I had my stitches out last Wednesday and for the most part the incisions seem to be healing OK, with the exception of the oestomy on my instep.
Yesterday I drove up to my parents (probably too soon, but I leased a new car the night before surgery and I insisted, it's the first time I have had a chance!) which is about an hour and a half. I am in the boot now. The driving was fine, but in addition to that I would say my foot was 'down' more than usual.
My doc had told me I don't need to have the boot on unless I am moving around a lot, so I took it off.
I started to get some swelling around the incision and noticed it was draining through the steri-strips. I removed them and the incision looked bad, not closed and there was white skin around the incision. A little blood as well. My ankle also turned red. My sister in law, who is in nursing school, drew a line around the redness so I could see if it went any further up my leg.
Last night I put a piece of gauze with neosporin on it with tape - a little loose so it would also get air. It looks better today, the redness didn't advance but there is still that white area. It doesn't seem like it's draining puss but it also doesn't look like it's as closed up as it should be.
I am holding off on calling the doc unless it gets worse, but I am wondering if there is anything else I should be doing for it? How long will it be before all of the incisions are completely closed? I know a lot of people go into a cast so it may be hard to say. Any replies are appreciated, thanks!!
I second that idea. Better safe than sorry and that sounds like it could be an infection. I am sorry I can't give you any comparison info because when I came out of my cast, my incision was completely healed. Good luck and let us know!
Thanks for the replies, I decided to wait another day/night to see how it looks. It is looking a lot better, no more white skin around the incision. Still not completely closed but appears now to be healing.
My other incisions look better than this one but again, not fully healed. So that's a bit of a setback as I had hoped to be able to get back to going into work soon. I am not wearing the boot while the one incision heals and am not about to start going to the office until they are all closed up. I got the OK from work to keep working at home as long as I need to, but it is frustrating!
Tomorrow I will hit the NWB half way point...that is by far the hardest part of this. I am finding the knee scooter to be terrific though, and can scoot without the boot as long as I am careful not to whack my foot on anything!!
Just an update - my idea to wait and see doesn't seem to be paying off, the incision looks the same, maybe a bit worse. Called the doctor and am going in this afternoon. I need to get this thing under control, I am not wearing the boot because I am concerned about it being confined with no air, and I don't feel like I can go back to work (as in going into the office, I am working at home now) until I know the incision is completely closed and I can wear the boot. So it seems like a bit of a catch-22...
Meanwhile this is REALLY beginning to take a toll on me emotionally. Yesterday I was in tears pretty much from the time I got up until I went to bed. Found myself thinking some pretty dark thoughts, I really need something to shift with this thing before I totally lose my mind. It's so hard to get others to relate unless they have been through it. And having people say that it's only temporary or that I am making progress isn't all that helpful! I know that there are people who are far worse off than me right now, and and as much as I can grasp that intellectually, it is so hard to lose so much of the abilities I take for granted.
Back from the doc - she doesn't think it's infected, but gave me a script for an antibiotic to be on the safe side. She isn't too concerned, said it's OK to keep showering and washing it, and to skip the Neosporin so it can dry out. I go back in two weeks for another look.
She's also fine with me not wearing the boot much at all. It's mainly a protection for when I go out and as she said, need to send a message to other people to be careful around my foot. As long as I am careful myself with scooting and walking with the crutches I can leave it off to let the foot get air.
Getting out did my mood some good as well. I have a sort of phobia over the steps off my deck and that has kept me in the house when I probably could be getting out more. I am going to try to practice more on the steps this weekend (with supervision) so that I can get over the fear. They're the only ones I seem to have an issue with, probably because they're not the regular size of most stairs and they aren't the same height from step to step. It's a real mental block that I need to work through!
Ok I'm REALLY glad you went in to get it checked out. I'm glad she didn't feel it was infected, but I'm also glad she gave you an antibiotic for prophylaxis because your description sounds very borderline. Be careful with it out of the boot because if you fall (even on regular floors, not just stairs), you could cause damage and definitely pain! I fell 3wks in when my crutch slipped and my cast is what saved me from messing up the surgery and I still had a good deal of pain. Scooter too. There have been accidents on those. I had a small one, but with the cast it was nothing. As far as the emotional aspect of it, it is hard and no on can relate unless they've been through it, you're right! That's what we're all here for! It is really important to get out of the house every so often as soon as your foot can handle it. I was really scared I was going to get depressed and lonely this time because I did after my first surgery 11 yrs ago and this recovery was much longer. I didn't though and there are different things that played into that (married not single like last time, work in the home, not outside it), the biggest thing (for me anyway) was that I showered the day after surgery and every day since so I'd feel clean and I got out of the house the day after surgery just to ride around and then got out about every 3 days thereafter. That seemed to be just right-out enough I don't go nuts and then in enough to rest, etc. Obviously you can't go do a lot because you're exhausted and it's painful. I could drive with it being my left ankle, but while I couldnt have it down (and still being on pain meds), I'd have a friend come get me to ride with her while she did her errands or grab a quick lunch or something to take home and then progressed to a movie, etc. Anyway, this was just my examples of what worked for me, but everyone's different. My point is to find some way to get out of the house so you don't get depressed and have dark thoughts! I understand the fear of your steps, but sounds like you've got a good plan in place to combat those fears!
Thanks for the reply - the incision continues to be stubborn though it looks more like a regular scab as the days go by. Still a little drainage if I wear the boot and/or have my foot down a lot. I am back in my office as of yesterday and I was quite swollen and sore when I got home, but not so much that it's unmanageable.
Getting out of the house for work has helped my mood a lot. I will probably work 4 days in the office this week and one at home. We are about to have a heat wave so I am not going to come in unless I have to!
I go back for another wound check next week then the next appointment will be at the 8 week mark, hoping to get the go ahead to begin weight bearing. There is a light at the end of this long tunnel!!