Thursday, December 24, 2015
The FrankenFoot Strikes Back
I've been so busy with the holidays these past couple of weeks, I wasn't able to blog last week! But, all of the presents are wrapped, dinner is served, and the house is clean, and I found myself with some time to blog on Christmas Eve. Wahoo!
I had surgery 9 days ago, on December 15th, to remove the remainder of my temporary hardware, which ended up being two screws. I've done this surgery twice now, so it almost felt routine. I called and got my surgery time the day before, which was 1:00 again. The exact same time as the last surgery. I was disappointed because it was so late in the day, and I was pretty miserable last time, since I'm not allowed to eat past midnight. I asked the doctor's office, and they said that he liked to schedule the easier surgeries later in the day because he has a tendency to get behind on some of the harder surgeries. And even though I was coming in pretty late at 1:00, I wasn't the last surgery for the day That poor, poor soul behind me.
As I was getting ready the morning of surgery, at about 10:00, TOSH called me and wanted me to come in right away for surgery because there was an opening on the schedule. They asked how long I'd be, and I'd told them about a half hour, just long enough to drive to the surgical center. I scrambled to get dressed and get my stuff together. As we were walking out the door, my phone rang again and I saw it was the doctor's office. The nurse explained that there was a change and they would no longer need me to come in early, so I should just come at my regularly scheduled time of 1:00. Dammit! I'd had my hopes up of getting done early only to be smashed into little pieces.
So, I waited..and waited, and finally went to the hospital to check-in for surgery at 1. Same routine at always, as soon as I was taken back, the nurse took a set of vitals, I changed into my sexy hospital drape, and gave a urine sample to prove I wasn't pregnant and was OK for surgery. I met a flurry of nurses and doctors, had my IV started with liquid tylenol, and gave my name and birthdate about a dozen times. Luckily my admitting nurse, who went over my medication history with me, knew what a NuvaRing was so I was saved of that embarrassing conversation this time. I finally got to see Dr. Van Boerum right before surgery. He wrote a YES on my right foot, and then started explaining to me how he has a set of tools and all kinds of gadgets to get my screws removed. He totally creeped me out again....please just take my screws out; I don't need to know the details! They were also letting me take home my screws this time! The hospital didn't allow me to take home my pins from my last surgery because they were too sharp and were a liability. Whatever.
The last person I saw before surgery was my anesthesiologist a little after 3. Instead of being hauled in a wheelchair, I walked by myself back to the surgery room! It was cold. I hopped up on the table. They put a warm blanket on me. I heard someone say that in 10 or 15 seconds I would be sleepy. I was then waking up in the recovery room. When I woke up from the last surgery, I had zero pain, but lots of anxiety thanks to a huge shot of morphine. This time, when I woke up, no anxiety, but a pain level of about 4 - totally manageable. I also could immediately feel relief in my foot from where the screws had been, no more pinching or pressure. My recovery nurse gave me some ice water and honey graham crackers. They both tasted amazing. Shortly after, Nate and my mom joined me in the recovery room. I felt nice and relaxed, and was quickly cleared to go home. I laced up ye olde walking boot and started to get up and walk out. But, the nurse chased me down, made me get in the wheelchair and took me out to the parking lot.
There was a lot more pain and discomfort with this round of surgery than I expected with the next few days that followed. Removing the screws is a little more involved than removing the pins. My incisions are bigger, and my foot/tendons/bones were a lot sorer than last time. I needed to take more pain medication than I wanted to or thought that I would need. That led to the uncomfortable side effect of opioids on the digestive system. I finally started to feel better about 5 days after surgery.
One thing I didn't the surgery stop me from doing, was seeing Star Wars on opening night! I had all of these grand plans to dress up as a sith version of Ahsoka Tano. But, quite frankly, I felt miserable and taking a shower and getting myself ready completely exhausted me. The thought of trying to put on a costume and paint my face seemed too daunting. So, I didn't end up going in costume. I was disappointed about that, and wish I'd felt better that night for the movie. I still went though, and it was AWESOME and I am so glad that I went, even doped up on various pills, in a boot, and in some nagging pain. I actually have seen it 2 times since, when I was feeling better! And Rey. She. Is. Amazing. She is such a strong female character. She inspires me to be a bad ass. Cool girls don't look at explosions.
I will go back in to the doctor next week to get my stitches removed. I was told not to remove my dressing until I saw the doctor again, but, full disclosure, I took it off already. It was fraying, getting snagged on my boot, and there was no way that it was going to stay on for two weeks. I've been in the boot during my waking hours ever since surgery, mainly to protect my incisions. It's such a bummer since I've been used to walking in my tennis shoes for the last month. But, once I see the doctor, I can swear off the boot for good! Trumpy (my scooter) was placed in his final resting place this weekend. The basement. He was a good scooter and served me well.
As for the hardware, this is what was inside my foot for 5 months. Of what they let me take home anyway. Just touching it and feeling it makes it hard to believe that this piece of metal was actually inside of me. No wonder it was so painful. I'm glad to be rid of it!