I had major foot surgery 5 weeks ago. I'd broken my foot 4 years ago and KNEW it wasn't ok, didn't ignore it, but also didn't get a correct dx until about 2 months ago.
The result was a clean out of the ankle joint and 2 big titanium staples in my ankle to support it, rejoin the joint and (hopefully!!!) alleviate the constant pain.
I have been almost 100% bed-ridden during this healing. Wow, I thought I had patience, but I don't! I have to knee-scooter through the house and couldn't put any weight on the foot. I've been like 95% good at that, but it's impossible for me to tell if it's going to be a good heal and I will return to walking and having a (mostly) pain free life.
Worried so much that DH would not help me, but he has sursprised me tremendously by actually really helping. I know he has a LOT of guilt leftover from my bout with cancer when he simply checked out and did nothing to help. I think my daughters read him the riot act, he is capable of helping and they let him know that the things he won't/can't do are all things that can be jobbed out.
I now have a cleaning lady and a lawn crew and online grocery delivery--and guess what? When I am back on my feet I am NOT going back to doing all this stuff on my own. I turned 65 during all this and I feel 90. So, I think I have learned a little more compassion. I hope.
It's been an eye opener to see how little I can get done in a day and how much I have to have help with. It's been good for DH to see that my concerns about having a split entry house is a joke for anyone with mobility issues. I've barely been downstairs for 5 weeks!
I've slowly learned what IS helpful and what is not. My best DME was the toilet seat riser--I was 'falling' onto the potty. The removable tub handles--OMgosh--a game changer! Crutches are a joke and I could not get used to them! Having a knee scooter upstairs AND down. Resting a LOT. Healing takes a LOT of energy, I am surprised that I take a nap most days--but then I am up a LOT at night as my ankle hurts the most at night. And NO Ibuprofen, which slows bone growth---and also is the best real pain reliever.
Humbling myself and asking for help--that's been hard. I'm pretty independent, but when someone offers, I now say yes & thank you!
I've had days where I want to bite someone's head off--and since that's not my 'norm' I can see where it could become so. Just getting a shower in and keeping the house tidy (easy, since it's the 2 of us)...and trying to figure meals that DH can cook. (I'm pretty sick of hamburgers)---
This too, shall pass, and although it will be 6 weeks this week and I have high hopes the giant, heavy boot will be replaced by a walking shoe--realistically, I think I'm going to be in this boot a couple more weeks. (It weighs 7 lbs!!)
Been a good experience for DH. He has never done the laundry, and sadly, he pre-sprayed all his golf shirts b/c he spills on himself every meal he eats--and he didn't look at the spray, and used bleach, not grease remover. He ruined 5 beautiful, brand new golf shirts and feels like a total idiot. I haven't said anything b/c he feels stupid enough on his own--but he has been totally exhausted by running the house, and in truth, he's doing less than half of what I do.
Also--this whole experience has helped us to look at moving next Spring as we retire--he wants a house with a huge garage and I want a condo. Before I had this surgery, he simply refused to talk about moving. Now he's seeing that I am aging--whereas before he always referred to me as a little mountain goat--running up & downstairs all day.
Opened my eyes as to what I can expect from my kids as support (not much) and how much I do want us to be independent.
Not really a rant or anything--just feeling very humbled by my inability to function--maybe a little growth in the kindness in my soul.
He spills on himself every single meal--partly b/c he is a TALL man and it's a long way from table to mouth. I have been pre-treating ALL of his shirt fronts for YEARS and he never knew it. Now he does. He went out a bought a little container of 'oil stain spray' that he keeps in the kitchen and one big one for the laundry.
Being down has been a long haul--but he's learned SO MUCH. I taught all 4 of my girls and my son the same life skills: cooking, cleaning, laundry, car care, yard care, meal prep & shopping. Turns out my son is a better homemaker than his wife. Like my daddy used to say "It's not men's work and not women's work, it's just work and it better get done."
