Went back to the doctor…. got my cast off for good! More xrays show that everything is healing exactly how it should be. The break in my fibula is coming together nicely… still very broken though. But how the pieces are lined up show that the surgery was done correctly. Now I am in a boot and I TOOK SOME STEPS TODAY! And it was terrifying. It was like I forgot how to walk… I couldn’t figure it out. And it was slow… real slow movement! But I did it!
Very sore tonight. My whole foot/ leg is achy very achy. I feel like I have ran an ultramarathon. It’s that kind of soreness. I also am very sore up the leg where the break is. I can’t find a comfortable position to lay my leg. I’m worried about sleeping tonight. I was told to take the boot off to sleep! Eek.
It wasn’t as bad as I though! I have spent a good portion of my days trying to move my feet, massage the ankle and leg to try and get blood flowing and to try and move some of the extra swelling out. It feels good to be able to let my foot breath!
One thing I haven’t really talked about was my weight and how I look. I looked in the mirror the other day and cried for a long time. I have gained about 16lbs since surgery. I have attempted to eat healthy and cut back on my eating. But seeing all the giant belly that I now have and how puffy I look everywhere is incredibly discouraging. It sure doesn’t help my mental state and I’m concern that I will struggle with recovery and walking again because of the excess weight. More on this topic I’m sure….
I went to breakfast with friends, went to Barnes and nobles (bookstore) and then lesson planned for 2 hours on the phone with a coworker and dad and I Just got back from going out to dinner and going shopping 😂
It’s like since I got the news from the Dr that I’m a cast for only 2 more weeks I’ve been feeling more like myself an a lot more motivated to get out and do stuff. It felt good to be an actual human again.
Might have done too much. Foots really swollen and sore. But so worth it! It’s interesting to look back upon my time since surgery. The first two weeks are a blur because you’re taking meds and sleeping a lot. The middle two weeks are the worst. I was depressed, felt like I was in limbo, couldn’t see the end, just miserable and the last two weeks have been hurry up status. I’ve been out doing more because I know there is an end in sight. And my mood has become much better as well!
And then this… I try and be helpful… like feed the cats…. and the container pops open and goes everywhere (picture below). And the worst part… I can’t clean it up. I attempted to sweep it into a pile but I can’t use the dUstpan to pick it up. Nor can I get them new water because I can’t lift the automatic bowl to clean it out. It’s so frustrating. I feel like I still can’t even be helpful or do anything around the house. And I feel bad for my boyfriend who had to come home early from work and deal with it.
I have a return date to work. (Yay??) And I was so excited at first but now I’m panicking. I don’t think I’m ready. I am exhausted just moving on crutches. How am I going to do this?
I am so excited. It’s the a light at the end of the tunnel! Just had my 4week follow up from surgery. Took the cast off and had X-rays. All pretty routine.
Best part… I asked if I could clean my leg and they gave me a towel and a cleaning/ moisturize spray. It was heaven. I got to clean the extra skin off my leg, itch it at the same time, just get all the grim from the last 6 weeks off my leg! Had to stay away from the incisions but that was okay! Spent a good 10 minutes cleaning especially my toes!
Doctor came in and said everything looks great and it’s all healing just like it should be. So that was even more good news. Then he told me the game plan…. two more weeks in a hard cast. I kinda of had a feeling that that was going to happen anyways so I had mentally prepared myself for it. Being in a cast is more annoying than anything. It’s clunky, itchy, hard to get into comfortable positions but nothing I can’t handle for two more weeks.
And then he told me, after that… I would get a walking boot! And we would start with some basic PT and weight bearing. Another upside was I can go back to work!! I have a return to work date. Yes!!! And I can start driving again when I get my boot!! And I wouldn’t need my crutches all the time.
I am over the moon excited. I feel like we are finally getting somewhere and progress is being made. I feel like a huge weight was just lifted off of me. I am not in limbo anymore. I have dates, plans and a course of action.
So my new cast is green this time. The only downside of my appointment was getting my foot into the correct position for the cast. The Dr wanted a neutral position – basically foot completely flat and at 90degrees. Holy crap that hurt trying to force my foot on the stand into that position. Everything inside my ankle was so tight and not use to moving, that it was a struggle. But, the nurse was amazing and very patient with me during the whole process. If you every get injured and need surgery, I highly suggest my orthopedic surgeon and nurses to help you through everything. They are just the best!
One thing my doctor and I did talk about was what it was going to be like mentally… and this is incredibly important.
There will be a lot of things that I have to deal with and that others won’t be able to help me with like the can with the physical part of flexibility, strength and balance. And one of the big issues is going to be confidence or lack of confidence. It’s going to almost resemble PTSD he said.
