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Day 7 Post-Op

Wow, wow, wow.

This second surgery has really thrown me for a loop, y’all.

I went into it expecting to be back on my feet right away.  That has definitely not been the case!

As you know from reading my Day 1 Post-Op story, I’ve had a tough time from the get-go.

The Mr. went to work the day after my surgery.  I managed pretty well without him there, but the pain pills really started doing a number on me.  I had gone up to two every four hours by then, but they made me terribly sleepy – and itchy.

The Mr. did come home in time for my new dryer to be delivered.

The Best Buy guys were uber-professional!  They quickly removed my old dryer and set up the new one.

It’s pretty fancy with a lot of features to choose from . . .

Poor Gambit was having a hard time though.  By Friday evening, he’d finally figured out a way to get close to me.

I didn’t sleep well that night and scratched like crazy every time I woke up, which was once an hour.  I gave up the fight around 7:30.

I suspect that my sleeplessness was due to another thing . . .

The Mr. helped me get my first shower since the day of my surgery, and I sort of felt human again.

That’s a compression sock I’m wearing on my left leg to help prevent blood clots.  I took it off mid-day.

Chicky arrived around lunch time, and we decided to have a mother-daughter date at the nail salon.  I haven’t had acrylics in a couple of years, so I splurged . . .

I took what would be my last pain pill while I waited for Chicky to get her nails done.  I knew that I wouldn’t be taking any more because of the icky way I’d been feeling.  I had two goals:  1)  To make it to church for the Christmas Eve service, and 2) To not sleep my way through Christmas.

I paid the price for this decision.  While my head wasn’t loopy, my pain increased.  The boot was the biggest culprit.  Every time I put it on, I felt a burning pain on my ankle bone.  The friction was terrible.

I made it to church the next morning but crutched my way around even though I was allowed to be weight-bearing.

I took my boot off during the service to alleviate the pressure.

I’m glad I was able to go, though, because the lighting of the candles at the end was breathtaking.

I was faking it until I made it though.  People kept telling me how impressed they were that I was out and about three days post-op.  I just didn’t want to be left behind, which is why I went grocery shopping Sunday afternoon, albeit with the motorized cart.

I was exhausted when we got home and, if I remember correctly, napped.

Chicky and I did some cooking later that day.  I made the Mr. a cake and started on my 15-Minute Peanut Noodles, which Chicky had to finish up for me since I got tired by the end.

I can’t remember if we started to watch a movie.  I think so, but I fell asleep halfway through and had to finish watching it the next day.

Y’all, the struggle has been REAL!

We celebrated Christmas the next morning.  I’ll share that fun stuff in a different post.

The Mr. had work Monday night, so Chicky and I chilled at home.

Tuesday marked five days post-op, and according to the instructions left by the doctor, I was supposed to change my bandages.

The Mr. supervised while I removed the ACE bandage first and then cut off the white padding . . .

I was still a little swollen, and the doctor’s writing had not faded . . .

Then, I turned my leg and saw my incisions . . .

It looked as though the doctor had marked lines on my previous incisions so he could follow along rather than making new cuts (thanks Dr. B).  The lines going across marked where the staples were to be placed.  The incisions looked pretty bad though, and I counted 28 staples total – 10 on the inner side and 18 on the outer side.

The incisions hurt like fire when the cool air hit them.  The area you see circled, below, was especially tender.  That’s the spot where the boot had been rubbing, and boy, was it aggravated . . .

I still couldn’t get my ankle wet, but I dabbed around it and tried to remove the beta dine from my leg.  It’s going to take quite a few showers to get it all off, I’m afraid.

The Mr. helped me put fresh gauze on both sides, and he wrapped it in a clean ACE bandage.

What an exhausting task!

Still, I was able to catch my breath and muster up enough energy to treat Chicky to lunch at my favorite local Thai restaurant . . .

Leftovers for days

On Wednesday, Chicky drove me to my hairdresser so I could get my hair washed.  It hadn’t been clean since the week before, and I was miserable.  I wasn’t feeling too well and wound up hitting the sack when we got home.  A cold had attacked my body rather quickly, the result of stress, I suspect.

That afternoon, we drove to Bigger City, Florida.  I had a post-op appointment the next day (this morning), so we came on over to stay with the Mr.’s parents.  He’s going to arrive tomorrow since he’s been working this week.

By the time I went to bed, I was feeling horrible; the cold was in full throttle.  I pulled out all the stops to try to get my symptoms under control . . .

The ibuprofen was for my ankle.  I’d emailed my doctor’s nurse to find out what I could take instead of the prescription, and she’d told me that I could take up to 800mg 3x/day, which sounds like a lot.  I only took 400 though.  My ankle had been on fire for almost a week.

Thursday (today), I woke up to find Chicky’s dog, Cali, eager for attention . . .

I got myself showered, and Chicky drove me to my appointment.

