I found out the Magic 8 Ball was a big, fat liar. I was fine after surgery. I didn’t die. If I did, no one has informed me yet. I was a little out of it at first. When I woke up, I started crying. This was really weird for me as I’m not a ‘crier’ and I didn’t know what was happening with me. The nurse came over and asked if I was in pain. I told her I didn’t know. I tried to focus and see how I felt and most importantly, stop crying. I thought, at least I’m not moaning owwwww, and laughed a little. I looked down and my foot was all covered in blankets. I think I felt okay. My sister came in and she said they told her it went really well. I kept asking her if they really did it and if she was lying to me. I just remember feeling really confused and that I kept asking if she was telling me the truth.
The nurse asked if I wanted something to drink and I said no. I needed to get my bearings and a cocktail was the last thing I needed! Ha ha. After a while, the surgeon came in and asked how I was doing. I said I was ok. He said everything went really well–better than expected. He didn’t have to make as big of incisions as he thought he would. He made three small incisions and was able to do the repair that way. I was still confused and I said wait, what? You didn’t make big incisions in my foot? Why not!? As if that was a bad thing! He told me they could see inside and used xray to look at it and were able to position the bones and ligaments correctly without making a large incision. He showed me the xray and my sister commented that the screws looked really big. He said it was magnified and neither my foot nor the screws were that big! I thanked him and he asked if I had any more questions. I guess I said no. I really don’t remember all of what happened, as I was quite confused. Good thing my sister was there to be the cognizant one.
After drinking some Sprite, eating something—I think it was a cracker, and doing what you need to do to be released from the hospital, I was sent home with a prescription for Vicodin. In my research before the surgery, I had read that it was best to elevate your foot as high as possible when you got home. I asked the nurse if I needed to put my foot up above my head and she told me that as long as it was elevated, it should be ok. That was the first bad advice that I received.
I felt remarkably well on the drive home. I didn’t feel sick, just a little wacky, and I wasn’t in pain. I was confident I would be able to get up the stairs with little problem. My sister helped me out of the car and into the house. The splint was much heavier than anything I had previously so I needed to adjust my equilibrium for that. I crawled up the stairs and made it to the couch. I felt fine but wanted to start the Vicodin as soon as possible because I knew the nerve block was going to wear off and I wanted to be ahead of the pain. I’ve nursed quite a few people after various surgeries and I know it is always best to stay ahead of the pain. Don’t ever wait until you feel pain to start the painkillers because then it’s too late. I assured my sister I was fine and she went to get the prescription filled.
I had a nice dinner of normal food—comfort food for me—grilled cheese and tomato soup. We watched a funny movie and I crawled up to bed, propping my leg up higher than normal. I slept pretty well and woke every four hours to take the Vicodin. Saturday morning I still felt good and continued to until about 4 PM when the nerve block wore off. There was no mistake that was what was happening. Had I realized how fantastic the nerve block worked, I would have begged they do another one on Saturday. I have never felt pain that horrific in my life. I had been taking the Vicodin every four hours as prescribed and it felt like I had taken absolutely nothing for the pain. I was incredibly uncomfortable to put it mildly. My sister had brought a bunch of funny movies and they were not sufficient for distracting me from the pain. Laughter is really good for healing after surgery. I’d used it with others after their surgeries so knew this would be a good way to keep upbeat and the endorphins going. Unfortunately, I really needed something stronger.
For the next 24 hours it felt like someone was thrusting a white-hot poker into the middle of my foot. Occasionally I would get the extra special treat of the Electric Jolts as well. This feels like what I would imagine having a cattle prod on full blast smacking you in the foot and running up your leg would feel like. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of the Electric Jolts. I tried icing it but the splint was pretty thick and it didn’t help much. I finally figured out that the nurse was wrong, I needed to keep my foot as high as possible to help with the pain. Even with my foot fully elevated the pain was excruciating. I will tell you that 48 hours was one of the most painful times of my life.
Let me tell you a little bit more about the Electric Jolts. Like I said before, it’s probably like a cattle prod but having never been struck with one, I cannot say for sure. Perhaps it is like being hit with a stun gun. Fortunately, I haven’t ever experienced that either. I have had the unfortunate experience of rubbing up against an electric fence a few times. It’s something like that but much worse. I’ve had the Electric Jolts in varying degrees ever since the surgery. They are less frequent now, but I still occasionally get them. The first few weeks after the surgery the Electric Jolts would visit daily. They were especially active after when I fell and hit my foot trying to vacuum. This is probably the most unpleasant part post surgery. I never know when they are going to hit or how bad it’s going to feel. It certainly takes my breath away—and not in a good way.
MGMT obviously doesn’t know about the Electric Jolts. Electric Feel sounds much nicer.
I would be interested to know when the Electric Jolts go away. Anyone out there have an end date for me? Today marks thirteen and a half weeks after the dreaded injury occurred and exactly nine weeks since surgery. I have five more weeks of non-weight bearing. Should be a good time. As always, I’ll keep you posted!