The boot is off! I am a free woman. Oh what to do, what to do? Now I can do all the things that I have put off for nine weeks. Now I can go get a pedicure, go shoe shopping, do all those mundane glorious chores that I haven’t done for the last nine weeks. I can get back to hiking, working in the yard and walking the dogs among all of the other things on my to do list. Right now even vacuuming sounds fun, sick huh?

After a two hour surgery, five screws and a plate, thirty-six stitches with bones moved and removed and nine weeks of recovery, I am finally completely healed. My doctor said I did awesome on the healing and recovery. He asked if I brought a shoe and I pulled out a pair of three inch strappy sandals and said that I was planning on wearing them home. He looked at me like I was nuts, and I said that it was a joke, that I had brought many pairs to try on. We settled on the mate to the one I already had on

What I couldn’t believe was how weak my leg is and how tender the bottom of my foot is. I went to stand up and my left leg almost collapsed from the weight and pressure. My foot is still a bit swollen and my toes sort of jut upwards, but the doctor has assured me that they will lie down as I walk more. Toes pointing towards the ceiling, cute huh? I have been walking around in a walking boot for seven weeks and thought that shedding the boot and going back to shoes would be a piece of cake. Not so, this is going take bit of time getting back to a hundred percent. I guess this means I’m not running in a marathon next week.

Poor Frankenboot, what should I do with him? Maybe we’ll have a giant bonfire and burn Frank in effigy, Viking style or have him bronzed like parents used to do to baby’s first shoe. Or on a more practical note, maybe I should save him for future use. At the rate I’m going, I’m pretty sure I will probably break something in the future that would require a walking cast. I could even sell it on EBay and maybe get ten dollars for a slightly used black neoprene walking boot.

You have no idea how excited I am to be mobile again. I feel like I’m coming out of a kind of suspended state where most of my life has been on hold and in reality I guess it has, I’ve spent most of my energy healing. Now I’m ready to get back to full steam ahead, even if I have to take it a little slower than I originally planned.

Four More Weeks!

Just four more weeks, twenty eight days, that’s how much longer I have to wear Frankenstein’s shoe. Woo Hoo! I went in for my five week follow up visit for my surgery on Friday. My doctor was amazed at my recovery speed. He said I was about twenty one days ahead of schedule. He had figured that I would be on crutches for a minimum of six weeks, but after two weeks he decided to try out me wearing a monster black walking cast, complete with industrial strength Velcro. This was in response to two falls in two days on my crutches. I am so graceful.

It only took four days for me to shed the crutches with the Franken foot. So that has been a huge success. My grace has not diminished, in fact the Franken foot has increased my wobbling because of its weight and cumbersome size. But at least no crutches when I’m wearing it. I did find a few challenges when wearing Frank, like walking on a slope. Can you imagine trying to walk down hill with Frank? Not easy, my leg doesn’t bend forward locked in the boot. And uphill is even harder. The first time I tried to go up an incline I couldn’t move. The boot refused to move. There I was standing in one spot looking pretty silly. Mitch had to come get me and help me up the hill. It’s like sidestepping up a hill with skis on. Not much fun.

My x-rays showed a fifteen degree movement of bone, which the doctor said was a lot. He said that for as extensive work as was done, he was really surprised at how well I was doing. His colleague that assisted in the surgery couldn’t believe how well I am doing either.

But I know the secret to my healing success. I have the best husband and friends that have taken care of me and have taken care of everything else so I could just lay around and heal. This will take me a lifetime to repay them for their love and support.

I see a pedicure and shoe shopping in my future.

The Long Weekend

If I survive the weekend, it will be a miracle.  Friday started off with great promise.  I had an appointment to get my stitches out, woo hoo!  That meant a real shower in my future.  One that doesn’t have my foot and lower leg triple bagged to stay dry.  A shower that I could luxuriate in letting hot water wash over me with a wonderfully scented shower gel that I could lather up all over.  Ah, heaven.

