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Surgery Chronicles: Over the Hump

Two days ago I had my second foot surgery, and I'm happy to report that all went well—just as good as the first. I'm super relieved to have it done, even though I have many weeks of recovery ahead of me. The hardest part is behind me, and I'm feeling especially grateful that I only have two feet!

As a person who thrives on routine and enjoys tradition, I wanted to repeat some of the same elements of my last surgery, since it was successful (some might call that superstition, but I prefer tradition). So the night before surgery I enjoyed a dinner at the same restaurant and in the same company as last time (and even with the same bafflingly forgetful server, which I could have done without). And on surgery day, I wore the same outfit (also because how many chances do you get to wear pajamas in public?).

But there were some differences going into surgery this time, as I had a good idea of what to expect from my first one. That knowledge was beneficial in that it allowed me to prepare better, but it's also been a little detrimental in that I now know what to dread. Mostly the waiting. Knowing that in this first week I'll struggle with the most pain and will feel the most helpless and dependent. And then each next stage will have its set dreadful things. But there are also all the good things to look forward to because, after all, each new day is a day of progress. So I have to keep my focus there.

The other major difference this time around is that I'm still recovering from my first surgery, so I have different daily tasks I need to complete for each foot. One foot I'm trying to keep immobile and safe from touching anything, and the other I'm trying to increase flexibility and range of motion in. But both still benefit from elevating and icing, so at least I can double up on that task. I've had to create a daily checklist of things to do for each foot, each day, in addition to being on a timer for icing every 30 minutes (30 on, 30 off). I've come to loathe the sound of that timer, as has my mom, I'm sure, who has been graciously tending to my needs.

I did one smart thing beforehand that has made a huge difference this time: I rented a knee scooter that enables me to be mobile without putting too much pressure on my "new" right foot and also takes the anxiety out of crutching (and potentially stumbling). I didn't do it the first time because it seemed silly, in the small space I live in, and while there are maneuvering challenges (lots of reversing out of doorways and 10-point turns), it's still totally worthwhile.

My rental didn't come with a basket, and I didn't want to pay more for one, so I just rigged it with a grocery bag. But Mom found an inexpensive bike basket at the store and greatly upped the cuteness factor of the scooter.

I feel very fortunate to continue to have such a tremendous support system. I figured everyone would be over it by now, after showing care and concern through the first nine weeks. But I received lots of touching good wishes beforehand and follow-up inquiries afterward. And soon after returning home from surgery I was graced with beautiful flowers—twice! I've never been much of a flower person (probably because I rarely received them), but when I'm lying around, unable to do much, thinking about all the time I have yet to lie around and not do much, these are the things that remind me of my loved ones and add brightness to my days.

Thanks to everyone who has followed my journey and sent words of encouragement and support, no matter how seemingly small. They're all significant to me greatly appreciated!


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