Today is Monday and my Achilles tendon surgery was Thursday, so I am well on my way to moving out of the right-after-surgery phase into the gosh-isn’t-recovery-boring part.
Other than starting a couple of hours late, surgery went pretty well. Because my calf muscle has contracted, my foot doesn’t flex as it should. The solution is to make small incisions in the Achilles tendon, allowing it to lengthen and permitting the foot to flex normally. The foot is held in a proper position by a surgical boot for six weeks as the tendon heals.
The actual surgery site hasn’t caused any pain. I had some pain medication after surgery and a couple of pain pills the first night to help me sleep and then nothing but a few Tylenol since then. However, there have been some unanticipated “side effects” of the surgery:
- Since they placed me on my stomach for the surgery, they inserted a breathing tube to ensure my safety during the procedure. My major complaint after the surgery was a really sore throat. (Trust me, the dryness caused by Sjogren’s and breathing tubes don’t mix well.)
- I have really bad shoulders and using a walker is really painful. One shoulder has been replaced and the other one has had two rotator cuff surgeries. I was not able to put any weight on the foot for the first three days and placing that kind of stress on my shoulders made it very difficult/painful to get around. We’ve since rented a wheelchair for longer road trips (such as to the kitchen), which helps, but I have some narrow doors in my house so I am still reliant on the walker for certain destinations — like the bathroom. I am able to start putting some weight on the foot which is helping a lot. I am hopeful that by the end of the week I can graduate to a cane or at least my new forearm crutches.
- I have a Morton’s neuroma in the surgical foot. I had actually thought about talking to the surgeon about removing it during surgery (I had the one in the other foot removed several years ago). But it’s small and generally not very troubling. However, being in a surgical boot puts constant pressure on the bottom of your foot — kind of like being on your feet 24 hours a day — which aggravates the situation. The major pain I’ve had has been associated with the neuroma rather than the actual surgery.
- I’ve discovered all kinds of barriers in my house. For example, I have a great walk-in shower with a bench but there’s a threshold going into the shower. Hopping over this threshold getting in and out of a wet shower is, frankly, terrifying. Now that I’m able to put a bit more weight on my foot, I’m hoping these barriers will be less of an issue.
My husband has been great looking after me and my BFF came over the day after surgery to “babysit” so my husband could take care of some things at the office, so I’ve had some excellent care. (Thanks, Pat!) Today is the first day on my own, but I’ve demonstrated that I can successfully make it to the kitchen and the bathroom and I have a pocket to carry my phone with me at all times, so I should be good to go. (Except that I am already tired of movies and books … and don’t yet have the attention span for a lot of writing. Bored. Bored. Bored.)
In other, more important news, I hope that you will join me in holding friend and fellow blogger, Irma (https://beatingrheumatoidarthritis.com/2016/06/25/a-heart-too-broken/) in your thoughts and prayers as her husband recovers from a severe heart attack and the resulting complications. I’ll get by just fine, but Irma and her family need all our support.
Thanks for checking in.