I’m back into the swing of work now. I went back just over a week ago (8 weeks after surgery). I live in London, UK and my journey involves a fairly lengthy commute from Essex into central London, taking the tube and/or train to get there.
I am fortunate in that I could fit my swollen foot into my Websters shoes (made with a wider fit), and I took my flat surgical shoe with me in my rucksack so I could put it on if my foot got too tight and uncomfortable during the day.
My first day at work was a Thursday, so I had two days at work, and then a recovery period at the weekend. I’ve also arranged to do four day weeks, using up annual leave, to take the strain off as well. When I get to work I can sit down all day so that makes it easier.
I still walk with a limp because of the big toe stiffness, but this is gradually getting better with toe exercises and by making myself push lightly off the toe when I walk, even though it is sore, because this is how it will become looser and more flexible with time.
My foot still gets swollen and sore, but it is manageable with paracetemol and ibuprofen. The wound is looking good, having fully healed up. My last stitch came out on the day that I went back to work. I now use Bio-Oil to rub into the scar to soften it and to deal with the few remaining patches of dry, hard skin from wearing the bandage for 6 weeks.
A couple of days ago I developed a sore ankle. I think this has happened because I am walking in a slightly awkward way in order to avoid the toe pain. I think this compensation has caused a strain on my tendons. Also my foot, ankle and leg lost muscle tone during the weeks of sitting and lying around (when I couldn’t do any weight bearing) and so walking again is hard at first because this muscle has to be developed again. I find it particularly tricky when walking on uneven surfaces, because the muscles in the foot and ankle not yet strong enough to do the job of supporting me, and so my tendons are probably trying to do the work instead, and have become a bit strained. I wear an ankle support to help me with this. It is pretty sore at the moment, so I’m hoping my weekend rest will calm it down a bit.
I still walk with a stick, but not because I really need to, but because I want to signal to my fellow passengers that I’m not steady on my feet and so not to bump into me or push me.
Today I got my foot into my Merrells which I haven’t worn since before the surgery. AND I stood on tip toe for the first time too! I was on tip toe and had my hand very lightly against the wall, more for balance than anything, but I could do it! I still have less upward movement in the big toe than I did before surgery, but this is improving little by little. I can also move the toe down, and scrunch it very slightly. So more movement is coming back. It’s not without pain. Yesterday I was waiting on a cold platform for the train and it really set off my pain. My big toe joint was throbbing most of the day. This morning it is quite comfortable and I haven’t taken any painkillers. Normally, on a work day, I will get up early and have my porridge, and then take the ibuprofen and paracetemol straight away after eating, so they have time to kick in before I have to walk to the station.
It’s been snowing in the UK, even thought it’s still only November. Thankfully I haven’t had any snow where I live but it has made me a bit worried about what footwear I will be able to get on should it snow. So I’ve been surfing the web in the search of a suitably roomy boot. I may have discovered one. I’ve ordered a pair of Karrimor Women’s Mount Mid L Weathertite Hiking Shoes. The comments on Amazon UK suggest they are a wider fit than normal, so fingers crossed. I’m still waiting for the delivery, and I’ll post the outcome!
Update 29th November 2010: Re: Karrimor Women’s Mount Mid L Weathertite Hiking Shoes. These boots were a great success!! I’ve worn them for a trial walk in the park, and they are so comfortable. I had two pairs of socks on, and they are warm and sturdy, and come up round my ankles giving good firm, support. They are manufactured a little on the wide side, but I think this might be because they expect you to wear thick socks with them. And in my case, they are perfect because my right foot is still swollen and wider and needs more room.