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When Overachieving Isn’t Good

Sunday night, I discovered that one shouldn’t be an overachiever in everything.

After having a wonderful weekend, I’d put on my pretty Victoria Secret flannel pajamas and headed to bed.

It was dark in the house.  I carried a small book and my phone.

Just as I was about to turn on the flashlight on my phone to light the way, my left foot ran into one of the dogs sprawled out on the floor, and I went down.

My book and phone went flying as I tried to break my fall.

I went down on my left side, but the dog cushioned me.

My right leg, however, slammed, and I do mean SLAMMED on my hardwood floor.

I knew, immediately, that I was in big trouble.

I started yelling for the Mr.  He’d just gone to bed.

As he ran out, he asked what had happened.  I could barely talk…just able to say enough about falling over the dog.

After chewing me out for not turning on the lights, we tried to assess the situation.

I couldn’t roll over.  My right leg between my knee and foot were in dire pain.

When I finally rolled over, lifting my leg in the process and placing my foot flat on the floor, the Mr. quickly determined that I needed to go to the hospital.  There was already a knot on the outside of my ankle.

As he started getting dressed, I began to lose it.

I bawled.

Loudly.

Like you hear football players crying when they get hurt during their games.

He put Pele in his crate, and we tried to figure out how to get me to the car.

I could not get up.  Not at all.

The Mr. is not a big guy, and he’s never had to lift me before.

He awkwardly grabbed one arm, and I tried to hop.

That was not working either, the pressure of the jumping inflicting more pain.

Somehow, he finally lifted me up and put me in the backseat of the car.

We live in Podunk, USA.  It doesn’t take long to get places; however, that night, it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to travel the maybe three or four miles to the hospital room.  Every bump and turn made me gasp.

I bawled in the car.  I couldn’t catch my breath.  I think the Mr. was worried that I was going to hyperventilate.  All I wanted was to pass out.  The pain was absolutely horrible.

He drove up to the ER entrance, and a nurse came out with a wheelchair.  Somehow, they dragged me out of the car.

I held up my right leg as I was wheeled in and processed.  Then, I was whisked immediately to a room in the ER.

A side note that you might find funny.  I’d eaten my famous black bean soup for dinner…along with a piece of my vegan cheesecake.

I’d been gassy all night.  Even in the car on the way to the hospital.  The Mr. was not amused.

In the middle of my pain, as I was being rolled by that kind nurse, to my ER room, I asked him to please forgive if things got stinky.  He totally laughed and told me that if I started farting, he was finished.

Bahahaha.

At least I kept my sense of humor (until the Mr. told me, later, that I’d have to return my sparkly shoes for Rooster’s wedding…a topic to be discussed later).

The ER room became our home for the next seven hours.

I was miserable.  I had nothing for the pain that was coming in waves.

I told the Mr. that it was like the worst toothache ever…like a sinus infection that’s gone into your jaw.

The nurse who wheeled me in was an extremely kind young man…buff too.  Heeheehee.

He prepped me for an IV.

I hate needles.  In fact, I am deathly afraid of them.

Not that night.

He was both gentle and efficient, telling me that I have good veins.

Lucky me.

I don’t know what was going on in the ER, but there were patients suffering far worse maladies than I was.

We saw a LOT of people being wheeled past on gurneys…too sick to lift their heads.  They put a perspective on what I was going through.

Eventually, a doctor came in.  He immediately noticed that I was shaking and attributed it to anxiety.

Well, duh.

He told me that I’d be getting an x-ray.

Next, my assigned nurse, a different young gal, came in and administered some morphine.  It wasn’t necessarily for the pain.  It was, however, for my nerves.

I’d never had it before, but it was wonderful and took effect immediately.

It wore off fairly quickly, though, and I began to shake again.

We waited, and we waited, and we waited.

An x-ray technician came in with his machine.  He was the kindest man ever, so scared to hurt me.  He gently slid the x-ray plate below my leg and asked me to turn my leg a couple of different ways.  He was good at his job and left quickly.

Then the waiting continued.  I could see part of a patient room across the ER.  I prayed for that person.  Whatever was going on in there was pretty bad.  So many nurses went in and out.

I sat with an ice pack on my leg for much of my wait.

The ER doctor came back in at some point and gave me the results of my x-rays.

Things were very bad.  I could see that.

He told me that they were going to admit me, and that I’d be having surgery right away.

My jaw dropped.

I told him that I’m a high school teacher who has real talk with my kids.  I wanted him to be straight up with me.

He told me that I have a trimalleolar fracture.

