Healthy Living Attempt #10 & Calcaneal Surgery Recovery 2014

Thanks to my husband’s car accident and subsequent calcaneal surgery (i.e., surgery on a shattered heel) one month ago today, I’ve come to realize that getting older is going to require Health and Strength way more than just being skinny. So, I’ve started this year determined to be healthier and stronger, helped along by the thought that I might as well do this now since neither of us are drinking any alcohol at the moment (he can’t due to meds; I’m basically abstaining because he can’t. I’m nice like that).

It takes a great deal of strength to use a walker with a broken sternum (top end) and a busted heel (bottom end), then get home and have to scoot up and down the stairs on one’s butt, with the right leg completely NWB (non-weight bearing). And it takes a great deal of strength to stand behind that person and either help him up to standing (on one leg) or lower him down to sitting on the floor (so the scooting downstairs can commence). Walkers and little knee scooters also take a great deal of the strength. Bette Davis was right when she said that getting old isn’t for sissies.

By the time my husband can finally go up and down the stairs on his own, we’re going to be pretty buff. So, I want to keep that going–and make sure that we enter our mid-40s in much better shape.

Last weekend, I started creating green smoothies with a Nutribullet. So far, my favorite combo is 2 handfuls of kale, 1 green apple, 1/2 of an avocado, and some chia seeds. It’s an amazing green color and smells like the apple, not the kale.

I’ve also become a huge fan of Dr. Robynne Chutkan’s “Gut Bliss,” which I think every adult should read. In response to this fantastic gerontologist’s book (I wish she were in Chicago not in D.C.) on the ramifications of an unhealthy digestive tract, I have enacted the author’s SAD GAS diet, which helps determine food sensitivities and restore natural balance back to the colon. (Yes, I am getting old. I’ve started reading and writing about the colon.) I’ve always wondered if I have gluten sensitivities, and now I’m going to finally try to figure it out.

So, SAD GAS is the acronym for the elimination diet: No Sugar, Alcohol, Dairy. No Gluten, Artificial Flavorings, Soy. I’ve also added in no Corn (so, my version is C SAD GAS). And yes, I have cheated a little here and there. I had some alcohol and sugar last Saturday (one finger of gin with some tonic water)–and corn and gluten on Wednesday. I also had gluten and dairy yesterday (Friday) when I was too exhausted to cook dinner, and we all stuffed our faces on some not-great pizza. So far, the corn seems to have had the greatest effect on me.

Today was a great nutrition day: a healthy salad for lunch; lentil chili for dinner. And lots of water. And there was a trip to the Vitamin Shoppe this morning for flax seed oil, glucosamine, coconut oil, and calcium with D. I haven’t inflicted much of this on David yet. He’s suffering enough with his foot–but I have been giving him a probiotic everyday since he’s been on so many antibiotics.

I don’t have much time to work out right now–I’m up at 6am to get the kids moving (that’s 30 min. earlier than usual), start the 40 min. school drop off routine at 7am (David used to drop Kate on his way to work), then swing home and get David down the stairs and set up with his pain meds and coffee. While he’s waking up and checking morning email, I take a shower (his new ablution routine is the night before). Then I toss Greek yogurt and fruit at us, followed by probiotics. After that, I get to change the surgical dressing. Then, I give Diabetic Dean (our cat) his shot, and we try to get out the door by 8:45.

That is the ideal. And it will hopefully happen 3 times this week. The other two days, we are working from home as well as going to the surgeon appointment and having the visiting nurse come to check on the surgical incision. I am worried about the incision. It’s the 2nd worst surgical incision one can have–and it is taking forever to heal. Forever. It’s been 4.5 weeks since the surgery (exactly one calendar month), and it is still draining. And the stitches seem to be very far apart, rather than closing in. And it’s still wet, which isn’t good, according to the nurse. And I wish I could really trust the surgeon but he doesn’t say enough to either trust or not trust him.

For worriers like me, it’s probably good that there isn’t much out there on the internets about calcaneous surgery recovery because what I have found isn’t that great. An average of 10 weeks before pwb (partial weight bearing) and more than a year of follow up with the surgeon. Some people are seeing their surgeons for as long as 5 years!! God, I hope it’s not all due to the incision. Ssshhhh. Don’t tell David. He doesn’t need to hear any of that. And I sure wish I hadn’t.

If anyone is out there with a positive story about calcaneous surgery recovery, I’d sure like to hear about it in the comments!

About CarolineChicago

I am a freelance marketing strategist and content/copy writer living in the Chicago area. I enjoy writing on several different topics of personal interest, especially food and cooking.
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