My surgery day was scheduled out about two weeks. I don’t think time has ever gone by so slowly. I was so excited and my doctor was confident this would fix my problem. I absolutely could not wait.
When surgery day did roll around I was more than ready to go. My husband and I trekked to the hospital the morning of August 14th. We checked in and sat down. This was only supposed to be a 3 hour surgery and I would be home by the afternoon according to my doctor. My husband held my hand while we waited and made funny jokes about the hospital decor. The nurse came out to get me and whisked me away to change into a hospital gown. They took me in the pre-op room and asked me a lot of questions and started my IV. My husband got to come into the pre-op area with me after this and we waited for about an hour or so until it was my turn. My anesthesiologist and Dr. Blahouse came to see me right before we headed in and asked me some more questions. I kissed my husband goodbye and the nurses walked me to the operating room. The room was very white and quite chilly. I laid down on the table and they attached all sorts of wires to me. I saw Dr. Blahouse come in and do something to my ankle. The nurse put the mask on me and my anesthesiologist told me to “think happy thoughts.” I was suddenly so nervous I wouldn’t fall asleep that I started to panic, but then everything slowly faded to black.
When I woke up the nurses were talking all around me and Dr. Blahouse was sitting next to me showing me photos of what was in my ankle. He told me he was shocked at just how much “garbage” he vacuumed out of my ankle and was absolutely confident that this had fixed my problem. I don’t remember waking up before that to be honest, but apparently I had been coherent and talking (lol) to everyone around me. I am really glad I got to hear (and remember) that last portion from my doctor. I then got to have a graham cracker and some juice (HALLELUJAH – I was starving!). I was in post op care for about 45 minutes or so and then it was time to go! 🙂
The first week of recovery was a blur. I took a lot of pain medicine and just watched movies all day every day. Here is a fun picture of right when we got home. Notice my bright yellow leg? Hahaha.Oh, and here is another fun photo of me the week of surgery at home. Can you tell I was on a lot of pain meds? Lol 😉
Here are a few pictures of my ankle about a week post-op:
It has been months of recovery and physical therapy. A lot more than I thought it would be originally. Recovery was (and is) hard. Really hard. And really slow. A lot slower than I expected. I had some really dark times over the last few months. I knew that eventually everything would come together. But in those dark moments it was hard to see through to the other side. Sometimes I felt stuck in my recovery and not knowing when it would end was really frustrating and discouraging. I knew though that eventually I would get back to working out like I did before and eventually I would get back to running. Oh, sweet running. I tried really hard to stay positive, though some weeks I really just cried. I decided to just look forward every day. I tried to only think of my progress. “This is only temporary, not forever” became my new mantra.
I went to the gym and did as much as I could. I did my physical therapy every single day (and I still do). I was released from the care of my physical therapist a week before Thanksgiving. He said to listen to my body and use all of the tools I learned and to start working towards doing what I love again. And so that is what I have been doing. I am ecstatic to report that I have started running very short and slow distances again and every single day my ankle feels stronger. This past Saturday I managed four hiking/running miles around one of my favorite parks. EVERYTHING IS FINALLY COMING TOGETHER. Just like I knew it would all that time.
I am so happy I had this surgery done. To know my struggles with my ankle are in the past and I am starting fresh gives me the happiest feelings that I feel like I could honestly burst. I started from literally ground zero after this surgery and I have worked so hard to get to where I am right now. And I am so excited to see how far and how hard I can push myself in the future now that I know my ankle is 100%. I am so excited for 2018. I have so many running goals that I can’t wait to accomplish. And so the hard work continues. 🙂