go to:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

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…


Submit this story to DotNetKicks

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Finally, a clue, and Me…

So these past three days have been something else, I’ll tell you!  First of all, I quit smoking, so I was going through some sort of withdrawals there.  The pain at times was extraordinary, leaving me incredibly exhausted pretty much all day.  We’d counter this with two oxycodone about every four hours.  Basically with all this simultaneously going on, doing anything other than sleeping was a waste of time.  I’d try to play PS3 and simply forget what I was playing.  My super media setup went kaput once or twice and my oxy-mind only made it worse.

Today, though, I feel more on top of it, even with the oxycodone.  I think the quitting smoking was really making life weird there, not that I was jonesing or anything, but I could tell a great cloudy-headed confusion was permeating all other aspects of my suffering.  Still doing fine on that, btw.

I know my typing etc is quite poor right now.  I’m having a hard time still concentrating even on this dumb post.  I see Dr. Wukich at around 2:00 today.  I’m gonna see if I can score some xray images.


Submit this story to DotNetKicks

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Left Foot, Extreme Pain, and Me…

So I believe in my last entry I said I couldn’t wait for my surgery, cause I had such a bad ass media center setup and games and and and…


First of all, if they suggest you stay an extra night, stay the extra night.  Most likely it’s because your anesthesia is about to wear off and they can help control the pain better.  This is my hunch, anyways.  It’s a hunch based on being up all night moaning in retardedly bad pain.


The oxycodin wasn’t doing shit.  I couldn’t get comfortable to sleep (I decided to quit smoking too with all this).  They say to elevate your foot to lessen pain.  I am finding that every time I do that, I get a good massive 10+ minutes of ouch.  A nice hard steady surface seems to be what the doctor ordered.  I’ll have my foot up on like 6 pillows, and it starts screaming at me as if I’m squeezing it or something.  Soon as I take it off and just lie it on the bed, everybody seems calm for awhile.


I’ve tried playing some games and other stuff today.  I think I’m so exhausted from the pain and oxycodin that I just can’t keep it all in order.

Hey, a walker is a good thing to have.


PS:  I’m making no sense….we’ll see about tomorrow…

Submit this story to DotNetKicks

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Proper Preparation for Surgery, and Me…

Well folks, I am perhaps a little over a day away from major surgery.  And I can’t wait...


setup_1 setup_2

That’s why…

With my wife’s full blessings, I have, at the foot of my bed:

  • a 32” HDTV
  • PlayStation 3
      • Fresh, unopened copy of Fallout 3
      • Unfinished Dead Space
      • Unfinished GTA IV
      • Unfinished Bioshock
  • Dell Studio 1535 laptop
      • Myst I, II, and III (never played them)
  • 500 GB MyBook drive
      • all of the Jonny Quests
      • all of the Star Blazers
      • all of the Battle of the Planets
      • all of the Space Ghost Coast-to-Coasts
      • all of the Harvey Birdmans
      • all of the SeaLab 2021s
      • all of the Action Teen Hunger Forces

Additionally, my laptop already has VS 2005 and 2008 on it, as well as SQL 2005 and 2008 (this is noted primarily for my employers who sometimes peruse my blog to assure them of the volumes of work I will accomplish).

So now combine above setup with some oxycodone and/or vicodin and you have probably the most fantastic vacation lined up ever.

I have very, very flat feet, and have had to go through all the money-gobbling circles of orthotics and lousy podiatrists to get here, here being a “reconstruction of flat foot with double osteotomy calcaneus, gastrocnemius lengthening, and fusion of 1st tarsometatarsal joint” by an orthopedic surgeon.  Left foot Monday, right foot sometime maybe in November / December.

I hope to have some delicious pictures of my mangled left foot for everyone here in the near future, plus some x-ray images.  I’m scheduled to go in at 5:00am Monday morning.


ADDENDUM (Sunday, April 19 @ 4:02pm)

Ok, I’m 13 hours away from the chopping block.  I figure I would give the guest of honor his due.  Here’s my feet right now, and in particular the left flipper:



Ugh.  It just…I’m glad I’m having this done.  Huge massive scars around it all will look better than this mutation.

Also, had to update my super-media-computing center.  Here’s a hint if you want headphones for your PS3: make sure bluetooth or USB set works before purchasing.  I have a set of Motorola s805 DJ ones that are fantastic, but no workie.  So, I brought up the DENON receiver, hooked the optical audio up, and threw some old-school stereo headphones on.  Very, very sweet.  I put PS3 Mediaserver on my laptop and am streaming video to my PS3, as well.  Here ‘tis:


Gives me wood just looking at it…



Ok so I was getting some stuttering on the playback through the PS3 from ps3mediaserver, due to going over wifi.  I found a crossover cable and downloaded pfSense (m0n0wall with UPnP support).  Using Virtual PC, I created a router with my laptop’s wifi and ethernet cards, making the wifi the WAN and ethernet the LAN.  No more stutter, and the PS3 has access to whatever it needs.


Submit this story to DotNetKicks