American living in Gent, Belgium who gets to travel the world for work. Food lover, daily adventurer, complete wanderluster.

One Month Post-op Update

One Month Post-op Update

I had my second post-op doctor appointment yesterday since having foot surgery a little over a month ago. To tell you the truth, it hasn't gone as well as I'd like for the past week. While the foot held up well in Japan, it went down hill when I got home: increased swelling, pain and felt super hot. All the signs that healing had stopped. I was actually going backward.  My physical therapist first put me back in the boot but the foot kept getting worse, so then I was put back on crutches. 

foot surgery, hallus vargus, hallus rigidis, post-op, big toe surgery, surgery Belgium, Belgian health care, expat Belgium, american in Belgium, recovery

These steps backward were super frustrating. Being stuck on the sofa with my leg elevated all day was hard to handle. I'm ready to be working out, moving freely, feeling normal. To me, I felt like I was being lazy and I didn't enjoy needing someone else to help me with lots of basic tasks. I was annoyed edging on bitter.

Fortunately, I had a doctor's appointment before heading off to China. I knew talking to him would help put me at ease. After a super long wait, the doctor walked in, checked out the foot and said it was healing wonderfully. I told him I had been put back in the boot and was so frustrated by the pain, swelling, etc. He looked at me and said, "Welcome to your next six months of life. This is completely normal and is going to happen again and again and again." 

foot surgery, hallus vargus, hallus rigidis, post-op, big toe surgery, surgery Belgium, Belgian health care, expat Belgium, american in Belgium, recovery

He stressed icing and elevating when it flared and maybe going back in the boot and taking it easy, but when it calmed down, I should lead as normal of a life as possible. This news was so reassuring. I can handle pain. I can push through pain. And those are often my problems because I'm willing to ignore signs that something is wrong because I'm stubborn. It was nice to get the green light to behave this way and know I wasn't going to jeopardize the success of the surgery.

So this morning, I set off for Beijing. It's a short trip but I'm taking the boot. If I can switch into shoes, I will, but I figure China isn't the place where I need to be pushing it. I also have ice packs and will get ice on the plane, similar to last week's trip to Japan.

If you see someone limping through the Amsterdam airport later today, just give me a little extra space. Travel and people's lack of respect for personal space starts to sketch me out a bit when traveling with this tender foot of mine.

Favorite Things: October

Favorite Things: October

Food, Food, Food: Japan Edition

Food, Food, Food: Japan Edition