Wednesday, 31 July 2013

My Left Foot - Day 18

Yep, it's still there...marginally better but it wasn't that painful in the beginning so I can honestly say that it's been a bit of a breeze...until yesterday that is.
Yesterday, I thought I'd take a spin around town and do a little bit of well earned retail therapy. I thought I'd take a look at shoes as I haven't even been able to contemplate pretty shoes for a very long time.  Just practical ones...ones that didn't hurt.
I'd forgo the mobility scooter and take my chances on the crutches  I haven't been out since the operation -and I don't count the visit to the hospital to get the dressing changed and the visit to the petrol station, afterwards! So I was kind of looking forward to leaving the kids at home, especially as BH had volunteered to come home early to take me out for a coffee! How could I resist such a gallant offer? But I wish I hadn't.

It was...scary.  It was very scary.  I was invisible even with the crutches.  I was jostled. I had giant, audible "Tuts" whispered into my ear as able bodied humans whooshed passed. People came to stand in front of me as I peered at the baked goods.  I'd actually become invisible and a pest...both at the same time!

I was advised not to walk without the crutches in public.  People apparently avoid you when you're on crutches..apparently. Which wasn't apparent to me.

I kept my eyes to the floor in case, inadvertently came across an uneven pavement, or step. I couldn't move that fast and I couldn't avoid the crowd swervers.  You know, the ones who swerve out into the oncoming traffic because the crowd is moving too slowly, only to come nose and face to my forehead as I edged my way along hugging the shop-fronts. 

"Hrrumppp!!" one particular swerver admonished. My crime? Looking in a shop window.  He kicked my crutch (I'm sure in error) and had I not been resting on my good foot I would've gone "a" over "t"!

It's given me food for thought.  It's made me realise we take a lot of disability for granted as it's not ours.  Not the access, ramps or parking facilities but the small acts of human kindness, of thought, of care.
  • Being aware that when someone is on crutches they might not be able to take their hands off their crutches to prevent the door from slamming in their face. 
  • Thinking of assisting a customer who's appearing to have difficulty with a basket and is pushing it along with a crutch.
  •  Holding the lift as someone hobbles towards it and not keeping your finger on the "Close" button.  
  • Being patient in the car park as someone gets into the car whilst holding up the traffic as they couldn't manoeuvre their way passed the tightly parked vehicles. 
  • Thinking that because someone is disabled their capacity for coherence is limited too.
As we stood waiting for the lift to the car park (which had quickly disappeared on my approach) a middle aged woman turned to BH.

"Wassa matta wiv 'er. then?"

"Foot operation." he replied.

"Oh. My mum 'ad one and it was a nightmare. Couldn't get outta bed for a munf"

At that point I pretended I was deaf too...what was the point? She would never have got "it", would she? 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Overstepping Boundaries...get outta my zone!

We all know that personal space is that precious zone that others shouldn't encroach on. Sometimes we allow others in that zone.  Sometimes we allow others in to save offending them. Someone that gets up close and personal feels like either we're being threatened or comforted.

The other night I was at a party.  There's someone I've met on several occasions, and we've exchanged the usual chit chat, but I don't know her well. Each time, she gets up soooo close that her breast is rubbing against my arm.  She talks from the side of her mouth almost like she's whispering secrets.  I found myself leaning in closer. She's right in that comfort zone, but it's OK because it makes me like I'm a really good friend each time we meet.

There's another person at the party who also invades my space, but on this occasion I find it really off putting.  I move back each time they lean in. I know them well, but they just get too close for comfort and I find myself feeling very uncomfortable.  I want to say "Step're in my zone" but they continue to follow until I find my self pressing up against a chair or someone else...I'm invading their zone so step forward into the zone that's become a problem with them almost touching my nose.

Personal Space Calculator

My next door neighbour.  She invades my space. She cuts holes in the hedges when I'm not looking and each time I go into the garden I can see more holes she's cut through. The hole started off as a little hole and got so large that I had to put a shed in front of it!   It's driving me insane.  I've no idea why she's doing it, although she has mentioned that she wants the whole hedge down.  It's a weird one this, and I don't know how to deal with it.  Short of cutting it all back and sticking in a 9 foot fence which will take time, I don't want to feed into this "You cut a bit, I'll stick a another plant in, cut another bit, I'll find a piece of wood to block in the hole!"  I'm a little bit over sensitive on this subject.  We came home from our anual holiday a couple of years back and they'd taken down a 9ft section of hedging.  No discussion, nothing!  I told BH he'd better get round their PDQ otherwise the kids might hear some very choice words! So up went the fence which I didn't want in the first place. 

So that's boundaries and zones...I suppose one way to get them to back off is to lick their face!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

My left foot Day 11

I had a bit of a sneak preview yesterday. It's all looking pretty lovely. 

Who would've thought I'd be getting excited over a foot! I had to go and have the dressing changed and was a little apprehensive as she peeled but the layers but once the last layer came off and my foot was exposed I nearly wept. It looked great. It looks like it's healed...and it's all nice and straight and pointing in the right direction. 

I called in BH to have a look at the surgeons great handiwork and he peered over my shoulder squinting, exclaimed,

"Is it supposed to look all gory and mutilated? I'd get the Frankenstein boot on quick if I were you. You don't want to scare the kids!" 

He asked about the wire in the second toe and how they'd get it out...I stuck my fingers in my ears at that point and chanted "Lalalalalalalalala!" in case I heard the answer. 

