Foot Bunion surgery and more

Good morning, @kiwicurls ! I have somehow missed your last few days of posts, and, @sistersinhim. Boy, you 2 have both had a time of it, with both feet and shoulder problems. Some years ago ( over 25 or so), my husband had a bone spur shaved off his shoulder. It had become really painful. The surgery itself wasn’t long, but the recovery pretty tough. That’s where we also learned about the ice machine, ours was one that we either rented, or the hospital loaned it for a bit, I forget which. But it really helped, and he did not have any bruising. So when my TKR came up,we just bought the one our Dr. Recommended… well worth it, and handy if we should need one again. It currently rests contendly in our basement.

Well, here it is, Friday morning, and I haven’t finished this! My husband was using the timer on this pad, & saw my unfinished note here! I had planned to send you something I recently read about, that you might find useful. It’s a heating pad that you make from rice…..heat in the microwave…. BUT…. You can also put it in the freezer, and use for cold!! I also found an instructional video on UTube for making them. There are probably several. I realize you probably could not do that right now, but maybe you know someone who could? Or most likely, they could be purchased online. I just thought of you, and that this might be a way you could get some cold to your feet when you need to. I’m going to try & make some for us to use this winter. I always get cold feet, & I just cannot get comfortable once that happens.

I’m sorry to hear that your husband has sciatica! My husband had a brutal episode of that several years ago. It is tough! One thing we found that really helped, was a simple pillow I made for him. It had a separation in the middle, so it kept the pressure off his tailbone. We had tried buying a foam pillow advertised, but when we got it, it didn’t quite do the trick, so we returned it, and I set to work making this one, and a couple more. We now have one for each level in our house. Recently, I experienced a bout with the sciatica, & we grabbed one of the pillows, & it made a world of difference. It finally left, thankfully. I hope his is short-lived. You might check for pillows designed for sciatica…. I’m betting there are some decent ones available now, as this was several years ago.

You were a nurse! What a wonderful profession!! My niece in Texas is a nurse ( I always say, if I were to need a nurse, I wish it could be Gabrielle, she is incredible). Mama was a nurse also, & met my Dad while in nursing school….she & his sister were close friends, & she went home with my aunt sometimes for the weekend. Papa was a young widower with a small son ( my beloved big brother, now 86). Theirs was a short courtship, they got married shortly after she graduated with her RN degree. She really loved being a nurse, especially her time in an outpatient clinic. Did you work in a hospital? I’m still amazed, and thankful for, the incredible nurses I had during my stay in the hospital with my infection. Even in the midst of a Covid surge in our area at the time, they always took excellent care of me, and everyone else there. True heroes to me.

I believe our fall is arriving! The trees are changing colors, some leaves falling. We’ll most likely pull the remaining tomatoes to ripen inside, & clean out the gardens. I have an unbelievable amount of tomatillos! I plan to make one more batch of the enchilada sauce, & a chicken recipe I found, & the rest, I’ll bag up, & take to our farmers market tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I can give them to one of our favorite farmers, and he can find some of his workers who would enjoy them. And my daughter would like a few, & will take some tomatoes, as hers didn’t do very well this year. So hopefully all my bumper crop will find good homes. We’ll leave the broccoli plants, as they are sporting new heads that are getting big, & will take up to a hard freeze. I’ll miss my garden, but enjoy the time to do other things. You are just heading into spring, right? I hope you have a lovely one.

Well, I should go start us some breakfast. Our daughter & grandson are coming tomorrow & spend the night, so we have a little preparation to do. I promised to make him some lemon curd, he loves it, and last time he was here, we were out of it.

