Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tune-In Tuesday: June 27, Foot Doctor Update

After almost a month boot-free, I've been booted - again. It was a blissful 27 days boot-free. Wait, who am I kidding?! This is ME we're talking about. While some days were blissful, others were not so much. I broke my no-falls streak. I had issues with swelling and my foot hurting. So, I'd say half of the 27 days were blissful, the other half - well, they were tolerable. ;)

It was today, on the day I went back to the foot doctor to get booted again, that I was finally able to wear different shoes other than the tan "work" ones or the tennis shoes that I've been wearing. My foot had been too swollen up until today to fit into anything else. The irony of it makes me laugh. I'm just thankful that the good Lord saw fit to take away the swelling in the first place. Also, ironic - I was finally getting more up to speed in terms of my work-outs only now to be side-lined again for about two weeks. But I thank the Lord that I have been able to workout. I got up early this morning to do just that one last time.

Dr. Gardner clipped more tendons, or maybe just a tendon, in my middle toe. Using the word "clipped" makes me cringe. I don't know why, it just does. I wasn't nervous about today's appointment at all, until yesterday, when the nurse called to confirm it and used the terminology "in-office surgery." I know, I know...any time you cut or clip anything like a tendon, it's surgery, but the term "surgery" just gets me every time. If you think that I'm used to surgery (no matter how big or small it may be), you're wrong. As much as I've had, I still get nervous. But today was different. I went alone to the appointment. I didn't have to do pre-op stuff. I did have to sign a waver and as I did, I asked the nurse, "Is this in case he messes up?!" But that was the only thing "surgery" about it. It really was fine. The "worst" part was getting the shots to numb my toe and that wasn't even bad. Although - I was talking to Dr. Gardner and then he brings the needle out and I stop mid-sentence. ;) It was long and scary. I was both fascinated and a little anxious. I wanted to look, but at the same time didn't want to look. I ended up looking and for whatever reason, did OK with that! Before all of that, Dr. Gardner observed that my foot and toes were much more relaxed today. I told him it's probably because I messed with the settings on my deep brain stimulation device. I told him that I had fallen and that made me raise the electricity in the device. But the more I thought about that, I realized that I told him wrong! I did fall, but I didn't raise the electricity, I actually lowered it. Oh well. He got the picture: I had tinkered with the settings and he could visibly see the results. I don't think I'm quite "there" on the settings yet, but one thing at a time. ;)

My foot today BEFORE the "surgery". It's the tendon on the tip of my middle toe that he worked on. You can see all the other surgical scars from my surgery in April. 

I wondered how today's procedure would work. It was in his office. Would I be able to see the whole thing go down? Would it hurt? How long would it take? Would my foot cooperate? Well, it took longer to get everything set up for the "surgery" then it did the actual procedure. While he was prepping everything, I told Dr. Gardner thank you for convincing me to get the compounded topical medication he prescribed. Insurance didn't cover it, but it's been the best money I've ever spent on medicine - haha. It really, really works! When it came time for the "surgery", I couldn't actually see anything. Dr. Gardner covered it all up. Darn. As weird as it seems, I was kind of hoping I'd be able to see everything. I was surprisingly (or not so much) a little anxious. He told me I wouldn't be able to feel anything, but I guess my trust was wavering a little bit. It turned out, I shouldn't have worried (ha - this is the story of my life. I shouldn't worry about anything, because most of the stuff I worry about doesn't come to fruition anyway! This is in part why my life verse is Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (NIV version)). Dr. Gardner was right. I didn't feel a thing. In fact, if I weren't looking right at him, I'd never know he did anything. I saw him pick up the scissors and the stitching, but I couldn't see my actual foot. I was just thanking the Lord, he didn't use these pliers that I saw lying on the table. ;) The whole procedure took all of a minute, maybe two.

So, now I'm back in the boot. It's for protection mainly. Dr. Gardner wrapped my entire foot in a massive amount of gauze and medical tape and told me not to remove it until at least Saturday. He said that the way he wrapped it, it's actually going to help my toe heal the way he wants it to heal. He said it's keeping it straight (kind of like it's own splint). Although he said to keep the bandages on until at least Saturday, he said I could keep them on until I see him next on July 7. If I can stand it, I'll probably choose that option. ;) I'll feel better knowing that I haven't done anything to disrupt his work. Having the boot on protects all the bandages and keeps them in place. As I was leaving his office, the valet service people smiled and said, "Back in the boot, again?" Yep, back in the boot again.

Dr. Gardner asked if I had any questions. I told him, I probably would as soon as I left his office. ;) I did ask him about exercise and he smiled and said, "no exercise." So, tongue-in-cheek, I said, "No running a marathon?" He replied, "No running a marathon." I said, "Haha, I'd probably never run a marathon anyway." To which he replied, "Never say never. You never know." That's right. I never know. If you'd have asked me ten years ago would I have had deep brain stimulation and be able to walk without a cane or a walker, I would of told you NO, but here I am ten years later and I have had deep brain stimulation surgery and I am walking (no matter how awkwardly or precariously at times) without a cane or walker. God is awesome that way. So who's not to say that in ten years, I'll be running a marathon? Definitely not me! It's also back to taking showers with a trash bag wrapped around the boot. Oh what fun! ;)

While I was waiting back in the exam room, I learned all about toenail fungus. Fascinating stuff - haha. I learned that it can't be treated with over the counter medication or even topical medication or creams, Lamasil is the best. Haha, it would be the best medication as the whole thing I was reading was an advertisement for it. When Dr. Gardner came in, I told him I was reading all about it and he just laughed and said, "Good ole toe fungus!" As I'm sitting here typing this post, I thanked the Lord I don't have foot or toe fungus. I mean, that stuff is seriously disgusting! My apologies to anyone who actually does have it. I don't mean to offend, it just looks gross. ;)

Dr. Gardner gave me a prescription for pain meds and his cell phone number if I have problems, but he said this is nowhere near like what I had done on April 18. And so far, he's proven to be right. Leaving his office, I felt like I could go shopping. I didn't though. ;) I came home and took it easy. He did tell me to ice my foot and toes for an hour tonight. I said, "An hour?!?!" I think he was a little surprised at my hesitancy. He said, "Yeah, just put an ice pack on your foot and watch TV for an hour." Then I started laughing. I told him I thought he meant he wanted me to put my foot in a bucket of ice for an hour. He had told me to do that (although not for an hour!) after the surgery in April and I could barely last 30 seconds. ;) He laughed and said, "No, just put an ice pack on your foot this time." Whew!! What cracks me up the most is, I walked faster and with more confidence out of his office after "surgery" and in a boot, then when I walked into his office with my own two feet in regular shoes. This is my life, people!!

I have been so unbelievably blessed through this whole situation. What situation you may ask? EVERY SITUATION. I'm sitting here typing this and I'm remembering back twelve years ago when this whole journey started. There have been days that I want to forget, but I'm choosing to think of every situation, every missed diagnosis, every procedure, every hospital stay, every fall, every surgery, every embarrassing moment, every doctor, nurse, tech that I've met along the way, every single moment of life as an adventure. And thinking that way, turns my entire perspective around. I'm sure there will be days ahead filled with sorrow, depression, "why me", tears, frustration and all the rest because I'm human and that's my natural tendency, but in this very moment, I choose joy. I choose to see the adventure in every situation. I choose to see the growth and knowledge I gain in every situation. One thing remains: No matter what happens next, I'm still, as ever, convinced and know to be true that God's Got This!!

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