Anybody in Austin have a pair of crutches that I can borrow this weekend? I may or may not need them temporarily Please and thank you
— Austin W. Gunter (@austingunter) September 14, 2012
Last week, I sent out that very vague Tweet, and posted something similar on Facebook. I didn’t explain why I needed crutches, but I threw it out there because I wasn’t going to be able to walk all weekend on doctor’s orders. Doctor’s order, and my leg was completely numb so I couldn’t feel it to walk.
Also, I had two sets of stitches running up my ankle.
Ok, so there were a few reasons why I needed to borrow crutches for at least a few days.
I’ve written about the stuff going on with my joints (arthritis) in a post earlier this year. I hate having to write about this part of my life because I hate having to deal with this part of my life in the first place. I don’t like arthritis, and I don’t like the way that it can get in the way of me living my life. As much as I wouldn’t want to admit it, and as hard as I work to stay focused on my work and where I’m heading, I still have to be honest and face times like this past weekend where there wasn’t anything in my power that could change the circumstances.
I had to have a (relatively) minor surgery on my left ankle to remove some parts of the joint that were getting in the way of my full mobility, and were causing a bit of pain when I walked.
I’ve had the same ankle specialist for about 6 years now, so I had a doctor I trusted and who knew me well. If you know me, you know that I’m pretty quiet about this sort of thing, and I don’t head to the doctor unless I know pretty conclusively that I need to go take action. My doc and I took a look at my ankle and decided it was time to make the cut.
Things to be thankful for right off the bat:
- I have great health coverage at WP Engine (thanks Jason and Ben)
- The company is growing and stable, and there is breathing room for me to take time for something like this
- I’ve got full support of my co-workers and community
My awesome roommate dropped me off and picked me up from the hospital. I walked in with a pair of sandals, and they wheeled me out (in the rain) with a huge splint on my ankle. They took some novocaine to the big leg nerve that lasted about 36 hours so I wouldn’t feel anything, but I also wouldn’t really be able to move my leg. Hence the crutches. I had to be able to get around all weekend.
I spent all weekend growing a beard and working on my limp. And once Chris Carter brought me a pair of crutches to borrow, my horizons opened a bit and I mastered the path between the couch, the fridge (where I had stocked a week’s worth of food), and my big bed.
I slept a lot. I ate a ton of Snack Packs. And by Monday morning, I was walking around without the crutches. I’ll be in Toronto this weekend for about 5 days, so I’m accelerating my recovery process as much as possible.
That week, I brought the crutches into work and made my way around the office and downtown using them. Everybody got used to hearing the *click* *click* *click* of the crutches as I walked around the office. It was funny to tease the guy with crutches. (Actually, this is almost always the case)
Yes, I have stitches on my ankle. Yes. I took pictures of them with my phone. No, I’m not going to post them on my blog.
I do want to thank all the folks who dropped by to bring me food and hang out while I was recovering over the weekend. I’ve got a great community of friends around me. Very grateful. I was well-stocked with tacos and homemade cookies all weekend.
I’m about 10 days out of the operation at this point so I have good perspective on it. Already my ankle is stronger and there is less pain. My definition of a useful surgery, and worthwhile stitches, is dramatically improved condition within a week or two. This fits.