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Surgery Chronicles: Home Stretch

I'm now into my sixth week since surgery. I'm on track, making good progress, but I'm so close to time frame for recovery—six to eight weeks. My five-week follow-up last week went well, but I left feeling overwhelmed. The doctor said he didn't need to see me for another four weeks, which is just in time for my pre-op appointment for my second foot (!).

To-Do List

Since the appointment, I've no longer been using crutches (yay!), and I've been working to help my incision heal completely (I'll spare details), at which point I'll need to start treating it with a special scar gel to keep the tissue from hardening. Also during this interim, I'll need to be a bit more aggressive with my toe exercises to increase flexibility (i.e., make it hurt). And, when I feel comfortable enough, I can try gradually transitioning from the boot to an athletic shoe. Once I feel good in athletic shoes, I can resume driving. That feels like a lot of stuff to manage on my own over four weeks without any more doctor appointments (thankfully I had my sister with me to take copious notes!).

A last, very worthwhile outing with the crutches.

'Beach' Vacation

My family had a min-beach vacation planned over the past few days, and I hesitated over whether I should go. I still can't submerge my foot—especially not in sea or pool water, because my incision isn't fully "sealed"—and I can't walk in the sand with my boot, at least not safely. So I thought it might be more depressing than fun or relaxing to go on a vacation where I couldn't really participate in all the activities. But my family talked me into it and provided lots of accommodations to make sure I'd be comfortable. In fact, they even got me onto the beach one day, where I could at least enjoy the atmosphere and feel like I wasn't missing out completely. A lot of the time was spent in the condo preparing and eating meals, doing some crafts, painting toe nails (I did 40 nails total, counting my own), and visiting with even more family I don't often get to see. So in the end I didn't feel like I missed out on much. Maybe some salt water up my nose, a sun burn, and a sand mermaid tail, but there will be plenty of other times.

Gluten-free Mediterranean pizza w/ hummus base. Delish!

Painting rocks! (It's a thing.)

It took a few tries, but I eventually found my groove.

This little piggy...

Salivating over my nieces' ice cream, which isn't on my current diet.

Things I'm Enjoying

Despite feeling overwhelmed and a bit anxious about managing my recovery as perfectly as possible, there are also good things to report on: 
  • I'm rockin' the exercise ball, despite my limitations with it
  • I've been going back to acupuncture as often as I can 
  • I've been digging my anti-inflammatory diet, which can be limiting at times—especially in public places—but it's made me be more creative with food 
  • Some things I've watched recently that I'd recommend: Queen Sugar, GLOW (heck yes!), The Son. Got any other recommendations?
  • I started a free trial for Audible based on an ad to try this book (can't imagine how they targeted me for it): Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking. I have so-so feelings about self-help books. I'm always looking to improve myself and appreciate resources and advice from experts, but it seems everyone is an expert these days, and they can dish out a lot of contradictory, over-simplified, or obvious advice for "fixing" people. That said, there were some sections on mindfulness and goal-setting that were useful to me. But I'd like to explore other things on Audible before my free trial ends on July 17—go!


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I alluded in my last post to upcoming foot surgeries I'd soon be posting about. I'm now 19 days away from the first one, and my thoughts pretty constantly revolve around how my life will change after that when I wake up from my "twilight" sleep after the first operation. In my best frame of mind, the scenario is like this: I'll spend a few weeks out of commission, getting some forced rest, spend a few weeks in a boot, limited exercise, and my right foot will be recovered. Then I repeat on the left foot and by fall I'm back on my feet again. That's the Twitter version. But the version that most often plays out in my head is more like a volume of books, with the details of every day painstakingly planned, agonized over, and wondered about. How will I make food? Bathe? Focus on work? Get the mail, take out the trash, do laundry? Will I be in a lot of pain? Will I go crazy during my long days isolated at home? Will people forget about me? Will I get the resul…

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At the end of week two, I'm home on my own and feeling pretty good. But it definitely feels like time has moved slowly. Hopefully the coming weeks will go by a little faster, now that I'm set up for a routine and able to do more for myself.
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The doctor said it only looked like I …

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