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  • What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

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    Old 03-26-2008, 09:55 AM   #1
    RunnerMac
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    What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    During the past weeks while I've been laid up I would often be frustrated by things, some more than others. I think the one that got me the most was how all the people I could see were moving around so effortlessly while I was hobbling. They had so little appreciation for how good they had it with smoothly functioning feet!
    I'd be curious about what other things frustrated the members of this board, venting is always makes one feel better!

     
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    Old 03-26-2008, 09:59 AM   #2
    AnnieJa
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    I echo your frustration and add that I don't like needing help from others. I am pretty independent person and do things on my own timeline but now I am at the mercy of others. My husband is great but he doesn't do things the way I do. Also, the pain. I broke my ankle in October and had PTT surgery 2 weeks ago and I am really ready to be "done with pain."

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 10:24 AM   #3
    hey19
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    Well, let's see.... I lost my job caring for an Alzheimer's patient who had started falling. My frustration is being without work right now. I needed to get back to office work anyways, but who's going to hire somebody in one of these boot contraptions??? Hopefully, this will all be over with soon!

    Last edited by hey19; 03-26-2008 at 05:48 PM.

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 10:30 AM   #4
    RunnerMac
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AnnieJ View Post
    I echo your frustration and add that I don't like needing help from others. I am pretty independent person and do things on my own timeline but now I am at the mercy of others.
    Yes, that's a good one! I had a hard time asking anyone for help too. It is especially hard to ask someone to take time from their day to take you to your doctor appointment.

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 11:06 AM   #5
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    I don't so much mind asking for help because when I do, I know (and so does whoever I ask) that I have already tried to go at it myself but simply can't. It bothers me more for people (especially strangers) to offer help. I am however starting to appreciate the fact that there are some people in the world that are nice enough to care to help others.
    I think I am most frustrated at just feeling so abnormal. I just want to walk without crutches and a cast (I haven't walked without crutches since January 9th). I want to stand in the shower without an Aqua Shield and a stool. I want to wear two shoes. I want to know that when I get in the tanning bed I am not going to have one white leg that is going to have to catch up (yes, I get in the tanning bed).
    However frustrated I get though, I am thankful that mine is a temporary issue and I am not stuck in a wheelchair or with limited mobility and independence for life. I have a greater respect for people with disabilities.

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 11:56 AM   #6
    lcweiden3132
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    Unhappy Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    What a good discussion! Well...let's see....(seems most of the people getting this kind of surgery are active, healthy, independant individuals huh?)...for me the frustrations from this surgery have added to another issue that I had already. 4 years ago I was in a terrible car accident in which I suffered a fracture in my lower back. I didn't have to do the fusions surgery that was suggested. I instead exercised and did alternative therapies to help me get through and on with my life. I did have many frustrations with this though as I became very limited as to what I could do. No bending, no twisting, no lifting, no pulling...and what was once a very active life became exceedingly inactive. I had been going to the gym (weights) and walking a lot. I had put on healthy muscle weight...I felt and looked great. In a matter of 6 weeks I had lost every bit of the weight I had worked so hard to put on my little frame over a period of two years. I looked older and sicker. Over time I came to accept the limitations that I now had. And I learned to work around them. I was able to continue walking to maintain my health, but that was it. But walking saved my life and my back. I got back my health and vitality and swore I would keep it that way. Fast forward 4 years. Now this surgery on my foot. And now I have more limitations. I didn't think I would have to give up more than what I already have. So, my frustrations now seem to be amplified because not only can I not do some things because of my back, but now I cannot do things because of my foot. I have a hard time right now looking out the window and seeing people walking the way I used to. I have a hard time at the grocery store going up and down the aisles easily. Dodging people and carts. I hate not being quick on my feet now. I am a multitasker....not having the freedom to move quickly and smoothly is so depressing to me and so frustrating. Just thinking about going to the store, thinking about the effort it takes to just walk from the car to the front door of a store...its enough to keep me home and send my husband. I have frustration with not being able to get any shoes on my foot. I've gone bigger and bigger in shoe sizes, but I seem to have the same issue with them all. Where the tongue of the shoe connects to the shoe itself sits on my scar and causes a deep sharp pain. I've even tried on mens shoes, but have the same problem. I realize at *some* point that I'll be able to get around...but when is that? All my doctor will tell me is....eventually, eventually your toe will bend, eventually the swelling will go away..... Without some sort of end date to look forward to, it just adds to the frustration.
    Guess I needed to vent a little.....

