The Bunion Bugle: Stage Seven

It’s Over, Mr. Fabulous

Day 50:

Care UK Goodmayes – Where The Bunion Op Took Place And The End of The Mr. Fabulous Pilgrimage Trail

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.

Standing – This Did Not Hurt

  • 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.

Not Pretty But That Line Should Whiten and Barely Show In A Year

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.

Foot Mostly Down, The Toes Are Up. But There’s Great Potential – And NO Bunion!

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…

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About Tessa Tangent

I write and I often go off at tangents. Tessa Tangent's my nickname and, at home, I'm called Tessa more than I am my real name, Heather. In the 90s, I had short stories published in magazines like Ludus and For Women. I also won a cherished second prize in a BBC travel writing competition, was the writer of a newsletter for a dry ski slope and had a newspaper article about the slope published. At the same time, I wrote half a first draft of a novel then, for reasons I may reveal, I stopped writing. After a long fallow period, I am writing again - and not a moment too soon...
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38 Responses to The Bunion Bugle: Stage Seven

  1. Oh my! I’m all rather horrified by the image and thought of all that pain in your foot! We take our ugly little feet (I’m not a foot fan) for granted and wander about as we wish, without even considering that a cupboard door may open near us. It all sounds like a bit of a trauma, but lived through with grace and humour!

    I am, however, loving the sound of Mr Fabulous. We all need one of those in our lives. I have to confess to having a bit of a thing for Doctors. All that cleverness wrapped in their heads and the ability to save lives to boot. (excuse the pun). I am a bit of a romanticist though. A good a fashioned Fireman would get me swooning as well.

    Enjoy your new found, if not quite complete, freedom. And I look forward to keeping up with your blog in future. 🙂

    • Hi Rebecca! Thanks for the comments and also I’m sorry for the delay in replying. Since I found my ‘freedom’, there’s been no excuse but to take up all those events I’ve been delaying. It’s not too bad, this blogging about it, sometimes a bit ewww. I wanted to strike a balance between the reality of bunion surgery for me – and it’s something that, had you asked me whether I’d ever go for this surgery five years back, I’d have laughed at the very idea – and trying to keep a light touch.

      You’re right, though. Mr. Fabulous was the best thing about it! However, my middle-aged crush meant that even on my last appointment with him, I still didn’t get to ask all the questions I meant to. Will my toes ever lie flat on the floor? Why does it feel as though there’s a metal bracket between my first two toes (even though there’s not)? But while he was laughing at the few concerns I did manage to raise, he kept emphasising the 3-4 months stage as the time to expect near normal feet. And I guess I focussed on that.

      Yes, all going well. I’ve managed a few dog-walks, shopping trips, many appointments, seeing friends – all over the past 9 days. Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m keeping up with your great blog, too. 🙂

  2. Di East says:

    Hello Tesssa,

    Thank you for all your humerous and sometimes painful blogs.
    I am on Day 9 after having a bilateral scarf and akin osteotomy on October 1st at the Harbour Hospital in Poole .

    Although I’ve had lots of pain….mine doesn’t seem to have been half as bad as yours.

    Day 1 after surgery…but stil with an ankle block pain relief…my husband drove us back up to Lincolnshire. Day 2 was more painful…but I was out of bed..crawled and slipped down the stairs on my bottom. I even lifted myself in and out of the bath….I had purchased some blue rubber “legs” which are more scary to put on and off. I am keeping my legs elevated most of the time…apart from loo breaks and drink making moments.

    I am in more pain with my shoulders…A result of all the lifting, sliding and keeping weight off my feet. Although I am. Allowed to fully flat weight bare.

    Like you I am terrified to do harm….so I will let you know next week..after my stitches have been removed…and X-ray taken.

    It’s the journey that is worrying me more. 240 miles:-( I lay across the back seets with my feet raised!!!

