Day 2: Small Steps

I slept fitfully but not too terribly last night. Husband came up with the excellent strategy of putting pillows underneath rather than on top of the mattress to keep my foot elevated so that the whole end of the bed was elevated and my foot wouldn’t roll off the pillow in the night.

On the advice of my sister in law who precedes me by a couple of weeks with a different foot surgery, I took some Tylenol before I went to bed. A good idea, as at some point in the night, some of the local anesthetic started wearing off. My heel is no longer pleasantly numb but it also doesn’t hurt too badly. I would describe it as discomfort rather than pain. The doctor called this morning to see how I was doing. He advised that the local anesthetic would continue to wear off over the next few days and that I should expect my heel to become more painful as it healed. Not the greatest news but forewarned is forearmed. I have filled my prescription for Percocet but I’m very wary of taking it if I don’t absolutely need to. Oxycodone just doesn’t seem like it would be a good idea for me when I’m missing my usual outlet of exercising stress and anxiety away. I’m going to see how things go though, as constant pain brings its own mental health challenges.

The doctor also said he took out a “big piece of bone” that had been rubbing on the tendon and that the tendon showed long term wear from this. I actually found this reassuring to hear. One of my anxieties about this surgery was whether it was in fact truly necessary or whether it would just provide different trauma to the area. Since getting back from New Zealand a couple of weeks ago, I had enjoyed my most irritation free stretch in months. I had a couple of days where I wondered if I just needed a little more time and should reconsider the surgery. What if my Achilles was actually in good shape and my heel was finally settling down? I now feel certain that, regardless of what my running future holds, things weren’t going to get better without surgery.

An encouraging sign today is that, although my heel is more sore, my foot is noticeably less swollen. Yesterday, my toes were like hot little sausages but at some point in the night I noticed they were feeling less hot and tight. This morning they were back to looking like my regular unsightly runner’s toes and the cast feels more roomy.

This afternoon, Husband refilled the bird feeder and opened the porch doors. I switched couches to wait for the birds (we’re inconsistent with filling the feeder so sometimes it takes a day for word to spread that supplies have been replenished). I did some work and was starting to feel like I was really crushing this recovery thing.

My confidence, however, soon took a hit when I decided to take a shower. It turns out that showering in a cast is a logistical nightmare. In addition to keeping my foot elevated above my heart most of the time, the doctor emphasized that I absolutely cannot let my cast get wet. Added to that, is the fact that right now I’m feeling positively terrified that I will lose my balance and accidentally put my right foot down. All this makes for a challenging shower setup. I reluctantly ordered a shower stool from Amazon last week which, at the time, made me feel like the last of my dignity was being stripped away, but now I was super glad to have. Keeping my cast dry, however, presented a challenge. The cast cover I bought didn’t fit over my cast so we had to cut it which then compromised its seal. In the end, Husband jerry rigged a cover out of a garbage bag. Getting in and out of the shower with its sliding doors without putting my foot down was super awkward and I needed Husband to help me. It was nice to be clean but rather depressing how complicated the experience was. Once again I was reminded how much harder this all would be if you were on your own.

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