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 12:03 PM   #7
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    Even though having the foot surgery has limited my mobility, I think I would prefer to have the foot problem versus a hand or arm problem. My son broke his hand Monday and now has an arm cast. His fingers needed to be immobilized so the cast covers about half the length of his fingers. He pretty much can't do anything with that hand now. Last night I had to help him get the Aqua Shield on and off for a shower because he couldn't put it on with one hand.
    I may be slower and somewhat limited in what I do or how I do it, but at least I have both hands and arms functioning. I think it would be worse to not be able to use both of my hands. At least I can wash my hands, do my hair, etc. without worrying about a cast in the way.
    BTW-we really look like a pair now. He has a cast on his left arm and I have a cast on my left leg......

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 12:54 PM   #8
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    i am frustrated because i think i could have stopped my foot pain by wearing good shoes.

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 02:37 PM   #9
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    My biggest frustrations have been mobility related. Like when there isn't a handicapped door and I'm struggling to open it and use my scooter and carry things and nobody helps. Or when I have my hands full, am on my scooter in the store and people cut me off, walk slowly right in front of me, not looking at all where they're going. Having strangers constantly come up to me, asking me about my scooter, what EXACTLY I had done to my foot, etc. I'm just wearing down too, from hauling this helpful scooter up and down the stairs, trying to do normal everyday things. That's hard compared to how effortless it is for everyone else (or before surgery). But, at least they're temporary. I work with people who are dying, so I can certainly identify with them in some minor ways, but I know I'll get better and they will only get worse, so that helps keep things in perspective. I can't wait to be done with this whole ordeal though!!

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 04:49 PM   #10
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    Isn't it funny how having a cast or surgical boot on invites strangers to ask you questions? Perhaps I had more than the average because I had both feet done and was stumping around on two surgical shoes, but just about anywhere I would go in public people would ask, "what did you do???"
    I didn't mind too much because invariably people were very nice and held doors for me, asked if they could carry something, and so on.
    I teach middle school so you can imagine what I got from the kids. I made the story really gory so they would enjoy it more.

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 05:56 PM   #11
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    My story is PTT surgery w/heel slide 11/05, tore both peroneals during rehab - repair 12/06 , stress fracture 3/07, arthroscopy with debridement 2/08, stress fracture 2 weeks post op. I have been in a boot or cast or PT for 2 1/2 years. It never seems to end. I went today to have my stress fracture checked and it shows NO HEALING. My frustration is when people ask "What NOW?" like I am doing all of this on purpose to get attention. Debbie g - my PT who is a foot specialist said that it is BS that shoes cause problems. She said if you have strong healthy feet you can wear no shoes for a lifetime and have no problems. If you have a problem the right shoe can certainly help, but they do not cause the problem. I went through that blaming myself thing, too, but felt better when she told me that.

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 06:13 PM   #12
    AnnieJa
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    This question is for Runnermac. Are you teaching while in your cast? I teach first grade and I haven't been brave enough to go back to work yet. My school is pretty large and getting from one place to another is tough. If you have any ideas and tips, please let me know.

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 06:53 PM   #13
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    A list of whiny complaints:
    - I hate not being able to go to the gym
    - I hate not fitting in my shoes...and not having a sense as to when I will
    - I hate depending on others
    - I hate not being able to vacuum
    - I hate missing out on parties and friends because I can't travel into the city and hang out all night...or even make it through a 30-minute car ride
    - I hate not being able to make it through a trip to the supermarket without a motorized scooter
    - I hate taking forever to do everything!
    - I hate nagging my partner to do the laundry, dishes, etc., because I can't
    - I hate being nervous about upcoming x-rays, f/u appts, and every single tremor, pain, and sensation on my toes

