Wednesday, June 30, 2010

REAL Shoes!

Yahoo! Yesterday, for the first time since my surgery, I put on REAL shoes!! Ok, so yesterday it was sandals and today was tennis shoes, (Is that right, tennis shoes? It looks funny.) but at least they were shoes and not my not-so-beloved boot!

Walking is a bit rough, rolling my toe isn't so easy still, but I can feel the stretching, which is good. As my doc keeps saying, use it or lose it! I'm thrilled with the progress so far.... I got to take a long walk with Rigby this afternoon, which was the first time since my surgery that I could do that with two shoes....

Man. You really don't appreciate your feet until they are messed up. If you have good feet, consider yourself blessed!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On to the "Walking" Cast

Last Thursday I got rid of my beloved scooter and upgraded (at least in the form of progress towards full recovery) to a "walking" boot! They once again took all the bandages off and I got to see my someone still gross looking foot again. I can say it looks like it is healing well, but yeah, it is still pretty gross.

Now, my "walking" boot should really be called a shuffling boot. Given that I can't bend my ankle in it, you can't really walk in it, even if it doesn't hurt (which most of the time, it does not). Not to mention this sucker is heavy. I would guess it weights something similar to the cast I had before, only now I'm trying to walk with it.

My other boot complaint? The boot puts my foot up a good 2 - 2 1/2 inches off the ground. So I have to wear a heel of some type on my second foot, just so I even out. Luckily I had a pair of Dansko sandles that have a serious base and heel to them (but not like "heels") so I don't kill myself walking in it. Seriously, trying to walk with a flat shoe and the boot would really mess up your hips I think. I found one other pair of shoes that I got a the Walking Company that also seem to do the trick.

Either way though, I'll take it. The boot definitely lets me get around a lot better (even if it is much slower) than the scooter. The scoots served it's purpose, but I'm glad I can now get my own breakfast and hopefully I'll take a standing shower soon. The shower chair is getting old.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Stupid Cripple Moment #2: PAIN

So my next stroke of post-surgery brilliance came the night after I got my new cast put on (that was May 17th, in case you were wondering.)

I was so excited to get the old cast off and the staples out of my foot I could have died. It felt like a major accomplishment (which sounds stupid, since I wasn't really doing anything) in the recovery process. Taking the staples out really didn't hurt (which I really thought it would) and the whole process was pretty easy and painless. Unfortnately, it also meant getting a new cast on, which always sort of sucks. Not that the process sucks, simply that having one sucks, on the upside, I thought the next time this baby came off, it would be the end of my hard cast days!

We got the soft wrapping of the foot all done (they do this to protect the wound), and I even tested it out (putting weight on my foot for the first seconds in weeks) and it seemed fine. They put the cast on (and in fact, I could even see my toes!) and sent my on my way. My doc left with the wise (and now forboding) parting words of, "Remember, it is supposed to be hurting less now, not more." Everything seemed fine....

...until about 3 hours later. My foot started to hurt. More specifically my big toe and the joint started to hurt. A lot. Zach came home from work and saw one pathetic wife on the couch. I thought maybe the pain was just from the doc minipulating my toe (which was awefully painful on its own) and maybe he over did it. Frankly, it was probably the worst pain I had felt up to that point with this whole thing. This should have been a rather obvious sign that something was wrong and that I should do something about it. But of course I didn't.

I eventually crawled up the stairs (I think there might have been some crying involved) and went to bed, doped up on Vicodin, in hopes of a decent night sleep and a better morning.

Amazingly, I woke up feeling not too bad. I went to work, and it still wasn't too bad. I called the doctor anyways, since that "call if it hurts" warning was still in my head. With the report that was CURRENTLY feeling not too bad, they scheduled an appointment for the following day, just to be sure.

I went home, still feeling not too bad. I hit the couch and got my foot up and it started to hurt. I took some Vicodin, hopeing it would help. By the time Zach got home (about 8 or 8:30) it was terrible pain and had taken as much Vicodin as was allowed. It was rivaling the night before, however I could barely even set it down on a pillow without more pain. I kept holding my foot higher and higher, but then I couldn't put it down again without excrushiating pain. This was getting ugly.

After an hour or so of back and fourth about what to do (Try to cut the cast off? Go to the ER? Dope me up and wait for tomorrow's appointment?) we decided to do the logical thing. We called the "emergency" number on the doc's card. The number went to his poor wife's cell phone!

