I chose to have elective foot surgery.
I suppose that's a redundant statement.
I tell you this just so we're clear that any whining appearing in today's blog post is taken with a grain of salt. I don't aspire to be a whiner. At least not after all the therapy I've paid for. But today it may pop in for old time's sake.
It all started with pain in my big toe about three years ago. I lived with it for year and it wasn't really that big of a deal. An annoyance to be sure, but manageable. Over time it grew worse so I decided to have an X-ray and voilà the diagnosis: bone spurs on my big toe, also know as osteophytes resulting in hallux rigidus or, big stiff toe.
I let another year pass.
This condition, while not debilitating, has definitely contributed to a major decline in my physical activity. For person whose goal is to move more and eat well, it was beginning to become a real problem. When I'd swim, I couldn't push off from the wall with my right foot. When I'd walk, I'd favor it, resulting in a gait that wasn't doing my body any favors. And don't even get me started on running. Although I could run without feeling any pain, it became a huge mental block I couldn't seem to get over. So several months ago, I booked the surgery.
The lack of physical activity combined with less than inspired eating is contributing to increasing poundage. This was the right thing to do.
The night before, I did something you should never do the night before surgery: I consulted Dr. Google. Horror story after horror story was mine to read, cherish and freak out over. And yes, you guessed it, I sat there in tears wondering if I was making the right decision.
But I figured do it now or it will be much harder later.
Surgery day came and before I knew it, bone spurs were gone, an osteotomy was completed and I was waking up from a restful, drug-induced snooze.
Then the reality hit: I was going to be far more incapacitated than I'd imagined.
Now before I begin my lament, here's the other reality: this type of thing doesn't magically go away on its own. You either live with it as it gets worse, or get it taken care of. I keep telling myself every time I make my way up or down the stairs, step by tedious step. I've been trying to remain positive. You know, act like a responsible adult who is simply doing what is needed.
Most of the time, I'm succeeding.
But if I'm being honest, this sucks goat balls.
There. I feel much better.
For the first two days, I was restricted to my room. Foot elevated, ice applied, narcotic drugs a-flowing. (Hydrocodone for those who like to know that sort of thing.) The pain was manageable.
By Day Three, I camped out on the family room couch, still letting it sink in that I couldn't do anything. No cooking, no cleaning, no working, no nothing.
All I could do was read or watch TV. Doctor's orders. (Well, the doctor didn't order me to watch a full season of Mad Men in one sitting, but you get the idea.)
Now that may sound like a mini vacation from life, and I suppose it sort of is, but let me tell you this: I prefer life. (Although my therapist would remind me that this is life, so there you go.)
Even today, as I sit at the computer to type this up, I'm headed back to the foot elevation shortly. I have my follow up appointment tomorrow where I believe they take a pin out. I asked my doctor if I had to have another surgery for that, and she told me she would do the procedure in her office. When I asked how, she replied, "Very carefully."
I Googled "foot surgery pin removal" and let's just say I stopped watching the video when the pliers came out.
For those of you who deal with chronic issues, or who have had much more serious procedures—either you personally or someone in your family—you have my heartfelt compassion. If anything, this is making me so grateful for general health and well-being.
When I get back to dancing form, I won't take that for granted.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with Don Draper though I'm still not sure if I actually care what happens to him or not. Bring on Season Two…
Thank you to my husband, my daughter and my son for taking such good care of me, and for my neighbor Angela who made me a soup that I've been living on for several days. I am so grateful to have a family who care for me and make me feel loved.