Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's Bunion Week!

So here I am, four days past surgery (is that right? let's was Monday morning...Tuesday, Wednesday, now we're on Thursday...does the surgery day count as a day? it should because it was at 6 o'clock in the freakin' morning) and it's time for an update. It's Bunion Week here at Latent Images, so buckle up! (Warning: there's cursing involved, which shouldn't surprise any of you who know me.)

My foot is encased, much of the time, in a clunky boot made of foam and metal and an obscene amount of velcro. It's heavy and bulky and has five straps and my toes stick out a wee bit. When the nurses jammed my foot into it after surgery Monday, they strapped it on too tight. The block wasn't close to wearing off and I was popping hydrocodone like candy. Then I talked to a nurse on the phone that afternoon and loosened the straps and experienced instant relief and my last hydrocodone was Tuesday night when I couldn't sleep. Then I told the boot to fuck off and took it off when I got into bed and now I sleep just fine. Well, mostly. Since I regularly get up to pee about 42 times each night, I've gotten wicked good at strapping on the boot in the dark and hobbling to the potty before pissing myself.

I made you this awesome graphic to show visually that the boot isn't all that bad, and probably doesn't deserve the moniker "fucking boot" and really all in all it's rainbows and unicorns, with a couple sides of bacon and a chicken thrown in for good measure. Because chickens are awesome.

But I'm skipping ahead. I should start at the beginning for those of my friends who said, "Ohmygosh I have terrible bunions but I'm afraid of surgery so I will wait and see how yours goes and then you can tell me all about it." If you don't want to hear all about it, stop reading. (I wouldn't blame you, because bunions.)

We were supposed to be at the surgery center at 5 a.m., and we were. Because that's how we roll, even when asked to do things at ungodly hours. Pretty sure we beat the doctor and most of the nurses. I had done the whole 10-minute scrubby thing with the disinfectant on my foot like the doc asked at 4:15 a.m. and so was in fine shape. A nurse checked me in (including making me stand on a scale and then announcing my weight out loud which was bar none the worst part of the whole day) and then I undressed and put on one of those sexy gowns that never close all the way in the back and climbed into a bed where I was covered, blissfully, in warm blankets. I would like to purchase a blanket warmer for my home. I was allowed to retain my underwear and one sock. This made me laugh. There was a swirl of nurses and doctors, including my doctor who made me laugh by cracking jokes and writing his initials on my foot and they stuck an IV in my hand and said, "We'll start the sedation soon." I was wheeled down a hall and into an operating room and they had me assist in transferring myself from the bed to a gurney and the last thing I remember is laying there thinking about how boring the ceiling was, and how all operating room ceilings are really bor...

I was vaguely aware of being told everything was over and helping transfer myself back into the bed and looking down to see my right foot wrapped in bright green gauze tape. I said, "Hey! Green is my favorite color! Does anyone have any bacon? I'm hungry, and bacon sounds really good right now." I think I asked for bacon multiple times. I never got it. (That was the second-worst part about the whole day. If you do this, either take bacon with you or, better yet, arrange to have it delivered right after your surgery.) I helped dress myself and then M was there again and I listened to him talk with the doctor without really paying much attention or caring. It kind of felt like they were talking about someone else. I heard post-op instructions and I asked again for bacon and I heard the doc say he did the scarf bunionectomy but not the episiotomy and I laughed and thought, "Wait, that's not right." Later I looked it up and figured out that he said he hadn't had to do the osteotomy, because my big toe straightened itself right out when he fixed the metatarsal. Cool. No pin in my foot to be removed in a week or two. Just a badass titanium screw that will stay there forever.

M drove me home, stopping on the way to drop off my pain pill script at the pharmacy, and dumped me into bed. Everything happened so quickly. I was back home and in bed by 8:30 a.m. I slept on and off for awhile, but that right foot really started hurting. It was the outside of the foot that hurt, not the inside where the surgery had taken place. I couldn't get comfortable so I stuck ice under my knee per the post-op instructions and popped a pain pill. Hours later, when I was ready for another one, I talked with the nurse. When the pain went away after unstrapping the boot (which I usually call the fucking boot but since this is a family-friendly blog I will refrain) I put the pain pill back in the bottle and that was that.

Tuesday was better, although I still couldn't figure out the straps on the boot. I felt like I always had them too loose or too tight, neither of which felt good. I was like Goldilocks with a surgical boot. It wasn't bad enough to warrant hydrocodone, but I stayed off my feet most of the day and kept the foot out of the boot, elevated, and iced. Walking in the boot, while not excruciating, was definitely uncomfortable and something to be avoided at all costs, meaning, until I was nearly ready to pee all over myself. Tuesday afternoon the block finally wore off all the way. This wasn't good or bad...just interesting. I could finally feel my toes again. The worst part about Tuesday was that I had been stupid enough to schedule our annual termite inspection. So, the day after surgery, I had to get up relatively early and make myself presentable and alert enough to let the termite man in. I don't recommend this, especially if your termite man talks as much as my termite man. I posted a short list of some of the topics he covered on Facebook, but some of you aren't on Facebook so I'll repeat them here. It's worth reading twice if you've already seen it, because you can truly imagine my pain in not being able to get away from this man due to foot surgery. Also, I remember more now and so have included some additional notes.

