Autumn has always been my favourite time of year. The colours, the smell, the way the air feels and the change in the atmosphere. I like the way the autumn drizzle glistens in the yellow light from the street lamps, splashing rhythmically on the hard, grey pavements as I walk, the air cold and crisp round me. Autumn is the colours of the leaves, the way they crunch underfoot, and the way they create a multicoloured carpet on the ground.
Sadly this year I have missed most of autumn. On the 14th of September I had an operation on both my feet. I had a bilateral scarf osteotomy with lateral release. In other words they cut out bits of bones, removed my bunions, stuck pins in my feet and made them a little narrower.
I was very lucky to have a fabulous surgeon, a very unpretentious man who told me straight what operation I needed, the probable outcome, the recovery times and possible risks etc. I was also very lucky that the NHS had some clinics and operations at a local private hospital, the care given was fantastic. As well as being impressed with the surgeon’s manner, I also believe he is a brilliant surgeon as the pain was minimal, the scars are neat and the mobility in my feet is excellent.
Despite my family and friends being lovely and helpful, I found it incredibly hard not to be able to do things for myself after the operation. I am a very independent person and not happy being immobile and unable to do things. I missed walking incredibly and am grumpy when trapped at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love my flat, but I also love my freedom. The first time I walked outside alone, after nearly seven weeks, I could feel myself morphing into Mel Gibson in Braveheart. “They can take my bunions but they cannot take my FREEDOM!!!”
I had the first 10 days off work sick and then worked from home from another couple of weeks. I was only allowed to walk round my flat in the special medical shoes and had to sit with my feet up as much as possible. I had to use crutches in the flat too as the shoes did not make for good balance. To be honest the pain was not great and was definitely more comfortable than the constant pain I had been in with the bunions and osteoarthritis.
My family and friends helped by looking after me, doing the things that I couldn’t for the first few weeks, cooking, cleaning, shopping etc. I had lots of visits and messages from people and was very grateful to all my family and friends who helped me. I also realised which of my “friends” were not that fussed. The 30 seconds that it takes to send a what’s app message, Facebook post or text, can make a difference when you are feeling down.
I went back to work after 3 and a half weeks but was lucky because my boss collected me and took me home every day and I didn’t have to walk much in the office due to the kindness of my colleagues.
My two trips to town in a wheelchair with one of my lovely friends, were hilarious, much laughter and messing about occurred. Though I was surprised at how much people can be rude, stare or just be generally unhelpful and obstructive. On the other hand, there were other people who were lovely. Apparently when in a wheelchair you should not say you are “going to get your crutch out”...... I meant crutches so I could walk!!!! J
Rationally the longest until I get back to normal is 6 months. At the moment I am walking short distances in boots that are 2 sizes too big. (Due to the swelling) and I have a slightly odd gait. Apart from that I am not in a lot of pain and I have lovely straight feet.
I know there is nothing to be done about the osteoarthritis, but the pressure has been taken off and I am only dealing with one problem. Having 50% of the problem removed has been amazing. I hope to be able to buy normal shoes or shop bought wide fit shoes instead of EEE extra wide fit shoes online. I will admit that, in desperation, I even considered buying shoes from Cosyfeet. I am 47 years old FFS!. I think that was the point at which I knew I had to beg for medical intervention.
Today is 9 weeks since my operation and my goal right now is to be able to get back in normal footwear and to walk as far as I like. I would like to be able to dance on New Year’s Eve, but I can’t see that happening realistically.
I will be honest, that the best thing about this amazing operation is that I can now drive. Now I haven’t tested this theory because I haven’t got a car, but my surgeon definitely said I would be able to drive after 8 weeks. Astonishing, because I couldn’t drive before the operation. J J J
|"Want that one" 😃|
A big thank you again to all my family and friends who have helped me, and continue to help me while I have been less mobile.