Post-op Week #5-6ish

In a shoe

It’s day #45 of 46! That means I get to return to reality and be a productive human being again. But, of course what was supposed to be my first day back at work has turned into a snow day due to a big ol’ nasty Nor’easter! Gotta love New England. So my hospital is closed tomorrow and half the day on Wednesday. Happy Snow day everyone! What’s one more day off? As you should expect by now I have my concerns, but we’ll discuss that later. This post is a combination of two weeks #5 and #6. Week #4 just kind of happened. Came and went with no rhyme or reason.

Week #5 was pretty exciting in bunion recovery world. That was the week I had my follow-up #2. After my follow-up I started walking around the house IN A SHOE! and sometimes barefoot for an hour or two. I had to re-teach myself how to walk. I’ve lost the ability to grip anything with my toes, which makes sense after not using them for weeks. So when I started walking I was walking flat foot and not rolling on my toes like one naturally does. So if I walk at a snail’s pace I can really practice the act of walking, or one could say that I am ‘gait training.’ Toward the end of week #5 I was still experiencing a very noticeable pain near my plate. For the most part the throbbing had subsided, but the pain remained consistent and present a majority of the time. So I called my doctor to discuss this concern. I was very clear in describing the discomfort I was experiencing, when I was in it, and what helped to relieve it. As he reviewed my x-ray, he again casually reassured me that everything looked in-tact. He told me to take prescription strength Aleve (2 every 8-12 hours) and if during my next follow-up appointment it is still bothering me, we may have to consider removing one of the screws. He said this was a simple procedure. I did not ask how long I would have to be out for or push the topic further. So I did as instructed and ignored the pain I was still experiencing. That Saturday I participated in a local volunteer group event and was up for over five hours! I think that is the longest I’ve been out and about since my surgery and it felt great!

Week #6 has been even more exciting than week #5. I know hard to believe, brace yourself. In the beginning of week six or even over the weekend of #5 I noticed what looked like a dry skin rash starting to develop on the big toe of my surgery foot. My foot has been very dry since I got the stitches out, so I thought nothing of it. It is important to know that dry skin and skin issues are a huge pet peeve of mine; they give me the heebie-jeebies. I take lotion baths after every shower and even when I don’t shower I moisturize every day. So, you can imagine that my foot was driving me absolutely cray. I moisturized like a mad woman in hopes to get my foot looking normal and tried to let it fix itself. In the meantime, I’m practicing  how to walk and trying to increase the range of motion in my toes by stretching and wiggling them. I am proud to announce that I can officially walk without the use of crutches and my gait is improving on a daily basis. I can even go up and down the stairs without crutches, which means no more shark backpack adventures for Moose. I monitored the rash on my foot on a daily basis and it was getting increasingly more itchy so I decided to start taking a Claritin in the morning.

By Wednesday I noticed that it was getting progressively worse and it had spread to my arms. It wasn’t painful, it didn’t look like hives, it looked like clusters of tiny raised red bumps that were insanely itchy. I called my PCP (primary care physician) explained what happened and they were able to see me the same day. After examining my foot she explained that she thought it was either a generalized eczema (eeeewwww….really not that gross, but again, I HATE rashes) or what she thought it really looked like, an allergic reaction. I’ve never had any known allergies to metal, but my brother is allergic to some metals and will come down with contact dermatitis when he touches fake gold and (I think) nickel. This raised an eyebrow with my doc for sure. She explained that it would be abnormal to have an allergic reaction to the surgical hardware this far out from the surgery, but we cannot yet rule out a metal allergy. She also explained that if it is eczema, that it is very coincidental that it started on my surgery foot and that I may have touched my foot to something which may have caused some kind of bacterial or fungal infection (ew. vom.). So she prescribed me a topical steroid to use on my foot and my arms. She said she would consult with my podiatrist and get back to me with his recommendations as well. Like most medical processes, I was told to use the cream but if it gets worse to call right away. My podiatrist told my PCP that titanium is a pretty hypoallergenic metal and that it would be very rare for someone to have an allergy to it. He told her that it was most likely an unrelated skin issue and that this rash is not being caused by the surgery. I again did what I was told. My new daily regimen consisted of a Claritin and Aleve in the morning, prescription steroid cream twice a day, an OTC hydrocortisone lotion throughout the day, and two tablets of Benadryl at night. With this regimen I was still waking up in the middle of the night with the urge to scratch my foot and the rash continued to get worse.

