Firstly I'd like to say hi on here as I am new to this board. I'm Kelly, I'm 40 from UK. I am due to have triple fusion to my hindfoot on 29th Jan 2010. I am so overwhelmed with differnent stories.
I have rheumatoid arthritis and that is why my surgery is booked. At the moment I am able to carry out day to day tasks albeit slower than I used to. At the back of my mind I keep thinking shall I put off surgery until a later date, especially on my good days. Then I will get a bad day where the pain is intense and I know I am doing the right thing.
I am also really worried about the length of recovery. I am such an active person, I work part time, I show my dogs, I sing, walk etc. When people say 'out of action' what exactly do they mean? Will I be able to walk slowly? maybe light gardening? cook? if not how quickly will that resume? I do realise everyone is different.
Also prepration before surgery - Is there anything I can do? diet, excercise etc? I'm also really worried about putting weight on whilst having the cast on.
Just one foot? You might want to get a walker, if your house is one story, with no more then 1 step. If not you might need crutches, since they can do stairs better. A walker is more stable though.
A wheel chair may not be a bad idea either. It frees up your hands. If your getting both done you will certainly need a wheel chair. If so, you might want to take off the doors inside the house, it makes it easier. Put a curtain over the bathroom door. I also had seat over the toliet with handles. I was completely non weight bearing in both feet, for differant reasons then you.
Again if wheelchair bound, you may want to go around house and lower some stuff. But certain plates, or canned goods, ect in bottom of cupboard. Maybe plug extension cords in and leave ready, if there is an outlet you may want to access.
Books and DVDs are not a bad idea. I spent alot of time on a laptop with wireless router. Maybe buy some foo dahead of time that will be easy to prepare. Paper plates and cups.
I am 15 mos. out from a triple, hind foot. If you are in fairly good health and have reasonably good upper body strength, you will be able to get yourself around on either a rolleraide or knee walker or crutches. My triple required 12 weeks non-weight bearing and it was difficult. However, I was also recovering from a total knee replacement on that knee three months before and still did my nwb rehab exercises on the knee.
Since I was 56 and overweight, I struggled with getting around but used a wheelchair and walker to hop on. I would think someone who is younger and active (I was active at work but nothing as much as when I was 40!) I would expect that you would do well. However, you might be unable to do some of the activities you mention such as showing your dogs. But I know that there have been other Triples who returned to work (sitting work, mostly) after two weeks and some who didn't let the surgery stop them for long. Also some who were in a boot and some weight bearing within 8 weeks. It is different for each person.
Now the good news. After 15 mos. I am so glad I did it. While my foot may feel weird at times, it's nothing like the pain that had drawn me into a deep depression and inability to do my work. I returned to work as a teacher and designer 16 weeks after my surgery and while it took some time to recover my strength and work through rehab pain, I have regained my former interest in my work and even took on extra work last summer. It's a process but one most people find is worthwhile after the healing takes place.
Thankyou so much for replying to my post. It's very encouraging when I hear good stories too. I am only having my left foot done ( thankfully not both of them ) the only problem I think I may encouter is using the crutches as my upper body strength is not good. I have weak wrists due to the rheumatoid arthritis. However I will be determined to recover as quickly as possible.
Because I work on my feet all the time, my normal footwear has been athletic shoes for years. As soon as I started PT, they had me starting to walk in my good old new balance shoes. As far as more dressy shoes, well, I have sandals etc. and have been wearing them since about 5 mos. out. I've been thinking about looking for something cuter...for a change.