Truly, I didn’t mean to abandon you all, it’s just that there’s been so little to report in terms of progress. Naturally progess slows dramatically as the healing period lengthens. This is a good thing (I think). So, for those of you dying to know how things are progressing here’s the latest:
The foot IS still swollen. SORRY SORRY but it’s true. I’ve been prepared for this. I was told well in advance it could take up to a year for the swelling to disappear. One commenter asked do I know why it swells so much? Why yes I do, thanks to my great physical therapist, Cory. Here’s the deal: The tears in your foot from all the trauma of surgery cause fluid to leak into your foot, which causes the swelling. Only when the tears are fully healed will the swelling abate. And if you’ve had the type of surgery I had (or even less invasive) it’s still the equivalent of someone rolling over your foot with a bulldozer. You have lots of breaks and tears in your bones and tendons and it will take time to heal. You don’t get up and walk away from a bulldozer rolling over your foot in five minutes, or five days or five weeks or even five months. You also (according to Cory) can’t do anything to accelerate that healing -your body will heal in it’s own time. In fact, you can make it worse. If you push to hard you’ll just exacerbate the tears, so follow your doctors orders and listen to your foot! You are the best gauge of your body and its pain threshold. However, my foot isn’t nearly as swollen as it was -it’s definitely getting better and I highly recommend ‘Octopus’ tape.
My foot still tingles. It still feels weird and I still have very little sensation in my big toe. It hurts to try and raise up on my toes or balance on the ball of my foot. All these things Dr. Nutig says will get better with time. I had my final appointment with him (for this foot at least) last Friday. He took another x-ray and said everything has healed perfectly – now it’s just a matter of the time it will take for my foot to be back to normal.
Stairs are difficult still (going down – up is easy). I no longer walk with a cane. I still don’t walk “properly” though. There’s a definite limp as I try to retrain my foot. I cannot run. However, I have been able to walk for much longer periods. I’m now regularly hiking up to two miles at a stretch. Afterwards my foot hurts like hell but I CAN do it.
My disabled placard expires on Jan. 22 – I’ll miss it! It’s been great getting free parking and parking in handicapped spots. Oh well.
I had made a decision to put off doing my right foot until August. My great friend from Australia whom I haven’t seen in over 15 years is coming to Los Angeles for a visit in May and I want to be able to show her around. I’m also going to a conference in July and I want to be mobile for that. So August seemed perfect to do my right foot. Of course, tell that to my foot. Now that I am walking a whole lot more – pretty much back to normal, save for the limping, swelling etc. the bunion on my right foot is giving me SERIOUS grief. The more I walk the more pain my right foot is now experiencing. I think it’s reminding me that the surgery on my left foot WAS needed. I’m now remembering how much pain I was in prior to surgery. I honestly don’t know how I’ll hold out till August if my right foot remains this bad but I REALLY don’t want to go under the knife just yet. Dr. Nutig is very laid back about the whole thing. “See you when you’re ready” is his mantra.
So, to sum up. Yes, my foot still swells up (but not as much); yes I still limp (but not as much); nobody can really tell I had surgery now – I appear to walk normally; yes my left foot is still very weak – it’s hard to get up off the floor, my balance is still lousy but these things will get better if I get better at sticking to my physical therapy exercises (I stopped therapy about four weeks ago); the tingling sensation is still there; I can barely feel my big toe and I can’t stand on my toes without it really really hurting. The most pain these days (the only pain, really) comes if I overdo the exercise/walking and it’s limited to my metatarsal which makes sense because that’s where the majority of the surgery was done.
Good news is I’m riding my bicycle a lot – the best form of exercise without too much pressure on my foot. I’m thinking of trying swimming again next week.
So, it DOES get better. Be patient. Keep telling me your stories. Feel free to ask questions and I promise to post again in a week and check in on everyone. Good luck with everyone’s surgeries, recoveries etc.
No new picture because honestly it looks exactly the same as the last picture I posted. Scars are really small and my foot looks “normal” if slightly swollen.