By Friday the rash on my foot was severe; areas with blistering, areas with increased raised red bumps, swelling, and still incredibly itchy. It also spread to the palms of my hands, parts of my legs and stomach. Just dandy. I was able to speak to my PCP that day and she expressed genuine concern that the rash on my foot was getting worse. She didn’t want to blindly prescribe oral steroids on the off-chance that the rash is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection (steroids suppress the immune system. If there is an underlying infection and steroids are started, it will only exacerbate the infection and it will unleash its fury. So she wanted me to be seen to rule out an infection versus allergy. Of course she didn’t have any available appointments so she recommended that I go to an urgent care center. When I heard this I broke down. Tears started streaming from my eyes and I became overwhelmed with feelings of frustration, confusion, fear, and helplessness. I hung up the phone and sat there crying. I know pathetic, right?

**Side Note**

I feel the need to explain my frustration here; I do not cry that easily. From the throbbing pain to the rash that developed on my foot, I never once felt like my podiatrist took my concerns seriously. It felt as if no one was listening to me and until I saw my PCP did I feel like anyone wanted to help me. It’s an awful feeling to feel helpless when it comes to dealing with your own medical care and needs. I truly feel that whatever caused this rash is a direct effect of the surgery. Whether it be an infection or an allergy, I don’t know. How coincidental is it that the rash is the most severe on my foot, it started on my foot, it’s along the incision where the plate and screws are, and I never get rashes!??! All of these feelings and unanswered questions caused me to just breakdown. I know It’s okay to get defeated every now and then, but if I didn’t pull myself out of it I would only regret it. So I’ve been thinking positive thoughts and know that eventually we’ll get to the bottom of this.

**End Side Note**

I didn’t know what to do. Aaron wasn’t going to be home for 3-4 more hours and the last thing I wanted to do was pay for a cab to go to another hospital. A couple of minutes after I hung up with my PCP, I got another call from her. I could tell she felt badly for me. She told me that she had consulted with another doctor and gave me a list of allergists so I can be tested for a metal allergy. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate her genuine concern. It is such a relief to come into contact with professionals who are passionate and great at what they do. I mustered up the energy to call one of the allergists she recommended only to find out that their first appointment wasn’t until the second week of February. I immediately felt crushed and gave up calling. Knowing that my doctor’s office had walk-in hours on Saturday, I decided that I was stable enough to not go to urgent care. Instead Aaron and I went for beers and dinner at our favorite local bar.

Come Saturday morning. My foot was not any better. So Aaron and I braced ourselves for a long wait to be seen at my PCP’s office. After examining my gross foot, she again felt that my symptoms were more of an allergic response versus an infection. So it was decided that I would start on a course of Prednisone, oral steroids. I was started on a high dose of 60mg  and tapered from there. I was told that if in 1-3 days I experience any cold or flu-like symptoms that I will need to go to the ER for IV antibiotics. Fun times, right?! If you’ve never been on P, you’re not missing out. It is a great drug and does wonders for various ailments but it also has its annoying side effects. It makes me feel constantly hungry and antsy. Occasionally I feel the effects of bloating, irritability, and insomnia as well. So now my new regimen is Claritin, Aleve, and Prednisone tablets (starting from 6 down to 1/2) in the morning. Now that I’m on oral steroids it was recommended that I no longer use the hydrycortisone cream, so I’ve switched over to an eczema therapy moisturizing cream. I’ve also found it soothing to take Aveeno eczema therapy baths.

It has been two days since I’ve started my Prednisone and I’m not in the ER. Cheers. I have still been pretty itchy but the creams, baths, and positive joojoo are helping. The rash overall is getting better and very slowly starting to go away. I no longer have the raised red bumps on my foot and the generalized swelling and blisters have gone down. There is still a very obvious rash but day by day it is seeming to get better. Yay? Don’t get me wrong, I’m stoked that my foot is improving. But, I’m terribly concerned that once I’m done with the Prednisone my symptoms are going to return and I’ll be back where I was a week ago. My next step in this fun process will be to see my dermatologist and also an allergist to rule out any metal allergies. I’ll start asking more questions when I have more answers. Right now it only stresses me out because there is nothing I can do but wait. #waitingpatiently…not. Oh and through all of this, I started my physical therapy. It’s going great so far, but I’ll most likely do a separate post about those.

