Here we go again

Posted on March 21, 2018


foot surgery again

So the annoying pains on the bottom of my feet turned out to be a bigger deal than I had hoped. I had surgery last Friday to remove a large neuroma (nerve growth) on the bottom of my right foot. I also had two large cysts removed, one from my right foot and one from my left foot. Ouch. Needless to say, my recovery will be a long one. It’s kind of hard to get around when you can’t use either foot to walk. But anything is better than the constant pain I have been feeling.

I am fortunate in that a world-class hospital is right in my hometown. It is five minutes away. Everyone there is just so nice. If you’ve ever had to be a patient, you know how helpless you can feel. In the operating room, everyone there introduced themselves; there seemed to be about twenty people in there. There were two other doctors, in addition to my surgeon. They both looked to be about 12 years old. I guess one thing about getting older is that everyone looks a lot younger.

I have had a lot of time to reflect as I am recovering from my surgery. Here are some of the lessons I have learned:

1. Express gratitude.

I have so much respect and admiration for medical professionals. They have tough jobs, caring for people who are not at their best. I make it a point to be respectful and always say thank you to them. I try to address them by name, as long as I can remember their names, which can be tough sometimes.

I am also so grateful to have access to great health care. I never take this for granted.

2. Speak up if you need to.

There were a few minor blips during my stay. A few minutes after they put the IV in, my hand started turning really blue. Now, I am no medical professional, but I know that when a body part turns deep blue, that is not a good thing. I immediately spoke up and it was taken care of.

I was asked a number of times my name and what I was having done. I didn’t mind at all, after all, I wouldn’t want to go into surgery expecting a foot operation and coming out with my appendix out. There was some minor confusion as to all the excisions, but the doctor cleared it up.

3. Be patient.

I am not a patient person by any means. I have had to learn and re-learn patience. It takes me a LOT longer to get around, since I can’t do my usual speed walking. At first, this really got to me, but I am learning to take it a step at a time. Doing more meditation has helped me a lot too. I am becoming much more attuned to my body and my emotions.

4. View obstacles as stepping stones.

This quote is thanks to my fitness idol, Jessica Smith. Obviously, I can’t exercise like I want to. Even if I tried, I would seriously injure my foot and have a set back. I am trying to go with the mindset that, “something is better than nothing.” I can sit in a chair with my foot elevated and do kickboxing with my arms. I can also do upper body weight work. I can focus more on meditation and quieting my mind. I can get in more reading. There are lots of things I can do during this downtime.

5.  Appreciate the little things.

After a few days of living in sweat pants, I decided to get dressed in “real” clothes.  I felt so much better!  I actually don’t like wearing sweats all the time, but I had to since the bandages were so thick.  Sweat pants were the only things that fit over my feet.

Monday, I had my post-surgery appointment.  Even though I was going out for a five minute trip to the doctor, I just loved being outside in the sunshine.  It felt so good on my face.

I also keep in mind something the nurse said to me before the operation, “Don’t do any online shopping for 24 hours since your mind is still not totally clear. You don’t want to end up with a lot of mysterious packages from Amazon arriving at your house next week.” I am laughing thinking, this should apply for the weeks after surgery. After all, when boredom strikes, what better way to deal with it than to do some online shopping. 🙂

So what about you? What life lessons have you learned lately?