Surgery and 1 Week Post-Op

So a week ago today (Friday, February 4, 2010) was the surgery.  I have to admit, I was sorta nervous about it…mainly because this was a first for me…having surgery that is.

Going into the surgery, the plan was for me to be under general anesthesia while Dr. Shadbolt performed an Austin Bunionectomy, and in the process figured out if there was something else causing additional pain (hypothesis was cartilage damage).

Here’s a surgical animation showing what would be done to my left foot:

Details of the Big Day: I arrived  at the hospital bright and early at 8:30, checked in, and was called back to pre-op around 9:00.  The nurses were really great, made me feel completely comfortable and at ease with all that was going to happen.  The anesthesiologist arrived just in time to distract me while the nurse was putting in the IV needle (I’m not a fan of needles) and to give me the run down of things on his end.  Not to long after that the nurses that would be in the operating came over to introduce themselves, and then  Dr. Shadbolt came over to run things over with me as well.  Went into surgery promptly at 10:30 as scheduled.  I remember going into the operating room, getting onto the operating table, everyone greeting me, being strapped down, and then I was out.  Woke up in the recovery area around 11:30 or 12:00, not quite sure…because everything was a little fuzzy.  Suprisingly enough, I was home from the hospital and situated in the living room by 1:45!

Results of the surgery: As soon as Dr. Shadbolt began surgery, he found the problem…a torn ligament.  He snipped it out and sewed some of the surrounding  tissue together to take the place of the ligament and support the bones.  After that he completed the bunionectomy, and it all went well.  He told Zach that it looked like a hereditary bunion, not due to my shoes, and hopefully I wtouldn’t need surgery on my right foot anytime soon.  *Here’s hoping & praying that that’s the case!*

First Follow-Up Appointment: This past Wednesday (Feburary 9th) was an appointment to change the dressing and make sure there was no infection.  Had an x-ray of the foot taken, and everything looked good…could barely see where Dr. Shadbolt had even cut the bone!  Wahoo!  When it came time to change the dressing, everything looked good…no extra bleeding and no infection!  At the end of the appointment I was told that I no longer had to use the crutches and that I could just walk with the surgical shoe (that things is weird!),  and shower with the shower safe!  They warned me to take it easy, because every time you walk on it it’s going to swell…so really to only walk if I had to.

The Past Few Days: Over the course of the week I’ve been able to cut back on the pain meds…stopped taking the hydrocone Monday night, switched to aleve Tuesday, and not always feeling like I need it.  This is not to say that I haven’t been taking the aleve, because I have.  There are times that it does hurt, and I do need to take it.  It’s been really awesome to be able to shower…albeit slow and challenging to not put weight on the front of my foot.  It’s been nice to not have to use the crutches…but I move much slower without them.

A couple steps back: The past couple of nights have been rough….huge spikes in pain in the middle of the night.  Last night was by far the worst.  I woke up at 1 am, with pain shooting through my foot.  By 2 am Zach was kind enough to go get the hydrocodone and some water for me to take a stronger pain med, since the aleve wasn’t cutting it.  After awhile, the meds kicked in and I was able to get a good night of sleep.  Talked with Dr. Shadbolt today, and found out that the pain at night was normal.  It’s especially common if you’ve been on it a lot, which I haven’t.  So, the recommendation…take the hydrocodone before bed to help me sleep pain free, and use the crutches again.  *sigh*  I’ll do what I have to, if this keeps things from hurting.

Second follow-up appointment this coming Wednesday…and hopefully things will only continue to get better!

The Foot Story

As many of you know I have spent the last year plus dealing with some foot issues that have now resulted in surgery.  Many have asked about what is going on, how I hurt it, and how long the recovery will take. So I thought I’d fill you all in.

The History:

May 2009: Left foot has started to bother me, I blame it on the shoes I wear.  Make a special trip to Saxon’s to visit a dear friend and pick out a good pair of shoes to help the feet.  At the end of the day we settled on some Danskos.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the shoes before that day, but after trying them on, I was in love.  For my starter pair, I bought the Mary Jane style.

July 2009: Go to the doctor for the annual physical…everything was good.  Talked to her about my foot pain, and she said I just need to keep wearing shoes with a wide toe box, like my Danskos.  If I kept it up, I should be fine.

(Time went by, the foot seemed to be doing okay…and definitely liked it best when I wore my Danskos… I bought a second pair)

(I immediately feel in love with the feel of these.  She’s not the cutest shoe, but boy is she comfy.)

May 15,2010: Have a beautiful garden wedding to attend.  I opted to wear these really cute white shoes that I bought at La Target Boutique 😉 the summer before.  By the end of the night, my feet were not happy.  I blamed the pain on the shoes…I mean they’re heels, even if they’re low they can hurt your feet.  Back to the flats for me!