I’ll keep my devoted follower(s) updated on how I’m doing and together we’ll see how this saga unfolds😉 Thanks again for reading this (long!) post about my rashy foot. Sorry if I grossed you out. I decided not to include any pictures because it’s just gross, and no one wants to see that. Until next time…

 

 

Follow-up Visit #2

Lapidus Bunionectomy

Hey there! Well, this past Monday I had my second recheck appointment for my foot and it went much better than my first recheck. I never once felt the urge to vomit, already a plus. Another major plus was that my doctor actually had the time to answer my questions and explain my long list of concerns. That’s right, I went ‘paranoid cray-cray’ again. But, I was so easily swayed into believing that my foot was healing normally thanks to the soothing words of my little friend Trav and the loving advice of my hubby Aaron. Prior to these sweet words I was again convinced that something was terribly wrong with my foot.

Let me explain. Around week #2 I started having sharp throbbing pain near the plate and specifically surrounding one of the screws. At this point the throbbing is really the only pain I am experiencing. The pain is off and on and it doesn’t matter what I’m doing. According to this pain scale (0-10) I’m at a 3 during the day and it can creep up to a 6-7 in the evening. I didn’t think at this point in my recovery I would still be in this amount of pain. I tried to ignore it since it has been consistent for the last couple of weeks and because during my first recheck appointment my doctor told me a loose screw was nearly impossible. So I tried (emphasis on tried) not to focus too much on the discomfort. Knowing that my appointment was in a couple of days I decided to wait to talk to my doctor. Instead, I got the grand idea to do my own research online. Don’t do this! Here’s what I discovered, there are so many different lapidus bunionectomy procedures performed and everybody heals differently. I did not gain anything positive from doing this, so don’t do it!

This past Friday Aaron took me out to dinner at one of our favorite local bars. It felt great to be out of the house with my byabi but I felt like I was fidgeting the whole time. BeerFootI found that the only thing that immediately relieves this throbbing pain is applying pressure on the bottom left side of my foot. So for the hour or so that we were at the restaurant I was trying to find the perfect position on the chair that would help to relieve this discomfort. As soon as we got home I hobbled to my corner of the couch to put my foot up. Once I took my boot and slipper off (I call it my bear foot – see pic:) I noticed that my entire foot was swollen. Ah! So I elevated and iced my foot and within 30min the swelling was down. Naturally I was very concerned since this was the first time my foot had done this. I think it’s important to mention that this was not the first time I had been out on my foot. During week #2-3 I went out to dinner and spent about an hour walking around the craft store. Neither of these times did my foot swell. My foot continued to swell over the weekend whenever I was up and about. The swelling started after being up for 30-45min. Okay, last concern, I noticed my big toe starting to drift back toward my second toe. Along with the swelling this was causing an even bigger protrusion where my bunion was/is?  I (tried to) #waitedpatiently until my appointment on Monday.

My follow-up appointment was made possible by my amiga, Chris. She was able to take the time from work to drive me into downtown Boston in the middle of the day. So a big thanks to you Padre ;-)!! When I woke up on Monday morning I felt that throbbing pain creep back into my foot. Knowing that my appointment wasn’t until 2:30 I decided to take half of one of my prescription pills at 7AM. This was a bad idea! I do not recommend taking prescription pills before any of your recheck appointments. Don’t get me wrong, the pain was gone and I felt great. Great enough that I could walk around on one crutch and basically put full weight on my foot. I seriously felt like I could run! Great, right? Yes, but not when you have concerns regarding moderate pain and are going to see your doctor. I was still on cloud nine by the time my doctor was examining my foot. Titanium Foot

