Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Hitch in the Plans (or rather, a break)

So, I figured since I can't move, I might as well write.  Today, I was walking across the street to get my dog, and I stepped through a large sheet of ice near our neighbor's driveway.  Unfortunately, I slipped back and sideways at the same time, landing on my side.  However, my foot stayed under the ice.  I let out a loud, pained, growly yell and for a very brief, delusional moment, I thought I perhaps had a bad sprain (I heard a loud, horrible pop) and lifted my foot in the air to look at it and yelled angrily, "Dammit, my foot's going the wrong way!"  I was wearing a hiking boot (my standard day-to-day winter shoe), so it didn't look too sickening, just bizarre.  I yelled out to Keilana to call 911 (I wasn't about to try to get up on that ice, and I was pretty sure Doug would not be well-equipped to handle this particular injury), and then to call her dad.  She is quite prone to panic, but she held it together and managed the 911 call pretty well.  

The fire department showed up and were trying to get my foot stabilized (they apparently aren't equipped with severely-dislocated-feet braces) and get me safely off the ice.  They did great and moved pretty much as quickly as anyone safely could, but I was laying on the wet ice in a thin sweater, and was starting to shiver something fierce.  

I wasn't able to take a photo myself, because I was still on a backboard so it wasn't easy to sit up, so one of the paramedics snapped a pic for me.  They did a portable x-ray:
 Rather messy.  It was dislocated, and the fibula had a pretty bad break right in my ankle.  The ER doc  ordered a push of dilaudid but told me setting it would still be very painful (I hadn't had any pain meds til that point.  He tried once, but told me that my muscles were so tense it would be much more effective and safe to set if I was sedated.  "No point in torturing you" was his phrasing, I believe.  So they put me under and got it set:

It lined back up nicely, and he sent me home in a soft cast with orders for strict bedrest and ice and elevation.  If the swelling goes down enough, I'll have surgery tomorrow to place some pins and a plate to stabilize, with no weight bearing at all until the cast comes off, likely 8-12 weeks from now.

The pain is terrible, but tolerable.  As I was laying there on the ice looking at my sideways foot, my first thought was, "This might screw with being able to complete my clinical hours on time."  My next thought was, "This is going to be so freaking expensive."  So if all of you out there in blog world would pray for a relatively quick and complication-free healing, it would be more appreciated that I can possibly express.

The pain aside, the most miserable part was the shivering.  I was loaded up and went through all of this in my wet, cold shirt and jeans, and was shivering almost constantly (and fairly severely) the whole time, excepting the brief period that I was sedated.  It completely wiped me out.  I understood theory how much work shivering is, but experiencing the fatigue that came with it is a whole other thing.

So here's hoping that the recovery goes well between now and Marchish.  I can't work right now, obviously, and so I'm going to need to get licensed on the time frame I had in mind to pay off my medical bills in a reasonable amount of time!  But, the limitations will be a good exercise in patience and humility for me.  I am once again unable to drive for the time being, among the various other limitations.  Apparently, the Lord has had a lot to teach me about limitations and patient acceptance this year.  I'm getting better at it.  But I've got a long way to go.

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