toe surgery

Late to my Appointment – Blame the Toe

DOC: You’re late, hop-a-long.

LRE: Whatever. I blame my toe.

DOC: That’s the easy way out. Why don’t you try taking some responsibility already?

LRE: Well, you’re on one today.

DOC: What’s that supposed to mean… “on one.” On one what?

LRE: No clue. Don’t worry about it.

DOC: So your toe really made you hours late?

LRE: No. I just wanted to make you wait.

DOC: So considerate.

LRE: Oh, wait… AND it’s getting rather crazy at work lately. I hope they don’t make me come in on Christmas.

DOC: Would they?

LRE: Probably not.

DOC: Phew. So how is the toe?

LRE: Well, get this. I have green bone.

DOC: Whaaa? From eating too much asparagus?

LRE: No, no, no. That gives you stinky pee. TOTALLY different than green bone.

DOC: So does it mean that anybody who pinches you on St. Patrick’s Day deserves to get slugged?

LRE: Totally. I’m ALWAYS festive for THAT holiday.

DOC: Well, that’s interesting.

LRE: I know. The surgeon told me. It took him years and years before he finally figured out what caused it: Minocycline. Hooray for taking pills and being affected forever at the structural level.

DOC: Oo… let’s look it up. See? I bought an iPhone.

LRE: You don’t believe my surgeon?

DOC: Sure, why not. I mostly just wanted to brag to you about how I now have an iPhone and you DON’T.

LRE: Brag away; whatever.

DOC: Don’t pout. Oh here, here’s an article.

LRE: What’s it say?

DOC: Yep. Your surgeon is right. It says that bone discoloration is pretty rare, though. Oh COME on.

LRE: What?

DOC: I’d have to buy the article if I wanted to actually read whether or not the color affects the ability of your bone to heal.

LRE: Or you could just ask me what my surgeon said.

DOC: Okay, fine. What did your surgeon say?

LRE: That it doesn’t affect it.

DOC: That’s what he said.

LRE: So…

DOC: Okay, well, that was fun.

LRE: Yeah… looks like you really like your new toy.

DOC: FOR SURE. So what’s that you’ve got? A picture?

LRE: Yes. I brought it in for show and tell.

DOC: Okay, let’s have a look see.

LRE: Right… here’s my toe now.

It’s a Two-Fer Blog: A quote AND some rambling

I know, I’ve been missing in action for a little bit there from the blogging world. If you check in daily, you’ve been really lonely without me. So to say sorry, it’s a double entry today. First, the quote of the week:

“What if there’s a snowstorm and you live in Bountiful or Layton or where the elephants go to die like Fred?” –the Boss

Some of my coworkers live REALLY far away, apparently. I didn’t know that we had elephants in Utah besides in Hogle Zoo.

And now for a little bit of rambling:

So Saturday, there was quite a lovely little snowstorm and my toe did not appreciate it very much. I had quite a lengthy to-do list and I checked outside every ten minutes. I wasn’t looking for the snow to let up. I was looking for a snow plow to free my car. By two p.m., I finally braved the 4-6 inches of powder with my crutches and managed to slip and slide my rear-wheel drive Volvo out of the parking lot. Boo to an apparently crappy HOA that can’t get the lot plowed in a decent hour. Would they decide they’d need to charge me $100/month more just to do that? (I still can’t believe I didn’t hear about the meeting when they appointment board members because I would SO be on it.)

I just wanted to share with you that having toe surgery in time for the snow is a little bit of an issue. Thankfully, I can now ditch the crutches (the doctor said it would be okay, Grumma). That doesn’t mean, though, that if the snow falls any higher than my little surgical “boot” that my toes won’t get all wet and cold. Oh, poor me.

I went to my post-op appointment today. They took out the stitches, I found out I have green bones from minocycline, and I saw lots and lots of people in there with “boots” on, too. Then I looked at those people and saw all older or overweight people. I’ll stop complaining because thankfully, I’m still fairly young and in shape so it’s for durn sure that it’s easier for me to get around in the snow with a bum toe than it is for those other people.

Stay tuned for an updated x-ray of the new bionic toe! (probably Thursday)

No Foot Modeling in My Future

“Yeah, Lauren… we’re just going to have to keep you in socks.” ~Conder

Apparently, my feet aren’t particularly attractive. Stay tuned for a post-surgery foot pic tomorrow. It’s HOT!

