4 Weeks, 5 Days Post-Op Ankle Surgery
WARNING!! SOMEWHAT GRUESOME PHOTOS OF MY INCISION THROUGHOUT THIS POST!! VIEW AT YOUR OWN RISK!
It’s now 4 weeks and 5 days after my ankle/leg surgery. It’s Sunday night and I’m doing what I usually do: sitting/laying in bed, leg elevated and watching something. I was watching “Jane the Virgin”, which is the reason I wasn’t updating, heh. I finished the series and now I’m just watching random stuff, like The First 48 and Catfish. Which is my shower time show LOL.
So what’s happened since I last updated?
We survived Thanksgiving 2021. Even though there was some family drama a few days before, we ended up having Thanksgiving dinner at Jorge’s house. Dina was hosting and Javi and Julien were there. Justin was, too, and we met his girlfriend Daisy. Jorgie had stopped by for a while. My kiddos went to Mario’s for Thanksgiving lunch, like they usually do and would be by for Thanksgiving dinner. John joined us, too.
Jorge came to pick me up and we made our way to his house. It was tiring hobbling around on my crutches so I spent a lot of time on the sofa. At one point Jorge and his mom start fixing the “Knee Rover” so I can at least roll about the house.
See all that alcohol on the table? I figured having a little bit of moscato would be ok. I mean, it had been hours since I’d last taken a Tylenol 3, so I should be fine, right?
I could tell it hit me when I was giggling non-stop and rolling around on the Knee Rover. I couldn’t place my knee on it because my heavy-ass cast hurt my shin so I was sitting on it and using it like a little car 😆 . I started getting really tired but I needed to pee so I drove myself to the bathroom. I tried shoving the Rover into the bathroom with me and I’m not sure if I overexerted myself or if the combination of wine plus the residual Tylenol 3 in my body affected me, but I peed, washed my hands and as soon as I made my way out of the hallway I got really dizzy. I called for Jorge and he helped me to the sofa. But before I even got on the sofa I felt like I was about to pass out, my heart rate was through the roof and I was shaking. Jorge helped me transfer to the sofa and I just stayed there the rest of the evening—and did not drink alcohol again!
The food was delicious and it was great hanging out with everyone. Missed Briana and the kids being there, though 🙁 .
I was sad that an awesome cold front had rolled in and the rain was starting and I couldn’t go outside since I was afraid to slip. But it was a nice time and I really did feel grateful for my people, and that moment.
And Mom? Well I called to ask her the day before Thanksgiving when we should pick her up and she dismissed me with, “Oh, no. That’s ok, don’t pick me up. We’re having Thanksgiving here [at the nursing home].” I said, “Are you sure??” And she says, “Yes, yes. We’re having Sonia’s party today and then the Thanksgiving party tomorrow.” Well, alrighty then! As much as it sucks that she didn’t spend the day with us, I’m glad that she feels close enough to her friends that she would rather stay at the nursing home. She never would have done that a year ago!
November 29th was my 1st post-op appointment. I was nervous about seeing the incision but I was also glad I was going to see where the incision or incisions were located. The appointment took SO LONG; it’s never less than 4 hours at my orthopedic surgeon’s office. I’m wondering if it has something to do with Worker’s Comp. Anyway, Jorge was slowly losing it but he kept his temper. I got X-rays done, waited a while, then they took me to a room, waited a while, then they moved us over to the splint/cast room. When they finally came to remove my heavy-ass splint, two techs had to work to rip open the splint and then stand on each side while they pried it off me. I was terrified that they’d push on my incision. Oh, I only had one! I was seriously afraid I had two after all, but I didn’t; it’s just one huge one on the right side of my foot/leg.
The medical assistant tried removing the gauze that was directly on my incision. Whomever worked on my splint after surgery didn’t bother putting any non-stick cover/pad on my incision and since I’m allergic to steri-strip tape and they used glue to assist the sutures, the gauze was STUCK TO MY INCISION!!
They tried pulling it off but it was painful as fuck and they would have pulled off the glue and sutures. So what did they do? They SOAKED the gauze and the incision.
I sat there with my foot sticking straight out for about an hour. When they finally came to check on me the medical assistant said it was going to hurt, but she was going to pull it off. So she did. Some parts were brutal but I was glad it was off. She cleaned it a bit more and blotted it dry, then I had to sit there another hour and a half with my foot sticking straight out so it could air dry. It was exhausting and my foot was really swollen. They told me I wasn’t going to be able to get casted that day, due to the incision being too damp, so they put me in another splint. This one was WAY lighter than the hospital one! I was to return that Friday, December 3rd to get the sutures removed and get casted.
Jorge and I were both starving so we stopped by Zamora’s on our way home. I know I’m gaining weight from being completely sedentary and eating high-calorie, carby foods, but man: those enchiladas are LIFE.
My boss was quick to ask if I got my medical excuses and reminded me that I had an important training coming up the next week, all week, so he suggested I start teleworking because I’d missed a mandatory tech check that morning. I kind of felt pressured and instead of asking for a couple more days to mentally prepare, I said I could start the next morning. So dumb of me. My anxiety was through the roof those next few days.
