14 October 2009

Post-Surgery update

Considering I have been doing a whole lot of nothing for the past 3 weeks, you would think I would be more up to date with blogging. Sadly, I haven't had the energy to do much of anything (**including, if you've emailed me... I discovered a whole list of drafts in my gmail from where I apparently started to respond, and then ended up passed out from percocet. My apologies, and I'm catching up on those emails now!).

I had surgery on 9/28. I sent the following email out to my teammates to let them know how things went, in true race report fashion:

Woke up at 5:30 am Monday morning. Tossed on some clothes and mom drove me down to INOVA Fairfax. I hobbled in and received my wristband for the event and listened to the pre-race briefing. I signed off on some papers, took my pager (think restaurant pagers) and sat waiting to be taken back. Scoped out the competition - I was totally going to beat the little girl in a froggie onesie to the operating room. I'm a seasoned pro at surgery, afterall. To calm my nerves and pass some time, I brought along a book. My mom noted how pathetic I looked with my leg propped up on a crutch, wearing a race t-shirt (to be fair, thats about the only type of tshirt I own anymore) and reading "Once A Runner". My beeper finally went off, and I headed to transition to get ready. It's always nice passing Team Z faces with smiles and encouraging words. Kitty and Jeff were back in the pre-surgical room with patients of their own, but both stopped by to chat and see how I was. Some more body markings (doc signing the leg that was being operated on) and a few more pages later, I got the good stuff and was wheeled off for surgery. Had a great time of 2 hours in surgery, and woke up in the recovery room. After making some new friends there, and heading over to the second recovery room, I was ready to be done with the day. Came home and slept. Had some visits from some Z'ers, which are always nice.Tuesday was filled with by far the most excruciating pain I've ever been in... no amount of narcotics would help. I was warned it would hurt, but had no idea what I was in for.. so if you called or wrote yesterday, sorry for not getting back to you. Life is back to okay today

Okay, in all seriousness, the surgery went well - I think I have 2 plates in my ankle... I think they decided against the third but I cant remember what the doctors said to me as I came out of the anesthesia. I don't feel an incision on the back of my leg, but I guess I'll have to wait until my next appointment to find out whats up. I go back October 12th to have the cast removed, and will be put into an air cast at that time. No weight bearing for 6 weeks, so after my mom leaves this week, I'll be actively recruiting people to do a little grocery shopping for me... especially since I'm not "allowed" to drive right now (they doubt my mad left-footed driving skills).

Columbus day was spent getting xrays and having my cast taken off. I had to have the x-rays done first before my appointment, so I scoped them out in the elevator to see what they did to me:Suddenly my ankle began to hurt. Ouch.

Once in the doctors office, my cast came off. I'll spare you the extra gross pictures of my leg looking like it was jaundiced from the remaining betadyne. I didn't even want it to be part of my body when I first glaced down. 10 stages of bruising and discolorations, and two long lines gracing either side of my ankle, crusted over with blood. Ew. I snapped a quick picture of the x-rays once they had them up on the light box, and later pictures of my semi-cleaned surgery sites:

My leg looks huge... but thats just the cast.

Blurry pictures, but thats probably for the best.

I'm still not allowed to walk - no weight bearing until sometime around November 11th when I go back for my followup. They said if PT goes well and I can bear weight slightly beforehand, then I'll to go to IMFL to cheer on my teammates (being on the beach on crutches sounded pretty disasterous). My doc expects a full recovery with minimal side effects.

After some serious soaking in the bathtub, I have a lot of the dead skin off and removed the surgery tape. The lines look pretty clean, so I'm hoping for minimal scarring. As I was laying on my couch watching TV, I noticed how sad my leg looked. I've worked so hard for amazingly muscular calves... and in 3 weeks time - POOF.. gone.

Editors note: awkward flourescent lighting makes my legs look unnaturally colored.

Oh - I also had another surgery in the middle of all of this (of course...)! I had the implant done for the missing tooth FINALLY! My oral surgeon just shook his head when I came in on crutches.
Him: Please tell me this wasn't another biking accident.
Me: Nope. I was walking.
Him: Were you chewing gum?
Me: No need to be an ass... haha
At least he has a good sense of humor. Surgery went well, and now I just have to wait another two months for the post to fuse to the bone, and they'll add the crown on top so I have a tooth again. Horray!

Hope everyone is enjoying the end of the season/taper for the last big race!


Rainmaker said...

That's great to hear that your doc says you'll be able to have a full/complete recovery. And your brief race report of the pre-surgery was pretty funny.

IMFL cheering ehh?...noted.

Ironbolus said...

I didn't think there was anyone else in the world who found humor in orthopedic surgery! Ankle surgeries are always fun, and rehab is awful but a full recovery is alot easier with that than like a shoulder.

Love your blog - I'm new to reading it.