Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Days 63-67: Bootless

Day 63:

I had an appointment, and right away we took some x-rays. When we finished with the x-rays, I started to put my boots on so I could walk back to the other room, but my doc said "You can walk barefoot if you want." So I hopped off the table and pirouetted down the hall and into the other room. Actually I almost lost my balance the moment I stood on my bare feet, and hobbled down the hall to the other room.

The x-rays were obviously good enough for me to walk without the boots, but the bones are still healing, so really all I can do is walk right now, and he said that I could ride my bike. Just no running or any impact. He said I could walk barefoot but it isn't going to be comfortable to do so for a while. And boy was he right. It hurts my soles to walk barefoot. I keep shoes on most of the time, or I wear a pair of slippers which feel ok as long as I don't walk in them for long.

Anyway, when I got home I promptly put on a pair of shoes and did some walking around. My legs were weak, especially my ankles, I couldn't stand on my tip toes or my legs would start to shake, and I was moving quite slow.

I went to work for a few hours. I work at a coffee shop, but my boss said I could help here with some office work while my feet are on the mend. Then after work Mikey and I went searching for some pumpkins for carving. We went to a pumpkin patch and found a few that we liked, but decided to check a bunch of grocery stores before we ended up back at that same pumpkin patch where we bought two very nice pumpkins for carving.

Then that evening I started making some black bean burger batter (is batter the right word for that?) for a Halloween party the next day (I've found it is best to let it sit in the fridge over night), so I was standing on my feet for a while. By the end of the day, my feet were tired, a little sore, but weren't swollen at all.

Day 64:

I got up, took Freddy for a walk, and then started cooking some more stuff for the party. Once again I was on my feet a lot because of the cooking. I formed that batter into patties and fried them, and I also made some pumpkin pie brownies. Yum.

At around 5pm, Mikey and I headed over to our friends' place for the party, where I did some more walking and standing, a bunch of eating, and carved my pumpkin.

This one's mine


And the rest of them

After the party, my feet felt like they did the night before. Not too bad.

Day 65:

Woke up and took some photos of my feet.

I wear the spacers at night, and only with my grandma shoes that are extra wide and really soft canvas so they are pretty comfortable. Unfortunately, they are a half size too big so my arch support slide around in them. I can wear my PF Flyers (as in my previous post) but I can feel the eyelets just sitting on my scars which are still tender. Not a very good feeling.

Sans spacers:

And you can't tell by these photos, but my calves are so sore. Probably the most sore they have ever been in my life. I took it easy on this day. I still did some walking, and since Friday had gotten a lot better (and a little faster) at it.

Day 66:

I had a physical therapy appointment where my outside scars really got worked on. The skin is still a little sore because of it.  The walking will help break up the scar tissue and make the toes bend even more, so I'll be fully healed in no time.

After physical therapy, I went to work. I did mostly office work, but I also ran breaks, so I was working on my feet for about 2 hours. I felt fine, other than my sore calves.

Day 67:

My calves are no longer sore, and I'm almost walking normal. My toes still aren't bending all the way so I am not following my stride all the way through before I put my weight on the next foot. I can stand on my tip toes without my legs shaking like crazy. And I worked a 4 hour standing/walking shift and felt fine. No swelling or pain after work.

My feet seem to be changing pretty rapidly, so I'll try to keep up with the posting.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 53: Damn Foreigners

Nothing remarkable has happened in the days since my last post, but I thought should update.

I am walking around my house without the crutches. Walking with the crutches feels exactly the same as walking without them, so I only use the them outside the house, for speediness, and to send people a warning that something is wrong with my feet, if they don't see the two big boots I am wearing.

My feet aren't swollen at all, and they don't get swollen even after standing/walking for a while. Nor are they painful. The outside of the big toes still feel a little numb to the touch, but way less than they did a few weeks ago. The scars are looking the same as the previous post. And with physical therapy sessions twice a week, these toes are starting to bend.

This left toe is stiffer than my right.

