Time Left in Rehab Hell: 48 Hours And Counting

Monday, 10 a.m. The last surgeon appointment for my foot. Seven days of steroids (to remove what little swelling is left) and we are done and basically good to go. I now have a matched set of titanium screws and plates, probably worth more than all the rest of me. And yes, I plan to get a keepsake picture of my “twins” on Monday.

It’s been a long eight weeks, counted down a day at a time. From heavy gauze padding, a surgical boot, and a kneeling cart to a butterfly bandage and a toe separator, it’s been a ride. I had this surgery done on the other foot 20 years ago. I don’t remember it being this hard, but then again, I don’t recall a lot of things from 20 years ago.

I feel like that little kid in the car, driving to a vacation destination, constantly asking, “Are we there yet?” I’ve been able to swim, bike, and walk to some extent and I am really bored with limitations. Grateful for what I have been able to do the last three weeks, but definitely ready for more. I stopped by my local bike shop last week for swim goggles (my favorite pair broke, so of course I bought two pairs to replace the one that broke) and bought new running socks to celebrate my upcoming first post-op run.

Some things I will think about, now that both feet are fixed:

I will never complain about running in 90-plus degree heat again. I will be grateful for it.

I will never complain about running in the rain again. I will be grateful for it.

Trail running won’t just be something I do for training; I will learn to love it as a challenge unto itself.

I will never complain about the height of a diving block again. I will get up there and learn to use it correctly, now that both feet are straight and pain-free.

I will purposely go looking for elevation changes on a bike ride, just for the challenge (aside from drawbridges, we don’t really have big hills here. Just some nice undulating roadways).

Mostly, I will be grateful to the medical technology and the people smarter than me who study hard and turn lives around putting their talents to good use, despite a pandemic and its continued impact. Labeling the doctors, nurses, and support staff who show up, keep up and move us all forward as heroes seems inadequate. The dictionary simply does not offer enough accolades to describe what they do, or thank them for it.

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