Surgery was exactly one week ago today. This means I had my first official post-op appointment today.
My foot has felt great so I didn’t expect anything unusual. We also got a peek at the wounds and results last Friday when we got the bandages loosened, so I already knew there was no external pin.
My only goal this week was to get rid of the splint. Success! The doctor was very pleased so they just wrapped it up in bandages and gave me a new fancy boot. I put the boot on every time I get up just in case I lose my balance and instinctively put my foot down to catch myself. Still no weight bearing though, until about week 7 or 8.
Next appointment is in one week, and the big milestone then is to get permission to work from home. Fingers crossed!
Keep reading to see a gruesome up-close picture of my foot from today.
So, this happened.
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Back to square one. Five months after my first surgery, I realized I wasn't where I needed to be to train hard. I could walk, and drive, and exercise, and swim, but running and riding was still a little painful and I could not push myself to the level I wanted for my first triathlon in late June. So, I decided to get the second surgery over with. This way the recoveries will overlap, and when I'm ready to train again I know I won't have to start all over a year or two later. 🔸First milestone: 6 weeks, upper body training can begin again! 🔸Second milestone: 7-8 weeks, weight bearing with the boot. 🔸Third milestone: 11-12 weeks, swimming! — #️⃣#surgery #footsurgery #surgeryrecovery #bunion #bunions #bunionectomy #bunionsurgery #pain #ouch #couchpotato #healing #nomoretraining #pause #break #startingover #round2 #onemoretime #lasttime #onceandforall #triathlete #goals #comingbackstronger #betterthanever
The last post I wrote was very optimistic. I had gotten on the bike and tried my first brick workout. I felt great.
However, the Sunday after the brick workout Bruno and I went to Ithaca for the weekend. We rode our bikes a little bit and walked around, and by the end of the weekend my foot was sore, swollen, and throbbing. On our way back, we had a sudden realization in the car: I can’t train yet.
My foot is not really ready to train yet 😦
So, should I just get the other surgery? I went to see my doctor the very next day. There are many factors that helped me make the decision, and long story short, we decided to replace triathlons with another recovering foot this year.
I will try to post a little snippet of my second recovery daily, because this is once and for all and I want to be able to remember. Check back daily to ride this roller coaster with me!
Click Continue Reading below to see a before and (2 days) after shot.
Exactly 1 day after my last post, I received very good news in my 12 week post-op appointment. The doctor and nurses were very pleased and impressed with my healing progress, and said I did not have to go back for THREE MONTHS!
Three months? Wait. What am I supposed to do until then? Can I walk barefoot? Can I drive? Can I ride? Can I run?
The first great news: Yes, I can drive again! Regarding physical activity, the doctor said I should not increase by more than 10% each week, and that I should not start training for a marathon. Not knowing quite what that meant, I asked for a physical therapy (PT) referral and started sessions last week.
In week 1 of PT, I have been given the following exercises:
- Toe curls (trying to scrunch up a towel), 2×10 twice a day
- Seated heel raises, 2×10 twice a day
- Ankle rotation front and back, 2×10 twice a day
- Ankle rotation side to side, 2×10 twice a day
The first couple of days of trying to move my toes caused some discomfort that I was not used to. My foot has not hurt since the second week after surgery and now the exercises make my toes hurt a bit. However, I can already feel how these exercises are helping me walk normally by letting my foot roll onto the toes, and the ankle rotation feels wonderful.
The other great thing about PT is that my I can begin trying out new exercises. I have been pretty consistent with my upper body weight training, but since last week I have incorporated squats (body weight), and brief elliptical and recumbent bike cardio sessions.
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Passed my 3 month post-op check-in with flying colors! Doctor does not need to see me for THREE MONTHS. She said I can begin increasing physical activity, but not by more than 10% each week… That means: elliptical! Felt super clumsy at first, but I did 10 minutes and my foot felt normal. I'll slowly start adding time and distance and hope to progress to walking/treadmill/running with the help of a physical therapist. Soon! 🚶🏽➡️🏃🏽 — #️⃣ #recovery #physicaltherapy #footsurgery #bunionsurgery #elliptical #cardioworkout #saturdaymorning #mizuno #mileschangeyou #workout #training #trainingday #getlean #tritraining #triathleteintraining #triathleteinthemaking #swimbikerun #learntorun #calfs #trainhard #trainsmart #nevernottraining #nevergivingup
I’m incredibly pleased with my post-surgery state. I thought I would lose a lot more strength than I did. I think eating 40%+ protein has really helped maintain my muscle mass, despite the atrophy in my legs. I also started swim lessons and I love being able to work on my goal of becoming a triathlete even though my legs and feet are not ready yet.
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Half a mile swim to end the productive part of my Sunday. It's couch time and #Hulu for the rest of the afternoon 😜 🏊🏼✔️🔜🛋📺 — #️⃣#swimbikerun #swimmingtime #swimmerlife #swimlikeamermaid #tritraining #triathlontraining #triathleteinthemaking #triathleteintraining #sundayafternoon #sundaytraining #swimsunday #swimmingsunday #trilife #sprinttriathlon #sprinttri #pooltime #redwhiteandblue #ymca #wymta #findyourstrong #irunthisbody
In my next update, I hope to share stories about going back to group fitness and maybe/hopefully getting to try an upright stationary bike!
Yesterday marked 12 weeks post bunion surgery. It’s incredible how easy it is to fall back into a normal routine and forget the recovery journey, and I find myself randomly longing for the early Netflix-and-napping-all-day days. I’m stuck between “still recovering” and “almost okay” which is a bit awkward.
These are the things that remind me that I’m still recovering:
- I cannot drive yet
- I cannot wear regular shoes
- No exercise using my feet
- I still have to wear a toe separator
- My foot swells and tingles after being at the office all day
- I have a limp when I walk
This are the things that make me feel almost okay:
- I can spend 8 hours at the office with only some discomfort
- I CAN SWIM (provided I am not barefoot around the pool)
- I’ve been killing my upper body weight training
- I can sleep normally
- I can wear regular shoes (if they have thick, sturdy soles — so not my regular shoes)
- I can paint my toe nails 😉
My next recovery milestone is driving and doing some form of exercise that involves using my foot. I am very happy with the pace of my recovery and the surgery results. My right foot does not hurt at all, and now I am noticing the bunion pain in my left foot (which was shadowed by the severe pain in the right foot).
I can’t yet say whether this will make running or cycling better for me in the end, but I can’t imagine how it could not!