Feeding the body to enhance recovery!

I have got through the surgery and off pain medication within a week! I do have a reasonably high pain threshold but the improved nutrient input I have put into my body I believe immensely has helped with repair and pain recovery.

Admission to Hospital

Arriving at Mercy Hospital still half asleep at 6.30am, arriving early due to a last minute cancellation. All is well and admitted to a waiting room (room number 12), my lucky number so knew everything was going to go fine today!

Blood pressure was a bit high - 147/103 (normally 115/75) but who can blame anyone heading into surgery. Sitting back relaxed in a lazy boy chair you could of almost fell back to sleep. With all the paperwork signed off we were into the surgery theatre at 10.30am and just like that I am fast asleep under anaesthesia.

Waking Up

Opened my eyes and looked at the clock - 5pm (what!!!!!). I'd been under for 6 hours, twice as long as first told by the surgeon. I was lucky last on the table that day so I am glad they could spend much longer doing the required repairs. Groggy as heck, damn morphine working again! Back in 05' had some great halucinations on morphine which made me more aware of them this time but seemed all well. I do remember seeing the surgeon for a bit and he seemed pleased with the procedure.

Looking forward to seeing Sam waiting for me in the recovery room (had a great view).

The Procedure

After coming off the morphine the next day I became a lot more coherent and could actually speak more than gibberish! I knew going into the surgery what needed to be done but its always can be a shock when your wife asks "Have you seen your toes"? Thinking they would be just a bit bloody, I gave in to her taking a photo of them.

I was right they were bloody, but poking out the top of each of them what looked like a fishing swivel! Ahhh so thats what k-wires look like (have a search of uncle google and you can see x-rays of other procedures). I wasn't shocked but still was bloody impressive. Ok this is the list of what was done.

  • Knuckles removed from 2nd and 3rd toes

  • Release of tendons in 4th and 5th toes

  • K-wire installation of all four toes

  • Calcaneous (heel) bone debridement (my heel was basically a squashed orange)

  • Bone graft inserted above existing heel to push the existing heel down to original height - with 3 large screws attaching it all together (I had lost about 15-20mm of height in my leg)

  • Bone debridement of the fused subtalar joint with a new bone graft inserted back into place

  • Relocation of the dislocated peroneal tendons in behind the ankle once again - had a special grove cut into the heel bone to fit these back into place.

Post Surgery Nutrition

Its timed in nicely with my nutrition paper this year to get a real in-depth look into the different nutrients that aid in wound repair and bone healing. This is what I found from my books Botanical Medicine by Marciano & Vizniak and Herbs & Natural Supplements by Braun & Cohen.

Vitamin A - plays a major role in in wound healing and bone fracture healing along with reducing infection severity. Great food sources include sweet potato, spinach, carrots, eggs and liver from beef. I pretty much eat spinach and eggs most days.

Vitamin D - great for bone strength and density during adulthood. One downside of being bed ridden is not seeing enough sun for your vitamin D. Adding fish such as salmon or tuna can help with vitamin D intake.

Vitamin B5 - enhances wound healing after trauma or surgery. Best source in small quantities is brewers yeast and is also found in many other whole foods. A few I have increased immensely is mushrooms, broccoli and a range of nuts.

Vitamin C - that is essential for improved healing time, immune function, collagen production and repair. Can be found in many whole foods such as leafy greens, peppers, lemon juice and a variety of fruits. I have replaced my usual morning coffees with hot water, lemon juice and honey.

Calcium - functions in the body include bone structure and blood clotting. Calcium absorption is greatly improved by vitamin D. Sources include dairy products, sardines and dark green vegetables.

Zinc - is great for helping with wound healing. Whilst you can find zinc in many food sources such as eggs, a range of nuts and if your very keen which I'm not is oysters! I am taking a zinc supplement to help decrease the wound healing time.

Other supplements - Im taking a Ginseng Chinese herbal powder which has an adaptogenic action and is shown to increase resistance against a wide variety of physical, chemical and biological stress.

Given up - I have also completely removed coffee, processed sweets, most processed foods and alcohol out of my diet to enhance the absorption and retaining of all these nutrients especially magnesium which can depleted from the body from excessive goodies.

I have given myself the best chance of recovery from my surgery to date.

My next adventure is removal of the cast and rehab with specialist practitioners.

Cheers, Marty