It’s Over, Mr. Fabulous
You’ll have to excuse me for a moment while I have a quick weep. It’s probably for the best but I saw Mr. Fabulous, my handsome Hungarian Orthopaedic Surgeon, for the last time yesterday.
This, of course, was quite a surprise to me (gutted) although he did mention that he could arrange to see patients for a check in another six weeks but he felt that I should be okay and could call to see him again if need be. Don’t, just don’t tempt me! Well, he may be taken away from me but I’ll always have my memories. I am winking extremely heavily here, you understand.
Over The Last Week:
- I’ve wanted to try walking with the Darco Shoe of Death off my foot and firmly out of sight. When I’ve tried this, I found I was walking on the outside edge of my foot, as the ball and first two toes are still quite swollen. There was (and still is, as I type) a tight, swollen, puffed feeling as I walk, as though I have a full, mini hot-water bottle strapped to my foot. Plus, I was terrified of agony if I actually dared put my foot down flatter. I’ve developed an odd limpy walk but, hurrah, I can walk!
- I’ve been to the deer park with my OH and Harry the dog, each time venturing further – that’s with both Darco and crutches. The most I’ve walked is about 200 metres over grass. I am now fairly confident that, although it’s not what I’d call comfortable, I could walk to the nearest bus-stop. At home, I’ve used one crutch or gone without, only on the stairs.
- Sleep, stairs, clothing, baths and showers presented no real problem. Actually, stairs: minus the giant shoe, I found I could mount the stairs one step and one foot at a time, as pre-op. But going down is another thing and I still have to place both feet on each step. I do still sleep so that the scar side is upwards and, by kicking the duvet around a bit with the good foot, I create a tent with no weight going on that foot. I’ve hardly used painkillers at all this last week. But see below, accidents.
- What presented a problem was accidents. These taught me valuable lessons. In future, beware the crashing into the edge of the open door, thereby bending first two toes up in the process and nearly causing a hole in the ceiling. Beware also OH opening a kitchen cupboard right by your foot in future. A sudden whack generally brings a tearfully brave few minutes and throbbing pain for the day and possibly the night. Accidents mean that I’m becoming more aware generally, of anywhere my foot might be at any given time. I’ve kept painkillers handy. And they sometimes have been.
- I have cooked, cleaned, used the hoover and generally had a go at all the homemaking skills I’ve always been rubbish at anyway. Just for the sheer heck of doing something. Although I will emphasise here that my OH has been fantastic in this department and I can’t recommend enough to you the importance of having some help – and particularly from someone with enduring patience, excellent and careful driving skills and a deep appreciation of takeaways.
- I’ve read about other Bunion Pilgrims who’ve gone back to work at 3 days or some such and admired their pluck but I don’t think I could have returned to my old job at that point, unless they could have stood a librarian recommending books whilst wincing tearfully. My old job was all standing, although they would have had to provide facilities and make allowances/changes in my duties until standing all day again was an option.
- Luckily, although I’d love to have a part-time job outside the home, I’m able to work on my current novel at home. This last week, I’ve tried to ignore Twitter by various cunning means, and just got on with it. Anyway, it took my mind off the looming appointment with Mr. Fabulous.
- I wondered about and researched physio. It seems it’s again a case of different strokes for different bunion folks.
- There have been more errands, shopping trips and appointments – delightfully chauffeured to all of them by OH, who had to take time out of work to do so. After most new walking distances or experiences outside, my foot has been more painful in the evening or during the night.
- Tried out different shoes, and mostly failed although I think I might try Ugg boots for autumn. I’ve settled on Crocs a size too large for now – and even they feel tight and squeeze my poor foot. I might buy a pair two sizes too big. The Bio Oil is also going down fast as the foot remains very dry. I think the extra movement and circulation now should help that.
- Have something in common with Nigella Lawson. I’ve weighed myself this week and have found, like Nigella (no, am not a domestic goddess, ha), I’ve lost weight simply because I couldn’t be faffed to go to the fridge for food/snacks/chocolate and had little appetite whilst sitting about doing bugger-all but read or write. It’s equally connected, I’m certain, with stopping my weight-gain side-effect anti-depressants but that’s for another post.
