An Accident leads to overcoming a fear…

x-ray of right foot poster image from
x-ray of right foot poster
image from

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… 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.

A little update….

I wanted to let you all know I’m OK, I know I haven’t been around for a while.

I have had some challenges – emotional, physical, and mental.

Wendy - photo manipulated by W. Holcombe
Wendy – photo manipulated by W. Holcombe

First, the trip to Las Vegas, was postponed and we have no idea if it will be rescheduled. This doesn’t give me a good feeling about the company, and that’s sad, because I think Stuart would have liked that job, and we could have saved a lot of money living there. But hubby has had other interviews since then, and it looks like he will have multiple offers…I’m just not sure if he will be happy at these jobs, but right now we don’t have the luxury of him being able to be that picky, and that worries me. We also won’t be able to save as much money as we would have at the job in Las Vegas. (about the same salaries, but in places where the cost of living is higher)

The week of Thanksgiving my father was diagnosed with liver cancer. He has been sent to many

My Father (he's a bit thinner now)
My Father (he’s a bit thinner now)

doctors for many tests, and still he must have more test to determine if the cancer has spread. If it hasn’t the cancer may be operable. It appears to be contained at the moment. I feel guilty I can’t help, and I feel guilty that I would be afraid to help if I was able. I took care of my mother when she had cancer, it was the most difficult thing I’ve done, and the most rewarding. But my mother and I were very close, my father and I have always had a strained relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I love him, we simply have different outlooks on things, and I don’t see him being the easiest person to care for. I feel like that makes me such a bad person. However, I also know, if I was able, I would swallow my fears and help in any way I could. Right now I am hoping he is not in pain, and will not have to go through the horrors of advanced cancer. His birthday is tomorrow, he will be 81. I don’t think he looks it. My father has a full head of the most beautiful white hair. Well enough about that for now. I’ll know more soon.

My asthma has been acting up horribly. I start coughing and wheezing with just the tiniest bit of exertion, and just forget about laughing, that will send me into an asthma attack faster than anything. I almost had to have an emergency visit because of it, but a double treatment with the nebulizer calmed things down. I was doing better for a while, but it’s sad to think that I have coughed every day for over a year. I have also been having sinus drainage, this has not helped the cough, and sore throat (from coughing), but I can tell the difference in the cough. The production is different…let’s just leave it at that. My whole body hurts from coughing.

I haven’t been able to make it to the audiologist to have my CI adjusted, so people are still sounding a bit like they have huffed helium. I’m getting awful sound headaches after wearing my CI’s for just a short amount of time if there is more than one noise in the room. (like the TV and Stuart talking). But I’m pleased to say, I’m still hearing more music than I have in years!!

I’m having some pretty bad headaches/migraines lately. I’m not sure the Botox really helped much this go around, and that makes me pretty darn sad. However, I think a lot of it is my Intracranial Hypertension. I wake up with a horrendous headache almost every morning. Another major trigger, is a deviation in sleep pattern, and I can tell you, my sleep pattern simply doesn’t exist! I am not sleeping well. Some days it’s because I cough all night. Some days I don’t know what it is. The other night I felt like things were biting me….like little no-see-ums. I drove me crazy. So sleep is erratic, and that’s a major trigger for my migraines and vertigo. Yes, that’s acting up too. I keep feeling like I’m on a boat, not a great feeling.

I’ve noticed I have pretty severe social anxiety. I do not want to go anywhere. I don’t want to be around people, especially people I knew before all this started and I haven’t seen much of them (if I’ve seen them at all) since then. I don’t want people to see that I’ve gained so much weight. I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m lost because I can’t hear. I’m terrified to have an attack in front of people. I feel I have so many phobias now I live in fear. The only places I’ve been since we have returned from Tucson is to the doctors, and to a couple of restaurants (this took a lot of courage for me, and we had to go on off times so the restaurant would not be crowded). Every time we go out, even to the doctor’s offices, I get so worked up I have to come home and rest. (all my spoons are gone!)
I don’t feel like anyone understands me. I wish I had some local friends with chronic illnesses that felt well enough to visit. I think part of this started because I can no longer drive, so I can’t go anywhere by myself, this puts me in the mind set that I shouldn’t be out. Or maybe I’m just trying to justify the phobias a bit more. It’s not good to be isolated, I know, but I’m really scared, and often I get so sick before going out that I simply can’t go. You can’t imagine how many doctor appointments I’ve had to reschedule.

On the other hand, there are days I think I can do things I used to do, so I try…and usually fail miserably. This doesn’t help my self confidence about going out.

I think the title of this blog post is wrong. This turned out to be much more than a little update, and I’m cutting it short!

I’ll be back soon. I have much to share. Plus photos of my new CI’s.