The English/reading teacher in me heard the prefix “tri” and knew I was in trouble.

I broke three bones in my ankle, y’all.

Because I guess being an overachiever extends to everything I do.

I broke the outside, inside, and back bones around my ankle.

But wait, the fun didn’t end there.

I had also dislocated it.

Which is why it was sitting at an angle.

He told me that it would require surgery.  I’ll probably have to have a rod to put things back together.

Sigh.

When he left, I googled my malady.

I found a blog that I plan on reading more about.  The recovery is going to be a long one.

Sigh.

I cried more.

After accomplishing one of my big goals of running for longer distances, I am now facing a huge setback.

The Mr. made me put my phone away.  The last thing I needed was more stress.

My nurse came back and gave me more morphine.

Good timing, eh.

Speaking about timing, this whole injury is coming at the WORST time ever!

This week, I had:
2 Parent Conferences
2 Observations (administrator-to-me and teacher-to-teacher)
2 Meetings on Monday
1 Meeting on Wednesday
3 Summative Assessments to give my students

Everything has been derailed.

Calgonnnnnnnn, take me away!

Meanwhile, a different nurse was prepping me for a shint.

Basically, it’s like a two-sided cast specially made for my leg.

But, like everything else, I had to wait.

A long time.

And I had to pee really bad.

Getting up to potty was not going to happen.  They couldn’t take the chance on me hurting my leg worse, so this girl had to use a bedpan.

I.

Was.

Mortified.

Completely humiliated.

I have never ever used such a thing.  Sitting down in bed to potty feels so very wrong.

Especially in front of a male, nurse or not.

But I did.

Ugh.

Less than an hour later, I had to go again!  And I wasn’t even drinking anything!!

Fortunately, my female nurse was back, and I wasn’t nearly as mortified.

Having her wipe my behind after I sat in the pee wasn’t fun though.

Ugh.

She was young and so very understanding, though.

Told me that yes, I really did have to go.

Nerves, y’all.

You see, they’d told me that before they fitted me for the splint, they’d have to pop my ankle back into place to fix the dislocation.

I have watched way too much TV.  I knew how painful that was going to be.

Nerves.

I had to pee again before the doctor came back to do the deed.

To his credit, he did give me a pain block…three shots, one for each bone broken…so I wouldn’t feel the pain.

But first, I got Valium in my IV.

A marvelous drug, I tell you.

I also got a big pair of surgical pants…something that would fit over the splint.

Once everything had kicked in, I was good to go.  Yes, I felt the tug, but no, it didn’t hurt much, if at all.

My leg was wrapped, and then I waited again.  This time, I needed the doctor to write me prescriptions for pain and to sign off on my paperwork.

They wheeled me out; the Mr. carried my stuff, including a new set of crutches, and I was feeling pretty good because of the block.  I even sat in the front seat.

We were exhausted.  We had not slept in over 24 hours.

But the pain.  Oh, the pain.  The block wore off, and I tried to cry quietly.  I didn’t do a good job.  After about an hour, the Mr. came in to see me.

I needed my meds.  CVS had been closed when we’d gone by on our way home.  He went back.

I was miserable.

One of my prescriptions was for a muscle relaxer.  That, combined with the pain medication, took awhile to kick in, but when they did, I almost felt normal.  Until they wore off a few hours later.

I managed to eat dinner and watch TV, dozing intermittently.  The muscle relaxer made me tired.

I also learned how to use crutches.  I’ve never had to before.  I’ll be an expert by the time I’m done with this.

The Mr. has accompanied me to the bathroom every time I go.  I don’t trust myself to walk that path on my own.

We settled in for what we hoped to be a better night of sleep.  I woke up at 1:30, an hour late on my meds, and then went back to sleep, only to awaken around 2:30 in a lot of pain.  The Mr. came out and helped me potty, and I settled in again.  Sleep proved to be elusive, though.  The pain where the top of my foot bends has been horrible.  I suspect it’s due to the splint.  I have no idea.

I finally gave up and hung my leg down for awhile.  That’s helping.  I think I just need to change positions more regularly.

Even now, as I type this, I’m carefully watching the clock.  7:30 cannot get here quick enough.  That’s when I’ll get my next round of meds.

I am hoping to go back to work tomorrow, but I am not sure.  Today will tell me a lot.  If I do go, I’ll need a wheelchair.  I am not confident on my crutches…especially if I’m still taking medicine.

We’ll see.