And that’s going to be the hardest part to deal with. That fear of hurting myself again, or that my ankle won’t hold up…. little things like that. But, the Dr also said that it’s something you slowly work through and it’s very important to not let that fear cripple you. I’m sure I will be talking more about this moving forward! I have some reading to do!
I am going to ride this feeling of amazing for as long as I can…. and I might just celebrate tonight with a glass of champagne!!! And for once since getting hurt, tears of happiness!!
Over the last week, I have begun to feel more comfortable with moving about and courageous because I have a hard cast on. I think mentally it makes me feel like my foot/ leg is safe because of the hard cast. I have been able to slowly start to become a little more independent – I’ve started to sleep in the bed instead of on the couch, I have attempted to make my own coffee in the morning, I went out to dinner twice! It’s all about the baby steps.
My motivation to do things has started to come back a little more. Don’t get me wrong, the majority of my time is still spent on the coach bing watching horrible tv but I have picked up a new book and started to read, I started planning a summer vacation to Nova Scotia, I started planning next years vacation out to Oregon… little things that I didn’t want to do before but that are encouraging. It’s good to look forward to something. Things like this help some days… but some days nothing helps and it’s back to the why me phase.
I do have a new sensation in my foot lately mostly right before bed. First, I feel like the staples are still in but that’s due to the location is the incision. And now, my foot feels really big and the cast feels very tight. It’s all that blood rushing back into my foot after being non- weight bearing! It’s like my leg and foot are pressing against the cast and I have no room to wiggly my foot/ toes around. And my leg is itchy… oh so very itchy!! Eek! One thing that actually helps is ice… and I have found that yes, the cool from an ice pack can be felt through a hard cast!
Something I never thought I’d take for granted was a shower. For the week after surgery, the last thing I wanted to do was shower – it wasn’t even on my mind. The pain and being uncomfortable was too intense. Now, fast forward three weeks, I try and shower when I can. It’s not easy… still can’t stand up or get my cast wet. So here’s how I do it: plastic garbage bag over the cast, ace bandage over the top of the plastic bag up my leg a little, a plastic stool in the shower to sit on and thankfully a detachable shower head. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it.
Another thing never to take for granted: Friends. Friends are so important during this time. I need people to vent to about anything and everything. Sometimes it’s important that they just listen. Other times I need advice. And there are even times, that I want them to agree with me regardless of how crazy I sound.
I also created a Facebook & IG post asking for advice and tricks, tips for pushing through during this time of injury. I found all the advice to be incredibly beneficial. It made me feel I’m not alone and helped me mentally. Especially knowing so many people care. Friends & Family are my rock during this time. I don’t know what I would do without everyone ❤
Only a couple more days before my next doctor visit!
I’m back in hell with a hard cast and my foot wrenched in an uncomfortable position. And I just found out the extent of my injuries and what they did. So I’m completely overwhelmed and have been very teary.
Basically at my two week follow up I had my staples taken out. Holy crap those hurt! Especially around the ankle area where the skin is really thin. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Stitches are not bad when they are removed. The bruising wasn’t horrible. Just mainly on the bottom of my foot. My leg and ankle look like a Frankenstein experiment (Gruesome pictures below).
More X-rays were taken and you can see the hardware. (Picture below). It is actually pretty interesting to see the screw for the reattached ligament and the tightrope that goes through the bone.
Asked the doctor A LOT of questions at this appointment too: Vitamins – take vitamin D. CBD – pointless. Still need to stay off the foot. Out of work for another 6 weeks. Yes, on the couch. Non- weight bearing still. Hard cast for at least another two weeks. I kept a running list of questions on my phone as they came up.
And oh I found out I can’t go travel to Jacksonville to watch everyone compete in the first Spartan race of the season, because it’s to dangerous. Basically the reason behind this is… you can’t have a cast on a plane because the swelling is an issue. I would have to take blood thinners to prevent blood clots for multiple days. But, if they cut the cast, then there is a chance that I would re-injury myself because I wouldn’t have the support of a cast. So basically, even though the doctor didn’t specifically say No… with reasons like this, it’s not worth the risk. My doctor is great in that way – he gives you reasons and explains everything.
There are just so many emotions that you go through, even just in a single day. Hearing negative news does not help with staying positive mentally. It’s incredibly hard to not get negative when you can’t do the things you love and know you won’t be able to do them for a long time. And then there is everyone else. Sometimes it feels like people just see the injury and how inconvienced they are by it… they forget I’m a person too. They think they are doing what’s best for me and making decisions for me. But, in all honestly being able to make decisions is one of the important things that I can do still. I feel like – let me make the decisions still. I feel like I don’t have much control over anything else.
