Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Progressing Well!

At five weeks out, I'm doing really well -- no pain, able to put my foot down a bit for balance and toe-touch a bit while using the walker. I'm about a week ahead of schedule (compared to the last one, anyway).  We took one of the wedges out of the boot over the weekend, so I'm chugging right along!

Hopefully, I'll be able to start walking in the boot in the next few weeks. I have a followup appointment in two weeks, which is probably when he'll give me the go-ahead to start clomping about. I hope so!

I'm getting tired of the scooter, but I'm trying very hard to be a compliant patient and not start walking on my foot too early. I really wish that I could drive, though. The "can't leave the house" is beginning to make me a bit crazy. If I could drive, being stuck at home isn't a big deal -- but with the boot on the right foot this time, I can't fit into Mark's car and can't drive safely. Mark is being very patient, though, and hauling me around on demand with good grace. I know it's hard when he's been at work all day, to come home and then turn around immediately and head back out somewhere. But he's pretty cheerful about it. I'm sure he'll be relieved when my "must go OUT OUT OUT" demands slow down.

We're heading up skiing in two weeks (well, Mark will ski, I'll lounge about like a lump),  Hopefully we'll have snow!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Drooling in my Sleep

Stitches out today -- well, stitch, not stichES -- one long spiral of prolene. On the last foot, the stitches were the worst part of the whole thing, hurt like hell!

This time, much easier. The surgeon took the stitches out a week earlier, and I took a valium before the appointment.

All I can say is, people take this stuff during the DAY? Oy. I fuzzed out half way through my appointment and fell asleep immediately when I got home. I woke up four hours later int he recliner, keyboard in my lap, and drooling. Not doing that again!

I'm supposed to take a wedge out of the boot in a week or so, and wait at least that long before soaking my foot. So far, things have been going well!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Officially in The Boot again

First followup appointment today, 10 days out -- things look great, the surgeon thinks I'm ahead of the curve, and I'm officially in the boot and out of the cast.

He thinks that it's because of the ice-water circulator (a nifty little pad that pumps ice water around my foot instead of using ice packs or bags of frozen peas like we did with the first one).  I've been sitting with my foot up and the ice-thing circulated most of the day. My foot isn't swollen, my toes move easily, the incision looks great. He thinks he'll be able to take the stitches out at three weeks instead of four this time. Which means my Christmas present from my surgeon is A BATH.

This is a good thing, trust me! I desperately want a bath. Mmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Living Room look the Same

Did you know that there is a television show called Knitting Daily?

A television show. About knitting.

And it's just as exciting as you would imagine!


Sunday, December 06, 2015

I've been to the OUT!

I feel pretty bad that it is The Husbands birthday today and I'm pretty much not able to do anything for him -- I planned ahead a little and got him his gift earlier this week, but we can't really go out anyplace nice, etc. He's being really nice about it ("We'll just postpone and do something when you are able to get around"), but I feel awful.

We did get out of the house for dinner (just a local place we love), and it was enhausting for me. He's been hiding in his office for the day, and I feel like a schmuck.

But I CAN get out of the house, which is a plus!  Not quite able to do it by myself, but t least get in the car and be chauffeured around. :)

Happy Birthday, Adorable Husband! I promise to make it up to you when I can actually DO stuff!

Yay, Sports!

So, when people talk about watching "the game" over the weekend, I am always confused. What game? Which sport? Wha?

Is it the one where they do the thing with the ball?

This t-shirt sums up my approach to sports perfectly:

...and the boredom sets in

Well, five days in and I'm bored. Boooo-rrrreed. I have my computer setup in the living room, an endless supply of television shows on Hulu, and I'm still bored. This is going to be a long few months.

But I'm mostly off the pain meds, just relying on the ice-water pump for my foot, and things seem to be going well. I was worried for a bit, since it hurt a lot more than the other foot did initially, but it's settled down.

I've been rather compulsively reading travel books and websites for Iceland (we're going in May), and binge-watching recent tv shows and movies. I'm getting around a bit better -- still slow and a bit tentative, but I haven't had any issues.

So far, so good!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Becoming an atomic clock!

Well, the nerve-block wore off completely overnight and when I woke up, my foot was definitely not numb, and definitely hurt. Ow!

For my left foot, the nerve block lasted almost 48 hours (which freaked me out a bit, since I couldn't move my foot at all), and by the time I finally got feeling back in my foot, things really didn't hurt too much. This time? Things hurt a bit sooner -- and I have developed the ability to track time down to the minute:  at four hours, the percoset wears off and I am summoning The Husband for more. He is doling them out, since I forget that I even took one.