    Thanks again.
    Di

    • Hello Di, nice to hear from you, another Bunion Pilgrim! Thanks so much for your comments. You said about the pain but really, I should have pointed out right at the start I’m the world’s most sensitive patient when it comes to pain! And I think it also depends upon the types of procedure done. I did have the Weil’s procedure as well as Scarf & Akin and maybe that made the difference. It seems to be slightly different for everyone.

      Wow, that is quite something to go from Lincolnshire to Poole for this! Was that the option you were given? Mind you, I had no checkups after the stitches came out until the 6/7 wk appointment. Thank goodness it’s not a weekly thing – the thought of you in the back of the car all that way! And the sliding downstairs on bum… I’d wondered about that but as we have rails both sides of the stairs, it was easier to hang onto rail and use one crutch on the side of the poorly foot to relieve any pressure.

      I think it is the fear of doing more harm (or loosening a screw, haha) that made me stick to the instructions rigidly. Neither could I bear going through any more surgery to sort out any damage! But I do think the work they do is very sturdy, they do it all the time and it would be difficult to mess it all up.

      Yes, please keep in touch, Di, and let me know how you’re doing after your stitches-out pilgrimage! All the best 🙂

      • Di East says:

        Hello Tessa,

        We made it..there and back. The journey wasn’t as bad as I had thought..propped up with pillows and a heavy dose of painkillers helped:-)

        I am sure your operation was more complicated than mine. I don’t think I would have managed to have had all that you had done on both feet, at the same time.

        I’m pleased to hear you are on the road to full “3 month recovery” although I think your initial thoughts of 12 month’s is more realistic for “back to normal” feet…or maybe back to feet we’ve never experienced.. No pain; flip flops (if the gap in my between my big toe decreases); high heels. I don’t wish to rush my life away but having waited until I had the time to do this..what’s another year?? I suppose quite a lot when you think I turned 60 in May:-)

        I like you..tend to go off in tangents..although I see it as a positive..being able to hold different conversations and topics all at the same time. My husband struggles to keep up..but has developed a new skill…. great selective hearing.

        The unveiling of the feet was quite exciting (as you know, any outing to anywhere is exciting). The nurse removed a couple of stitches (I think..because I wasn’t watching..being very sensitive to blood and gore and my own scars). The consultant was delighted with my progress..and said to carry on with what I was doing. More rest for the next four weeks:-( Why did I think I would be up and running…especially as I had learnt so much from your blog) No further bandages needed. Luckily I’d taken a pair of socks with me:-)

        My husband then took me for a run (well..a wheelchair outing) around Bournemouth. I have to say, that was an adventure in itself and most of the time ,I felt people saw me and not the wheelchair. Thumbs up for the Paralympics.

        A bad evening and night followed. Not only did I have pain..but I felt very vulnerable without any support from bandages. I rang the hospital the next morning and they agreed to bandage them lightly. Phew..safety again. We then returned home.

        The next day I went out for lunch…legs stretched out under the table for support. I had a lovely day…but have I suffered since. I forgot how tiring it is..so I have rested most days until lunchtime. I have my bath (which in its self is a marathon) and then rest downstairs in the pm. The last two days I have managed to get into the bath without my “blue stockings” and still kept my legs elevated on the side of the bath.

        Like you..the scaling of the skin is horrific…it feels like my feet have died…so giving them a good wash in the bath is helping..without allowing them to soak. I would post some piccies…but I haven’t learnt how to get them off my phone and onto here!!

        Back to an earlier question you asked…the reason I went to Poole is… the consultant came highly recommended,and as they wouldn’t operate on two feet at the same time up here…it was worth the journey. I had kept my private health insurance going for years to have this op. I think it may have been more cost effective to have saved the premiums in a savers account and used that. I think I would have had some to spare…if only to eventually buy a pair of Jimmy Choos. Oh well..another dream..or challenge??

        Thank you again for all your very interesting blogs.

