Wednesday, November 5, 2014

6 Year Anniversary!

I can't believe it's been SIX years! I also can't believe that I didn't post for my 5 year anniversary! Whoops! I guess that's what happens when you have a 2 month old!

So it's 6 years post-op, and I'm doing great! I actually didn't plan on updating this blog anymore, but with all the positive feedback I've gotten from the Facebook group (Calcaneal Osteotomy), I figured I should say hi and post a quick update.

I'm still training, doing nutritional counseling, etc. I am exercising a bit less at the moment but not because of my ankle :) I still have pain in one spot in particular if I touch it (which I don't), or whack it accidentally. I have some issues with bursa sacs and neuromas, not sure if they are related to the surgery and the different way I bear weight now or not. I still see the same Chiropractor/MAT I have since the beginning of this journey, he has helped me immensely! I see him every 2 weeks, which definitely helps everything. I also have a couple herniated discs, etc.

In the last year or so, I've really been doing a lot of research and experimentation with essential oils, specifically the Young Living brand. I have found that certain oils in particular really help me with some of the continued pain I have. If you're interested, please shoot me a message and I'm happy to discuss further! You can ask to join the FB group as well.

I still don't play soccer, which I miss terribly, but I know I can't go back to. I am cautious not to wear running shoes or run on unstable ground, for risk of rolling my ankle and un-doing all the work that's been done to repair those soft tissues. Although there are downsides to the surgery, I still believe there are more pros than cons. Although I will say, I will never do the other ankle. :)

Peace, love and recovery!


Monday, November 5, 2012

4 Year Anniversary

It's that time again! The 4 year anniversary of my calcaneal osteotomy (ankle reconstruction). What an amazing journey it's been!

I feel really good! I am fully healed, of course, but I did visit my ankle surgeon about 3 months ago to touch base and ask some questions.

There is one spot beneath my ankle bone that is still excruciating if it is bumped or touched at all. I figured that would heal over time but it doesn't look like that will happen. I also have hypertrophy of the bone in that same area. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is quite noticeable to the eye. I am putting my body under quite a bit of stress at the moment with my training, so I do feel that area on a daily basis. But, it's just something I've learned to live with. I had x-rays taken to ensure there wasn't any damage and it revealed no issues at all. 

Although I do not regret my decision to have the surgery, there is one thing I didn't fully understand prior to having the reconstruction. When you are moving your heel bone into a different place in your body, it effects EVERYTHING else. So now the left and right sides of my body and very different. I get frequent knee pain and my hips are constantly out of alignment. I treat this with regular visits to a Muscle Activation Therapist and Chiropractor who has done wonders for me. With this treatment, I am able to do the incredible amount of physical activity that I wasn't sure would ever be possible again!

I proud to say that this year I became a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM and NESTA. I am teaching 11 group fitness classes a week including my very own Boot Camp class at the new Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, TX. I am pursing my Fitness Nutrition Specialization and am about to compete in my third Half Marathon!

Since my last post, I competed in my second Half Marathon, where I took 9+ minutes off of my first race's time! My goal at this third race is to feel stronger during the race, which I've been preparing for with 4 months of intense training!

It's hard to believe that another year post-op is in the books. Here's to four more years!

Peace, love and healthy bodies,

Melissa Villamizar, CPT

Facebook: LiveWholeBeFree
Twitter: @LiveWholeBeFree

Saturday, November 5, 2011

3 Year Anniversary

Today marks the three year anniversary of my ankle surgery. Hard to believe that for a while, this blog was one of the only things getting me through the recovery. It's hard to believe that I updated it every single day (or close to it), and that now, I update once a year. I'm so happy to be at that "one a year update" point.

So at this three year mark... I now teach 7 classes a week (on top of my full time job, of course). I teach for 24 Hour Fitness, Equinox and now Nike. I've completed a half marathon in a very competitive time and am currently training for my second. More importantly, I rest when I need to rest and I find myself giving the same advice to others that used to go in one of my ears and out the other. I guess this is what "growing up" is all about. I train hard, but I also train in multiple disciplines, including Bikram Yoga. Me? Yoga? Yep. And it's hot too, 105 degrees, 60% humidity "hot."