Political Link of the Day: “Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald goes after his second Illinois governor

Man, I’m glad I don’t live in Illinois:

He’s already successfully prosecuted another Illinois governor, George H. Ryan

Just Call Me Bionic (Toe) Woman

I remember the surgery.


They did give me Versed (how mean) so I don’t remember it all. And sadly, I can’t really recall quite what my toe looked like all sliced open, but I remember some. Here’s the play by play:

Walking to Foot Surgery

Obviously, I couldn’t drive home after the surgery so I didn’t want to drive to work and leave my car there. Instead, I left my domestic tank (a.k.a. Volvo) at my parents’ and my mom gave me a ride to work. In order to only take one day off, I scheduled the surgery end of day on Thursday with Friday slated for recovery. After an exciting day in the office, I left a little before 3:00 to walk over to the Orthopaedic Center. It was the last walking I would be doing for some time.

Check-in and WAIT

Why would they have a waiting room if they didn’t want you to wait? I checked in, paid my co-pay (ouch) and sat down to read the paper. The assistant who checked me in said that I would be prepped for surgery around 3, and then be in surgery from 4-5, recovering for 30 minutes after and then my ride could come. I gave them my mom’s numbers to call when I was ready to be picked up (kind of like a take-out meal). After five minutes in the waiting room, a nurse came to get me and I thought, “Great, not much waiting.” Silly me.

She brought me in to another room and told me that the surgeon was THREE HOURS BEHIND. I waited for her to laugh and say, just kidding. It wasn’t a joke. He really was behind. This required me to send texts to my mom to try and arrange another ride. They wanted a name of the person who would pick me up before I went into surgery. I guess they didn’t want to send me home with the wrong person.

The next estimate of when I’d be done and in recovery was 8:00 pm and Mom recruited Laina to pick me up.

Now that I was all gowned-up, flapping in the wind (lots of wind in surgery waiting rooms), I pulled out my crossword puzzle, of course. However, the anesthesiologist interrupted me before I had filled in more than a couple. What happened to three hours behind?

My First Ultrasound

I asked the anesthesiologist if we could just do local. Of course he said sure. I’m the patient and it’s my body, right? So we rolled into another room where he did an ultrasound on the back of my right leg (in my knee pit) in order to find the nerve leading down to my middle toe.

Silly me to have thought that they would just numb my entire foot. But, I can’t lie to you, internet. When I could still feel the inside of my ankle, I was worried that I would still feel my toe, too and then how was I supposed to hold still when they started cutting? Rest assured: I felt no cutting. They only numbed the nerves they needed to. Fancy modern medicine.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Have you ever heard that blonde joke? About the blonde (obviously) who had headphones on when she went to the doctor’s, he asked her to take them off, she warned him that it wasn’t a good idea, but did it anyway and shortly after, collapsed (or possibly died). So the doctor picks up the headphones and listens: “Breath in… breath out… breath in…”

I felt like the dumb blonde.

But it’s the fault of the anesthesiologist, right? Whatever he gave me as we were rolling into the operating room, really made me drowsy. They put the oxygen mask on me and I remember him saying a handful of times, “Keep breathing.” Apparently, being under partial anesthesia doesn’t mean your brain remembers to breathe in and out. Eventually, I came out of my stupor and could again remember on my own to keep breathing. It was at this point that I saw the monitor.

Surgery is NOT Delicate

“Hey, can I watch that?” That’s what I asked the anesthesiologist. (By the way, it’s rather annoying to keep typing that word.) He said of course and even pulled the monitor closer.

I watched my surgery, ate some popcorn and jujubes, and chatted with the numbing doctor (so much easier to type than anesthesiologist). He told me about his dog, I pointed out how well you could see the hairs growing out of the surgeon’s ears.

I remember when they took at least one picture and I’m pretty sure it was after he had cut open the toe and bent it in such a way that the bones were protruding out where there once was a joint. I’m going to ask for a copy of that picture.

I also remember the holes in the bone, but I don’t recall hearing them drill them. They did fill up with blood pretty quickly, but they soon stopped that by sticking blue titanium devices inside the holes. (I have no idea what the specific term is for a new, permanent, titanium toe, but that’s what I have.)

The surgeon had a slightly difficult time getting them to snap together, though. Okay, maybe they weren’t quite like Lego’s so they didn’t snap, but it didn’t look like it was very easy trying to hook them together. They twisted, pushed, shook my leg some, used a handful of tools, twisted some more, and eventually got the male titanium piece in the female piece. It was something to do with lining up the hexagon shape. Ask Jarv. He could probably explain it better.

