Hey, Peachykeen! Glad to see another San Antonio girl on the boards! I grew up there
I faced the same decision as you are: trying to decide if I could or should get this surgery over a break from school. Well, I decided to go for it over the winter break. I'm off school for 5 weeks and will still be in the boot when I go back to school, but at least it'll all be done.
Our story sounds similar, also, because I originally injured myself a year and a half ago and finally got sick of dealing with my ankle giving out, swelling and hurting all the time.
I had the same surgery (Brostrom - lateral ankle stabilization plus ankle scope) just 1 week ago today on 12/15/10. I am not going to tell you it was painless, but the pain has not been unbearable. I have to qualify that statement by saying I took the pain pills prescribed, religiously, every 4-6 hours for the first 3 days or so. This is very important. Also, my doctor did something to deaden the nerves in my ankle and foot (some kind of nerve block) during the surgery and that, thankfully, lasted for about a day and a half after the surgery. It did hurt once it wore off, but again, I knew it was gradually wearing off - it wasn't like all of a sudden a giant pain - more like pins & needles, followed by aching. By the time it wore off, the meds were in effect.
Also, ice and elevation can't be done enough. This has helped me so much, too. The more your elevated, the better. I even sleep with a floor pillow (like a square sofa throw pillow on steroids) in bed.
I was able to stop the pain meds about Saturday night (3 days post-op) and replace them with 800 mg. ibuprofen. Believe it or not, I've not needed to take anything for the last 2 days or so. I did take a pain pill before my doctor's appt. because of the length of time my leg would be down plus the fact that the dr. was messing around down there, moving my foot, etc.
I hope this helps somewhat. Don't worry, though, while we all have different levels of pain tolerance, I can tell you it has not been that bad so far. Nothing I couldn't handle. Just don't be afraid to take your pain meds at first! Don't let the pain set in, it's easier to keep it at bay than to push it back, if you know what I mean.
Good luck, take care and post with your progress!