Tuesday, February 24, 2015

All American Surgery Update - Physical Therapy & Returning to Work

What I Would Have Done Differently - Managed Timeline Expectations
When I first went in for the surgery, they gave me the return to work timeline of six weeks to three months. I am in my late twenties, relatively healthy except this whole stupid foot, and I absolutely though I would be gone for six weeks, eight max. Instead, I was out of work for two and a half months, and still have pretty heavy restrictions on what I am able to do. But, the exciting news is that I am finally back, and it only took me four days to go through all of my emails!

Friday, February 13, 2015

What To Wear With a Foot Cast or Walking Boot

I am a very firm believer in wearing what makes you comfortable. Now, I should specify here that comfort doesn't actually have to be physical comfort. There is also emotional comfort, and any woman who has slipped into her favorite dress will tell you all about it. Personally, I am not really one to lounge around in sweatpants and a t-shirt for more than about a day. Right after the surgery, I did for a bit, but as soon as we started having company come visit I was wearing jeans and a nice top. Several people remarked on this, but honestly getting dressed made me emotionally feel a lot better.

Now, what you wear will depend on a lot of things. The season, your own personal style, how you're feeling, and what you've actually got going on at the end of your foot. As an FYI, most of my clothes are from some combination of The Limited, Express, Gap Outlet, and Target, and I tried to get as close as possible to what I actually wear in the outfits I made below. Here's what worked for me at the different stages I went through post-surgery.
Foot Cast
I primarily stuck with bootcut jeans, wide legged sweatpants, and occasionally shorts although I had my surgery in December in Upstate NY so those never made it out of the apartment. What I found was that I had to work with pants whose legs were wide enough to fit over top of my cast. I also found that knit Christmas stockings made great toe covers!

Walking Boot & iWalk 2.0
During the period of time when I was in the walking boot but non-weight bearing, depending on my trusty iWalk 2.0 pegleg to get around, I relied on long pants that could be tucked into my boot. The boot is big enough that, although I can fit sweatpants over it, the bootcut jeans I'd used with the cast wouldn't go over the top. I pulled out my straight or skinny jeans, and primarily wore those. Because the pegleg fastened around my thigh, I avoided wearing leggings with tunics, dresses, or skirts, anything that would look awkward with the handle and strap. The above outfit is one I wore out for dinner for a friend's birthday.

Walking Boot & Going Back to Work
Tuesday next week (YAY!) I will finally be returning to work, but I will still be in my walking boot for probably another month. I'm planning outfits for dressing professionally with my walking boot still hooked onto the end of my foot. Luckily, my office is very easygoing, with only one other full-time staff member, so if I need to put my foot up on my desk with some ice packs, it isn't a huge deal.

PS #1 - You might notice that the shoes here are the same. This is actually intentional. You'll need to find what shoes you own work for you. This is especially important once you are weight bearing in your walking boot. You want something comfortable, but also tall enough that your hips are lined up. I made the mistake of wearing flatter shoes one day, and that night my hip ached so badly I couldn't sleep. Don't make the same mistake I did!

PS #2 - If you're surgery takes place over the winter, and you chose to use an iWalk 2.0 (which I HIGHLY recommend) you'll also have to be a little selective about what coat you use. I have a gorgeous trench sort of winter coat that I love, but it comes down to my knees and the handle of the iWalk 2.0 got in the way. Luckily I also have a nice and warm puffy coat, which is great on days like today when it is supposed to get down to -10, and ends at my hips so doesn't bother my pegleg!

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Taking Control

I have no idea if this is the same way for men (although I sense that it is not) but in my experience, when women have large emotional upheaval, we use our hair as a way to give vent to our feelings. I think that this can be a positive or a negative, happy or sad, all depending on what we need.

I actually didn't do the "post-wedding" chop, although I know a number of women who have. I've personally done a "breakup chop", I've done a "you couldn't dye your hair because you're doing living history but now its over" redhead switch, and now, I've done the "I have no control over just about anything but I can control my hair so it is GONE..."

Friday, February 6, 2015

Delaying the Half Marathon

My big motivation that has kept me going through the last two months has been that, in a year's time, I'd be running through Cinderella's Castle on my way towards the finish line of my first half marathon. That mental image helped me push through when we were stuck in the hospital, it has given me the strength to get through being sick from the pain medicine, and it has helped me be a good girl and follow the doctor's orders to the letter.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

All American Surgery Update - Two Month Update

What I Would Have Done Differently - Talked About Mental Health
These last few weeks have been really, really difficult. My poor husband. He's already stretched thin between work, grad school, and the professional choir that he's in that rehearses a full weekend every month. Add to that a snippy, grumpy, mobility limited wife who usually handles the meal planning and cooking and splits the rest of the housework, and he's had a huge burden added to his already too full plate.

I've also had, in the last three weeks, five nights where I've gotten less than four hours of sleep due to over-thinking and worry. The blame for that is squarely on my foot. I have had a lot of anxiety about the reintroduction of weight, and especially how soon I'll be able to return to work comfortably. If I was thinking, when I had my regular visit with my doc a few weeks back, I would have talked with her about this and seen what my options were. At the very least, now that my cast is off and I'm a little more mobile, I'll be setting up a haircut (because nothing says steps forward like a new do) and a full body massage asap. Maybe I'll go all out and get a mani pedi while I'm at it.