Personal

My formerly ailing foot

This summer has been filled with great stuff, which has meant I’ve had plenty to write about here at Down the Road. I write posts in advance and schedule them to automatically post, and usually have a one- to two-week buffer of posts in the can. But this summer, I’ve been working with a four- and sometimes five-week buffer. As I write this, it’s July 17th. Hello from the recent past!

One thing that slowed me down was surgery I had on my left foot in late June. Walking had been a little painful for six months or so. I figured I had a stress fracture, so in hopes it would heal on its own I wore comfy running shoes all the time and took it easy. But it didn’t get better, so I visited a podiatrist. He took one look at my foot and said, “You have a bunion.”

My mind reeled. I thought only old ladies who had always worn heels got those. “We caught it very early,” he said, “but this will only get worse unless I correct it in surgery.” So I went under the knife.

AilingFoot

All wrapped up

I spent the first four days post-op on pain meds, lying on the couch with my foot elevated. That was hard for me, because I feel a constant need to be productive. But I had to stay put and rely on others. My girlfriend helped me on the day of surgery and came over frequently to check on me, and my sons ran the house. I found out that they are pretty capable dudes, as they made meals, cleaned house, cut grass, took the trash to the curb, and did everything else that I asked. If they lived with me full time I probably would ask more of them, but since they’re not here half the time I end up doing so much myself. I can see that I can step up the expectations on them!

Walking was slow and uncomfortable for the next week. I went to work, but I arranged things so I could walk as little as possible and keep my foot elevated. Still, I was pretty uncomfortable by the time I got home, so I spent my evenings lying on the couch.

With all of this downtime, at first I watched a lot of TV and napped. That’s so not like me! But it felt strangely good to relax in this way. Doctor’s orders not to do most of the things I wanted to gave me permission to just let it all go. But then I started itching to be busy. That’s when I got the idea to digitize all of my old film negatives with the Wolverine Super F2D, which I’d bought a couple weeks before. I did it in my lap on the couch. And then I got out my laptop and wrote a whole bunch of blog posts.

Recovery has been remarkably quick. The doctor unwrapped my foot after a week and told me I could walk more as long as I wore comfortable shoes. My open-toed sandals seemed to work best, as closed shoes irritated the surgery site. Those sandals were pretty worn out, though, so I bought a pair of Birkenstocks. I feel like such a crunchy-granola hippie! But they’re perfect for my healing foot and their well-designed insole immediately made walking more comfortable. I’m not ready to run a marathon (not like I would ever do that anyway – running sucks!), but I’m almost back to full function. By the time you read this, I’ll probably be healed enough to do everything I was doing before the surgery, except pain-free. I’m ready for a road trip!

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10 thoughts on “My formerly ailing foot

  1. N.S. Palmer says:

    I sympathize, but I’m glad you got the problem corrected. I’ve got a bunion, too — I think it’s the result of a foot injury on a train in DC. But the doc said if it wasn’t bothering me much, it was simpler just to leave it alone.

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  2. Steve Miller says:

    I guess the good news is that appears to be your left foot, so you can still stand on the gas pedal and make more road trips. :P

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  3. Nancy (Roe) Stewart says:

    Our 16 year old step-grandaughter just had bunion surgery a couple weeks before school started. She will have the other one done at another time. Not the greatest thing for a member of New Pairie’s state award winning show choir, with all the choregraphed dance numbers involved !!

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    • How does a 16-year-old get a bunion?! Poor thing! I’m just now to the point where I can do most things pain-free after surgery, although a lot of time on my feet still does cause swelling. So here’s hoping your granddaughter heals faster than a 47-year-old man.

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