May 30, 2010: For this lovely wedding, I opted for a pair of cushioned kitten heels that would match well with my dress.  But, by the end of the night, even those shoes were hurting my feet.  This got me thinking that may be I should just stay out of all heels period. *sigh*

July 10, 2010: Off to another great wedding ceremony with a cute pair of black heels (that have been my default comfy heels in the past)….and they absolutely kill my feet.  Get back to the hotel before the reception and promptly change into a pair of flats before heading down.

July 11, 2010: Wake up the next morning and feel like I’m dying from the pain.  My foot hurts worse than ever.  I now know that we have a serious problem.  I’m going for help!

July 12, 2010: Call my doctor’s office for the recommendation of a good podiatrist…they recommend Dr. Shadbolt (who conveniently works in the same building as them)….but he’s booked up for the next week and a half.  *ugh*  Call around Richmond until I find a podiatrist that can see me that day.  Meet Dr. I’m-not-going-to-say his name.  He tells me that my problem is metatarsalgia and that I don’t have enough fat in the pads of my feet.  Awesome!  What can I do about that?  Well nothing. Or wear running shoes (oh, so stylish!) because they’ll give me the cushion I don’t have, ice them, soak them in epsom salt, rest and take some Aleve.  Also, might need some orthotics, they’ll help give my foot better support to alleviate the pain.  We’ll be in touch after we talk to the insurance company.  Call if there’s a problem.

July 18-24, 2010: On a mission trip with my middle schoolers, and feel like I’m dying from the foot pain while trying to work alongside them.  Talk to Dr. I’m-not-going-to-say his name’s office, find out the orthotics aren’t covered, because they’re only covered for diabetics, and he prescribes some higher dose pain meds, and wishes me luck on my mission trip.

July 28, 2010: Fit for the orthotics.  Dr. I’m-not-going-to-say his name, insists the entire appointment that I must be a runner, that would expain why there’s not enough fat on my feet.  I tell him no, I’m not a runner.  Z tells him no, I’m not a runner.  He looks at me in disbelief.  I mean, if you’re chasing me, I might run.

August 17, 2010: Get the orthotics.   Talk again about me being the runner that I’m not.  Given a refill on the pain meds to help get me through pre-wedding festivities, told to call if I need more meds to get me through the wedding and honeymoon.  Wishes me luck and told the orthotics, running shoes, ice, epsom salt, rest and aleve should do the trick.  Tells me there isn’t much else to be done about the metatarsalgia and says so long.

Do okay for a bit.  Wear the orthotics, stay in running shoes (so unfashionable!), try to be good about icing my feet and soaking them.  Rest and stay off of them when I can.

October 9, 2010: Wedding day!  Take my pain meds, iced my feet while getting my hair and make-up done.  Wore a cute pair of patent leather eggplant flats (to match the bridesmaid dresses) with cushioned inserts for the ceremony and pictures.  Feel like my feet are going to die.  Change into running shoes as soon as we get to the reception, and felt much better.

October 10-20, 2010: Did alright throughout the honeymoon….which I attribute to staying on the pain meds everyday, and taking time to rest as soon as the feet started to hurt.

Did okay for the next couple of months.  Made sure to rest, ice, and soak my feet on Mondays…Sundays were rough on my meet from being on them all day at church.  Tried to just maintain.

December 20, 2010: Hit the breaking point, the feet are hurting more than ever.  Decide to give Dr. Shadbolt a call for an appointment (turns out he’s my stepmom’s podiatrist as well).

December 27, 2010: As soon as Dr. Shadbolt touches my foot, he can feel that something isn’t right.  Does an x-ray, and sees that there is/was a tibial sesamoid fracture.  For those of you that don’t know…there are two little bones at the ball of your foot called sesamoids which function much like the patella (which is a sesamoid bone as well).  He thinks that the fracture along with my bunions are the root of the pain.  Tells me that the options are a cortisone shot or surgery to go in and fix the problem.  *YIKES*  I opt for the shot.

Did well for a week, but on Sunday, January 9, 2011, the pain came back with a vengeance.

January 18, 2011: Appointment #2 with Dr. Shadbolt…we’re both disappointed that the cortisone shot didn’t work, and know that the next thing is surgery.  Reason being, is that from looking at the x-ray, there was a questionable white spot in the area of the great toe.  Dr. Shadbolt thinks that it could be cartilage damage, can feel that something is off in the toe, but not quite sure what it is until they get in there.  Whatever the white spot is is not supposed to be there and it needs to be fixed.

Feburary 4, 2010: Surgery….more tomorrow!