Monday, August 30, 2010

Post-Op 1 Week

One week down, only 5-7 to go! Okay, so that might be slightly forced enthusiasm, but I am glad to be able to check at least one week off. Today I had my cast put on. This is something I am actually excited about. I had the most uncomfortable splint in the history of post-surgical splints... and today I found out why. Apparently, the OR had run out of splint material during my surgery, so the gal who wrapped it had to create a make-shift splint with whatever they managed to find. My reaction was apparently the same as my doctor's reaction: "How the hell does an OR run out of splint material!?" Seriously. Needless to say my cast is MUCH more comfortable. I tried to get a multicolored cast, but the VA's color choices are fairly limited. In the end, we went with a black & blue combo. The black is underneath and pokes out through the few gaps we left in the blue. The best part was having two awesome doctors laughing while we wrapped up my foot. I bet they don't often get patients who make surgery as fun as possible.

Naturally, I'm the kind of freak who thinks frankenfoot pictures are cool. I like to get a closer look at injuries and sutures, especially if they are my own. So I snapped a couple of photos of my foot after they took off the splint and before they put on the cast. My poor little tootsies are so swollen and bruised. It's a little freaky looking, but almost cute. In a Frankenfoot sort of way. Plus, I love my chaco tan.

I received some excellent comments while I was at the hospital. First, you need to know I was in a wheelchair while at the hospital. They don't let you walk around on crutches. They actually have people staffed whose sole purpose is to find gimps like me and make sure we're taken care of. It's kinda awesome. Next thing you should know is that I wore my favorite Pikes Peak CrossFit shirt. It's the green one that has the Rippetoe quote on the back, "Strong people are harder to kill and just more useful in general." So as I'm wheeling around the hospital, two types of comments were made by quite a few people. Several people read my shirt and asked me about it. Most of them were impressed by the idea behind it and the reason for it. A couple of people actually just took one look at me and asked me how I work out, what sort of exercise program I use. I was told that I just look so obviously strong. It definitely made my day. One guy invited me to be on a "team" for the Boulder Bolder next year, sponsored by the VA. Another guy asked me to write out the website where he can get more information about CrossFit. Here I am feeling weak and gimpy, I'm forced to accept a ton of help, and people are calling me strong, fit, beautiful and asking me for guidance about fitness. CrossFit really is an amazing thing.

I had just enough time to stop by the house, "run" in, and change my shorts. Then I went down to the gym. Today's gimp workout (also called modWOD short for modified workout of the day): 21-15-9 Turkish sit-ups with either an 18# kb or 22# bar & Seated Sots Presses with 36# bar. Time 12:01.

Dinner was a piece of grilled chicken from Whole Foods and some veggies I'd cooked yesterday. I knew I wouldn't have time or energy to cook after a moderately long day, so I stopped at the store on the way to the hospital. Sometimes it's good to give in to the easy way out. It was fantastic to have dinner ready for me when I got home from the gym today. :)

Again, to appease the medical nerd in me, here is a photo of the post-op x-ray. My first internal hardware.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Avocado Swordfish

Lunch today, with the help of LaaLaa, was cooked swordfish with fresh avocado, red onion, and dill on a bed of spinach. Nom nom.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Warrior Dash

Two days before my surgery, I decided it was a great idea to run the Warrior Dash of the Rockies. I was right. It was an excellent idea. What a great race. It's like it was designed for hashers and CrossFitters. Since I'm both, it was perfect for me. The race itself was short, only 3.27 miles. The elevation was the toughest part, but even the hill climb wasn't as bad as it could be. The 12 obstacles were relatively easy, just challenging enough to be fun, but not enough to be dangerous. I definitely will be running this again. Hopefully, next year I can talk enough of my lunatic friends into signing up at the same time as me and wearing goofing costumes.
The concert was a nice bonus, too.

Notes on costumes: Gleaned from watching other people struggle through the mud pit, I got some valuable insight into what things should NOT be part of a groovy WD costume. WD costumes should NOT include:
1. Pants. Skirts & shorts are fine. But LONG pants or skirts really caused problems.
2. Bottoms without a drawstring or button. Make sure your bottoms are either fitted & not stretchy OR they have some sort of drawstring that you can tie really tight. Running the second half of the race with my skirt trying to fall off was an unnecessary challenge.
3. No tutus or big ruffles. They catch a TON of mud. Almost impossible to move after the pit.
4. Shoes must be tied on tight. Can't count how many people's shoes came off!

Other random note: PLAY IN THE MUD. This is for fun, people. We're not tip-toeing through the tulips here. Get dirty!

Percocet, surgery, and rambling.

So this past Monday I had surgery on my foot to correct a bone alignment issue. It was getting bad enough that even sneakers were rubbing my foot raw at the big toe. The procedures done were a lapidus bunionectomy, an osteomy, and a tarsal-metatarsal fusion. The gist of it is this, the first metatarsal in my left foot was being pulled out of alignment by the tendon. Surgeons went in to straighten the bone out. They shaved off a bit of excess bone that added to the bunion and then fused my 1st metatarsal to my cuneiform. The fusion should keep this from recurring. In the long run there should be no noticeable difference in my ability. The immediate future is a bit more grim. The schedule looks something like this:

Aug 18 - Pre-op. Finding out all the information I need about my upcoming: Lapidus Bunionectomy.

Aug 23 - Under the knife. Owwie. I hear surgery went really well, don't know for certain, I was unconscious. I got crutches, a shower chair, Percocet, and an uncomfortable temporary splint.

Aug 24 - Post-op day 1. I'm annoyed at my immobility already. Taking Perci-treats as often as I'm allowed. SO grateful that LaaLaa is here to help take care of me and keep me company. First trip to the store, I love/hate the motorized carts. I think I may be one of the few people using it for a legitimate reason. I also think I may be 100lbs under the minimum weight limit for them. Next stop was for a snatch clinic at PPCF.
Mostly, my goal was to socialize a bit and to listen. I played with a 15# bar and did the upper body stuff seated. I was way too drugged to get much out of it, but it was good to be around my CF family.

Aug 25 - Post-op day 2. LaaLaa had to go home this morning. I miss him already. The couch and my computer definitely don't make very good companions. Fortunately, I was really worn out from my excursion to the store and to the gym. So this turned into a proper rest day. The most adventurous part of my day consisted of trying to organize things better for a gimp.

Aug 26 - Post-op day 3. You really take for granted the little things; showering and dressing yourself in 15 minutes instead of an hour, standing up to cook & wash dishes, being able to carry the trash out, and not needing to ask help with just about every task. I am an independent person. I really think about just how independent I am and how much I love my independence until I am forced to ask help. I hate asking for help. No, that's not quite right. What I hate is actually needing help... with everything. I also hate not being able to help others. I love my role as a strong, capable person. I am learning to ask for help humbly (not easy for me) and I'm infinitely grateful to those who love me enough to help despite my difficulties with asking. Also, I have learned that the maximum dose of Percocet affects my moods and my ability to control emotional responses. So, again, to those who love me enough to help me, thank you for tolerating my shortness. I am infinitely grateful for your time and efforts.