The Joys of Life after CMT Foot Surgery: When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go!

Yohan’s Surgery #8: The Joys of Life after CMT Foot Surgery: When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go!

July 5, 2016


I love shopping.  How exciting to get ready for a new event or occasion! Imagining what’s needed for the upcoming affair is just half the fun. The other half is actually buying everything we might need, way in advance.

When we chose our cat, Tortellini, 12 years ago, I bought cat food, a cat tunnel, a heated bed (she has no fur, she’s a Sphynx), a litter box, scoop, cat toys and a cute little sweater to warm her on the cold winter days we have … in California. I searched, gathered and ordered all this and much more at least three weeks before her arrival. I wanted to be ready to rock n’ roll when she arrived.

It’s a mystery to me that my husband does not agree with my concept of 100 percent preparation and readiness. In his view, why not wait to have the cat at home, in your arms, before looking around, scratching your head wondering, “Now, where will she eliminate? Oh yeah, I think we need a litter box,” (thus the term litter box training.) I’ll just run to my local pet store to find the perfect one. In the meantime, show her where the plants are …”

The same idea applies to CMT foot surgery. My suggestion? Think ahead and get everything you might need, and that much more, before your loved one comes home. Not everyone will agree with this golden and invaluable piece of advice. Y’all know who I am referring to, right? Reviewing my Amazon account, my frugal husband Gilles almost had a minor stroke.

“What?” I protested innocently. “We need this stuff!  Yohan has to have it. These medical supplies are essential for a full and seamless recovery!”

This is (the completely reasonable list of) what I bought:

– travel companion wheelchair

travel companion wheelchair

– raised toilet seat

raised toilet seat

– knee scooter

knee scooter

– stability bars that attach to the toilet

stability bars

– grip bar that suctions on to the wall in the bathroom

grip bar

– inflatable wedge that goes under the healing leg (doctor’s orders are to raise the leg as much as possible)

inflatable wedge


– commode


– chocolate



Except for the light wheelchair and the chocolate, of course, we disagreed on the necessity of every single item.

“Okay, the commode is a little much,” I conceded.  We probably wouldn’t use it and who would empty it anyway? But, Amazon accepts returns!! You don’t like/want it? Send it back! No brainer!

Before we had the “opportunity” to sit down and discuss my purchases, I installed the raised seat and the stabilizing bars on the toilet.  Voilà

Gilles looked at the setup (I think he was super impressed with my installation capabilities) and listened to my logic. Defeated, he walked away, muttering something about returning the commode ASAP.

HA! The joys of rightness!

Tragically, the joys of my rightness did not even last 24 hours. As I was emptying the Honest Pee bottle the next morning, my socks unexpectedly got soaking wet.  Water was seeping out from the base of the toilet–the same toilet where I had applied my awesome installation skills. Am I cursed? Just a bit of bad luck?  Or did I somehow manage to break the entire toilet? Should I look on Amazon for a DIY manual on toilets? Nah … this called for a real plumber.

Waiting for the plumber, I came to the realization that you can never be 100 percent ready for future events, even if you want to be and think you are. Destiny cannot be controlled, no matter how hard you try.

For example, today, I left Yohan at home, immobilized on the couch, to run to the grocery store. “Do you need anything before I go?” I asked rather sternly (I did not want a call in 10 minutes asking for his medicine, a drink or more pillows to elevate his leg.) “I’m good,” Yohan said in an automated voice, barely lifting his head from the computer screen. “What would you do if a robber came and tried to steal all our stuff?”  I inquired, trying to shock him to attention. “I couldn’t do much now, could I,” he sighed. “Now, stop annoying me and hurry up and get back here.”

Ten minutes later, my cell rang. “Where are you?” Yohan asked with urgency. “At the store, getting groceries,” I reminded him. “I really have to go to the bathroom … badly.  I NEED YOU TO COME HOME NOW!” he panicked.  As I asked if his wheelchair was in reach, I remembered cat playtime. You know, when you put your cat in the wheelchair and wheel her all around the house like a crazy cat lady, taking a hard right, then left, seeing if you can knock her off the throne? For a visual, click on this link: It dawned on me that I never put his wheelchair back in place. In fact, the last thing I remember is dumping Tortellini off next to the litter box, in her room, on the opposite end of the house.

This cannot be happening. Cleverly ditching my grocery cart in a spot no one will notice, I ran to the car and drove home, breaking all the speed limits. I’ve been there. When nature calls, you don’t just hang up. You heed her calling and find a bathroom … quickly.

All’s well that ends well. Lesson learned: You can never buy too much on!


PS: If you use to make purchases, don’t forget to sign up for Amazon Smile: When you choose the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA) as your charity of choice, Amazon gifts a percentage of your purchase to the CMTA!

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