Tao Te KaChing
Workin' the cash register of the Great Tao

Foot Surgery and Me...Week 1 finale, and week 2 begins!


Greetings!  Now that I'm much more coherent, I'm going to start off week 2 with a recap of week 1.  This will be a rather long post, and is meant for people like me who searched out blogs for information on having surgery done, in general, and having foot surgery done, in particular.  I know I've made a few posts, but they most certainly were done while on super loopy drugs.  Here's a full recounting of last week for your reading pleasure.

We went in to Same Day Surgery on Monday April 20 at 5:00am.  A few people were already in the waiting room, but more would arrive in the following 30 to 45 minutes.  Nothing special about the room; just a typical hospital / clinic waiting room.

I, like everyone else there, eventually had my name called out to get me registered with my wrist strap and sign consent to treatment forms.  This took a few minutes, and I returned to the waiting room.  After only maybe 10 more minutes, I was called out again, this time to go to a curtained off "room" much like the ones they'll put you in for an Emergency check-in.  Here I changed into my gown and had some initial tests done: blood taken, vitals, etc.  Then, it gets trippy...

ZagNut on his walker

So, finally I am wheeled to a pre-surgery staging area.  To this point, my wife had been with me, and I cannot tell you how good that is on the psyche until it's taken away.  I end up being the first into this pre-surgery triage area place.  Slowly, over the next hour, everyone I'd seen in the Same Day Surgery room eventually gets wheeled into here.  We're lined up, two rows facing each other, on the rolling gurney bed things in our gowns and stretch caps.  A woman about to have back surgery gets a fair amount of attention from a very attractive blonde doctor or resident.  An anesthesiologist comes in and asks me a few questions.  He's quite arrogant so he brushes off my questions quickly.  More and more doctors, residents, and nurses show up.  Everyone's bullshitting, having coffee, all around these two lines of people in gowns scared shitless.

My surgeon shows up, talking to the arrogant anesthesiologist about how some clinic or whatever performed 25 heart surgeries in one day.  He breaks from the story long enough to say hi, shake my hand, and, after asking me which foot we were doing, draws his initials on my ankle above my left foot.  Up to this point, I had been asked repeatedly which foot we were operating on; so much so that I was beginning to wonder myself.  I was told later why, but cannot remember.

Another anesthesiologist shows up: an attractive, cheery but soft-spoken woman, and begins getting my IV's hooked up.  Apparently her father had passed away a week or so earlier.  I expressed my condolences, and she was thankful, eager to have another ear to talk about it with.  I didn't give a shit either way, I was just scared shitless and in a surreal awe of the "casualness" of these doctors starting their day down here.  I'm not sure how long the woman and I talked, as she apparently administered the actual goods.

The next thing I knew, my wife and someone (a nurse?) were looking down at me asking how I felt.  As I recall, pretty fucking good.  I slept on and off over the evening there, and towards the following day, my foot began to make it's slight rage known.  I'd hit a button, and my foot calmed down quickly (as did the rest of me).

So the next morning, I was pretty cocky and "ready to go home," since I was managing the pain so well.  Here is one place I fucked up pretty badly: if you have the opportunity to stay an extra night, do it.  Everyone, including my doctor, seemed psyched that I seemed to be doing so well (notice how much the word "seemed" is showing up).  A physical therapist showed up with a walker (I think I was asked which I wanted to use: the walker is definitely the right choice) had me go down the hall, go up and down a few steps on my butt, then back to my bed.  I was soaked in sweat by the time we got back, and my foot was beginning to foreshadow to me that I haven't felt anything yet.  Perhaps a set of pictures will show better than I can explain why my foot was fairly pissed off (plus, a quick break from the book being written here):

The Lips

These pictures were taken on a follow-up appointment some four days after the surgery.  This delicious first entry to our set of pictures my wife has given the lovely name "The Lips."  I almost vomited hearing that name, because damn that's gross.  Anyway, not sure what they were doing from this side, possibly the fusion of my metatarsal, who knows.  I do know that I my "heel" was broken in two places, so maybe this was one of the points to get at that heel.  I am also 90% sure I never once "felt" this one.

