After years of progressively being inhibited by discomfort in my right foot I decided that I should address the problem. For me, the problem was difficult to identify because, for a long time, I just thought I was tired, or that maybe I was subconsciously avoiding certain activities, or - heaven forbid! - just getting old. I didn’t realize that I had an actual physical problem until it progressed enough to be really disturbing and produced visual evidence.
I had multiple surgeries (one of which was a bunionectomy) scheduled for Wednesday July 29 for my right foot . I was told that surgery would take about 2 hours, that I would have a long and painful recovery and that I would require crutches and possibly a knee walker, a $250 cooling machine to circulate cool water around my foot as it healed (to be used for up to 3 months and possibly longer), that I would be unable to drive for about 8 weeks, and that I would have excruciating pain for which I was given a bucket-load prescription for Vicoden. I was also given many warnings about the possible impermanence of the main surgery and the possibility of long term pain. I researched my surgery and was convinced that this is pretty standard for bunion surgery.
On Sunday July 26 an acquaintance told me that she had had a similar surgery with no pain and she had been able to walk without crutches or aids of any kind immediately after surgery. She referred me to the website of a doctor in Orange County, California. I cancelled all of my appointments for the next day and was lucky enough to get in to see this doctor. He said that he could do the same for me. If I had not been referred by this acquaintance I might have blown this doctor off as “too good to be true.” I rescheduled my surgery for Thursday August 13 with him.
On the day of the surgery, my daughter drove me to the surgery center in Orange County (just off the I-5 & El Toro exit – about 1 hour 20 min driving time from San Diego). We arrived at 9:30am, my surgery was at 10:30am. Standard bunion surgery here takes only 35 minutes. At about 11:40am I awoke in the recovery room with a nurse standing by my side. She asked how I felt and I mumbled something like “I don’t think I had any problems.” She assured me that I had not, and she gave me some water (she offered apple juice and coffee) and some crackers. By the time I consumed those I was wide awake and I immediately got dressed, walked un-aided to the restroom, got in my daughter’s vehicle and was home for lunch by 1:30pm.
Friday evening August 14 I drove myself to an event and joined some friends for dinner. These were situations – except for driving, of course - where I could keep my foot elevated (and iced when possible). Today is Sunday August 16. The first surgeon told me that the third day after surgery is the most painful. My foot was a little uncomfortable yesterday until I realized that I needed to loosen the bandages more aggressively than I had interpreted from my instructions. Since I did that, I can honestly say that I have NO PAIN. That is not to say that I can’t tell something happened to my foot – I definitely can – but I would not call it pain and I have not been tempted to take any pain medication at all. Furthermore, with the surgeon’s approval, I plan to drive myself back to Orange County tomorrow for my post-op appointment and then drive on to Riverside where I have business and then drive back to San Diego.
I don’t want to give the impression that I had some sort of miraculous healing – I am wearing a special shoe and will get an additional different type of shoe (standard) tomorrow, I am trying to keep my foot elevated and iced, and I won’t be able to swim or get my foot wet for a couple of weeks (there is an efficient boot to help with bathing). I won’t be back into regular shoes for about 4 weeks – but who is complaining!?!?
The reason my surgery was so much better than the original standard surgery is totally due to the exceptional skill of this surgeon. I am writing this email because I know that this is a fairly common surgery and I would hate to see anyone go through the standard surgery and recovery when this is available. If you know of anyone who needs foot or ankle surgery please pass this information along. I highly recommend Dr. Moy and will be happy to communicate with anyone who wants a reference to him. His website is www.Dr.Moy.com. And – I almost forgot - he does accept most insurance. He was not on the “preferred provider” list for my insurance so they only paid 70% instead of 90%. But this is exactly the kind of thing that I save my money for and it has definitely been worth it.
Jane M. Fletcher
Painting & Sculpture
P.S. September 3, 2009. I am just as grateful today - as I add the letter to my website - as I was the day I wrote it. Dr. Moy turned what is normally a major disruption into a minor inconvenience. And please know that Dr, Moy has NOT asked me to do this and, in fact, DOES NOT EVEN KNOW that I am doing this.
September 9, 2009
My foot was x-rayed today at my post-op appointment and all is well! I can stop wearing my sugical boot tomorrow.
September 28, 2009
I had my final post-op check today and, although my foot still swells a little through the day, I have been cleared to gradually start doing anything that I want!! That includes wearing high heels! It is now only 6 weeks and 4 days since my surgery!
October 3, 2009
My surgical incision is completely healed on the surface but it feels like I am building scar tissue underneath. I have been suspicious that the flip-flops I have been wearing since surgery have been irritating the area since a strap rubs there. I decided that I needed to find shoes that don't rub there. The only shoes I found which were comfortable had a toe ring and 2 inch heels. I was afraid to try the high heels but finally bought them.
October 11, 2009
I seem to be getting along fine with the high heels. Also, I have been working on a project which requires me to be standing and going up and down a step ladder (mostly barefoot for this). Being enthusiastic about my project (OK, some of you will call it 'compulsive'), I have been working about 14 hours a day - on my feet nearly all of that time. My foot is a little swollen and therefore slightly stiff in the big toe and ball of foot area but it has not inhibited my work and I am considering myself completely healed.
February 28, 2012
I have been taking Argentine tango lessons for a few months and wearing those ridiculously high heels required for that dance with no trouble at all! -- no trouble with the shoes or my feet, that is -- my proficiency in the dance remains in question! I also walked all over Spain and Morocco last October and climbed the temple steps at Angor Wat in Cambodia last June with no trouble from my feet at all. Thank you, Dr. Moy!