- For my 50th birthday, I got up early, had fresh x-rays taken of my ankle and then went to visit the surgeon. The news was good: everything lined up with surgical repairs has stayed lined up and is healing. He and SuperDad were nearly giddy with relief over it, being the medically-minded people they are and knowing all of the potential pitfalls and poor outcomes we avoided. I was too emotionally spent to react with anything other than tears (which I avoided… barely) as I was clawing my way out of 24 hours of quicksand-like depression. Some people are hounded by the Black Dog; I flounder in quicksand. The doctor wondered why I wasn’t smiling, but since he had proven to be a rather single-minded orthopaedic surgeon, I didn’t bother explaining. Talking would have brought on the tears, and I didn’t need a lecture about why I should be happy.
The day did indeed improve. Some very good friends brought a dinner party to my house that evening, complete with entertainment and tiramisu. I was beyond blessed.
- With my surgeon’s approval, I’ve been putting weight on my securely booted foot for a week now. Of course, I do this using my walker, and it’s probably only about 15% of the normal amount of weight one would use, but this is progress. It’s been nine weeks since I broke my ankle and 7 weeks since I had surgery. I honestly didn’t expect to be at this point already. The doctor had been purposefully vague about a timeline during the immediate post-surgery recovery period, and even prior to surgery. All I really knew was that his other patient with such a bad/complicated break had gone back to work after 4 months of recovery. (That patient had a job requiring standing.)
- I don’t feel like I have 4 months to wait. It’s already been 2 months and I’ve been working from home as much as possible. For the first month, I didn’t even have a replacement at work; now I do, but it is the busiest time of the year with annual reports (one is financial which goes to individuals, per IRS regulations; one is comprehensive and built from multiple sources of input.. now if only those multiple sources will all turn in their individual reports in a timely manner) and this is on top of the regular monthly reports which are due at the same time. My sub is awesome; she’s organized and loves the work. (I see vacations in my future!) I’ve gone into work for a few hours the past 2 days, but having my foot down for more than an hour or two causes painful swelling. So I don’t really know when I can fully return to my part-time job.
- I’m currently on a twice-a-week schedule for physical therapy. After Monday’s session and a short shopping trip, we pulled into the garage and I shuffled to the back of the house to remove my CAM boot and elevate my foot for a few hours. This was my first real PT session, and it only took a couple of hours before the pain hit. Luckily, Wednesday’s session was not as bad, or perhaps it is because I kept up on the ibuprofen and acetaminophen dosages. I’ve been off “the good stuff” (or bad stuff, as I think of Dilaudid) for a week now. For several nights before and several nights afterward, sleep was elusive and getting comfortable was equally difficult; if my foot wasn’t spasming to try to relieve pain, the weight of the blankets was too much to bear. SuperDad solved this by building a blanket cradle. He misses the weight of the blankets on his feet, but my ankle in its soft boot for sleeping (a.k.a., a Dorsiwedge™ boot without the wedge because I still can’t really get to a neutral position) is very happy to not have the extra weight.
- After Monday’s PT session, I accompanied SuperDad to Costco; he pushed the cart while I wheeled myself through the store in a wheelchair. He only picked up about a dozen items, one of which was a packet of photos that I could reach but not see if it was mine from my seated position. I’m seeing life through very different eyes these days. The world is not, for the most part, wheelchair friendly: poorly maintained sidewalks and ramps, handicapped-accessible parking areas not de-iced or salted on freezing days, heavy doors that close quickly –these are all things that I’m noticing in my slower-paced world. I had hoped to get one of those knee scooters, but the doctor has told me to get up and walking with my walker. On the plus side, as long as I can safely get myself in and out of the vehicle without help (this includes folding and unfolding the walker from the back seat), I have a little freedom: I’m now allowed to drive! Whoohoo!
TBT: Here is The Engineer as a 14-month-old, playing at “driving” our parked minivan. I don’t display that kind of joy behind the wheel.
I remember how much Andrea’s ankle swelled any time she did a few things that required it to be down. It’s amazing to me how difficult the recovery from a broken ankle is compared to other surgeries. I am glad that you are slowly getting better, but I feel your frustration that it’s not faster 😦
In regards to your healing, it sounds like there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. So happy that you had a very special “Happy Birthday” party. Saying prayers. Sending HUGS!
Oh my! This is fabulous news! I know it’s a long way to your old self, but walking & putting weight on the foot are HUGE steps forward (haha, no pun intended). I very clearly remember the pain from the swelling when trying to wean myself off of constant elevation… that is no joke.
I hope you continue to see increased mobility and decreased pain, and quickly!
It is hard to imagine how permanently handicapped people manage to get around. And that’s with things being way better than 40 years ago, when there were no wheelchair ramps on sidewalks, automatic doors, etc. I guess back then you just didn’t get to leave the house if you were differently abled. What a nightmare!
I love that birthday tiara!
That’s great to hear about your progress.
I know when my husband broke his leg, he found out just how unfriendly the world is to people with more limited mobility. He took one of those motorized shopping carts at the grocery store, only to find that there was STUFF parked in the aisle that prevented him from going down that aisle. Oy vey!
I’m glad to read that things are starting to look up. What a drag about not sleeping comfortably and struggling to get around. I work in an old building and I have learned not to take full mobility for granted. The world is a major pain in the butt if you can’t walk on two feet.
Parts of our church are 99 years old, so I definitely get it.
On Sat, Jan 16, 2016 at 4:33 PM, Spokalulu wrote:
Karen, you have been on my mind. My few days in The Shoe of Awesomeness have given me a new appreciation for holy crap what a bummer your surgery and recovery must be. (I know I have no clue, but if a stress fracture sucks this bad, ankle surgery must be … well, you know.) I’m glad to hear that you continue to heal and are still able to smile and ROCK a tiara!