        I will let you know how things are going.. if only, after my next appointment on 19th November

        Onwards and upwards

        Di

      • Ah, well it’s great to hear that you are getting on all right and hope all goes well on 19th November. I have a skin cancer (which went a bit deep, so two ops) check-up that week. Everything seems to be such hard work just being us! Just to let you know, I can walk around a lot better now. The swelling underneath still prevents the toes from going as flat as they would normally, so they are raised a bit – but, if I make the effort with foot flat to floor, I can sort of press my toes down and feel the carpet. So that’s not bad. I think the main thing was in keeping the foot elevated whenever possible, which allowed all that delicate healing to take place. Take care and let me know how you get on. TTx

      • Di East says:

        Hello Tessa,

        I am sorry to hear about your skin cancer ops. On top of your foot operation- you have still a great sense of humour:-)

        Since my last update one foot decided to play up (Serves me right for thinking things were going well). Lots of pain and swelling-so I emailed my consultant attaching piccies of the inflamed foot and he suggested a course of antibiotics.

        My husband was worried the infection may have gone into the bones so sent me off to A & E for a check up. (He is a GP and therefore sometimes sees the “worse”) I haven’t forgiven him yet for that outing. It was a little like being in a Carry On film.

        My daughter dropped me off (as my DH was in surgery that day) and said she’d collect me when I had been seen and hopefully discharged. Four hours later I was called into to be checked in. I was asked the problem and gave them a brief description about the procedure and resulting problem. I was then asked to wait whilst a doctor assessed me. Not long afterwards, I was seen by a Doctor who took a few pints of blood (well, a slight exaggeration) and left a few pints split down me and on the floor. He then suggested an X-ray and asked if I could walk (bearing in mind I came in with my beautiful blue flat velcro hard sole shoes (not as elegant as your “Darco’s) and on crutches. I agreed I could-but it may take some time for me to hobble to the X-ray department. He suggested a Porter to wheel me there and I gratefully accepted.

        During my wait for the Porter ,another “Trainee” Orthopod arrived and again asked the history etc. I say “Trainee” because she then went on to pull, prod and bend the “poorly” toe to enquire if it hurt. My screams nearly followed by vomiting managed to persuade her to leave well alone and she promised to return after my results were back. I secretly hoped she would never return!!

        Another hour went by before the original Doctor returned and asked how the X-ay had gone…Imagine his surprise (coupled by mine) when I mentioned I was still waiting.Five minutes and a Porter arrived. I was so excited!!! He wheeled me to X-ray-and luckily there was no queue. Easy peasy.

        I gently asked the Porter on the way back to A&E if he could kindly let me purchase a coffee for M&S cafe as we passed. Luckily, he was very obliging. It’s a shame they didn’t serve alcohol….as i was certainly ready for a unit or three:-)

        We arrived back onto A&E and he asked the Doctor which room I was to be be left in..and was told Room 2. He wheeled me in ….and there sat another patient on the bed..waiting to be seen.
        We all looked slightly surprised but due to being:
        a. “brain dead” for the length of time sat in A& E
        b. Know how cash strapped and overcrowded wards can be

        Neither of us questioned the sharing of a room and the Porter toddled off to his next task.
        Five minutes later a Nurse walked passed and asked what we were both doing in the same room??? After explaining, she apologised and I was quickly wheeled out to another room.

        The Doctor returned and told me the “good news” My bloods were fine. The “bad news” was I had fractured my toe and made me an appointment for the fracture clinic for the following Monday. Again, I didn’t question this prognosis but asked if I may have a copy of the X-ray so that I could send it down for my consultant to look at. (I at least had one brain cell still working..as I was beginning to doubt if any of the staff knew or understood the procedure I had undergone) A very kind nurse offered to photo the X-Ray on my phone.

        I was then wheeled out into the waiting room to await my husband’s arrival. It is now 6.45pm and he had finished his surgery. Suddenly,the Trainee Orthopod was by my side and said she would like to have a word with me and her Registrar! Help..get me out of here. Before, I could manage to muster up the courage to say “No thank you” she had wheeled me back into a room. Her Registrar came in and explained I hadn’t broken my toe..but his Orthopaedic Consultant had looked at my X-Ray and suggested I contact my consultant as they felt there was a problem with my operation. They wouldn’t want to attempt to do any surgery…not that I would have let them.

