Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Blog is (almost) 4 years old

4 year on (well I am a couple of days early) and things are still developing and although the blog may not have been as active this year as it has been previously this is because it has continued to create other ways to achieve goals so there is less need to post lots of information, although I do have a couple of posts coming up on Xiapex and a new paper which has some potential interest.

Blog things:
The Facebook page had continued to grow and this really helped with the patient survey (more on that later) and it is now up to well over 400 likes and more and more are coming, most people get referred to the Facebook group as it is easier to discuss things and it is more private. In terms of page-views things have been pretty steady this year and the blog has now hit over 220,000 page-views but neither of the above matters when you consider the wider picture… By far and away the most valuable post I have done this year is on the mental impact of Ledderhose and what a major impact it can have on your life. The post on this really seemed to hit home with many people and really made me reflect back to where I was with this condition in 2012, despite just getting married to a super amazing person I was down and in pain because of this condition.

Of course those new to the condition or the blog can check out

Still other things that have happened this year.

The International Dupuytren’s Symposium
Without a doubt the highlight of the year for me (in terms of Ledderhose related things). The trip to Holland was fantastic as not only did I get to put address the results of the patient survey but I go to meet Wolfgang from the IDS in person and introduce myself and the charity to the top doctors in the field. It was nice to catch up with Anna and I got to see Dr Shaffer in person for the first time since I finished my treatment. I won’t go into detail on the conference itself as all the details can be found below.

DART was started
I was not involved in the set-up of DART but it is a fantastic Facebook group that is looking into all avenues of Radiotherapy for Dupuytren’s, the group has really taken off and has lots of interesting discussions and got patients and doctors working together on a common goal.

Running and Weight loss

This is probably the overall highlight of my year. I have been overweight for so long and holding on to the extra weight was the last thing that the foot inflicted on me. Do not get me wrong the foot was not the cause but it certainly hindered me losing weight and contributed to some of the extra pounds. This year my wife and I embarked on a massive challenge to lose a lot of weight with my goal being to lose over 100lbs and we decided to try a low-carb diet and if it didn’t work then we would try something else. Well the low carb diet worked really well and the weight feel off, I noticed straight away that my foot was feeling much better and still don’t know if it was because of the low carb diet or the weight loss but feel it was a combination of both. As a result of the weight loss and a lot of hard work my running has also improved, I have gone from just about being about to run 5k in around 34 minutes to targeting sub 20 (not far off either) and I am now training for a half marathon with ambitions to complete a marathon sometime in 2017. So far my foot has been coping really well and I can’t believe I am running 30+ miles a week.  

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