Lots of changes have occurred in me mentally and physically. As I look back at the last post I wrote, on my second anniversary, I'm proud to say I've grown so much from that point, and look forward to how much I will grow in the next 365 days. I never realized what an important tool this blog could be, for me as a person. I'm also so happy that I've been able to help others out there, going through the same things. Please continue to post comments and ask questions, as I will always respond. There's also a little facebook group out there, you can check it out, just search "Calcaneal Osteotomy".

I've also grown a lot in my knowledge of nutrition, and I share my knowledge and thoughts about health, fitness, nutrition and motivation on a new web site, Please feel free to check it out.

Until next year, take care of yourselves, and feel free to comment and I shall respond!

Peace, love and healthy ankles,


Saturday, November 6, 2010

2+ YEARS Post-Op!

Well, it's hard to believe, but it's been 2 YEARS since ankle reconstruction! This whole journey has changed me much more mentally than physically, which I wasn't planning on, but desperately needed. (Which I now realize).

I take much better care of my body now. I guess I figured pre-surgery that my body was such a mess anyways, what did it matter if I played through injuries? Now, with a new ankle, and a "second chance" (as overdramatic as it sounds), I'm much smarter. I stay off my injuries, I am getting all the vitamins my body needs, I do my best not to eat processed foods and I see a muscle activation therapist weekly who helps my body keep pace with my crazy active lifestyle. :)

Even as I write this, I still can't believe that I haven't gotten back on that field. One of my main goals was to play again. But again, things have changed. I fell into a position as a Group X Instructor, and it's taken over. Definitely one of the best things that's ever happened to me. I realize it's much more important for me to help others change their lives than it is to score a goal. Do I miss soccer? Absolutely. But as more time goes by, I think about it less and less. It does help to just stay away from all elements of it. I guess it's like relapsing from a drug. It's best to just keep it out of your environment, so you're not tempted to do it again.

I've been a Group X Instructor at 24 Hour Fitness now for over a year. The class of 5 that I started with has grown to 60+, I teach two classes for 24 Hour and will be starting at Equniox here in the next couple weeks. :)

Oh, and one more little thing... I've now beat my pre-surgery race times. All except for one. :) But I like that there's always something to work for. :) Here's to another year!


For more support/stories, check out our group on facebook: Calcaneal Osteotomy

Sunday, April 11, 2010

17+ Months Post-Op

I didn't think I would post any more updates to this blog. It served its purpose for me, it got me through my tough journey, and gave me something to look back on, to see how far I had come. What I didn't realize, while creating this, was that it would serve as such a helpful tool for others, also going through a surgery like this. So not only am I leaving it up for the world to see, but I think I'll come back and post every once in a while. :)

I've gotten several emails over the last 17 months from people who've stumbled across my blog, and have had questions about surgery, or who have thanked me for the information I was able to provide. Online, you can find copious amounts of information on the procedures, but they are all extremely difficult to understand to those of us without an MD. So although you will be able to read how the procedure works, now you can find information and testimonials from REAL people, who have real feelings and emotions, and have gone through these procedures themselves. There's no information like the truth, to help you weigh the pros and cons of a surgery like this.

That said, this leads me to Dave's blog. Dave is going to have a similar procedure, and is posting about his journey as well. You go, Dave. :) I encourage you all to check his blog for information, as well as to wish him luck in his journey.

And me? I'm doing just great! After about 7 months of teaching Athletic Training at 24 Hour Fitness' Valley Ranch Location, I have over 50+ members attending, several of which have lost over 10 lbs in my class. They are extremely inspiring and motivating to me. Teaching has given me a new purpose in life, one that I wasn't able to see with soccer in the way. I have yet to really play soccer, and to be honest, I'm not sure I'll ever play again. I still can't say that without tears, but I've found there are more important things in life. If I were to play soccer and blow out my ankle (high probability of this, if I play), I would never forgive myself. Everything I've worked so hard for, to throw it away would be moronic. I have a responsibility to my members now, and that motivates me more than playing soccer for myself ever could. I'm helping people. Inspiring them. It's amazing. I've also been offered a second class which starts tomorrow, at the Preston Center location. I never thought this would be me, but now, I could never go back. I am so grateful!

Another thing I couldn't have done without this surgery? 22 hours of boot camp in 2 days. That's right. I was one of the models/trainers/boot-campers featured in a DVD that was shot over two 11-hour days (see picture above). It was grueling! But my ankle was fine, it was amazing! The DVD as well as the web site should launch soon, right now you can visit the facebook page and become a fan, Doug Rice's Bridalicious Boot Camp.

