Hammer Toe Time III: Stitch Removal

Two weeks after ‘hammer toe’ surgery was Thursday so I went back to Kaiser to have the stitches removed by nurse Melanie. Since I’m a physical coward I was nervous about the pain but there was actually very little, though I still practised my usual pain management techniques which include wincing, cringing and biting my knuckle.

I love the way the nurse handles the chopped up foot, firmly yet not painfully,  swiftly cutting off the soiled OR dressings, snick, snick. I took a short glance between unnecessary winces to see my drug addled memory was correct, the pins look just like bent over push pins, one yellow and the other red (?). She neatly washed away the orange disinfectant and soiled gauze and didn’t hurt or tickle me once!


I cringed all the way through the stitch removal but it didn’t hurt either.

The toe tops were covered in black stitches like a much repaired sand-lot baseball but both were healing absolutely flat without excess bleeding, bruising or swelling.

It felt good to get re-wrapped in spongy new blue bandage with the pins tucked up away from danger. I’m still advised to keep the foot elevated and avoid excess movement.

I asked her about the nausea and ineffectiveness of pain meds. She said it was common, that if I have another operation I should ask for (beg for-patients must beg for all drugs) nausea meds as well, the same advice I got from my personal Pharmacy Technician.

So two weeks on I am healing well but suffering: back pain from the required lurching walk; butt-soreness from excess sitting; weight gain from sedimentation and smoking appetite stimulant- but little toe pain if I stay inactive and keep the foot elevated.

The house arrest is starting to bug me. I walked about 40 yards (36.6 m) to check out Dry Creek and found that is about my limit. As usual, Spring has arrived in NorCal in mid-winter and everything is green and pretty.


I miss dog walks and bike rides; also missing my small town rounds of grocery markets, thrift stores and the library. As a 2nd-hand clothes horse my usual sartorial elegance is starting to flag. Missing haircuts, massage and mani-peds from my Vietnamese ‘sister’ Diane too.

I’m doing about all I can do physically, light weight lifting and gentle physical therapy. Now I need time and the patience of a patient.


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2 thoughts on “Hammer Toe Time III: Stitch Removal

  1. Meditate, OM. Bought some killer smoked king salmon at the farmer’s market from Freshway Fish in Roseville. Bringing some over tomorrow.

  2. Pingback: Hammertoe Recovery: Back in Street Shoes | todgermanica.com

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