Last week, I wrote about my upcoming minor surgery on my toe - An Update on Recovery.
Well it’s been a few days since the procedure on my toe, so figured I should check in.
Before The Procedure
I had a partial nail avulsion done on Tuesday, June 14th, to the big toe on my right foot.
The procedure itself is no big deal - I had it done to my left foot around 20 years ago, and it was nothing.
This literally shouldn’t have been any more stressful than getting my hair cut, but the fluoroquinolone toxicity issues complicate it.
Because I’ve had crippling tendon flares brought on by Ibuprofen, glucosamine, and a minor physical injury (Spraining one ankle brought on a full flare in both feet!), the idea of sticking a needle of *anything* right into one of the worst affected toes?
I was super stressed out - seriously, I was less stressed out going into my pancreatic cancer surgery two years ago.
(Funny thing, this procedure was almost 2 years *to the date* after my surgery!)
I guess that’s the downside of having a few months of wild progress and physical freedom - it makes the possibility of LOSING it even more terrifying.
Going from hobbling to hobbling worse is one thing. Going from 5km hikes every day, to literally crawling?
I don’t think I could handle that again.
The podiatrist had prescribed a lidocaine patch to put on my foot an hour ahead of time, so I put that on at the right time.
THEN I made the mistake of searching "lidocaine" in the Floxies reddit, and seeing all kinds of info about people having flares from lidocaine at dentist appointments and such.
It looked to be specifically from lidocaine with epinephrine involved, so I called in to make sure the shot didn't use adrenaline. It didn't, so that was good.
The Partial Nail Avulsion
Spoilers: It went well!
I really like my new podiatrist. He actually read up on FQ nonsense, was MEGA super careful to do whatever he could to avoid triggering a flare, and talked me through the whole thing.
It went by SUPER quickly - I was shocked when he said he was almost done. I thought he meant “the first side”, but no - he’d finished the whole thing.
He said that everything went perfectly, I’ve got great blood flow, etc.
As I remembered from the first time, the needle was basically the worst of it - and it wasn’t really all that bad.
I was mega stressed out about it - and even wondered if I’d chicken out and bail - right up until the needle went in.
Then, I was calm. At that point, it was done, whatever was going to happen was going to happen... no more decisions to make or “outs” to take.
He was really confident that it wouldn’t flare, and figured my biggest risk was just going to be infection, and he wasn’t really worried about that for me.
He’d read this blog (I gave him the url on my first visit, to get allllll the messy backstory), and said he could tell I was compliant.
Sidenote: Oof. “Compliant” isn’t a great thing to say to an autistic person, LOL, and definitely not as a compliment! There was absolutely no malice there, though, so whatever.
So he bandaged me up,gave me care instructions, and sent me on my way.
The Next Day
I figured that if I woke up the next morning with no flare, I’d be pretty confident that I may be in the clear.
.. And I did! My second toe on that foot was being a little weird, but let’s be real - it’s been at least a LITTLE weird for 2 years, almost constantly.
Despite having had surgery the day before, with all that entailed - 2 needles, cutting away the sides of the nail, cutting away some overgrown inflamed tissue, putting acid on the nail bed (and I FELT it afterwards!!), blah blah - it honestly felt fine.
No pain at all - which I couldn’t say for even the morning of the procedure!
I felt well enough to put the put in a large slipper, and go down to the lake for a bit. It was gorgeous out - and really nice to be able to enjoy it, without pain bothering me in one way or another!
The Following Day
Today it’s been 2 days since the procedure, and I’m fine.
No trace of a flare so far. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I kind of think I’m probably out of the woods for that whole possibility.
When I changed my dressing today, it was pretty waterlogged and angry, so I called in for advice on that and was told it’s fine to air it out if I’m at home - just no shoes or socks.
He said I can go back to stretching today, just not anything really weight bearing or whatnot. No long walks, etc.
Also said I could try some Gazelle this weekend if it’s still going well, it just may slow healing a little.
Honestly, I’m not even worried. The toe is in better shape than it was before the procedure.
I didn’t really believe him in the first appointment when he said I could be skating a week after the procedure, but now I can TOTALLY see it.
If it wasn’t like Satan’s Taint out there right now, I’d be tempted to get out my recreational inlines and hit the lake trail.
Anyway, I’m still taking it easy, have my foot up, etc... but things are really good.
The New Theory
I’m actually wondering if this procedure might get me a little further ahead in terms of healing from the cipro, and the podiatrist thinks there could be something to that theory.
The thing is, the second toe on that foot has always been kind of the canary in the coal mine for any sort in upcoming flare. It never really healed right, I usually can’t bend it, etc.
(At my first appointment with this podiatrist, he noticed it right away. Said that the tendon across the top was just completely overwhelming the tendon underneath... and also said it’s something that physio should be able to fix!)
I can bend that second toe.
... That is not something I was expecting to happen just 2 days after surgery to the toe next to it.
Anyway, I’m wondering if the fact that the big toe was always some degree on inflamed... might have been keeping that second toe on guard?
If that’s the case, that might be a piece of the puzzle for other people going through FQ Associated Disability.
Reducing nearby - or systemic - inflamation might help speed the healing process.
That sounds so obvious now that I say it, though. It definitely lines up with how some people flare from eating gluten, drinking alcohol, etc - those are both inflammatory.
I still think it’s dumb that NSAIDs mess everything up, though.
Anyway, this is getting awfully long for a check in, so I’ll end it here.
Fingers crossed that things continue the way they have been going!
My Floxed Timeline
For the first year and a half or so, I kept a regular diary of symptoms and improvements. Here are the links to those posts:
The First 24 Hours
The First Month
The Second Month
Month 5 Check-in
...After the 20th month, things started to turn a corner. I stopped writing in my Cipro diary, and started blogging about my recovery - and I DO seem to be in actual recovery, now.
You can see more recent updates under my Cipro category, and under my Walking, Hiking, & Scenery category.
A lot of my "therapy" after the 20th month has been just walking and hiking, and I've been making HUGE progress! I also wrote a post on what helped me heal from fluoroquinolone toxicity.
Also, you can see how I'm doing in general by seeing the All Blog Posts category.
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