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!"

or,

"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!


Voila


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. . .