Using all of my brain and muscle power to bend these:

The only thing that is bothering me right now, is that my feet feel foreign. Not all the time, but only when I put a little weight on them outside of the boots. I am not standing in this photo; I am sitting with my feet lightly pressed to the floor:

In this position, the skin feels a bit tight, and I feel like I have pebbles imbedded in the balls of my feet just south of the big toes. And the left foot feels like it has a bigger pebble than the right. I am guessing these are my sesamoids that I am feeling. I think that these new feet will need some breaking in before I get used to them. Which I can't do yet, as I am still bound to these boots. I'll reserve further judgment on these feet until I can actually walk normally.

Honestly, I will be happy if I can fit into some PF Flyers comfortably without busting out the sides.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 42: Lazy Bones

I've started several posts in the last few days, but I didn't really have much to say. I figured that I would wait until my 6 week post-op appointment. I had that today, so I finally feel like I have a post worth posting.
My feet are looking pretty good on the outside. The scars are healing nicely.

But it's the bones that are more important at this stage, though. And well they are doing just ok. The big toe fractures are healing on schedule, but the little toe fractures are a bit behind, so I am stuck in these boots for another 3 weeks, with my weight mostly on my heels. I am a little bummed, because I was expecting to be full weight bearing by now.

I've looked back at the past couple weeks and wondered what could have caused this slow down (if anything). And after thinking about it for some time, I've concluded that it's my diet. I wasn't eating terribly unhealthy, but I was waking up a lot later, eating less, and eating less good stuff for a while. Then, of course, there was the trip I took last week to Kansas. It is impossible to go to the Midwest as a vegetarian and expect to eat a balanced diet, especially when the vegetable options are potatoes or corn, and the only lettuce they have is iceberg with dressing options like Ranch and Dorothy Lynch (both of witch I hate).  Let's just say my little sister (also a vegetarian) and I got some weird looks when we asked for no meat, or lemon wedges in place of dressing because balsamic vinegar and olive oil wasn't really an option either. It is amazing that I survived there for 10 years during my childhood, because I didn't really eat meat then either.

On top of all that, I drank more soda that I usually do, and I had coffee for the first time in months while on vacation (only two cups in five days, so it probably isn't a big deal, but still . . .) I couldn't go to the grocery store by myself, and my boyfriend who doesn't like to grocery shop had to go for me. I never knew what I wanted because Mikey was too busy working on his art installation to cook, so we ended up eating burritos a lot. Man, it was a lot easier for me to eat healthy when I was working because I got a free, healthy meal, and I had a nice routine that good food just fit into.

All that is going to change for the next three weeks though. It is now a lot easier for me to get around, so I can go to the grocery store with Mikey, and I can stand up for long periods of time so I can cook for myself. I just need to shop for the right foods and not eat the rest of the tasty chocolate pecan pralines that are still in the cupboard. Things that I need to consume to help with bone healing: calcium, vitamin C, protein, vitamin K, and I need to take my multivitamin every day (oops). Things to avoid: caffeine, chocolate, sugar, and salt, plus things I don't consume anyway such as red meat and alcohol. The hardest thing for me will be chocolate, but I think I'll be fine without it for a few weeks.

I obviously don't have a control group to prove any of this, and I don't know what would have to happen in three weeks to make this experiment seem successful, but I like the idea of having some control over my body just by what I put into it. Plus, I will be eating healthier than before, and that is always good.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 28: These boots were made for walking

 This was me about a week ago:

Whenever I hang out with Freddy on the front porch in my wheelchair and pajamas, I feel like I am terminally ill, and just enjoying the beautiful weather one last time before I kick the bucket. Freddy does look a little worried in this photo as well.

And this is me today:

Check out my haircut! It looks so much better, but since this blog is about my feet, I guess the big news here is that I am standing on crutches! It is a little weird walking in these boots, but after a couple days of practice, I've gotten the hang of it. I can put all of my weight on my heels, but can only put 50% of my weight on the rest of the feet. In two more weeks I should be able to put all my weight on these things, and two weeks after that I should be in regular shoes.

My feet are also looking better. This first photo was taken about a week ago, when I had that infection. My doc looked at it, and said that sometimes subcutaneous sutures, instead of being absorbed by the body, are rejected, so that little "infection" was most likely some some of those bastard stitches coming out.

