Broke my foot

Among all the Free Software and Open Standards posts on this blog, here’s a personal announcement.On Sunday a week ago, I had a sports accident that left me with a broken foot.

During a game of capoeira, my partner’s shin ended up on top of my foot, and I ended up on top of his folded leg. The bones in my left foot didn’t appreciate the sudden arrival of ca. 150kg of pressure on a very small surface area, and gave way. This is the result:

X-ray of foot
My foot, pre-surgery. Looking towards the heel from the toes, these are the bones in the middle. No, they're not supposed to look like this.

You know you’re in trouble when the doctors look at your injury and call it “interesting”. But right now, things are looking up. After spending a week in bed with my foot propped up, I had surgery today. They put a couple of wires in my foot, and gathered up all the little bone splinters and put them back where they belong. A couple more days in hospital, and I’ll be back home with my family.

I’ll have to walk on crutches for six weeks or so, meaning that I won’t be able to travel. It’ll be three months until I can get slowly back to practicing capoeira again. Currently I’m focused on recovering, but I’ll ease my way back into work over the coming weeks.

If you’re waiting for a reply from me and not getting it, now you know why.

The Free Software angle

There’s a Free Software angle to this, too. During my initial visit to the hospital, they gave me an X-Ray. On the pictures, there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary.So they sent me home, told me to cool the foot and stay in bed, and predicted that I’d be out and about again in a week’s time.

The next morning, the hospital called me. They had noticed a tiny detail on the X-Ray pictures. Could I come in again for a CT scan? On these pictures, taken from all angles at a much higher resolution, the full extent of the damage became apparent.

As they sent me back home to wait for surgery, they gave me a CD with my CT scan pictures on them. They came in a format I had never heard of before: DICOM.

Since I was very curious what was going on with my foot, I dug around for DICOM viewers. After a little digging, I found Aeskulap. It’s a neat Free Software program (GPL for the top layer, LGPL for the middle layer, BSD for the bottom layer) that lets me look at those DICOM images, rotate them and zoom them. While it didn’t make my foot work any better, it did make me feel better about my foot.