    The topic of this post was what frustrates you, right? But that all said, this stupid, painful, inconvenient surgery has taught me a few things:

    - It actually doesn't matter much whether the chores get done
    - There's actually very little reason to rush
    - My boyfriend DOES come through when I need him
    - My friends do, too
    - Work will go on if I can't make it in for another day
    - There are lots of nice people in the world, willing to hold a door, answer a question, or carry my bags to the car
    - My couch is REALLY comfortable
    - The Travel Channel is awesome!
    - I'm really fortunate that, for most of my life, I've been able to walk, run, take care of myself, and generally function in the world with few limitations. If and when I fully recover, I will continue to be grateful for what I can do.

    OK, I did not realize that I was feeling so emotional. One rum and coke can do a lot!

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 08:15 PM   #14
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AnnieJ View Post
    This question is for Runnermac. Are you teaching while in your cast? I teach first grade and I haven't been brave enough to go back to work yet. My school is pretty large and getting from one place to another is tough. If you have any ideas and tips, please let me know.
    Hey Annie,
    I apologize for chiming in when your question was directed at Runnermac. I'm a kindergarten teacher so I can relate to your concerns, though. I had surgery last year on the Wednesday before Easter so that I had those Spring Break days off before dipping into my sick days. I went back on the Thursday after the kids went back. I chose Thursday so that I only had 2 days to get through before having the weekend off. I went back on my 15th day post-op.

    Let me first say that I had a very difficult class last year so I was not only stressed about how/when I was going to go back but I was also stressed about the monsters being with a sub and ruling the roost. At any rate, I was not feeling that badly at all at home so I went back.

    My kids, for as challenging as they were, were incredibly helpful. If we were going to carpet, the got a little chair for me to sit on and a bigger one for my foot. They fetched and delivered things for me, went to get things from other teachers, nagged me when I was walking too much or not using my crutches. I ate my lunch with less talking so I could nap for the rest of my lunch break. I iced and elevated while the kids had their rest time (or specials) and sent a child to bring my bag of frozen peas back to the nurse's office when I was done. As for specials and taking the kids places, if the special was in my hall, I just sent them down and watched from the doorway. If they had to go farther, I relied on the teachers who were scheduled before or after us. Many would come get my kids and walk them down when they gathered their own or some would bring their kids to a class and pick my up for me. My teacher friends were really quite helpful.

    It was hard but it really is okay to depend on others. They will readily help you. And, as I said, the kids were great. I told them what to expect before I left. When I got back, I showed them the boot and the bandages and let them ask their questions. I told them what I was going to need from them and the ways they would be most helpful and they responded to that. They really responded well to taking taking responsibility and being the "mother hens." It actually slowed them down, too, because they would nag each other about not moving so quickly in the classroom and about being careful. I had my second surgery on March 19 and am planning on going back on April 3, following the same routine. Hopefully, it will go as well, if not better because I've got a really great class this year. Sorry this is SO long but if you have any more quesitons or need suggetions, just ask!

     
    Old 03-26-2008, 09:01 PM   #15
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    Re: What frustrates you most about foot surgery?

    Annie-
    Tammy is right about the kids. Mine have been incredibly helpful and understanding. It is good that they have been in my class most of the year already, and it helps that most of them are 12 or 13. Yes, that can be a difficult age, but when you appeal to them in a mature way they will often respond. Plus if you are nice to the right people at school (the secretaries and custodians) you will find that they will smooth the way for you too. I have found that everyone likes the opportunity to be helpful in small ways.
    My building is large too (1000+ students) but I was just patient and crutched around as needed. I would get to school early so that I could get well settled before kids showed up, I skipped hall duty and didn't walk more than I needed to, I sat with my feet up when possible. I also had told them what was going to happen and what to expect.
    The one thing I might have done differently was to take a wheelchair to school. I had one at home and it was great fun, it would have been pretty good to have at school also.
    Teachers know that it is almost as hard to set up sub plans as to be there so I went back after 2 1/2 weeks being out. The first day was pretty hard but then each one got closer to being normal. You know how much you have adapted to the new situation each day, it works the same at school.
    Good Luck!

     
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