This next one is the same side a week later. You can see that the previous mushy whiteness has healed up, and now I have this new white speck a little higher. I am assuming that is also a piece of skin thread making it's way out.

And the rest of them:

Yep, looking pretty, pretty, pretty good. Some of that pesky skin glue is still holding on, but other than that they are fine. No pain, no swelling, no itching.

Next week I will be doing a bit of air travel, so we'll see how well I can get around an airport with big boots and crutches.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 21: Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is like Uma Thurman in the back seat of the Pussy Wagon saying, "Wiggle your big toe."

Actually there is more to it than that, but just getting your mind to transfer to your toes "wiggle" is a little harder than you think. These toes haven't moved in about 3 weeks, so I actually felt that brain message travel down my legs and to my toes to get them to move. That is one part of physical therapy, getting these toes to move when you tell them too. Another part is manually moving them so that the joint loosens. Also that scar running over the joint ain't helping, so it also about massaging the scar to get that loosened up as well.

By the end of it, my toes got a thorough thrashing. First she started out by having me wiggle my toes. Then she bent them herself. Up and down, up and down. Then she massaged the skin around the scar. Then I had to bend my toes against her pushing. This routine when on several times. We also worked my ankles, bending up and down, in and out, against her pushing. She did all this on my right foot first, and before she started on my left foot she had me move both of them around and bend my toes on my own to feel the difference between the two. And there was quite a difference. The one she hadn't worked on was so stiff compared to the one she had. And this was all in about 15 minutes.

The pain was quite bearable (at first). It is a good pain, like feeling a burn when you stretch a muscle, or massaging a stiff neck.  Toward the very end though, the toe joints had had enough, and they actually hurt when she bent them, and I told her so, so she stopped. She said that is should feel good, not bad.

After all that bending, I got some ultrasound therapy. That was like a "Happy Ending" to a massage. (Even more like it, they have to lube up your whole foot to do the ultrasound.) Just like with the bone stimulator, I couldn't feel the ultrasound, but it felt good to have this device rubbed all over the foot, on the top, around the ankles, on the soles. When she first put the gel on my feet it was cold, which felt good, and then my feet warmed up with the ultrasound, and that felt even better. I think it was about 10 minutes per foot. Whew, what a treat.

Physical therapy wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, so I am actually looking forward to my next appointment on Monday. I am still not weight-bearing so we can't do any walking exercises. That will hopefully come soon though. . .

Unfortunately, I have a tiny quarter inch infection on my left most incision. I hadn't noticed it yesterday when my feet were out, so it must be quite recent. She told me not worry too much because it is so small, just keep it clean and it should be fine in no time. We'll see. I'll keep it monitored. My boyfriend has the camera, so I'll take a photo as soon as I get it back.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 18: Crust

I will let this post speak in photos rather than words because there isn't really much to say. Except there is no more tingling pain in the left foot.


The crusty stuff is skin glue.

This is the one that had all the dried blood.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 16: Nice Day

The weather really is perfect for a bike ride.

Too bad.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Days 11-15

Man! I am really getting stuff done over here. I've watched the complete first season of Game of Thrones, read two books: Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, and Ender's Game, watched several movies, and conquered Super Mario Bros. on the DS. Man that game was fun. It is the very first video game I have ever conquered in my whole life. Quite a monumental day that was. I would get so pissed off at it, though; cursing myself and Mario for doing stupid things.

Anyway, my feet are doing well. They haven't changed much since the last post, and I haven't changed my routine with them. Still icing twice a day, stimulating once a day, and still elevating all the time. I do notice that there is not as much throbbing when they are not elevated. The left one still is a bit more tender than the right, but very little. I think it is because that incision bled a bit more than the rest; it's the only one with dried blood.

I had another visit with my doctor today (Day 15) and he says everything still looks really good. Not much happened. He cut of the knots at each end of the dissolvable stitches, bent my big toes a little which hurt a bit, and told me that I should start physical therapy.