Don’t really remember much of surgery besides talking to the nurse and then waking up in recovery. I know I was given apple juice and graham crackers and I had to focus really hard on eating them. I was in a daze. Lots of sleeping happened.
But what I do know… is today… I’m not gonna lie today the pain is absolutely horrible. My foot feels like it’s on fire. I can feel every single staple. My toes are numb which makes me a little concerned. I feel every play screw, stitch, anchor you name it. Moving my leg in any direction hurts. It hurts to lift it up – it hurts to lay it down- it just hurts. Today is the first day that I cried from the pain. It has been the worst pain that I’ve ever felt before in my entire life. So, I sit here shoveling goldfish crackers into my mouth with tears streaming down my face because I don’t know what else to do. It is just hell.
The boyfriend called the doctor. Their suggestion was to give me a catch-up dose of pain medication which I’m sure is going to make me sick. I don’t do painkillers well. And at this point I am really wishing I hadn’t gone through any of this. I keep thinking why me? Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?
Tomorrow I have been told is going to be just as bad so that’s something to look forward to.
Day #2 after surgery. I will forever listen to doctors now. The suggestion of a catch -up dose was amazing. I was able to sleep through the afternoon and then again through the night, comfortably! So if you’re going through anything like this…. please listen to your doctors! They are there to help you and their advice will! It was amazing!
Day #5 after surgery. Another shitty day. Just like the previous days. We are going on day five of sitting on the couch unable to do anything. I try and sleep as much as I can. Sleep is good for recovery I have been told.
But, I am absolutely losing my mind. The boyfriend keeps saying that he needs to “go out for a while“. Which is just codeword for he’s going for a run. And he doesn’t wanna tell me he’s going for a run because he knows how jealous I’ll get. And to be truthfully honest, I’m incredibly jealous. And it sucks knowing that he’s going to travel and gets to go race. And I have to sit on the couch for six more weeks unable to move. But that’s natural right? It’s okay to feel jealous about others getting to do something that you want to do but can’t do.
And if I didn’t feel helpless before well now I do. I can’t even shower without help getting in, out, washing myself… putting on underwear. Nothing. My hair is falling out in chunks. I’m in tears again and getting snippy because I am beyond frustrated.
So, there are a lot of tears today.
One thing they don’t tell you when you get injured that your lack of motivation to do anything. And I mean anything. I love to read normally but can’t even imagine picking up a book right now. I like to color – nope not now. Hang out with people? Nah… all you wanna do lay down and sulk. Which is beyond frustrating because you’re upset that you can’t do anything you love in the first place. They say dealing with injury is like dealing with a loss and so far, I’d say they are spot on.
Another I didn’t realize is how little of an appetite I would have. I am never really hungry. But, I know I have to eat and stay hydrated. It is very difficult. And the last thing I want is a salad or something healthy if I am going to eat. I want comfort food if anything. And cookies. I don’t even like sweets but I want cookies. I don’t know. I don’t get it.
One week out of surgery. And I’m slowly starting to lose my mind. I am not good with not having a routine and not being able to control anything. And not being at my job is completely stressing me out. I know that I’m not being CCed on emails – I have no control over anything – I feel like I’m a ball of nerves and panic.
Day #8 after surgery. Lots of the days just start to blend together. Every day is the same. Wake up, force myself to eat something, watch TV, try and eat something again….. same shit different day. It’s all just a waiting game. Motivation is still lacking. I still don’t wanna see people yet at the same time I want to get out of the house. I’ve been sitting in the same spot for 3 weeks now that I have created a little nest on the couch. My kittens love all the snuggle time. The leg is still uncomfortable at times but the pain is much more manageable. All I can really feel are the staples especially when I move.
And I am itchy under my cast. And the worst part… I can’t do anything about it! I feel like I am constantly putting cream on my knee and above my cast because my skin is very dry and gets very hot easily. I am hot (temperature wise) all the time. Even the window is open next to me and I am still hot! My body is revolting! Haha!
Only a couple more days until my follow- up and then some real news…
I was told it would be a good idea to document my recovery time from my injury. Everything about it. So here it is in real time – all the raw emotions, what my days look like, doctors, PT, everything.
First, let me tell you what happened …. End of January, I was bouldering with my boyfriend, dad, sister and her husband and was having a great day crushing some routes I normally can’t do. It was my last climb of the day, I missed the grip and ended up falling about 9 feet directly down and landed completely wrong.