You’re probably asleep now, so when you do wake up, have a lovely day… and you too @sistersinhim. I think it looks to be a beautiful fall day here, in the 70’s.
Hj @Catalien45 :
Could you possibly put a photo of the pillow you made for sciatica in here? I don’t quite understand but would be very interested!
I have rice packs already and yes they are great but too heavy for my toes! When we have our very hot summers I use the frozen rice packs on the back of my neck. I made mine, too. You can fill a sock with rice and freeze it too.
Had a lovely day sitting in the spring sunshine watching Steve plant tomatoes. The rain is set to return tomorrow and last all next week. I don’t know what happened to our usually sunny weather.
Enjoy having the grandchildren over. Mine came here last weekend to visit and it was wonderful to see them.
Good morning, @kiwicurls! I just read your latest note, and, yes, I will be glad to send the photo. It’s a pretty simple little thing, but, boy, did it make a difference.. we even took one with us if we went out for coffee, or to eat. I’ll get my husband to help me put it on. I’m hoping in the next couple of weeks to get some rice bags made, especially with the colder weather coming on. And I love the idea of using a sock! We used to make catnip toys for our kitty, Scooter, always one for Christmas. One year, our daughter was making his toy, & was finishing it up late Christmas Eve, & wouldn’t let Scooter in her room while she was working on it, since it was to be a “surprise”. Well, next morning, he completely Snubbed it! Finally, several weeks later, I tossed it in the trash can in the living room, only to find it later, pulled out, trash an trumped over… we decided it was no accident, after several other attempts to throw it away, only to find the trash can tumbled over, sock toy pulled out. But he never really played with it. He was a really funny ( and fun!) little cat. I don’t think he ever really identified himself as a cat…. He was the only kitten to survive in that litter, and his Mommy ran off before his eyes opened, while I was in the hospital having our daughter, so we raised him on a bottle, & were the only family he ever knew.

Well, here it is, Monday morning! Our grandson & daughter came over for a “ slumber party” Saturday. Very fun Saturday & Sunday, but, we were both really tired at the end! This morning, she texted that she heard an excited Avi telling his Daddy that he had Lemon Curd to put into his yogurt! ( I made a double batch & sent some home with them.)

OK! I’m going to try & send the photos we took ( both sides) of the pillow. You’ll have to excuse a few coffee stains. ☺️. The dimensions are: roughly 16” wide, , with approximately 4 1/2 -5inch separation. The length is about 11 inches. I believe I used a pillowcase for the basic “ case” for this one, and for the pillow portions, I bought one of those “travel pillows” ( also, a small pillow , like for a child, we got one for our grandson when he was old enough to safely sleep on a pillow). I had to take it apart, & tightly stuff the 2 ends. We’re both pretty short, my husband around 5’4”, & I’m now 5’ even. This size worked for us both. If your husband is tall, you might need it a bit longer, but it might not make a difference. Once I got the first one right, it was pretty easy to make more. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions. It was a lifesaver for us!

Well, I will send this to you now. We’re having a lovely fall day today, another week old Indian summer then I think fall & some pretty cold nights, so we’re really enjoying all the beauty of the fall colors. We have lots of trees in our neighborhood, & really are enjoying watching all the fall colors. Btw, that sounds perfect, the rain just after your husband planted your tomatoes….Papa used to always tell me to plant “ of an evening, or on a cloudy day, and if you get rain soon after, it will settle your plants in nicely”. He Always had incredible produce!
I believe evening there…. Have yourself a lovely rest of the day!


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However, I don’t want to start writing until I feel better as my attempts post anaesthetic after my tkr were dreadful; had to be deleted! I think there’s a condition called anaesthetic brain, ha ha.

@kiwicurls Bahaha! I totally get that! After my surgery last August I was quite medicated and came here to pay a visit imagination started running wild! Next thing I knew the idea of some insane horror/crime novel crept into my mind and I started writing it....ON HERE! Next morning I was horrified and I asked someone to please delete the message so I'm pretty sure it's gone, although if I recall correctly, someone said it was funny.
(I had an idea about an orthopedic surgeon who was very unlucky at the gaming tables so he thought maybe if he amputated the arms off of successful gamblers and had the arms attached to his body his luck might turn. It was the drugs...I SWEAR!)

Anyway, I came across your posts and I feel for you!!! Hope all goes well from here on in!
@Catalien45, thanks for the pillow photos. Just want to ask, did you make them because the sciatica was bad when sitting down? Because Steve's only hurts when he's up walking around, not when sitting.

The sleepover with grandkids sounds like fun! Had to laugh, our grandkids tried ice skating for the first time a few weeks ago and fell over with varying degrees of disappointment. Granddaughter thought she would just glide gracefully out onto the ice and was horrified when she just fell straight over. The picture of her face is hilarious!