I've made an appointment with the physical therapist for Thursday the 15th, more of a consultation than physical therapy. When I do actually start, I will be going 3 times a week for 6 weeks. I gotta get these toes into shape, so they'll bend when I walk. Walking, still none of that. I'll still be crawling and wheeling around for a while. We'll see what happens at my next appointment with the doc in two more weeks.

No photos today. Sorry. My feet still look pretty much the same as the last photos. The only difference is that the bruising is starting to turn that lovely shade of healing green, but I don't think that the camera can pick up those subtleties of color. I'll photograph when these feet start to look a little different.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 10: Nothing Special

 Stuff has stayed pretty much the same. My left foot isn't in pain anymore, just a little tingling feeling mostly when the boot hits the floor. Maybe it's because my left knob was always the one that hurt the most, and I don't think that foot is going to give up so easily.I am not that concerned about it, because it hasn't even been 2 weeks since the surgery. A lot has happened, but a lot still needs to happen.

There is no swelling in either foot, but they are starting to itch. The only relief I get from that is when I take off the boots I go to town on my ankles. They are itching as well, but I think it is mostly run off itching from the incisions. It is only temporary relief though, and probably makes the real itch worse, but man it feels good while scratching.

And I finally got a new set of photos:
Bone stimulator at work. Pre-shower and full of iodine.

Post shower.

New wrappings.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 9: My Left Foot

Yesterday, after the trip to the doctor, my feet were in quite a bit of pain. By the evening, my right foot felt fine but my left foot, man it hurt. It was throbbing even while it was elevated. When I scooted to the bathroom, every time that boot touched the floor, pain would shoot right through to the outside of my left foot. It sucked. By morning, however, the pain gap between the two feet had reduced significantly. So today was a lot easier, peeing wasn't something I dreaded, and I could get in and out of my wheelchair easily. Without any pain, (or very minimal at least) these huge boots aren't so bad.

I am still elevating my feet almost constantly. Every time I am sitting or lying down my feet are elevated. The only time I am not elevating my feet, is when I am on the move in my wheelchair. Feeling quite all right in the feet, I went out on the front porch a few times with Freddy, I folded some laundry, and I even vacuumed the apartment. All the while, my feet felt fine. Minor throbbing, but that is it.

I am still icing my feet, but only twice a day for 15 minutes each time (doctor's orders). Before I had the surgery I bought 2 Cryo-Max Cold Packs. After the surgery, Mikey went out and bought 2 more, so I could have constant ice. While my feet were in the pseudo casts, I just kept them on all the time. When they got warm, I would switch them with the ones in the freezer. They suggest on the box not to use longer than 20 minutes because of frost bite, but those pseudo casts were so thick that not much cold was penetrating, so I just kept them on. Because I left them on all the time, they got hotter faster. For me, they stayed cold for about 4 hours, which is also about how long they took to freeze completely. They worked pretty well. They're a little pricey at $16 each, but for me they were worth it.

I got my feet wet tonight. I had a good little set up in the shower: I sat on my shower chair, and propped my bare feet up on a milk crate so I could better scrub all that iodine off. It was all over, up my legs, on the bottoms of my feet, on my toenails. I had to call Mikey in to see if I got it all off because I am pretty blind without my glasses. He helped me get my little toes, and that was that. They don't look much different, just less yellow, and more blue. All the swelling that was there after the bandages came off yesterday, is completely gone. I was going to take a picture, but the batteries in the camera were dead. While they were charging, I stimulated my bones and iced my feet, and then wrapped them up, forgetting that I needed to take a photo. Tomorrow I'll take one.

My thoughts on the Bone Stimulator

My initial thought, was that this sounded like a masturbation device for men. I even dreamed up a whole pornographic infomercial for the device with selling phrases (and demonstrations) such as:

"Hey asshole, is masturbating just too difficult sometimes? Wish you had something to do it for you? Try the Bone Stimulator!"

"Hey douchebag, your girlfriend doesn't want to blow you? Try the Bone Stimulator!"


"Hey limp dick, can't produce a boner? Try the Bone Stimulator!"

Then, at the very end you have to have something like:

"Buy it now, and we'll throw in 2 bottles of lube at no additional cost!"

