First Day of Recovery -- 11/17/00

Woke up in the middle of the night to the snores of my neighbor. The local anesthesia numbed my leg to the point that I couldn't even move my toes. I figured that it should have worn off by now. To my horror, they were still totally unresponsive.

I felt the rest of my leg and realized that my whole leg was still absolutely numb. I was more than a bit unnerved, but I realized I had to be patient. Eventually the feeling and control came back.

Decided to read some of my new book "The Big Drop," about classic big wave surfing stories. Don't know if it was the residual effects of the sedative, or that I had read most of the stories before, but I just couldn't get into it.

Of course, this excerpt from Dave Parmenter didn't help:

There comes a time in every man's life when he faces his own mortality for the first time. The realization swamps him that, yes, horror of horrors, he is like everybody else-expendable and fragile. For many young men, this is the crossroads in their lives, when the boyhood aura of indestructibility evaporates. All too often the youthful dreams of heroics and achievement swirl down the drain soon after...

Waited for my doctor to get out of the operating room, then got some final instructions, before he set me free. Good words of encouragement from a successful surgery.

Coming out of the hospital, the sky was blue, the wind was light (and the surf was probably up). This was going to be the start of the long, arduous healing process.

As always, my wife took great care of me, to the point of overpampering. I think part of the frustration with getting a injury of this kind is that you become dependent on others. I hate *not* being independent. Part of the reason is because of a previous medical ailment. But sometimes you just have to relent and let people take care of you. That still doesn't mean I have to like it.

I was stoked to be home. But, work had followed me there, with several dozen email in the queue. In fact, my project boss was asking me when I'd get a spreadsheet done for him. The nerve!

However, that wasn't the big thing on my mind. Slowly, but ever so surely, my foot started to hurt. I first thought I had shifted the cast a bit, and couldn't seem to get it into a comfortable position. I soon realized that it was much more than that.

I suddenly could actually feel the sutures in the back of my foot, as they started tingling and making their presence known. Also, I got some twangs inside my calf, as if some stray electrical signals tried to pulse down my calf towards my foot, and that the tendon wasn't making the connection. It was a weird and scary feeling.

However, this was only the precursor of the fun to come. I tried getting comfortable to try and relieve the pain, but could not find the right position. I was sprawled all over the sofa, on the ground, writhing and moaning. My wife and daughter must have been having fits.

I told myself early on that I wouldn't take pain medication if I didn't need it. Boy did I need it! A combination of Percocet and Phenergan helped, but didn't fix the problem. I finally was able to go to bed eventually after a sweaty, painful evening.