A couple weeks ago–Feb 16 to be exact–I had surgery on my left foot. Last October, when my foot was being poked, prodded, x-rayed and MRIed for what turned out to be 3 stress fractures in my ankle, a large cyst was discovered in my third metatarsal. My Doc opted for the conservative approach–treating the stress fractures first–hoping the cyst would shrink after 6 weeks of immobility. Well, no such luck. So on Feb 16th, he operated, removing 90% of my third metatarsal, replacing it with cadaver bone, and fusing it in two places–at the first MP joint and at the metarsoncunieform joint.
Since it was an out patient procedure, I figured I would need a few days to recover. Boy was I wrong. First, when I awoke in recovery, I found this at the end of my leg:
Seems my Doc is known for his post surgery wrap because as soon as the nurse pulled back the covers she said, “So Dr. Johnsen is your surgeon. He’s really good.” After absorbing the shock of awaking with elephant foot and having to wear a paper-like pair of scrubs to leave the hospital because my sweats wouldn’t fit over the bandage, I headed home. After I finally came out of the haze of the anesthesia, the post-surgery pain was horrendous: I was popping percocet at every opportunity. Two days later I was back at the doc’s office for post-op x-rays and a cast.
My curiosity got the best of my, so I peeked at my foot after they unwrapped it and was greeted by a hideous site. My foot was swollen, purple, puffy, and stitched from end to end. It was then that I realized my plan to return to work on Monday was ridiculous. In fact, I spent the next 3 days in bed with my foot propped up as high as possible while I popped as many percocet to keep myself just as high.
By Monday I was feeling pretty well all things considered and even managed to scoot my way into the living room for a few hours–I’m using a knee-roller rather than crutches, an invention for which I am most grateful.
I finally went back to work this past Tuesday. Thankfully, my schedule this semester includes two online classes and one face-to-face class. So, other than meetings and sitting at my desk, I am only in the classroom for 75 minutes on Tuesday and 75 minutes on Thursday. What I am finding most difficult is elevating my foot while in my office. I have one of the 1950’s metal desks that can only be moved by the Army Corp of Engineers. It has a very narrow space between the two wide cabinets, so there’s on way to put anything under the desk to elevate my foot, and doing so on the outside means I have to spread my legs wider than is comfortable. My foot was so swollen Wednesday, in fact, that I opted to hang out in the grad lounge with my foot on the side of a funky old sofa and promptly fell asleep for an hour, missing the department meeting and probably having my snoring echo through the halls, although folks have been kind enough not to mention that.