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Two weeks ago I had bunion surgery. It’s a surgery I knew I would need and have been dreading for years! I’ve had a bunion since I was about 10 years old, and this spring, my bunion had gotten to the point where it was causing me nightly pain. Plus, my big toe was starting to cross over my second toe. So, I scheduled my bunion surgery for earlier this month.
I would not suggest bunion surgery just for cosmetic reasons. I will have to keep off my foot for at least 4-6 weeks. I’ve only left my house once so far in the past two weeks! Luckily, for me (so far), the pain from the surgery hasn’t been terrible.
Luckily, I made my life a little bit easier for myself post-surgery by preparing for my recuperation period before I had the surgery. To help others who may face a bunion surgery, I’ve created a list of tasks to complete pre-surgery to make life easier post-surgery.
1) Schedule surgery for a convenient time. (If that’s possible) – After your surgery, you will be required to keep your foot elevated for a few days. Also — obviously — it will be hard for you to get around for a while! I scheduled my surgery for a time just before my kids went to camp, so they wouldn’t have to deal with me too much during the first few weeks of my recovery! Also, since I can’t drive for a few weeks until my foot is healed, I am hoping my foot will be healed once their after-school activities start up again, so I can chauffeur them!
2) Enlist help. You will likely be a little woozy and unstable on your feet (foot) the first day or two after surgery. Make sure there are family members or friends around who can help you. (My daughters and my husband were a huge help!)
3) Get a Steerable Knee Scooter/Cart – My knee cart has been a lifesaver! A knee cart is a rolling scooter with a padded base on which you rest your knee. (For me, it’s my right knee, since my surgery was on my right foot.) I am AWFUL and unsteady on crutches, so I’ve only used them minimally. With my rolling cart I can get around the main floor of my home easily. (I have been living on the main floor.) I can do laundry and dishes and even some light vacuuming! I got a discount on my cart by buying it on Craigslist. I think I am at least the cart’s third owner! (If you do get a cart — get one with a basket! I can carry laundry in the basket, a bottle of water, etc.)
4) Get a pair of Adjustable Aluminum Crutches — just in case. While I love, love love! my knee cart, you might want to get a pair of crutches. The knee cart can be hard to maneuver in small spaces. (Sometimes I have to stand on one leg, pick up the cart and turn it when it gets caught in a tight space.)
5) Stock the Fridge and Pantry – I’ve been very lucky to have helpful family and friends who been shopping for me and doing the cooking. (With my husband doing a large part!) But I did stock up some essentials before my surgery, like paper towels, bathroom essentials, frozen foods and a few perishables.
6) Make Sure Your Home Is Accessible. You’ll have to make sure that you’ll be able to easily navigate your home. For instance, it would help to widen the space between furniture so you can get your knee cart through. I placed a chair in my home’s downstairs bathroom so I could use it for more stability or to sit on when getting dressed, etc. I have my bathroom essentials within my reach (things like toilet paper and tissues.) I also have a basket filled with my clothing on a table in our main living space on the first floor, so I can get to them on my own. Our kitchen looks like a mess at the moment, because everything is piled on the kitchen table so I can reach it. (Instead of being placed in a hard to reach cabinet or shelf.) Plus, I wish my home didn’t have so many stairs!
If you have a two-story home, you might want to consider preparing a living space for yourself on the ground floor. Going up stairs (either on crutches or on your butt) can be tough! I have been camping out on my home’s sectional and using my home’s downstairs guest bath as my bathroom.
7) You may want to purchase showering aids — these will help you keep your foot dry and to make showering as safe as possible. A shower chair will give you a place to rest while showering. (So you don’t have to stand on one foot!)
You might also want a shower seal/sleeve to keep the wrappings on your foot and leg dry while you shower.
I go back to the doctor in a few days. I think a walking cast is a few weeks off, but I’d love it if could be more mobile sooner than expected!