Not exactly a fashion statement

A old fracture with nonunion of the fracture f...

Image via Wikipedia

Six weeks is the average time it takes to heal a
fractured bone, so I was expecting to be footloose and fancy free by eight
weeks status post fractures, but nope. Do you think things are taking longer to
heal because two bones were broken? Or perhaps it is the locations of the
fractures (foot and ankle)? Or maybe it’s because I am, ahem, a mature person
and therefore slower to become fleet-footed again?  No complaints,
you understand, just curious. I am very thankful to be upright and ambulating
without walker or crutches, only having to use a walking boot to get from point
A to point B. But I am just a little disappointed that even though the all-
clear has been given to work fulltime without The Boot, that I probably will not be able to actually do it. I have been experimenting at
home, trying to participate fully in daily activities for several hours sans The Boot  – it hasn’t gone so well.

On Monday, the work day will be started wearing two
standard, matching, everyday work-world shoes, but The Boot will be close by;  a
sort of security boot, if you know what I mean. By the way, if you don’t know what
a walking boot looks like, you can get an idea here:

At some point in the future this whole episode involving
broken bones, and learning compassion for those whose lives are temporarily, and
sometimes permanently altered by such injuries, will be over. In the meantime,
I’ll do what needs to be done to stay an active bi-ped. But someday soon I hope
to give The Boot the boot.

Speaking of footloose, the re-make of the movie, Footloose, is going to be released in theaters soon. Here’s a link  to the trailer:

Speaking from the supine position

Bimalleolar fracture and right ankle dislocati...

Image via Wikipedia

Six days ago I broke my ankle and foot by stepping off a curb. Not by sliding into home base, not by making a heroic jump from a burning building,  but by stepping off a curb. There weren’t even any adult beverages involved, more’s the pity. I heard a snap as I fell and yelped, and watched as my left ankle swelled, a purple tinge coloring the outside edge of my leg and foot. We were right next to our car, which made it relatively easy (thanks to a strong son and husband) to transfer into the back seat, get my leg elevated and drive to our local emergency department.

I am an x-ray tech by profession, and have x-rayed hundreds of ankles in my lifetime, so it was no surprise when the ER doctor came back with the diagnoses(“You broke it”), the splint material and some ace bandages. We  had even stopped at home on our way to the hospital to pick up some crutches, anticipating the challenges of ambulation I would face when we left the Emergency Room. While we were waiting for the discharge papers to arrive, I tried to think through what would need to happen at home to allow me to adjust to life with one leg immobilized and painful; I tried to remember what I had told patients over the years as they hobbled away from the cast room at the ortho clinic looking dazed. Some of that ‘good advice’ filtered through the pain and shock, but there are things that only a real life experience can teach you. Example: I had no idea how much time is spent in the “supine” (pronounced ‘sue-pine’, accent on ‘pine’) position, otherwise known as “flat on your back”. In order to keep my ankle/foot elevated and somewhat pain-free, I spend all my sleeping hours and many of my waking hours supine. It is hard to get used to this! It has given me a new perspective on life, literally and figuratively, so I hope to gain from it. Thus, some of my blog entries will be titled, “Speaking from the supine position.”

As a someone who has been around a lot of  sick and injured people, I thought I understood more than most what the difficulties are which patients face after a minor trauma. But although I understood that objective knowledge of fractures, including  dozens of  years working with orthopaedic doctors, attending severe trauma cases and assisting with orthopaedic surgeries, does not completely prepare one  for the subjective experience of sustaining a fracture, it is still somewhat shocking to experience first hand what I have seen people go through as patients. There’s a lot more to it than I thought. And I will share that with you, eventually, but right now I need a nap – which will be done in the supine position, of course.