Friday, March 1, 2013

No more heels higher than 1 inch

Yes, it's true.  I fell off my shoes in January.   It was one of those nice days and I put on my clogs to enjoy the weather as I took out the trash.  I was watching the turkeys peck at bugs across the street and slipped on a twig.  Rather than hit head first on the concrete I twisted to land on my butt but my shoe didn't twirl and my ankle snapped instead.

Fortunately, a neighbor woman was driving by and another neighbor was raking up leaves.  Both came to my rescue, and I had a short ride in the ambulance to the hospital.  After a few hours - it was a busy Tuesday in the ER - it was confirmed that I had a spiral fracture of the right distal fibula, which is a classic break when someone falls off their shoes.

I went home with a splint and crutches, which I could not get the hang of at all.  They are fine if you have upper body strength and good balance but that is not me.  So I got around poorly by sitting backward on my mother's walker, which has a seat.  I tried kneeling on the seat but it was just several inches too high off the floor.  Luckily for me, my cousin lent me a knee walker from when she broke her ankle falling after the derecho in the summer.

One week later the orthopedic surgeon put in a plate and two screws and re-bandaged/splinted my ankle.  Two weeks after that, the bandage was replaced by a protective boot, but I still could not stand or put any pressure on the foot.  Pain was handled by reducing swelling with Advil and ice.

I had not realized how awkward it was to try to do ordinary things like get dressed or take a shower when you can not put your foot down.  Yes, I could get around with the knee walker but carrying liquid in a cup, glass, or bowl was a precarious proposition, so I didn't.  My sister has been a peach during this whole ordeal doing all the household chores, buying food, picking up the mail, and waiting on me while fitting all that in between working and taking care of my Mom.

We have had help from friends and relatives, which is invaluable.  My cousin has taken my Mom to several hemotologist appointments and blood transfusions.  A friend since elementary school has taken me to orthopedic appointments.  Others have provided meals and morale support.  One of my daughter's friends even made sure I made it to my grandson's sixth birthday party.

At my last appointment, the x-ray showed that the bone is healing well and I was given permission, actually urged to walk on the foot again.  It felt like a party.  Walking again hurts and causes swelling but advil and foot elevation reduce those side effects.  I actually cooked dinner last night, just some simple chili but I felt more like a person.  Carrying stuff is still a problem because it is awkward using a cane or the walker as one  leaves only one hand or the other tips as you go over sills  in the floor.

I will be starting physical therapy soon and hopefully at my next appointment  I will be able to drive my car again.  I am not too bothered by cabin fever since I escape into the world of books every day anyway, but enjoying the spring flowers will be a special privilege this year.

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