After he reviewed my x-ray, he said with confidence and ease that everything looked great. What a freaking relief! I told him about the pain that I was having, of course not at that specific time, and after poking around he said he couldn’t feel any loose screws and that everything looked in-tact and sturdy. He did say that severe pain is abnormal at week #4-6 and that if it continues to give him a call. He explained that the amount of swelling I’m having is normal at this point. As I continue healing and start physical therapy I should expect moderate swelling. He explained that there is a fair amount of scar tissue surrounding my bunion and my toe is drifting back toward my other toes due to the limited movement of my big toe. So that means it’s time to start physical therapy! Ow!! Before this visit I could only bend my big toe down, say 5 degrees, and couldn’t bend it back at all. During the visit he started my PT, yay🙂 He bent my big toe back toward my foot and continued to bend it back and forth for a couple of minutes. Holy shite that hurt! But, by the end of the appointment I was able to bend my toe back 10 degrees! He also did a ‘numbness’ test after I told him that it felt numb along my bunion incision. I reacted in the right places and he said it could take a couple of months for the feeling to return. Overall, a positive visit and I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.

My new instructions are to wear a comfortable shoe and walk around the house for 1-2 hours a day. It looks like I won’t have to wear one of those big giant mechanical boot things, whew. I need to start physical therapy and should be doing it twice a week for the next 6 weeks, totes looking forward to that…I’ve officially progressed from NWB (non-weight-bearing) status to WBAT (weight-bearing as tolerated) and am still on track to return to work on time. Yay yay yay!! I’ll go back to see my doctor in one month, hopefully for my final recheck.

Again I will leave you with another adorable picture of Moose. Here he is getting ready to take his daily trip down the stairs with me. A Moose in a Shark

Post-op Week #3

Today is day #25 of 46….Arrrrgggg!! If you can’t tell I’m starting to feel restless, bored, frustrated, lonely, bored, stir crazy, impatient, did I mention I was slightly bored?

I’m sure most people would be stoked to have 6 paid weeks off of work, but no. Not like this. Before my surgery I thought to myself, wow how wonderful would it be if I could spend my 6 weeks somewhere tropical. HA. That was a very sill thought. It would only make this experience that much more frustrating. Could you imagine looking out onto a white sand beach with crystal clear blue waters knowing that you can’t sink your toes in the sand!? That is just straight up torture. I am very grateful that it is winter in New England. Trust me, the last thing I want to do right now is play outside in 15 degree weather. I strategically planned my surgery around Aaron’s work schedule. He is an English teacher  and gets the benefit of having both a winter and summer break. Between Mama Zak’s one week visit and Aaron’s two weeks off, I have been so grateful and lucky to have had 3 weeks of consistent and necessary care. Sadly, that has come to an end.

At this point in my recovery I’m able to manage my pain with a low dose of ibuprofen (about 2 every 6 hours). My foot is still bruised and mildly swollen in some places but is improving on a daily basis.Post-op week 3 The pain I’m experiencing at this point is general soreness in my pinky toe and localized pain where the plate was screwed in. As instructed, I’m working on increasing motion in my toes. I am very limited in how far I can bend both my big toe and pinky toe. When I try to bend my big toe down it feels like something is going to burst or pop, gross. I’ve been putting a small amount of weight on my right foot and I feel like I’m able to get around a lot easier and can actually start doing things for myself. For example, I cleaned the dishes today! This was very exciting, considering I hate cleaning. I can also go up and down the stairs by myself. Woohoo! Before Aaron went back to work he helped me practice going down our back stairs with and without the doggies. Stairs!
I have to admit that I was a bit terrified of going down these stairs by myself, and if you’ve been to our house you would understand why. Between the steep stairs and tiny legs, Moose, our Dachshund, can’t make it down the back stairs by himself. So, we decided that I would have to put him in my Shark backpack while I slowly make my way down the stairs. So far its been a success! Moosey is such a good boy and sits still the entire time. It’s pretty hilarious.

It has only been 1.5 days since Aaron has returned to work and I’m so ronery, oh so ronery. I may or may not count down the hours until he gets home…I’m grateful to have the doggies with me. Although they are the laziest beasts on earth they still provide some entertainment. Only 2.5 more weeks of this! Aaahhhh!!!!! It’s a very good thing I have a lot to keep me busy. Aaron took me to the craft store last week and I loaded up on a lot of different projects that should ideally occupy my time. Yesterday was mildly depressing. I wallowed in my own sorrow for half the day. I thought I would look forward to having some alone time (I LOVE my alone time) but I’m really missing that human interaction, which is weird because I despise most humans. For work, I manage a busy small animal veterinary hospital. I’m constantly interacting with people over the phone, email, face to face and I’m starting to realize that deep down I actually enjoy it…ew. Well, only 3 more hours until A-ron gets home, maybe I’ll go make a scarf. I will leave you with this picture of Moose who is #waitingpatiently for me to make my way up the stairs. Enjoy :) #waitingpatiently

Follow-up Visit #1

Straight Toes!

