People have taken to calling me Hopalong. Friends, colleagues, family – I should have seen it coming…
Anyhoo, after a quick visit to Dr Narramore’s office yesterday, the good news is that my foot is healing well.
It all started with two concerned emails to him. I’m a bit of a surgery rookie and get performance anxiety pretty easily. And not knowing what would be classified as normal, I was getting a little worried.
I think by that point they were more worried about me becoming high-maintenance, so they told me to come in for a cast change and for the doc to have a quick peek at the scar.
So after I made myself comfortable on the bed and he sawed off my cast (!!!!!)…
… our conversation went a little like this:
Doc: So, I see that you have some concerns and that you have trouble sleeping?
Me: Well, the sleeping’s not the issue. But the scar burns, like, permanently, and there’s hectic pain overall.
Doc: Well… you had surgery two weeks ago…
Me: Yeah, but the pain went away and I waited until the point when you said I could put weight on my foot. <mumbling> and then I spring-cleaned the kitchen and rearranged my study.
Doc: Say that again?!?!?!
Me <mumbling>: er… I spring-cleaned the kitchen and rearranged my study…. ?
Doc: I didn’t mean you could WALK! I meant you could start balancing LIGHTLY on your foot when you brush your teeth!
Da Husband: HA! That’s what I said!
Me: OK fine, I won’t do it again. Anyway… GAARRGGGHHHHHH – what’s wrong with my FOOT?
Doc: There’s nothing wrong. This is a fine-looking scar. See? It’s healthy and you have remarkably little swelling.
Me: BUT… it looks… GROSS!
Doc: I promise you, I look at scars like these every day. You are healing well.
<He may have actually said something about him being a doctor and me being, well, not.>
Anyway, he wrapped my foot in cotton wool again, put on a fresh cast and made me promise that I will keep my foot elevated and not put any weight on it until 7 June.
Jeezlike… I just wanted to be a little more mobile!
So, now that I’m in my third week post-surgery, I thought I’d share some more top tips to future Hopalongs. Don’t make the same mistakes I have until now…
- When the doc says “elevated and no weight put on it”, he means exactly that. Preferably on the bed but the couch is good too. Sitting at a desk, like I am now, is NOT good. I’ll move along the couch just now… promise.
- Foot down = swelling. Foot movement = pain. Walking on foot = swelling and pain. It’s normal. If it happens, you probably asked for it. Just don’t do it.
- You are going to get bored. And lonely. And get cabin fever. Take a chill pill. The universe is trying to teach you to slow the hell down and stop being such a control freak. (Yes, even me.)
- If you have the opportunity to work from home, like me, find a place that’s comfortable and where you can flop over for a power nap when needed. I find I’m more productive at my desk (foot elevated on another chair) and will hobble to the couch for a quick nap when the pain killers kick in.
- Keep Skype on so that you can chat to colleagues.
- Make a to-do list, like you would at the office, and work through it.
- Keep a little backpack with you to cart things around. I carry everything from my multi-vitamins to pens to laptop cables and flash sticks – and my knitting needles and wool – in my backpack.
- Take your multi-vitamins and try to maintain a healthy diet. You’ll be sitting on your butt all day. Try your best to not become a fat slob (I’m learning the hard way).
- Good idea: giving your housekeeper a shopping list and cash to keep the pantry stocked up.
- Bad idea: Sneaking in a slab of chocolate, every time you make the above list.
- If you have a bath, use it. It’s the pits, I know (I’m a shower gal myself). But make sure that you put everything you will need – shampoo, face wash, body wash, razor for single leg maintenance, etc – right next to you and within easy reach.
- Learn how to get into the bath with one leg out BEFORE you need to do it the first time.
- Include enough fibre in your diet and try to do some leg-raises and crunches while you’re still in bed in the morning. Anti-inflammatories and long-term inactivity aren’t a good combination. #justsaying
- If you have help, get her/him/them to sort out the cooking. If you don’t, stock up on meals beforehand.
- If you have kids, try to get back to some kind of routine. I can’t do much for them at the moment, so my new routine is that they do their reading and homework revision on the couch with me when they get home.
- And FINALLY, when you’re in the bath, try to focus on the job at hand. Yesterday I had an unfortunate brainfart and I had to spend the next 30 minutes blow-drying the inside of my cast!