And also things like:

"Do not use for longer than 20 minutes. Not for use in the shower. Has caused erectile dysfunction in 5% of men. . .

My other thought (to go from X-rated to PG) is that the Bone Stimulator is the Muggle form of Skelegrow. They have this wonderful potion called Skelegrow, while we have to figure out some way using ultrasound technology to do the same thing. I wonder which one would work faster? I think that Skelegrow is kind of painful though, and you can't even feel this thing. Arthur Weasley is once again amazed how we Muggles can actually live without magic.

But seriously, this thing is pretty cool if it works. The website boasts a 38% faster healing time. Hey man, I'll take what I can get.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Before and After

The before and afters all in one convenient location:

That little pinky toe is so straight now.

My feet are still wide, but they look so much better.

Day 8: Alright Boots!


My aching knobless feet! I just got back from my appointment, and all that really happened to my feet were the taking off of bandages, some x-rays, and the putting on of boots, but they feel like they have been punched. I had grown accustomed to pretty much painless feet, so it sucks to have them hurt. But other than the pain, it went very well.

First though, the revealing of the feet!


They look freshly dead here.

The stitches are under the skin and will dissolve.

To see all the pictures we took, visit my flickr page.

Good news is: They are healing very fast. So fast in fact, that I can already get my feet wet! I suppose I am something of a speed healer; I always knew I had a hidden talent.

Other good news: The swelling is very minimal, and the x-rays look really good, like normal feet bones with the exception of the screws.

The not so good news is: These boots are a lot more work, they don't slide (I don't know yet if that will be a help or hindrance),  and they are heavier than my pseudo casts were, so I guess more upper body strength training for me.  I do feel safer with them on though. My bare feet just feel so exposed, like one wrong move and those screws are going to pop right out.

The boots also come with a whole set of rules:
I cannot move without them on.
I have to wear them while I sleep.
I have to take them off to ice my feet.
I have to take them off to use the bone stimulator (more on that tomorrow).

I am not really up for a shower today. I think tomorrow I'll get this babies wet and clean. I'll take new pictures of my feet without all that crap on them.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Days 5, 6, & 7

Nothing much to report.

My last Percocet was on Day 4 at 10am, and I haven't taken anything else for pain since and my feet feel fine. The pain is about a 1 as long as I keep them elevated, otherwise they'll still throb. Still absolutely not weight bearing. And the left feels a little worse than the right, even though I've treated them equally. The difference in pain between the two is so minor that I am not worried about it.

Other than that I still keep them elevated and iced as much as possible. I am moving about a bit more on my own: from the bed to the wheelchair, to the couch, to the wheelchair, to the chair, back to wheelchair, back to the bed. By the end of my recovery, I am going to have these measly little legs and some buff arms.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to get the bandages off. The bandages themselves are like half casts. They are rigid only on the back of my legs to the bottoms of my feet, so I haven't moved my ankles in a week. So at 9:30 tomorrow, I'll get to stretch my ankles, see my incisions, stitches, bruising, and hopefully minor swelling, because my toes still look normal. And you will see all of this as well because I will have my camera.

Until tomorrow. . .

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day Four: A Day of Post-Op Firsts

I had my first post-op poop. YES! I pooped for the first time since surgery! That felt good. It takes a while for your bowels to get back to normal after anesthesia, and the Percocet doesn't help. I took my last Percocet at 10am and have only felt light tingling of pain, mostly in my left foot so I think I am in the clear with that. I will switch to tylenol soon.

I also had my first post-op shower. That was lovely. Can't get my feet or bandages wet, but it still felt quite good. Sat my little shower chair and let the hot water run over me. I am not sure when I will take another one. It is kind of a chore to get in and out, and I am just sitting around anyway, not really cooking up too bad a stench. Maybe in a couple of days, I'll relive the magic that is a shower because it isn't just about getting clean and wet and smelling good. It is changing the scenery. Not that the scenery in there is that great, it is just a different chair to sit on and something else to do.