I couldn’t really see when they were stitching me up because their heads were in the way so I talked with the numbing doctor about his weimaraner. (I want a dog.)

Chocolate and Recovery

They rolled me into the recovery room where the nurses were waiting.

“You’re awake?” She sounded so surprised.

“Yes, and she watched the whole thing,” the numbing doctor said, sounding proud.

And by then, I was STARVING. They brought me my stuff and I asked if I could eat the chocolates I had in my purse. So while they tried to find out who was going to pick me up, I ate chocolate-dipped pretzels.

It was just before 6:00 p.m. Remember how the previous nurse said I would be out by 8:00 p.m.? Clearly, they SUCK at time estimates. It was too early for Laina, too late for Mom and I didn’t know who to call. Thankfully, my family took care of me and eventually, Tracy was called into duty and pulled up shortly after I had changed out of my cozy little gown. Hooray for family.

Dependent on Others

The biggest thing that I learned from this (besides that watching surgery on my own toe was beyond cool) was that I’m excessively blessed with friends and family. PLUS, they’re the friends and family who pick you up, take you food, bring you movies, etc.

I started making a list of all of the things that people did for me in the last few days and realized it was getting very long and if I forgot somebody, I would feel awful. Lots of people checked in on me, gave me rides, brought/bought me food, kept me company, etc. Thank you! Thank you!

Political Link of the Day: “Does Bernanke Realize What He’s Doing?

Afraid to look passive, policy makers risk making things much much worse.

Appointment Cancellation Fee: $26.90

There’s no appointment with the DOC today… because of an appointment with a real LIFE doctor who’s going to cut up my toe and then put it back together. Does anybody have a guess what the WORST part of surgery is? Think about it for a bit.

Feel free to bring me crossword puzzles at my parents so I have something to do tonight and tomorrow.

And the answer to the question above: having to FAST.


No political link today either because I AM SO HUNGRY and can’t concentrate long enough to read anything online.

Blame it on the Toe

DOC: Come on in.

LRE: Gee, thanks, mister.

DOC: Sure, let’s get started. I have a quiz for you.

LRE: Oh… do I have to use a number two pencil to take it?

DOC: No. I don’t own a scantron-reader thingamajig.

LRE: Right and you wouldn’t want to actually figure out what it means that I answered C for question 7, but D for question 12.

DOC: Course not. I wouldn’t get paid for THAT effort. Instead, I’ll just ask you the questions.

LRE: Fun.

DOC: No. This is SERIOUS business here.

LRE: Oh, all right. Let me just put on my serious face. … Ready.

DOC: First question: How often do you have weeping spells?

LRE: Did you just say weeping spells? Really?

DOC: That’s not a very serious serious face.

LRE: Well YOU’RE the one who just said weeping spells.

DOC: Whatever. Just answer the question.

LRE: Fine. I ONLY have weeping spells when somebody steps on the third toe on my right foot or when I watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

DOC: Okay… I’ll write down: occasionally.

LRE: That’s not what I said.

DOC: Next… Do you feel frightened or panicky much?

LRE: Well, I get all panicky, sweaty and heart-beat-fastery when I check the money in my retirement accounts.

DOC: You do? And you have retirement accounts?

LRE: No, not really and yes, yes I do.

DOC: What about living all by yourself? That doesn’t frighten you?

LRE: Not even. I heart it.

DOC: All right. I’ll put down ‘No, not at all.’ And next… Do you still enjoy the things that you used to?

LRE: The things that I used to do…

DOC: You can’t answer seriously by singing.

LRE: I never do them no more, baby.

DOC: Why not?

LRE: Sorry… still singing. Well, I used to could enjoy soccer more because my toe didn’t hurt. And I used to enjoy work more. Oh wait, no, scratch that. If I tell you that I MIGHT enjoy work, you will think I’m crazy.

DOC: Fine. You don’t enjoy soccer as much…


DOC: And I apparently didn’t hear anything about work.

LRE: Right.

DOC: Well, the rest of these questions are boring so I say we’re done here.

LRE: Oh good. My toe was starting to hurt.

DOC: Maybe you should get that fixed.


Political Link of the Day: “MSNBC’s Tag for Now: ‘The Power of Change’