I couldn’t end this post without a big shout-out to the Mr.  He has been grumpy because he’s not used to this, but he’s also taken wonderful care of me.  He’s making sure I eat, and he’s closely watching me to ensure that I don’t take risks…move the wrong way.  He cannot stand to see me hurting.  I think that’s stressing him out more than anything else.

He’s also researching surgeons.  We want someone who specializes in ankles.  I want to be able to run again.  Quality of life is important to me, not just “fixing” the problem.

Chicky and Rooster have been incredibly kind.  I know it must be hard for them to be away.  I talked to Rooster on the phone last night, and Chicky checked on me several times yesterday and already this morning.

I had a long conversation with Super Sis yesterday afternoon.  She listened to me cry.  She listened to the entire story of what had happened and commiserated in her gentle way.  Life keeps us busy, but when we need each other, we set aside other things.

To all of my friends, a huge thank you.  One of them is making soup for me.  She messaged me a few times to ensure that she follows my vegan requirements.

Rebecca started texting me yesterday afternoon, and we texted last night while watching Dancing With the Stars.  I woke up and found this on my Instagram feed…

I totally cried.

I’ll be dancing again soon, that is for sure!

My friend, Leanne, texted me on and off yesterday.  She’s a math teacher at my school, uber-fit, and a lover of all the desserts I bake up each weekend.  Our friendship has grown since last year.  For me, that’s huge because I’m so shy and afraid of rejection.  Love her to pieces.

I’ve heard from other friends such as Barb and Cinda, and boy, am I thankful for the joy our conversations have brought.

Cindy, a friend at school and the gal responsible for setting up subs, texted me last night as well.  She arranged for the sub the system found for me to come back today.

This is such a challenging time for me, but once again, perspective is everything.  When I look at my Facebook feed and see the angst and life struggles that others are dealing with, mine pales in comparison.  An ankle can be fixed.  Pain can be dealt with.  Friendship, through sympathy and empathy, levels the field and makes us all better humans.

I will get better, even if it takes longer than I’d like.

I’ll make my overachieving, can-do attitude work in the right way.

I’ll trust that God’s plan is perfect; that even this will be used for His glory.

I’ll praise Him in the midst of the pain and for the healing that will follow.

As Lysa TerKeurst says, “God is good.  God is good to me.  God is good at being God.”

Even in this…especially in this…He is good.

P.S.  If you find typos in this post, please forgive me.  I’m drowsy now and did not proofread.  I cannot promise that all of my subjects and verbs will agree.  Egads!

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5 Responses

  1. Bless your heart. you look so miserable.. understandably!!! 😦 😦 … at least you had one cute matching PJ’s 😉 haha.. My fear is I’ll have something happen when I have on my paint stained ratty t-shirt with holey sweat pants 🙂 haha Truth to the thing mommas teach to change your underwear every day in case of an accident!!!

    I’m so glad they gave you enough stuff to help with setting the ankle. I didnt get that luxury when they did mine. I was so young, I think they thought ‘youth’ would pull me through, which I guess it did. I didnt die. But like I told you, I passed out with pain. UGHHHH – I so feel for you.

    On a side note – you will be a pro with crutches. & not to give you any ideas, because i know you… but on my last half marathon, a lady had broken something & was in a cast from the knee down but still determined to do the race… do you know she did the full 13.1 miles with her leg on a scooter!!!! Sort of skated her way through the course. I was with her the last 5 miles of the race. She legit did it. … so chin up – I know you’ll find a way to make things happen in your life too. But maybe, JUST MAYBE, God is giving you a heads up to SLOW DOWN a bit 😉 … I know the Mister will agree with me 😉 haha

    hugs to you friend!!!!

  2. I am so sorry about your injury. Praying for a quick and complete recovery!

  3. So sorry to hear about your injury. I fell down a flight of stairs and fractured my fib/tib just above the ankle. My cast went from foot to thigh and I found a walker was easier to use than crunches., at least for the first 4 months. My experience in the ER was just like yours. They kept me in the hospital for 2 days before I could go home. I,m sure you will heal quickly and be running again soon.

  4. I am so sorry about your injury. I am praying for a swift and speedy recovery.

  5. Thank you for visiting my Hodgepodge post. Being the inquisitive (nosy) person that I am I had to trawl back and find the beginning of your current story. I’m really sorry about your injury. As a runner in the past I get how frustrating this will be for you. But you have a wonderful way of writing and it sounds like good friends and family to support you. I’m going to try and catch up with your posts but have a Thanksgiving dinner to prepare for my American DIL. I hope you have a bearable Thanksgiving and the pain meds keep working.

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