Sunday, June 07, 2009

The bunion surgery post!

My dear mother has been harassing me left and right about not writing in my blog or posting new pictures in Mateo's blog, so I finally decided some thoughts about my lovely bunion surgery are in order.

I've had many surgeries, all planned except one (Mateo's arrival into the world), and so I know how the ambulatory surgery works (they force you to go home with some pain meds and a phone call the next day). This go around I was forced to drive all over the place during the pre-op appointments, something I still don't quite understand, and I was given a "goodie" bag filled with a DVD or CD about preparing for the surgery (from that statement alone you can guess it was just thrown away) and a lovely sponge full of that organgey soap you see fake doctors use when scrubbing up for surgeries. While the doctors might be fake, the orangey soap is real. I had to get an EKG (I did better on it than my last one, which happened when I was pregnant and feeling faint a lot in the mornings), and the nurse practitioner had to make a point to tell me about how last time my results landed me in some zone I knew nothing about because my OBGYN at the time didn't seem to find it too concerning. My answer to her was "Oh."

On the day of the surgery, you go to the waiting room until a nurse calls you in and forces you to strip down to nothing, shove all your worldly possessions into some plastic bags, which are then taken from you and shoved into a locker, and the locker key is then pinned to your lovely open-backed gown. Then they take you into the reclining area to get all your info AGAIN (I don't know how many times I had to say the same thing over and over and over during all this), put your IV in, don't give you anything except liquids that make you have to pee after sitting there for an hour, and then bring in your visitor to keep you company until it's time to go get cut open.

Even though you're put in your own curtained-off room, you're really not alone when there are other patients waiting for their surgeries as well. I don't know why anyone would think having a curtain warrants talking really loudly about all one's issues, but apparently that makes it all okay. And that's exactly what some lady did in my waiting area. Every time someone asked her why she was there (it's a sneaky test, I tell you), she would go on and on about how she wanted the procedure done when she was 27 and the doctor wouldn't do it, and so now she's doing it and thank god and blah blah blah, and she's on 50 pills and her husband and step-father can decide everything for her if it comes down to it, her therapist knows this, and no, she never said she lived with my husband's family, oh, but wait, they do live right next door, hahaha, and she has a nice tie-dye dress to wear when going home, and when her husband asked if that was what she was wearing, she scoffed and said, what? you except me to put on PANTS after having this done? Oh, heck no. I need to AIR OUT.

She was having a hysterectomy.

And no, thankfully, she never did have kids.

She was also the lady in the waiting room (the waiting room before getting your wordily possessions taken away) in a robe whose husband cracked the funniest joke about someone having indigestion because the pipes in that part of the hospital were making horrible noises.

In essence, she was a winner.

I spent my waiting time in the back either listening to her crazy talk or looking at magazines (before and after articles are the best, thank you very much).

So then I had my surgery, which I was put into "twilight" sleep for, and I could feel the numbing shots, the sawing of bone and the stitching of stitches...but I didn't care one bit. I was sad when it was time to wake up. My foot didn't hurt and basically felt like a giant lump at the end of my leg. It was bandaged up and eventually I was given a shoe to put on it and some crutches and sent on my merry way. The shoe, which I have to wear for weeks, is nice and clunky, and at this point, the crutches are a nice decoration in our living room. When I take a shower, I use a lovely plastic cover thingy my mom lent me from her bunion surgery, and the first time I used it, I swear the bag was full of water by the time I was finished with my shower, and I was going to have to go to the ER and get my bandage re-bandaged, but it turns out I'm just delusional and all was okay.

Bunion surgery recovery isn't so bad the first and second day, but when the numbness wears off, ohmyithurtslikeheck. But by the next day after the numbness wears off, the pain was tolerable, but it's not like I was running around doing stuff. I'm moving around more and more as the days progress, and soon will be a full-on hobbly gimp out in the world. And recovery can be ameliorated by not having a cat who darts in front of you when you're trying to move about on crutches, a cat who is just asking to have her back snapped by a crutch. Not that I would ever do that. Just saying.

I go back to the doctor on Friday to get unbandaged, unstitched, and re-bandaged, and if I remember, I just might bring my camera with me to take a few shots so I can post them and gross someone out in the world who is googling "bunion surgery," as I have been doing repeatedly, even AFTER I've had the surgery. Now there is something to look forward to!


Sj said...

I had my bunion surgery today. My foot is still totally numb 14 hours later. I know this can't last forever...sounds like day three is the worst from your post. Thanks for writing about it, I have a cat who thinks the crutches are a new toy I brought home for her. :-)

Anonymous said...

It's been four weeks now and I got the 2 pins out today. I haven't taken a shower in that time and my foot is looking a little ashey and I defintely need a pedicure. My Doc said I could take a shower in a few days and I think I might have a party. All my girl friends can come and drink champagne and of course my gays will bring gourmet snacks and festive body wash. I am extremely happy to be on the last 2 weeks of my very attractive "boot" which I recommend you "bedazzle" for the long term. Just makes you feel more fashion forward.

All the best to you Bunion surgery survivors. We will dance and run and aeorobisize again and maybe even slip a stilleto on if only for an hour or two.