Happy 2015 to you and your loved ones! I hope your eve of the new year was all that you hoped for it to be and more. Sleepy pupsOur night included celebrating with our 3 four-legged beast babies, old reruns of The Simpsons episodes, a pain pill for me, a beer for Aaron, and to top it all off a midnight kiss. It was a glorious evening. Here’s to 2015 new feet and (hopefully) babies!!!

 

In my previous post (post-op week #2) I predicted three different reactions I would have upon seeing my foot for the first time since my surgery. It was either vomit, cry, or become overwhelmed with joy. While none of these actually occurred, I came very close to one of them. I should explain that before this appointment I had about two and a half weeks to sit around and think of all the complications that could possibly go wrong post operative (Aaron had to tell me on a daily basis to stop being crazy and over thinking my foot). I also had a lot of built up anxiety about seeing my foot for the first time. I think I was expecting it to look completely mangled or perfect. Both being completely unrealistic results. The mind is a very tricky thing and mine is having a field day with me (we’ll discuss pain pills and dreams at a later time…).

When Aaron and I arrived at my doctor’s office we were informed that there was a 30-45 minute wait. Maybe they were understaffed because of the holidays, maybe they were overbooked, at the time I really didn’t care. Once we were in the exam room I took my boot off and not a second later my doctor entered. Before I knew it he was unravelling my bandage while asking all the routine questions. I could tell he felt rushed. I knew I had some dried blood over a section of my incision site and part of the pain I was experiencing was from the bandage sticking to and pulling at my sutures. Without care or caution he ripped off the final layer of gauze causing some of my suture sites to mildly bleed. Bam! There was my foot. This initial view associated with the pain of the bandage removal started to make my stomach turn. He poked around my foot ensuring everything was in place, no numbness or tingling. He said my foot was healing well, still swollen in some areas but overall he was happy with how it looked. I still wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Then he said it was time to remove my sutures. I was expecting a nurse to come in but instead he grabbed his little tools (hemostats and what looked like a #15 blade scalpel) and I thought to myself, “cool, I appreciate having more face time with my doctor.” He started with my bunion side working toward my big toe. After removing the first couple of sutures I felt my body start to warm up and the feeling of nausea started taking over. I asked Aaron to move the garbage can towards me. My doctor took notice and offered to recline the chair so I didn’t have to watch him rip out the little pieces of nylon embedded in the surface of my foot. I immediately felt better but as he continued along my incision I started sweating bullets. literally. I never sweat to the point that there are beads of water dripping off of me, even in the most rigorous events I get that glazed, sticky sweat. I have never sweat like this before. Aaron made me a wet paper towel that I kept over my forehead until it was all over. Once he finished my bunion side he started right in on pinky toe. This side of my foot was still pretty swollen and bruised. These sutures hurt the most as they were being removed. Now I was asking myself where a gentle caring nurse was when I needed one!? I kept my eyes closed and took deep breaths to get me through and I managed not to vomit! Aaron even commented that he thought the doctor was careless and rough in his approach. Ow!! Seriously, ow. This was probably the second most painful part of this whole experience (1. being the first night and day #1 of my surgery recovery and 3. getting my IV placed). The hard part was over. Then without warning he took two cotton swabs covered in some yellow goo and aggressively covered both of my incision sites with it. As a natural reaction I pulled my foot back and he looked at me puzzled and asked me if it hurt. I wanted to kick him right in the face with my bad foot. Don’t get me wrong, I really like my doctor as a surgeon, not so much as a nurse. He wrapped me back up and sent me on my way.

Overall it was a good visit. No bad news. I can now get my foot wet and start putting a small amount of weight on it.

Straight Toes!
Straight Toes!

