I apologize for not getting to my musing before now, or did anyone notice that I hadn’t posted for some time and not as promised close to the end of each month?
The only reason I’ve resurfaced is that I took half a Tylenol 3, and narcotics of any type ‘zoo me out.’ So instead of sleeping at 1 a.m., I’m writing. Before someone calls for intervention, I should tell you that I had a cyst on my right foot removed today. It was a ganglion gone from bad to worse ending in a huge cyst that even the podiatrist labelled as ‘awesome’ in the most negative way. And, he’s seen a lot of cysts on many different people’s feet! Oh well, we all have to be awesome at something; with me, it’s growing an awesome cyst.
Not only was I in some pain most of the time, but I couldn’t wear closed-sides shoes. That latter fact makes it difficult to go outside in a climate where no one can physically wear sandals year round without frostbite or worse.
I had waited the recommended six months to see if the cyst would disappear and/or heal on its own, but all I got were two rounds of antibiotics for infection. I also caused one radiologist to go ballistic when the ultrasound tech showed her possible bone infection. I have never received such quick service for an x-ray. Fortunately, the infection hadn’t quite reached the bone, but it was too close for comfort. I got a sound scolding from my daughter, a former I.C.U. nurse who has witnessed bone infections. Apparently, the entire right side of the foot is not supposed to be red and inflamed…oh dear. I know now that no one should fool around with a possible infection. No wonder my foot hurt so bloody much.
Oh, and I should fess up and say I’m also writing this musing because I feel guilty that someone (anyone?) might have been worried about me not surfacing for two months. So, I chose to resurface.
My experience earlier today at the Bowness Clinic in Calgary was usual and unusual. Firstly, I had to wait for the good doctor/surgeon. That’s where the usual ended.
Unusual was that the clinic was clean to an extreme. A sign at the door said remove shoes or put on the blue booties so Doug and I removed our shoes. The second unusual event was the friendliness of the receptionist, a ‘mature’ woman whose hair was bundled in a scrub cap. She was not in the operating room, but she certainly set the tone for hair under control. Everyone was friendly, no one rushed my questions (although there were some I should have asked but didn’t) and I really felt like the patients were the center of attention. Interesting fact: This clinic is privately owned, but the doctor who operated on me is paid by Alberta Health Services through the public system. I haven’t had such good service since I had my hip operations also done by a surgeon in a private clinic. Both of my hip surgeries were paid for by Alberta Health Services. (There’s a message here, but I’ll let you determine the political implications of what I’m trying to say.)
The anesthetist was the talkative type, unlike the taciturn but ‘ballsy’ podiatrist as the latter was called by an unnamed doctor for even attempting this surgery. Apparently, the skin on the side of the foot is thin and not easily successfully stitched—I hope mine is thick enough.
I explained to the anesthetist that anaesthesia in general and narcotics in particular send me on trips, and I’m not talking about fun trips to Ireland or Italy. After previous surgeries, I thought that squirrels were chewing on my toes and dragons were dancing on the bed. So, the anesthetist assured me that he would give me just enough local anaesthetic so that I didn’t feel the pain. I think he achieved that as much as he could because I was comfortable. I got to hear the conversation in the operating suite as they discussed the benefits of renting versus buying a place to live right now in Calgary. No definite decision was made, but the newest member of the surgical team thought he might continue renting for now.
My hearing of this conversation without being able to contribute is proof of what I once read: Hearing is the last sense to leave us and a reminder for all of us to be careful what we say around people who appear to be sleeping or, worse, leaving us permanently. (Now that I have lost most of my readers as they are ‘googling’ that fact, I will carry on for those of you still dedicated enough to be reading.)
I was fitted with what’s called a healing shoe—a rigid piece of hard plastic with straps and velcro straps meant to keep my foot immobilized. Imagine the ugliest sandal you can, and you’ll know what it looks like. Two weeks until I get the stitches removed, and, hopefully lose the healing shoe. Here’s the real kicker: I have to wear this shoe day and night—yes, you read that right: a shoe in bed!
So, short of having someone scrub the bottom of that shoe every night, I will definitely be limited in how far I travel. I’m also supposed to keep the bandage underneath that shoe clean and dry for two weeks. The efficient recovery room nurse explained how to shower—plastic garbage bags and tape. She was kind but reinforced the fact that it’s probably better for me not to go digging in the garden or weeding the flower beds for a couple of weeks.
I can still enjoy my family’s and friend’s visits, calls and emails although I will miss playing and working outside with the grandchildren. Doug has kindly volunteered to do my pleasant outside jobs and the unpleasant ones too for hopefully just two weeks. The pleasant jobs would be picking saskatoons and spending even more time in the yard after he’s completed all his usual outdoor chores. The unpleasant ones might be pulling that pesky chick-weed that crawls everywhere and cleaning up the bat poop by the front door after their nightly hanging-out sessions. Of course, I can still do the library volunteer work, at least the part that can be done while sitting at a computer. Maybe I’ll even complete my musing on time.
I have eight books to read—do you think that’s enough?