Over the years, I have had a lot of surgeries on my feet, as you might be able to ascertain by the previous posts. But when will enough be enough? It’s a question that I have frequently asked myself, and others have asked me. I’ve always known, though, that as time goes by, just because of the nature of the problems that have arisen with my feet and all of the surgeries that I’ve gone through already, that it is always likely that I will have to have “just one more” surgery on one of my feet. When will I be done? When will my feet reach “completion” as far as corrections go? No one but God knows the answers.
So, here I am, one month before my 28th birthday, and looking another surgery in the face. This Friday, I will have my 20th foot surgery. I have developed a bunionette on my left foot that has grown quite sore when I walk. FYI, a bunionette is just like a bunion, but it grows on the outside of the foot, near the pinky toe instead of the big toe. Most of the time, these rare growths grow outward, but mine is growing downward and just slightly outward, causing pain every time I take a step.
Now, I’ve had enough surgeries in my lifetime to know exactly how things should be done. I like to have my IV line placed in the back of my hand because it doesn’t bug me so much as having it in my wrist (also, I have a scar from having an IV line in my wrist from four years ago). For minor procedures, a pain block won’t work very well on me… at least not right away… so I have to have general anesthesia, either by mask or in my IV line. And I know that when I’m in recovery mode, I need to have two or three pillows to prop my foot up on. If I’m going to be staying in the hospital for a while, I like to have a sling hanging from over my bed, and a catheter so I don’t have to get up so much. Heavy splints make it really difficult to move around.
The surgery I’m having on Friday isn’t so minor that I would be able to have a pain block, but it’s also not so major that I’d have to spend more than 24 hours in the hospital. It’s an outpatient surgery. The pain that I will have following this surgery is, in my mind, the greatest variable right now. I don’t know how long I will have to be on pain medicine.
In the time I have before my surgery, I’m doing what I can to prepare for the time when I won’t be able to be on my feet to do cooking or cleaning around the house. My husband can and will pick up some of the slack for cleaning, but he’s not used to cooking, so I’m trying to cook and freeze as many meals as I can before Friday.
It helps, of course, to have people who can do things for you every now and then during the recovery process. My sister, for example, is planning to come and visit me during her lunch breaks after my husband goes back to work. (He’s taking time off so he can be with me during the time I’m loopy from pain meds.) My mom has said she wants to help out, too, although I’m not sure how she plans to help out yet.
And what helps most of all is knowing that people are there to talk to you, pray for you, and support you through everything. Without my faith in God, I wouldn’t be able to go through all of these surgeries. I have to believe that there’s a reason that I’ve had to have so many. Maybe the reason is that I provide an excellent training tool for new doctors in the field of orthopedic surgery. Who knows?
I’ll try to give an update either shortly before or after my surgery.