Your kitten Scooter sounds like he was very cute! Our border collie did something similar with a stuffed toy llama we bought her. Nearly two years before she touched it and now it's her baby! Anyone who says animals don't have a sense of humour is talking rubbish!

@danelady, that's the funniest thing I've heard in ages! I hope you wrote the book in the right place and published it in the end? It sounds like something that could be a best seller, even if you think it's crazy!

I am doing fine, thanks, just itchy flaky skin driving me mad, but the vitamin E cream helps.
Good morning, @kiwicurls ! I’m having that first cup of coffee, & waking up to a nippy morning - right at freezing. Looks like we’ll be stripping our gardens soon. The fall colors are just gorgeous this morning, lots of red, yellows & golds, we have so many trees in our area. I love it!o

I just asked my husband your question about the pillow. He said, oh, it didn’t hurt while I was sitting…..but when I got up…. OW! It Really hurt then. The pillow really seemed to help him. I remember now, with us both, that before the pillow, the pain of getting up was excruciating. It still took a while for the sciatic pain to totally go away, but the little pillow really helped both of us in the meantime. I did find that the one where I made sure to pack the stuffing tightly worked best.

How old is your granddaughter? I’m trying to imagine our little Avi ice skating ( he was 7 in August). When we were first married, we lived in a little town south of Boston, & there was a small pond near our apartment. We got some ice skates, & early on Sunday mornings that winter, I’d make us a thermos of hot cocoa, & we’d go skate on that little pond… it was like our own little magical world. Lovely memory. Btw, I find ice skating was much easier than roller skating… those wheels were treacherous for me!

I do hope your itching is better! That seems to go along with healing, doesn’t it? My husband gets very dry skin every winter, and we finally found a good anti- itch skin cream that seems to work well for him: Curel anti-itch. It’s a little pricey, but not as bad as others I’ve seen, & seems to last pretty long. I think sometimes, it’s just finding what works for the individual. Btw, I’m pretty sure you can find this ( and probably other anti- itch lotions) on Amazon.

I’m still fighting my balance problem. I’m doing leg lifts, like you suggested, every night, wondering, if maybe I should do them 2 or 3 times daily. It’s baffling, my balance seemed better for a while there, but is pretty bad right now, seems like it is back with vengeance. We’re back to our walking a little over a mile Monday-Friday ( about 1/2 an hour), & I’m pretty active in general. Things are settling down some, but I still have to resist the urge to go “ like a house afire”, & wind up on the ODIC bench.