So! Yesterday arrived and, after the shock of finding that Mr. Fabulous wasn’t quite as handsome as I’d been fantasising but very much more charming, he was able to tell me that all the above is quite normal. Further, I could cast aside the Darco and probably could have done last week! He said, in his deliciously fruity accent, that it was ‘only really necessary for the first six weeks’. Hmm. I was then glad I’d kept it off at home last week as much as I could.
All the scarring and swelling was normal, he said, and then we looked at the x-rays, before and after. I’m afraid I was still too ridiculously in awe of him to ask if I could photograph the x-rays but on his computer screen I could see that I had indeed had a very large bunion. I have one on the left foot but smaller and painfree, for now. Now the ironmongery: there’s a staple at the base of my big toe, two screws in the foot-bone beneath the scar, and a screw at the base of the second toe. Now I know where to stick my pins if I ever take up an enthusiasm for needlework.
I could, Mr. Fabulous went on, now begin to explore my small world afresh. So long, cabin fever, I thought. He mentioned 3/4 months post-op as the time I will probably feel ‘back to normal’. I said I thought this time next year, everything will be normal. Mr. Fabulous laughed out loud and said ‘but of course!’ I imagined pain-free shopping trips and dog-walks at that moment. He also said I could try driving when I felt like it, walk more and more every day, gradually get accustomed to trying to walk with my foot as flat as I can to the floor. At the moment, my toes and inner ball of the foot won’t even touch the floor. But they will.
And physio? What physio? I understand from other blogs that people can have it but Mr. Fabulous told me to carry on doing what I’m doing now. Twitching. And trying to move the toes back and forth. I gathered the best exercise is simply walking about more.
Neither did he recommend any particular shoes. I’d taken my Crocs with me and he felt they were fine for now. Mary from www.bunionsurvivor.com had this past week given me some good shoe ideas and I’m sure I’ll find something. Luckily I don’t have to undertake any modelling assignments for the moment.
And in those few precious minutes with Mr. Fabulous, I also came to accept that I’ll probably never revive my ambitions in the ballet department, nor is it likely that I’ll ever wear a pair of Jimmy Choo’s shoes. Still, I comfort myself with the thought that the latter is more about cost than ability or high-heel skills. Ah. It was probably those that started this whole thing off.
So, Mr. Fabulous is happy to see me again when (and only when, as far as I’m concerned) my left foot’s bunion becomes too painful to bear but otherwise is happy to let me go. Our farewell was full of gratitude (from me) and probably relief (from him – I talked his head off). There were no tears, no anguish, no Kleenex needed. Just the thankful recognition that, at last, I have no bunion and am well on the way to achieving what looks and feels pretty much like the average foot.
The Darco Shoe of Death I could happily hurl into the nearest flaming pit but there aren’t many of those in Collier Row, unless you count the nearest pub. The crutches? I’ve held on to one – to use as a walking stick on my first outings with the dog or as something to fend off vicious trolleys with in Tesco. I’m looking forward to relative freedom again, no cabin fever (OH wipes sweat off brow) and finding a cool shoe I can live with.
I shall miss writing about my fantasy surgeon in this blog but he will crop up again in another form. Yes, he was sent to me for a purpose. I’ve already given him a part in the current novel. So it’s goodbye and hello. But a literal fantasy figure he remains.
My reality is better than that. I’m very lucky. You see, in my long-enduring, ever-amazing, adorable, hilarious, unique OH, I already have the ideal man for me. And he loves me, imperfect and limpy and scarred, as I am.
Ahh… I do love a happy ending.
Good luck to anyone going through bunion surgery and this process of recovery. I may well report back in, at around the 3/4 month stage when the foot should be almost fully recovered, according to Mr. Fab.
In my Stage One blogpost on the bunion subject, I said that the bunion had a poor public (laughing-stock) image. If I write about it again in the future, I’m going to refer to a bunion as a ‘buntino’. I rather like the sound of that.
Thanks to all who’ve told me how much they’ve enjoyed checking into this blog and to all those who’ve commented. Right now, as my world begins to open up again, I need to write about something else…