07 December 2008

Resting Peacefully

Headquarters has moved. My tag line used to be, “Global Domination from the Basement” based on my office and command center deep in the bowels of my castle. Now it’s the living room couch. Working on from the tiny laptop screen instead of my luxurious multiple monitors downstairs does make me feel a little constrained, but my toes stay a lot warmer up here.

Speaking of toes, I’m under strict doctor’s orders not to move them – or more precisely, not to move Mr. Big Toe. But a couple of hours ago my foot sort of involuntarily twitched, and I FELT it. Yes! I felt my big toe make downward pressure contact! It’s still early in the game, but that smells like success! (By the way, my condolences go to my left big toe. It could be crushed, burned, or hung in effigy, yet it will never be known as the Mr. Big Toe. It must feel so left out.)

I’m guessing at this point that Dr. Foot Doctor did a knock-up job. I’m basing that conclusion on root canals and gum surgery. This shouldn’t surprise you, since 20 years ago my dentist diagnosed my broken wrist. But seriously, if you ask the average person about their experiences with either procedure, they’ll typically tell you horror stories. I, on the other hand, have been lucky to have had three root canals done so expertly that I actually enjoyed them, and a session of gum surgery a year ago so beautifully executed that I took the pain meds for recreation only. Do it well, and the recovery will tell the tale. And so far, as far as recoveries go, this hasn’t been bad at all, which tells me that this was either beautifully done, or the pain meds are better than I thought.

I suspect the former. It’s about 50 hours past surgery, and I’ve only felt the tiniest twinges of discomfort from the actual area of the surgery, a three to four inch incision along the side of my foot from the ball toward the midsole. And that through times when the pain meds have definitely worn past their four hour limit.

I had a few rough hours the first night. About 3 AM, the meds had pretty much worn off, and a slight jar to my foot brought on a strong pulsing pain in my heel. A mild panic ensued. Well not exactly panic, but deep concern, because it felt like – how could this be? – it felt like spurting blood! I hadn’t talked to Dr. Foot Doctor yet, and I imagined a scenario where it had been so hard to find the tendon that they’d made slices elsewhere on my foot. I imagined I’d popped open an unexpected suture. I expected to see a red splotch start to seep through the bandages.

By morning, no Red Badge of Courage had appeared, but the front of my ankle had joined my heel in the protest of pain. None of this made any sense, of course, but with my foot wrapped in layers and a strict, Do Not Open Before Christmas (or at least Monday) dictate, I had no idea what was lurking beneath those bandages. Even though he said to call anytime, 24x7, I waited till 8 ticked around and called Dr. Foot Doctor.

Mystery solved rapidly. No spurting blood, no extra incisions, just pain from where they’d placed the tourniquet. And it had been there a surprising 106 minutes – running up against the absolute limit of 120, at which point they have to cut you off (pun intended). Dr. Foot Doctor filled in a few other details of Friday’s action. He said he’d had to extend the slice a bit to find the ends of the tendon, which were quite stretched out. He said the repair took a lot longer than planned, but went well, and I do indeed have a bit of horse stitched into me now. Whiney for me, baby, whiney! He zapped the tendon with a Topaz electronic device which either speeds healing or makes me light up under high-tension power lines. He reported that arthritis was not what was causing my limited toe motion, but an abnormally shaped metatarsal, which probably contributed to my susceptibility to this injury (and if that’s genetic, perhaps why my sister recently broke hers?). As a Buy One, Get One Free, while he was in there, he shaved the mutant metatarsal down to size. And my favorite report from the day: “You took a lot more anesthesia than we expected!” Read into that whatever you want.

Next up was the best-tasting breakfast in bed I think I’ve ever tasted, compliments of St. Ann, and a day of pleasant R&R. I’m in love with my cryo-cuff, a simple yet effective gizmo that easily recharges a boot with ice water. Beats the tar out of balancing a bag of ice on your foot! And the kids get a kick out of giving me a periodic “oil change”.

Night number two was much less eventful. My only serious complaint at this point is some cramping of my foot due to its constrained position. But the surgery area itself is still quite comfortable.

Tomorrow it’s off to see Dr. Foot Doctor for a first follow-up, and yes, he’s promised me he’s got those pictures ready for me on a thumb drive. Squeamish of the world beware, my next posting should be really interesting!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Gary,

    So nice to read your blog!

    Glad to hear things are positive :)



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