Foot Surgery: Day 5 – Taking a Bath


Day 5 and not a peak at the actual incisions. Doctor’s orders…oh but the curiosity is killing me!!


By all accounts I thought I would be able to get out and about by day 5, post surgery. Oh, the surgeon said “No! Stay off it for 4 more days, keep it iced as prescribed…blah blah blah.” How I underestimated the power of having holes cut into your foot and things cut out, and more cuts and sewing of stitches… task is as simple as when all limbs and body parts are operating at full capacity. It’s the little things, like taking a bath, that remind me of how I do take my good health for granted most of the time. No, there are no photos from the actual bathing process. I admit, I thought about it but the camera was far far away, in the kitchen and that meant another crutching trip down that long-ass hall (that never seemed that long before), so I skipped the pictures on this one.

A previously innocent bathtub, just sitting there waiting to host a lovely hot bubble bath. Little does it know it is about to become and obstacle of massive proportions. Crutches, the bane of my existence…oh I mean, those helpful sticks of metal and rubber, perched beneath my armpits as I stare into the tub. Questions slowly drudge through my mind, “How do I?” “Should I?” “Is it worth it?”  “How the hell do I get into that lovely tub with a foot that hurts like a mofo, a bandage that cannot get wet, and an orthopedic boot that would sink me to the bottom of a river if someone were inclined to toss me in?” Contemplation and bath engineering took about 30 minutes. Tools, I need tools for this job. No, I don’t need help, just tools and time.

First, the boot cannot get wet, the bandage cannot get wet. OK, that means my foot has to be suspended at all times. Next, I want a full bath, sink right into the bubbles and hot water for a few minutes of ahhhhhh. No half-ass bathing at this stage, it’s time to go all the way. So, full bath, no wet foot.

There is a dish tub in the bottom of my bathroom closet. It is about the right depth to use as a lift for the boot. OK, get the dish tub out of the closet, put it next to the bathtub. Check.

Towels, there will be a need for some cushioning, covering, and whatever else towels can do, so 3 towels at the ready. Check.

Foot bandage

There is no glamorous way to have a bandage on an appendage.

Press and seal plastic wrap that my mom bought for me the day of surgery. I get enough wrapped and sealed around the whole boot to keep any residual splashes and moisture from penetrating to the precious bandages. Check.

Getting into the bathtub, right, I’m not a skinny person. I have lots of heft to haul from one side of that massively high bathtub (about 18 inches) to the other without touching down the boot in anyway. I perch on the edge of the tub, carefully turn and put the good foot in while holding the support rail that the previous owners installed (Thank you previous owners, sorry you were aging and needed the rail, but it has lived on to serve yet another ailing body.) Carefully lifting the boot over the edge of the tub, which is dry by the way. This requires lots of planning and unconventional problem solving. Usually you run the water, hop in the tub and enjoy. This time I am going into a dry tub for practical reasons.

Crutch up

From the foot’s point of view.

Lowering my bottom into the tub with only the support of one foot and a grasp on that rail that seemed unnaturally strong, I made it in. In comes the upside down dish tub and the boot is supported. I wrapped it in an additional towel layer to keep even more wet from it, and on comes the water. Hot bubbly water..ahhhh Imagine, hot bubbly water, me, the dish tub, and the boot sticking up in what would probably appear to be a very unnatural position for a woman of my girth. The things we can accomplish when we are determined.

Once the bath is complete, hair washed, body refreshed, it’s time to exit the tub. The whole affair has taken about an hour and 15 minutes at this point so I’m kind of using up my energy reserves from the mashed potato I had for supper last night. Yes, I did consider the slim possibility that I might need assistance if I were to fail at any point, but I am doing all this while my husband is still in bed, so anything that might go wrong would have to wait for him to wake up. Essentially I was on my own, just the way I like it.

Keep the boot dry, that is the number one priority. I drained the tub, got rid of all the leftover bubbles, removed the dish tub and laid a fluffy towel in the bottom of the bathtub to rest the boot and secure the good foot so I wouldn’t slip and cause further annoyance. That rail is so wonderful. I highly recommend on in every bathtub area. Trust me on this, you never know when you need something solid to hoist you in and out of that luxurious bubble bath. Hoisting I did. In my mind this runs like a stuck record, “Don’t put weight on the boot, don’t put weight on the boot, don’t put weight on the boot, don’t put weight on the boot.” which means my left foot was getting the signal, “YOU ARE IN CHARGE, DON’T LET US DOWN!!!” annnddddd UP I lift from the great depths of those 18 inches, onto the edge once again, secured with yet another cushy towel. Remember, water makes things slippery, so I am compensating for all possible glitches to my plan. The boot gets lifted first out and on to the floor, hanging on now to a crutch and the rail, the good foot comes over and out…voila! Bath time is over. Now, the post bath rituals.

Drying off, applying all bath stuff like deodorant (retrieved with a crutch from the cabinet opposite the tub), body powder and lotion, hair gel, etc. all from the edge of the tub insured that the boot had no pressure put upon it. Success.

Crutch handle

This little metal handle, covered with rubber becomes the support for a whole body while one foot is out of commission.

Don’t forget that through it all I am being entertained, not only by my own antics, but I have Bob’s Burgers on my tablet to keep the mood light with the occasional giggle, enough to distract my mind from the potential pity party it might succumb to at any moment. No such party happened though. Overall the bathing was time consuming, challenged my puzzle solving skills, and reminded me that I’m pretty coordinated, more than I thought I would be.

As I was drying my hair, finally dressed in my pajamas, standing with the crutches at the mirror, I hear a tap tap tap on the door. My husband was awake and ready to make me a cup of tea…ahhhhh reward for a job well done.

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