I got lectured on how we, as Americans, abuse health insurance and that's why we don't have a cure for cancer yet. I was told I should have paid out of pocket for my foot surgery. [Note: he has no idea how I paid for my foot surgery.] I know that his friend Darla had two knee replacements a few years ago but didn't do her PT and now she needs foot surgery because of that. I know that Darla is an old family friend of his wife, Meghan, who is also a PT, and that Darla's son is like a surrogate little brother to them and so the termite man is the one who had "the sex talk" with him. [Additional info not included on Facebook: Darla started dating Meghan's dad after Meghan's mom died and they were going to get married but then Meghan's dad died too and so they didn't but Meghan and the termite man keep in touch with Darla and, apparently, show no mercy for this woman who didn't do her PT and therefore earned her shitty foot problems, which Darla's son and his girlfriend agree with wholeheartedly, so the lady gets no sympathy from anyone.] I got schooled on where we should buy blinds and replacement water heaters. I know that he just shelled out $750 on a new water heater yesterday and that's why he doesn't have new blinds yet. [Additional info: use for blinds and Handyman Hardware for water heaters and check your municipality because not all of them require the back-up tank on top of the big tank and that's how he saved money because he lives in Florissant and they don't require it there and many vendors won't even check and it's not like they're trying to screw you they just don't know and also if you drain your water heater once a year - using a hose - you can double the life of your water heater tank because draining it gets the silt out that destroys the glass liner but you better remember to use the hose because if you don't you will flood your basement and you wouldn't believe the number of stupid people who pull that plug without having a hose and then wonder why their basement carpet is all wet.] I also know that Meghan poops in three minutes or less and that it smells awful, but he (and every man he knows) takes 15-20 minutes but doesn't leave the paint peeling from the walls. [There was also something about his uncle who worked for Boeing who was a total engineer straightlaced type who didn't have a sense of humor but when he retired he brought home a plaque that is installed in airliners reminding pilots not to dump blue water while in flight and so he hung that in his bathroom to get his wife to stop asking him why he's taking so long in there even though she's simply expressing real concern for his well-being.]

Those are just the highlights. There was a lot more but I think I blacked out for part of it. I honestly have no clue how on earth we got on the subject of his family's defecation habits. I certainly didn't go there. At this point, I determined that this was indeed the worst part of bunion surgery - worse even than having my weight said aloud and having to suffer through a baconless post-op - and contemplated taking off my ungainly boot and beating him about the head and shoulders with it.

Yesterday, Wednesday, an epiphany. I somehow managed to get the boot straps juuuust right, and the first thing I did was hobble over to the junk drawer and pull out Zoe's pink and sparkly Valentine's Day pencil and mark the straps. I made lines. Then I drew arrows. No way do I want to go through that process again. I had a cup of regular coffee and felt like I had a jetback strapped to my back for the first time in days. I took care of the cats and the guinea pig (apparently everyone has been thrown off by this whole surgery thing and the pets were simply not on the radar to be fed/watered, and the litter box reeked to high heaven). I straightened up my office and put a bunch of prints in frames we purchased last weekend and got a ton of work work done and scrubbed out the kitchen sink and cleaned up my own lunch. This doesn't sound like much, but it was huge to me. My ass was off the couch, and this was a good thing.

One of my friends brought over chicken enchiladas and rice and a salad and dessert, which was awesome. My MIL brought over turkey breast and mashed potatoes and green beans and a salad, which was also awesome. Seriously, when people show up at your house with good food it's incredible. If you're going to have bunion surgery I highly recommend you demand ask people who love you to make you delicious food and deliver it to your home. When people offer, by all means say yes. In fact, the whole food delivery thing is a pretty good reason in and of itself to get bunion surgery.

I go back to the doctor on Monday for my first follow-up, where he will unwrap my new foot for the first time since surgery. I plan to film this momentous occasion and submit it to the Today Show for one of their big reveal make-over segments. Normally they pluck a granny off the street and make her look 20 years younger - kapow! - with hair dye and new glasses and threads. I think my new foot will be much more exciting and not gross at all even though it's been wrapped up tight for days and I'm not allowed to wash it.

In the meantime, I have been contemplating lots and lots on many various subjects that I was going to write about here, but this post is already too long and I should wrap it up. And I should stick to one topic, which is bunion surgery (mainly because that's about as exciting a topic as one can write about and that shouldn't be diluted with other garbage like suicidal/homicidal airline pilots and shitty apps that change the words of authors and the discovery of a feminist author who blows me away).

All in all, I'd say so far this whole thing hasn't been too bad. Being confined to the house isn't so awful, although I learned that my cats are assholes even during the day when we're normally gone and even though I can't run out to the store and pick up more body wash for Zoe which results in M giving her his body wash (Dove Men's Care) and so now my daughter smells like my husband, which is freaky. Eh, she seems happy.

I'm sure I will have more updates later, especially after the big reveal on Monday. So far, so good.


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