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Last night my foot decided to start crooning in pain like a string quartet.  What does that mean you wonder?  Well it was like this.
Since I had several pain free moments during the day yesterday, I decided I could move around enough to make dinner for my husband.  It was a heady idea that filled my soul with delight to think I have come far enough in my recovery to start to do things I enjoy like cooking.  I e-mailed my husband the grocery list and when my husband returned home I was already waiting to get started. He sat at our counter and we talked about our days while I sliced tomatoes, onions and chopped up mushrooms.  It was so nice to return, in part, to our normal domestic routine.
After dinner I was sitting on the couch when my 2 little toes decided to start  a sad melody. It was like hearing violin number 1 and 2 tuning up for a string quartet concert.  I tried to ignore the plucks of pain by concentrating on the TV show we were watching.
Soon my incision decided to join it’s mournful voice to the forlorn music much like the alto sound of the Viola.  Once again I told myself, the escalating pain is nothing to worry about and would subside soon enough.
 Like the cello’s rich solid tone, my ankle decided to howl it’s aching cry.  At this point, my big toe joined in the sorrowful music and bellowed like a double base.
My string quartet was complete with 5 parts of my foot all hurting together creating a dissonance symphony of pain.  My husband got me down to my bed, and I elevated, iced and listened to the moronic music of my foot.
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6 weeks post lisfranc surgery

I have finally made it to week 6 of my lisfranc recovery journey.  Physically and psychologically this is a gigantic mile stone in my recovery.Here are some pictures of  6 weeks post lisfranc surgery:

My incision if finally starting to heal. But my foot remains discolored with faint blue and red tones especially when not elevated.

Both sides of my ankle remain swollen, but the bruising is entirely gone. The black, yellow and green tones have disappeared.

I celebrated my 6 week milestone today by having lunch with a girlfriend at one of my favorite restaurants.  It was fabulous being able to navigate the stairs in our home, use crutches to get to her car and not be afraid of either the pain or re-injury.  It is a beautiful day and we were able to sit outside at a table by the lake. I was able to prop my foot up on the chair next to me and quite astonishing, there were times I completely forgot about my foot!!! I felt almost “normal.”   Pain free times have been few and far between and to experience pain free moments while celebrating this day was a true blessing!!

 

The toughest transition during my lisfranc recovery has been psychological.  I desperately want to walk again and resume my life.  But the fear of re-injury causes multiple feelings of unease, trepidation and worry. I am constantly concerned that my foot won’t be able to support my weight.  Just thinking about having to go through lisfranc surgery again and the seemingly endless recovery has the power paralyze and even drown me.  And most certainly these thoughts make me hesitant about taking the next steps in my journey.   I am trying to learn how to prepare, mentally, for each step that I take, whether it is standing, walking, or climbing stairs. I had not counted on not only having to rehab my foot but having to also recover my confidence in something I used to take for granted…..walking.
 
 
Through my lisfranc surgery and recovery I have learned what to expect.  Everyone’s journey is different but I thought I would share a few things that are considered “normal” during recovery.

2 weeks post lisfranc surgery

You may experience:
Big toe pain
Big toe numbness
Feeling needle like pain in the bottom of your foot
uncontrolled muscle spasms of your leg
bruising on all areas of your foot
burning, itching, aching of your incision
swelling of your entire foot
ankle pain, swelling and bruising
4th and 5th metatarsal pain and tenderness
discoloration of foot when taking a shower or when it isn’t elevated
diminished sensation on the top of incision
not being able to move toes as freely as before
painful moving toes
different kinds of pain on different days

 

 Standing with equal weight on both feet

This has been an exciting, exhilarating  and painful week!  I have spent 5 weeks dreaming of the day when I would be able to start putting weight on my foot.  I knew it would be a painful transition, but I never thought about how much it would hurt!  My foot definitely has enjoyed it’s “vacation” and does NOT want to be called into service again!

After several endeavors of trying to stand and several clumsy attempts at trying to walk I discovered several things:
1.  It is too painful to walk in sneakers yet.   My surgeon has given me permission to try and walk in my sneakers, but at this point in my journey it is just too painful.
2.  Slowly easing into equal weight bearing causes less pain.  I have been experimenting with partial weight bearing in my boot.  I found that if I stand up putting all my weight on my left foot and slowly ease into partial weight on my right foot, (with the boot on) the pain level is much diminished.  This morning I was able to stand with weight equally on both feet for a few minutes with a minimal amount of pain.  (level 2.)  This is HUGE for me.
3.  Walking slowly in my boot is possible.  I have been trying to “walk” with my boot on and found that taking it slow….really slow….I mean like tortoise slow, makes my foot have a chance to adjust to the weight and is less painful.  “Walking” in my boot causes pain at a level 4 so I am only trying this a few times a day.
4.  I never considered how many steps it takes to get from point A to point B.  Honestly, I look at my living area differently now.  Everything is judged by how many steps it will take to arrive.  It takes much longer to navigate around my living space than it did with my scooter, so I am still using my scooter for most of the day.
5.  My foot swells and aches when I try to do too much.  I have to listen to my foot when it says it’s had enough.  Ice and elevation are still a part of my daily life.
 

5 weeks post lisfranc surgery

I am now at week 5 following my lisfranc fixation/fusion.

                            My foot and incision at 5 weeks

Swelling has started to go down and the bruising is almost gone

The right side is still swollen, but not as painful as last week.

My surgeon cleared me to start partial weight bearing which is a week ahead of schedule.  He said I could put on a sneaker and try walking around my living area with a walker!  It was tough getting the sneaker on my right foot as it is still a little swollen, but I did it with the laces tied loosely.

              My first time standing with the help of a walker

The first few moments felt like I was standing on sharp shards of glass!  That still didn’t take away the moment of exhilaration of being able to stand on 2 feet once again!!  I was able to walk a few clumsy steps but found it was still two painful. (level 7)

I called my physicians office to see if I was supposed to push through the pain or listen to the pain.  I was told following lisfranc surgery to always listen to my foot and the phrase “no pain, no gain” does not apply.

So now I am experimenting with taking careful steps wearing my cast/boot with the aid of either my walker or my crutches.  I still have to use my scooter for longer distances.

Partial weight bearing also means I can now navigate the stairs in our house with the help of our railings!!  I have a backpack that I can fill up so I can even manage doing some of my own laundry.

It feels like my life is slowly starting back up again, after being shut down for weeks……Re-hab starts in 7 days!!!!!

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