Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NO! I don't WANT to.

     Are 49 year olds allowed to have selfish little temper tantrums every once in awhile, or is that not acceptable at all at my age?  Because right now, I very much want to. I want to just cross my arms, stomp my foot (my left one, not my right) and say "NO! I WON"T have surgery. No, No, No. I don't WANT to."  I don't have TIME for this inconvenience in my life.
     Awhile back, I don't even remember when it began, my right foot/ankle started to hurt occasionally, if I overused it with excess activity, or by wearing an uncomfortable shoe. I ignored it. I am NEVER one to rush to the Dr. at the first sign of pain. My philosophy usually is, wait and see if it goes away, or gets worse. Usually things go away. If it gets worse, then I'll check it out.
     The weekend I was at Glen Highland Farm, back in April, or May, whenever it was, I had to wear my Bogs (barn boots) a lot, because the grass where I was walking the dogs was pretty wet. I noticed that my ankle hurt a lot that weekend. Especially when I was climbing an uneven bank near the end of the route, to get back up to road level.  In fact, it hurt and burned so badly that I was afraid, for a little bit, that maybe something was broken.  But, then, once home, it seemed to settle down again.  It didn't bother me much in Alaska, not even in the same boots there. Only the day I climbed in and around the pond, jumping from tuft to tuft, it hurt some. But I went barefoot a lot there, too, in the house.
     Back at home, wearing flip flops 24/7 (every podiatrists nightmare, I know... Sorry, Dr. Scott), it was usually pretty good. But the day I wore sneakers for Field Day at school, and played a fierce game of kickball with my 5th and 6th graders, it burned so badly on my way back over to school that I was convinced, finally, there was something wrong. I made an appointment and went to see my favorite podiatrist on Monday. (He did my first foot surgery 26 years ago this fall... we've both aged a bit since then!)  He sent me for an immediate MRI, which confirmed what he suspected, and told me: my right peroneal tendon is torn, and needs surgery so that it doesn't rupture completely.
     His office, and a surgeon from there whom I don't know, called and talked to me this morning about it. It is a pretty big tear, there's no way that anything OTHER than surgery will work, and it should be done sooner, rather than later. That's when I began my denials.... "no, I CAN'T do it. There's no way. I can't be off my feet that long. I have things to do. It's SUMMER. It's my summer VACATION. From school. You know, that place I hate? I look forward to this ALL YEAR LONG..."  UGH.  I said I'd let them know.  Well, reasonably, I really have no choice. I can't NOT have surgery. The obvious conclusion is, if I don't, it WILL rupture, and it's not like I can have any kind of an active life with a ruptured tendon in my foot. So, obviously, I HAVE to do it. It's a matter of WHEN, now.
     So, truly, I CAN"T do it this summer. I am the only ride my daughter has back and forth to work 15 miles away every day, and I'm not having her quit her job. She needs it and I need her to have it. I also have that vacation in Maine in August. Selfish, I know, and I could skip that, but I don't WANT to. I really want to go. And we have to take her to college in Maine on Labor Day weekend. That would be pretty uncomfortable to go in a cast, or a boot and crutches. And what if I couldn't go at all by then? That would stink. So, now, I'm thinking, OK, yes, I'll do it, but I want to wait until September.( Or October?) I want to get my daughter off to college, get the school year started, and THEN I'll do it. I'll have to miss a month of school, at least, and I was reading a bunch of posts on Runners World from people who have had this surgery and it isn't pretty. The recovery time is not exaggerated. And it involves a lot of PT afterwards as well. S**t. I JUST don't want to do this. I hate pain. I hate pain meds. I can't imagine being laid up. I don't want to have my legand foot cut open. No, no, no, no, no. NO!!!  I wish I could go back in time, figure out when and how I did this, and NOT DO IT.  How do you get to the bathroom, or make your lunch, or let the dogs out, if you have to literally be off your feet for two weeks or more? How do I go upstairs to bed, and downstairs during the day? I will NOT use a bedpan. Don't even suggest that........
     I'll be off looking for acceptance, and trying to lose the desperate need to refuse and cry that I feel right now. I know it is not, in the overall scheme of life, more than a darned inconvenience. I do know that. But at the moment, I am feeling, selfishly, like I just don't WANT this painful inconvenience to be happening to ME. Fear and annoyance are not good companions. I'll lose them soon, and replace them with perspective and acceptance. But probably not today.


Mark Kautz said...

I suspect you could wait and hope your ankle doesn't blow out. If that happens, I'm sure the recovery time will be a LOT longer. My wife had a rearrange job done on her left foot and we put her in a wheelchair for a couple of weeks and then she hobbled for another couple of weeks. Being we have a two story house, she bumped down the stairs on her butt and bumped up the stairs to get to the bedroom. then after they took the screws out, she hobbled a couple more weeks, but now it's past history and she's glad she's over it. I guess the moral here is do it now and it will take a month, Do it later and who knows how long it will take. Best advice I can give, and she's a bit older than you are.

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

Thanks, Mark. I know it needs to be done. Sigh. I'm just still in denial... and hoping I can limp it along and not blow it out until about the third week in September. I've decided that is the "ideal" time to do the surgery. I'm just afraid real life might have other ideas! Glad your wife is doing well, and I appreciate your wisdom/advice!

Peruby said...

Well, you are in a pickle. I understand a bit how you feel with the being by yourself dilemma.

Who is going to take the dogs out?, etc...

Write down the pros and cons and then write some ideas down about how you can accomplish this herculean task.

I wish you the best of luck and am sending comforting, healing and helpful thoughts your way.

Jennifer Montero said...

If it were me (42 yrs old) I would TOTALLY throw a little pity party for myself first. Then when I could cope, I'd get the drs opinion, weigh it up with my needs and my gut feeling and make whatever decision you can best live with. Good luck!

Allmycke said...

On Saturday, my sister and I attended a homecoming feast, where the theme was "Crowns and Garlands". We were all supposed to have these fake crowns or flower garland on our heads... I was the only one who flatly refused.
There were a number of people walking around with crowns of birch bark on their heads, or flower garlands who applauded my refusal to do the same.