A week ago, a doctor sliced open my foot and removed a chunk of nerve that has been causing me issues to varying degrees for about four years now. (If you’re curious, I had what’s called a Morton’s neuroma, and the surgery was a Morton’s neurectomy.) Going into the surgery, I wasn’t really sure how I’d be feeling so soon after the procedure, but one week later, despite some non-trivial pain, I’m actually pretty darned happy about a lot of things. Here’s the current list in no particular order:
A wonderful anesthesiologist – Holy crap my anesthesiologist did a great job! Prior to the surgery, they injected a nerve blocker into my leg right below my knee, and it’s just now really wearing off completely as I write this almost a week later. That means that the potentially horrible pain that I might have felt very acutely in the hours and days following surgery was significantly less and I didn’t have to take many hardcore pain meds at all. Less pain and fewer potentially highly addictive pain meds are a huge win in my book. And now that the nerve blocker finally seems to be mostly gone, I am even more grateful than ever that I had it and it lasted as long as it did. I truly didn’t know what I had until it was gone. (Hat tip to Joni Mitchell…)
A fantastic surgeon – It took me a long time to find a doctor that I liked and was really comfortable with to do the surgery, but I am glad I waited and found this one, even if it did mean that I needed to travel 2 hours away from home for appointments and to get the surgery done. It was well worth it when my GP (with whom I’m doing my follow-up wound care visits) opened up my surgical dressings for the first time and literally exclaimed that the wound was “beautiful” because the doctor had done such a good job joining the skin together and stitching everything back together. Personally, I thought it was kindof ugly, but then I ran a google image search for “morton’s neuroma with stitches” and saw what some others looked like a few days or a week out and realized mine definitely does look pretty nice by comparison. Given how easily I scar, my ambitions of being a foot model* may still never be realized, but I’m still really happy with how everything is healing so far and I hope it bodes well for the success of the neurectomy itself, as well!
A ridiculously patient husband – As much as I tried to prepare for being off my feet for a while beforehand, pre-cooking food, etc, Mr PoP truly has stepped up his game in the husband department, waiting on me hand and (well, obviously) foot with nary a complaint or ounce of grumpiness despite being slammed at work.
A small house – When your mobility is restricted, all of the sudden you become insanely grateful when everything is near at hand. Because our bedroom suite is small, I’ve only got 4 steps with crutches to go between bed and the toilet. Because our kitchen and dining room are relatively compact (and significantly more open than they used to be thanks to our remodeling efforts), I can nudge items along the “L” of our counter from the fridge to our dining table to sit down and eat something under my own power instead of having to do a flamingo stand eating at the countertop if I need a snack when Mr PoP isn’t home.
Technological improvements in the last twenty years – The last time I had an injury that I needed to keep safe from water in the shower, it was 1995 and I remember having one heck of a time keeping that darned cast dry with a combination of garbage bags, rubber bands, and strategically placed hand towels. Today, I just slip my leg through the rubber opening of a leg-shaped PVC bag, and shower in peace (well, as in peace as you can be when you’ve got an inverted five gallon bucket accompanying you in the shower), ending up with a dry leg at the end of the shower. Well worth the $14 that we dropped at Walgreens for this thing!
Wonderful in-laws – who loaned me the use of Mama PoP’s car for the first couple of weeks post surgery. Thank you so much! Without two working feet, I’m utterly incapable of driving our stick-shift car. While biking with crutches is theoretically possible (see this guy —-> ), I’d rather not attempt it at the moment, and their loaner saves us both a lot of headaches with being dropped off and picked up, or a bill to the tune of ~$500 to rent a car locally for 2-3 weeks. That said, I am looking forward to getting back to biking once I am cleared to by the doc since sitting in a car in traffic is NO FUN!
Pretty awesome coworkers – These folks brought me ice cream in recovery and inquire about my health and happiness *just* the right amount. (It’s nice that they care and are concerned, but also sometimes literally the act of thinking about the fact that my skin has recently been sliced open makes it throb a little. Weird, but true.) One of them even borrowed a knee scooter from one of their other friends for me to use instead of crutches around the office. The knee scooter is WAY more enjoyable than crutches – a low bar, but still. Plus, I’ll bring it home from the office this weekend and MAY be able to actually get a couple things done at the house. MAY being very pain dependent as said nerve blocker is (I believe) nearly gone.
Random helpful strangers – In case you ever start to doubt the overwhelming kindness of the human race (easy to do with politics as it is these days), toss on a post-surgical boot, grab a pair of crutches and struggle a little as you figure out things that used to be so easy like how to open doors or get in and out of cars. I am, in many ways, a very independent woman so I will absolutely do it myself and not ask for help. Heck, if you say, “do you need help?” I’m almost guaranteed to tell you no (unless your name is Mr PoP). But unoffered assistance in the form of getting out of chair and walking two steps to hold the door for me as I crutch my way out of the doctor’s office… freaking amazing. Absolutely, freaking amazing.
It’s a long list, and there’s probably even more…. like Kitty PoP who has kindof gotten over his fear of crutches and my new awkward footwear and is cuddling right next to me. So, despite the fact that more of me than just my jokes is currently lame, I’m actually pretty darned happy this Friday. =)
What’s making you happy this Friday?
* Just in case you missed it, this was a joke. Every even semi-serious runner knows they will not have attractive feet. =)