It still looks a little gnar gnar so I won’t show you a picture of it naked quite yet. But for the most part it is starting to look like a normal foot! This is very exciting. I go back in two weeks for my second recheck along with radiographs. This visit will determine if I go straight into a ‘sneaker’ or a medical boot. It sounds like my doctor is leaning toward sneaker which would be much more convenient. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Post-op Week #2

Delicious numnums from Kim and DJ. Mmmm!!
Delicious numnums from Kim and DJ. Mmmm!!

Hello again! I hope you had a very merry Christmas and/or a wonderful Hanukah!! I had my first ‘Jewish Christmas’ this year! This was made successful by the amazing vegan Chinese restaurant, Grasshopper, and one of my very good friends, Davia, for driving us to the restaurant and not getting lost because of her new portable electronic GPS (I specify the details because for the past century she’s been using an atlas to get around Boston!), and of course my Jewish husband, Aaron. Notice earlier when I said “driving us…” yep, that’s right folks, I went outdoors. It was epic. Aaron helped me hobble down our 3 flights of stairs, I slowly made my way over the pavement as the wind tickled my toes and then successfully into the car. It was a beautiful sunny day with a moderate breeze and hovering in the mid-50’s, I couldn’t have asked for better field trip weather.  I can’t tell you how exciting this was! Talk about having cabin fever.

Some recovery gifts from Grace (candy excluded from this picture;)
Some recovery gifts from Grace (candy excluded from this picture;)

My next adventure to the outside world will be for my first follow-up visit after my surgery, yay! I’ll get my bandage removed and see my first for the first time. I’m either going to vomit, cry or become overwhelmed with joy. Vomit because my foot will look how it feels. Which in case you were wondering feels like the world’s strongest man took a sledgehammer to my foot, threw in some screws for funzies, then wrapped it up. He stops by often to see how I’m doing and for his entire visit he insists on squeezing the F out of my foot. This is not a nice man. Cry because my doctor is going to tell me I have to go under anesthesia again because of a loose screw in my foot (this is just me being crazy paranoid…I hope). Overwhelmed with joy because for the first time ever I will have (somewhat) of a normal looking foot! Straight toes! The ultimate Christmaskah/Hanumas gift ever. The pain will all be worth it in the end…the end…seems so far away. Aarrrgggg.

Anywho, let’s move on to more important things. Frozen peas. Not only are they good for icing the odd parts but they make a great snack too, just ask my brother, Daran. hehe.

Frozen peas are my new best friends
Frozen peas are my new best friends

I would not recommend eating your bunion peas, once they defrost they probably turn in to toxic mush. I’ve gone through 4 bags and will soon be moving on to my 6th. Pills and peas are where it’s at!

My pain overall during week #2 is nowhere near as bad as week #1. My bunion side vs pinky toe side is much more painful. This makes sleepy time positions very limiting. I don’t usually sleep on my back and having to do this with my foot elevated is not the most comfortable. Week #1 was the worst because I couldn’t put pressure on either side of my foot. Now I can place just enough weight to lay on my right side. I actually slept in today! My sleep pattern since the surgery reminds me of my Grandma’s old ways. I’ve been going to bed anywhere between 8-10 PM and waking up between 5-6 AM. So when I say I slept in, it was until 7AM. Neat, huh? Ya I bet you’re really interested in my sleep patterns.

So of course you want to hear about bath time. Now there’s an adventure. All my life I’ve hated taking showers. Now, let’s be clear, I am not the smelly kid at work nor was I the smelly kid at school. I take pride in my hygiene when in public, but that’s about it. When I’m lounging around or have a long weekend, I am totally okay with going 1-3 days without a shower. So this leave has been a blessing in disguise. hehehe. Aaron would say otherwise, he being one to sometimes take two showers in one day. And, since I’m at his mercy when it comes to helping me with just about every little thing, when he says bath time I really have no argument. But, because he is wonderful he has made bath time an enjoyable experience for me. Seriously, when was the last time you took a bubble bath? Yep, I get bubble baths about every 3 days, 4 if I’m lucky😉 I hang my foot that is beautifully covered in plastic bags over the side of the tub and relax. Luckily we have a removable shower head which has been an immense help considering we’re young adults and don’t have things like medical bath chairs.

