One screw short

Everyone loves feet, right? Wait, almost everyone hates feet. Well, feet don’t really gross me out. Not that I like looking at feet that aren’t pretty though. Anyway, my right foot has been the topic of many blog posts. I broke it, I was on bed rest for six weeks, and then it started bothering me again. After many weeks, I finally decided to have my foot looked at. I was 85% sure there was actually something wrong and 15% sure he was going to raise his eyebrows at me and tell me to stop being a baby. So I did what I didn’t want to do, I went in right after softball started. An x-ray confirmed that one of my screws had started backing itself out. It was super sensitive to the touch, but wasn’t affecting my physical activity. So I had it taken out.

My foot was numb, my mind NERVOUS

My foot was numb, my mind NERVOUS

He stuck me with a needle a lot of times to numb it up. {I may have had tears in my eyes and used labor breathing to survive.} It was after the pain of the needles that I really started to get nervous about the procedure. It was supposed to be nice and quick, but it took him a long time to grip the screw head. Yup, makes sense when you hear why. MY BODY GREW AROUND THE SCREW. HE WANTED TO TAKE IT OUT. Those two elements don’t work together. So he used tool after tool and right about the time I was concerned that I’d start to feel what he was doing, he used a thread {or something} to guide the screw driver in there. I kid you not, he took one hand off my foot and used both hands to unscrew it. He was using all he had. I couldn’t feel it, but it wasn’t comfortable and I was very excited for it to be over. The whole thing was pretty uncomfortable. During my mini panic attack, I wondered if he’d ever get it out and I was fairly confident that I wouldn’t have the nerve to come back in there. Or into the OR. Then he finally got it out! I hobbled out with my orange foot and went back to work.

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Rocking the iodine sock at work

One day of limping, five days with a bandage, and I was good as new. Other than the procedure itself, I never experienced any pain! I still don’t understand how that’s possible, but I’m thankful that his recovery period was accurate. 🙂 After two weeks, we made sure the screw had been the cause of my pain and he instructed me to keep it constrained for a while so I could make the bump go down.

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Four weeks post-removal

I’ve been wrapping it a few times a week since it’s summer and I’m barely wearing shoes. I’m more than surprised to see that my bump has actually gone down! I’ve always had a calcium bump, but I feel like it’s smaller now than it ever was after the surgery.

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Healing nicely!

I’m a month out and one screw lighter. I’ve heard my share of screw loose jokes and I’m happy to report that all is well. 😉 My foot healed as it should have with the screws. The only reason I had one removed was because it was coming out. I don’t need either of them, but the procedure would be more invasive {with a longer recovery} to remove the one that is still where he put it. So I’ll continue on with one screw in my foot unless something happens to it. All of the vibration from volleyball and running are probably the causes of that screw backing itself out. Once I started softball and riding, it only made it worse. I noticed a difference in how uncomfortable it was the two weeks I had to wait before the procedure. Summer’s in full swing and I’m pretty active between chasing my children and doing recreational activities. I thankful for a quick recovery and happy to report that I slid my foot out of my shoe today and felt no pain!

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Follow-up on my broken foot

Every week, people find my blog by searching about foot injuries. Either sticking your foot in a bucket of ice, recovery after a cast, or how you know it’s broke. I’ve had a few people email me to say the same thing happened to them or that recover was hard. I’m two years out, and have put a lot of it behind me. And by it, I mean the feelings that came with the injury and recovery. The pain, the surgery, the boredom, the depression, and the recovery. I see these messages and feel sympathy for those experiencing it now, but I don’t go back there. I suppose I learned a few things from my six weeks on bed rest. I learned how quickly life can change. Literally in an instant. I learned about relying on others. It’s a very hard thing! I’m fortunate in that I only experienced a broken foot. It could have been worse. A lot worse. It was also an interesting experience in that I didn’t see any good coming out of the pain. It wasn’t like my c-section recovery. I had a goal for that, I had a baby I was feeding and taking care of. With my foot, I only felt sorry for myself. I wanted the pain to be gone now and it was awful. I said it was worse than my c-section recovery. And my first was one pretty bad. Maybe it was just as much mental as painful. With my foot, it was just this awful thing that had happened to me with an awful surgery and an awful recovery. Nothing happy or exciting about any of it.