My surgeon has a fairly new PA who’d met with me for my pre-op.  I really like him; his bedside manner is excellent.  He is very patient and knowledgeable – impressive given his youthful appearance.

The nurse first removed my staples.  She did my inner ankle first.  Oy vey!  That hurt like a mother – especially when she got to the tender spot.  Then, she wiped the area with an alcohol wipe.  Y’all, I may have had a few tears in my eyes, but they didn’t come out – because I’m brave like that.  She proceeded to remove the staples from the other side.  This wasn’t nearly as painful . . . until she used another alcohol wipe.  Ugh.

She applied strips to both sides.  They’ll fall off in about ten days.  Until then, I cannot keep my foot submerged in a bath.  Dang.  I was sooooo looking forward to a hot bubble bath.  Guess I’ll have to wait a little longer.

The PA came in after the nurse finished, and we discussed my surgery – how sick I’d gotten – what a rough time I’d had all week.

Then, he took a look at my ankle and told me that it looked really good.  I asked him a few questions – I only had three, if you can believe that.

One thing that has become an issue is that my pointer finger on my left hand has gone halfway numb.  It’s as though it’s in that in-between stage of wanting to wake up after having fallen asleep.  The PA had no answer for what might have caused it.  I assured him that my finger was fine before my surgery, and that I’d read that having a cuff (blood pressure) on that same arm could cause it.  He didn’t agree because he said that the cuff wasn’t on the entire time.  He also told me that they had not numbed the left side of my body; however, I remember that before I passed out in the OR, I started losing feeling in my left arm.  Hmmm.  He told me that although he didn’t think it was from the surgery (I think it is the result of it), I should get back feeling eventually, after the anesthesia comes out of my body completely.  If it stays numb, I have to let them know.

The PA discussed what I’m allowed to do for the next few weeks.  I have to wear the boot for three more weeks.  During that time, I’m only allowed to work on range of motion exercises, with no board or bands.  After I’m out of my boot for a week, I can start low-impact exercises, such as walking.  I am not allowed to do any jumping.  He said that I could do some of my at-home physical therapy exercises.  I’ll have to go back in six weeks and have another x-ray to ensure that my bones have filled in.  We will discuss if I need physical therapy at that point.

I also have to start massaging my incision areas with Vitamin E oil to prevent scar tissue from forming.  I’ll do that as soon as the strips fall off.  The massaging is actually a painful process because I have to dig hard into my skin.  I didn’t do so well at this last year.  I hope to do better this time.

I asked him if I could have the boot section of the practice loosen the sides of the boot since the friction was causing me a lot of pain.  He fixed this by removing the cushioned part that had been attached to the inside with velcro.

Y’all, my jaw just about dropped to the floor when I saw what a simple solution this was!  I’m a rule follower as far as my ankle rehab goes, so I never even considered (or knew) that this thing could be removed.  When I put my boot back on after he’d wrapped up my leg in yet another ACE bandage, all was good, and what pain I felt was simply from the irritation that my inner ankle had been undergoing since the staples were removed.

The PA commented on my bright Tweety sock

I was able to walk out of the office without using my crutches at all!

I felt so much better that Chicky and I ran by the mall.  She needed to exchange a pair of shoes, and I wanted to do a bit of looking / buying at a store we don’t have in Podunk, Florida . . .

I spent the afternoon at Super Sis’s house chatting while she made up a batch of vegan vegetable barley soup.

I feel as though I turned a corner today.  I’m still sore, even without the boot on, but that’s to be expected.  I had twelve pins and a plate removed from my ankle, and tissue and bones need to finish healing.  I slept in a bed for the first time in a week last night, and the pressure from the covers made my ankle hurt – to the point where I had to stick my leg outside of the blankets for part of the night.  I tossed and turned and actually had to lift my ankle each time I rolled over.  I know that this will get better with time, but I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since before my surgery, so I’m a bit weepy if I think about the word “sleep.”

I’m also desperate for the feeling to return to my finger.  This is aggravating and, at times, painful despite it being partially numb.

This recovery has been a long, long road – one I knew I’d have to travel down immediately after learning the name of my injury.

I’m learning valuable lessons that I’m actually putting into practice.  I’m listening to my body and letting the pain be my guide.  I’m giving myself grace to rest when I need to.  I’m not pleased with not being able to exercise, but honestly, I’m too exhausted to do much, so there’s that.

As always, I am so thankful for the prayers that my friends and family continue to lift up on my behalf.  One of my church’s pastors told me, on Sunday, that he’d been praying for me.  I’m very much an introvert, but his words touched my heart.  My church has watched me struggle these past thirteen months, as all of you have.  I’m still struggling, but at least I know that I don’t have to do it by myself.

#findingjoyinthejourney continues to be one of my mantras as I walk into this final phase of my healing process.

One Response

  1. I’m so glad you are getting better. It surely has been quite the year for you! Take care and Happy New Year

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