Follow-up on my broken foot

Every week, people find my blog by searching about foot injuries. Either sticking your foot in a bucket of ice, recovery after a cast, or how you know it’s broke. I’ve had a few people email me to say the same thing happened to them or that recover was hard. I’m two years out, and have put a lot of it behind me. And by it, I mean the feelings that came with the injury and recovery. The pain, the surgery, the boredom, the depression, and the recovery. I see these messages and feel sympathy for those experiencing it now, but I don’t go back there. I suppose I learned a few things from my six weeks on bed rest. I learned how quickly life can change. Literally in an instant. I learned about relying on others. It’s a very hard thing! I’m fortunate in that I only experienced a broken foot. It could have been worse. A lot worse. It was also an interesting experience in that I didn’t see any good coming out of the pain. It wasn’t like my c-section recovery. I had a goal for that, I had a baby I was feeding and taking care of. With my foot, I only felt sorry for myself. I wanted the pain to be gone now and it was awful. I said it was worse than my c-section recovery. And my first was one pretty bad. Maybe it was just as much mental as painful. With my foot, it was just this awful thing that had happened to me with an awful surgery and an awful recovery. Nothing happy or exciting about any of it.

Two years later, I have two small screws in my right foot. I can run. I can play volleyball and jump {not that I could ever really jump}. I can sit on the floor. But, I can’t sit cross-legged with my right foot touching the floor. Over the past two months, I’ve been able to put less pressure on the side of my foot. I can’t lay on my right side and put my foot against the bed. I have to sleep in a contorted way so my foot is rested on the left and is supported. It started slow. My foot started hurting when I was wearing a pair of boots. I could handle most of the day, but after about eight hours it got to be too much. I switched to heels and eventually couldn’t wear them because they put a lot of pressure on the side of my foot. I can push through the pain of shoes and eventually it wears off. But, it usually comes back after a few hours. I can’t take my tennis shoes off without unlacing them. If they rub against my foot, it causes me lots of pain for quite a while.

I’m in a weird spot right now. I can walk and run and do normal activities, so nothing appears to be really wrong. However, it is causing me a lot of pain. I’ve always had a big calcium buildup on the side of my foot and that’s what rubs or causes me not to put pressure on it. But, at one time I could put pressure on it. So something has happened. Someone mentioned that one of my screws may have come out. I don’t usually go to the doctor, so I’m having a hard time making myself go in for something that might be wrong. Unless I can’t walk, it’s not obvious enough.

So that’s how my recovery is going. Two years later it has started bothering me again. Maybe something is wrong. Or, maybe there’s nothing wrong and this will just be something I deal with for the rest of my life.

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Out in public…TWICE!

I get to leave the house! Twice in one day! I haven’t been out of the house in almost three weeks. That’s a lot of time on the couch. LOT OF TIME. Besides the excitement of going out in public and seeing complete strangers, I also did my hair and makeup for the first time in seven weeks. Because I like to go over the top, I also put on jeans. JEANS! And a normal shirt. Like whoa, no sweats and t-shirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a little imagination to my outfit, I decided it was only appropriate to match my shirt to my cast. After all, it’s probably the only time I’ll wear jeans with my cast. I am a little nervous about taking them off, it was tight maneuvering them. I know I wouldn’t have been able to wear them a week ago because I had to contort my foot to get them on. BUT! I’m wearing jeans! It makes me feel semi-normal again. My next dilemma is whether jeans are appropriate to wear to my board meeting tonight. Normally I wouldn’t worry about it since I have an excuse, but we’re having pictures taken. It’s not ideal, but I’m also not confident that dress pants will fit over the cast. So, I might focus on dressing up the top half of my body and hope the dark jeans blend in. Two “real” outfits in one day! Whoa.

My first outing went well. Taxes, wahoo. I could have done without the slight incline and wind trying to push me backwards on the way to the building. That’s hard when you’re on crutches. I think it was my longest walk on crutches, plus the incline and wind. I was very winded by the time I got to sit down! It also made me lightheaded. I guess that’s a good indication of what my body can handle right now. 😦 Recovery is going to be a long road cardio and muscle wise.

As we were getting ready to leave lunch, a couple stopped by our booth. The woman was so nice. She told me that two years later she was wearing boots with heels and doing just fine. So, whatever my break was I would be back to normal in no time. Her injuries were A LOT worse than mine, but it was so sweet for her to stop by and reassure me. At this point, my mental game is pretty good. Those words would have been amazing a month ago when I was really struggling. Nonetheless, it was still nice to hear that everything will be normal again. This will all be a distant memory…someday.

Nothing good happens after midnight

It’s 1 am and I can’t sleep. That’s pretty common lately but usually it’s midnight when I crash. I’m in too much pain to sleep. {Insert lots of swear words at very loud decibels. OUCH!}

Today, I decided that my foot incision hurts WAY worse than my stomach. My conclusion? Fat. There’s no fat on the side of my foot. I have no idea if this actually makes sense. But I am *pretty* sure that this hurts a lot more. I remembered not enjoying the first few days but this seems like a lot longer and stronger.

