Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Comparing Pains

  "What did you do to yourself?" inquired a familiar gym mate as I hobbled down the stairs a few weeks back.  "I had bunion surgery," I replied.  "Oh, did they cause you a lot of pain?" she asked. My immediate answer was YES but how much pain is a lot? I had nothing to compare it to.  It's not like I could attach someone else's bunionized foot to my leg and give a solid answer. The pain was tolerable and I vouched that I could live with it for a few more years.  I remember, before my surgery, while standing in the shower after a workout, my bunions red, sore and throbbing.  This was my norm. My frustrations came from the impossible task of finding comfortable, well-sized shoes.  My podiatrist, who miraculously cured my two year episode of plantar fasciitis with orthotics, informed me that my feet had excellent range of motion and will be surprised to know I had this surgery.    
  "I hear the recovery is painful," a stranger said with sympathy.  "Not really," I replied. "My foot was numbed for the first 36 hours, I had adequate pain killers for 5 days, I was in a cast to my knee for the first 6 weeks and then an aircast for another 3 weeks."  The most painful part of my recovery was when I decided to go Christmas shopping the same week I got my aircast.  Standing in one spot, due to my indecisiveness, for more than a couple minutes was excruciating.  With my heavy winter coat on, my temperature was rising and my blood pressure was dropping.  I had to let go what I was carrying and sit down on a display. My non-operated foot was still compensating by bearing much of my body weight and it was in so much pain, I was going to faint.  Lesson learned.   
  Now that I have one "normal" almost healed foot and the other with Paul-B still attached, I can give a more concrete answer. YES, they were painful.  YES, the surgery was worth it. And YES, I'm looking forward to getting my other foot done.  In retrospect, the throbbing, shooting pains were not normal. I just put up with them.  My new foot is quiet, it doesn't yell at me after exercise.  The skin near my scar is still tender to touch and still numb in some areas. The odd dull aches are becoming less frequent.  My limp only appears when I've been walking all day at work. I'm now used to the shape of my new foot. So this is what other people's feet look like?

Swelling still evident 3+months post

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