Recovering in Paradise: showering with Tortuga and keeping my feet up

With two different prescriptions for pain medication filled, I fully expected another easy recovery from this second bunion surgery, at least from a physical point of view. I was surprised then, to find that the pain and swelling the first day were significant.

First of all, I had to take the medication with food. That meant waiting for my husband to make breakfast, as I was supposed to do absolutely nothing. I was also experiencing a headache, probably from caffeine withdrawal, having had my last cup of coffee at 6 am the previous day.

Usually I wake up and make the coffee in the morning, then either I eat cereal or I make an egg dish. That way I have some coffee in me before I start cooking. I’m grateful that my husband made breakfast for me, at least for the first few days, but that first day my head was exploding by the time I got coffee. I’d waited for breakfast to take my pills, so they still hadn’t started working. When my doctor called later for an update, my pain was down to a 3 or 4 on a scale from 1 to 10, but I estimated it at a 5 or 6 when I first woke up.

I was relaxed enough and comfortable enough by the time the meds started to work. I updated my Facebook, Snap chatted with my kids and read. I started doing Sudoku and crosswords again. The first two days post-op I was instructed to do nothing, to keep my foot elevated above my hip, and to only get up to go to the bathroom.

After my doctor called, I peaked under my elastic bandage and realized that my gauze dressing was soaked through with blood. It was dry to the touch, so must have bled the night before. I emailed him and he replied that I should come in the next day, which was only a day early, for the wound check.

The printed instructions from the doctor said I could take a shower the next day, as long as I protected my foot with a plastic bag. We find that Tortuga Rum Company bags are very sturdy and make a good cover, and my husband had made a serious effort to collect several in the time leading up to the surgery.  The taping is the tricky part. If you aren’t careful of the folds in the top of the bag, there could be an unseen opening for the water to seep in. For that reason we double bagged my foot and my husband taped it up so tightly I thought he was making a tourniquet.

That first day I kept the shower very short, being unable to put any weight on my bad foot.  I was still in good shape then, so it wasn’t too exhausting to stand on one foot and try to keep the other one as much out of the shower as possible.

We visited the doctor and he cleaned up the wound. He noted a lot of bruising and said the bleeding was good. It shouldn’t be trapped in the wound. He poked and tweaked at my stitches, which was a little bit painful, but more of an irritant to my foot. Once the foot was all wrapped up again, he got me a wheelchair to get to the front door and instructed me to keep the foot elevated.

Wow! I had a shower and a visit to the doctor in one day! What with going up and down the stairs to get in and out of the apartment, I was tired at the end of the day. Maybe I wasn’t in such good shape after all!

Once we got home, I played some computer games and emailed family to let them know how things were going. After dinner I had an early night. I planned to continue my  focus on rest and healing. My next couple of days my goal would be to taper off the pain medications.



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