The surgeon gave me percoset again, for a day or two and also prescribed Valium for muscle spasms, which is new. I haven't had muscle spasms, but I think it's his response to my normal complain of "it doesn't really hurt, just...can't get comfortable". Apparently that is my presentation of pain and they think that a minor dis-associative will help. I haven't taken it yet, so I don't know.

So I spent the day in the chair, binge-watching BBC documentaries and web-surfing. The ice-water pump thing is working admirably -- wish I'd had it for the other foot, it really is better than a series of ice-packs changed every half-hour or so. 

But so far, so good. Hopefully this one will be as straightforward as the left heel. They took off a bone spur "the size of a nilla wafer", according to my surgeon. My right heel was always the worse of the two, the bump on my heel was much bigger on that one, and I had problems with it earlier than I did the left foot. But it's also my dominant foot (which is one of the reasons we did surgery on the left foot first -- at least the working foot would be the good one!

Off to bed!

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Second Surgery Done!

Dragged ourselves out of the house at 5:30, the same team that did my first surgery wrapped this one up in record time and I was back at home by 10:30. Mark is taking a whole week off to wait on me hand and foot!

This time, they wrapped an ice-water circulating pack around my foot, with a little pump thing to keep water cooling my foot (no ice packs!), so I'm sitting here tethered to the tiny pump and my foot is wrapped up to mimic an elephant's foot. It's huge!

The nerve block didn't "take" as well as the last one and I could move my toes and my foot hurt when I first woke up from anesthesia, but things have settled down. Remember last time? My leg from the knee down was totally, completely numb for two whole days -- freaked me out!

I pretty much slept all day in the chair. Snoring quietly, if my husband is to be believed.  I'm going with "snoring like a rhino", if my waking myself up is any indication, but he was trying to be nice! A bit of a sore throat from the intubation, but that's it. Not nauseous or anything, which is good. I have never had nausea from anesthesia (knock on wood!)

I can, with a bit of work and supervision, make it to the bathroom.  It's a bit more complicated (turn off pump thing -- for which Mark installed an actual SWITCH on The Chair, disconnect hoses, etc), but I can manage. I was worried that having my dominant foot being the "off" foot was going to be a problem but so far I seem to be doing ok.


I cannot get into our bed with my right foot out of commission. I sleep on the right side of the bed, and our bed is very tall -- getting in is a bit of a gymastic leap and I can only do it from my right foot. I tried getting in the same way on Mark's side...no go. Definitely not graceful. I may have to sleep in the other room until I'm a bit more agile. I practiced a bunch before surgery and while I might be able to struggle into the bed, it is not easy. Hmph. Mark is building a step that might help me boost my way up into the bed. Maybe. Although today I am a bit too uncoordinated to try it, I think.

Mashed potatoes for dinner (yeah! for Thanksgiving leftovers!) and napping in the chair. At least I got a free month of Hulu to watch All The Shows while I sit here, bored.

Monday, November 30, 2015

....and the other one!

Just popping back in that I'm up on the surgeried foot (still hobbling a bit, but walking!) and my second surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, December 1.



Can you just FEEL the enthusiasm?  I've been waffling between "yup, do it as soon as possible" and "never, never again".  Obviously, "do it now" won. Ugh.

The previous surgery went really well, I have stiffness and muscle atrophy, but no real pain my fixed foot, and I want to be back working out and walking in a few months. This sitting on my butt unable to do anything got very, very old.

So! Off to surgery tomorrow. I'll try to post updates as I can!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Six weeks post-surgery

Had my six week follow-up appointment today and things look really good. Incision is healed well, swelling is down, everything feels well-attached and proper.  The doc moved my foot all over and now it aches a bit, but otherwise I have permission to start putting my toe down and doing a teensy bit of weight-bearing. I'm allowed to put my booted foot on the floor for balance, and can touch it down if I'm using the walker, but no real pressure yet.

I also have removed one of the wedges from the boot, so my foot is a tiny bit more flexed and I'm starting to stretch out the tendon just a bit. I can do range-of-motion exercises now, too. Those are pretty self-limiting --- move my foot up and down, side-to-side, around in circles and if it pinches or hurts, back off. That's a relief, actually; lately, the urge to twitch and move my foot have been almost irresistible. I've been trying so hard to do exactly what the surgeon ordered (do not move foot! do not flex ankle! elevate! No weight bearing!) and it was starting to be an all-consuming obsession.

I know I move my foot at night when I sleep, but now I can do it purposefully and not worry about it. Weird when that sort of thing makes you happy, isn't it?

