Wednesday, January 1, 2014

4 Week Update – Ankle #2

I'm 4 weeks post-op and so far so good!

I am able to shower fully, with no cast care at all!  This is so exciting!  We really take the little things, like showering, for granted.  But anyone who has ever broken a bone and had a cast on, you understand what it's like to take that first shower with no cast care.  Having the warm water run over my foot was pure heaven.  And taking a washcloth to it...oh Lord...thank you for the little things!

Of course, now that I can get my foot totally wet, the steri-strips that they put on a week and a half ago are starting to come off.  Some were hanging on by a thread, so I just pulled them off.  Today I pulled off the steri-strip that was directly over where my incision was leaking (where they had to put the medical super glue).  That was pretty gross.  Of course, I like gross stuff, so it didn't bother me.  Check out my picture page for some updated pics.

I've been lotioning my leg and foot like crazy since my skin is so dry.  And now that I have access to (part) of my incision, I've been putting cocoa butter on it.  Usually, I lather on the cocoa butter in the morning and at night before bed.  I did this with my last surgery, and the scar isn't too bad.  Plus, I like the way it smells :) 

I decided to stop taking my 12 hour release Oxycodone.  It's supposed to be for all day pain relief, and I realized that over the past few days I don't have any pain if I'm just sitting around doing nothing.  Like NO PAIN at all.  Like a big fat ZERO on the pain scale.  Do you understand how awesome this is?  I went from, just two weeks ago, having a 6-7 pain level all the time, to having nothing (I'm still blaming that stupid splint).  The zero pain level is only true if I'm not using my ankle at all.  Physical therapy, of course, counts towards the pain, but so does something simple like showering.  Really, if my foot isn't elevated, even if I'm not using it, it will start to throb.  Once I get my calf muscle back in action and strong again, this should subside.

I'm hoping to get to the point where I only have to take pain meds on physical therapy days.  I could probably do that now, if I was allowed to take my Celebrex (arthritis medicine), but I wake up so achy that I have to take something or I'm in pain all day.  I've been taking the Tramadol in the morning and then again in the afternoon.  And on PT days, I'll switch back to Vicodin because it works better for my ankle pain.  The Tramadol is harsher on my stomach than the other meds and I have to make sure I take it with food.  Even still, some days I just feel sick to my matter what I do.  Yesterday I woke up with a headache and sick to my stomach, and went to bed the same way...nothing I did made any difference.

Tomorrow at PT I'll start weight shifting on my ankle.  That should be awesomely painful.  So far, my big homework has been to stretch it.  I use my husband's belt and put in around my foot, and pull towards me. This kills my achilles and I have to ice it afterward, but no pain no gain right?  I'm definitely ahead of the game with my range of motion compared to ankle #1.  Since I started PT at 3 weeks out with this ankle, my foot didn't have as much time to lock up and stiffen on me.  Anyone else who has had ankle replacement long did you have to wait until you started physical therapy?

As we ring in the new year, I am reminded of all the hopes and expectations I have for 2014.  I'm not making resolutions, because I feel like that just adds anxiety to my life that I don't need.  Instead, I think of improving my life little by my own time.  Currently I'm working on getting both of my ankles stronger, and I'm always trying to be a better, kinder person.

What are you working on or towards?  Either for 2014, or in your own time?

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