And lastly, I had my first post-op appointment. Nothing too exciting happened. My doc is really happy with my feet. He peeked down the bandages to see how the incisions were doing and they are fine.He showed me my post op x-rays and my metatarsals are all back in line. He said the real x-rays will happen on Friday when there is weight on my feet, though he was still very happy with all 4 operations. I was thinking that these big bandages would come off, but not until my next appointment on Friday. I was hoping to share some gruesome photos with you, and while I don't have the great revealing of my feet, my doc gave me these:

In these first two you can see that open wedge that the doc cut out of the bone.

In this last one, the wedge is closed and screwed together, fixing the wide angle of the 5th metatarsal. The screw is in there permanently. For my tailor's bunions he used this procedure, called a closed wedge oblique osteotomy. For the big toe bunions he used something else that I can't remember the name of. I'll ask him on Friday.

Other than all that excitement, I am still elevating and icing my feet all the time.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Recovery: Day Three

I am still trying to figure out the best time to write about my day, and it seems that the morning after was a little too late. I think I prefer to write about how my day was at night before I go to bed. Thus there are two posts up today (one for the day before and one for today).

And so today, Day 3, was a good day. I was pretty sleepy today and took a few naps. And the pain, what pain? The most pain I feel right now is in my abs and triceps. All of that lifting from off the bed and onto the toilet and back again has made them a bit sore. But at least I am getting a workout.

My feet are feeling great. In fact I think I'm gonna try to go 5 hours between pills instead of 4. It has been 4 hours since my last pill and I feel absolutely no pain in my feet. I am still icing and elevating constantly.

I've been a bit more mobile with my wheelchair. I've gone out to the kitchen to change my own ice packs, and throw away my breakfast apple that tasted like crap. I played fetch with Freddy in the living room for a while. And we just spent some time outside enjoying the cool evening air.

Tomorrow I look forward to my first shower, and to my first post-op appointment. I hope my doc is impressed with how well I've taken care of my little feet.

Recovery: Day Two

Not much to report on my second day of recovery. It was much like the first. I am still elevating and icing my feet almost every second with the exception of going to the bathroom. The pain was pretty much the same. My toes appear the same, no bigger no smaller.

The main difference between Day 1 and Day 2 is I slept so much more. That first day I was kind of wired and didn't get a lot of sleep. But on Day 2 I took a nap in the afternoon, went to bed fairly early, woke up around 7, ate some breakfast, and then went back to sleep until about 9:30. My dreams are still a little nightmarish. They usually involve my feet in some way, but at least I am not suffocating in them. So no more freaking out.

I am still just hanging in there. We will see what Day 3 brings . . .

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Percocet Nightmares

Well I was a little hasty with my first post-op post and should have waited until the night to blog about my first day or indeed I should have waited till the next morning which is now, so here once again is another addendum to my first day of recovery.

First of all the pain increased just slightly at night especially the outside of my right foot, but was still bearable. But that is only part of what I wanted to share. The real juicy story is the Percocet nightmares that I had . . .

I am not sure what time it was, maybe about 11, when I finally started to get to sleep. I was lying in my usual position on my back with my feet all propped up and ice packed. Mikey was on the computer just a few feet away so I could hear him typing and clicking. Then I fell into these weird uncomfortable dreams. I don't really remember what they were exactly, but they made me very claustrophobic. Some were just a little worrying, like I would get up with my bandages and walk on my feet which I am not supposed to do. In others, I was back in the surgery room and they were just kind of creepy. I kept waking myself up after them and would get back to reality and hear Mikey over at the computer. Then would try to think about good things before falling back asleep again.

So I tried to think about puppies and hoped that I would dream about them instead of doctors in scrubs and walking on my feet. And I did have a dream with puppies in it. I willed puppies into my dream!

I was fenced in with all these little dogs. It was almost like when Mikey and I adopted Freddy. It was outside of a pet shop and there was a fence set up in the parking lot. Just like that, nothing threatening or scary or uncomfortable, just me and some cute little dogs. But then I spotted a dog trapped under the concrete. There was a tiny hole, just big enough for this dog to breath through because I could only see his little snout and I knew that he was suffocating and it freaked me out.

