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Old 01-19-2013, 09:33 PM   #1
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Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Hi, I'm new to these message boards. I stumpled upon this site out of a need to find someone who has been through ankle and foot surgery that I can connect with and get ideas and info from and possibly reassurance and support.

On Feb. 6th, I am having surgery to correct my left ankle and foot. I have an accessory navicular bone that needs to be removed and flat foot that is causing many problems. The procedures being done, besides the above mentioned, are: Calcaneal neck lengthening, Cuneiform osteotomy, Gastroc. recession, Brostrom procedure with possible Peroneal tendon repair.

THAT is what is overwhelming me, along with the thought of the recovery process and being non weight bearing for so long. I have read a lot of different threads that have been very enlightening. I'm just really worried and fearing the unknown. I have had 5 knee surgeries since 2004, but I always knew what to expect with arthroscopy. I am worried because my last knee scope was done in Sept 2012 and I just finished PT for it. It scares me that that leg is the one that will have to be bearing all my weight because it isn't as strong as a normal knee would be. Sigh. There...that's off my chest now. I would appreciate any feedback.

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:04 PM   #2
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Good luck Lauralei!!
Get a knee scooter...it is the easiest. Did you have knee surgery on the left knee too? My knee did get sore using the scooter....I used it a lot the past 2 months. The first month I was in bed icing & elevating most of the time. My bathroom is close to my bed so I didn't have to go far on crutches. I had a family member set me up with drinks, ice & Snacks, books,etc before they left for the day. I used ice bags for awhile & then an iceman machine. It was much less problematic.

Get a smart phone if you don't already have one....such a great thing when you are stuck in bed. The first few days post op were bad....stay at the hospital if you can so they can get your pain managed. I could not have handled being at home when the nerve block wore off. Once the pain meds get regulated it is not so bad. Relax, enjoy a good book. Keep in touch...we understand here!!

Hope I didn't scare you....it just takes time when you have so much being done in there...just be glad they are doing it all at once, so only one recovery!! Don't drive yourself crazy worrying....the pain level will be much better than what you have been going through. I'm 12 weeks out & just starting pwb....so I hope the pain is gone totally soon.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:01 AM   #3
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Hi Lauralei! I had ankle rconstruction Dec 11th and am doing well with recovery. It's very scary to be facing surgery with a long recovery process. I think ankles/feet have some of the longest recovery times. It's also scary to realize how long you'll be NWB. That to me, has been the worst part of the surgery. Take the time you have before surgery to practice how you'll get around. How will you bathe? Do you have stairs to navigate? Do you have someone to be with you during recovery? You'll need something to keep your toes warm. I used slipper socks, that had wide, stretchy openings. Make sure they have grippers on the soles. You'll find lots of good info on the boards and great support and encouragement. Best wishes for a successful surgery and recovery!

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:56 AM   #4
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Thanks for the advice, Bonnie. I do have a knee scooter reserved to rent. My left knee has had 3 surgeries but I can kneel on it without a lot of pain. I will probably have to get something soft to pad the scooter board with just in case.

I am doing the surgery as a day surgery so no overnight hospital stay. My husband is taking the next day off work to be with me. Then I will only have the following Friday being alone (which scarese me) and then it will be the weekend and he'll be with me.

I do have an icing machine to use. I will definately do the coolers and snack set up as you suggested. I'll surround myself with my Kindle, laptop and phone. lol

I hope you are doing well with the PWB pain. Good luck as you continue to heal.

 
Old 01-20-2013, 08:05 AM   #5
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Butrfli1, thanks for the advice about the socks! Dang it, I just gave away 4 brand new pair of slipper socks with the grips because I don't like them. They are so hot. lol But, I guess I better get some more.

I went to phys. therapy on Friday with my crutches to learn about NWB mobility with crutches. That is when they decided I might need a knee scooter because of my weak knees. I did well on the crutches until it came to stairs. I have a ranch style house, but there are 2 steps up to get in the house. My knee was so weak trying to haul my butt up the steps at PT. I was mortified. I asked the PT if I could just sit down and go up the steps on my butt. lol But then I face the issue of trying to stand up! Sigh. My hubby will just have to be behind me to hoist me if I need help. So I have started thinking about maneuvering around the house.

I hope you are healing well. And I hope we both won't regret having surgery done down the road!

 
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:26 AM   #6
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Ugh....those dreaded 2 steps!!! I have 2 at the front door & 4 at the side door by the driveway...it is always an adventure....no railings on any of them....I just posted a story about that on a thread about crutches....I think animal started it. I HAVE done those 4 stairs up on my butt too...then crawled across the kitchen to find a stool to pull myself up.....not the most graceful moments of my life! :-D

I find those slipper socks too warm, too. If I am going any distance on the scooter or crutches, I have to put my shoe on. you gThe added pressure on my good (but also flat) foot is painful & I don't want to damage it. I won't have to have surgery on that foot unless it becomes unbearable.

