I've worked out everyday for the last 10 years, and 2 1/2 months. I'm having foot surgery tomorrow, and while I'm hopeful that I'll be able to continue some type of workout, it's not a sure thing. Stay tuned...
So, yeah, I'm having a sesamoidectomy on Thursday morning. My podiatrist, Dr. Michael Thomas of the Poudre Valley Foot & Ankle Clinic and the Foot Surgery Center of Northern Colorado (who I've been seeing for my foot issues for the last 12 years) will be performing the surgery. I'm having the fibular sesamoid in my left great toe removed, as it has likely been stress fractured for at least the last 2 years. Oh - you HAVE to click on the above link to see the picture of the 70's guy running in vintage Nikes and long 3 stripe socks. Wow.
Some more info on the surgery and recovery:
- There are 2 sesamoid bones in the great toe joint. A sesamoid bone is basically a "floating" bone that adds stability to a joint. I'm having the fibular sesamoid bone in my great toe joint's flexor tendon removed. So it's the sesamoid bone to the left in my big toe (closer to the rest of the toes).
- One of the likely side effects is that my big toe will drift away from the other toes (don't laugh - it will remain attached). My doc tells me that's OK, as wearing a shoe keeps the toe in line. He said this bone being removed is slightly more work for him, but it generally has a better outcome for the patient. With the other bone removed, the big toe moves toward the other toes, which can lead to bunion problems.
- One of the risks during the surgery is that he could cut my flexor tendon. That would be bad. Dr. Thomas said he hasn't done it yet, and he's performed hundreds of these surgeries. So that's some reassurance. Unless you're a half empty type, then he's due...
- I'll be undergoing IV sedation, so I won't be going completely under. Apparently, one of the drugs I'll be getting has an amnesiac quality, so I'll be foggy and won't remember much. They'll also administer a local anesthetic to my foot, so I shouldn't have any painful memories anyway.
- I find this funny (but I do get it): One of the items on the consent form states "I realize that impairment of full mental alertness may persist for several days following the administration of anesthesia, and I will avoid making decisions and taking part in activities which depend upon full concentration or judgement for at least 24 hours." And they mentioned this a few times - no important decisions for the first 24 hours.
- I was able to convince my mom to fly out here from Illinois to help out (and help watch the kids next week while our nanny is gone). It will be nice to have her out here for this whole deal, and she'll be driving me back from the surgery. She's also a retired nurse, which adds some reassurance for the recovery process.
- The initial recovery consists of mainly staying off my feet most of the time. They've recommended I stay off my feet with my foot elevated 12" above my waist at least 45 minutes out of every hour. I'll be wearing a surgical shoe and they recommend icing my foot on and off for 2o minutes for the 1st 4 hours after surgery, and as needed after that based on pain. Oh, and there's vicodin for the pain. And even more fun - if I have nausea from the vicodin, I have anti-nausea anal suppositories. I'm not planning on any nausea. I don't get any crutches, and Dr. Thomas said I should be fine to walk around as long as on the left side I only use my heel. And while I can't shower for the first 4 days, I am able to take baths with my left foot hanging out of the tub.
- I'll see Dr. Thomas to have the dressing changed on Tuesday 04.15, and at that point I'm supposed to get a walking boot that will allow me to get around a lot easier. I think I should be in that boot for 2-3 weeks. I think as soon as the boot comes off, I can return to 2 hour trail runs, track workouts in spikes, and 80 mile weeks.
- He told me I should be able to return to running somewhere in the next 6-8 weeks. Right now, I don't feel particularly anxious to jump back into it. I haven't run since early December - what's a little longer? Plus, I have plenty of cross-training options in my basement (Precor elliptical machine, Concept II rowing machine, Sportsart recumbent bike, etc.) and at the store (everything else) to keep me relatively fit. It will be based on how everything feels. I'll start with the treadmill, and eventually head to soft, even trails. I asked my doctor what should be easier on my foot, and what will be harder on the foot. He recommended initially focusing on distance over speed, soft controlled surfaces over roads and technical trails, and no track workouts. Makes sense.
So, back to the workout streak. I know I could (and may) just let it go. But the streak has gotten me out the door, or down into the basement, many times over the last decade. And we're only talking the first 4 days - after that I should be a little more freed up with the walking boot. A couple of my options:
- Rowing with one leg. I just tried playing with this in the store, and I can probably make it work.
- Weightlifting - I have dumbbells, a fit ball, exercise tubing, etc. which could work.
- One legged elliptical is NOT going to work (tried it), and the treadmill is out.
- Recumbent bike as an upper body ergometer type exercise. I just tried that, too, and while I don't know how long I'd want to do it, it's certainly a possibility.
As you can tell, I'm leaning towards keeping the streak alive. But I am reminded of what my urologist said before my last surgery: "We always tell everyone to take it easy after the vasectomy, but one patient had planned some rock climbing and didn't want to back out of it. He was back in the office with a scrotum the size of a grapefruit."
It's always good to close with a scrotal reference. More later...