We (and by "we" I mean Zach, I could barely talk at this point, other than cries of pain) got the doc on the phone and aftering hearing about the pain (and the fact that I could barely move my big toe) he told us to meet him at the office at 11:00 pm. His assumption was that the cast was simply too tight.

I felt terrible, but at least he thought it important enough to meet up with us in the middle of the night. We made it to the car, although I don't recall exactly how. The doc got the cast off pretty quick, and although there wasn't instant relief, it definitely felt better. As the doc got the x-ray machine ready (to make sure everything really was OK) Zach and I watched as my foot twitched itself back to regular blood flow. My ankle could barely hold up my foot for more than a few seconds, which I guess goes to show how fast atrophy really happens!

A few x-rays later, the doc decided that everything internally was ok (I think he was concerned we might have missed something from last week's fall). He played around with my toe again (which HURT!) and pressed on the bottom of my foot where I was feeling a lot of the pain the night before. He decided I probably had a little spot of internal bleeding/pooling there, which was causing the pain, but with lighter wrapping should take care of itself.

He VERY lightly rewrapped my foot, and re-did the cast. The cast is now only up to a little above my ankle (I think it looks like a big old boot) and with a lot less extra padding then he had added the last time. We were on our way by a little after midnight, with the extra precaution of a prescription for another round of antibiotics, just to be 100% sure.

Since then, the foot has been fine. A little tightness here and there, but no real PAIN.

Lesson learned, when your doc says you shouldn't feel pain, call the moment you do. You'll spare you and your doctor the nightmare of an 11 pm trip to the office!

Stupid Cripple Moment #1: The Scooter and I Bite the Dust

Oh updates.. how I have neglected you, and with so much excitement, I don't know how I could!

So two weeks ago Wednesday (May 12th if you're keeping track) I was scooting my way out of Village Hall (where I work). As I was coming out something happened, I'd like to say that a bunny ran out in front of me, and in my efforts not to roll right over it, I fell, but I didn't. I can't even really tell you what happened. All I know is that before I knew it, I was falling. In that great, slow motion movie kind of way.

All I remember thinking was, "Oh Shit" and "Don't hit the foot!". I mostly landed in the grass, but my toes scrapped the sidewalk. A nice resident walking up helped me up, as did one of our Trustees who had walked out a few seconds before me. I was pretty sure I was totally fine physically, my ego, was probably another story.

I got to my car and had to catch my breath and my composure. Falling is always scary, but falling when there is NO way to catch yourself (other than your arms) is pretty terrifying. I was shaking like a leaf in my car, and finally realized that I had no idea if I had actually done any damage to myself. I hit my left (i.e. the injured leg's) knee on the ground (minor, although no bleeding scrape there). Then I wanted to check my toe. But I can't see my toes in my cast. Shit.

So what did I do? I whipped out my camera phone to take pictures of my toes and make sure all was well. It took a number of tries to get the angle right, but I finally confirmed that 1) I still had a big toe. 2) It wasn't bleeding. BUT 3) I had scraped off quite a bit of the toe nail on my big toe in the process. Uh oh.

Once I was pretty sure nothing really hurt, I called my husband. After a good laugh about my fall (I must admit, it was pretty damn funny), we confirmed that I should continue with my afternoon and not call the doc quite yet. If I had any major pain or bleeding, then we'd call. Otherwise, the hubs would check out the toes in the evening and see what he thought.

Upon inspection, we decided to call the doc in the AM, just to make sure. After all, the doc did say to call if you had any falls, and frankly this was kind of a doozy. Upon the report of a fall, the nurse immediately made me an appointment for that afternoon. Evidently they take that stuff seriously.

After a little ribbing upon my arrival, the doc did x-rays, and confirmed what I suspected, everything was fine. Crisis averted.

Or should I say, one crisis down, a few more to go. This whole being without a foot thing, is pretty rough.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Post Surgery Update: Lessons Learned So Far

Ok, so it has only been a little over a week, but I feel I've learned a few important lessons so far, and here they are:

1) People are really nice and will offer to help you when you look pathetic. My boss even met me at the front door of our building and parked my car for me when it was raining earlier this week. Don't try to play too cool for help, take it when it is offered!

2) Personal injury is really a great conversation starter. That probably sounds bad, but seriously, people who I see every day but don't know well, will have full on conversations with my about my foot problems when they see the cast. And it seems, almost every woman I know has foot problems, or at least knows someone else who does. Guys on the other hand, just want to know about the scooter. If they can try it, we'll probably be friends for life.

