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Mini Tightrope Bunionectomy: Day 3

September 11, 2011

Pain Management

Sunday the nerve block wore off. This is both a blessing and a curse. The curse, of course , is now the pain of the operated foot is more severe. It comes in waves. Take the meds and, if your experience is like mine, you will take the primary pills every two hours. At around 1h 30 mins, you will start wishing for time to speed up. By 1h 59 mins you will have the pills in one hand and a water bottle in the other. The other pain medicine is to manage breakthrough pain, which you take staggered with the first one so that you are always covered. I set alarms to wake myself up during the night so as not to miss a dose. (I prefer to lose a little sleep than grappling with pain!)  I can best describe the pain as throbbing with an occasional ‘stab’ of greater intensity where I assume the incisions are. The blessing of having the nerve block wear off, is that you can now move your leg more and getting around on crutches is easier.

Recovery Fitness

Determined to remain at least a little fit, I bought a Welby Pedal Exerciser for use during recovery. I can use Welby with my leg propped up and pedal it with my arms. Today I did about 30 minutes and it felt good to get the heart going even at a moderate pace.

The First Shower

After Welby-ing I needed to shower. This is something of a challenge when you have to keep your foot dry. It is imperative to keep the dressing dry, so I cover the foot and bandages with a plastic bag, tied at the ankle.  You must get a shower chair. I don’t know how you can bathe without it. I got a backless chair that is more like a stool. My shower is a traditional bathtub with the shower controls at one end. The way my bath is configured I have to put the stool parallel to the walls of the tub, and therefore sit on the chair kind of sideways, and rest my calf on the edge of the tub. I tuck the shower curtain around my thigh. I lean back a little (but not too far!!) into the water to wet my hair and use a washcloth to help with everything else. WARNING: Wet tiles are perhaps the slipperiest surface for crutches. I try to dry off before I get out of the tub thereby risking less water getting on the floor. BE VERY CAREFUL IN THE BATHROOM. I haven’t had a spill there, but once, of all places, in a wet handicapped accessible elevator lined with smooth vinyl  my crutch slipped and I ended up slamming the repaired foot on the floor. It is painful and you do not want to do it.

Sunday night I found myself waking before my alarms in anticipation of taking my meds.

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