So every time I post photos of my feet (pre- or post-surgery), I end up getting a bunch of new foot fetish followers on my Twitter. So this will be fun!
So this has been a whole process (links below). And just in case anyone is curious, I figured I’d post some photos of my feet 10 months post-surgery.
Looking better, right? Sort of? And yes, they still hurt when I walk. With every step. Moreso than before I had surgery. So that’s fantastic.
Sorry I’ve been neglecting this blog so much. Work has been insane, and has only recently finally calmed down.
Anyway, this morning was pretty traumatic.
Remember when I had pins in my feet? Well today, they were finally yanked from my right foot. And since I was awake for the whole procedure, I can give you the blow-by-blow.
I was called into a small room where my blood pressure was taken, and I talked with the anesthesiologist. However, my plan was to do this all under local anesthesia only since I don’t much like being put under. This would prove to not be the best idea.
I was then led into a freezing cold room where a curtain went up between me and my foot, and a nurse bathed my foot liberally in betadine. Hence the yellow color in the photo above. I tried to sneak a peek at what was going on, but was told doing so would “compromise the sterile site.” Really? Because the air conditioner was blasting air all over the room, and the door to the hallway was open for the entire procedure. Plus the curtain was only maybe two feet across, so it wasn’t much of a barrier.
Anyway, the doctor came in and poured some freezing cold liquid on the injection site, which was incredibly uncomfortable. It wasn’t liquid nitrogen (I can’t remember what it was called for the life of me), but it felt like the entire top of my foot had been dunked in ice water. Then it was time for the numbing injection, which hurt like a BITCH. Three CCs of something were pushed into my foot, and I was told to “relax.” Yeah, not happening. Only the site where he would be cutting was numbed, with the rest of my foot left alone.
After waiting 10 minutes or so, it was time for the cutting to begin. Though I could only feel pressure or minor pinching, it was still psychologically scarring to realize what was going on down towards my toes. The doctor made a 3/4″ cut directly on top of my original surgery scar, then went to TOWN with a chisel. Well, maybe the tool looked different, but I couldn’t see it, so I’ll just describe the sounds and sensations.
He chipped away at my bone with large amounts of pressure. The bone had grown over top both of the pins, so freeing each one was not an easy task. He would position himself, then just start scraping away for several seconds, my bones grinding the entire time. He would then pause, reposition, and repeat. I’m honestly not sure how long this lasted, and though it felt like 15 minutes of pure torture, I imagine it was actually shorter than that. Though there wasn’t really any pain, it was still incredibly upsetting to imagine what was going on down there, and I felt close to fainting for almost the entire procedure. Hence, if you ever get this done yourself, you might want to opt for the IV sedation. Most people who get this done get the sedation, and according to the doctor, it takes a “tough sort” to opt for local. I certainly didn’t feel tough. I was almost in tears by the end.
Finally, he pronounced that both pins had been removed, and he stitched up my skin, which felt like I was being bitten by fire ants. Two bandages were applied, my foot was wrapped up, I was x-rayed, had my blood pressure taken again, and was sent on my way. I wore my usual sneakers out, and was told to take a cab home so that I didn’t put too much pressure on my recently battered bone.
Now I’m home, and though the pin site is still numb, I can tell that it’s swelling, and I feel a vague burning sensation. However, I can walk decently, so at least there’s that. I have to keep the stitches dry for 10 days (which means no bathing my foot AGAIN), and will get them out the day before Halloween. And then I’ll get the pin taken out of my left foot. Maybe I’ll opt for some happy-time drugs in the future? Or I’ll at least bring headphones, since the bone scraping sounds were the worst part of all.
The healing on my left foot is much different than it was for my right one.
For the first foot, it was always an upward trajectory with each day being a little better than the day before. Now, with the second foot, it’s a total crap shoot. Some days I feel okay, other days the pain is unbelievable. Some days the pain is quite manageable, and others my foot throbs and burns with every heartbeat. I never know what it’s going to be like until I wake up in the morning and put weight on it. It’s a brutal reminder that, yes, my bone is indeed broken, and I should quit trying to hop around town on it. But I’ve been almost entirely housebound for the past three weekends, and I’m getting very antsy.
The doctors don’t really know why I’m having such a hard time with the left foot, but suppose that it might just be because my right foot is still not at 100%. There’s a lot of pressure involved in walking, and there’s no super stable bone for it to travel through. Sigh.
So yeah, on again off again pain, and I was told to stop taking Percocet and switch to Aleve instead (which does nothing). I’m supposed to get the boot off on Tuesday, though I’m worried about walking in a regular shoe, given the shooting nerve zaps I get even in the surgical shoe.
Below are pictures from my bandage change earlier this week (2 weeks post-op), and my before and after x-rays. Only one pin instead of two in the left foot, for some reason. I wonder if that could be causing any extra twisting, which would result in more pain? No idea.
So yeah, it’s that time again. Four weeks ago, I had bunion surgery on my right foot. I documented the healing process a bit, then decided to just go ahead and get the left foot done since who needs a summer anyway? Not this girl!
I’m so depressed.
Anyway, the procedure was much the same this time around, though with a few key differences. One, I had a different nurse anesthetist who pumped me full of anti-anxiety drugs without notifying me. I felt someone fiddling with my IV, then felt really weird and had to turn around and ask what the hell had just happened. “Oh, just something to make you feel a bit better!” he said, cheerfully. I had actually been feeling fine, and didn’t need the extra drugs. Sigh. But as a result of the pre-surgery drugs or maybe something else given during the procedure, I was really out of it for a few hours post-surgery. The doctor came over and talked to me about the procedure afterwards, apparently, but I have no recollection of any of it.
Also, I’m not sure he cut the tendon above my second toe this time around. I called the office to ask, but the doctor wasn’t in, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out for sure. Considering that the tendon release was the most painful part of the surgery on the right foot, I can’t really complain about its omission on the left foot, but still. Er, wasn’t it supposed to be done?
So here’s my pictorial update, and I’m bed/couch-bound for the next week at least. I’m bored already!
Also, a close-up of the weird ether inhaler from the podiatrist’s office, as detailed in this post.