3) Shower chairs (at least for an injury) are a TOTAL RIP OFF. We went to CVS looking for a shower chair and only found $70 versions. You know what also works well? A plastic patio chair, and at $10 that was still probably a rip off, but we didn't want to bother with another store. And I am happy to report, the chair works perfectly! (Also purchased were a handheld shower unit and a cast cover, each $20). Although $50 worth of stuff just to shower seems stupid, it is 100% worth it not to have to take another bath. Baths are only fun when you don't have to actually clean yourself in them.

4) Knee Walkers/Roll-A-bouts, or my "Scooter" as it is lovingly referred to, are the best invention ever. I love my scooter. I can get around, avoid crutches and it is even kind of fun. Not to mention it is a great conversation starter with total strangers who are always amazed by your awesome device. I'm like a one-woman advertisement, but seriously, I'd be 10 times as miserable right now if I had to use crutches.

5) Repeat the mantra, "It will be over before I know it." Especially when I've once again forgotten something I need all the way upstairs. A good sense of humor, and a great husband (or other helper) are key to a smooth recovery. If you feel bad for yourself all the time, your recovery period will totally suck. You've got to do what you can, and ask for help when you can't. Even though it feels like the longest time ever (I know my days on the couch felt like a week, and they lasted 5 days.) it really is just a blip in your life. Hopefully a blip that will make the rest of life easier with a pain free foot!

6) The movies are wonderful. ADA accessible, and if you get their early, you can put your foot up on the railing in the front row and life is good! We're not usually big movie goers, but man, being out of the house and feeling minorly social felt FANTASTIC!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Post Surgery - Day 7

Well, it is officially 1 week since my surgery! A week ago right now I was just waking up in the recovery room...

My foot felt decent when I got home last night, and I had a lot more energy than the previous night (as in, I didn't just fall asleep on the couch!). I haven't been taking any of the pain meds since last Tuesday morning, so I think that is a great sign!

I know it sounds odd, but I'm a little concerned that having my foot up so much is giving me bad (or maybe I should say worse) posture! As I sit here at my desk trying to keep my foot up on my CPU, I keep finding myself slouching over to one side of my chair. I think it is mostly because I am NOT flexible, and actually keeping my foot up pretty much feels like a constant stretch if I'm sitting up straight. I really should have kept up with those yoga classes... they were making me much more stretchy and helping with my back strength. That would be awfully helpful right now!

Zach and I talked about possibly going to a movie with some friends this weekend! I don't know why, but the idea of getting out of the house and doing something fun (other than work) has gotten me VERY excited. I guess that's what I get for being couped up in the house for a week straight. The only downside is that I won't really be able to sit up in the riser area of the theatre, given my bum foot, and I really prefer that area over the flat part at the front. :( Small price to pay to get out of the house though!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Post Surgery Update - Days 5 & 6

Day 5

I decided it was time to head to work. I woke up way earlier than necessary (I wasn't sure how long it would take to get ready!) and headed in to work a little early. I was feeling good to go and happy to get dressed in normal clothes and getting out of the house!!

Driving was a little difficult in the cast. Even though the cast is on my left foot, it was tough to find a position to sit my foot that wasn't awkward.

Getting to work all the ladies at the front desk were fascinated with the Turning Leg Caddie. Basically, it is a scooter with a platform for my knee and not my foot. I can rest my knee on it comfortably and not need crutches. I love it. I told the whole story for the first of about a dozen times that day and I was on my way upstairs.

Up in the office I quickly got the nickname "Scooter". My boss can't help but chuckle every time he sees the scooter. I won't lie, it is pretty amusing.

Trying to find a position to lay my foot and keep it up was a bit trying. I tried getting the caddie under my desk, but it didn't really sit right. Currently my CPU is a decent leg rest, as is the top of my desk. Either case though, I end up sitting a little funny to accommodate the position. Hopefully I won't end up hurting my hips or knees with the strange positioning.

I made it through the day, but it was definitely a little rough. My foot was definitely swollen when I got home and I was quickly told to get on the couch, get my foot up and relax. Which I did. We ate dinner and I fell asleep on the couch. I guess I was more tired then I thought!

Day 6

Back at work again, but questioning if it will be a full day. My foot definitely feels more swollen today, likely as a result of my day yesterday. I'm keeping it up and trying my best. We shall see how the day goes!

I can safely say I'm already really sick of how long it takes to do ANYTHING that involves moving. I'm used to getting around quickly and getting stuff done, and I just can't do that now. Hopefully after a few more weeks I'll have the energy to actually do some stuff at home, but right now, getting ready, getting to work, working and getting home is about as much as I can handle! Feeling useless was something I didn't really prepare myself for.