Our eldest at the time was a new teenager and most of the load had her clothes in it. Yes,DISASTER. To his credit he worked hard to remove oil from many articles of her clothing with some sort of solvent meant for this but too many were beyond help. She now had a real reason to be ornery. Anyway I just thought I would share this calamity when I read your post. It can be a bitter pill to swallow but hopefully those shirts can be replaced. My daughter had discovered vintage "cool" clothing that was one of a kind. That might have been the last time he changed his oil.
I've had plenty of help from my church family and personally was glad that nobody saw me biff it off the scooter. I'm sore, but today feel much better. My foot seems to have not suffered one bit--thank goodness! I had the presence of mind to 'roll' into the fall, so it's my shoulder and wrist. Dh had to leave for a long business trip and he was very concerned and sweet and did all he could to make sure I'd be OK while he was gone. I have my niece coming to clean today, going out with daughter tomorrow and will keep busy with my Angel Gowns project.
I do look forward to walking normally again, once reason I scheduled this surgery in the summer was so that by winter I'd be stable. I live in Utah and we have some pretty amazing snowstorms!
It's been 6 weeks today since the surgery and I am doing well, I think. I see the doc next week and will begin PT. I am old enough to know that I am still probably months away from totally being healed, but I am so glad that the constant pain from the break is now replaced by that bone-deep surgical pain that is very different.
I've appreciated your kindness so much!
You will be grateful that you took the time to let yourself heal.
If your foot gets banged up, or isn’t given enough time, all of your efforts, and that of your hubby, will have been in vain.
Best wishes to ya!
Yeah, that was a big wakeup call. I am not the most coordinated person and proved it to myself on Sunday. I am bruised all over, but feel better today. Gonna take it easier :) I am not doing the 'layabout' thing well.
I have appreciated the prayers and kind thoughts! As hard as this has been (and the hardest thing, aside from patiently sitting in bed, reading or bingewatching terrible TV) is that I had to let go of my garden and just let it die. We've had incredibly hot summer and there just was no way to keep things adequately watered. No one's fault, just something that couldn't be helped.
Someone made a comment on how tired they still are 6 months post-op and I find that to be the case with me. I am so tired by 2pm I HAVE to had a little nap. I mentioned this to the doc and he said that was completely normal and to give in to it, as I am not working and can take that time.
This is the first time in my life I have EVER just taken care of me and it's weird beyond measure! I've takne care of DH many, many, many times and this is the first time he's stepped up and really been the man I knew was buried down there. I truly think my kids had a 'come to Jesus meeting' with him. He's NEVER been this concerned about me and it's a tad disconcerting, but I am enjoying it.
And, frankly, retirement looms and he will be stepping up. For good. This has been a good trial run.
Glad you are healing and making progress in the planning for the next stage of your lives together.
On my foot too much yesterday and paying the price today--and all night last night..but the pain is the reminder that I am not 100% and need to dig down and find some patience for the next 11 days. (I am fully aware that I am going to still limp for a while and actually have to re-learn how to walk!) But I now can go into my (incredibly messy!!) craft room and get back to the ongoing projects.
I have alternately laughed and/or bit my tongue from the housekeeping comments from DH. It drives him CRAZY that I will take a stick of frozen butter and set it on the counter in the wrapper and let it thaw. Then I put it in the butter dish. Big deal, right? He can't stand how 'messy' the butter looks if it's been over softened. Also, he has taught me how to flush a toilet properly. I kid you not. How have I MANAGED all these years? A miracle!
The ONE THING that has come from all this and for which I am truly grateful, he sees that this house with the many stairs and single car garage is simply not going to work for a retired couple. It took seeing me simply opting out of going downstairs for days on end to realize how very dangerous stairs can be. Plus, out hallways are narrow, and just buzzing around on the scooter is dangerous. Crutches? Forget about it, my doc just told me they'd simply cause more trouble and the one time I tried them, I about crashed and that was PRE-surgery.
Slowly I am returning/storing all these DME's. Some I will keep, but most were temporary and I will be happy to see them go!
I am honestly sad by the thought of moving. We've lived here 43 years and raised all our babies here. The fact we're seling to family makes me less sad. But I do not do change well and am anxious about a new home.
BTW--today is DH and my 45th wedding anniversary. Considering all the serious health scares he's had, it's miraculous he's still here. We're just going to dinner and having a quiet night.
