Post-Surgery Recovery – Living Off Your Feet

Note- this was supposed to post last week, but for some reason didn’t.

My surgery for plantar’s fasciitis went well and two post-op visits have me feeling pretty confident I’m doing well.

If you remember there were two rules.

One was to wear a boot to bed every night for my six week recuperation period, rotating between legs. The boot is no stranger to me – I wore it for each bout of plantar’s fasciitis and have gotten used to it.

The first night I wore it post-surgery it hurt. I was miserable. It came off about 3 a.m. Surprisingly the next night on my right foot it felt fine.

Pre-surgery me

It seems like a way of life at the moment (I admit to having to look at my calendar on occasion and going “Left-Right-Left-Right” to find out what foot it is supposed to be on that night.)

I sleep fine with it and finally took the pillows out where I was elevating it, so it’s even less of a problem. I had a few nights when they just didn’t feel “right”, but I’m on course with this step.

The other part was to stay off my feet – no more than 20 minutes an hour.

“20 minutes is the maximum, Kim,” my surgeon feels the need to tell me repeatedly.

Why doesn’t he trust me?

I’ve done well. I’m a month in, so only two more weeks to go. I can do this.

I’ve done some fun things in the meantime. My goddaughter is ready to give birth any day. I wanted to see her in these last days of pregnancy, so as soon as I had it cleared that driving didn’t count in my 20 minutes, I took off for the 2 1/2 hour drive to have lunch with her and her mom (who is visiting from Japan, where she teaches at a base school.)

My goddaughter

I also attended a private music festival a friend puts on each year. It is amazing. They have it at their house out in the middle of nowhere (truly in the gorgeous foothills of the NC mountains).

They have slowly built a small amphitheater. It was ready for this festival and after years of fighting to keep the rain from collapsing tarps (it always seems to rain), the new roof keeps it safe and dry. On sunny days it will protect us from the sun.

The new pavillion

It got tested last weekend. Several bouts of rain cropped up, but we all stayed dry.

The terrain there was a bit hard on my feet, but I planted a chair in front of the stage and only walked to get food.

My friend Bob, the mastermind of the festival

And let’s talk about food. I’ve been struggling.

I ate whatever I wanted at the festival and sensible eating seemed to leave my mind. I haven’t been eating much sugar, but made desserts for my contribution to meals. Then you have to taste them, right? I was grateful for those who brought things like sliced tomatoes from their garden.

I haven’t done well getting back on track this week, but I’m getting there. I’m afraid I have gained weight, but hopefully if I stick to my plan now I can return to healthy eating.

My nutritionist reassures me these times are normal and not to get myself worked up about it. That’s important for me. I believe my tendency is to get frustrated and say “What’s the use?” and eat more.

Then there is exercise. While the surgery and recovery has been quite painless, being on my feet for more than 20 minutes has not been a struggle because it is uncomfortable.

At my last appointment my surgeon said I could ride a stationary bike, use a rower, or swim. Most water aerobics is out, because of the foot contact with the bottom of the pool.

The problem was getting started when merely walking into the gym hurt my feet. I made the effort this week, though, intending to do a chair yoga class.

Wouldn’t you know this was the week the instructor decided to go to Disney World on vacation and there was no one else to teach the class? (Why would anyone go there in August?)

So I trudged to the exercise bikes and tried an elliptical bike. The guy in the office at the gym (no, I never asked his name but did ask for help) taught me how to use it and offered some suggestions. I liked that my arms moved, too. I did 30 minutes on the bike, keeping it up until I hit 200 calories lost. Yes, I know those numbers are an exaggerated estimate but they keep me focused.

While I can’t do water aerobics, I did go for a deep water class at a local hospital. I think I may have mentioned before this facility is changing to a psychiatric facility and all medical services are being moved. They are supposed to close the pool this month.

There is no other indoor pool in our area used for therapeutic purposes. I did physical therapy here a couple of times, but future therapy will not be in the water. It’s sad, because while I can transition to other activities, others can’t do that as easily.

Our local Y has an indoor pool, but few adult aerobic classes, and none that look out for the special needs of people with health issues. It looks as though currently they do two classes a day.

While the seniors who have the Silver Sneaker program can go for free, someone like me has to pay $44 a month for membership (after a $49 joining fee).

I’ll be sticking to our city’s recreation center, which is only $110 a year for me. There is no indoor pool, though the outdoor pool is nice. The equipment inside is well maintained and I need to increase my strength training anyway. They have an assortment of classes and even an “on demand” class option where I can pull up a class on TV in one of the classrooms.

Change is inevitable, right? It may be good for me in the long run. I’ll do more strength work and shake up my routine for quite a few years (though admittedly I took a full break during COVID).

I plan to make an appointment on my schedule for doing different activities. As soon as I am able I plan to hike again, One of my goals for 2023 is to tackle the Camino De Santiago, a 500-mile walk in France and Spain.

And how are you doing? Any tips for me?

3 Comments

  1. Wow! You’re going to do that 500 mile walk? I’m more of a 2 mile hiker/ walker myself, ha ha. There is a wilderness near here that has like a 17 mile hike and I’m trying to get my sister to hike it with me. She thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2018. Over 2,100 miles. 17 miles to me sounds like a billion. If you the 500 miles, I will be in awe! 🙂

    Sooooo happy to hear driving wasn’t included in the 20 minutes. How exciting you got to see your goddaughter.

    The private music festival looked fun. And, sometimes we just need to eat, just to eat without rules, once in a while. I have lots of food allergies and rarely eat sugar, but sometimes a girl needs a little sugary treat. Ha ha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For some reason I hadn’t seen this! Remember I am doing the 500 miles over 60 days. I plan to have time to see things along the way. It will be less than 10 miles a day and that will be all I am doing for two months. I’m starting slow, but the first part of the route I’m doing is also the hardest part (or one of the hardest parts) because it is mountainous and steep. I’m using poles for the first time, which shall help. Well, if I can figure out how to hike with them beforehand. I just bought some, but I am so awkward!

      Your sister is amazing! I am in AT country and do day hikes in the mountains, but doubt I would ever attempt the whole thing. This route in France and Spain that I’m doing goes through small towns, which excites me. A lot of other people do it at any time, so I won’t be walking all by myself a lot of the time like a lot of people do on the AT.

      And 17 miles is long! I haven’t hiked in so long, it’s going to be one step at a timel

      I’m laughing about your comment about the 2-mile hike. I think I am doing one on Sunday with a group I joined. It’s my starter hike after my foot surgery.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Day hikes in the mountains sounds nice. My sister misses the AT sooooooooo much. She’s in Oregon state right now, on the beach with seals talking outside her tent at night. 500 miles in 60 days is still 500 miles. Bravo. 10 miles a day is still work, especially in mountain terrain. A starter hike sounds fun. So happy your feet are healing up! Exciting, I bet.

        Like

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