Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Two less hammer toes

.. and two more unbending toes. I mentioned some time ago, November I think, that one more toe got hammered (see here) and of course, there are the photos from the original surgery in March of 2013 here.

Well, my plan was to schedule surgery for the week of Spring Break in March of 2014 but that didn't work as my surgeon was not available that week, so instead we went to Shreveport for a couple of days gambling, more fun but also more expensive than foot surgery. I scheduled my surgery for the Friday of the following week and Larry arranged to take the day off as he had comp time due. By the time March came along a second toe was also hammered.

Pre Op visit was supposed to be the week before, but that day my surgeon was called away for an emergency so it was rescheduled for just 3 days before the operation, it was also a formality as I had been through this before, of course it was also an opportunity to pay for the upcoming event. Thank goodness for decent health insurance cover. This appointment is also when I get my prescription for painkillers and final instructions for preparation and recovery and my surgeon agreed with me that I did indeed have two hammer toes.

The day before the operation I got a call from the surgery center, with a list of instructions on preparations and also making sure I understood that I should arrive one hour before the scheduled time, leave all jewellery and piercings at home and the only valuable I could, and must bring was my caregiver. That is the person who was expected to drive me home and be present for the full 24 hours after surgery, that was my husband.

The day after the pre op, I had an unpedicure. It is important that the foot to be sliced up is clean and free of nail polish or any other possible sources of bacteria. Kim at Millennium Nails in Cedar Park has been doing my nails for about 10 years now and she did the unpedicure for me prior to my last foot operation, so she understood what I needed done. They don't have a website, but here is a link to their reviews on Yelp.

Then, the night before, and the morning of the operation, according to instructions, I had a shower and scrubbed my foot with antibacterial soap for 5 minutes. I was allowed no food from midnight and only clear liquids up to 6 a.m. and then nothing to drink prior to the operation.

Below is a photo of my feet after the unpedi, indicating the work done last year and to be done

We arrived at the surgery center early, I am always early for everything, luckily this time my surgeon, Dr Schoen from Texas Orthopedics, was also early and I didn't have to wait long. First I had to sign wads of disclaimers, then a marker was used to indicate the location of the intended surgery and the foot had yet another 5 minute scrub which surprisingly didn't remove the marker ink, vital signs were noted and a very skilled nurse made it look easy to insert a drip into my uncooperative veins.

In quick succession I met the anaesthesiologist, his assistant, the operating room nurse and my surgeon came by to also scribble his name on my foot. I guess that is in case I ended up in the wrong operating theatre, they would quickly establish my surgeon's ownership and avoid unpleasant mistakes. The assistant anaesthesiologist then injected his magic solution into my drip and I was given a shower cap to wear and off I was wheeled to the operating room. I don't remember arriving there and the next thing I do remember is an after care nurse loudly telling me to wake up. I didn't want to, I was having such a great sleep, however I finally cooperated and took the deep breaths she instructed me to. Vital signs were again being monitored, the drip was removed and it wasn't long before I was trundled out to my husband's waiting truck in a wheelchair.

Iodine up to my knee
And I have to wear this on my leg to shower

If you are at all squeamish I recommend that you do not scroll past this point as there are a few photos of my foot that you may not be able to unsee.

pins in two toes

At last the day came to have the dressing changed, OK it was only 5 days after the operation, but they were a long 5 days. I got my first look at the work and was quite impressed. There is a little swelling but really not a huge amount, I might well fit into my ordinary shoes by the time I get the pins out - just another 7 weeks to go.

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