To urgent care we went immediately. After an “oh no” from the doctor, X-rays showed that I ended up having multiple fractures in my fibula. And the suggestion that I go to an orthopedic surgeon ASAP. (Pictures is the X-rays are below)
Orthopedic appointment. Two days later. Doctor comes in and immediately starts telling me what surgery I need to have and that they can get me in the following afternoon. I sat there stunned. I didn’t even know what was wrong with my foot/ leg not to mention being able to grasp the idea that I had to have surgery. Immediate tears. Luckily my boyfriend slowed the doctor down and said that we were going to get a second opinion.
The next day, a second opinion. This doctor was great. He calmly explained exactly what the injury was – basically when I fell I dislocated my tibia & fibula which resulted in fracturing my fibula, injuring the deltoid ligament in my ankle and possibly injuring another ligament. He drew out the injury on a white board and showed us the X-rays. Surgery was necessary to fix everything. Even though I had already been told I needed surgery it didn’t help hearing it again but I was able to hold back the tears. Hearing you need surgery is like getting punched in the gut. Your brain tries to process the information but everything becomes really cloudy and anxiety starts to set in. And before I knew it, surgery was getting scheduled for the following week and a hard cast was being put on my leg to help protect the injury.
Day #4: all the emotions … lots of tears, stress, anxiety and I feel like I was living in a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. Multiple doctors appointments, lots of different surgery remedies to fix my ankle/leg. It was very confusing and stressful trying to keep everything straight and to pick a doctor and go with their surgery. Everyone had a different opinion. I went from a hard splint to a boot back to a splint and finally to a hard cast. and let me tell you, a splint was the easiest piece of hardware to manage.
And then there was the stress of being out of work. I am a teacher. It’s not easy to know that you’re going to be out of work for six weeks in the middle of the school year and have to leave your lesson planning, teaching, grading… everything up to it a substitute. Because when you take a medical leave of absence, it’s like you don’t even exist anymore. You have to put an out of office memo on your email. You’re not allowed to respond to emails. You can’t grade you, can’t lesson plan, you can’t do anything. It was a complete roller coaster of emotions.
Day #5: Had a hard time sleeping again last night. But, today hasn’t been so bad. Not a lot of pain in the ankle. I am always the most sore in the morning. Moving around is still exhausting using only one leg and the cast seems very heavy. And my leg keeps going numb and falling asleep even though I’m constantly wiggling my toes. It’s very frustrating not being able to get your own food, get a drink, to pick up anything that you see laying around the house and having to rely completely on someone else. It makes me feel super guilty and helpless. I didn’t have the attention span to watch TV or read my book today. So I tried coloring and that kept me occupied for a little while. Appetite has been good so far granted it’s only 2 o’clock in the afternoon. So we shall see how the rest of the day goes.
Afternoon started off awesome! Received a card in the mail from a friend and inside was a massive list of things I can do that do require walking. Finally tears of happiness and a smile. What a change. Then, Dad showed up and brought the puppy dog. We watched an episode of Bones on television just like we used to do when I was growing up. It was really nice to do something completely normal and it took my mind off of everything.
Day #6: Today is not been a good day. I woke up in a lot of pain. To the point where it’s almost been completely unbearable and I can’t find a position that I’m comfortable in without bringing me to tears. My leg is very achy and my ankle is killing me. And the cast just seems exceptionally heavy today. My spirits and mood are also not in a good spot either. I am feeling very sorry for myself, very unmotivated, very jealous that my boyfriend is running a race right now which has led to a lot of tears this morning already and it’s only 9:27 in the morning. I am so jealous. So here I am sitting on the couch with a bag of goldfish and luckily my two nurses a.k.a. my kittens who know mom needs some extra love today. This is going to be a long recovery time.
I’m still on the couch… like every. minute. of. the. day.
Day #7: Feeling grateful! I would be lost without my boyfriend. He has been so patient, doting and helpful. I feel guilty asking him to get me a drink or help me put some pants on…. but he does it right away without a complaint and always gives me a kiss. He has been countless hours over the past couple days reading different articles about foods to eat to heal broken bones, meal plans to make sure I stay healthy and speed up recovery, do’s and don’ts after surgery. I would be totally lost without him.
Tried to keep my spirits up today by creating a To Do list of things to get accomplished during this time of recovery. Silly simple things like finish my book, plan our next vacation, in every state find something to visit, maybe take a graduate class… what would you put on your list?
Day #8: Surgery is today. Nerves and anxiety is out of control. My stomach is very uneasy, I am emotional and snapping at everything. Please let this be over….