One week post-foot surgery!

I’ve made it over the week mark and only had one emotional meltdown! I broke down the other night because of my restlessness from being immobile. Plus, I’m alone all day (with the exception of Finster) while everyone is at work and Tom’s been back in Brooklyn and traveling out of town, so it’s been difficult being away from him so much. Our one year anniversary is this Sunday, though, so I think we’ll get to spend some time together this weekend! And then next weekend we’re going to Montauk for some real anniversary time together. I’m really hoping I’m able to enjoy the beach and endure some walking to the center of town by then!

So yeah all of the emotions spilled out after I kind of banged my left big toe on the step going upstairs. Fearing that I may have screwed up my toe or something, I got freaked and the floodgates opened. It didn’t hurt a lot or make any unnatural noises, so I figured it was okay since the bandages keep my toes secure, but still. Everything had just kind of built up and then it all came out.

I called my mom to talk to her, and I felt a lot better; I know she understands more than anyone how I’m feeling. Being cooped up, spending most of your time alone, and being unable to do the things you want to is very frustrating. She ended up telling me a story about my great-aunt (by marriage), Tilly, who had bunions and was an, um, unpleasant person. Turns out that this was a unanimous opinion among my mom, her siblings, and her mother! And none of them had ever discussed that until they were all grown! Isn’t that funny?

I started working on this cat latch-hook tapestry thing on Wednesday and I plan on finishing it today. My mother-in-law bought it along with a paint-by-numbers for me to do while I’m recovering. It’s funny because it looks like Finster, so maybe I’ll hang it in his room when it’s finished. It’ll be like he’s looking in a mirror or something. I don’t want to do the PBN on the couch, so I figured the tapestry would be easy to do. And it is! It’s a pretty mindless task, but it does keep my mind busy and I do have to pay attention to the colors.

cat tapestry

I want to start the paint-by-numbers but I can’t sit up at a table for long before my feet start to swell and become super uncomfortable. I did a PBN a few years ago and it took so long (I think, like 6 months from start to finish) and it turned out so awesome! It’s hanging in our apartment because I’m so proud of it and it’s a nice picture.

original paint by number

I took a real shower yesterday and was surprised when I wasn’t in a ton of pain or completely exhausted afterwards. My feet/bandages got soaked because the shower caps were absolutely useless, so I just took them off and went commando. My mother-in-law helped change my bandages which was good because I did start to get a little woozy when she started on my right foot. We had a cold paper towel on standby which I used as a cooling agent and a blindfold.

When we got the bandages off of my right foot (she was much gentler than the doctor, which was good) I looked at my foot and felt fine; it wasn’t bloody or super bruised or anything. Anytime I move without bandages, however, I can sort of feel that my big toe is not 100% intact. It’s the way it feels jiggly that makes me feel like passing out. I think my mind makes up the image of my big toe flopping sideways or something. Once we got the right foot rebandaged, the left foot was a breeze. I felt fine with the left foot, even the big toe. It’s just that right big toe that gets to me. Weird.

I’ve been sitting outside the past couple days, trying to enjoy the beautiful summer weather as much as possible. Finster likes to join me outside, so it’s nice to have some company. Within an hour, though, I need to go inside and lay down because my feet swell. I put my feet up while sitting outside but it’s just not high enough.

sitting outside with Fin

This morning, I woke up and was pleasantly surprised to see spaces between my toes! They weren’t swollen and my feet felt great! But as soon as I stood up and started doing something, they instantly started to swell and hurt. I’ve got a lot more bruising on around the main part of my feet and have unfortunately run out of Arnica, so I’m keeping ice close by.

Walking continues to get easier, but there are times throughout the day where it gets hard again. It’s all because of the swelling, honestly. Once my feet start to swell, they hurt. When my feet hurt, walking hurts. When walking hurts, I suck at it. I’ve noticed that I’m able to put my feet flatter on the floor than I could a week ago. All progress is good progress!

Post-foot surgery day 2: swelling, pain, and blood?!

Sleeping was hard. I’m a very active person in my sleep; I get really restless, and thus I am a notorious tosser and turner during the night. So being restricted to sleeping on my back with my feet elevated on pillows got super uncomfortable within the first 5 minutes. Needless to say, I woke up multiple times during the night to adjust myself, which really only entailed scooting an inch to the left or right, maybe bending my legs to get some stretching action and circulation going.

I had the air conditioner on for my feet, figuring it would act kind of like applying an ice pack to help with the swelling. I took a Tylenol before bed last night because of all the walking I did to get upstairs and ready for bed.

I have to walk up the stairs sideways to keep my feet flat, making it difficult to stay balanced, especially while carrying stuff. Tom helped bring any extra stuff upstairs for me, like pillows from the couch to keep my feet elevated, my purse, and meds. He has been so awesome to me this summer with surgeries and such, so I’m giving him a huge shoutout for being an amazing husband and caregiver. I love you, Tom!!!!!!!