        I asked him to show me on my photo where they thought the problem was and he showed me the screws in my toes and thought they needed adjusting. Luckily, my husband arrived-he explained again and after thanking him for his opinion…we finally left the building. I expressed my concern to my husband that I didn’t think they had a ******* idea of the operation and would wait for my consultant’s comments. The next morning I trawled the internet to look at X-rays of my procedure against others and mine looked great.

        However, I did email my consultant with my X-ray photo for his advice. His secretary kindly contacted him and he emailed me back personally to offer advice and reassurance, but offered to see me earlier if I felt any doubt.

        As it was difficult to re-arrange my husband’s surgeries, I felt quite confident in my consultant so waited until the original appointment of 19th. As time wore on and “cabin fever” took over- I did begin to worry if indeed my foot would recover-but knew I could trust his advice completely.

        We arrived for my appointment on Monday-X-rays were taken of every angle of both feet including weight bearing. Although he said my left foot is a little more swollen than he had hoped-the X-rays were perfect. All screws were in place and perfectly positioned:-) He has suggested some physio-but as I am a little wary of finding anyone up here I have found some exercises on the internet which I am now doing. He was quite amazed to see me so mobile as he thought at first, maybe, from my description of A& E, my screws had collapsed!

        Blue flat shoes are waiting to be binned. I am struggling to find any wide “support” shoes I can fit into comfortably. I have managed to fit into my trainers although he suggested I don’t start “running” until after the three months marker has been achieved.

        Without the “blue” shoes I am trying to ditch the “Robot” walk and learn how I walked before the op. I can put both feet flat and I am trying to “bend’ my toes but struggle with the concept and find myself returning to robotic walking!!

        I am pleased you are moving forwards too. I believe I am-when I look back I have come a long way but day by day seems slow.

        I, like you, have been discharged and only have to return if the physio doesn’t help and if I want the screw in the top of my foot removing (because I am thin he says that he tried to screw it down as much as he could but I may feel it) Ouch!! I didn’t…but I do now:-)

        I, unfortunately, have have gained weight- as I have no willpower and crawling to the fridge and cupboards was my “exercise’ for the day. My husband also indulged me daily with wonderful dinners and very chocolaty puddings. My new exercise routine will begin again in the New Year:-)

        I hope all continues to go well for you and will certainly keep updating here when and if there is more “good news”

        I have certainly found it invaluable to know that there are more of us “Bunionoctomists” out there. Thank you for all your blogs..I have loved every minute reading them.

        Di
        x
        Now do you believe I can go off in tangents:-)

      • I love your tangents! Christ on a bike, Di! What, in God’s name, did they think they were doing to you that day? You could make a good short story (or scene in a book) out of that. It can’t very well have inspired much confidence. I must admit your writing about it made me smile and obviously I could so empathise with both the frustration and agony you were going through. Plus the need for something stiffer than a hospital coffee! Thank goodness, your surgery appears to have turned out quite normal and complete (no fractures, either!) I started off writing these blogs as a pilgrimage, not really realising that that is just what it is for some of us.

        My foot seems to be slowly getting better all the time. I’m at the stage where all that swelling underneath is now flattening down, so that my toes can touch the floor when the foot is flat. But I’m still in Crocs or Uggs. I’m getting all my shoes out tonight and trying on every pair, in great hopes. I still have the very odd feeling of having one of those metal hose-clamps my OH uses as a mechanic gripping the bottom of my big toe quite tightly. But I wouldn’t call that painful any more.

