Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Recovery: Day 1

Well, I'm really relieved the worst is over...sort of.

Take a look at the giant, heavy boot I'm in! Could be worse - I'm glad it's not a real cast. But...still no fun.

Let me start by saying how incredibly grateful I am for all the emails, comments, tweets, and words of encouragement and support I've gotten the past few days. It really means a TON to hear from everyone - like I'm not going through this alone. I so appreciate all the words of wisdom I've heard from friends (and strangers) who have been through similar experiences, and the uplifting thoughts from everyone. THANK YOU!

My surgery on my achilles bursitis and Haglund's Deformity yesterday seemed to go smoothly. I got the hospital at 1:15 and basically sat and waited for 2 whole hours with my mom, who had arrived that morning. I was warned it would be a lot of waiting, but my backpack with my ipod and books and stuff was already taken away from me. So...we sat.

Finally my doctor came in and marked up my foot where he'd be working on it. Then I met with the nice lady from anesthesia who said she'd take extra care of me because my dad is an anesthesiologist himself. I told her how I was really afraid of getting sick afterwards from the anesthesia, so she made sure to give me extra anti-nausea medicine - and luckily that worked!

Soon I was taken into the operating room. I HATE hospitals and won't even glance at a TV show that has anything to do with doctors, haha. But basically it was just like what I *imagine* it's like on TV. They strapped me to the table and covered me up. Then the anesthesiologist gave me an IV in my hand. Because I have to stress out about every little thing, part of me was concerned I wouldn't get knocked out from the medicine. Hey, I'm a heavy duty insomniac who can't sleep and is not affected by sleeping pills, alcohol, or just about anything. But she assured me I'd be out and calmly talked to me about dancing while she gave me "10 drinks." That's all I remember, thank goodness.

Not an hour and a half later I woke up in the recovery room. I could feel myself waking up and had one of those "just 5 more minutes please" moments. I felt so tired but fully aware of what was going on. I didn't feel much pain in the foot, but was definitely aware of the gigantic black heavy boot laying at the end of my bed. I wiggled my toes to make sure indeed my foot was still in there, haha. And it was.

The doctor came by (just had to double-check this part with my parents because I was...groggy) and said they drained a whole lot of fluid as soon as they got inside. As planned, they removed the bursa and shaved down the heel bone. Apparently my actual achilles tendon was 10% torn but it appeared that had happened a long time ago (probably when this all began over 3 years ago...why didn't anybody do an MRI and see that back then?!). He didn't have anything to reattach it to and it didn't look like it will tear more, so he just left that alone. That makes me a little nervous that it may be a problem in the future...but it does mean a little speedier recovery, apparently.

An hour or so later, after some apple juice and crackers (which tasted like a 5 course steak dinner after not eating or drinking for almost 20 hours), my mom helped me get dressed and the nurse tried to teach me to use the crutches. I'm, um, really not graceful on those things, haha. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it, but last night I was still out of it and couldn't get far. And this morning I've been crawling on my knees everywhere and going down stairs on my butt because it's faster, haha. Can't exactly do THAT in NYC...

We got right into the car and headed home to Massachusetts. I had been really afraid I'd be throwing up sick the whole ride home from the anesthesia, but I was completely fine in that respect, THANK GOODNESS. The ride seemed long though, being all squished up in the back seat of the car with this big boot. I had it elevated on pillows and my suitcase but it was a pain not to be able to really move around.

We made it home around 10:30pm and I quickly checked emails and went to bed. What I failed to do was take another pain killer just in case. I'm supposed to take one or two every 4 hours. I had already taken 2 which was enough for the time being, but it didn't last me through the night. Around 1:30am my dog woke me up and...oh my god...OUCH. My foot felt like it was on fire, aching so badly. All I wanted was to rip off the boot and stick it in ice, like I've been doing the past few months when it's been that bad. I quickly chugged down another pain killer and lay there just waiting for it to work. An hour later I was still awake and took one more so I'd be okay when I woke in the morning - then finally fell back asleep at 3am.

Of course I'm not used to small-town living, so at 6:30am when the pounding trash truck came right under my window I was snapped awake. Ugh. Another pill and head under the blankets and back to sleep. I woke up for good at 9:30am and crawled my way downstairs. Here I am!

I'm extremely thankful everything went as expected. In my head a lot of things could've gone wrong and they didn't. So...relief. But I can tell this is gonna be a long 10 days at home...and a long 3 months full recovery. Let the fun begin...
a really unfortunate picture of me in my stylish hospital gown thanks to my beautiful mother (seriously...out of the blue a nurse told her she was beautiful...then they saw me looking like this...haha)

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