So, I’m sure I’ll get a lot of freaky foot fetish people finding this post, but I don’t care. Having a few of my post surgery photos available for those who are going to be having the same procedure as me will be helpful, and I want to also let everyone know my progress now that I am 49 days post surgery.
Procedures-Bunionectomy (fix bunion on outside of foot), Cheilectomy (removal of bone spur), Arthritis of the big toe cleanout (called Hallux Rigidus…yeah, I’m only 31)….all on the right foot, big toe area.
Date of Procedure-Friday, June 10th, 2016 at Cardston Medical Clinic, performed by Dr. Williams of Chinook Foot & Ankle Clinic
My original post about post surgery experience is here. I had meant to do recaps on how I was doing each week, but yeah…summer happened. What have I been doing? Well, I am really, really tan from laying on our rooftop patio. I also got a whole math course worked through for the fall, made answer keys for the Mathematics SL IB World Exam, crocheted three pairs of slippers, and generally went crazy. I kept occupied. But I needed exercise. On June 27th, I was given permission to go in the water for deep water jogging while at my two-week post op. I had never been so excited to be in a pool (note: I hate swimming. I am more of a pool, margarita and tan kind of girl). I went to our local YMCA and got a one-month membership at just below $60. I used it, I think, 28/30 days! I started with deep water jogging, which felt weird as I could not really move my toes at all. I was nervous to flutter kick. I didn’t want my foot to bust open and then have the lifeguards close the pool because blood was everywhere.
I also went lap swimming approximately 3 times. That ended fast because I suck at swimming. I even went and bought a good pair of goggles. My best friend Ali, the swim coach, approved them, as she didn’t want me buying “cheap swimming lesson goggles.” My preferred swimming stroke? Lets call it “breast-paddle” or “doggy-stroke”. I combine doggy paddle and breaststroke to create this beautiful form. Gross.
I wasn’t going to be seeing my doctor again until July 21st, so I carefully kept walking in my medical shoe, making sure not to put pressure on the ball of my foot. I iced a lot, and I was very careful. About 3.5 weeks after surgery, all while still wearing the shoe, I had the need to sweat. Walking more than around my yard was painstakingly slow, but I figured I would try an elliptical at the YMCA. I kept the shoe on my right foot, with my Altra on my left, and got myself positioned on the elliptical. Since you keep you feet flat and don’t have to go on the balls of your feet while using this machine, it provided another option in addition to water jogging.
As my healing progressed, I did more elliptical and less water jogging. I would do the water jogging 2-3 times a week and would time it so I could stay in the pool an extra 45 minutes after the morning class and just water jog in the deep end by myself (a waterfit class was occurring in the shallow end). My scab was gone, everything seemed to be healing fine, and my tattoo was lined up damn well!
My 6 week post op was on July 21st. Doctor said everything looked good, however, I needed to be doing some physio with my toes, as since I had been SO careful to not bend them or put pressure on them, I was not able to bend them on my own. I was also a little nauseated when I saw the x-ray, as the screws look like they could have been taken from my husbands shop. But, I am told they won’t set off metal detectors. And, look how good that toe looks! Straight! No bump! Bright white arthritis gone!
What have I done since then? I have been to two physio appointments (I already had a physiotherapist from the months before) and he worked on my toes real good. I’m doing exercises to bend them, and still icing as needed. My YMCA membership expired yesterday, so I asked my physiotherapist if I could run today. He knows how I am, and he told me to give it a shot. My podiatrist also told me that when I did start running, I just would need to listen to my body. So, I went to the lake and did 5 km! I ran them very cautiously, with lots of walk breaks in mile 1, one walk break in mile 2 and then no walk breaks in mile 3. My average pace: 10:52 a mile. A far cry from my 7:13 a mile I ran back at a local 5km in May which was a few weeks after Boston. But, I know there isn’t any racing for me in the near future. I am not planning on ‘racing’ for the rest of 2016. Just training and getting myself back to comfortable longer runs. My goal race is the WDW Marathon Weekend, where I will be doing the Goofy Challenge (half marathon on Saturday, full marathon with my best friend on Sunday) and I am going to run them just for fun. No time goal, no personal bests. Just FUN! My training for this race weekend begins officially on August 29th.
I was going to take a photo now of my foot before posting this, but I have been doing quite a bit today and had a sock on, so it’s really funky looking. It feels great though! Are my results and recovery normal for this type of surgery? I am not really sure. I know people who have had only the bunionectomy done and have had much more of a difficult time recovering. My bunion was not completely horrible, but we decided to go ahead as I was being opened up anyway. I was extra careful post surgery to not do too much and get infected…until I knew the scar had healed and wouldn’t bust open. And while I told myself to wait until August 1st to try running, I knew being reasonable out there today would be alright. I am looking forward to fully recovering and getting back to racing speed.
If you or anyone you know has questions about my procedures and recovery, please feel free to leave a comment or email me.