I woke up a little bit, heard Mikey at the computer but before I could will other good stuff into my next dream I was asleep again. This time I was in the same position I was sleeping in. I was in a small grey room with two doctors in scrubs. And they were tearing down these foam like walls and smothering me with them. I couldn't breathe and they kept piling more foam walls on top of me. Suddenly I woke up tore the ice packs off, swung my feet over the bed, tried to catch my breath, and then burst into tears. It was the weirdest thing. Mikey came over to the bed to comfort me, but I just kept crying, I tried to catch my breath, and tried to explain the dream between my sobs. I didn't even know why I was crying, and I couldn't get it under control. I crawled to the bathroom to pee and cried some more. Then I finally controlled myself, sat in my wheelchair for a little bit to catch my breath and after a little while I felt ok.

Mikey looked up some of the side effects of Percocet and on the message boards, people said they had nightmares from the stuff and there was a study where a few people cried after taking it. . . But man, that was weird. I am not an emotional person. Mikey said that was only the 3rd time he had seen me cry in the 6 years we have been together.

Anyway the Percocet was waning and I knew I would have to take another one soon, and I was not looking forward to it, or the nightmares that I would make me have if I laid down again. But I took another pill anyway, and laid down to go to sleep once more. I felt a little nauseous but that could have just been nervousness. I finally fell asleep and didn't dream about anything. I woke up at 6 o'ckock, and Mikey made me some breakfast then I went back to dreamless sleep for another 4 hours. It was great.

And right now I feel just fine. We'll see how I do tonight. More puppies would be nice, as long as they aren't suffocating.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Surgery Recap Addendum

After Mikey read my previous post, he pionted out a few mistakes. I did write the post as soon as my Percocet kicked in so I was a little heavy handed. The biggest mistake though, was my poor perception of time after the surgery. It felt like Mikey was with me during recovery for about 10 minutes and that is how I wrote it in my last post, but he said he was there with me for about an hour.

He had arrived soon after the surgery was over and apparently just after the nurse fed me those crackers because he said I had crumbs all over my gown. Motor skills, such as chomping, definitely impaired. I remember talking to my doctor afterwards but I don't remember Mikey being there at that time, but he was. I do remember that he helped me back into my clothes and helped me pee, not literally, he just helped me onto the toilet. I don't really remember the drive home or what I talked about or if I even talked. . . Man, that anesthesia really puts you out.

Recovery Day One and Surgery Recap

Day of surgery

The surgery was scheduled for noon, so I arrived at the surgery center at 10:45 to fill out paperwork. Then I changed into my gown and laid down on the bed that was covered with heated blankets, that was nice touch because it was rather cold in that prep area, and even colder in the operating room. The nurse got my IV started, took my blood pressure, heart rate, and all that. Then she asked if a med student could observe the surgery and I thought the more the merrier so I had to sign a consent form for that. I met the anesthesiologist who informed me that because the surgery would be rather long (estimated 4 hours because I had 4 knobs to work on) he would use general anesthesia, told me what to expect from it and blah blah. Then my surgeon stopped by too and they talked about some medical stuff. He wrote something on both of my legs, asked if I had any questions, then I took one last pee and got wheeled into the OR . . .

What felt like only one second my time, but was actually 5.5 hours real time and it was all over. I didn't feel nauseous, I just had a sore throat from the breathing tube, and my mouth tasted like medicated plastic. My vision was pretty blurry, and I felt well, drugged up. After a little while, the nurse fed me some crackers and a Percocet. Mikey arrived to pick me up and I was sent on my way.

I think we got home around 6:30. I took another Percocet because my feet did hurt pretty badly. (My prescription is for 1-2 pills every 4-6 hours.) I propped my feet up, ate some soup, Mikey carried me to the bathroom to pee a few times, and then went to sleep. Sleep was pretty crappy. I woke up about every 2 hours because lying on my back with my feet propped up constantly ain't too comfortable. But it wasn't that bad. The most annoying things were the gross taste in my mouth and blurred vision. When I woke up around 6:30 this morning my vision was finally back to normal.

