Monday, May 10, 2010

How to Take a Shower While Wearing a Surgical Boot

The first few days after my recent foot surgery, i was content to take a sponge bath. But after a few more days, i really needed to wash my hair and the only alternative really is the shower. I tried looking for advice on the internet on how to manage a shower while keeping my foot dressings dry (the post-operative instructions very clearly say to keep the dressings "clean and dry.") Some merely said "keep foot elevated" with no clue how to keep the water from running down your leg. Others said "put a plastic bag around your foot" with no clue as to how to keep the water from running down your leg into the plastic bag! The orthopedic tech at my surgeon's office suggested wrapping a towel around my ankle first, so that any water that got in would be absorbed. She also suggested rubber bands or duct tape to hold the bag tight.

So here's what i did. First, begin with swollen foot in very bulky wrappings in surgical boot. 
Next, fold a hand towel in half length-wise and wrap it around the ankle firmly, tucking in the ends.
Finally, put foot into large (13-gallon) plastic trash bag. Pull bag up, place large rubber band around the leg, above the towel. Fold down the bag, place another rubber band around the top. (Notice "normal" toes to left for size comparison!)

Take shower...enjoy!! The only improvement was that once i was able to drive again, i went to the hardware store and got duct makes a nice tight seal around the top when applied to the top of the bag and the leg simultaneously, so you can take a nice long shower without worrying about springing a leak. The only drawback is that the duct tape sticks to the bag so well, it tears the bag when you go to remove it, so you only get one shower's worth per trash bag.

How to Recover from Foot Surgery

It's very important to spend a lot of time lying down on the couch, with your foot elevated. (Dr Sylvie behind the pillow, Dr Fuzzy on the pillow) (It turns out that icing the foot didn't work well...the wrapping is so thick, the coolness didn't really get through to my foot very well) (The weird orange stripe above my ankle is from the antiseptic stuff they use pre-operatively.)
It's especially important to spend a lot of time lying down while Dr Fuzzy administers purr therapy.