Saturday, April 29, 2017

Week 8

Week 8  April 30. 2017

For the most part, I forget I have had the operation. The pain in my toe has subsided to the point where it is about the same as it was prior to surgery. I am now hopeful that it will quietly fade away completely.

I will continue to post updates at irregular intervals, but there really isn't much to say now.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Week 6

Week 6 - Wednesday 5 April 2017

Not really much to say beyond the last entry. I've been going to the gym regularly, cycling and walking. The wound has healed nicely. No swelling. No pain in the joint when I'm not walking on it.

The only discomfort I have experienced recently is in my left hip (which I mentioned previously) when laying down. This may be due to my awkward gait when favouring my left foot, which probably put strain on the hip joint. Now that I'm walking more normally it seems to be settling down (possibly bursitis - I'll talk to my doc about it if it persists). Otherwise life is pretty much back to normal.

The toe hurts a little more than it did before the surgery (maybe 2 to 3 on a scale of 10 when walking), but I feel there is slow, but steady improvement. The surgeon said full recovery takes months, so patience is the key.

I'll just make occasional entries now as there really isn't much to write about.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 5

Week 5. Monday. 27 March 2017

Just in from cycling to St Kilda, where I enjoyed coffee in a cafe beside the beach.

The toe is a little more painful to walk on than it was before the surgery, but I can feel incremental improvement. I no longer limp.

In the evenings I sit and work it with my fingers to improve flexibility - the joint doesn't have full range of motion, but is getting better.

I am going to the gym regularly, but, as I mentioned in a previous post, I do not run and normally avoid exercises that cause excessive jolting of joints anyway.

The wound is healing well. I kept a plaster over it until a few days ago, mainly to stop it abrading against the sock as I walked, but have done away with that now. No swelling. I often forget I had the operation.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Week 4

Week 4. Monday. 20 March 2017.

Exactly 4 weeks have passed since the surgery.

I returned to the gym yesterday, also went today. I mainly work out on the stationary bikes - which is easy on the toe as it isn't required to flex.

As an aside, I have never been into running - I believe the jolting puts too much stress on joints and that excessive running is not a natural form of exercise. Our hunter gather ancestors probably only ran when they had to (to escape predators or chase down prey) and would be aghast to know people these days run miles for entertainment. I can't believe it when cheilectomy patients write that they can't wait to start running again. As for me - I'm going to get maximum mileage out of this surgery by not abusing my foot. I prefer walking up hills to get a bit of puff going.

Enough rant - back to the post. Last Thursday I cycled about 20 kilometres to St Kilda for coffee. No problem. As I said before, the foot is fairly flat on the pedal which minimizes flex and pain.

I've also been doing quite a lot of walking - several kilometres each day. The toe is painful, around 3 on a scale of 10, but I can tell it is improving. I still have a very slight limp and this is enough to continue to cause me some pain in the thigh and hip from walking slightly unevenly.

The wound is healing well (see photo - taken yesterday). It is a little soft in a couple of places, so I have decided to keep it covered with a plaster for a few more days rather than have it abrade directly against a sock.

The toe doesn't have full flexion by any means, but I wriggle it around in the evenings. I am confident it will gradually improve.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Week 3

Week 3. Monday 13 March 17

End of the third week - 21 days since surgery.

I have been walking at least half an hour a day, plus wandering around the apartment.

At rest the foot is fine - only slight tenderness on the site of the surgery.

Walking there is low level pain in the toe joint, enough to make me limp a little, but nothing more than I would have expected after surgery. I also have some pain in the leg and hip joint, which I expect is a result of the unnatural stresses caused by limping.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Day 19. Coffee at the market

Day 19. Friday. 10 March 2017

Here's a picture of my foot taken this morning. The nurse put the dressing on when the bandage was removed and sprayed it with waterproofing.

This morning I walked something less than a kilometre to Chapel Street, then caught a tram a similar distance to the Prahran market. I am limping and still wary about the foot, but gradually becoming more confident. The joint is stiff, but I am confident it will slowly loosen up with use. It is a little sore when walking, maybe 2, sometimes 3, on a scale of 10.

I regularly have coffee at the market and a had a bit of a chat to the cafe owners, George and Lea. Then limped around doing some shopping before catching a couple of trams home. That will do for today.

Prahran market


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Day 18 - resuming a near normal life

Day 18. Thursday. 9 March 2017

Having a coffee at a cafe is something I do regularly. Sitting for half an hour with a book or watching people wander by is one of life's pleasures. I know those $4.50 a day coffees add up, but I think its a cheap delight. I'm not, at any rate, much into restaurant eating - and one restaurant meal can gobble up as much cash as a fortnight of cafe crawling.

So I was chuffed to be able to have a decent coffee in a cafe after 17 days of medical imprisonment at home (with the exception of the weekend jaunts with my wife). A sign that life is returning to normal.

I am wary of the foot, and tend to limp a bit. I expect that will pass before long as I become more confident and the healing progresses. There is no pain, though I am aware of sensitivity in the area of the wound. I haven't been game to really try bending the toe yet, but that will come.

Yesterday the surgeon said he has moved away from recommending people see physiotherapists. He said he just wants me to start walking. Half an hour to start, then gradually increasing as I feel comfortable. In his mind, the natural process of walking around will do as much good as physiotherapy. He's a nice guy - Paul Rice - I'd recommend him. Must be pretty qualified as he's ceased being called Dr and has returned to being called Mr (that happens to some highly qualifed Docs).

I am a doctor, by the way, but I'm not a physician. I have a Ph.D. in geology. I also usually get called Mr, but in my case its because that's what people call you by default and I can't be bothered correcting them - you sound like a bit of a wanker if you do. Even my mother still writes Mr on my birthday cards after 30 years of me being a Dr - but she just forgets.