I’m alive!!!

Here I am – five days post surgery. This has been an…interesting…experience.

Tuesday was a fairly low-key morning. I didn’t set an alarm, and got up about 7:30. I finished the last minute things I had left to do, and the architect & I headed off to the surgery center.

I checked in about 10 am, and spent the next couple of hours getting vitals taken, telling everyone who came by that yes, it is my right foot, and making jokes with the architect & the nurse. I changed into my sweet hospital gown (it had little holes to hook up to a warm-air machine, which puffed up my gown like a blueberry & kept me warm). I got my IV. And then, I got my regional nerve block pump.

Just after noon, the surgeon showed up, they gave me the general, and then I woke up about 1:30 pm.

When I woke up, I was in quite a bit of pain & was a bit nauseated. Some more pain killer in my nerve block, 2 oxycodone & 1 graham cracker later, I was ready to head back to the recovery room.

The architect helped me get dressed and the nurse helped me to the bathroom (three times), before we picked up my prescription & headed home.

I was so hungry, and I felt GREAT! We had pizza for dinner, and and set up camp on the sofa.

I wasn’t in a lot of pain, although I felt weird. The nerve block pump came home with me & was delivering a steady stream of low level anesthesia to my lower leg, ankle and foot. It wasn’t completely numb – but rather felt like a limb does when you know it’s asleep, just before it gets to the pins & needles stage – just weird.

I didn’t sleep well Tuesday night – dozing for about 45-75 minutes at a time.

Wednesday was an odd day. The architect was off to work, and my neighbor came over to Amy-sit. We watched tv & movies, I had a burger, and napped. Wednesday afternoon, something started to feel a bit off. I was starting to have some pretty bad pain, but couldn’t figure out why – the nerve block was supposed to last until Friday.

I couldn’t really see the site of the nerve block, but could feel something weird there. It was all wet (which it shouldn’t have been). I called the after-hours number I was given after surgery. They told me to keep an eye on it, and that I could take my foot out of the boot to ice it. So I did.

Some great friends brought us dinner Wednesday night (so delicious! crack in pasta form!), and that was awesome!

Wednesday night wasn’t good. I slept a bit more than the night before, but sometime in the night, my nerve block completely stopped working (turns out that all that moisture at the site was a leak & some blood; not sure what went wrong yet), and I fell behind in the pain management.

Thursday was a terrible day. Although I had some great Amy-sitters, the pain was really bad. We watched a marathon of Season 1 of Castle, which was nice, but I don’t think I’ve ever cried as much as I did that day. I knew that the pain was supposed to be the worst between 48 & 72 hours after surgery, which is why the nerve block was supposed to last through that 72 hour mark.

I must have called my mom 20 times, thinking that somehow she would have magical mom powers to fix me from afar (she didn’t, but sometimes that’s just a comforting conversation). Thursday night, the Ambitious Amy-sitters made us chicken stir-fry for dinner!

Thursday night was the worst night. I just couldn’t get ahead of the pain. I knew that it would get better, but it’s so hard to remember that pain is temporary when you’re in the midst of the worse pain you’ve ever felt.

Friday was a bit better. The blogless Sarah came over to be my caretaker for the day. We watched some really fun movies (Fiddler on the Roof! Enchanted, Dr. Horrible, Beauty & the Beast), and chatted.

Sarah also made a great Mexican rice casserole for dinner that night (so good!), and Friday night was a bit better.

Saturday wasn’t too bad at all. It was nice having the architect home all day. We did a marathon of season 2 of Castle, and he took great care of me. I started cutting back on the pain meds (I’d upped my dosage on Thursday & Friday), and slept pretty well that night.

Andrew (the new marathoner!) and Lisa brought us spaghetti for dinner, which was awesome. It was great carbo-loading in spirit for today’s Portland Marathon.

With the exception of occasional muscle spasms in the foot, I was feeling pretty good.

Today really is the turning point. I’ve only taken one pain pill (8 am this morning), and even managed to take a shower today (which really was quite the comedy, involving a lawn chair and a garbage bag).

I knew that foot surgery would be painful, but honestly wasn’t expecting this level of pain. On Thursday, I was describing my pain level (on a scale from 1 to 10) as a 12. Today, I would say maybe a 3 or 4.

There is no way I could’ve gotten through these last few days without my wonderful and supportive friends. Thank you guys for taking care of me, for making me dinner, and for making the architect’s life easier as he takes care of his invalid wife.

I want to thank my mom for listening to me cry on the phone.

And I want to thank the architect for being so wonderful. I do not know how I could’ve done this alone. I am so lucky to have so many great friends & family in my life who helped make this, if not pleasant, at least tolerable.

In five short weeks, I should have this boot off and should be starting to get back to previous levels of activity. The big challenge now – now that I’ve survived the excruciating pain segment of the surgery – will be not overdoing it now that I feel good. Already, I’m starting to have visions of boot walks around the block, crunches with my ball, and some upper body weights.

Again – thanks everyone. Those that were here & helped out, those that sent best wishes & get well soon comments & emails, and everyone who thought positive happy thoughts for me during the last week.

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