I spent the last 8 hours reading blogs... so far, I have found:
From Extreme Bunions @ : http://extremebunions.typepad.com/extreme_bunions/
You never know what you'll need.
And it's true - whatever plans you make, they will change. Whatever preparations you make, you'll find later that you were somehow unprepared.
Still, here are some fairly universal ideas that should be helpful for anyone who's about to go through pretty much any type of bunion surgery.
#1 Freezer Pack. This will be your best friend during those crucial times between meds or as you shift away from meds.
#2 Rolling chair or wheelchair - or better yet, an ottoman with wheels on it so you can kind of drag yourself around the house with just your heels and get some core exercise at the same time.
#3 LapDesk - for those endless hours in bed with the laptop, trying to get your work done.
#4 Pepsid AC - to counteract the evil side effects of the meds you'll be taking.
#5 Press-N-Seal - to create fabulous custom bandage or cast coverings for showering.
#6 Handicap-Accessible Room at the Marriott Residence Inn - complete with kitchenette and the sit-down shower! (HOWEVER - Accessible Designers please take note - most of the kitchen cabinets and some of the appliances were not REACHABLE from the wheelchair, nor were the curtain pulls.)
#7 Pilates Matt DVD's - the only exercise that seems effective without using your feet.
#8 Hand Sanitizer.
#9 Lotions & Potions - especially anything with vitamin E oil, or cocoa butter lotion, to start taking care of those scars as early as possible. Later on, after 8 weeks of healing, I switched to alpha hydroxy products to deal with all of the excess skin that needed sloughing off.
#11 VARIETY of socks, shapes, fit, weights (big fluffy may not be the best answer as you thought. I was not able to wear ANY but the THINNEST socks inside my sneakers during the 3rd/4th week).
#12 Swimming - soon after, a membership to a swimming pool is a nice bonus.
From Bunions Be Gone @ http://bunionsbegone.blogspot.com/
I wanted to have a post that gives advice to those who have already booked the surgery or just got the surgery so they can learn from my mistakes and successes during their recovery. There are several things that I wish I had done, that I did and am happy I did, and that I did which I regret. I will be updating this post whenever helpful tidbits come to me. For those that actually follow this post, I will add the newest ones on top to make it easier.
- Stay active!! At 4 months the scar tissue breaks up more when I run around!
- Use a wheelchair in the first two weeks if possible...or have a strong husband around to carry you. In my case I had both :)
- Massage/Rub your feet daily. Even at almost 4 months it feels good on the incision scars to rub them.
- Sleeping tips for the first few weeks:
- Sleep with your feet propped up
- Keep a cooler by your bed. Ice for 20 minutes before you go to sleep so that it was reduce the pain throughout the night. There were a few nights where I woke up in the middle of the night in pain. It was nice having ice on the bedside to reduce the swelling and pain.
- Buy a bottle of Ibuprofen PM** So helpful especially when I started to ween off the pain medicine. I still needed help sleeping through the night at that point.
- Driving: When you start driving again (after about 4 weeks), drive like you would in driving school. Leave yourself extra time to accelerate and brake so that your feet don't have to react quickly to anything. That will cause pain for sure.
- Stay ahead of your pain. Take a dose of your pain pills about 30 minutes before the first dose is supposed to wear off.
- I had cabin fever after a week and started walked waaayy too early. Realize your bones are broken! Give them some time to heal and don't bear much weight on them until 3 or 4 weeks.
- Take the advice of the doctor and don't wear real shoes until 6 weeks or so. I wore tennis shoes a little early and walked far distances (when I golfed). I think that was one of the main reasons why so much scar tissue built up where my buinons used to be).
- Soak your feet in epsom salts in the first several weeks after the surgery.
- Apply Neosporin once the dressings are removed. Once the incisions close up, then start applying Mederma each day and don't look back. My scars are completely flat and look great.
- ICE, ICE, ICE constantly during the first month or so.
- Don't wear tight/fitted socks until 12 weeks or so. Socks tighten at the toe area. I don't think this made a huge difference on my big toes angling, but I could feel different amount of pressure on my toes depending on the socks I wore.
- After the 6 weeks when you can start to wear normal shoes, try not to walk barefoot. Your feet need as much support as they can get when they bare weight. My doctor said that the bones do not fully heal until week 12. If nothing else, wear slippers!
- When you start wearing real shoes again, treat yourself to a few new pairs in the beginning. My old shoes that I started to wear again were already formed to my old feet. I could feel the shoes pushing my toes back to the way they used to be when I wore certain shoes.
- After a lot of strenuous activity (after 8-12 weeks of course), ICE. If my feet are a little tender after a big run or something, I will ice to help reduce the swelling.
- Wear your toe spacers if your doctor suggests it!
While conducting research, I found some nifty things... (I am not a paid advertiser and have not used these products; however, I was extremely excited when I found them and had to share...)
These covers will protect the boot/cast when in the shower! http://www.seal-tight.com/
BOOT COVERS!!!! http://www.thecastcover.com/
Honestly, I don't want to invest in a wheelchair, but the more I read about the surgery aftermath, the more I believe it might be necessary. And, at $50.00 per week to rent it, I might as well buy one. I will post pics of the chosen instrument.
I'm becoming increasingly anxious as time races toward Monday.
I'm eating everything in sight in an attempt to calm my nerves and cope it out...