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.