I stopped taking my pain meds last week when the swelling and throbbing went down. That’s when I could really focus on the burning of my incision. And pain meds didn’t help. I’d say I’m feeling about 5-6 on the pain scale. I’d be willing to try a pain pill just for kicks but I can’t wake my husband. He was up working until midnight and his day starts in 5 quick hours. Instead I hope to distract myself long enough for a numbness to take over the pain. {This is my second phone distraction attempt.}

I’m getting my cast off and stitches out Friday morning. I’m ready to get this cast off because it’s too big since my foot isn’t swollen anymore. But I’m not excited about the whole process. The idea of the cast bumping and rubbing against my incision while they cut it off. And then removing my stitches. Well, it’s not my idea of a fun Friday. I do hope that the next phase offers me some relief. It’ll be another few weeks before I can put any weight on it so I’m still rendered helpless, but at least it’s a step move in the right direction.

Anyone else tired off broken foot whiny posts? Yah, me too. It’s even worse in my head. I can’t pick up Maximus, I can’t make myself food, I can only manage 1-2 baths a week, I can’t be upright for much more than 10 minutes, I can’t help with Maximus at all, I can’t help with the dog at all, I can’t pick up the toys, I can’t clean the kitchen, and I can’t do laundry. I’ve tried a few of the house things and it’s not easy. It ends in a half completed projected and a throbbing foot. Not to mention an elevated heart rate and usually I’ve broken a sweat.

I don’t know how people do bedrest. I’m halfway and it’s gotten the best of me. Sure, I’ve got plenty to do. I’m watching tv series on Netflix, movies, soaps, reading books, making baby books online, picking things out for the house, and messing around on my new laptop. It’s not that I’m actually bored. It’s that mentally I’m done. Ready to hop off the couch and walk into the kitchen. I’m ready to ditch the crutches! It takes a toll to watch your family struggle in front of your eyes and know you can’t do anything. Because I see the tired eyes of my husband while he waits for bedtime (only to start working), I won’t wake him to ask for pills. Even though I’m starting to think this pain is as bad as post surgery.

The good news is that by the time anyone reads this, I won’t be experiencing this kind of pain. After all, the alarm goes off in 4 hours!

Someday my posts won’t be so whiny. Just stick with me a little longer. Plus! Funny / cute Maximus pictures are scheduled for Friday morning too. Focus on those instead. 🙂

The road to recovery

Monday has been the best day of recovery. It’s been the first pain-free day! I woke up as the house was getting ready for the day. I decided not to get out of bed because I didn’t feel any pain in my foot. I’d learned the past few days that moving it when it didn’t hurt resulted in it hurting. And then usually I couldn’t find a pain-free position after it started. {Not that it was ever completely pain-free before, rather a weird numb stage.} I was so afraid of ruining the pain-free on Monday that I didn’t get out of bed until almost 11 am. I couldn’t wait any longer. I was happy to find that being upright resulted in minimal pain. After two trips into the living room, I had myself situated on the couch.

Much to my surprise, my day was pain-free. I even bragged about it on Facebook and that didn’t ruin it. 🙂 I stuck to doctor orders and kept it elevated and kept my upright bouts to bathroom breaks only. {Except for the 10 minutes I sat on the floor and played with Maximus. Required.}

Going to bed posed a different scenario and I dealt with incision burning and throbbing and tingling in my foot. It wasn’t really painful but enough to keep me up. Given my great day, it was quite bothersome trying to find the best position. I have learned to rely on other stimuli to take my mind off my foot. A dark bedroom doesn’t bode well for distractions.

Tuesday was much of the same from Monday evening. Incision burning and throbbing. Being upright wasn’t as painful as last week, but it wasn’t very enjoyable either. When my foot starts feeling this way, it’s hard for me to figure out what to do. Sometimes I try to get blood flowing to it. Sometimes I try to raise it even higher. And other times I try to rest it sideways on the broken side. If I can find the right position, I can wait until it falls into a numbness. And that’s how I spend most of my days lately – in some weird numbness phase of healing.

I hope that this is an indication of good days ahead. I know I’ve got a long road still, but I’m ready for it to be pain-free and comfortable!

What would you do if you were confined to the couch?

Random Thoughts

I’ve been laid up for 21 days. TWENTY-ONE DAYS! I’m not sure how I’ve survived, except that first week of waiting that I spent in a recliner, so I wasn’t exactly flat on my back. So, 6 days in the recliner and 15 days on the couch.

I am officially over being on the couch with my foot elevated and sleeping with my foot elevated. Something hit me this afternoon and I’m restless. I’m over having a broken foot!

I can’t cover up my foot because blankets weigh down my foot. I’m sick of laying on my back. I want to sleep on my side or stomach.

I’m over the majority of the pain, but now my incision burns and my foot gets very agitated. As in my foot isn’t as swollen as it used to be so it can move around and rests against rough spots.

I can’t get comfortable – too hot, then too cold. I get neck kinks and my shoulders hurt from not moving.

I get out of breath when I hobble (crutch) around the house. I have to slowly move my foot down “levels” of pillows / couch / floor before I can stand up so the blood rush doesn’t knock me over because of pain.

