How to Prepare for Bunion Surgery
I’m writing this post because bunion problems are so much a part of the Sixty and Me set, and I’m about to have one corrected. Years of ill-fitting shoes and high heels have not been friends to our feet, and mine have come to the point where there’s no turning back if I want to remain as active (or more active) than I’ve been.
I hope you’ll journey along with me if you are part of the bunion club. I’m viewing the entire process from a holistic perspective.
The Problem Is Real
Phase one for me was coming to the realization I must do something, as maintenance and regular foot are care no longer enough. The first two toes on my left foot are crossing over one another, creating pressure on my other toes and the ball of my foot. It’s not going to get better on its own – I need help.
I asked for a recommendation for a surgeon and booked a consultation. But I got nervous. So, I remembered how I’ve advised my coaching clients when they are preparing for a range of surgeries, and decided to practice what I preach. Be empowered. Be calm. Expect a good outcome.
The Questions I Asked
I sat down and created a list of questions for the surgeon and imagined myself as at least an equal partner in the decision-making process of having surgery, or not. I was well prepared going into that first appointment.
Here are the questions I asked:
- Have you done this surgery before? How many times?
- What are some possible complications?
- Will it be outpatient?
- What kind of sedation will I have? Will the anesthesiologist meet with me before surgery?
- What specifically will you do to correct this problem?
- How long is the typical recovery time?
- Will I be able to bear weight on that foot? If not, how long will I be unable to?
- How much pain is typical?
- Are there non-opioids that are effective in managing the pain?
- Will I be able to manage on my own?
- What is the expected outcome?
The surgeon answered every one of my questions. If he brushed me off or was not forth-coming, I’d have looked for another doctor. In this case, he was very receptive and even pleased to have a candidate who was actively involved in the process.
He honestly told me I would be quite uncomfortable for the first few weeks, but if I could accept that, in the end I would be very happy with the outcome. With our being in the midst of a Covid surge, I don’t expect to have much else to do over the next six weeks other than put this behind me and emerge with a much happier foot.
I do believe that planning for a surgery and the post-surgical recovery process is a very important step. So, here’s what I’m planning to do:
- Be an active participant in the process.
- Prepare my body with extra strength training to avoid getting frail while recovering.
- Prepare my mind with positive mind-body activities and meditations, including Peggy Huddleston’s Preparing for Surgery meditation and Health Journey’s Successful Surgery Guided Meditation.
- Since I can’t bear weight on the foot for 6 weeks post-op, I will ask for help (the hardest thing of all!).
- I will ask the surgeon to state: “You will have very little pain through your recovery and will heal quickly” while I’m under anesthesia. (The unconscious mind believes everything!)
- I will ask my friends and family to keep me laughing.
My surgery is scheduled for November 20. I can’t even imagine how fantastic the experience will be if the wonderful followers of Sixty and Me are sending me healing vibes that morning!
Have you had bunion surgery or are considering it? What tips can you give those of us who are getting ready for this procedure? Please join the conversation and share your stories.