As I've made obvious, I have been very worried about the slow pace of my recovery. At the appointment right before my surgery, the doctor was going on and on about how the last person he performed this surgery on felt no pain. Then, at my 5 day post op bandage change, he said that I could stop using the walker when I could walk without pain. At my appointment a full week later, I felt nowhere near ready to give up the walker. However, I think that the vast majority of my pain has been nerve-related. My usual doctor was on vacation last week so I had to see his associate. Other Doc really put my mind at ease by telling me that since my nerve pain is slowly getting better, the nerve was probably just irritated by surgery and will hopefully heal completely. I was pretty disappointed that Other Doc left my sutures in for another week, but I suppose it was for the best (and I probably scared him off when I told him how worried I was about suture removal because that was the area I could just barely touch and nerve pain would shoot to my big toe.) Other Doc told me to be patient and to follow the signs my foot gives me as to how much activity I can do.
Thursday morning was the annual health screen for park district employees. It's optional, but if you participate you get a free blood panel done, and more importantly, a free $25 gift card and possibly other cash prizes. I wanted to get out and I wanted that gift card. I hobbled into the Riverplex for my 7:10am appointment and was immediately met by two of my bosses who laughed and commented on the walker. I don't hold this against them as I would have done the same, but I was feeling really self-conscious and uncomfortable. Combined with a personality flaw of not liking to show weakness, using the walker in front of my zoo coworkers as well as many others I know throughout the park district was a humiliating experience. I normally don't embarrass too easily, but this was embarrassing! I couldn't just zip in and out because the mandatory annual insurance meeting was at 8am. If I was well enough to show up for the gift card, I probably didn't have much of an excuse to miss the meeting during which I sign all of the insurance papers for the following year. As I was sitting waiting for the meeting, the woman in charge of insurance stuff (she probably has a respectable title) showed up and took pity on my situation and allowed me to sign my papers right then and skip the meeting. Hee hee, that made up for a whole lot of embarrassment. I could go the rest of my life without listening to the marvels of the flexible spending plan!
Friday, Gene and the kids were off school/work for parent-teacher conferences. Logan's conference had originally been scheduled for Monday the 29th, but I rescheduled for the following week because it involved a lot of walking and stairs. Gene and I went to Kaylin's school and decided to divide and conquer. I took the classes closest to the door, which included the language arts/literature teacher. As usual, Kaylin is bright and creative and well-behaved, but she failed to turn in a major assignment and didn't take any AR tests despite the fact that she reads constantly. I was pretty shocked that she had blown off a major project and went home pretty angry. As it turns out, Kaylin DID do the assignment, she just didn't turn it in. It's probably buried somewhere in her pigsty locker. Gene also learned of incomplete assignments in other classes (though fortunately all minor worksheets.) I blew my top. Kaylin was supposed to have two friends over on Friday to work on hair clips (Flufferdoodles) for Saturday's craft show. She called and cancelled. We decided that she'd be grounded from friends until her room was completely cleaned and organized. The craft show was scheduled months in advance so I allowed her to do that on Saturday, but the timing stunk that she got to spend most of the day with her friends. However, Friday, Saturday afternoon and Sunday, Kaylin spent cleaning her room. We filled two huge garbage bags, two large recycling bins and a large box of stuff for Goodwill. I helped and/or observed most of the process and had to wear a dust mask the entire time or I had horrible allergic reactions to all the filth. I don't know how many hours we put in on that room, but it's almost done. She has to fix some of the art projects that are falling off one wall and dust a high shelf on another wall. The carpet is completely destroyed and desperately needs to be cleaned, but Kaylin's not quite strong enough and my foot's not good enough yet. Hopefully that will get done later this week. I'm going to call the school today and see if it's okay for me to come after school and monitor a major locker cleaning. I have no idea what the rules are for something like that. We have a plan in place and hopefully Kaylin understands that there will be terrible consequences if this behavior continues. At least her room is mostly clean. That's sort of a miracle!
Saturday morning, Gene and Logan took me to my grandma's house in Morton to borrow great-great-aunt Ida's old wheelchair. We had a nice visit with Grandma and then the guys pushed me around Farm and Fleet Toyland. We then stopped at Kaylin's craft sale. It was soooooooo great to get out like that! I found that when I'm using the walker, people stare. I don't like any extra attention so I was pretty self-conscious about the wheelchair. However, I found that when I'm in the wheelchair, people look away. Haha, perfect! I'm now REALLY looking forward to our Wisconsin Dells trip next weekend where I will use the wheelchair for the long walks at the giant water park resort.
I think all of the walking around Thursday at the Riverplex and Friday at Kaylin's school stretched out my foot and leg and did me a lot of good. I took my first steps without the walker. It seemed like BOOM! all of a sudden my foot improved greatly.
I'm still taking it very easy, but I'm no longer using the walker. If I walk more than a few steps, I use a single crutch like a cane. This is just around the house- I wouldn't go walk the zoo or the mall- but it's wonderful to not need the walker to walk 10 feet to the kitchen to get a drink. I'm still having some nerve pain and numbness below my pinky toe, but it's much better than it was even a few days ago. I'm finally feeling optimistic about my healing.