Please bear with me, I’m still working my way to the current day. – Steve
This event happened about 3 weeks ago and ended up with me in the hospital. Let me tell you how it all went down…
After spending 2 weeks in bed and another 3 weeks with a cast on my leg, it was finally time for the next torture device in the master recovery plan – the dreaded boot.
Oh. BTW: there’s some seriously gross pictures below. Well, I guess compared to some of the nasty shit you can find on the inter webs it’s not that gross, but consider yourself warned. But don’t worry, it’s just a couple pictures of my healing foot.
At the appointment the lovely technician used a device that looks something like a cross between a saw-zall and Dremel and cut away my cast. She cut down one side then had me flip over and started working on the other – ripping through the plaster and fiberglass like it was butter. It was everything I dreamt of in weeks 2 and 3 of wearing that damn thing and I couldn’t quite hold in a sigh of relief when she wedged the two sides apart and pulled it off my leg – ahhh. Sweet relief.
With the cast off, the doc peeled back the cotton wrap and bandages and let the cold air hit my leg for the first time in 3 weeks. My foot was considerably smaller than the last time (swelling had come down) and the wound area looked great (except for the 21 staples that lined the back).
Once he had a chance to inspect my progress, checked to make sure my achilles was still attached (by asking me to push down on my toes as he put moderate pressure in the other direction) he asked the nurse to pop the staples and get me a boot. DaBoot!
The next part of the plan was for me to start using my leg – whoo hoo! By using this massive plastic and velcro contraption that would support my some of my weight with 3 plastic wedges stacked under my heel. These wedges would keep my foot in a high arch and over 5 weeks I would remove the 3 wedges 1 at a time until I was able to walk flat-footed. The doc told me to use crutches for the first week and then start walking without. He told me that I was cleared to go back to work (in center city Philly) but to take it easy and stick to “light walking”.
If you’ve hung with me so far, you know that in addition to getting this surgery done, I was also quiting one job and starting another. I thought I had f’d up the transition with my bone-headed drunk-the-day-before-surgery move, but I managed to get back on schedule and the plan was that now that I was in the boot it was time for me to join the new firm in center city Philly. Further, after another week I was going to start traveling up to NYC on Mondays and back on Fridays for a few weeks while my new team partnered with a cutting edge development team. The day after my visit to the doctor and the donning of the dreaded boot, I started to commute into Philly.
Let me take a moment to discuss crutches: They suck! There’s nothing, and, I mean nothing, fun about hoping around on crutches. They pinch, hurt your hands, pits and arms. My right leg started to hurt because of the height difference. On the other hand, people are really nice to folks on crutches. I’ve never had so many “hey, let me get that door!” and “… can I help you” comments from perfect strangers. Maybe there is hope for humanity? Anyway, back to the story.
I was fine for 3 days or so, but on day 4 my heel started to hurt and I would come home from the city and spend a good hour in pain with my foot wrapped in a huge-ass ice pack. The wound started to, for lack of a better description “shed” dead skin. It was extremely tender and would ache for hours after I got home. Was starting to dread each day on the crutch. On day 6, I had to travel up to NYC (from Philly) and spend the day with my new team. But by the time I got home I was in really sad shape. My left foot was almost twice the size of my other foot and it was screaming at me.
The next day after forcing my wife to look at my nasty wound, and render her opinion (which was “What the fuck Steve, of course that’s messed up! Call the surgeon.”), I decided to give the doc a call and find out if it was infected or not. Here’s a pic, what do you think?
I called the nurse and said that it was bothering me and a bit swollen. She said it was probably the boot rubbing on the wound, but she would ask the doctor and get back to me. I told her I had pictures, and suggested that I text them to her. Hey, that’s a good idea…
Couple hours later she calls me and tells me that the doc was going to call in some antibiotics and that he wanted me to see a wound care specialist… then she says “… hold, on. That’s him on the other line…” I wait a few minutes and when she comes back on she says… “Ok, Steve?”
“Change of plans… Dr says that you need to pack it up and head over to the hospital. Go to ER and he’ll have his residents meet you, clean up your foot, get you some intravenous antibiotics and then prep you for surgery tomorrow morning.”
Next thing I know I’m wearing that stupid gown again, laying in a hospital bed with IV sticking in my arm…
Long story, short: I did a night in the big house with my leg raised up on 5 pillows, taking massive amounts of meds until the swelling came down and lucky for me I was able to skip the 2nd surgery. But I was out out the boot for at least another 2 weeks (I’m 3 week out now and it’s sounding like it’ll be another 2 before he’ll even consider it again).