        Well, here’s to us! We’re surviving, screws, staples and all. I’m glad you found the blog useful – it’s nice to know other pilgrims! It’s not exactly the kind of information people seem keen to discuss on social occasions, is it? LOL. In a few months’ time we could maybe compare ‘after’ pictures of both feet and footwear 🙂 I loved hearing from you. Take care now (don’t go near a hospital, that is!!!), Heather x

  3. Glad to hear you have been out enjoying the real world, and are able to start living normally again! Happy healing, and writing about (ouch) less painful things 🙂

  4. camilla says:

    Ive had this done 24th oct on both feet i have a darco on both foot they are killers for ones legs and doesnt help i had reconstructive surgery to my right foot in april this year too so my left foot is very painful as that has had most weight through it whilst i was in pot on my other foot at the min i cant feel my right foot going to see the consultant again tomorrow im 4 weeks post op now and have major cabin fever and the thought of having to stay with my mum and dad any longer fills me with dread i need my space back. Two weeks ago when i saw the consultant and he took my pots off i nearly passed out so im hoping i dont have a replay of that tomorrow because it made me really ill….hope your getting on okay im dreading when im told to move my toes erugh oh and i have to have physio after too.

    • Thanks for getting in touch, Camilla. By Christ, it sounds like you’ve had your fair share of pain and disruption there! *hugs* I hope it all goes well tomorrow and all I can say is that it does, gradually, get better. If you can even get out in a garden for a bit, or somewhere you can sit happily for a while (a good coffee shop), then do try – that cabin fever is a mare! Meanwhile, I’d say order online some Crocs and/or Uggs. It will be a while before normal shoes can be considered. Those Darcos were horrible. I wanted to light a ritual fire with mine! My physio was simple toe twitching for a while but I am getting there and the toes are beginning to lie flatter. Wishing you all the best and a change of scene from mum and dad’s. Much as we love them, we love our space, too 🙂 x

      • camilla says:

        Thanks, i think my physio on my right foot will be more than toe twitching because my foot is still not right from the last lot of surgery and i had physio right up until this op and i know too well how painful physio is specially when i start getting pain going up my legs ouch which isnt helping the situation when you have to wear darco shoes there horrible things… I lived in uggs because that the only shoes i could get on so that is fine by me to wear them or a trainer…im just more worried about that pain that comes with moving ones toes for some reason and it sends me really squeemish which is prob one of the reasons i nearly passed out. x

  5. camilla says:

    seen the consultant bandages off can now wash the feet which i have done pleanty of cream on too, only another week in darcos but i can walk to bathroom and back without the shoes if i wish then next wed in shoes of my own 😀 then week after that physio starts and i can drive yay

    • Yes, that’s what I did, Camilla – more or less walked around barefoot at home before that final appointment. Glad it’s all coming along now. I found the Uggs most comfortable to drive with at the start. And I’m trying on my entire shoe collection tonight to see if there’s anything in the slightest bit cool or fashionable (not Uggs or Crocs) that will at least fit! Go you! Hx

  6. camilla says:

    Yeh i think ill be in uggs or trainers shall have to see which is best next wed. Heheh go you too 🙂 how many weeks are you now?x

  7. Di East says:

    Morning Heather,

    I think we all feel a need to offload our experiences and know that we are not alone in this “pilgrimage” 🙂 Thank you for starting it.

    I am pleased to hear your toe is flattening-hopefully without the help of your OH’s implements!! I sent for some “Paloma Alegria” shoes which I read about on Lily Mulholland’s blog. However, the first pair felt “a little tight” so I’m awaiting a larger size to see how they fit. My toes felt slightly sardineish…I definitely don’t want to squeeze them into anything too early. I haven’t any Crocs and I was advised to have some shoes that support my toes-so unless this second pair fits-it will be trainers. Not quite the look I wanted for a “little black dress” outfit.

    How did your shoe party go?? I do hope you managed to find a pair that fits. How long is it for you now ? (It sounds like an addiction achievement!!) Although, an achievement it is. For me it’s 8 weeks yesterday since my OP-my maths is not that good after 20 days-apart frm not having any more fingers and toes-I become forgetful too:-)

    Another achievement on Sunday-I drove- the car:) (Not my husband mad) How weird to press your toes down-not a great feeling-but determined to keep at it. Another “trial” drive today. On my own-it’s nearly as exciting as first passing my test, Freedom beckons-at last.

