Hey guys, I wrote a narrative for English class about my surgery and wanted to share it here. Have a look!
Having a disability is rough. Having to get 2 surgeries in a year because of it is even rougher. My disability causes issues with the way I walk and use my right side. One of the issues that happens on my right side due to this is my foot rolls over. When I say “rolls over”, it really rolls over, and I walked on the side of my foot. These surgeries helped those issues.
It all started in late 2018, after years of intensive physical therapy that didn’t change how my foot worked at all. I also had intense back pain due to how I was walking as well. I talked with my doctors, saying, “Look y’all, I’ve been dealing with this for all of my life. Everything in terms of my pain has just gotten worse. Some days, I hurt so bad that I can’t get up. It has become clear to me that all of this effort is essentially for nothing, because all of my effort gets flushed down the drain every week. Is there anything else that I can get done to help me fix this?”
“Looking over your charts,” my doctors, nurses, and physical therapist said, “I can see why you feel like this. What we can do in this situation is either another round of Botox, or we can get you a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. It’s up to you, so what do you want to do?”
“I’ve done Botox before, and it only lasted for a little bit. Let’s get a surgery referral, please,” I said, shocking all the people in the room, including my mom. With that, my surgical journey had just begun.
About a month later, we got a call from the surgical center at Children’s and set an appointment for about 3 weeks later. I met with my surgeon, his resident, and his nurse. We all briefly introduced and I made it a point to get to exactly what I needed to say. I essentially said to him exactly what I said to my primary rehabilitation doctor. I asked him what my options were from a surgical standpoint because it was something I really wanted to pursue. He gave me the option for a “flatfoot total reconstructive surgery”, and explained everything that himself and his team could and would do, if I agreed. I thought, “This really seems like something that I could do and I think it would really help,” and I agreed to the surgery. We scheduled the surgery on December 9, 2018 for Valentines Day in 2019. I was numb walking out of that office, and I couldn’t believe that I had agreed to it. But, I also felt a sense of relief, because I knew this would help.
That day came very quickly, and I felt under prepared. The day before, I followed all of my washing instructions and stopped eating before midnight. I arrived at the surgical department at Children’s at 4:24am. We checked in and waited until my surgeon came in and gave me an update. At around 8:30, he came in and said:
“Good morning, guys! I’m here to just give you a final rundown about what we’re going to be doing. So, we’re working on the right foot today, and we’re going to be making 6 incisions at different parts of the foot (he pointed to those places). I’m going to have someone come in and wipe you down again and I’ll see you at 11:30.”
“Thanks, Dr. Ashley. I’m ready. I’ll see you at 11:30,” I said as he left the room.
I channel flipped while waiting and 11:30 felt like a lifetime in that wait. A team came in a little after noon, and grabbed my bed and wheeled me to what they call a “bubble wall”, where families separate. I said my goodbyes to my family, and I kept getting wheeled back to the operation room. A nurse came up and read my rights and information to me and had me give a final verbal consent. I did, and then I was immediately put under anesthesia.
I woke up- after what felt like a snap of my finger- but was actually six hours and was in pretty bad pain. I told my nurse and was given pain meds and went to go see my family. I had a craving for a milkshake, and after I got discharged that was the first thing I got. I was very loopy, but still managed to eat the milkshake then went to sleep. I slept on my pull out couch for about 3 weeks, as it was easier to get around, until I began recovery.
Recovery for a surgery like this is very rough, especially with the complications I had. When I got my cast removed, I had a sore on the bottom of my foot that was open and infected that hurt like fire, it burned and ached constantly. We ran through a lot of creams and other medication, and it finally healed over. I started physical therapy shortly after. I had to essentially retrain my foot and all of those nerves how to walk. Taking a step hurt for a while, and I required a lot of assistance to even prepare to walk. I remember that I had to count myself down every time I tried to take a step. It was really hard, but I finally got to a point where I could walk safely and sustainably by myself.
This was probably the toughest time I’ve been through thus far in my life. I’m glad I went through with the surgery though, as I can now see some of the benefits of it. The concept of the surgery itself was simple, and I don’t think I quite knew the extent of which the surgery actually was. But, as I said before, I am glad that I did it because I improved my quality of life. I will hopefully not need another one for quite some time, but it’s always a possibility for a later time. Surgery is scary and recovery is hard, but if it’s done properly with the right preparation it can help improve the quality of life, like mine did.