My First Day Out (after foot surgery)

I went out to lunch today with my girlfriends (Amy, Brittany & Jessica). I had to sit with my feet elevated to prevent swelling. I could have put them down for the picture, but I wanted to preserve the memory of my first day out.
Yesterday was the turning point for me in my recovery after having neuromas (damaged nerves) removed from both feet Tuesday morning. My doctor said that I would probably only need pain pills for a couple of days. He said to stay off my feet, and keep them elevated, as much as possible the first two days and then to gradually start moving more on Day Three. The first two days I took meds on a schedule to stay ahead of any pain I might have. But I thought I was doing so well the third day that I decided not to take any more pain pills (based on what my doctor said and not wanting to take pain medication unnecessarily) and got up to walk more frequently.

Well, that turned out to be a bad decision. I did still need pain medicine. And my friend urged me to take it longer, but I resisted. When she sweetly told me I was hard headed, I took it to heart. John calls me Hard Head sometimes. And I don't see myself that way. But maybe I am.

I think, in hindsight, I was not thinking clearly from the anesthetic or just the ordeal in general. Or maybe I was just wanting to be a star patient. I'm not really sure. Because I can't figure out why I was so bent on being off pain meds so quickly, except that my doctor had given me a goal to achieve and I was convinced I would not need them more than two days (including the day of surgery). But when I got them back in my system (6-7 hours apart), I started to feel better again. I took my last hydrocodone Saturday night and still had a little bit of hurting (especially in my right foot). But I woke up Sunday feeling like I was over the hump. I even considered going to a movie. But because I'd gone to bed with a little pain the night before, I was apprehensive about possibly having to walk down a long hallway to a theater and also navigating steps. I decided my first outing should not involve that much walking. And I think it was the right decision.

To be cautious, I stayed in one more day. Last night we watched a pay per view movie (The Ides of March, which was very good) and ate popcorn. I'm enjoying my time with Connie so much. And she has taken such good care of me. Then today my friend Brittany picked me up and took me to lunch. I chose Fulin because it seemed like the shortest walk from car to table. But even though I'm slow, I am walking so well today that I realized I could have gone anywhere and been fine. After lunch I felt good enough to go in Victoria's Secret and pick up some body lotion. I knew customers would notice how funny I was walking and wonder what was wrong with me. I am such an explainer that I had to resist the impulse to share that I'd had recent foot surgery with every stranger whose eyes met mine. But as I entered the store, I made the conscious decision to offer no explanations and let them wonder.

It felt so good to get out and do something normal. I don't know how long my feet will be sore or how long it will be before I walk normally. But I feel like I'm on the downhill slide now. So, for the benefit of anyone reading who may be considering having neuroma surgery, I needed pain pills for five days instead of two. Not because the pain was excruciating, but because I could move better, be more comfortable, rest and heal better. I've been told (and it makes sense to me) that your body heals better and faster if you are not in pain. Pain causes more inflammation. Yesterday and today I have taken only an anti-inflammatory in the morning (same one I took for my frozen shoulder). I have been on my feet quite a bit today and I am still not in any pain.

I'm really looking forward to having the bandages and stitches removed Friday morning! I'm just hoping the right nerves were removed and once the soreness is gone, I won't have the nerve pain. I've heard reports of complete relief after this surgery and one person told me their surgery was unsuccessful. I would hate to think I went through this for nothing. My surgeon said he has never removed a nerve that wasn't damaged (they send it for biopsy). But I know there is always a first time and I don't want to be his only exception! I went to a medical doctor who specializes in the foot instead of going to a podiatrist because I wanted the best chance of a successful outcome. And Dr. Yu came highly recommended.

I had so much fun with my friends today. Tomorrow I have another lunch date and an appt. to get my hair cut and colored. I always feel better with fresh hair! My time with Connie is winding down. After my stitches are removed Friday morning, I will move locations and spend the next week at Chris and Cheryl's. I'm looking forward to hanging out at their house and having some quality time with the family before John comes for his next appt. with Dr. Flinn and we go home to West Virginia together! I miss him terribly and hate having to be away from him while recovering, but I wanted to have my foot surgery here in Nashville and get it behind me.

The timing turned out to be perfect for several reasons. And a big one is: Danny is being ordained as a priest in the Anglican church on March 17. I could not miss that. I was mentally prepared to go in a wheelchair, if necessary. Thankfully, I will be walking on my own just fine.

I'm feeling good. I'm feeling thankful. I'm happy the last three weeks are behind me. I'm feeling excited about my new life in West Virginia and excited about having a little more time with family and friends before I head "home" in two weeks with John. I was saying at lunch today that I do not feel I have to "lose" any of my dear friends because I'm moving six hours away. I will always make the effort to stay emotionally close to those who make the effort to remain close to me!

I'm so happy I get to come back every eight weeks. That and technology make this adjustment so much easier. And hopefully I will make a few new close friends in my new location.


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