Two years later, I have two small screws in my right foot. I can run. I can play volleyball and jump {not that I could ever really jump}. I can sit on the floor. But, I can’t sit cross-legged with my right foot touching the floor. Over the past two months, I’ve been able to put less pressure on the side of my foot. I can’t lay on my right side and put my foot against the bed. I have to sleep in a contorted way so my foot is rested on the left and is supported. It started slow. My foot started hurting when I was wearing a pair of boots. I could handle most of the day, but after about eight hours it got to be too much. I switched to heels and eventually couldn’t wear them because they put a lot of pressure on the side of my foot. I can push through the pain of shoes and eventually it wears off. But, it usually comes back after a few hours. I can’t take my tennis shoes off without unlacing them. If they rub against my foot, it causes me lots of pain for quite a while.

I’m in a weird spot right now. I can walk and run and do normal activities, so nothing appears to be really wrong. However, it is causing me a lot of pain. I’ve always had a big calcium buildup on the side of my foot and that’s what rubs or causes me not to put pressure on it. But, at one time I could put pressure on it. So something has happened. Someone mentioned that one of my screws may have come out. I don’t usually go to the doctor, so I’m having a hard time making myself go in for something that might be wrong. Unless I can’t walk, it’s not obvious enough.

So that’s how my recovery is going. Two years later it has started bothering me again. Maybe something is wrong. Or, maybe there’s nothing wrong and this will just be something I deal with for the rest of my life.

Getting back into it

I’ve noticed that my foot is improving my leaps and bounds lately. I’ve been wearing tennis shoes for the past few weeks, regardless of my outfit. Now that it’s nice out I’ve been itching to participate in flip flop season, but haven’t been able to handle the lack of support. I’m happy to report that yesterday I walked around outside barefoot and put on a pair of supportive-ish flip flops while I pushed Maximus up and down the street in his stroller. I’ve also been doing strength training exercises to boost up the support in my ankle in hops of running some day soon. I think the thing that really helped kickstart major improvements was a yoga class. I pushed the limits and really stretched my ankle out. After that I started noticing improvements in my limp and rangeability.

My goal for the work week is to wear shoes that aren’t tennis shoes. This basically means flats because I’m a little nervous about putting my foot into a skinny heel. It seems so scary and not wide enough to support a foot. {My how my views have changed! Ha!}

Tonight I rode {is that what I call it if it’s stationary?} my bike for 5.5 miles. We’ll see how my foot feels in the morning, but so far I haven’t noticed anything. There didn’t seem to be any difference while I was on the bike. I could tell my ankles didn’t move at the same rate, but no pain!

I might be able to run sooner than I think! 🙂 Then again, if I’m going to play softball in 8 weeks I better get going!

{Hopefully} Final Update on my Foot

I am lame. And busy. Below is a status update on my foot, in the form of an email note to my staff and co-workers.

My doctor cleared me this afternoon!

He’s satisfied with my progress and doesn’t recommend physical therapy. It will take 6 months to a year to gain full mobility, but I can do all the stretching and strength building at home. I mentioned my fear about softball this summer and he told me I need to “train” for it. I need to build up the strength in my legs, ankle, and foot before starting up. He didn’t think I’d need to wear a brace or do anything special to it. Hopefully that will also help me move along in full recovery. He pulled all restrictions for shoe wear, but did tell me to continue wearing tight fitting shoes until my swelling goes down completely. He mentioned that my foot was more swollen than is typical from this injury so he believes I probably injured tendons and other parts of my foot. I’m also supposed to work hard on eliminating my limp. He thinks most of it is subconscious but some is probably from “teaching” my foot to not be completely weight-bearing.

All good news and I’m happy to put it all behind me!

Another post about my foot

Recovery. I got sick of talking about my foot. We all know I spent way too many blog posts whining about it. But, I couldn’t have those words in my head anymore. They had to come out, so thank you for suffering a long with me!

When I got my cast off and released back to work, I had a whirlwind of a weekend. I had all these hopes and dreams of WALKING! SHOWERING! DEEP CLEANING! CARRYING MAXIMUS! Instead, I got a full walking boot and quickly realized I was going to not be using the walking aspect of it. I couldn’t put any weight on it. It was like an electric shock sent through my foot. I limped out of the doctor’s office with my crutches carrying me. It was nice to take a shower, but it was anything but easy. Crutches as close as you can get to the shower, then crawl into the shower while being 100% in love with the bench that you have before despised.

