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Quiet But Busy

It’s been rather quiet on the blog since I posted last Friday, but y’all, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy, because I totally have been.

We’ve had a lot of company in these here parts, so things have been hectic!

A messy bathroom is the sign that children are home!

A messy bathroom is the sign that children are home!

 

The sight of these boots makes my mama heart so very happy.

There was this thing called a wedding that happened last weekend.

I’ll blog about it soon.

There was work, which had to continue despite lack of interest on the part of students and teachers.  I had an all-day meeting on Tuesday, which I actually enjoyed.  Shhh.  Don’t tell anyone.

And then there was a pretty big event for me…

A visit to my surgeon’s office to see about a thing called a cast.

My appointment was set for Wednesday morning, bright and early…the ONLY time I could secure back when they put my cast on.  I’d eagerly snatched it up and requested sick leave.  Because my doctor is two hours away, Chicky, who’s home for Christmas, drove me over the afternoon before.

My grandpup is staying at Chicky’s grandparents’ house during the holidays so she doesn’t have to be boarded.  She was thrilled to see me!  It was all Chicky could do to hold her back so she wouldn’t jump on my leg.  She finally settled down though.

We spent the evening watching television.

For me, it was like Christmas Eve; the anticipation kept me awake on and off all night.

The dog got up when she saw I was awake each time and gave me a few snuggles.

Finally, it was late enough in the morning that I could say it was time to get up.

Y’all, I loathed the cast.  From the moment it was put on, I had been counting down the days until it was off again.

Being unable to see my leg and ankle just was not fun.

I dressed up to match my excitement.

After Chicky ran by Starbucks to grab herself a cup of coffee, we headed over to the orthopedic center.  I was called back exactly at my appointment time…props to the office staff!

I went straight to the cast room.  It was hopping; several people were waiting to get their casts off or, in the case of one young girl, get one put on.

I sat nervously.

What an interesting process.  There’s something that looks like an electric saw with some other sort of electric piece that runs it.

The guy who took off my cast was the same one who put on the splint during my first visit to the surgeon…the splint that I wore the week before my surgery.  He was very kind and knowledgeable about his job (thank heavens!).

First, he cut down both sides of my cast.  All I felt was a lot of vibration…

Up one side and down another.

Then he used a tool to pry open the cast on each side.  After that, he began cutting away the sock down at my toes.

Then, he pried open the entire cast and took off the top layer.

I held my breath as he did this; the instant relief brought tears to my eyes.

Oh heck.  What am I saying?  I was a hot mess the entire morning.  Emotional is my middle name.

With the hard cast off, all that was left to do was cut away the gauze that had been wrapped around my leg first to prevent chafing.

To lay eyes on my leg, ankle, and foot was a wonderful thing.

If I could have hugged them, I would have.

I’ll admit that I did pet on them a few minutes…pet being a good word to use because my leg was h-a-i-r-y after not being shaved for five weeks!

Ha!

Next, I was off to get an x-ray.   The technician was a sweet lady who shared her own story about being in a cast and boot.

Two x-rays later, and I made my way to an examination room to wait for my surgeon’s PA…a nice guy who had seen me during my first visit.

While I waited, I took a closer look at my leg.  The swelling had gone down a lot from my last visit three weeks before.  The tissue damage on the top of my foot (from the splint that the ER put on too tightly the night I broke it) is still healing.  Sigh.

Much of my bruising is gone, and the incisions on each side of my ankle are healing well.

I don’t think the scars are going to be too noticeable…not that I care much about that.

You can see where the surgeon had to go further up on the outside of my leg.  That fracture was longer than he’d expected.

I had LOTS of questions for the PA.  I’d been keeping track of them on my phone…

He was very, very patient and answered each question thoroughly.

I’ll be wearing a boot for four weeks.

Folks, that’s two weeks less than what I’d been told during my last visit!

I have to wear the boot while I sleep for the first two weeks.

Cha-ching!  I felt like I’d won the lottery!  I may actually get to sleep again one day!

I don’t need to ice my ankle unless I’m in pain or swelling a lot.  It won’t necessarily help with healing.

I do have to wear the boot when I’m up though.

My favorite question and answer had to do with my pants.

Yes, I can wear skinny jeans, as long as I can tolerate any discomfort when putting them on.  The issue isn’t the break but my range of motion which is very, very, very limited.  My muscles are crap right now.  They are extremely tight, and I’m barely able to bend my ankle in any direction.  Mobility will return with time and exercise, though.

The doctor was actually stymied by the skinny jean question, though.  He laughed as he answered it because he’d never been asked it before.  I’d been concerned because the leg openings for skinny jeans aren’t big at all!  I didn’t want to impede healing by turning my foot wrong.

My next question…baths…was a YES!  He said I could take showers or baths with my right ankle submerged (no boot on, of course).

Y’all, I’d been looking forward to this since the very beginning!

Regarding socks, I actually have to wear one with the boot to prevent it from chafing my skin and to keep it from stinking from the sweat that inevitably comes off of legs and feet.

Blech!

One other question I asked was about how red my right foot was.  I was worried about circulation issues.

He assured me that the red indicated GREAT circulation…that my body was sending blood to heal the area of trauma.

Thank heavens!

Oh, and one other thing I learned was that along with the boot, I’d be slowly adding weight.  That’s something I already knew, but I didn’t know that I’d get to start right away!  The way it works is that I’ll be adding 25% of my body weight each week.  To figure this out, I was instructed to get on a scale and weigh myself and divide that by four.