    I have a physio session booked on Thursday but have been religiously doing some of the following: http://www.permanente.net/homepage/kaiser/pdf/323.pdf (For all those recovering-please do NOT attempt these until after advice from your consultant) I didn’t do any until week six (apart from a little distraction & manipulation exercises) I find the standing on toes quite painful-but I wonder if it’s more in my mind:-)

    I have also found doing my toe exercises n the bath easier too-I’m sure it’s cheating-but at least I feel I’m doing something.

    I would post my before on after photos…but not sure how to do that? Also, I wouldn’t want to put anybody off their food..although it might help me to stop eating:-)

    I will keep in touch… to keep our crazy banter going.. let’s hope others enjoy it too:-)

    Di
    x

    PS..an further update from the ozzie I went to locally. I have heard this week that it has taken some poor soul TWO years to recover from the surgery…I would have lost the will to live:-) Another good reason to go South!

    • Oh Di, hello, good to hear from you again. Two years does sound excessive, doesn’t it? I looked at those exercises on http://www.permanente.net/homepage/kaiser/pdf/323.pdf and they were the things Mr. Fabulous advised me to do. Very simple stuff and no need to go berserk.

      I’m so pleased for you that you’re at the driving stage now. Nobody who hasn’t been similarly cooped up could possibly know what a thrilling sense of freedom that gives us.

      I have a few things to update, so I’ll do a short-ish new post over the weekend. Yes some shoes fit, for example, and yes my feet still feel rather crammed-in like sardines but it’s getting better by the day and an improvement on the painful, unsightly lump – which is, after all, what all this has been about!

      Yes, of course stay in touch. This is what I love about the internet. I’ve made some great friends around the world and can’t imagine what my life would have been like without it.

      Take care! Hx

  8. camilla says:

    Heheh guess what ive been driving this week too way ahead of myself im 5 weeks and two days yay easier to drive than it is walk for me, and i start physio tuesday of next week think might make me feel bit better as i did a normal walk earlier and nearly cryed it hurt so bad, physio usually helps me loads so heres hoping

    • Hello again! You must be 48hrs away from Physio! Hurrah. Good for you with the driving. I think I know what you mean 😉 And *hugs* for the painful walk. The last four weeks for me have seen great improvement for me, particularly on the pain and comfort front. I’ve just written an Update post which may (or may not – see Harry the dog) be encouraging. For me, it has gradually got better so hold that thought! 🙂

  9. Vickie says:

    Hi there..I’ve only just discovered your fantastic blog and I’ve been researching for months now! It’s great to discover someone who has had the same operation and who only lives in the next county (so many bunion blogs are American and they seem to do things a lot different..ice bags seem to feature heavily)

    I had both feet ‘done’ on March 13 – the right one is doing so well with hardly any pain..but the left one was a bit more complicated (twisted bones, I think my surgeon said) and is really sore 😦

    I’m freaking out today because my DH has to go back to work on Tuesday and I have a lively 2 year old, so I’m reading everything I can and looking for glimmers of hope that we are somehow going to manage!

    I also started a WordPress blog but I’m no writer and am completely clueless about blogging and tagging and nobody is reading it except for my long suffering hubby. I’ve never left a message on anyone’s blog before but am starting to feel rather isolated – it would be great to hear back from you 🙂

    Hope you’re enjoying your feet
    Kind regards
    Vickie

    • Hey Vickie 🙂 Brace yourself for a lonnng reply!

      Thanks so much for the comments. I took a look at your blog and my heart went out to you with your posts and the above comments, on top of the fact you’re coping with a two-year-old as well as a double-op. People commenting on my posts and on the other blogs I mention (I think at end of Stage 2 post) show that we’re/you’re not alone, although we all experience this stuff slightly differently, depending on circumstances, type of op, country, etc.

      I can’t really dispense advice – not a doctor, etc. – and can only say what helped for me, or what I’ve read helped others. It helped me to create a base for me when my husband returned to work. As you’ve read, mine was the bedroom (as it’s next to the only loo) and my husband would ensure I had phone, food (cereal bars, fruit and a packed lunchbox), drink (a large Thermos is useful for coffee/tea), laptop, books, radio, tv all within reach on my bed – Mission Control – and our cat and dog joined me there, too.