But no, that is not in my future, not for another week.  My doctor unwrapped my foot, poked at my toes and wiggled them around to show me that everything is healing nicely even though my foot was very swollen.  After the sharp intakes of air and scrunching my face into grotesque masks of pain, the doctor left to get some contraption he said would help bring down the swelling.  Mitch told me how proud he was of me.  I asked him what he meant and he said he was surprised I didn’t start swearing.  I said that it was close, but I controlled myself.  I didn’t want the doctor to run fleeing the room in fear for his life.

He came back in with a compression squeezer that I have no intention of putting on because it was terribly painful when he slipped it on and dragged it past my stitches.  The doctor then pulled at two of my stitches and explained that though the incision was not gaping, it was not healed enough to remove the rest of the stitches.  Did I mention how much it hurt to have the two stitches removed?  Anyway after all of the manipulation, foot squeezing and stitch pulling, I was ready to go home and lay down for a while.  Plus I was so bummed out that I didn’t get my stitches out.

After resting for a while, I got up to get something unimportant, lost my balance and fell backwards hitting the back of my skull on my nightstand.  God that hurt so bad.  Crying and grabbing the back of my head to feel for blood, luckily I didn’t split my skull open but there was a huge lump already.  I dragged myself over to where I could reach my cellphone and called Mitch who was walking the dogs, because I wasn’t sure how bad it was and I was scared.  It was this awful stabbing pain that felt like a thousand needles in the back of my head.  All I could think of was that I had fractured my skull.  Mitch rushed back, helped me off the floor and put me back in bed.  He examined my head and got ice packs to help bring down the large knot at the base of my skull.  I think I scared him as much as I scared me.  No blurred vision, no nausea and my pupils worked so we decided not to go to the emergency room.  Just rest and watch me.  Sorry not this time Aflac.

Saturday I woke up, surprise I didn’t die in my sleep.  I’m really glad for that.  We went to the grocery store, my first outing since other than work and the doctor’s office I’ve been pretty house bound.  The day was pleasant, clear skies and mild, Mitch was going to mow and weed eat the yard.  This is my job because when Mitch mows or weed eats, he mows and weed eats everything growing.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  It’s in the way, so it has to go.  In order for that to not happen, Mitch set me up in a chair on the porch and with blue flags he walked around the yard pointing at various plants waiting for a mow or no mow sign from me.  If I gave the no mow sign he planted a blue flag next to it.  The grass was terribly tall, so mowing would take a while.

The dogs and I decided to go back in the house while Mitch slaved away.  I opened the kitchen door let the dogs in and started in myself.  I hopped in got the left crutch planted when the door closed on the right crutch throwing me off balance.  I started to fall forward and accidentally put weight on my left foot.  As soon as I realized what I was doing I lifted my foot which caused me to fall forward to my knees.  There is no way I could stand up from that position so I had to drag myself to the bathroom and pulled myself up on the toilet.  I am so graceful.

Please just let survive this weekend.

The Spa Vacation is Over

Well today is the day.  This luxurious spa vacation is over.  Today I go back to work.  This is going to be fun, I keep telling myself.  I’m going to go back to a mountain of unread emails and scribbled notes left on my keyboard, saying “Welcome back I need this done before 8am” (I usually get there about 6:15am) or “Glad you are back, please look into this and explain how this could have happened” (the fact that walking is a going to be a challenge is beside the point).

Friends are worried and don’t want me to go in quite as early because no one else is there, that’s the reason I go in early, no one else is there.  I get more done in the early morning quiet.  But my new biggest challenge will be trying to get in the doors at work.  Early birds have to scan a badge against an electronic reader on the side of the entry wall wedged behind a concrete standing ashtray about five feet from the first set of doors.  The doors are unlocked for about three to five seconds, so I have to hobble from behind the giant ashtray to the doors in under four seconds.  No hill for a stepper.  Then if I’m successful there I have to enter a passcode on the keypad against the sidewall again about five feet from the second set of doors.  The floor is clear of obstacles here so I have a better chance of getting to the doors before they re-lock leaving me stuck in the entryway waiting for someone to come rescue me.

