My Left Foot

At the time of this writing it has been just over a week since I had surgery on my left foot to remove a broken sesamoid bone. I am not sure exactly when or how this break happened, though my suspicion is that it involved a horse about 20 years ago. But however it happened I have had pain in that foot for about the last decade. It increasingly got worse; for a while it would hurt, I would stop my daily hikes, it would get better. Then I’d start hiking again and it would start hurting.

I finally, about four years ago, decided to see a podiatrist. He guessed it was arthritis from some trauma and gave me a cortisone shot. I felt great for the next year, then it started to bother me again. Back to the podiatrist who gave me another shot; this one only lasted six months. At this point, he started talking about doing surgery. Another six months or so went by and the foot swelled up and acted like it was broken after skiing for a week in rental boots. Another cortisone shot and a surgery was scheduled.

I decided to talk to a couple other foot doctors before proceeding with the surgery. One said he’d do the same surgery, the other said he would have to know more before he would do anything. Since I was pain free due to the cortisone shot, I decided to hold off. Another year passed. I walked a 5K early this calendar year and at the end of it my foot pain was back. I decided to see the more cautious doctor, who ordered an MRI. This proved that I had no neuroma (one possibility) but that I did have a chronic fracture of my sesamoid bone. We chatted about the surgery and other possible directions and I decided once again to hold off.

In the meantime, I started riding my mountain bike (as reader of this column/blog know) because that didn’t hurt my foot. It wasn’t until I had a bad fall a few months later and my foot swelled up after a two mile hike that I decided enough was enough. With the grape harvest coming, a trip to New York and Thanksgiving, my surgery wasn’t scheduled until the 29th of November.

The days before the surgery were spent getting ready - setting up the house, getting easy to make foods and organizing my office to deal with my absence for a least a week. I also got in as many bike rides as I could knowing it could be some time before I would be riding again.

The day of the surgery I was ready. My husband, on the other hand, was a wreck. He was so nervous he almost made himself sick. I was completely unworried and just anxious to get the procedure over with. I remember getting to the surgery center, the new facility on Mark West Springs Road, getting ready to go in, going in and then waking up post-surgery. I was definitely heavily drugged but I had to do nothing except get in the car and eat the frozen yogurt Van picked up for me. I ate and slept the rest of the ride home and much of the afternoon once home.

The first days I stayed on the pain medication and stayed on the couch as much as possible, with my leg elevated, per doctor’s orders. I weaned myself off the hard stuff and onto ibuprofen and a day later I wasn’t using any pain medication. I treated myself to my first cocktail in nearly a week.

I have had to be very dependent this past week and a half. I am not used to that. Because I am using crutches, I can’t carry anything much and nothing breakable. I have to get from point a to b and have someone following me with whatever food, drink or reading material I need. At first I had a very sore right leg, but it has gotten stronger and my balance has improved. I hop more, which allows me to carry small things. I am tired of not being able to stand on two feet; that should change this coming Wednesday when I see the doctor for my follow up visit.

I’m not sure what my next few weeks or months will be like. I know that I will gradually be allowed to put weight on the foot and start to do some walking. I was told I would not be skiing this season and it will be a while before I can ride my bike. I will be going into the office some this week but showing property may take a bit longer. Thank goodness for a good crew of agents, with Colleen Kobler and Jimmy Humble really picking up the slack. The timing of this surgery was somewhat on purpose, with the holidays and the weather providing a natural slow down of the real estate business. I’m hoping to be up and ready for the Spring when things pick up again.

Anne Fashauer