After a week I was using the crutches to help me walk on both feet. I didn’t think I was making much progress, but at least I was putting my foot down. Then something happened and I realized that I needed to figure out how to walk without the crutches and boot. So, one Sunday morning I decided I wasn’t going to use the crutches when I got out of bed. I unsteadily walked into the living room with just my boot. I quickly realized that if I tried to walk normal, I didn’t have electric currents running through my foot. Babying my foot actually made it hurt more. So, that was the end of the crutches {Bryan still made me take a pair to work}. I spent a lot of that week not leaving my desk more than I had to. 🙂

This weekend was another one of those turning points. I needed to be able to drive and resume a normal life. I started by not wearing the boot at night. My foot was extra sensitive and hurt a lot on the tile floor, but I realized it wasn’t unbearable. Yesterday I wore tennis shoes for the first time! And I drove to pick up Maximus! I don’t have 100% range of motion back, but I’ve got more than enough to be able to drive safely and pain-free. I wore my tennis shoes for the second half of my work day today and only had a few mouth clenching moments. At the end of the day my foot wasn’t unreasonably swollen and I walked around the house without shoes. I even ventured out on the deck and went back and forth on the tile floor.

I like to push myself to the edge. I even thought I could handle a toddler sized walk! {It was that or continue to listen to him cry because he wanted to go outside.} While on our walk, Maximus started walking up someone’s driveway. I was nervous because of the slope, his speed, and the fact that their garage door was open. {Plus, I wondered if they were watching us!} I tried to quickly walk after him. I have no idea what I was thinking! Up until this point I had been steadily walking along, maybe even losing the limp. I basically slammed my previously broken foot down into the pavement and pushed off. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the walk home with a noticeable limp!

Now I’m sitting in the recliner trying to get the swelling to go down. It’s funny, I haven’t seen much of my ankle bone since I broke my foot, now I see a whole lot of it! I’ll do it all again tomorrow, but try to skip the high impact stuff!

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Giant ankle is not normal

Count by numbers

  • 23 movies
  • 2.5 seasons of Dexter
  • 1 season of Mad Men
  • 2 seasons of Entourage
  • Countless DVR episodes
  • 6 books {Hunger Games series and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series}
  • 588 hours on the couch {estimate based on 12 hrs per day}
  • 3 diaper changes {for Maximus}
  • 10 times outside of the house {4 in the same week}
  • 7 weeks on bed rest
  • 20 frozen meals from friends
  • 5 lunch dates with friends
  • 0 cooked meals by my husband {thanks to our friends!}
  • 5 internet purchases
  • Hundreds of hours on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest
  • 588 hours that the tv was on {estimate based on 12 hrs per day}
  • 1 time driving using my left foot

Seven weeks of bed rest meant I had A LOT of time on my hands. Amazingly, it went relatively quickly, especially when I spent my days watching a tv series.

 

Back in the game!

Today I got back in the game…of life. I got up at 5:45 am, took a shower, put on make-up, dried my hair, and put on work clothes. It’s the earliest I’ve been up in more than seven weeks. I was even ready to go before Bryan. 🙂

My cast is off and I’m wearing a boot. I’m not able to put any weight on it yet. My foot is 100% healed, but my body can’t handle the weight. When I put any amount of weight it feels like electric shocks shooting through my foot. Needless to say, it’s not a nice feeling! I’m trying to put a small amount of weight on it while I walk with the crutches. I hope that even though I’m not putting enough weight t make it painful, it’s still helping me move closer to walking without the crutches.

The day went much smoother than I thought it would. Mid-morning I started feeling a little uncomfortable and my toes felt pretty swollen. I propped my foot up on a chair and tried to attack the mess on my desk. I put off my email for as long as possible and hand to readjust my elevation approach. The only option left was to prop my foot up on my desk. Right before my boss came to say hello. 🙂

I was able to make it all day long! My goal was to see how all day Monday was and then adjust my schedule based on that. Today went well enough that I think I’ll be able to handle work again! I wish some things were different. For example, the bathroom doors are a lot heavier than I thought they were. And I have double doors to go through to get out of my room. Doors are a little awkward. I wish they all had the handicap buttons! Also, I had a meeting in the building across the street today. By that afternoon meeting, my arms were already raw from using the crutches so much. Blah!

Hopefully I’ll be out of these crutches soon! And won’t need to immediately take off my boot and sock as soon as I come home.