If I am successful there, then the rest will be a cakewalk.  Hobble through the building, open the first fire door, crutch myself up two flights of stairs and open the second fire door at the top of the stairs without knocking myself down one of the flights of stairs.  Easy peasy.

Once I’m through the door chaos awaits.  Maybe I should take my drugs with me.  Mitch assures me that this will be an adventure.  I think he secretly wants me to stay home.

My Knee Scooter

My knee scooter was delivered yesterday, a device designed to help me stay mobile without putting any weight on my foot.  I have tried to preplan for everything knowing I wouldn’t be able to walk for three months.  I bought extra skirts to wear, figuring that trying to pull slacks on over this big honking bandage would be a bit of a challenge.  I waited for the weather to warm up before having the surgery so my naked toes wouldn’t get cold in the snow.  I bought a backpack to be able to haul everything so that my purse wouldn’t slip off my shoulder throwing me off balance and causing me to crash and burn.  Or as Mitch describes it, that “Black Hole” I carry around.

I decided not to put in a garden this year because Mitch would be doing most of the work for three months.  I know that the harvest won’t be until August or September, but I figure that he has enough to do without me unnecessarily adding to it.  I have friends coming to walk the dogs in the morning while Mitch is at work so the heathens don’t get short changed.

My doctor had described the scooter as small, lightweight and collapsible so I figured that I would break it down and hook it to my backpack and drag it up the stairs with me while using my crutches.  You see, coming and going in and out of our home involves stairs.  Even though we live in a ranch style house, there are stairs going up to the garage to get in the car.  There are stairs going down to the street to get the mail and daily paper.  There are stairs to go out to the yard, just to enjoy a bit of fresh air.  That’s because our house was built into the side of a hill.  Stairs everywhere.

So much for preplanning, this is the Hemi of scooters.  It’s very nice, don’t get me wrong, sturdy, padded knee pad, hand brakes left and right and pre-adjusted to my height.  But small and lightweight it is not!  This thing is huge.  I am not going to be strapping it onto my back and hauling it around.  Now I have figure out how to get it and me up the stairs to get it in the car, out of the car and up the two flights of stairs at work.

So much for trying to preplan.

Mitch is a Saint

The true test of any relationship comes when one member, in this case me, becomes disabled albeit short term and has to rely pretty much on the other for just about everything.  Poor Mitch, good thing he has the patience of Job.  I am stubborn, willful and very independent.  So now being dependent upon another is a tough pill to swallow, even though I am truly grateful he is here.

Yesterday I had foot surgery to remove a bunion and have two toes shortened.  Sounds like fun, huh?  There is even a name for it, a bunionectomy.  There were bones removed and bones shaved off, and because of that I can’t put any weight on my left foot for three months.  Compliments of wearing cute shoes years ago.  I guess we won’t be going dancing anytime soon.

Now Mitch has to do double duty.  Walking the dogs, laundry, cooking and all the yard work.  Granted, he already does all of the laundry and all of the ironing woohoo!  Walking the dogs has been a joint effort on our part but now it’s all his.  Cooking and yard work are my domains.  I have to rely on Mitch to not mow down everything in his path.  God grant me patience.

Not only does he have to take up my slack, but he has to take care of me.  Following me on my crutches and righting me before I crash and burn.  Grace is my middle name, even with two good feet.  Poor man, he is going to be very busy.

I had been planning this surgery for months, and trying to get prepared as best as we could.  I have been practicing going up and down stairs on my crutches loaded with a heavy backpack, getting in and out of the car.  It’s my left foot so driving should be good. Practice is good but the real thing is going to be scary at best.  My plan is to go back to work next week and bonus – I work on the second floor.  No elevators, yea!  Just lots and lots of stairs.  I will be the crutch queen by the end of the upcoming three months.

Please pray for Mitch.