And I have the OK to switch over to ibuprofen (Advil) instead of Tylenol. Initially, they don't want you taking an anti-inflammatory while the tendon is starting to re-attach; it can cause issues with healing, I guess, since there is so little blood flow to the tendon and the heel. But Tylenol doesn't do squat for me except give me a sour stomach. It doesn't even kick a headache. So if it was taking the edge off the ache in my heel, it didn't seem to be doing it very well. I'm allowed to go back to ibuprofen regularly for a week to see if it helps. I'm hoping that it does, and that it lets me sleep better. I've just been sort of twitchy and restless at night, and not sleeping very well. Mark thinks it's because it does hurt more than I'm recognizing and that sort of achy-can't-get-comfortable feeling is how I register pain. Go figure. I wouldn't say that things hurt, but if I think about it, I'm acutely aware of my heel and that it aches and twinges. Getting rid of that distraction will hopefully let me sleep better. Here's hoping!

Four weeks until my next followup, when I should be able to remove the rest of the wedges in the boot and start weight bearing a bit more. The estimate is that it will be 6 weeks until I'm walking in the boot vs hobbling, and then another month or more before I'm bootless. Definitely a conservative plan, but we'll see how it progresses once I start PT and strength exercises after the next review. I'm figuring I should be walking in about five months or so -- which matches up with the estimates I saw online, and what my surgeon discussed with me.

And then I get to do the OTHER foot!  The criteria is that I have to be able to hop and stand on my toes with the left foot before I can have surgery on the other one. I'm having a hard time with that sometimes now, with achilles tendonosis in my right heel causing problem sometimes. There are days when I can't raise myself up on my toes, which makes everything harder.

Mark is installing a grab bar on the garage so that I have an easier time getting down the two steps from the porch to the garage door. That will help now that I can maneuver myself out to the car and drive (his car only -- mine is a stick shift!). It's a hassle, and I'm very slow, but it's good to be able to do it myself.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Can I come into the Out Now?

Lazy weekend, spent most of it watching TV and doing crossword puzzles -- I can't seem to sleep in, for the last few weeks I've had a hard time sleeping. It's not so much a problem with falling asleep, but I think I'm just uncomfortable enough that when I get through a sleep cycle (about 90-100 minutes for me), I actually wake up enough to be, well, awake.

Instead of just rolling over and falling back to sleep immediately, I have to wake up enough to roll over without bashing or bending my foot. Or I try it without fully waking up and something zaps me in my heel or ankle and I am Awake Right Now. It's annoying. It's particularly annoying because once I wake up enough to do that, I wake up enough to have to pee. Seriously. Never in my life have I been able to roll back over and go back to sleep if I even have the barest hint of  a thought that I need to go to the bathroom. So, foot twinges, I wake up to roll over and then...well, crud. Sit up, find and put on the boot, maneuver the scooter to the bathroom and voila! I am up and can't quite fall back to sleep. So I lie there for a half hour or more, staring at the wall and trying to get comfortable.

I mean, I love sleeping without the boot -- SO much easier than trying to flop the giant plastic and foam cast around -- but I am just not sleeping well. Benadryl at night seems to help, a little. Well, the vicodin does, too, but I don't want to take that unless things hurt and they don't really. They are just...uncomfortable. I toss and turn a bit and end up sleeping in the same position, which makes me stiff and sore in the morning.

But my foot is feeling better --after soaking yesterday and scrubbing all the dry skin of my foot and leg, I was sitting in the chair and my foot just felt like it was tight, like the skin was too tight. I really think that it was just so dry and "new" that it hurt to move. Which is why it's surprising that it took a few hours to think "oh! Lotion!" and slather the stuff on like it was going out of style. Seemed to help a bit, although my toes are swollen enough that touching them is uncomfortable. Wiggling them a lot helped, too.

Spent more time today with my foot unwrapped and airing out. Mark is a bit worried that I might have a pressure sore on the top of my foot, but it seems to look better today. Not being able to move my foot much is beginning to be a problem--I want to roll my foot around, and I'd really like to confirm that the flaccid calf muscle will still work. Even a twitch right now makes my heel hurt, so I am trying to ignore the urge to move my foot around when it's not in the boot. I'm really looking forward to the surgeon's ok to start to try to move it a bit. (Although I'm also dreading it -- I don't know if it will hurt or not, and I'm a bit terrified of having pain like I did when I fell).

We watched the animated movie "Home" --quite cute, and the main character (and alien named Oh) has a scene where he's locked in a freezer, and asked, "Can I come into the Out now?" That's how I feel every day...I'm getting heartily sick of the view from my recliner. I want to be OUT of the house, even to just drive to the gas station. I don't care! OUT!

Yup, cabin fever has set in. Argh!