The Boot and The Back

Friday was a normal day.  I didn’t have a lot to do (bored).  I’d been sitting in my chair reading when I got up to let our dog out.  I got about a two feet and I ran into this:20170718_112901

again…..and did this

broken foot

happened…..again.

About 4, or was it 5, years ago, I tripped on my walker and broke my foot.  At least that time I was using it.  On Friday it was just sitting beside me.  I haven’t needed it lately, but I keep it close, just in case.  A little too close to my foot as it turns out.

It hurt, like it does when you stub your toe, I didn’t think it was broken.  It just didn’t hurt enough.   I had this discussion with another chronically ill friend and she said the same thing about when she broke her foot.  It really speaks volumes as to how differently we feel pain.

Stuart talked me in to going to Urgent Care to get it checked out since I’d broken it before,  and was told it would be easier to break again, I decided it’d probably be a good idea.  (I hate to say it, but knowing we have met our out of pocket maximum for the year, made it an easier decision.)  I hobbled in Urgent Care, got checked in and was seen right away.  I had an x-ray and the attending physician said my x-ray showed irregularities.  She couldn’t tell if what she was seeing was all from the last break or if it was a new break.   She thought it was broken, but a radiologist needed to read it to be certain.  I was sent home with The Boot, and the radiologist would call on Monday.  They did, and it is broken.

This time it’s not as bad as it was the first time.  I didn’t twist my ankle or anything like that.  I’ll be in the boot for 4 weeks instead of 12.   It’s hot and heavy, but it is taking good care of my broken foot, for that I love my boot.

On the other end, I started physical therapy (PT) for my back last week.  What’s wrong with my back you ask?  I’m not exactly sure.  I did fall, so I might have wrenched it then. (that was over a month ago).  I had severe akathisia (the need to keep moving) for over a month.  This caused me to constantly tense my muscles.   It’s possible, my back just never calmed down.   I also have arthritis in my neck, this is causing a lot of pain recently.  PT will hopefully help that as well.

So far, I feel like the PT has been aggravating my arthritis.  I discussed this with my physical therapist yesterday and he did a few things differently.  Hopefully, these changes will improve the pain and still help me get stronger.  If not, I know I can talk with him about it and we will work to make it better, to make me better.   I’m so impressed by this office.  Appointments are supposed to an hour long.  As most of us know, that normally means you are actually seen about 45 minutes, sometimes less.   My normal amount of time at this office is 1 hour 15 mins.  Yesterday I was there for an hour and a half.  I hope I get the results I’m looking for, it won’t be for lack of trying.

I’m happy to say that my migraines are still much, much better.  I’ve had a few, but nothing like I was.   I haven’t had a lot of vertigo.  This past week I’ve had a few times where I’ve had really fast spins that last for just a couple of seconds, or very slow movement that I can barely see (but it makes me very nauseous).  Overall, I’m feeling healthier than I have in years.  I don’t know how long this will last, so I’m trying hard to make the most of this time.

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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.