To help me learn what each percentage feels like, I’ll have to press on the scale with my right foot (the broken ankle) until the 25% weight pops up.  I will then need to walk around using a walker or crutches with that weight on that foot.

In essence, at the end of four weeks, I’ll be putting 100% weight on my ankle.

This is both exciting and very scary!

I was also given instructions for some home exercises.  I have to use my right ankle to make the shapes of the letters of the alphabet in the air.  Sure, it sounds easy…until you have an ankle that will not move in any direction!

I’ll go back to the doctor in four weeks when he will assess my progress.  I will, more than likely, be permanently out of the boot by then and will begin physical therapy.

So, I had a good report…one that was desperately needed as my head tends to go places it shouldn’t sometimes when I think about the recovery process.

We were then sent to another office in the building so I could be fitted for a boot.  Before I left, the doctor wrapped my leg in an ACE bandage.

We waited…for a while.  Everyone and his brother was getting something.  Finally, it was my turn.

Now y’all, I don’t know why, but I thought this part would be easy.  After all, I’d already been through the break (so painful), surgery, and my return to work.

Nope.

As I sat there with the very gentle boot guy, I realized that I was in for more pain.

Trying to get my foot into the boot (it slides right in from the front) was no easy task.  Namely, putting my heel down flush with the sole of the boot proved incredibly difficult.

My Achilles tendon was crap.

After weeks of not being used, what was left of it had tightened up.

Ugh.

Because of that, there was pain in my heel and up the back of my ankle.

The guy was patient, and we did our best.  He showed me how to add air to the pad that runs around the back of my heel to give it support, and how to put it on and remove it.

There’s a crap-ton of Velcro.

Then, I scootered out to the car feeling a little like Darth Vader.

Chicky and I began our two-hour drive home…an interesting experience, let me tell you.

All I’ve got to say is Hips Don’t Lie brings back fond memories.

When we got home, we all trekked out to get my Rooster a new phone.  While we were at the store, I decided to upgrade mine and the Mr.’s.  Because they didn’t have the color my guys wanted, I was the only person to walk out of there with a new phone.

Yay, me!

I went from the 6 Plus to the 7 Plus.  The size is the same; the camera is much better, as is the processing speed (RAM).  It also comes with more storage…something I need with all of the photos I take.  Ahem.

We ran by Best Buy so I could buy a new case.

After a fun dinner out with my sweet hubby and the kids, I was finally able to do something I’d waited weeks for…

SHOWER!!!

No pictures though.  Try not to be too disappointed.

Ha!

I told the Mr. to go away until I called for him (he’d helped me into my shower chair).

This girl was about to use all of the hot water in the house!

I enjoyed every single second, taking my time when I shaved my uber-hairy leg.

Y’all, never ever take for granted the ability you have to stand in the shower.  I’m not kidding.  What a privilege it is!

I had taken off the bandage strips that had been placed over my incision, so I gently cleaned that area in the shower.

Take a look at my leg…

See that patch where the scab is gone?  There’s only a thin line of a scar.

Yep.  My surgeon is pretty good at his job.

Here’s the other side.

It definitely looks more gnarly; the swelling is a lot worse on this side too.  This totally confuses me.

I slipped the boot back on just long enough to get back to my recliner where I quickly took it off again so I could love on my ankle.

Let’s have some real talk real quickly.

The pain is still there, but it’s different now.

I had no idea that my skin would feel like it was on fire after getting my cast off.  I guess the adrenaline from having the cast removed delayed the pain.

I read online that the burning feeling was caused by the condition of my skin…so dry that it was stretched tight and flaking.

I massaged coconut oil into every part of my foot and ankle.  The doctor had told me to massage the incision areas to prevent scar tissue from building up underneath, so that’s what I did.

Then, I put on a long sock to keep it moisturized during the night.  This will be my nightly routine for the next few weeks, I think.

And so is it any wonder why I haven’t had time to blog lately?  My world stays in a state of flux, which isn’t a terrible thing right now because that involves having my family around.  🙂

If you wouldn’t mind, can I ask you to continue praying for me?

I’ve decided that this road to recovery is similar to parenting.  Every stage comes with its own set of challenges.  There are things to celebrate, but there’s a whole lot of hard stuff to work through as well.

Not only is this a physical struggle but an emotional one as well.  I keep telling myself that I CAN do this…that I WILL push through the pain (without pushing myself too hard), and that God WILL provide the healing I so desire.

The anxiety I’ve experienced still rears its ugly head from time to time, but not having the cast on anymore will help with that.

I’m still experiencing fear, which I know is from the devil but is a direct result of my injury.  The security I once felt was unexpectedly ripped from me, and I feel incredibly vulnerable now.

I’m learning so much about myself and am seeing an empathy develop for those who have similar injuries or those who are handicapped.  This isn’t a bad thing…just a time of change for me.

As always, I rejoice in all things.  My family…so supportive…my husband…truly an angel on earth…my friends…always ready to help…my Lord…a constant presence.

#findingjoyinthejourney remains my mantra on the easy and hard days.

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3 Responses

  1. That is major progress but clearly this is a long journey and patience will be needed. Looking forward to hearing about the wedding 😀

  2. I can remember how good it felt to get the boot on my fracture; but I was given a two piece plastic brace to wear at night. Maybe they don’t use them any more.

  3. I love you took pictures of the whole process 🙂 Such a blogger 😉 haha
    Wait… I thought you still had staples in there – when did they take those out? … & did you ask about all the stuff inside. Is it all staying in there?
    I know it probably doesnt feel like it to you but this whole thing – as BIG as it was – seems to be going fast!!!

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