Well, I guess it’s safe to say I am on the road to recovery. We met with Dr. S. on Monday for my post-op appointment. I had no idea what to expect, and I confess I was terrified.
We arrived a little early. Walking with crutches is doable but it takes just a bit longer to get around, especially on unfamiliar surfaces. Mr PugRunner usually pushes for the wheelchair, but I’m really tired of feeling like I can’t do anything. He dropped me off at the entrance and let me wait for him while he parked.
The office wasn’t as crowded as when we were there for my consult, and that made me feel little more at ease. They called me right back, and the nurse started to take my blood pressure before announcing it was time to open the splint. Spoiler alert: that never ends well. Typically, I tend to have low blood pressure, but it spikes when I’m nervous. Oops.
She went ahead and snipped through the layers of gauze and bandage. I was full on shaking the entire time. It was really hard to see my dominant leg so atrophied and flaky. B was very sensitive to my discomfort (as was Mr PugRunner), and continued to tell me that everything was looking so good and so normal. She was especially reassuring when it came down to the layers of pads full of dried blood.
According to B, my incisions were “beautiful”. They were closed, dry and showed no signs of infection. I told her that we did not share the same definition of “beautiful” and she was quick to remind me that, again, what I was seeing was all normal.
Dr. S’ Diagnosis + Instructions
Dr. S came into the exam room and was very pleased with what he saw. He checked the stitches a little more closely, tested me for reflex and sensation in my leg, foot and toes and was happy to move to to the discussion of next steps on my road to recovery.
My stitches would come out right there in the office. I would get my walking boot and he wanted me to start putting pressure on my leg right away, using the crutches for support as needed. He also ordered a lace up brace. This will come into play at my 6 week appointment, but Dr. S. advised I could use it now for sleeping instead of the hard boot. He prescribed physical therapy (twice a week), and made it clear that I need to be consistent (like there’s any chance I won’t be). He had the nurse give us a set of resistance bands to bring to PT, so I guess resistance training is in my future.
Driving is a hard no for quite some time.
Towards the end of January, we will meet again to assess. Obviously, my mental countdown has started.
The worst part of the appointment was having the stitches removed. I can handle pain, but pressure and tugging is something else entirely. Mr PugRunner knew I had been having anxiety about this part and worked on distracting me while the next nurse did her thing. She was very professional and gentle, but it was awful all the same.
From there, CJ, the Orthopedic Technician, came in to fit me for my newest footwear. For the foreseeable future, I need to keep my ankle wrapped in a compression bandage. I also have a fancy boot, like this.
CJ showed me how to wrap my ankle, how to properly lace on the brace and how to strap into this boot. And that was that.
It was incredibly awkward putting weight down again. Through all of this, there is some disgustingly awful bruising on my heel and bottom of my foot (to the point I actually thought I broke my heel), and that’s been the bulk of my pain and discomfort. I desperately need that to heal so I can deal with
Til Next Time…
I am optimistic about where this road to recovery will lead. At least, I’m trying to be. That first night was really hard – I was crushed by horribly overwhelming thoughts about how far back I am and what I need to do to overcome this. This is going to be one hell of an emotional roller coaster – it was one thing to sit and rest but now it’s time to put in the work to get back to my life. I start PT on Friday and I’m anxious to get started!
And yes, I did have a shirt made for the occasion. It was a hit at the office and made me feel better about the whole thing.
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Have you ever had stitches?
Any advice for me before I start PT?