Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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You Put Your Right Foot In

It started the summer I stepped on a piece of wood with rusty nails. It looks like there are six nails in my foot, but only one actually pierced my skin. Still, my poor right foot. Topped off a few days later with one of those infection red lines up the back of my leg. Nice.

Next was the surgery for Plantar Fasciitis. In spite of an extremely successful surgery on my left foot, when it came to my right foot, it was a no go. Sixteen months later, I was still in pain and unable to walk much. I got used to motorized shopping carts and that wasn’t safe for anyone.

Topaz surgery came next. This was in hopes of helping it to start healing. Four months later, I had to admit I was much better. I have pain when I am on my feet too long, but so does everyone else. I credit my Physical Therapy Whisperer for this. She worked with my foot in a way no one else did. So much more effort and it paid off. I reluctantly got discharged from therapy. I was scared to stop going.

Two weeks after that, I am walking in a store. I hit my foot on the corner of two pieces of wood. Can you guess which foot? Yes, the right one. It felt like when you stub your toe, only it was the middle of the top of my foot, right where my sandals didn’t cover me. By the time I got home, it looked like this.

Completely swollen. A giant bump, right above, that’s right. The five small scars from my surgery. Like the word right because it’s my right foot.

Two days later, it looked like this.

This bizarre dark purple outline of my toes and another lovely shade of purple covering the rest of it. (Good thing purple is my favorite color.) It actually didn’t hurt except the third night when it hurt like hell. After that, not really. Freakin’ weird. My therapist told me to get an x-ray. The x-ray says no broken bones, just swollen soft tissue. I’ve had at least two medical people tell me the radiologist is nuts.

My poor right foot. I get embarrassed when someone asks what I did to it. I should make up some ginormous story. People would believe me because it looks hideous.

It is a tradition every summer that I end up in the emergency room or something similar at least once. I have it done already and it’s only the beginning the July so I’ve got that going for me.

Which is kinda nice.


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Two Steps Forward

And then one step back. Literally. That is the nature of foot surgery/injury and the healing process. Each time I hit a new landmark I get excited, then get reminded that a new place means new adjustments for my body again. Instead of feeling better, it usually feels worse first.

First week was total bed rest. The original bandage stayed in place. I wore the aircast boot 24 hours a day, even when sleeping. Of course, no driving.

One week later, I was able to get up. I could take the boot off at night. During the day I used two crutches and the scooter when I could. My body was quite sore from both of those aids but I eventually got used to them.

Another week and I was able to take the bandages off for good. Then I had an ace bandage for another week. Then that came off.

Today I had my one month after surgery appointment. I was released to drive, thank goodness. And for the first time in four weeks, I could wear a sneaker. I bought a new pair online and saved them for today. The doc loved them and said they were really good for what I needed.

I’m still supposed to use the scooter whenever I can. I realized that I can actually wear a pair of jeans now. I’ve been wearing sweats for a month. So much I should feel better about.

Now I get to start physical therapy twice a week. And he did mention something about a possible six months more before we know if the surgery was even successful. Ouch.

But the biggest ouch is that my foot has hurt more today than it has in a while. That boot really protected my foot and kept it immobile. I’m sure it will take a few days for it to start to feel better while wearing the sneaker. Instead of celebrating, I’m going to take some Tylenol and then grab a long nap because I’m wiped out.

I have to say, some good life lessons come out of it. Patience for one. I’m also learning a bit about our society and how they treat folks with handicaps. Some people are so thoughtful and kind, others make sure they validate that you are indeed an annoyance with all the help you need from others. I hope I stay sensitive to the people around me once I am not the gimp I am today.

And hey, I am still supposed to avoid stairs when I can. That means no laundry duty for me!