WARNING! HOT ACTION GRUESOME SURGERY PICS BELOW!!!
So my last, long post was a detailed recap of that first week: the surgery process, some minor tidbits about home, having cast put on, etc. A whole lot of nothing has happened during the following two weeks. And yet, so much has happened.
For anyone who may stumble upon these pages doing some personal research before their own surgery, I can assure you that pooping can be an extraordinarily painful and exhausting event. I need an analogy or some other tool to proceed…
I never knew what heartburn was. I didn’t even know I didn’t know what heartburn was until I had a bunch of stress-related indigestion going on – lots of belching and farting and basically uncomfortable gas in my stomach that eventually became intolerable. When it started getting to that point, I assumed that I had heartburn or acid reflux or something, and began popping the Tums.
Then came the moment when, in the peak of the glory of my stress at that time (another story for another day), my sternum and anything underneath would occasionally suddenly become awash in a hot, fiery pain. Ergo, heartburn. I now know what heartburn is.
I still am not sure what constipation is. But if it is anything like what began at the tail end of week 1 through to today (so far), I’d rather have heartburn, daily, several times a day, for 10 minutes each time.
For lack of a better phrase, after surgery I did not shit for the first week. Apparently that’s normal, as the anesthesia leaves your system (I guess). My wife got some Colace stool softener tablets, that you can take up to 3 a day. By the end of week 1, I was well into my 3-a-day. Then it came. After 5 minutes of using my walker and toilet seat riser and various other equipment to get me situated in my bathroom, I finally initiated the event.
And man oh man, it was an event. A grip-the-walls, sweat-pouring-down-forehead, vein-popping, horrible event. I guess it was painful. I don’t exactly remember. My mind has blocked out that memory. And the several memories since. Out of maybe 10 shits since then (including that one), I think 2 were “ok”, even typical-relief fulfilling. The rest of them, and absolutely that first one…ugh. Not fun, folks. In any way, shape, or form.
Speaking of pain, when I had my cast put on, the resident basically wrapped my calf and foot – all of that – first with a soft, thick cotton wrapping, then this colored gauze (you can pick your color) that hardened pretty quickly after. Quick, convenient, done. Problem was, my money-shot wound on the outside of my foot (see pics below, or from here) hadn’t finished bleeding / seeping, and that seepage was partly absorbed by the cotton padding, where it dried and connected to whatever was “drying” at the seepage point on my wound.
Now, I’ve been applying cold-packs behind my knee pretty much the entire time to help with the swelling. And help with the swelling it did. In fact, my calf / foot de-swelled in my cast enough to allow fairly good movement to happen in there. Ergo, the cast-to-wound-seepage-bridge would move and tug on the wound.
This was an interesting pain, interesting in that I “knew” exactly how to describe it when it first introduced itself to me in all its glory. For some reason, immediately I just knew what it would be like to have a clump of maybe 10 to 20 yellowjackets gnawing and stinging a particular area of one’s foot, and just sitting there letting them do that. The vicodin was quickly replaced by the oxycodone, and the oxycodone, I am almost positive, helped pooping become difficult again. Even though I had only some 10 days until the cast would be removed to have the sutures out, we made an appointment to have the cast “changed”, as this cycle was becoming unbearable.
And so, some FRESH PICS! You’ll have to forgive me – my wife and I forgot our good camera, and she ran off with Liam while I dealt with the wait, etc. These are me trying to get decent shots with my Palm Centro camera.
Ok, this one’s pretty good. They just removed the cast with this strange saw device. Here’s the gauze-seepage-clump. They poured cold water over it to get it to loosen. That felt so good, it just, it was just indescribable. Here’s a close up of that clump:
So here’s the scar on the inside of my foot. These pictures, I can assure you, don’t do this any justice. Very delicious. Fairly bruised / purplish, but still very little pain from this area.
Here’s a zoom up for you (click to get it large!)
Oh yeah…And now, the Clump uncovered! You are all very lucky, because this was really the only good picture I got of this horrid place, otherwise you’d be plagued by many gross close-ups. You can see “The Lips” there at the heel. I have no idea what that puncture-looking hole thing is farther up. Some of the seepage had dried on my foot, which is the brown “staining” at the bottom. They were kind enough to wipe it off a little.
This area blows. It hurts, it’s gross, it’s still swollen, it can’t get comfortable, ever. However, it will all be awesome with sandals on!
You can also see, barely, the small entry point on the heel for what I presumed is the screw they put in. This area is a consistent, annoying throb of pain. If one true factoid can be said: bones don’t like having screws put in or through them.
I’m excited, though. The picture of the scar on the inside of my foot clearly shows my new arch. And my whining of the pain is most of the time just being a bit over dramatic. That stupid outside, money-shot area (in particular the dark spot / hole place) stings relentlessly, but you do get used to it. The heel / screw as well, just not as easy to ignore I think, but it is less frequent than the other stuff. Newly, though, is a general ankle-bones pain. As things are hurting less, I am a little more liberal when doing what I can. Just climbing into bed to do this post, I put weight on the ankle area of the cast or something, and my ankle screamed out in pain.
So, May 14 (only 6 days!) I get my sutures out. I have been working from home these last two weeks (ideal for a software developer!), which was a fresh change from massive hours of Fallout 3. This has kept me good and busy, but I’m very ready to be physically back this Monday. I will say that it is probably different for everyone, but being up in this bedroom for a good 3 weeks…I am going slightly mad.