Going into this surgery I felt very overwhelmed and underwhelmed. My surgeon told me some details during our first appointment but then I proceeded to forget most of it by the time I got home. I called the office and received vague recovery deadlines and supply suggestions with the expectation of knowing more on surgery day.
Much thanks to a few bunion surgery groups on Facebook and scouring the internet for other blogs and websites with information I had a few things I knew I needed. But more importantly, two weeks later this is what I’ve figured out.
I’m recovering from a bunionette repair and it’s kind of sucked so far. I have been non-weight bearing for two weeks with a half plaster cast in a tensor bandage. The surgery was quick hour procedure at UHNBC by a local orthosurgeon.
Things Needed for Bunion Surgery.
- Full Time Relief/Help: as a mom, having my husband home off work for two weeks to care for the children and my swollen foot has been incredibly helpful. I don’t think I could do this recovery thing and be a full time mom. There have been days where I have just wanted to cry in bed all day.
- Regular House Cleaner: because people still live in my house and things still collect dust. This is one less thing to cause tension in my relationship with my husband and the stress in my day. It lets me rest and follow my belief that slow and steady wins the race.
- Pain Relievers – while some people might never tough their pain relievers, I have lived by them for two weeks. Between the misery of my cast and the swelling in my feet, I used all of my Tramadols (prescribed), plus a healthy supply of Tylenol and Ibropfoen (less frequently as prescribed for swelling).
- Crutches – if you have crutches bring them with you, but my hospital also provided them at a nominal charge ($20 CDN at UHNBC, billed later). Crutches are the primary way I get around as it’s easier for navigating small spaces.
- Knee Scooter – this is a nice to have for when you’re feeling more mobile to do things. It’s hard to make a cup of coffee and hold your leg off the ground on crutches. It’s almost impossible to bring a sandwich or bowl fo back to your bed solo. They are expensive, my extended doesn’t cover the cost, but my local rental medical supply shops rent them for $65-85 CDN per month.
- Ice Ice Baby – I regret not bringing ice into the situation earlier. I don’t have an ice machine or ice molds. But when I finally convinced my husband to bring me a ice pack wrapped in a towel, oh boy did it make a game changer in the swelling and feeling.
- Lots of Pillows – you can order fancy foam things but I’m cheap, and we just pilled up all the old pillows and covered in a wool blanket. The wool kept things from sweating and the pillow pile was nice and adjustable to keep my leg up.
- Entertainment – This includes everything from a laptop tray for your computer for watching Netflix in bed, or cross stitch patterns, or books, or colouring, or an endless parade of online games.
- Visitors & Friends – I’m a social person and if you are too it might be worth the sanity to ensure friends & family come and visit. It is draining and exhausting but a welcome part of my day.
- Shower Gear – Bathing without getting the cast wet is tough. I thought I could do it without a stool but that was not the case and quickly ordered one online. I did also order a cast bag and it’s an ease of relief. I also take advantage of my kids watering cans as a make shift shower/bath!
- Wide Leg Pants – nobody talks about the clothing restrictions with a casted foot but its serious business. I can only squeeze into my capri jammie pants and a pair of sweatpants. I didn’t check to see if my shorts from last summer still fit, and they don’t. Dresses are super awkward to crutch around in and for laying in bed. I ordered a pair of wide leg capris and some bigger shorts for the rest of the summer season and cast-leg life.
- Snack Drawer & Water Bottle – because sometimes your husband will start rationing you. But filling out a drawer of snacks at your bed or couch can be helpful in reducing the challenge of bringing it from the kitchen to you. I didn’t eat the first few days, but eventually the appetite returns and a bag of crackers will be your survival for four hours when your husband takes the kids out.
And now I’m going to get my row of staples removed and we’ll chat about the next stage of recovery in a few more weeks.