Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Six Weeks Post Surgery Report

"Pain is the best instructor but no one wants to go to his class."  (Bruce Lee)

Especially not me.

It has now been six weeks since my heel surgery, and if you are a new reader to this blog, I welcome you and invite you to go back and read all the gory details of what my surgery involved by clicking here. 

Otherwise, I have mostly good stuff to report.

I put away my knee scooter.  Using the knee scooter back when I was non weight bearing was recommended by my surgeon in lieu of using crutches.  I was even able to carry things in my handy dandy basket and go fast enough around our kitchen island to terrorize the dog.  It has been put away in storage for when the time comes that I have the other heel done.  Did I just say that?  Nuh-uh.  Can't think of that now.

Going, going...

The wheelchair is also folded up and stashed back in a corner.  I would only need to use it at this point if we were going somewhere that required LOTS of walking, like a mall or a boardwalk at the beach.  Although I'm doing well, that would still be a bit much for me.

The walker has been folded up and put away.  For now at least.  As the wedge in my boot is decreased, pain may require me to use it at times.  For today though, it's out of sight.  And so is the cane, which I used to transition from the walker to nada.

As for my foot fashion, I gave up the original cast after the first two weeks.

That cast was replaced with this black immobilization boot.  In the heel of the boot was a two inch wedge.

Here's where things get tricky, and painful too.  One week ago, it was time to decrease the wedge.

Decreasing the wedge = more stretching of the achilles tendon = PAIN.  Putting the pain back into the equation required me to go back to using the walker and a cane for the next 5 or 6 days.  

Here is the one inch wedge that was removed a week ago.  (There is still another one inch wedge in there too.)

Tomorrow I will remove the second one inch wedge, and insert a 1/2 inch wedge in its place.  Then in another week or so I will be ready to transition to a shoe, in which a 3/8 inch wedge is inserted under my heel.  

Gradually decreasing the elevation of my heel allows my tendon to gradually be stretched back into full range of motion.

Here is the sequence of heel inserts, left to right, with the smallest lift for a shoe on the right:

I do not look forward to each adjustment, as I've learned from the first change that it means pain.  Lots of pain.  The kind of pain that makes me think of using those pain pills from the first week.  They make me sick though, so I will be sticking with ibuprofen as needed.  

I'm choosing to look at the pain in a positive light:

"When you feel pain, you know that you are still alive."  (Bruce Lee again)

Another good step of progress I have to report is that I no longer have to sleep by myself on our first floor.  I can now navigate the 13 stairs up to our bedroom on the second floor.  It takes me a while, but I CAN DO IT.

I'm actually feeling like I'm getting somewhat back towards normal.  I can do some dishes, cook some meals, wash a bit of laundry, and just do most of those things that I would do in a normal day.  It takes me longer and it is harder, but again, I CAN DO IT.

I've also booked some travels for this Fall.  Knowing I have trips on the calendar motivates me to be disciplined about doing my twice a day physical therapy. 

So thank you all for expressing your kind thoughts, inquiries and prayers.  I'm doing well and coming along, better each day.

"He who hesitates meditates in a horizontal position."  (Ed Parker)

Not me.  No, not me.


  1. Once you are back in regular shoes-can dancing shoes be far behind:)

  2. What a wonderful, positive post. So glad you are getting back to the old Jill!

  3. You are making great progress. Keep up the good work. Pretty soon you will out roller skating and square dancing.

  4. So glad to hear you are making such great progress. The doc put me in a second cast to stretch out my tendon. No wedges involved. My first cast had my foot pointed down at an angle. I don't remember it being too painful. Amazing what they can do to get you back to normal.

  5. Week by week, step by step, sounds like you are slowly getting better. Will continue to pray to that end.

  6. Well that's progress!! Good for you. I wouldn't be too quick to jump back into the cooking, laundry, and dishes tasks. Can't you ask the doctor for an excuse from those tasks for about, oh, say a year or so? It's worth a try!