Pain the day of surgery:

On a scale of 1-10, about a 5. When the percocet kicked in it was about a 3, whenever Mikey carried me to the toilet to pee it went up to a 4 and the feet would start throbbing immediately when not elevated. The pain itself feels like stubbing a toe really hard, kind of difficult to explain, but quite tolerable. I just have to keep them elevated every second.

Recovery: Day One

My dog is resting and I am resting my dogs. And that is pretty much all I've been doing since the surgery and resting is all Freddy ever does, so we're doing a lot of hanging out. He is probably wondering why I haven't taken him on a walk. Poor guy.

These are my wrappings. They are pretty heavy and then you add the ice pack and they get even heavier. Mikey bought this bean bag box yesterday for me and it is working out really well. It is sturdy, and soft, and high enough.

My toes don't look swollen at all. Hopefully that keeps up.

My toilet is about 10 feet from my bed so I just have to scoot off the bed and drag myself over there and lift myself on. I've gotten the hang of it so peeing is not such a chore that it was yesterday with Mikey carrying me there every time.

About a 2. When I feel the percocet start to wane it goes up to a 4. When I go the the bathroom about a 3. I've been taking only one pill every 4 hours. No nausea, good appetite, sore throat and bad taste is gone. It really has been a piece of cake so far.

My doc just called me to see how I was doing, and that everything went well and he's got some good x-rays to show me on our next visit on Monday. I can't wait so see these gruesome things!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Knobless at last!

Well, I'm home from surgery. My little peds are elevated and ice packed.


Well it is the morning of my surgery and I am ready as I'll ever be. I've got my wheelchair, some Percocet, ice packs, a shower chair, a clean apartment, an almost finished reupholstered sofa, a nice new comfortable bed, and no breakfast.

My surgery is at noon, and I have to be there at 10:45 to fill out paperwork and get ready. But right now Freddy and I are about to go on our last walk together for a while . . .

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pre-Surgery Stuff

You don't just walk into surgery without prior examination. Those surgeons want to make sure that your hemoglobins globe, your platelets plate, and your thromboplastin time ticks.

Before you go into surgery you have to see your primary care physician and he will check off your pre-surgery checklist that the surgeon provides. My checklist included: blood work, EKG, and a chest x-ray. Also my primary care physician said that I should get a tetanus shot, since my shot record showed that I hadn't had one since '91. I do remember getting one when I moved from Kansas to California in '02, but it wasn't on my record so I couldn't be sure.

That stuff was pretty easy. Needles don't bother me, although I forgot how sore that tetanus shot makes your arm, a little bit of radiation exposure isn't too bad, and the EKG took about 3 minutes. It did tickle when they put those electrodes all over me. I feel healthy and I eat pretty healthily, but it is cool to have on paper (not that I know what any of it really means) that my parts are working fine.

Pre-surgery lifestyle stuff (things I am doing to hopefully make me recover faster):

1. I've never been a vitamin taker, but two months ago I started taking one everyday. Can't hurt.
2. I am trying to stay active. A while ago I started running but of course it started hurting my feet a lot. I've got a bike and I ride that. And I walk my dog. I might as well introduce him now, since you will probably see him more in the next months.
This is Freddy:
During the cooler months he looks like this:

And during the summer he looks like this:

3. I don't smoke. This makes a big deal in recovery time. Plus it is stupid and gross.
4. I don't drink alcohol. Not sure how not drinking directly affects the healing process, but like the vitamins it can't hurt. My liver and kidney's are happy. And I'm not a stupid drunk moron, that is always good.
5. I'm not overweight.
6. I eat healthy. I am pretty much a vegetarian. I say pretty much because I can't be sure that when Thanksgiving rolls around that I won't eat some turkey. I do have to make sure that I am getting enough protein which helps in healing, and I think I'm fine in that department: tofu, beans, lentils, mmm I love them.
7. I am mentally prepared for surgery, I don't expect that I will be recovered in a few days, and I think I have enough to keep be busy and to keep me from going crazy during recovery.
8. I have enough time off of work (10 weeks total) to make sure that my bones are healed before I go back.

I'm ready!