Proceed With Caution

I have been spending the last few days trying not to move. And when I do move, how to (desperately) make sure my right foot doesn’t hit anything.

Very bad things happen when my right foot is jarred.

Like, lay down on the floor and sob, kind of a thing.

And this is while I’m popping Oxycodone.


Friday I underwent the wonders of modern medicine. I was injected with something that wiped my memory clean, given a huge muscle relaxer and a nerve blocker to my leg. The idea was to go in, break the first metatarsal bone near the base of my foot, touch a bunch of ligaments and then also fix my second toe.

The estimated surgery time was to be two hours and change for everything.

Instead my bones were – difficult. The screws there were to go in to hold my big bone together couldn’t find anything to grip. Hearing, “The bones kept crumbling” is not exactly reassuring but helps explain why my foot hurts. (This is the summary my friend Tracy gave me. I remember bumkis from what my doctor told me after the surgery. THREE TIMES.)

Eventually the screws found a home. (Three hours later.) The 2nd toe operation was abandoned and I’ll hear more on Thursday.

My memory is still crap. My dear friend Tracy who took me to the surgery has filled in the holes. OVER AND OVER. Patiently. Without Tracy and her husband I’d be toast. Literally. There’s no way to share my gratitude for her time and care. But it’s really her company that’s made such a difference. I need to blog about this separately.

Right now I’m thankful for the overwhelming generosity and help of so many. (Not the guy I was seeing, he bailed. Thanks! But that’s for another time.)

My neighbor Maria just came over with food. And then she helped me shower. (!) Prior to this weekend our exchanges had been limited to a few conversations outside. I met her family when they moved into the complex.

As the date of the operation loomed I realized I would need some domestic assistance. (Tracy lives on the far side.) I asked Maria’s son if he’d mind picking up my mail. (No problem!) Then I asked if Maria wouldn’t mind flipping my sheets. Changing sheets with crutches was going to be a challenge, and grubby sheets did not sound appealing.

Now Maria knows more about my anatomy that the ladies at LA Fitness. I’m so clean and I’m so happy. It’s just impossible to explain how wonderful a shower is unless you’ve not taken one for DAYS.

I’m clean.

In the middle of getting dressed in a back bedroom my neighbor Bill popped in. I’m hollering, “I’ll be out!”

Flash to images of the morning after when you can’t find your clothing.

Yeah. Well, I could see all of my clothing. It was just difficult to reach anything fast using walking sticks.


I stumped out and spoke to Bill. I’ve probably exchanged a few paragraphs with Bill in the year and change I’ve lived here. Now he’s on driving and shopping volunteer duty. Seriously!

I know some of the nicest people!

(Again, just not the guy I thought I was dating. I called him the day after my surgery to tell him I was alive. Dysfunctional yet effective communication.*)

Right. So I’m going to try and catch the Phoenix sunset tonight. If I’m not going anywhere I should try and slow down.

I’ve got at least 8 weeks with this boot on. Four of those weeks I get to sleep with the boot. (Awesome!) So, “slow” will be a definite word in my vocabulary.

* Fella Update: The parting of the ways bothers me as I like him so much. So, so very much.


2 thoughts on “Proceed With Caution

  1. Tom McNulty

    I had first metatarsal – right foot twice thus year. The bones did not
    Heal (non-union) on one screw. Two months cast that time.
    2nd surgery gave me 8 screws, 2 plates and 12 weeks cast. 6.5 weeks
    Gone by. Tylenol works for the discomfort at this point. It does get
    Better, but reading, tv, helps….hang in there..

  2. On My Way Post author

    Oh no! “Non-union” horror stories have been keeping me awake. Well, that and the blinding pain of muscle spasms. (THOSE are a terrible thing.) How long after the 1st surgery did your doctor realize there was an issue?


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