But I worked and caught up on eleventy-billion emails with a lunch-time nap daily. I was still taking at least 1 Tylenol with Codeine per day, usually in the evening so I could sleep through the night, and it would make me drowsy after a few hours of being in front of my computer. But I made it work and when 4:30pm came around I didn’t feel as guilty about catching up on “Jane the Virgin”.
Linda took me to my December 3rd appointment. It, once again, took 4 hours just to have them remove my splint, tell me it’s still too “damp” to remove the sutures and then they showed me how to put on and remove my splint since I’d have to let my incision “air dry” at home for the next week for a few hours a day. I was actually supposed to return on December 8th to get the verdict on whether my sutures would come out or not, but since I had training the entire next week I had to reschedule for December 13th. The good news was: December 5th was the first day I didn’t take not one pain pill! More good news? I received my tiny fridge I’d ordered for myself since the kids liked to leave me without liquids during the day -_-.
I was mortified to find out that I’d have to be on my webcam throughout the training on Monday morning. So since I had very little time to prepare, I just filled in my eyebrows, put on mascara and lipstick and threw my robe on. Too bad; that’s all they get LOL
I did the same thing on day 2 of training, but finally, on the 3rd day and beyond I made myself sit at my desk for the full workday. I was super tired and my ankle was swollen by the end of the day, but I wanted to have a nice background and not be sitting in my bed all day. Plus my back was killing me since I couldn’t just flop over when I got tired.
Jorge was here the weekend so we hung out watching “Jane the Virgin” when he was here and he did my bidding, like bringing me food and non-stick pads for my incision. Monday comes around and we get some coffee and tacos and he takes me to my appointment to FINALLY see if my sutures can come out. Another 4 hours at that office and they finally tell me that the sutures can come out. The doctor checks on it too and says the medical assistant will “clean it up” and remove the sutures. When she finally comes in with the scissors and tweezers, she says she’s going to remove them and then put tape over it. I ask what kind of tape, because I’m allergic to steri-strip tape and she says, “Oh, this is steri-strip tape.” So she asks 2 other people what she should put on it and no one really answers. So she rubs iodine on the incision and then begins poking, snipping, pulling, poking, snipping, pulling. When she gets halfway through she pokes and prods the same spot repeatedly, to the point where I’m cringing in pain. I’m squeezing the crap out of Jorge’s hand. She says, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but this one’s really in there.” Well of course it is—I was already 2 weeks behind on recovery because of the wet gauze and sutures being too damp after that, so obviously they were going to be imbedded in my skin. After 30 hours (that’s what it felt like) she finally finished. The incision looked even WORSE now because there’s raw, bloody skin, a deep hole where she was digging and the glue that was STILL all around the incision was now yellowish-green looking and even crustier looking than before. She didn’t “clean it up” like the doctor said, she just put a gauze on my incision to cover it. I asked her if it was going to stick to the wound and she said no (lies) and I asked if I’d need antibiotics (since she practically dug all the way to my bone) and she also said no. They took me over to the splinting/cast room and they replaced the gauze. Of course the first one was already stuck and the man had to pull it off. Grr. Anyway, this time, they weren’t putting me into a cast or splint—they were putting me into a boot. They wanted to stabilize my leg and straighten it back out to a 90 degree angle. I told the man, “It hurts to straighten it out, though” and he said, “By the time I’m done with you, it’ll be at 90 degrees.” A few painful moments later, it was LOL.
The boot started to irritate the incision right before I went to sleep. It was really annoying trying to find a good position to sleep in because the hard plastic on the side of the boot was digging in directly into the cut. By the time the morning came around and Jaylen was taking me to my appointment with my physician at Texas Federal Wellness Center, I was in pain. My doc checked the incision to see where my progress was and upon taking off the outer gauze we realized the gauze the girl had put on the incision the day before was once again binded to my incision. So she carefully blotted some iodine on it and gently pulled it off. As soon as she did, she said, “You have an infection”. I knew it was going to happen!
I spent the next couple of hours trying to get my meds. I sent a gross photo of my infection incision (the middle one, above) to my Worker’s Comp contact at the surgeon’s office so she could show the surgeon and call in my prescription and she did. Love that woman! Then I had to keep calling HEB to see if they received it. They did, but had no info for my claim. I spoke to several people and they had no idea what they had to do. I said, “Look, I don’t mind paying it out of pocket. How much is it going to be?” The girl said, “The pills are $4, the cream is $354.” I said, “WHAAAT?? Ok, never mind.” And laughed. I gave her the claim number, because I knew that’s what they were going to need and it worked, thank GOD. worked.
So that’s where I am now: getting over this darn infection. Alaethia’s soccer season started that same afternoon. And Emily made the tennis team, so she’s been practicing for that. (Taking after mama!) I’m so sad that I won’t get to go to their games any time soon. I can’t wait till I get over this infection and can finally put weight on my foot, drive and get around. I’m not even wearing the boot since last night, since I’m pretty sure its not helping my incision close up. It would have been such a nice scar later on too, if that girl hadn’t gone crazy digging into my skin 🙁 . Oh, and I also can’t wait till my “quick showers” aren’t a whole darn hour anymore. Which I’m going to do now. Wish me luck!