I’ve been walking mostly on my heels because it’s uncomfortable trying to place any of the front part of my feet on the ground. I’ve also had some itchiness under the bandages near an incision, so I look like a woman patting her weave when she has an itch.

The office gave me a little bag of some necessities yesterday that I didn’t mention in my post for day 1. It contained a pair of black no-show socks to sleep in, shower caps, and a pair of surgical scissors. The doctors said that bleeding is totally normal since I don’t have any stitches, so when I’m sleeping I can wear the socks to keep any possible blood from ruining the blankets. I have 5 tiny incisions on each foot that will clot and close-up on their own, but obviously they can still open a bit and bleed.

Here’s a picture of my socks as I watched Leah Remini’s show on TLC On Demand this morning. I am so in love with this show it’s ridiculous. It actually makes me laugh out loud because the entire family is so genuinely funny together and separate! I’m sure some things are scripted, but their humor it definitely real.

socks and Leah Remini

I feel like I’m one of those people (usually girls, but guys do it too) who takes pictures of their feet to publicize and rub in the fact that they are lounging at some exotic beach. I’m not in an exotic place and my lower extremities are not meant for a calendar (yet!), but this is my viewpoint for awhile now. My feet feel so great when they’re elevated on 3 or 4 pillows; it’s such a relief after walking even the shortest distances to throw my feet up because it eases the pressure so much.

The shower caps are for my feet when I shower or bathe (duh). I am allowed to get the bandages and wraps wet as I am not in a hard cast, so they are made to get wet. If they do get wet, I can either dry them using paper towels (instead of just letting them air dry), and if they’re really soaked, I can use a hair dryer to dry them quicker.

I took a shallow bath this afternoon to freshen up and it was quite the awkward experience. I had my shower caps on my feet, but they didn’t fit perfectly since they are meant for a round head, not for an oblong foot. I kept my feet on the sides of the tub to elevate them (like stirrups at the female doctor…), so that was super awkward and uncomfortable. I also tried to keep them as dry as possible, but water still got into the caps when I stepped into the tub. Once I was finished, there was quite a bit of bleeding from my right foot at the same spot as the pictured below, so I used a paper towel to soak up excess and applied some pressure to help it clot. Once it was cleaned up a bit, I wrapped a clean PT around the area and put my socks on to keep said PT intact.

I feel soooooo much better now that I’m clean and smell better, but that took a whole lot of energy, concentration, and planning. To do the least amount of walking, I had to make sure that I knew the game plan and had everything I needed with me to save myself from needing to walk from room to room unnecessarily. I’m moving at a snail’s pace, hobbling around on my heels; my ankle and shin muscles should be jacked after this.

You can see some blood on the right foot (picture taken pre-bath) near the base of my toes in this picture. I didn’t think it was too bad to include, so I hope it doesn’t make anyone sick. You can also see how fat my toes are. Lovely.

swelling day 2

The surgical bandage scissors are to cut my bandages (no-brainer, huh?) if necessary. Dr. Kirell told me that if the bandages get unbearably tight, I can cut along a line he drew on them to relieve the pressure. My feet are really swollen and fat today, but the bandages don’t feel too tight yet.

He also said that I will have quite a bit of bruising around my ankles; I asked why my ankles instead of where the incisions are and he said, “Gravity. When you elevate your feet, all of the blood will drain down near your heels and ankles.” Makes sense. Tom ran to Vitamin Shoppe last night to grab me some Arnica tablets to help keep the bruising down and speed that whole process along. Again, love him!

The doctors also informed me that I can apply for a handicap permit for a 6 month period! Not that we drive all that much unless we’re in Long Island, but it’s a nice perk that we can use whenever we do drive.

I forgot to get a picture of the before and after x-rays yesterday so I’ll have to get them when I go back on Monday for a re-dressing of my bandages!

Oh, I also forgot to show off my sexy sandals I received yesterday. How cute are they with the nylon stockings?! I had my mom cracking up as I described it to her as “huge bandages covered with nylon stockings and slipped into old lady sandals with ties up the front.” She told me that I should have Tom get some old man sandals and wear checkered shorts and tube socks. We’d be a match made in heaven as I hobbled around and he just looked goofy. Also, that paper is a packet of FAQs about the procedure I had; it’s called Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Foot Surgery. So if you have any questions that I haven’t answered, I have some knowledge on paper!

stockings and sandals

As the day has worn on, my feet have started regaining some feeling in terms of the swelling. I’ve kept them elevated but just like my sleeping self, my awake self also gets restless very easily. Sure I could sit and watch a marathon on HGTV or Netflix before surgery, but I had the freedom to get up whenever I needed to move, go to the bathroom, refill my cup of water, and anything else. I still haven’t taken any pain medication other than Tylenol, but that may change as the night goes on.

Lastly, I realized that I was only given half of the antibiotic pills I was supposed to receive, so I only have enough to last me through tomorrow morning. I called the office but the emergency doctor just took my name and number and said that I would be called back at some point. If nothing has been done by tomorrow afternoon, I’m calling them back. I don’t want an infection!