If anyone has been inspired my my little story about pre-planning, rather than waiting for the crisis--I'm glad I could help, it really has taken a lot of drama to get DH to consider a move. But I'm not putting my kids through the 'what do we do with the folks?' that we went through with mom & dad.
(--Grandma54--I broke my foot 4 years ago and DIDN'T neglect it, just couldn't get a dr to properly dx it. Also I went through cancer in 2019-2020 and then shingles in the midst of it all. Then COVID. Yes, I do wish I'd dealt with it 4 years ago, but it is what it is.)
Now have you learned this....when something happens to you get it taken care of right away. You can not neglect yourself. Not to beat a dead horse but I bet if you had taken care of this 4 years ago it would not have been as complicated and even if it was you would have been 4 years YOUNGER.
I have said on this site many times as caregivers we need to :
Know when to ask for help
When to accept help
Hope you heal well and you are pain free soon.
Your perspective has been interesting and I think you have a great attitude.
I'm keeping you in my prayers for continued healing, don't worry you will be back to cleaning before you know it, Lol.
Thank goodness for Uber which I used to get to dr and PT appointments. Several co-workers took time getting me to and from work. I worked in a room with 6 men and wasn’t shy about asking them for help with my coat, picking things up, etc.
My biggest challenge was getting the litter box cleaned out! Luckily a neighbor volunteered to do that until I could navigate the stairs.
Like you it helped me take a hard look at my home and make the decision to plan on moving to a more senior friendly home in a few years. No stairs or basement, walk-in shower, laundry on the ground floor, access to transportation, etc. There are only 3 steps into my house but it was still a challenge with the boot.
Im glad you are healing and your husband is learning to help out!
Recent humorous (to me) moment. DH noticed & pointed out some cob webs that I'd been ignoring. I told him where to find the sweeper. He actually took care of it! Not as thoroughly as I would have (eventually), but he did step up with a little underhanded nudge.
I wish you rapid and thorough healing.
Throughout the 22 years we lived in that house, my DH and I either fell down the stairs or even up the stairs, sometimes with disastrous results. Once, for a house repair, we had a carpenter come to the house, and the first thing he said as he stood in the doorway introducing himself, was that the stairs were designed wrong and were actually missing one whole step which made them too steep. That explains why we had problems. We both vowed that our next house would have NO STAIRS. We now live in a one-story ranch that has a bonus room over the garage - my craft/workroom that DH rarely goes in.
Another stair-related story is my mother - she lived in a 2-story condo with bedroom upstairs, kitchen downstairs. As she aged it became increasingly dangerous for her to continue living there, but she loved it and refused to move. I had resolved myself to the fact that it would take some kind of emergency to convince her to move, and it was a hospital ER doctor who said, I can't release you unless someone lives with you. That was what she needed to hear to force her to move. A crisis is no time to plan for a crisis, but that was how my mom rolled, much to my anxiety, worry, and eternal frustration.
Stairs are such an issue as we get older. Congratulations on having a ready buyer for your current home. I encourage you to search for a single-level house for your next home. You will enjoy it! Every day we are glad for ours. Thanks for sharing! Truly, and best wishes for a complete recovery.
I was completely flummoxed. I NEVER toss his old clothes, that's his problem, but he did it, and did it well.
He is kind of falling behind on the housework--but that's NOT critical and he's still working FT from home. I didn't think I would ever WISH I could clean and such, but I really, really do. And I want to get back to my projects and start exercising again. I see the ortho doc this am and pray he'll put me in a more 'workable' orthotic shoe and take this enromous boot away---6 weeks of total compliance and I am out of patience.
Yep--it has been a HUGE and happy surprise to see DH step up and learn some skills. I guess you CAN teach old dogs new tricks :)
Thanks for all your support. I have a lot of friends, but some things you just don't want to say out loud--or have out circulating among the neighborhood.
That was wonderful 😊
I live alone so have had to arrange for food, medicine, and transportation to the doctor throughout. Friends and neighbors have stepped up to help and my heart is warmed by their kindness and generosity.
Because I am almost 80, I give regular thought to how I will manage as I get even older, and this surgery and recovery period has been good practice.