Friday, October 3, 2008

Eight days post-op

So, I had the before mentioned bunionectomy surgery on Wednesday, Sept 24th. Other than the paperwork that I'd received from my doctor's office told me to go to the wrong location for the surgery (thankfully, right across the street from LDS hospital, where it turns out I was supposed to go) everything went really well. I checked in around 11:30, was taken to a room to change and get prepped. They came in a put an IV in my arm (not my favorite part) and explained what would be happening. A little while later (not more than 30 minutes) they came in to wheel me to surgery. I know why they do it, but it was a little tiring that every single person who spoke with me asked me the same two or three questions: "What's your full name?" "What is your birth date?" "What are you having done today?"

I know they need to make sure that they're speaking with and, more so, operating on the right person and doing the right procedure but you'd think that after a few quality control checks, they'd be comfortable with it. Just saying...

I ended up being mostly passed out for the whole thing. I don't think I was completely out, like I was having heart surgery or anything, but the anesthesiologist kept me out enough to not be aware of anything. I have no memory of anything between moving to the bed in surgery and having a mask put on me to waking up in the bed in the recovery room. Which, for the record, is absolutely fine with me.

Though they gave me crutches to use, I think I've used them maybe two times. The walking boot they have me strapped in to allowed me to stand and walk that evening. I initially had a pain pump feeding pain killer directly to the site (see below) so there was very, very little pain at all. In fact, for the first four or five days, I couldn't feel my foot at all.

Here's my leg fully booted up and with the pain pump attached. It's threaded down into the boot and there are two catheters directly into my foot. That part grossed me out when I thought of it. Needless to say, I was very careful not to hit the pump or catch it on anything that might yank it off.

I went in on Tuesday (Sept 30) to have my first post op checkup. They changed the bandages and removed the pain pump. I will admit that I was queasy as they removed everything, the bandages were soaked in iodine and it looked gross. The doctor removed the catheters without me even feeling it. Dr. Clark deserves every cent my insurance company is paying him! (and, unfortunately, in this country sucks.)

Here's my foot on Friday, Oct 3rd (today). I removed the 2nd set of bandages for the first time and changed them (this is prior to me washing up my foot. Most of the yellow crap is still dressing from the surgery. I know what you're thinking, "he hasn't washed his foot in 1 1/2 weeks, gross!" I was expecting that, too. but it wasn't as bad as I would think!)

And a comparison shot. Notice that my left foot also has an offending bunion (that bump behind the big toe) that will eventually need to be fixed as well. Before surgery, the one on my right foot was much bigger than the one on the left, but you'll have to picture that in your head, as I forgot to take a pre-op picture.

Other than the swelling, that's a pretty normal foot. I'm looking forward to seeing if all of my shoes need to be replaced!

Stitches come out on Monday, at which point I'll start being hyper cautious again, afraid of opening up the wound. Looks like I'll have a pretty good scar, but I'll take that over the foot pain any day. I do have a few months of PT ahead of me (I've already started somewhat) that will consist mainly of stretching the toe up and down to increase flexibility in the joint.

I have to say that this has, so far, far exceeded my best expectations. I won't say it's painless, and the boot is annoying as all hell, and I'm dying to get back on my bike again; but this has been nothing like I expected. And I'm shocked. I've known two or three people who've had this done and I'm starting to think they were a bunch of babies. That, or the procedure has gotten significantly better in the past couple of years. I think the pain pump was my saving grace. So cheers to whoever invented the pain pump!

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Great, informative post. Your readers might be interested to know that numerous studies have indicated that pain pumps, which are often inserted into arteries after surgery, can cause severe damage to cartilage, especially in the shoulder. This can cause a condition known as Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chrondrolysis (PAGCL), which causes severe pain and requires significant medication. If you believe you have suffered as a result of a pain pump, such as On-Q and Marcaine pumps, or you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Learn more and obtain a free case evaluation from the renowned law firm of Parsons Behle & Latimer at