The Details and the After

by Ginger on July 5, 2015

in Random

I’m now more than a week out from my surgery. It was a good thing, although I’m at the point where I’m over the whole nonsense & kind of wish I could either undo it or just fast forward through this recovery phase. But let me back up.

One of my biggest concerns prior to surgery was that they’d get in there and then say, “eh, we didn’t really need to do this.” Well, that fear turned out to be unfounded, as they actually did MORE than anyone was expecting. Instead of just repairing the torn tendon, they ended up: repairing the torn tendon, tightening the ligaments in my ankle, removing a neuroma from between my toes, and removing & filing down a bone spur. Somewhere in all of that, I now have a couple of titanium pins in my ankle, though I’ve been told I won’t set off metal detectors, so what’s the fun in that?

All told, it was clearly a case of “there’s some messed up nonsense going on in here,” so I’m glad I did it, and now it can all heal, and yadayadayada.

(Flowers from friends and coworkers help brighten the recovery bedroom.)

On the flip side of that though, this recovery is…not easy. I wasn’t exactly expecting it to be, but the thinking and experiencing are two different things.

I’m in a big ole cyborg boot.  It’s better than the cast I was supposed to get, because I can adjust the straps, and even take it off for brief periods of time, even though I don’t actually like to do that (it feels very unsupported and weird). But even still, it’s hot, and massive and has a tendency to migrate during waking hours so that I have to painfully reposition my foot at least once a day. It’s weird to sleep in the equivalent of a giant snow boot. And it’s so bulky, and pretty heavy, that I feel like I’m trying to navigate a cement block around, blindly.

I’m supposed to stay totally non-weight bearing on that leg, which is both easy (I literally cannot fathom putting my weight on that foot right now without screaming white hot pain) and incredibly difficult, given that you kind of use your legs for a lot. I have a scooter to help me (because crutches are the devil), which has been a godsend.

But it’s also challenging to maneuver the scooter around, without running over my own toes, bumping into things, running into walls, and scaring the animals. Again, better than crutches, by far, but still not easy.

I spent most of the first week in bed.  


Variations on the view were limited.

In the past few days, I’ve been venturing upstairs, to do some work/be around the rest of the family. Slightly different view.

I have to be careful though, because it’s still really easy for me to overdo it–even simply sitting up instead of laying (lying? my grammar nemesis strikes again) down can wear me out & have me paying the price that night. I still need to keep my foot elevated above my heart a good chunk of the day, & it’s easy to let that slip when I’m upstairs working or hanging with the family. I still haven’t figured out the exact right balance with pain pills vs Tylenol vs nothing. And now, I’ve got some nerve pain happening, which is a good thing as far as healing, but definitely tricky as far as pain & meds go.

Beyond that, it’s been hard, because I still need help for everything major. I can’t get up or down stairs without someone to help me on the other end (I do the actual stairs by scooting on my butt). I can’t shower without lots and lots of help. I can get some stuff on my own (basket on the scooter ftw), but have to have someone bring me all my meals, my drinks, my pillows. I don’t like asking for help, being a burden, adding stress to my husband’s already crazy stressful plate.

That’s another thing. I planned this surgery terribly. I had some control over when, and chose now for a variety of (valid) reasons, with N.C.’s input. But now also is a shit storm of nonsense for N.C., and the burden I’ve put on him right now of all times weighs on me, heavily. Hindsight being what it is, I kind of wish I had waited it out a bit more, if only to help alleviate the burden to him.

But it is what it is, and the train has left the station, so all I can do now is keep chugging forward on the getting better trip. I’ve gotten a good rhythm for some things, and while I’m kind of over the whole thing, it’s moving along the best it can. Twitter and text buddies help keep me company, Netflix/Amazon/Hulu help keep me from being totally bored, and I’m at least getting plenty of beauty sleep ;-).

Tomorrow I head to the dr to get the stitches out (gag, let’s hope I don’t pass out, which I almost did when they changed the bandage 5 days post surgery. Stupid vasovagal response). We’ll find out then what the next steps are–when I start weight bearing (hold me, I don’t wanna!), when I start pt, etc.–and hopefully get a better picture of what the recovery process looks like for me specifically.


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