Monday, March 18, 2013

angry bones, happy day

Twelve weeks ago my life changed in an instant. It was a day much like today, snow was littering the ground, and when I went across that bridge the ice took me for a wild ride.

I've conquered a fractured ankle, what with "excellent range of motion" at this point.

It hasn't always been easy. My ribs can attest to that, since they still give me some twinges now and again, along with my tailbone.

Nonetheless, I've gone from sleeping with half a dozen pillows just to get comfortable to just sleeping with two for knee and rib support. It is definitely more comfortable that way. A body pillow would be great. I no longer sleep in either of my sons' rooms, but in my own bed; no narcotics for weeks, and I've basically been more comfortable lately.

Struggles have become less frequent. It's hard to not use one of your God-given limbs. Non-weight bearing means no bearing weight on that extremity. Just imagine, when you sit down on the toilet, you use both your legs, both your feet. Try doing it without only one leg. You have to brace yourself with whatever is nearby. Initially you're probably using a walker and then you progress to using a knee-walker. If a sink and a tub are nearby life is so much easier. Using a handicap-equipped stall in a public restroom becomes a luxury.

When you're normally extremely independent and pretty darn self-sufficient having all that taken away can be a tremendous adjustment. If you have friends and family to assist you in the adjustment, it may just be that much easier.

They can wipe your behind when you can't twist to do it on your own, massage your aching and strained muscles, drive you to appointments and just take you on outings to get away from what suddenly seems to be solitary confinement, carry your plate for you, or simply just give you some much needed company and moral support. They get you through each and every day.

Suddenly you no longer want to be a procrastinator.

You know, all that stuff you have lined up to do, but usually you put it off until later. The pub-style table and stools you bought second-hand to refinish, boxes that still need unpacking, the garage that has a plethora of junk to organize, Christmas ornaments you want to go through, the loft/library you want to finish organizing..... The list goes on. It all slaps you in the face when all you have to do is sit, or lie, at home getting the ole R & R.

You don't have time to do anything in the beginning, because pain is >5/10 and you're doped up on narcotics, you're sleeping like a baby - no really, your friends with babies probably wish the babies would sleep as much as you do, all movement is just aggravating. Then as time goes on you manage to regain some independence, but you're still pretty limited. Remember! You can not put that foot down! That ankle must heal! You don't want that talus bone to lose the blood supply! You want it to heal like new!

There's your friends and family, if you're lucky. I have been lucky. They've been there and continue to be here for me.

Just today a dear friend, JG, drove through the icky, sh snowy/drippy weather to drive up my steep driveway and then the hour to and from the doctor's office.

But today was a big day.

I last saw my surgeon six weeks ago and he informed me he would have me bear weight at the next follow-up and that day was today! The radiology tech came and escorted me, crutching it to the imaging room, took three views and then escorted me back to the exam room where Big B was patiently awaiting my return. Then the surgeon came in, reviewed the x-ray, informed us healing was excellent and all systems were a "go".

Now, after all this time you're excited, of course, but you know it's not going to be easy. You've accidentally stepped on that foot...balance is a tricky thing. It was like stepping on hot nails poking upright off a board. That was just a few seconds, kind of like when you touch the hot rack in the oven. Along with excitement you might be feeling a wee bit apprehensive, especially when you really haven't had much pain to speak of in the ankle that was broken in half and fixed twelve weeks ago.

It's recommended - at least by my surgeon, to me, today ("you're young and your healing has been great" - to wear the good ole CAM boot at first. You can bear weight as you tolerate it and progress at your own pace, going from boot with crutches, to one crutch or a cane, to regular shoes, and then no crutches or cane.

Well okey dokey then!

We arranged for the next follow-up, we said goodbye to Big B as he departed to return to work, and JG and I "walked" out. Well, she walked and I crutched it in my CAM boot, slowly, but surely. This was stupendous considering I'd crutched it all the way in, with my lower, right leg lifted behind me all the way.

My right tibia is letting me know it's angry. It thought its job was done, for that matter, so did my right ankle, heel and well, the whole lower portion of my right extremity. It's not-so-bad to where I need to take anything. Elevation helps.

It's funny. Earlier on I'd Googled "talus fracture", and its recovery, and a consistent theme was "life altering". Indeed it has altered my life, as well as the lives of my family and friends, as of late, but it's not been too much of a problem. It's been a challenge. I have and will continue to persevere.

....Wait, that was just twelve weeks ago!? Time flies when you're having fun.

And what in the hell is snow doing on the ground in mid-March.....the last day of winter???