Following surgery for removal of an inflamed nerve caused by Morton’s Neuroma, I’ve been keeping a journal of my recovery. I hope it will help anyone else considering surgery for this not uncommon (but not well known) foot complaint.
Day 8 – Monday
Today was my first day back to work following surgery. Luckily I work from home so I was able to do what needed doing throughout the day. Part of the time I put my foot across and up on a chair, which was comfortable, but working sideways at the desk wasn’t entirely successful! I was able to do quite a lot of things that way though. When I found it too difficult to actually work I did put my foot down on the floor (well, on the footrest I use normally) for short periods of time, usually ten to fifteen minutes or so, and then put it back up on the chair for a while. Alternating like this I was able to work at my desk from about 9am to 2pm by which time my foot was starting to feel quite uncomfortable, not painful as such but more heavy and throbbing a little, so I decided that it was time to stop. I cooked some pasta for lunch and then retired to the sofa for the rest of the afternoon, with my foot raised on the cushion while I got on with some proofreading, which worked out okay. In the evening I decided to cook dinner as I was fed up with being so helpless around the house. Think that was a bad decision, as my foot was quite painful by the time I finished, even though I kept sitting down in between doing things, and in the evening I had to have a codeine as well as paracetamol. However, despite all the activity the swelling in my foot has gone right down, to the extent that the bandage is now quite loose. When I walk with the special shoe on, the bandage moves around and there’s something in it (dried blood, perhaps) that keeps rubbing on the incision site and hurting it. Might have to do something about that. I had my first shower tonight (I’ve been having good washes up till now), which was lovely but a bit scary! I put my foot in a thick plastic bag and taped it round my leg and used the hand shower to wash me whilst keeping it away from my foot as much as possible. After a while I was convinced I could feel water dripping onto my heel so I quickly finished and got out, and then couldn’t get the bag off my foot! Must have been my imagination as everything was dry, thank goodness.
Day 9 – Tuesday
Today was my Grandad’s funeral, in Cardiff, and despite being pretty immobile still I was determined I wasn’t going to miss it. Normally I’d have driven there but as that was out of the question we’d arranged a lift for my mum, my son and me to Didcot station, then train to Cardiff and taxi to the crematorium. I was a bit apprehensive about walking into the station, up the stairs and along the platform but it wasn’t too bad (typically our platform was the only one without a lift!) and once on the platform my mum let me put my foot up on her lap! The train wasn’t too busy so I nabbed two seats and had my foot up and into the aisle for the entire journey, which really helped. Again at Cardiff station I came down the stairs and out into the concourse and it was a bit sore by the time we were in a taxi but not too bad. The worst part was during the funeral service, as I felt it was disrespectful to sit when everyone else was standing, and I was also doing a reading, which involved standing – and then standing around afterwards chatting too. The wake was in a pub so once upstairs (stairs again!) I was able to sit and elevate my foot, and the return journey was much the same as the first leg (haha), with my foot across the seat and into the aisle. However, despite elevating my foot whenever possible there was a fair amount of walking and standing involved throughout the day and while I managed, by the time I got home at 9pm I was exhausted and my foot was really quite painful. Definitely too much, too soon. Had the last two codeine before bed, but slept well, with my foot on a cushion. The bandage is really loose now and irritating me, so I’m going to get it sorted tomorrow.
Day 10 – Wednesday
Today I made an appointment to see the practice nurse at my doctor’s surgery because (a) the bandage round my foot is now so loose it’s slipping, especially when I walk with the orthopaedic shoe on, which is uncomfortable, (b) as the bandage moves there’s definitely something scratching in the wound, which is making it quite sore, and (c) I was a bit concerned I might have overdone it with all the walking and standing yesterday, so it would be good to get a look and check I hadn’t burst my stitches or anything! Saw the nurse at lunchtime and she took the dressing off and put on a new, tighter one. She had a good look at my foot and said it’s healing well and there are no signs of any infection, which is good. There was some dried blood on the underneath of the dressing so she thinks that’s what’s been rubbing against the scar as the bandage moves. So I’m home now with a nice clean tighter bandage. Anyway, I got a good look at my foot and was pleased to see that there’s a lot less bruising than I expected, the swelling isn’t bad at all either and the actual cut, while it is a bit unpleasant with the stitches in, is only about an inch, an inch and a half long so I don’t think the scar will be too unsightly. I have promised myself a pedicure once it’s all healed!
Days 11-15 (Thursday to Monday)
While I was relieved to see that the wound was healing well and I hadn’t done any sort of damage to the stitches with all the walking the funeral involved, I’ve been a bit disappointed with how my healing has gone over the last few days. The stitches feel tight and uncomfortable, painfully so towards the end of each day, and I’ve been resorting to some co-codamol in the evenings. I’ve been walking round the house a fair bit but seem to be walking on the side of my foot because pressure on the ball is still painful. I also get quite a lot of pain in my heel when I stand or walk, I guess because it is taking all my weight (and there’s plenty of that). I’m also concerned that as well as the numbness between the two toes, which I knew I’d have, every toe just feels a bit… not quite numb, but not as sensitive as the toes on my other foot, and I’ve had quite a lot of tingling and pins-and-needles type sensation in my foot. I guess when a nerve is “damaged” in the way mine was during the surgery, there’s bound to be some disruption to the nervous system generally, and hopefully all this will settle down in the coming weeks. Anyway, tomorrow I am going to have the stitches out and I’m hopeful that things will get much better after that, as most of the pain and discomfort I’m having is from the stitches. I’ve also discovered that the surgery has affected my concentration – I’ve tried to work during this week but haven’t been able to focus because having my leg up/down/up again, having pins and needles and everything else has just been too distracting. The work I have managed to do has not been up to my usual standard either. It got to the point where I just decided that to carry on doing sub-standard work was going to be no good for anyone, so I threw in my hat and took the rest of the week off. If I was to go through this procedure again I think I would book myself two weeks off work rather than one. Oh, one good thing – I found a “Limbo” waterproof arm covering that I bought for my son a few years ago when he broke his arm, and it just about fits over my foot and halfway up my leg, so showering has been a lot easier!