-ray machine for his truck so I don't have to take Kaswyn anywhere.

I'm very excited to see the progress on the x-rays. Dr. B. expects that it will be significant. He thinks I'll be able to go back to work the day after treatment number three. While that would be great, I think I might wait two weeks anyway, just to be sure. This has been enough of a journey that I don't want to rush things and screw it up now. I can wait two more weeks. At least until his leg look normal without meds. If the last two weeks are any indication, I'll be back to work in a month.

Must not get excited...must not get excited...

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