      It helped for my base to be on one level. You’ll need the loo for both you and toddler so I am hoping you live on one floor or have a downstairs loo! Obviously, you know what best amuses your little one, so you’ll need to have food/drinks/toys/amusements/books/nappies/equipment etc. handy for your child as well as your own little list (see above!). Any family or friends who can come and help out? Our blokes can be real diamonds here, in prepping tuck boxes before work, cooking at night, etc. It’s not for very long.

      However, I think there were plenty of times I had to hobble about, or down and upstairs with the crutch/es when, say, letting the dog out or answering the doorbell, or when I really got so bored and full of cabin fever I went for bloody-minded walks or cooked for the sheer hell of it – and I simply got used to gritting my teeth, wincing a bit and getting on with it. Those wretched heel-down clumpy shoes will soon be a distant memory, believe me.

      As for the blogging, your blog is fine! I was clueless before starting this. Everyone is before they start one! If you google ‘effective blogging’, ‘blogging tips’ or even look on WordPress’s own site there are plenty of tips to be had out there, or books you can read about it. There are also websites that can apparently maximise your blog’s traffic. I’m crap at all that. Tagging: I just tag whatever I think may be relevant.

      As I’m quite new to it all, I’m not particularly looking for tons of viewers, just that something I blog about might mean something to someone, somewhere. Today it did.

      Are you on Twitter? I am @TessaTangent on Twitter and found Twitter to be a source of both amusement and entertainment as well as finding kindred spirits. I searched ‘bunion surgery’ on Twitter and found a few people and blogs that way.

      There! I told you it was a long reply but hope it answered a few of your concerns. I am indeed enjoying my feet. Think the Bio Oil is worth continuing as scar still shows but is much much lighter.

      Take care now and do email me or tweet me on Twitter whenever you fancy… 🙂 x

  10. Jennifer says:

    Hi, Vickie and Tess! Vickie – I had bunion surgery on Monday and only now am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for all the support.

    Vickie, I have no idea of how you’re dealing with a toddler, but I can only imagine. It almost sounds like it would be worth it to send her to a daycare for a couple of weeks if you can afford it. I’m going back to work on Monday and am absolutely horrified about it. I think I need to call my boss and tell her to forget it. The worst is this insane cabin fever. I’m in Vermont and I’m surrounded by mud. Email me if you want commiseration.

    • Vickie says:

      Hello Jennifer 🙂
      At the moment my husband is at home but I have to let him go back to work on Tuesday. Extra childcare is probably a very good idea but I’ll miss her so much…can’t win 😦

      I can imagine mud can get pretty boring (unless you happen to be a hippo!)

      Keep in touch comrade! x

    • Hey Jennifer, welcome to what appears to be a growing and supportive band of survivors! Yes, cabin fever is tough and hard to revolt against in a Vermont swamp, I imagine. Yes, childcare could be a solution. I was hoping Vickie might have a willing friend or relative. But I am glad you two and others have ‘met’ through the blog subject I hesitated to write about! 😉 xx

      • Jennifer says:

        I have the biggest collection of clunky ugly clogs that I’ve paid a fortune for. For a while, I was even buying two of each pair because my left (big bunion) made my foot so wide. I just need to keep telling myself that it will be worth it in the end.

        Sounds like it’s a perfect time to teach toddler to fetch for mom. Vickie – your poor mother with the radiation burns!

      • Jennifer says:

        Small wonders. A friend dropped by and gave me a chocolate bunny. Tuesday I meet with the surgeon and get my bandages changed. I’m think I’m going to need a xanax before I see my poor foot. At least, Vickie, you’ve gotten them both done at the same time. I can’t imagine going through this again, but I’m supposed to. At least I just got the “OH” to clean up. He’s great but not the best housekeeper. I also have three cats and two dogs. Thankfully the kids are grown. One stopped by to borrow something and was surprised to see me on crutches. She’s 24 and I think I scared her. She also brought here newest boyfriend who I never met before. I’m in fleece sweats in colors that only a mother-in-law could purchase.