Well, I should go & get us some breakfast started… we’re breakfast eaters, for sure! I hope you have a good day, and, as my big sister reminded me, if you’re just a Little better each day, that’s improvement. I sometimes still have to remind myself of that…..
I’m still fighting my balance problem. I’m doing leg lifts, like you suggested, every night, wondering, if maybe I should do them 2 or 3 times daily. It’s baffling, my balance seemed better for a while there, but is pretty bad right now, seems like it is back with vengeance.
For balance issues, it can be helpful to do some exercises each day where you stand on one leg and then the other. If you attempt this, it's best to do it in the kitchen where you can stand close to a counter and hold on when you're first starting. You want to try to hold this "stork" position for 20 seconds on each leg to start. It's fine if you need to touch or hold the counter at the beginning. Once you can do the 20 seconds without holding on at all, you can increase the time slowly at 10 second intervals until you get to a minute or two with each leg. If you get good at that, you can increase the difficulty of the exercise by standing on a 3-inch piece of foam. It's much more difficult to balance on the foam than on the floor, so start over again with the shorter times.
Thankyou, Jamie! This has really been a challenge! It was better for a while, then, when our summer got so busy, we missed our walks for a while, & I missed my exercises. ( and, I probably was a regular on the ODIC, although, I’d forgotten about That! ). Would that accumulation of things cause my lack of balance to return? Also, should I do the “stork” more than once a day? One other thing I’m trying to do: slow, exaggerated march. This is one of the exercises my PT gave me. And, I’m faithfully doing leg lifts daily.
Oops! I see it is now Thursday, & I forgot to hit “ post reply”….again, thanks for this from you. I really appreciate it.
Hi, @kiwicurls. Thinking about you & wondering how you are doing. It is nippy here this morning, in the 30’s, I think by next week we will be in the 50’s during the day. We have so many different trees in our neighborhood, many 20 years old or more, & the color is just gorgeous! I’m thinking you have rain to settle in those tomatoes your husband set in. Last spring, we had a late freeze shortly after we’d put our plants in. I was advised to cover them , like a tent. Well, we made the mistake of covering the tomatillo plants with plastic buckets, with a plastic sheet over all. It had begun to “ bake” them when we took off the covers! ( we have some boxes for next year, those work great). But those tomatillos survived, & Thrived… taking over that entire garden. I’ll be taking a lot to our Farmers Market to share with a couple of our farmers…. Just can’t stand the thought of them going to waste.
Well,just a note to say I’m thinking of you, & hope your recovery is going well. Soon,you’ll be enjoying the spring colors coming out. Do have a lovely rest of your day. Our breakfast beckons… my tummy is growling! ☺️
Hi @Catalien45 , I’m sure your balance will return soon with all the exercises you’ve been doing!
I am fine, thanks, just bored. I have decided to study the history of British furniture through the ages, to keep my brain active!
@Jamie , when I had the tkr the physio had me doing that stork exercise twice a day. It was easy and it did help.
Thanks, @kiwicurls . I’m working on the “stork”, leg lifts ( like you suggested), and, we walk 30 minutes, just over a mile Monday-Friday. Hopefully, they will all kick in soon. The lighthedness seems to make the balance really irritating, but no doubt that will also pass.
I think our fall season is here soon! After a high today of 77, the next 10 days are highs of 60 or below. Many of the leaves are falling, & we’re getting those breezy days. Looks to be a nice fall. Our grandson, his Mom, & a good friend of hers, & her little boy, Max, will be coming to our house for trick-or-treating. We are so excited! They did this last year. I was still on the couch, recovering from the TKR, but, got to see them all dressed up., Avi as a giant black mosquito, & Max as a fireman. They were so cute! Avi is 7 now, and Max is 5, & great buddies. Our neighborhood is a pretty good area for the trick or treating, & folks really enjoy seeing all the little kids ( and some of the bigger ones), all dressed up. And, we get to see Avi & Max & their Moms, a treat for us!
Well, I’d best go get dressed, we leave for our Farmers Market in a bit. We skipped last week, so, looking forward to seeing all our friends there today. Those farmers really work hard, and are such good people. There are some larger markets in the Denver area, but we really love ours, it’s just big enough for us.
Have yourself a lovely rest of your day…. Enjoy your adventure into English furniture. I remember some of the descriptions occasionally of the furniture & architecture when I read the historical biographies, especially Katharine, and some others. I remember one piece described in more than one, a little “ prayer bench”, or something like that. It was a piece of furniture for women in very wealthy positions. It goes wayyy back, but I just remember it being mentioned in more than one book. ( mostly I love the biographies, they describe so much of the way they lived back then, food, day-to-day living, etc, both the wealthy, and, the common man…. )
Well, I should start our huevos, that’s our traditional Sunday breakfast. Then today, I’ll tackle some of those tomatillos… and I found a happy taker for the rest… one of our farmers said she’d Love them….she likes to make a tomatillo salsa! Have yourself a lovely rest of the day….
@Catalien45 , has your lightheadedness been investigated? How’s your blood pressure?
Enjoy Halloween. We don’t tend to observe it much here in Australia.

I wet my foot for the first time since surgery this morning. It was only in a dish of warm water but felt great and soothing. I can’t shower the foot yet as I must wear the surgical shoe at all times when standing. Another 2 weeks to go until I see the specialist and have an xray…. can’t wait!
Hi, @kiwicurls! A beautiful fall morning here. Halloween has come & gone, we had our giant Mosquito & Captain Hook, Avi’s little friend, Max ( who is now Very into pirates!)’ A man in their neighborhood had built a “ ship” in his yard, & Max was able to shoot the “ cannon”, which made a noise & blew smoke. His Mom sent us a little video she took …. Really cute. The Moms & I went with the boys, & my husband stayed & handed out candy, he loves doing that & seeing all the little kids in their costumes. And, I got in my walk that we’d missed that day, & my knee did just fine, keeping up with the excited little boys & the 2 fast-walking Mamas!

