Sunday, November 18, 2018

My left foot.

You may or may not recall that I woke up from my reconstruction surgery in early August with one numb foot. I was assured it would be fine in a day, and I hobbled on home. But it wasn't. After a few days, I got worried and went to see my primary care doc (This was on the table in the exam room, and the drawing of the louche muscle/bone guy made me laugh out loud.) My PCP thought that a nerve in my thigh had been knicked when they harvested fat for grafting and told me if it didn't get better soon, he'd refer me to a neurologist. I felt like the sole of my foot was a marshmallow and the inside had the intense tingling of a foot that had gone to sleep. It was most unpleasant. At that time, I could not bed the toes on that foot or support my weight with it.
Then, it started to swell up. Fearing a DVT, my primary care guy sent me for an emergency ultrasound. Thankfully, there was no evidence of a blood clot.
On my way out of that building of the hospital, I passed the medical library and saw that the therapy dogs were in residence. I made a quick detour before my next appointment to pet a couple of friendly Great Pyrenees. I saw my reconstructive surgeon the same day, and she thought it was a problem with the nerve in the tarsal tunnel at the ankle. I have had a ... calcification? ossicle? ganglion cyst? - depends on who I ask... as far back as I can remember. As a kid I used to call it my extra ankle. My surgeon's theory is that pressure was put on it when I was positioned in surgery for the fat harvesting and that it was now impinging on a nerve. She referred me to her own podiatrist.
Who said removing the ossified whatsit in my ankle should help but she couldn't guarantee it. Still, I decided to move forward with scheduling the surgery as soon as my oncologist would okay it. The podiatrist sent me for another ultrasound specifically of the lump in my ankle. Two weeks after I finished my chemo, I returned to the hospital for pre-anesthesia testing. I was braced for more blood work, but the nurse said they'd use my chemo labs instead. I'm grateful for even one less stick.
So here I am, with a foot that is very gradually coming back to life. I can at least bend my toes now and walk with only a slight limp. But it's not fully functional and it hurts to walk any distance. And there is a dull ache in my ankle where the bony lump is. It continues to swell up every day - you can see the difference - so it does not appear that it will heal completely on its own. I'm in the countdown for my fourth surgery this year, this one a week after Thanksgiving (and four weeks after my last chemo). I sure don't want to have yet another surgery, but if it allows me to start walking without pain again, it will be worth it.

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