  11. camilla says:

    I forgot about this blog im doing well now but my right foot im having to have a revised op but said i dont want till till oct need a break basicly the consultant hasnt lowered my foot enough at the front which is resulting in me walking on the side of my foot and im getting a lot of pain and even pain in diff areas of my body where i shouldnt be. Also have to have the right toe re done as the screw and or staples have moved so its gone off at angle again and the consultant isnt happy will be glad when its all over, will be worth it one day i guess. But im back at the gym now too consultant and physio want me in the gym as long as i dont run at this stage im fine but i have my op end of oct and were now in march. And its very nearly a year since i had my first op of the heal reconstruction x

    • Aww, Camilla, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had all this bother. Many of us go into it believing it’ll be a short-term thing. I’m crossing my fingers for you that they sort it out and put things right for you. As you say, let’s hope the end result is worth it for you. *passes you a damn huge stress-ball* Take care, friend. x

      • camilla says:

        Thanks btw i followed you on twitter a bit a go in case your wonder who it is camilla oates is my name :). I know its my worst foot as well the right foot is the same foot i had my heal reconstructed on so maybe it just needs a bit more work doing to it i keep blaming the consultant but i guess they dont really know if they have lowered the foot enough so to speak because if they do it too much then you can apparently loose your balance alot. Just means also i wont be able to drive for 6 weeks and will have to live with my mum and dad dunno whats worst boo hoo. Thanks 🙂 x

  12. Vickie says:

    Thanks for all the good advice! I think I’ll make a checklist of all the things I’ll need to hand when hubby goes back to work and will officially decamp to the living room.

    I’ve really made life difficult for myself (and my family) and at times feel a bit stupid for doing so but I KNOW in the long run it will all be worth it…. I’ve read your sentence about the clumpy shoes one day being a distant memory several times – it’s very reassuring 🙂

    Laughed out loud at the thought of you going for ‘bloody-minded walks’

    I wish I Tweeted..I’m sure I’d love a little tweet now and then but that’s another thing I’ve failed to get my head around. I’ve got an account so maybe I’ll have a go!

    Thanks for replying…I don’t need to explain to you how exciting something like that is when your world as shrunk to the size of a bedroom 😉

    Vickie x

    p.s. I did tons of research on lotions and potions for healing and Healgel seems to be a ‘miracle’ product… It’s pricey but my Mum recently used it on some horrific radiation burns and they disappeared unbelievably quickly. I’m definitely going to use it on my bruises and scars…not that I really mind about the scars – compared to bunions (they really do need a nicer name don’t they?)

    • My pleasure, Vickie. Ooh, thank you re Healgel. I hadn’t heard of it. Your mum had radiation burns? Eeek. (I am imagining Chernobyl but expect maybe tanning salon? Or radiator?) Well, that stuff MUST be good! Some great replies up here today. There’s Jennifer in Vermont and now Camilla with more bother – you so ain’t alone. Do take care… 😉 x

  13. Vickie says:

    Aww..the kindness of strangers.. it warms your cockles 😉
    Mum’s just had radiotherapy (breast cancer…I have the t-shirt for that one too!!)
    v glad you decided to blog about your…foot bumps
    Jennifer I will definitely get my daughter to help out – it’s high time she started pulling her weight 😉

    • You certainly have been through it. *hugs* Hope you and your mum stay well. With wonderful feet.

      Toddler… Yep, let her know the meaning of hard work! That old pick-up-the-toys-and-put-in-the-basket-and-mummy-will-read-you-a-story routine worked wonders with our kids. From that small beginning, she’ll be ready for the Black & Decker toolkit and set of household cleaning tools in no time. 🙂 x

  14. Vickie says:

    Haha ‘Like’ ;-D
    ….off to read all your blogs now! x

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