Foot Ankle Surgery – past 10 days and Continuing

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Colace, Colace, Colace…….for those of you who have had surgery, you already know what Colace is. For you that haven’t had surgery, and since these are ‘G’ rated comments, Colace is to overcome the constipation of taking prescription medication, which stops patients up following surgery. The main reason I write about this today is that Colace has far reaching times. I stopped taking Colace about 4 days ago and it is Still going strong in me! I now am bathroom ridden at least 3, sometimes 4 times a day. I don’t eat much different than I was prior to surgery, just a good bit less as I am sitting a good bit more. But one would tend to think – less in, less out. Not true, and I lay that to the power of Colace! These posts are designed to give knowledge to all about recovery from surgery, so I thought I would include Colace as well since it is a part of most recoveries now.

Last night I had to go out and do something in the car. Upon arrival back home, the weather was super cold (10 degrees), and snow was on the ground. My method of getting from the car to the house is a little convoluted. I can’t use my cart to get up the steps. What’s done is I get up the first set of brick steps on my butt, then slide from the brick steps to the wood steps, a distance of about 5 feet. Then go up the steps on my butt to near the top, then turn around and get on the cart and roll on into the house. The problem last night was the cold. I discovered that my toes in my cast were cold enough to nearly develop frostbite in that short time I was out there. 10 degrees is very cold, and with a little wind, the chill factor was much colder. My toes stick out of my cast and the wind of course nips at them on the way by. I was outside, between the car and the house, about 15 minutes. Now, when Constance put my cast on, she covered my toes with a little toe cover. I still have it. A problem is that it comes right off. Indeed, last night, I left it in the car when I got out to go in the house. But, even if I had had it, the covering is very light weight, so my toes would still have near frozen. So I think electric sox may be the solution, or those ‘hot hands’ things that go inside your sox, or something else close.

Maybe an electric covering should be designed. Like, “Lectra Sox”, usually sold to hunters and those in the high North jobs. A problem with these particular sox is they have batteries attached at the top. That wouldn’t work, unless the batteries could be the flat, watch type battery. Regular batteries are too heavy. Now, “Hot Hands” or toe warmers wouldn’t work, because they would still be outside the cast. Can’t put anything inside, and why would you want to? The cold is on the outside of the cast! Still, some ingenuity here could probably get something to cover certain parts of the body for just this purpose, not just toes, and do without bulk or much additional weight. Since so many folks have this problem what with war veterans, and older people have joint replacements, I feel this could be a viable solution. Last problem would be how to attach the warmer, and I think the best way would be velcro strips. Just have to be careful in removal that the strips weren’t unattached from the cast on removal of the warmer. Now to get manufacturers to take an interest in doing it. It’s amazing what a fertile mind, when inactive, can come up with to have an interest in and to display in writing; isn’t it?

It is now January 30th. My wife and I had to get some gas. I decided to make do with crutches instead of taking my cart. It’s heavy and my wife has difficulty lifting it into the back of the SUV. I figured I could get out to the car using crutches only, even though I was a little fearful in using crutches going down, and back up the back stairs of my house. Truly, the hardest part of this adventure was getting out of the back storm door. there is a slight step, about four inches high that has to be negotiated to exit the kitchen. When one is motivating on crutches, every little bump in the road might as well be a cliff. At least it’s only a small cliff. I edged right up to my little cliff and opened the storm door. The drop-off is right in front of me. Well, only one way to do it. I put one crutch down, held a tiny bit of weight on my injured foot and dropped my ok foot down onto the porch. Forgot I had a shoe on, so it wasn’t as bad a drop-off as I had thought. Only had a small ache in my foot while transitioning to the uninjured foot. I quickly put my other crutch on the porch and was done with the drop. Whew!

Ok, now for the steps. I again got right to the edge of the top step. My thought was that I could use the crutches to swing myself forward and simply dip down to the first step down….so I lifted myself up, swung out, and attempted to do the drop. Nuh-uh!! I quickly found I couldn’t dip below the top of the crutch. I swung my feet back to the stoop and stood again. Next, I put both crutches together. I grasped the rightside rail by the steps, and again swung myself up, and out over the step. This put a little weight, again, on my injured (left) foot. But again not much. Bending my left knee, I dropped down onto the step, and then brought my injured foot along as well. Again, Whew!! Now I sat down, and bumped on down the steps on my butt, across the paved brick patio and threw my legs over to the asphalt of our driveway. I leaned on the end of the iron rail beside me, stood up and reclaimed my crutches. I crutched on over to the car and got in.

We went to the gas station…another minor problem to get the crutches out, get on them and on out to the gas filler, and filled’er up. Ok, got that done, then on back home. The real problem with doing this crutch thing is going outdoors when it’s 15 degrees and less. Bad to enough to worry about slipping and falling; but the slightest ding against a hard surface with a knuckle is a painful bark. Unlike hot weather, where you might not even notice the hit. When I shut the gas pump off and pushed the nozzle back into its proper location, I struck one of my knuckles on the back of my hand against the pump. Now, I’ve done this numerous times in hot weather and it’s hardly noticeable. Do that in the very cold, and it feels like you’ve maimed your hand!

We’re back home now; time to go back into the house. My wife suggested I should try going up the steps using the crutches. This is extremely frightening to me. It’s the thought of losing balance and falling either onto the brick, or down steps. But….the crutch way IS faster than the butt-bump up way. I used a warrior mentality learned from my relaxation teachings. Leaning against the iron rail at the brick steps, I placed my right crutch and right leg onto the first step up and pushed up with my right leg. It worked! I did it again and again and then I was up on the patio. Without being the slightest off-balance. Next, the four stairs to the stoop. Not quite so easy this time; Somehow I bent too far forward while placing my good foot up on the step and felt myself began to fall. To stop the fall, I stepped quickly forward with the good foot, leaving more weight on the injured foot than it should have it. I recovered from that very quickly due to the quick, sharp ache of the ankle. Even with the stiff cast on, additional weight is very quickly felt. Recovering from that step, I didn’t lean quite so far forward on the next three steps to the stoop. Even so, I left more weight on the injured foot than I wanted to, so I had that same ache every step. I believe the flex of the step, since it was wood, may have thrown off my equilibrium, causing me to try to bolster a perfectly qualified right foot with the injured foot, which of course caused the ache due to too much weight on the foot. But, finally got to the stoop on top of the steps. I brought both crutches up, and got on them. Getting back inside the back door was no problem at all. Going up a small step is nothing, only going down.

Stay tuned, the saga will continue.

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About Detective Estes

Detective EstesMr. Estes has lived in the DC Metropolitan area for most of his life. His father’s influence and expertise in firearms resulted in Mr. Estes beginning to rifle shoot at a young age and eventually shooting on the Washington-Lee High School rifle team in Arlington, VA.

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