Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bunions: 4 1/2 months after surgery

Remember when you were little and your mom made you eat broccoli? And you hated it and didn't want to talk about it? That's how I feel writing this update about my bunion surgery.

Please see the previous two posts for information about the surgery, severity of bunions, a link to a web site that gives you many perspectives about different surgeries and recoveries, etc.  Then regale yourself with this lovely (albeit distorted) shot of my new feet.  I just took my shoes and socks off, so my feet have "sock wrinkles" all over them.  That's partly because they always look wrinkled when I take my shoes off.  But they are especially wrinkled and strange-looking now because my feel are still swollen from surgery.  It takes six months for the swelling to subside and a full year for the foot innards to heal.  The doctor says the scars are coming along fine, but despite bending my toes on a regular basis, the left big toe is too stiff.  I have an appointment scheduled for some contortionist thing he plans to do to them, which requires that I take Valium before he injects something into each foot to make it numb because whatever he does would normally hurt like hell.  Naturally, I'm looking forward to it.  [sarcasm]

4 1/2 months post-op

Crimony, I must be a masochist to post this photo.  But honestly, if I had known I had bunions, I would have gotten help before they got so bad.  So if writing about my experiences will prevent even ONE person from going through what I've gone through, it's worth showing this.  Okay, so the main point here is that my feet are nice and straight.  If that's important to you, you'll probably be thrilled with your surgery results.  As for me, I am satisfied that each foot resembles a foot.  I just want to be able to walk more than five miles at a time and ride my bike for a couple of hours.  Bike riding season starts in about 4 to 6 weeks, depending on weather. 

To limber up in anticipation of cycling, I took my first mall walks recently. The first one was quite brief.  The second one may have been 3/4 of a mile and I was achy and exhausted afterwards.  Feel free to call me a wimp, if you like, since I cannot hear you.  I have better luck with my stationary bike, which I can ride for half an hour at a time.

UPDATE JULY 8, 2014:   I had a cortisone shot back in February that hurt like bloody hell, even though I was on painkiller and the doctor used a topical anesthetic before he injected my foot; afterwards, I could walk well, without pain and it was glorious.  But the pain returned in six weeks.  And the shot hurt so much, I will never agree to it again.  Today, over nine months since surgery, the foot swelling continues.  Walking makes my feet ache and I have trouble walking more than 45 minutes.  When I'm barefoot, my walking looks weird and stilted, as if I am somehow limping, yet I am favoring neither foot.  The bottoms of my feet sometimes feel sunburned.  My little toes, which were so very tightly squished in the bandages last autumn, actually hurt just as much as my big toes, which took the brunt of the surgery.  Bike rides are no problem, however, and that is enormously important to me.  Sorry, to those of you contemplating surgery, that I cannot give a more encouraging report.  I am not happy about it, either.  But when I think about all the other medical problems that exist in the world, I think I am lucky.

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