Cadaverous looking heel shot

Speaking of my heel, I'm guessing this is where the screw(s) were put in.  This picture is weird to me also, since it's the only one that show's the yellow dye of their surgery-prep stuff.  For some reason you can't see that coloring on any of the other pictures.  I did feel this one - a frequent, droning ache that I did not enjoy.  I'd give this maybe 30% to 40% of my discomfort, if not more.  Note The Lips <gag>...

But now, without further ado, the real money shot:

Oh yeah...

"Oh whatever, that's not that gross!"  Yeah okay.  I went ahead and made sure my wife got a good close up of this one.  If I had to guess, I'd say this is the entry point for a vast majority of the work he did.

The Real Lips

Oh yeah.  That's just delicious.  And actually, I screwed up.  This is what Joey referred to as The Lips.  Apparently, this lovely spot had quite a bit of discharge, that seeped through my initial padding / cast onto my pillows at the hospital.  This guy definitely contained all the rest of my discomfort.

Liam on my walker

Shameless inclusion of my fat little man, Liam!  He definitely likes to play with poppa's walker, which blows when poppa is at the other end of the room and needs to get it.

So anyway, we get me home.  I'm skipping dealing with the extraordinarily douche bag escort who didn't know how to use a wheelchair, and the absolutely extraordinary amount of pain that flashed through my body when I accidentally put some weight down on that foot.  All happened just getting me into the car to get me home.  My recommendation here: whoever's helping you needs to be patient.  In hindsight, we should have just found the front entrance, gotten wheeled down to there, and waited there for Joey to get her car.  We instead tried to be practical and wheel me to the garage, where Joey would get her car and pick me up.  It's not that the garage was inconvenient, just obviously foreign territory to our "escort".  Also, some woman parked her minivan in front of the ramps, and so forth.  Whatever.  We get me home.

The pain decides now to make itself fully known.  And boy, does it hurt.  We get me up into the bed upstairs and throw two oxycodones down my throat.  Didn't really help.  Three hours later, threw two more oxys down my throat.  This, combined with shear exhaustion from the newfound pain and effort to just move around, much less go upstairs, finally did something.  I passed out.

Weird, WEIRD dreams on that oxycodone.  I also took the opportunities this surgery afforded me to quit smoking.  I definitely didn't consciously give a shit about smoking throughout the week, but occasionally a super-mega-realistic oxycodone day dream would come along and make me wonder why I'd be smoking in the house when Joey wouldn't allow it.  I'd get in a big fight with myself about how I really screwed up and was gonna use this time to quit finally, and now here I am smoking in our bedroom without a care in the world.  What a douche I am.  Then I'd wake up to take a few sips of water and formally think through my counter-arguments to my smoking self-berating.  I'd be all fully prepped, pop a few oxys and, just before passing out again, suddenly become very, very confused with what the hell was going on.  Kind of fun, I guess.  I've since switched to Vicodin, being a little leery of oxycodone's wonderous powers.  For the first week, the oxy was needed for sure, though, don't get me wrong there.

So my super media center lasted one day.  I decided, in an oxy-haze that I wanted to work on my laptop on my big, comfy recliner.  So Joey did the best she could disassembling my super setup so I could work for maybe 10 minutes on my laptop before falling asleep.  I streamed two episodes of Harvey Birdman through it.  That's all.

The Playstation 3 is a godsend, and Fallout 3 was made for inert surgery times.  And that's really where I'm at now.  PS3, Fallout 3, and in a solid cast until May 14 or so.  The posts should be way shorter now.  Just trying to get as detailed as possible, should anyone else be researching having the same or similar surgery done to their feet.

Now, back to Fallout 3.  Cheers...