As I stopped I caught the tail end of BH saying "...suppose they just pull it out!" 

The nurse explained exactly what had happened as immediately after the surgery I didn't really take anything in. I'd assumed they'd broken the toes with a hammer, used a sander 
and sanded down the bone..all very primitive like. I was surprised and delighted that they'd 
moved on from that type of barbaric surgery. What they'd actually done was broke the toes with a hammer, chiselled a V in the bone, put it together with a pin. Chiseled another V somewhere stuck in another pin. Stapled it somewhere, shaved something. The wire sticking out of the second toe was to keep it straight until it set then something would happen to it. I lost track with the first pin as my stomach was heaving ever so slightly. 

I told the nurse that I'd been wearing the boot in bed as I have a tendency to flex my toes and feet in my sleep and it seems to stop me doing it with the left one. 

"Wear your shoe in bed?" She exclaimed. " It's very unhygenic! You wouldn't normally wear tshoes in bed, would you?" 

So I gave it a whirl last night and what did I do? Flexed the foot! So on it'll go again tonight. 

I wish I'd taken a picture of the before.  I didn't.  I've taken plenty of it with the Darco shoe which rocks the foot backwards to the heel so that pressure it only placed on the back part of the foot.  I actually quite like it. It's comfortable but I won't be adding it the wardrobe as I've only been given one!
Darco shoe

I asked when I could start going out.  

"If you do go out then I suggest a chair."

"What sort of chair?" Thinking she meant one of those fold up ones that I could tuck under my arm...which might be a bit difficult as I'm still on crutches! 

"A wheel chair."

WTF!! Am I supposed to roam around the village in a wheelchair looking a fraud...I don't think so!  So I've been looking into the feasibility of hiring a mobility scooter! We've found one that might suit the whole family.  It has a back seat, a basket in the front and I thought we could add a side car so that BH could come along.

Mobility scooter
Mimi said she'd "Bling it up! " but I'm not too sure of the colour...

Luckily, I've had no pain.  I'd been reading horror stories of the amount of pain some have suffered and I can honestly say, hand on heart, I haven't had any.  

I've been doing a lot of sitting on my bum with my foot perched on the stool...watching daytime TV (which I've never had the chance to do!) or sitting in the garden under an umbrella watching the dogs and the kids frolic in the garden in this amazing weather.  They've been fantastic I can tell you...the dogs I mean!  I think they have this innate sense of something not quite right.  They've avoided my foot and skirt around me gently.  The kids however, haven't seemed to have mastered the art of avoidance and their patience has worn off. They don't see the crutches any-more and twice, each of them have inadvertently trod on my foot!   They still think I'm Super-mum and look at me in confusion when I ask them to empty the dishwasher!

Ah well......normality has resumed!

Monday, 15 July 2013

My left foot... Day 1

I have a left foot. I think I've had it fixed although at the moment my eyes are not too clear and the brain still a bit fuzzy.  I had a lovely sleep, thank you very much but they woke me up to make sure I was still alive.  Did I ever tell you how much I like sleeping?  Anyway, I digress

I've never been a fan of feet.  They look disgusting - on me anyway so for years I've hidden my left foot beneath various items of covered shoe-wear or socks.  Ski boots have been the best as they show no deformity. My shoes have generally been a size too large.  I often trip out of one as it's too big and embarrassingly end up bleating "Oohhh...there goes my shoe!" giggle, giggle!

In my befuddled state I've posted a picture on Facebook of my left foot.  I didn't mean to, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  My foot is twice the size of the other one.  The sympathy trail was delightful.  People thought I'd had an accident.  I hadn't. I'd had Hallux Valgus and an Osteotomy Hallux scarf  surgery and a few other things.  In plain English that means a Bunion (disgusting word) and a hammer toe surgery.  I didn't ask for too many details about the surgery as I didn't want to worry unduly which is what I'd do if I knew exactly what they were supposed to do. I'd worry I wouldn't wake up and I'd worry that they'd do the wrong foot, which is what they could've done had they not triple checked with me and the foot! Thank god, they didn't ask me in the pre-op phase.  I may have told them to take them both off and give me a face lift instead! 

For some reason, I thought the view from bed as they wheeled me to the operating theater was really cool! I hadn't taken any drugs at that point but I could see how the impact from a patient's perspective could be quite interesting.  I wish I'd taken my go-pro!
The anesthetist told me that shortly I'd feel like I had a G&T  "I think I've had 10!" I said.  "I'm not saying anything else in case I incriminate myself." and "I think some one may have to show me back to my room as I'm not sure I'll be able to walk straight!".  I think they laughed, but I'm not sure because I next woke up in the recovery room.

I have a long piece of wire sticking out the end of the second toe, supposedly to keep it straight.

The hospital staff are absolutely lovely.  I love 'em! They were sweet, thoughtful and ever so caring. I'm not sure what I thought they'd be like but in their hands I had no worries and woke up with a gentle stroke of my arm and a sweet smile. I feel like I'm in fluffy land.  No pain at the mo, but I'm sure it'll kick in once the anesthetic wears off.

So now I'm sitting up in bed, with a nice cuppa and two hobnobs finishing off "And the Mountains Echoed" with a few blokes moaning and groaning around me.  I think they've had their bits done...I think I might have heard one of them ask for them in a jar...or did I imagine that?


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