Following foot surgery, it’s one step at a time

Being a runner and a bit of an obsessive person, I am well aware of how fanatic we road warriors can get with our favorite means of exercise torture. Many of my runner friends sometimes go to extremes. Take my wife, for example. Please.

Last week Becky finally had that foot surgery she has been putting off. For years she has managed to come up with creative reasons not to go through with it, but in May after the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon she realized she could put it off no longer. Maybe it was because even after cutting a hole in her brand-new running shoes to alleviate the pain, she still was in misery after the race.

The issue was the bunion on her left foot. She knew what the operation would entail, having had the same issue on her right foot in 2000. I wasn’t quite sure what a bunion was until I did a little reading.

Although it looks like a bump or growth on the side of the foot, it is actually the bone of the big toe moving away from the rest of the toes causing it to protrude. The surgeon takes out a small wedge of the errant bone, re-positions it and secures it with two screws.

Since it was an elective surgery, she wanted the timing to be just right. We already were signed up for the Mill Race Half Marathon in Columbus in September.

“Maybe we could schedule something right after that,” she wondered. Surely that would allow enough time to recuperate before the 2016 Mini next May. She and her doctor thought the beginning of October would work.

The operation took about an hour, and then we were on our way home. For the next four weeks she was not to put any weight on her foot. None. Zero, zip, nada.

After that she could slowly ease into using it again. The entire recovery would take about 12 weeks — if she adhered strictly to the doctor’s orders. My job would be to make sure she did.

The first night home she slept downstairs in her recliner, and I slept in mine. Now, I remember the part in the vows about “in sickness and in health,” and I certainly believe in the sanctity of contracts, especially ones made not only with my wife but with the Almighty.

My back, however, was looking for a legal loophole about 3 a.m. on the second night when I moved to the couch. I hope I am still in good graces, and I trust it won’t be necessary for lawyers to get involved.

My biggest worry for these next few weeks is how Becky will cope with being more or less immobile. She likes to keep busy and does not do sitting very well.

We’ve been to the library as the stack of books next to her chair attests. We have retrieved her bag full of yarn containing half-completed knitting projects. A card table has been set up and piled with old photographs and family documents that need to be put into some sort of order.

Binoculars and a camera are near the door to the deck where, October weather permitting, she can sit outside and watch autumn happen to the woods beyond our house. Her notebook is nearby.

She also has figured ways to keep physically fit during her running hiatus. This mostly involves weights, which I will happily carry up from the basement when the need arises. It will also be my pleasure to cook and clean for the duration. “In sickness and in health,” don’t you know.

She is a good patient and will do as the doctor orders. I am sure in just a few short weeks she will be on the road again. Then we will have to go shopping for some new running shoes. Ones without a hole on the side.