Now off to watch some more movies, play some more card games and attempt to beat Aaron at Monopoly. Before I go, I would like to thank the 59 viewers who have taken the time to look at my silly little creation. Thank You! And thank you to Jeremiah Graves for being my blog master and pointing me in the right direction. Your guidance is much appreciated, thanks #soulmate.

Adios for now

Post-op Week #1

left side: Me literally right after surgery right side: Me and my 'protective' boot
left side: Me literally right after surgery right side: Me and my ‘protective’ boot

Hello there! This is my first post! Woohoo! Here goes….

I had bunion surgery on my right foot on December 12th 2014. After about 20 years of experiencing discomfort and throbbing pain caused by my bunions I decided to finally bite the bullet and fix my feet. If you are not sure what the hell I’m talking about, I would encourage you to read my page “why start a blog and what the F is a bunion” ideally, it should help. A bunionectomy procedure usually takes about 1 hour. Unfortunately since (both) my feet are so F***ed I had to have two procedures done on my right foot. The first procedure was the lapidus to correct my bunion; in this procedure my bunion was shaved down and a small plate with screws was put in to prevent the bunion from developing in the future. The second was the correction of my bunionette, in order to do this they had to break my pinky toe and realigned it. OW!!!! Originally I wanted to both feet at the same time, but because both of my feet require this extensive procedure I’ll get to endure this joyous occasion twice.

So today is officially day # 10 out of 46 and for the most part I’m pain free and entertained! For days 1-6, I was lucky enough to have my own private duty nurse to take care of me😉. I am so lucky and grateful to my Mother-in-law, Mama Zak, for flying out here to take care of me, our pups, and fill our bellies with amazing foods. A BIG, HUGE, GREAT, THANK YOU to you Mama Zak!!!!!! I would highly highly recommend having someone take care of you for the first 2-3 weeks after your surgery. My wonderful, handsome, loving, and caring husband now gets the great responsibility of taking care of me🙂 Love you A-ron!

Here a couple of things I’ve learned so far:

  1. Pain Meds are amazing & there is no reason you should be in pain! Unfortunately I misjudged the level of pain I was in and ended up in a ‘pain crisis’ for the first day. I ended up taking more pain meds than prescribed (another benefit of having an RN to make sure I wasn’t going to OD – if you don’t have a personal RN always call your doctor before adjusting any of your meds) to get out of it. I’m usually not a fan of Western medicine in the case of patients presenting for x illness and they are given a little white pill that will all make it go away, but not in this case! Pain meds are your friends and will help alleviate any pain and discomfort you will experience after surgery…so keep poppin!
  2. Learn how to use crutches before your surgery! I’ve never had to use crutches before my scheduled surgery and knew that I would be getting a pair from the hospital. Instead of showing me how to use them before I went under anesthesia they made a very silly decision and decided to show me afterwards. The physical therapist led me and my ‘responsible adult’ down a long corridor and to a concrete staircase. As you can see from the picture above, I thought I could concur the world with sunshines and rainbows; maybe not show me how to use crutches for the first time on concrete?!? I managed to do okay during my training session, giggling the entire time. So what’s the first thing I do when I get home? I stumble on the 1st concrete step and end up landing on my right foot. Luckily the block was still in effect and I was still chasing double rainbows so at the time it didn’t bother me. Oh, how I payed for that later…
  3. Don’t be stubborn! I learned this one the hard way…On day 8 or 9 I was feeling pretty good and getting a little restless. So I decided that I could scootch along a little bit faster on my crutches. And, since I am now a master on crutches I also decided to leave my protective boot (pictured above) off. You know where this is going, I landed pretty hard on my right foot and for the next 24 hours made up for it. I’ve stumbled 3 times since day 1; the first 2 I blame on the drugs the 3rd was just me being stubborn. As painful as it is to not be able to move from the couch, it is a thousand times more painful if you put any pressure on your foot.
  4. As Mufasa always said, “Be Prepared!” I’m not going to lie, I somewhat denied the fact that I was going to go through bunion surgery and wouldn’t be able to leave the couch for 3 weeks. I have a list of movies, books, and shows that I want to catch up on. But, its been the coloring and the needlepoint projects that have really kept me going. I’ve come to realize that being a percocet zombie and a 5-year old enjoy similar activities…

Well folks that’s it for today. Now time for more meds and a game of Monopoly with my hubby. Until next time!