By: Dr. Mindi Dayton

Wow! I am writing this on post op day #4 and surgery already feels like a lifetime ago!  It has helped to have family here for Thanksgiving, which has made the time go faster and filled my heart with joy with our kids and grandkids here. I will share more about that later, but first… let’s talk about the evening of surgery.

I kept pretty good notes to make sure I remembered everything as the days do start to run together!  Once we got home Paul got me set up on the couch with pillows to elevate, a table close by with my water and for my computer and all the other necessities. I took my first dose of my multi-modal pain regimen around 3:00 pm, shortly after arriving home. I took 600mg ibuprofen, 650mg acetaminophen, and 100mg gabapentin. We typically give our patients a prescription for 10- 5mg oxycodone as well, but I did not have Dr. Kaldenberg send this in for me as I did not intend to need it or take it. As I have mentioned in my videos, it is our protocol to have patients start taking the medications right away upon arriving at home to get “ahead of” the pain. I would describe what I was feeling at that time as “minimally achy” right at the big toe surgery site and rated it a 1/10 at most.  It really was more of what I would describe as an overall “heavy” and “stiff” feeling due to being numb.  I noted at 3:25 after taking the medication there was no pain at all.

I did find it very hard to put my heel on the ground because it was numb and felt very unsafe and awkward, so I used the crutches with no weight except to balance a little when I was getting on and off the toilet. I did force myself to rest the foot on the ground so I could start to get used to that.  For anesthesia I did have intubation, so my throat felt a little scratchy from the endotracheal (ET) tube, but nothing painful; I just needed to clear my throat some.

I snuggled up and started watching movies (I don’t even recall what I watched now, but I did end up watching two!) I rarely take time to watch movies, so it was pretty relaxing. In my notes I did note it was a love movie and a romcom (not surprising since those are my favorite😊). I really didn’t feel too groggy and had no nausea or other side effects from anesthesia that I noticed. She must have used the perfect cocktail!

I did start to get really hungry, as I had not ate anything besides two saltines, and Paul had a long day of surgery (plus the extra stress of his favorite patient) so he ordered food for us. We ordered Mexican and I had some awesome chori pollo.  My padding around my ankle started feeling a little snug so I just pulled at the padding a little and it felt much better. I don’t think it was that it was really tight, as I could stick my finger down inside, but it just felt weird with the ankle being slightly awake / slightly sleep.

Around 8:30 pm I decided it was time to go to bed. It was just a little early for my medications, but I assumed I would sleep pretty well and not take them again until the morning, and the dose that we use is not the max dose of the medications, so I took my second dose right before I went to bed. I slept on my back the first half of the night with my leg and foot on a pillow outside of the blankets. I slept pretty sound for the first half of the night.  When I woke up, I did decide to move onto my side as I am as side slipper. I had my leg on the pillow with my foot slightly suspended so that I did not put pressure on the 5th toe, where I had a hammertoe fixed as well.  I slept on and off until about 6:00 am or so.

When I got up shortly after 6:00 am my foot was starting to get some feeling back. I would describe it as being slightly tingly in the forefoot. I was having some mild discomfort by the bunion region, which I rated a 2/10, and described as more just annoying than painful. I took my multi modal regimen upon getting up and felt pretty much pain-free after a short time.

More to come on POD #2 soon!


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