10 days post-op: the road to recovery

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.

road to recovery

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.

road to recovery

First Look

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.

Orthopedic “Souvenirs”

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.

road to recovery

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…

road to recovery

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.

I am linking up for Tuesday Topics with KookyRunner and Zenaida

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Have you ever had stitches?

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23 Responses to 10 days post-op: the road to recovery

  1. Darlene says:

    This is great news.

    You are definitely on a different path than I was with the same injury.

    But it is what is it.

    As I said before. You got this. Be patient and you will NOT have any scars.

    • runswithpugs says:

      That’s so crazy. I wonder if the protocols have changed, or if there was a difference in the look of the break or what. It’s so amazing how the medical treatments change and adapt through the years.

  2. Oh, getting stitches out is PAINFUL!!!!! Afterwards, I had to keep my leg as straight as possible for the first couple weeks (so the suture could thoroughly “seal” over my knee). Then, I had to slowly start bending my knee a little at a time to get the range of motion back, and that was scary. I can’t imagine the anxiety of putting weight back on your healing bones…

    • runswithpugs says:

      Ugh! That’s so hard! They didn’t mention any of that to me, but probably because ankles don’t bend like knees. That would have had me in a straight up panic.

      Day 3 in the boot and it hurts. I hate it. I’m dreading going out for my walk.

  3. Wonderful news! Love the t-shirt too.
    I’ve only had stitches in my mouth, and they weren’t awful to remove thankfully. Glad that part is over for you at least! I’m confident you are going to rock this recovery process. The PT exercises should help you with feeling like you need to DO something, and will have the added bonus of actually helping you get better.
    I’m glad things are going as well as they can for you. Hopefully your heel is feeling better soon to make the whole process a bit easier!
    Stacie Seidman recently posted…What’s Up WednesdayMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I had dissolving stitches in a slightly more private area after I had little man, but never external ones likes this.

      I really can’t wait to get to PT. I’ve been counting the minutes all week.

  4. I’d say you are making pretty great progress. I bet it feels fantastic to be able to get around a bit on your own with the crutches. One day at a time!
    Deborah Brooks recently posted…Weekly Run Down Getting into the Holiday SpiritMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I am, but it hurts. It’s almost a betrayal to go through all this and the surgery and be feeling ok, and then to have to fight through more pain and discomfort to get better. It stinks.

  5. Oh my goodness, I didn’t realize you had to have surgery. I just looked back through your older posts to see what happened. I hope your recovery goes well and you’re back to walking normally very soon!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…2019 Turkey Dash Charlotte 4-Miler Race RecapMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Yup. It was a mess. I know, deep down, it was the best decision, but I’m really struggling right now. I’ve been laid up for almost a month. I’m tired of not being able to do so many things and it’s getting upsetting.

  6. Catrina says:

    Oh wow, that process sounds painful! I have never had a cast or stitches so it was interesting to read how that works.
    So now you’re starting the active part of the recovery! PT twice a week sounds great! It’s remarkable how quickly the body heals and starts to get back on track.
    I wish you a speedy recovery, Jenn!

  7. Wendy says:

    It’s pretty awesome that you’re in a boot instead of a hard cast! Does this mean you can take it off to bathe/shower? When my youngest broke his leg a few years ago, it was an awful experience–no surgery, thank goodness, but he was in a long leg cast (above the knee) for 6 weeks. That was tough. It was so exciting when the cast came off–we went to Wisconsin and I took him to the beach so he could swim. He was one happy boy. 6 months later, he was back on the rugby field. You’d never know it happened. I know how hard this is for you. Keep your eye on the prize. It will get better!!!

    • runswithpugs says:

      It’s really crazy. We had a long chat with that with our surgeon and he said they are really trying not to do the hard casts unless absolutely necessary. Yes, I can take it off to bathe and shower and I can take it off to sleep. We are still having a hard time navigating the shower (as in it’s not any easier with the splint off than it was with it on), but it’s great to be able to see bare skin again.

      Eye is locked on the prize.

  8. Laurie says:

    Love the shirt! All of the news you got is good news. I can understand that you are impatient, though. I would be too. It’s good that you can take the boot off to sleep. I think it would be really difficult to sleep with a hard boot on. I’ll be interested in seeing how the PT goes for you. I bet you will really begin to see more progress when you begin therapy. Plus, it’s something you can do to help yourself. Hang in there. You have a lot of bloggers rooting for you! 🙂
    Laurie recently posted…Humble Enough?My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Sleeping with the splint was bad enough, so being able to use just a brace was a welcome relief. I’m super lucky for that. I’m so grateful for all of you! The support and encouragement help more than you know <3

  9. Pingback: week #51: the hint of a christmas comeback | Runs With PugsRuns With Pugs

  10. Love the shirt! Pretty funny. I cannot imagine what you are going through but all I can do now is send virtual hugs and hope you recover quickly. You will and soon you will be running again.

  11. CAri says:

    I love the shirt.
    I’ve had facial stitches (diving stick!) and post knee surgery but dn’t have strong memories of either. Was way more terrified for IV for knee surgery as I had bad memories of it from tonsillectomy.
    Glad to hear you’re off to a good start

    • runswithpugs says:

      I hate IVs. Hate them. My veins aren’t made for them. When I had my son, I remember that at one point, my vein literally pushed the needle out. Whoops.

      I had a tonsillectomy, too. That recovery was pretty much horrific, and I was hopeful this would be just a touch easier.

  12. Jessie says:

    I wrote all about my recovery after a broken tib/fib here:
    http://www.therightfits.com/2018/06/i-broke-my-leg-this-was-my-recovery/

    I remember the stitches being super awkward and uncomfortable Glad that part is over for you!

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