Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's been two weeks

...and I'm still hobbling around with my surgical shoe, which is to be expected. Today I'll fill you in on how the surgery and first days of recovery went in case there is anyone out there in internet-land reading this who is contemplating this surgery.

The surgery, which was exactly 2 weeks ago, was about how I expected it to be. It was outpatient surgery, performed at a surgical center. I was instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before my surgery, which was scheduled for 8:30 am. My birthday was the day before the surgery (and my anniversary the day after - what timing!), so I enjoyed a wonderful birthday dinner, cooked by my fabulous husband, and had a glass of wine. I learned too late that I wasn't supposed to have alcohol the night before (oops!). No harm done though.

I arrived at 7:30 am, as requested, and after a short wait in the lobby was brought into the post/pre-op room. I changed into a gown, paper hair cover, and socks with gripper-feet on them and the nurse set up an IV and took my temperature and blood pressure. My husband was able to come back and sit with me while I waited. The anesthesiologist came to talk to me, asking me what I enjoyed for breakfast. Hah! Trick question! Then he asked the usual questions of prior surgeries and any complications. The post/pre-op room felt a bit crowded but everything seemed well orchestrated. The nurse wrote "yes" in purple marker on the foot that was to be operated on and later my doctor signed his initials on it in purple ink as well.

Eventually I was walked into the operating room and set up on a table. The surgery was performed with "twilight" drugs and a local for my foot. I might have slept in the beginning but was awake later on. I think the drug dosage was spot-on because I was just sort of indifferent toward the whole thing. I'll note that this was probably a better situation than what I experienced during surgery I had years ago where I had to be awake and I felt a bit too euphoric. In that case I was really nervous about being awake during the procedure and they probably overcompensated on the drugs. This time I was just peaceful without being out of it. I could hear the doctors and nurse talking about music - it was just another day in the operating room and another foot to operate on for them. After the surgery the doctor said it went well. I asked how big the neuroma was and he showed it to me in a plastic container. It looked like a glob of white tissue, about half inch or so in size.

The surgery took about 40 minutes. In recovery I started to feel a little pain and was given something in my IV that helped right away. My husband was able to sit with me and that helped a lot. I don't know how long I was in recovery but it wasn't more than an hour until I felt ready to go home.

I've read on line about some people who were up and walking about, driving, and back at work a few days after surgery. Maybe they have a high tolerance for pain, maybe they had no choice due to work or other circumstances, or maybe they were stubborn and didn't want to sit and rest. I was advised to be off of my foot for the rest of the week and fortunately I was able to miss work for that time. Also, my husband happened to be working from home for the week (and the next, and the next) so it was an opportune time for this surgery. While I sat on the couch with my foot elevated on pillows and chilled by an icepack, he cooked and retrieved things for me. Since I couldn't work from home, I watched lots of TV and knitted and knitted and knitted to pass the time. I actually enjoyed the downtime!

The foot was swollen and occasionally throbbed right after the surgery (they make pills for that, thank you very much). It hurt less the first day and more in the days right after, probably as the swelling came down. Two days after surgery I had the dressings changed at the doctor's office. I actually haven't looked at my foot and don't want to for a while. I'm the type who would like to sleep through colds and flu and injuries. Wake me up when I'm better.

I've been wearing the surgical shoe 24/7 - even at night because it keeps my foot from flexing and accidentally getting bumped. It also keeps the cats off of it! My cats like to sleep at the foot of the bed, right where my feet go, and I find that I have to move my feet around their hot, furry bodies. For the first 10 days I slept with my foot elevated on pillows and that kept the cats away. Now that I've done away with the pillows I've noticed the cats are back, so the shoe helps protect my foot.

I'm able to shower by using a blue rubber Dry Pro cover that I pull over the surgical shoe and then I pump out the excess air. It works pretty well, far better and much safer than taping plastic around my foot.

Walking is still a bit of a hobble and I'm not sure if it's because of the surgical shoe or that I can't put weight on the front part of my foot yet. I still try to stay off of it and keep my foot elevated when I can, even if it means hoisting it up on my desk at work when I'm typing on the computer.

I had another appointment for a dressing change last week and have another tomorrow. The doctor said the foot looks good (again, I won't look!) and he thinks I might be out of the shoe this week. We'll see! My foot does still hurt. My 4th and 5th toes have regained some feeling but everything still feels tingly. The upper foot feels constricted and I'm guessing that's due to the bandage. Sometimes I have a pins and needles feeling and sometimes it feels a bit cramped up. The ball of the foot is sore if I put weight on it, which makes me think I'll be sporting this stylish surgical shoe for a bit longer.


  1. it sounds like you are the princess and the pea, except that you had the pea in your foot! :) I'm thinking good thoughts for your recovery.

    Rose in SV

  2. We should get together and recover together. The recovery for my surgery is taking forever and driving me crazy!!