Friday, July 19, 2013

3 weeks in ...

Just another rambling about my obsession with the passage of time. How is it possible that three weeks have gone by so sloooooooowly and yet stunningly fast?

Here I am on Day 2:

Several people have asked me, "What the hell are you wearing?"  It was chilly in the shade (remember what "chilly" felt like, phellow Philadelphians? Yeah, me neither), and it took way too much energy to put my sweater on the right way.  This was the path of least resistance.

Here I am on Day 4 after my first post-op visit:

I have no idea why I'm smiling here. Maybe because I forced myself to bathe and change out of that outfit in the first picture.  I'm telling you, the knee crutch is the best invention EVER. It's right up there with contact lenses, tampons, heated running water, and central air.  Definitely.  They also move sorta fast which is borderline dangerous in parking lots.  Ron later added a bicycle basket to the front so I could carry stuff around: total life-changer.

This is somewhere between Day 4 and Day 7:

Nothing about any of this makes sense.

My grandparents and my aunt stopped by on Day 6 with these cute cookies.

Ron was around the first four days, but then he had to go back to work and the following week he had to go to California.  I had to get really good at a whole bunch of stuff really fast.  For the first ten days, I was on the couch or doing everything on one leg which is bizarrely exhausting.  Every time I needed to go up/downstairs, I had to do it on my butt like a toddler.  After one week, Ron went out and bought me normal crutches (and rigged a pulley system so I could get them up and down the stairs) in addition to the knee crutch (which I'm renting).  Another life-changer: After he bought the normal crutches, we could leave the knee-crutch downstairs and I could navigate the much-narrower confines of the second floor with greater ease.

A challenge for you (if you're up for it): Do your WHOLE morning or night routine on one foot.  It's the most ABSURD cardio workout you'll ever do.  You will want to die when you're done.  You have to do EVERYTHING on one foot: Wash your face, brush your teeth, or whatever at the sink, try getting on and off the loo on one leg (careful!  If you can do this, I salute you--it's much easier by Day 3), and/or get dressed and do your makeup that way too. If you're ambitious, go ahead and dry your hair.  Remember, you can't put your foot down because it's a butchered mess and you're finally off the pain meds.  When you're done, go down/up the steps on your butt and use your arms to move yourself step to step.

Actually, don't do ANY of that. It's awful.  Don't do it.  The first time I did this (because I smelled really bad and I HAD to give in and do all of this at the same time) it almost killed me.  I wanted to cry, but I was too tired so I just went to bed instead.

Today (Day 21).  On two (more like 1.5) feet.

On Day 10, I went to my second post-op appointment and the surgeon asked me, "You're walking around on it?"

Me: "uhhhhh ... NOOO??!!!! WHY WOULD I DO THAT??"
Him: "To see how it feels."
Me: "Why would I want to know what that feels like???"
Him: [shrugging] "Because you can if you want. Give it a try."

I've been walking on two feet ever since.

Very. very. very. slowly.  With the biggest limp ever.  I'm allowed to put full weight on my heel and up to 50% of my weight on the front of my foot, but it's taken me almost two weeks to get to that point.  I don't even need to do steps on my butt anymore (one of the main reasons I've barely left the house ... do you want to do public steps on your butt?).

Don't be fooled.  I'm not "walking."  My mom used the word "hobbling" twice today to describe my gait without even realizing that she was using such a depressingly accurate word.

I don't know what kind of idiot pays $350 for these stupid looking shoes, but I only wish my foot bones were so perfectly straight.

Psychologically, it's been a pretty hard month.  The first two weeks felt ok.  I was so distracted trying to figure out how to do the most simple tasks that I didn't really have time to be bored.  But once I started getting really good at moving without aids, things started to get depressing because I'm not free to return to my normal life and I won't be for months.

I can walk around, but once my foot starts to hurt I have to sit down even when I really don't feel like it.  I can't even just "go for a walk" to kill time or de-stress because (duh) I can't freakin walk.  I don't even think about running.  No offense to the rest of you, but I am reveling in all of this godawful weather.  The pouring rain, horrendous humidity, and oven-like heat?  It makes me feel like I'm not missing out on too much.  I can't even think about running--I miss it so bad, I just can't think about it. I don't go there.  I can't. It's the one thing that might make me cry.

June 8th--Leslie was in a wedding that day, so I literally ran from my house to my mom's to see her after getting hair and makeup done.  Forget Leslie, I'm so jealous of me in this picture--post-run glow!

Here, do you want to see more Leslie's-hair-pictures? It's better than feet:

I digress.

I have spent countless hours on the back deck with the Fluffs, even on the hottest afternoons.  After the first week, I wanted to demolish my TV with a baseball bat--I grew to hate it so bad.  The sound of it literally made me feel murderous.

We spend all day--aalllllll daaaaaay--out there sometimes.

When the sun goes down, part of me feels sad because one more day of summer has frittered away.  Another part of me is relieved: One day closer to normalcy.

Sometimes when I look down at my feet, I feel elated--beyond thrilled.  NEVER again will I wonder, "How bad will it get?  Should I get it fixed? When should I get it fixed? omigod, how am I gonna find shoes for [insert event here]??"  It's too late: I already did it, and there's no going back. I finally forced my own hand.

Other times, I look down and I panic.  Complete full body sweat, heart in my throat, can't catch my breath for a moment (or several moments): "What have I DONE?? What the F*** was I thinking??? omigod omigod omigod I will never be NORMAL AGAIN!!!  When will I run up the steps again without thinking about it?? When will I take a walk just for fun??? When will I run---NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOO DON'T GO THERE. NOPE. STOP ASKING QUESTIONS. STOP. It's too late: It's done. Go find something to do. GONOW. MOVE. GO."

Today, I took my first trip somewhere (other than the doctor's or my mom's house).  Totally bizarre--I hadn't been "anywhere" in three weeks (because of butt-stepping, inability to drive, etc). I need more yarn for stuff, so we went to Michael's but GOD FORBID they have what I want, so off to Joann we went (armed with, seriously five million coupons--they expire on Saturday ... don't forget).

It's sorta scary going to unfamiliar places. EVERYTHING is a potential tripping hazard: Curbs are scary; area rugs/carpets are scary (because your toe can catch on them and trip you); other people's feet are scary because you could trip on them; parking lots are scary because sometimes the pavement is uneven and you could trip even with crutches; thresholds are really scary because they're never flat and can really screw up your balance; and sometimes my foot starts to kill out of nowhere and I need to just be on my goddamn couch which I can't bring with me anywhere.  We actually went over to a relative's house on the fourth of July, and it was borderline regrettable.  Really exhausting and possibly stupid, but that was only after a week.  So far it hasn't been worth going anywhere public, but today turned out ok.  I might try the library tomorrow depending on my mom's schedule.  (All I can say is, thank you Jesus that the job market is so awful because she pretty much drives me everywhere.)

21 days down, 17 to go ... probably.  (I'm suddenly regretting doing that math.  SEVENTEEN?? Shoot me now.) The earliest (no promises) I'll get the pins removed from my foot is August 5th, and my surgeon has already told me that if he doesn't feel right about it after looking at my X-rays that day, August 5th will become August 12th.  Once the pins come out, I'm pretty sure I can swim, cycle, and start physical therapy.  Everything will change radically for the better.  Honestly, I can't even think that far out. Why am I even thinking about this?

So we'll see what's going on when the 5th gets here ... in the meantime, there has to be something else to talk about??

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