Our Beginning

My name is Kaylene Mooiman and I am the owner and senior podiatrist of Marlborough Podiatry. I have had a journey that I would like to share, which explains some of why I am so passionate about quality and consistent health care to all patients and especially in podiatry. In late 2013 the worst timing, as I was about to sit my final Bachelor of health Science exams in podiatry I had a medical emergency occur almost out of the blue; Cauda equina syndrome. In short one of the discs in my lower back entirely displaced and compressed my spinal cord from L4 to S1. The result of this was extremely painful and the loss of mobility and internal functions resulted. After surgery to decompress my spine I had two weeks of hospital to start the recovery.

It became clear that although the decompression was successful, the results of the spinal trauma was an unknown as only time would tell if I would regain what I had lost, mobility and internal functions. I was not entirely painfree as my left lower leg in the calf was still painful and it turned out this would remain for months to come. The hardest to wait fo was the internal recovery, which was slow.

As a podiatrist I was aware of the nerves and the different changes that can occur in the muscles, skin and with motion. To my horror even after successful surgery I had lost the use of my left leg and could no longer walk without assistance. My big toe (hallux) couldn’t move and neither could my lesser toes. My left ankle gave way at my first attempt to stand with assistance and to be honest I was disheartened as I realised the ramifications of what had happened to me.

With some soul searching and a determination to play with my children again I put my podiatry knowledge to work and started towards my recovery. Trying to engage my big toe even though it initially didn’t respond, trying to use my legs even though I had strict rules for 6 weeks following my operation to only lie flat, walk or briefly perch. Very boring! My husband was granted nearly three months off work to care for me and our children, while I slowly recovered. Setting my alarm every 30minutes I used crutches to slowly walk down the hallway and back to bed, each time increasing in resistance and strength. Finally by week 4 I had not had any post rehabilitation care so I sort to my own privately, with a Dr of physio starting me of with just basic core movements. Over a few months my left leg became stronger and although a long way to go I was starting to be more mobile.

Two years have passed and no one would know my journey had been rough. I do still have loss of sensation to my lower left leg, but I can be active with my children and have a determination to see other people more mobile and receive quality care that they deserve. I obviously completed my study and have seen hundreds of patients for various lower limb related conditions. Ranging from young to the elderly, sports or chronic disease related the quality of care has been the same, aiming at achieving the realistic goals of each patient, with many having success stories.