I see the doc next month for what should be my very last appointment, ever! A year and a half. Wow. I never thought I'd see the day! I can't wait to see him. I've never been so excited to go see a Doctor. This is what you have to look forward to, Dave. A wonderful life ahead of you.


"Whether you think you can, or can't,— you're right" - Unknown

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 365+! One Year Later!

Originally uploaded by megalitz
November 5, 2009

Well, it's finally here! My one-year anniversary! I am SOOO happy! I feel like a completely different person. This surgery may have helped me more mentally than it did physically! And what they did physically I consider a miracle.

Today here I stand, solidly, on two feet, exactly one year later. November 5th. 12 months ago I wondered if I'd ever run again. And as I go through some of my past posts, all these feelings are coming back, and I'm remembering what I went through. To be honest, I've blocked most of it out. Your mind can do amazing things.

This was a long, hard journey, but I'm not sure I've EVER been more motivated to do anything in my life. I ran my last 5k before surgery in October of 08, with a PR and a time of 22:30. This October I ran the same race, with a time of 23:04. I've worked my butt off to get this far and plan to keep doing so! I met with a running specialist/physical therapist this week because I have poor running form. I am running with a limp, although it doesn't necessarily hurt. It turns out I have some very weak hip/glute muscles from atrophy after surgery, so I've been given a stack of exercises and now that we've pinpointed where the weaknesses lie, my running form should correct itself in no time.

One of my major concerns about surgery was whether or not I would be able to play soccer after surgery. However, I was unable to play prior to surgery as well, because my ankles were in such bad shape. So I didn't have anything to lose there. I have tried several times to play soccer. I can kick around just fine, without taping, however, when I tape up, it seems to "mush" everything together and I get a lot of popping that is quite unbearable, so I haven't been able to play very competitively for longer than 8 minutes. It's extremely frustrating and very upsetting. I've gone to a couple games, and leave in hysterics each time. So I've come to terms with it, and I will not try to play again until after my wedding. Because I haven't gone through all of this to NOT be able to walk down that aisle!

I am extremely grateful for everything. I am able to run, and more importantly, my quality of life has improved so dramatically. I can now stand at the kitchen sink and not fall over while doing dishes. That is the thing I notice the most. I have pain still, yes, of course. But it's normal and I'm so used to it that I would probably notice if it DIDN'T hurt, rather than when it does. And it's okay. I have a lot of scar tissue that needs to be worked out, but I've also come a long way.

I have new focuses in my life. I am now a Group X Instructor at 24 Hour Fitness, and I'm loving it. It feels right. Being bed ridden for 3 months taught me patience. It made me lose my mind...but also taught me patience. I feel a void without soccer, but I'm hoping that will fade with time. I went in for my 9 month check-up with a printed page of results, a picture of me running in the race, and my name and time highlighted at #1, and handed it to my surgeon. The look on his face was priceless. "Melissa, that is amazing..." he has it on his desk still. :) It makes me happy. I wanted to print out a new one when I beat that time, but figured one was enough.

To all of you who have been reading this, and emailing asking how I am doing, I'm so sorry for the delay in responding, and sincere thanks for your concern! I am alive, and well and know a great surgeon in Dallas if you are interested, which you probably are if you're reading this! I mean, who else's surgeon walks into the room on your 1-year check-up, gives you a hug and says "Happy Birthday!" I look forward to my appointments because I have so much good news to share! I'm also part of a case study at Baylor, they are evaluating my gait before and after surgery, and charting my progress. A surgeon from the UK is flying in and they are presenting my case to him! Awesome! It's an unusual case, I'm still not "cured" by any means...they would have to do an osteotomy of my tibia and that's SO not going to happen. I consider myself lucky right now, I'm not going to try my luck again!

I think to celebrate I will go to boxing twice today. All I know is that I'll be doing something athletic. I thought about waiting until the pm class, and going for a run beforehand, but I'm not sure I can make it through the day without releasing some endorphins, I'm so freaking excited!

11/5/08 + 11/5/09

Originally uploaded by megalitz
Comparison pre and post-op. 11/5/08 and 11/5/09.