I bought a gel filled bike seat cover for my scooter. With a little adjustment it fit on the front pad. Mine has 2 parts to the seat. It still gets sore after using it alot. You will do great!! Make sure you have your perscriptions filled before you get home....you want to stay ahead of the pain...& get some stool softners....pain meds are constipating....but don't overdo it on them...you can't get to the bathroom that fast! :-D. Don't worry too much about being alone that first day, just have him set you up with everything you think you may need before he leaves for work. You will just have to relax & rest!!
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:40 AM   #7
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Lauralei, with my first surgery, hubby was with me for the first three days, them I was alone during the day. I was fine. He would fix me a small cooler with breakfast, and lunch, drinks, water, and a thermos full of coffee, with cream and sweetner added, napkins, straws,,,,,,,anything I might want to eat or drink during the day. Helped me to the sofa, where I had everything I needed at reach. If I had an emergency, I could call neighbors, but I managed very well during the day.
I only use the slipper sock for covering surgical leg. If you make sure it's stretchy enough, it'll go over the surgical spent or cast. I only used if I had to go out (dr appts) I don't think you'll find too not for short term use when going out. I always had shoe on the non-surgical foot when going out. Let us know if you have any questions!

 
Old 01-20-2013, 10:53 AM   #8
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

So, surgery on Wednesday, and home alone on Friday. My first reaction was absolutely no way, but actually, that is where I am today and I could easily be home by myself with some organization and a cell phone for emergencies. Heck, I don't have any idea what my DH is even right now, haven't seen him since he brought soup and crackers in at lunch! One thing for him to consider is that HE'S going to be tired from waking up throughout the nights keeping you medicated and comfortable.

I had 2 steps, too -- there is no way I could have hopped up those as hopped up as I was on pain meeds by the time I got home. We went with a ramp and borrowed a wheelchair for the "event".

 
Old 01-20-2013, 03:03 PM   #9
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Ohhhh I can so see myself doing the butt walk up those steps and crawling to a place where I can hold onto something so I can stand!

Good point about the stool softeners. I had the thought the other night that I need to make sure I don't drink much at night before I sleep or I'll have to get up to go to the bathroom and that would be pretty difficult the first few days, I'm thinking.

Dang it, so many things to think about. I'm so glad I found this forum because it is making me think about things I never considered. Another thing I'm worried about is my dogs. They will want to go outside if I'm home. I told my hubby that they will just have to wait till he gets home at 2. Heck, they are alone that long every day anyway without going potty. But if I'm home, they will assume I'm at their beck and call. lol

 
Old 01-20-2013, 03:15 PM   #10
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Butrfli1, sounds like you have a handy hubby. My hubby is very handy, too, with most things...unless it comes to doing anything in the kitchen! lol So you brought up another thing for me to plan...I need to plan what I will want with me for eating and drinking and write it down and make sure it's very easy for him to grab and microwave if needed. (I see dry cereal in my future. lol)

I understand about the socks you mentioned....I was thinking how hot they might be in the house but I will definately need them for going out and going to work as I live in Wisconsin and will need those warm socks!

I don't really have any neighbors to call for help because they are all at work during the day and I live in the country. I'm about 15 miles from the nearest person that could get to me to help if I needed it. Unfortunately, my mom and dad are in AZ till April. They only live 10 mins. down the road from me. That's ok, I have no problem using my phone to call someone if something happens. Guess I better make sure I have pockets when I start moving around so I can take my cell phone with me wherever I go.

 
Old 01-20-2013, 03:20 PM   #11
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Oh no, PesCav! You brought up another thing I hadn't considered. DH will have to wake up off and on during the night to keep me comfortable? Oh boy, I feel bad for him. He has to wake up at 3:30am every week day and I would feel bad if I had kept him from getting a good night's sleep. But, it is what it is. He married me for better or for worse!

 
Old 01-20-2013, 04:10 PM   #12
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

If you are worried about the middle of the night medications, what I did (I'm single) was had a drink on my night stand with my pills. So when I woke up and needed them I didn't have to get up to get anything. Of course at that point after being awake I'd need a potty run, but at least I had my pain pills in me. And for the first couple of nights I actually set alarms on my phone to get me up to take the next round so I wouldn't get behind!
Good luck with your surgery!
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:56 PM   #13
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Lauralei, think of things you like to eat. I found yogurt and fruit was good for me for breakfast, the first surgery. Hubby could put that in my cooler, make sure I had plastic utensils etc. Easy lunches are a sandwich, cheese n crackers n fruit, sliced veggies, and he would include snacks, in case I wanted somehing else. Food was anything that could be prepped ahead ofntime, keep fresh in cooler, and was easy to handle. Plenty of water! keep hand sanitizer, baby wipes and small trash receptacle close by, makes cleanup easier. I had a tv tray/table, which was a big help. Good height for easy use. "table mate" is a brand of table that was a tremendous help for my Mom when she got sick. Locally, I found at Walgreens for about $20.00. Legs slide under a bed, chair, sofa, much like a hospital tray, bringing the tray right to you. You can google if you're interested. We have a two story home, and I stayed upstairs. I could get down the stairs scooting on my butt, if needed, but I was fine being alone.

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:21 AM   #14
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Re: Feeling overwhelmed b4 ankle surgery

Haha dry cereal may very well be in your future, it is a good thing dry cereal is so good. If your experience is like mine, the pain medication may upset your stomach. I am perfectly fine at this point with canned soups and sandwiches, the 2 things my DH just happens to make really well. :-).
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:33 AM   #15
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I lived Club crackers - Keebler - for when I took my pain meds... Having a few before I took them kept the icky tummy at bay... I kept a little plastic bag of them by my bed... And for some reason they tasted great...
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