Surgery side-effects

My foot came to Thanksgiving dinner,4x6 websized

After the dishes were cleared from our Thanksgiving dinner.

My oldest son and his lovely wife visited for Thanksgiving, daring to be overnight with us, 80 miles away from their birthing hospital. My DIL is rather talented and drew this face on the bottom of my cast:

TWINS artwork on cast by DIL, teen minus glasses as model

Twins!  The teenager might have been the artist’s inspiration.

Pain is mostly under control here. I had a “wound check” today and then a new cast put on my ankle. Started having an anxiety attack, complete with racing heart, nausea, dizziness, and shallow, rapid breathing (a new, not-fun experience for me!) as the post-surgery cast was being removed. It turns out part of the problem was that it was time for my next dosage of pain meds, so I was having pain & anxiety at the same time. Oh, joy.* But we got through that.
The incisions are healing nicely — better than I thought they would look! Big, fat, “beefy” puckers but no nasty drainage. I’ve got one on each side of my left ankle, each approximately 5 inches long. I had SuperDad take a picture of one side, so if you want to see it, just ask. It just looks like a normal fresh scar, post surgery. No dead/dying skin, which the surgeon had been concerned about, so that’s good news.
My dh has been a most excellent caregiver. He sets a timer/alarm on his phone for my medication and uses it 24-hours a day. Since I’m now down to every 3 hours (was every 2 hours over the holiday weekend) we are both getting better sleep at night — until that alarm goes off!
One side effect of being on what is basically mandatory bed-rest is that my backside gets a little sore. I noticed my right hip area becoming numb on Sunday night so I’ve been working on keeping some feeling going to it (I must be pressing against a blood vessel or something). Yesterday I moved ever so slightly and it felt like a lightning bolt shot into my right hip joint. Yikes! So while that area is battling numbness, the nerve works just fine!
I’ve also been having some fuzziness and double-vision, which is another side effect of the Dilaudid. I became fully aware of it on Monday evening when I was working on the bulletin on my laptop. The Mayo Clinic website says to tell your doctor right away… so we told him when we saw him today. Guess what? An orthopaedic surgeon knows nothing about medications and their side effects. He seemed to wonder why I was even telling him about it. That shouldn’t surprise me — I discovered 3 years ago that surgeons do one thing: CUT. And I am happy enough that he did a very good job repairing my very broken ankle. I can live with temporary fuzziness and double-vision, because the pain meds are otherwise doing their job well. Hopefully those who are getting written communication from me via blog posts, facebook, e-mail, and texts can read through my spelling and predictive text errors.
I haven’t yet been set free from the 24/7 elevation rule (ankle higher than my nose and heart). I hope that next week I will be given several hours a day off from this position.
DSCN2305  Top of cast, wine glass

Look! I have a glass of wine! My dear, sweet DIL drew a wine glass for me to carry along wherever I go, which mostly meant that I could lay on my back in bed with a glass of wine. (The face shown in the other picture is on the “bottom” of my cast/foot.)

 

 

Sadly, those fun drawings are now gone, since my ankle was re-cast today. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted, and the people who saw me being pushed in a wheelchair into/through the clinic building got a smile out of it.

Grandbaby #1 has his due date today, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to make an appearance yet. For this, I am glad — I am not in a position to ride 90 minutes to the hospital, and yet the zombie apocalypse couldn’t keep me away. The good camera has a charged battery and is ready to go when we get the call.
After the trauma of my morning (I confess to downplaying the experience in an earlier * paragraph) I was very glad to be back in stranded turtle position on my bed again this afternoon. Apparently, the entire injury/surgery/recovery process is taking a lot out of me. I didn’t even discover that I had my underwear on inside-out until a few minutes ago (although I did wonder why it felt strange). Being here in my little nest feels safe — no one touching my foot or ankle or jostling me around — even if the nerves in my hip continue to shriek whenever they are pinched.
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Have you ever had an anxiety attack, or had a loved one who struggled with anxiety? 

Pass the cookies… the ones I haven’t yet baked

You know that magical, mystical month of preparation that is wished for between Thanksgiving and Christmas? The one I keep hoping will appear before the end of this week? Um, yeah. Today is Friday and I’m gradually realizing that my dream of such a month is only that: a dream.

2011 December 117  wreath

The funny thing about Christmas is that it comes with exceeding regularity every single December 25th, whether or not I am prepared. In this way, Christmas is like a military moving day, which — as my husband is wont to say — comes whether or not a person is ready for it.

In the past few weeks I have continued on in life much as I do the rest of the year:  going to work, taking a bit of time to waste hours on facebook in an effort to avoid reality spend with friends and other loved ones. My days as “Christmas Wizard” seem to have gone AWOL. I no longer set aside the many hours (hours often stolen from other parts of life) to make the Christmas Magic happen. I actually do plan to have the kids set up and decorate the tree with only minimal participation from yours truly. My handling of ornaments is relegated to unwrapping each one from its tissue-paper swaddling cloth. I am content with this job.

I am, quite possibly, too content with the fact that Christmas comes in 5 days. I have yet to mail a single package. I have yet to finish a single sewing project (let alone begin 3 additional projects conjured up in the past 2 weeks). At some point, panic will set in and I will pull some marathon hours in an effort to complete a single project in time to wrap it and put it under the tree. And the Christmas letter that I envisioned sending out several weeks ago? Not yet written.

The panicky side of my brain tells me to GET AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER ALREADY and to start scurrying about like a headless chicken. The practical side of my brain tells me that running in circles isn’t an effective plan. The panicky Self insists that Christmas is coming — and SOON — whether or not I am ready for it; the practical Self replies, “Yes, you are correct.”

Now if only that additional month of preparation would suddenly appear this weekend…