Day 11: Hung over.

After the first couple of days, the pain of surgery starts to go away. This is mostly due to the heavy dosages of pain killers, but I pay close attention to my pain levels before and after taking  a pill to know if the dose can be reduced. I do not like to take these painkillers so I try to get off them as quickly as possible.

Immediately after surgery, I was taking the following:

  • 5mg Oxycodone HCL every 3 hours = 8 pills a day
  • 500mg Cephalexin (Antibiotic) every 6 hours = 4 pills a day
  • 10mg Oxycodone HCL ER every 12 hours = 2 pills a day

After almost one week, I started to reduce as follows:

  • May 2 – reduce 5mg Oxycodone to 6 pills a day
  • May 4 – reduce 5mg Oxycodone to 4 pills a day
  • May 7 – reduce 5mg Oxycodone to 2 pills a day

The antibiotics run out today (you take 40 pills until they are gone), so by tonight I will be taking:

  • 5mg Oxycodone HCL every 12 hours = 2 pills a day
  • 10mg Oxycodone HCL ER every 12 hours = 2 pills a day

So, in about 5 day’s time, I went from 12 pills a day to 4, and this has effects on my body. It feels exactly like being hung over: headache, light sensitivity, slightly irritable, nausea. Because of that, getting off the painkillers is the second worst hurdle to overcome in recovery (the first is making it past day 2).

It’s a hurdle not just because of the hangover, but also because since you’re off the meds you aren’t sleeping as much, so you are immobile and awake, which leads to boredom, backaches, frustration, desperation, etc. I would say this is the time when most people question whether it was the right thing to do. Despite feeling miserable, I say this with certainty: yes, this surgery was the absolute right thing to do.

I will stick to 4 painkillers a day until Monday (May 9), and then go down to 2 until Wednesday (May 11). My goal is to be completely off the painkillers by late Wednesday/early Thursday.

Wish me luck as I push through this uncomfortable phase! Once I’m on the other side, it should be smooth sailing. ⛵️

 

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Triathlon training postponed

 

So, this happened.

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

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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.

Continue reading “Triathlon training postponed”

Bunion Surgery Recovery: Week 13

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.

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

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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.

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!