An Accident leads to overcoming a fear…

x-ray of right foot poster image from allposters.com

x-ray of right foot poster
image from allposters.com

On Monday, January 20th, my husband left for Las Vegas (I’ll explain more of this later if anything comes from it).  He left the house at 11am, his flight was supposed to leave at 1pm but it was late.  By 2pm he was on his way, and by 3:30pm I had broken my foot.

I keep thinking how nervous I was about him leaving on this trip.  He’s been away before and yes I was a bit nervous, but this time I was scared.  I just didn’t feel good about it.  Perhaps it was because of the many asthma attacks I’ve been having, perhaps it’s because I realized just how phobic I have become about so many things….I don’t know…but I know that I’ve had feelings like this before, and they seem to be almost premonitions.  Something didn’t feel right….and soon something big wasn’t right.

How did I do this?  Well, let’s see if I can explain, I had to explain it over and over and over…but I will admit here, I’m not 100% sure exactly how it happened.  When Stuart is out-of-town we move my essentials downstairs, so I won’t have to use the stairs while he is gone, I have plenty of food in the fridge, and I’m all settled on the couch.  Oh, and one big thing, I promise not to try to walk around the house without my walker, just in case vertigo hits out of the blue, or the disequilibrium knocks me off my feet. (we all know this has happened….often)  So, I got up to go to the bathroom, wheeling along with my walker.  Unfortunately, our bathroom doors are TINY, and we haven’t been able to find a walker that will fit through them, so I leave my fancy walker at the door and hand off to another walker in the bathroom.  The walker in the downstairs bathroom has little wheels.  The walker in the upstairs bathroom doesn’t have wheels, I’m used to it. I caught my foot on the little wheel and was thrown off-balance a bit.  The world swirled and I stepped sideways and fell up against the wall, only a few inches away, I just kind of leaned up on the wall but my foot turned, and I felt a SNAP!  I’m really not sure which foot hit the walker, or anything, it happened so fast, and I was far from being stable.

I knew somewhere in the back of my head that it was a break.  But I didn’t want to admit it.  I often turn one foot or the other, it always hurts, often swells a little, but is alright.  I just ice it over night and the next day it’s better.  So I packed it in ice and elevated my foot.  Then I looked at it, and it looked a bit too puffy….getting a little blue.  I touched it, it just didn’t feel right.  Dangit!  I was a bit paralyzed as to what to do.  Call an ambulance?  For just a broken foot?  Ugh!  And trying to talk to a 911 operator when you can’t hear them…well that was scary…but really I just couldn’t bear the thought of calling an ambulance for a broken foot.  That’s not an emergency.  I could feel my toes, they weren’t blue, I had sensation all over my foot….not an emergency.  And I was still a little bit in denial.  “Maybe it was a tendon just snapping over the bone.  It might just be a bad sprain….”  But as the night went on, I was more concerned.  I instant messaged a friend who I knew would help if he could, and he would at least calm me down.  He did calm me down, but he couldn’t come help, I understood, he has a pretty severe chronic illness himself and lives about 2 hours away.  Finally, I saw an old friend who I hadn’t seen in a long was on-line, so I gathered my courage and instant messaged her and asked if she could help me.  That was very hard.  She has a family of her own, a 3-year-old little girl….a busy life….and we haven’t kept in the best of touch.  Don’t get me wrong, she hasn’t forgotten me, she surprises me with cards and such, and we see each other on Facebook, but it hasn’t been the same since I’ve gotten so ill.  I haven’t seen her in person in a very long time, we don’t have long phone conversations, it’s different.  I asked if my foot was all swollen and blue the next morning could she take me to Urgent Care.  She said, “Yes!”  So the next morning I texted her…I had to go.

Another fear I had to face, going out in public.  Since I’ve been having so many asthma attacks I’m very scared to go out in public.  So many triggers out there, and only my inhaler to help.  But I did it.  We went to Urgent Care, and it was FULL.  A minimum of a TWO HOUR WAIT to be seen, not including if you need x-rays and such.  So we ended up down the street at the Emergency Room.  I was seen right away.  Then sent to X-Ray.  Then taken to a room…in the children’s ward (that was strange, but I guess they had an empty room there).  The doctor looked at the X-Ray and said I had a spiral fracture of the 5th metatarsal (right above my pinky toe), she said I had to see an Orthopedist specialist.  Then they wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything.  I was there for 7 hours at least.  Finally, the Orthopedic Surgeon came.  He decided surgery wasn’t necessary, and I could have a boot instead of a non-weight bearing cast.  I didn’t realize that there was a possibility of surgery, but I was so ready to get out of there, and I could tell my friend was anxious to leave, I didn’t even ask….just let me go.  Later I looked at all the paperwork, and there was a possibility I needed a pin in my foot since it was a spiral fracture.  They discussed putting me in a non-weight bearing cast, but decided not to because I would be at home alone.  If they put me in that kind of cast they would have kept me at the hospital until my husband came home.  After a little research I’ve learned this is the most common broken bone in the foot, and it takes a long time to heal because there isn’t a lot of blood flow to that area….*sigh*.  I’ll have x-rays again in a couple of weeks if it’s healing well – great, if not, surgery could still be a possibility.  I have faith all will heal just fine.

Whew!  What a day!!  After I got home and all alone, I realized I needed a change of clothes from upstairs, and someone needed to take care of Max, our cat…..so again, I overcame a phobia…I reached out again for help.  I texted my neighbor, she has a key in case of emergencies, and asked if she could come over the help me a bit….I’m a lucky person that I have a neighbor who is such a dear.  I cannot say how much I love and respect this woman!  It took a lot for me to ask her for help, but she came!  She helped, and even just visited with me for a bit.

Stuart came home the next night.  I had taken care of an emergency!  Somethings I probably could have done better, but I did it!  And I’m pretty proud of myself.  Stuart is less tense about leaving me alone now.  (FYI..I did tell Stuart what was going on while he was on his trip.  I thought about not worrying him, but that’s not the way we are, we communicate about everything, and it made it easier.)

Sometimes no matter how prepared you are, something might happen you just didn’t expect and you have to deal with it.  No matter how scared you are.

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6 thoughts on “An Accident leads to overcoming a fear…

  1. “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    So glad you asked for help. That can be the scariest but most freeing thing we can do for ourselves. Proud of you for it.

  2. Good for you, Wendy, sometimes when we are forced into things we do what we have to, and you did an amazing job. I don’t like to ask for favors either, believe me, but after the first time it got easier, knowing I would be there for someone else in a second. As for your foot, I’ve broken many a bone and I know that sound, and I KNOW that sinking feeling when you know, deep inside that it’s a break or a fracture but you just pretend it might be a sprain. So sorry about this, I’m rooting for you. Maybe one of those scooter things if you feel you can balance with your good foot? Worth checking out. Love and healing hugs, Laurie

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