I had typed a note yesterday, but didn’t post it right then, so, it disappeared! So, once again. I had thought about my blood pressure, & then got distracted, & forgot to check it. So when I saw your suggestion, I Did check, & sure enough, it was Very high. I have had this happen in the past, when I am stressed, and, the past 3 months have had some stress. My annual cat scan this summer for a chronic lung infection I have ( fortunately, not contagious) showed a slight change. So my pulmonologist scheduled a second cat scan in 3 months, if any more changes, to be followed by a biopsy. So, that has been weighing on me. And, I’ve been pushing myself to “ catch up”. Not too smart, I realize, so trying to slow down some. Interestingly enough, when we had our nurse checkup shortly after the high reading, my BP was very normal. And, my cat scan was yesterday, and the report were normal …. Yay! And I’ll have a cat scan this time next year, so big relief!

Your foot wetting sounds wonderful. Seemingly “ small” things can take on such meaning & pure excitement when we have been deprived. And, since your last post was a week ago, you only have One week til your dr visit & x-ray. ( hmmmm … realizing that my post that went away, I had actually started several days ago - solves That mystery!).

Well, it, is now Wednesday morning, & I will make sure this gets posted today! I’m planning to get myself organized today for some much-needed jobs around here that have been postponed for some time. I still want to do it all, & try to pace myself, & remind myself of the ODIC. I’m excited for you that you are seeing progress, you really have had some tough challenges, but your attitude is such an inspiration. I truly have a much greater appreciation for knees, and feet, & how complex problems with them can be. And, such appreciation for good medical care.. looking forward to your x-ray & visit. Do take good care of yourself, and have a lovely spring. I think our fall is truly here, & winter fast approaching!
Have yourself a lovely day!
Glad you're coming along @kiwicurls. Awwww the feeling of warm water as it washes over is WONDERFUL!

How much longer non-weight bearing?
@hawk2go, I see the specialist tomorrow and after the xray I will know if I can weight bear or not. Fingers crossed. The suture lines are healing fast. Hope you’re doing well?

@Catalien45 , so glad your health checks came out ok for you. It’s always a bit of a worry waiting for scan results isn’t it. Your giant mosquito sounds intriguing! We have lots of real ones at the moment due to wet, warm weather.
Well, I didn’t get the news I was hoping for from the specialist today. I haven’t healed as well as he’d have liked and have to stay in the surgical shoe another month. I am not entirely surprised as it’s only been 5 weeks and bones can take ages to heal. I think he forgets I am not 21 any more and the process takes longer when in your 60s. Oh well, back to the sofa for me!
Sorry you didn't get the news you'd hoped but it sounds like you didn't get bad news either. You just need a bit more time. Here is a chart that chronicles average healing times (it's focused on knee recovery but bones are bones):
@hawk2go, thanks for the reminder. He’s a very good surgeon but like so many, focused more on the operation itself then a little dismissive of the recovery time. Most of his patients are younger than me. He wiggled an poked and prodded my foot, said he was “ cautiously optimistic “ of a reasonable outcome then checked the xray. Then followed much humming and frowning before saying it wasn’t healed yet! But I will get there and after looking at your chart I am reassured.
Hope you’re well and happy.
I'm also going in for bunion surgery soon. How long does the recovery process take?
All the best, linda. The recovery depends on what is to be done. There are thousands of different types of bunion operations and all surgeons are different in their post op care.
You will be off your feet for at least six weeks. Up to the bathroom only for the first few weeks, non weight bearing with either a walker or crutches. Longer if both feet are done at once. The swelling takes six months to truly subside, despite the doctors saying it will be sooner. My latest surgery was in September and I still can only get a sandal on the foot, no closed in shoes will fit just yet. It's not painful, just swollen. This could be to do with the heat though as we are mid summer here.
It's a very long boring recovery but worth it. No physiotherapy necessary, just rest and elevation.

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