Like I said, I’m over having a broken foot!

On the bright side, my husband is getting really good at heating up frozen meals that were given to us. Thankfully we have an amazing network of friends and family who have generously given us frozen meals or brought us lunches. As long as I remind him to set out the food, he does a really good job!

Another bright side is that Maximus spent a lot of time sitting on my lap today. Granted, he was trying to get to a phone or remote 80% of the time. But, he gave me a lot hugs and kisses too so it’s a win in my book!

My family starts their day…I lay by watching

I awake early in the dark hours of the morning. I listen to my husband hustle back and forth from the bathroom, to the closet, and the laundry room. Doing his normal routine a pace or two quicker than a day I don’t spend on the couch with a broken foot. I fall back asleep with a splash of light falling on my face.

I awake to sounds coming over the baby monitor. On a good day there are giggles and toddler chatter. On a bad day, similar to this morning, there are cries. If my husband is lucky, they are minimal. If he is unlucky, like today, they only get worse the longer Maximus is on the changing table. I lay in the dark of my bedroom with no way of helping. I watch the green lights of the monitor fly to the top with each sob. Heart-wrenching sobs. Sounds that we haven’t heard before. I lay there wondering if he’s hurting. Wondering if he has a diaper rash or what could cause this horrible outburst. I try to curl up into a ball but my cast prevents me from doing anything other than lay there listening. I stare at the door, willing it to open as the voices fade from the nursery. I hear the shuffle of the table chairs and actually speak out loud into the darkness, “He doesn’t have to eat breakfast.” I can’t bear to listen to him crying anymore. If he doesn’t want breakfast, make it easier on both of you.

Minutes later, my bedroom door opens and light floods in. A silhouette of my husband passes through and lets the dog out of the bedroom. Next, he enters my room and grabs my water bottle. Another one of our “new” daily routines. “Do you need anything more?” Is something wrong with him, I ask. “Life.” My heart breaks a little more because I can’t comfort him or hold him. When he’s upset he wants to snuggle as you stand. I can’t do anything to comfort him. I continue to listen to my family move about the kitchen, trying to figure out when Maximus has been “released” from his torture {high chair}.

I see their shadow on the wall through the crack of the bedroom door. I *think*, I hope they are coming to see me. Some mornings I get to snuggle Maximus before he goes to daycare, some mornings he doesn’t want me to hold him, some mornings Bryan says bye to me while Maximus is eating breakfast. Each morning is so different, depending on my husband’s work schedule or Maximus’ attitude. Today, they both come into my room to say good-bye. Maximus all bundled up in his coat and ready to go to daycare. I grab his hand and try to talk to him. He snuggles into Bryan’s shoulder and turns away from me. I rub a bare part of his leg and tell him to have a good day. Bryan opens the blinds so he can see me in the dark. He looks outside instead of at me. He doesn’t say bye-bye or wave as they leave. Bryan gives an excuse for him as he walks out the door. I lay back on my pillow and pet the dog as he sighs with contentment. It makes me feel a little better to have someone happy to have me near.

I listen to my family start their day while I try to find a comfortable position for my foot. I grab my phone and type a quick Facebook status, “One week done in the cast. One week to go!” I know after my cast comes off I still won’t be able to be a part of the morning routine. I’ve still got three weeks left without putting any weight on my foot. BUT, I know I’m one week closer to being a participant in this family instead of a responsibility for them.

How I spent my Saturday night

I’ve been quiet on social media today. Saturday was an ok day for recovery. I stayed on the couch all day and took my meds as often as I could. I even spent the evening hours watching Entourage with Bryan. At one point I forgot that I had a broken foot. It was nice. Even a little relaxing.

I was having some stomach discomfort. Actually a lot of it. I still am, but not the gut clutching that was happening yesterday. We were trying to figure out what I could do to eliminate that. {post-birth gas tabs help a little. Sorry.}

I went to the bathroom before bed and couldn’t shake a lightheaded feeling. I take my time because I know it’s important to get my blood flowing, but oh does it hurt. HURT! I tried breathing through the feeling, shutting my eyes, leaning my head on the wall, and bending forward as much as possible {not much}. Nothing worked. I shakily called Bryan’s name and told him I felt weird.

He picked me up like a baby and I wrapped my arms around his neck as tight as I could. Looking back I probably did that on purpose so I didn’t fall if I passed out. I remember going out of the bathroom. Then I fainted. The next thing I remember was laying on the bed feeling the most excruciating stomach pain and calling Bryan’s name. He tells me he had the pleasure of watching my eyes roll back into my head. Gross!

He got me situated on the bed so I didn’t pass out again. I couldn’t do anything besides lay there with my eyes shut. I barely had the energy to talk to him. He tried to call first nurse but was on hold for about 10 minutes. Finally I was able to tell him I thought I’d be ok.

I spent most of the today refusing any medication and then suffering because of that. I’ve finally started taking one pain pill again and it’s helped tremendously! We’re not sure what caused me to faint. Could be the meds, could be lack of blood flow, could be lack of food. Either way, it was a scary way to spend the midnight hours of Saturday night!