Sunday, August 23, 2009

Okay - haven't been here in a while. LOTS has happened since I last posted.

Wow, okay - the last time I posted, I had the first surgery, but not the second. Well, I went home from the surgery and hobbled, it sucked, I was on crutches, walkers, in wheelchairs, more suckage. It just sucked, sucked, sucked for about 6 weeks. Then I got the cast off. And that was GREAT!!! RIGHT??? Umm... kinda. I had the cast off, and was sitting in Olive Garden with what felt like some weird appendange hanging from my right leg. I was used to sitting a certain way to account for the cast, I was used to hopping, and not putting ANY weight on the foot. And now that the cast was off it was a) hard to break those habits, but b) I was ready to try to get back to normal. However, my surgeon informed me that since I had "the Pin," even though the cast was off, I was not able to put ALL my weight on the ankle, lest I break the pin and cause complications. AND the pin was necessary because my ligaments weren't healed yet. SIGH!!! In the Olive Garden on the way home, I cried and pouted like a 5 year old.

But things got better. Even in the Olive Garden parking lot, where I FORCED a sneaker onto my purple and swollen foot, yes, there was pain, but I was so mad, I didn't care. When I was sitting in the car with TWO shoes on, that psychological victory was pretty big and cheered me up. I hadn't had a shoe on in 8 weeks!

I was still on crutches/walker, because my foot was not ready for anything serious and because I couldn't put my full weight on it yet. But! A walker when you have two feet on the ground is WAY easier to manage than when you're hopping on one foot, so it really wasn't THAT bad. I did exercises, put the thing (it just didn't feel like my foot!) down on the floor, and made sure that I didn't baby it too much. It was hard at first, I was so used to it being protected by a big hard cast, that it felt scarily vulnerable when I came home. But, as someone informed me, it would get better and better everyday. And it did.

I had a trip to Atlanta/Miami/San Diego that began July 28 - but according to the calendar, I was supposed to be in surgery getting the pin out on the 31st. That wasn't going to work. So, three weeks after the cast was removed, I asked my doctor if he could take the pin out a week early. He said YES and actually took it out TWO WEEKS early! The irony of this was that when I broke my ankle on the 23rd of April, I waited two weeks for my surgery, so I always felt like those two weeks were wasted time and that I was two weeks behind in my recovery from where I would have (should have) been if they would have rushed me in to do emergency surgery on my ankle (inotherwords, if I would have had insurance). So when he did the surgery two weeks early, I felt like I got my two weeks back!!!! Woohoo!

This was perfect! It gave me two weeks of walking to get my ankle up to snuff and for the wound to heal, so I could wade in the pool, and get myself together for my trip. I wasn't a walking machine or anything, walking was laborious and a bit exhausting, but I think I did great in Atlanta and Miami (I didn't do a lot of walking in San Diego)!!!

Well now, it's been about 5 weeks since the pin has come out and my ankle is getting better EVERY day. It's amazing to see the things that I can do now that I couldn't do 2 weeks ago. It just gets better every day.

As for 5" heels... I'm getting there. I wear heels periodically around the house to condition my ankle, but there's something about the flexion that I need to do to take a step with the right foot, that I'm unable to do yet. I can stand in them, I can walk sideways in them, but it's the flexion that I need in order to take a forward step that I'm unable to do fluidly yet. But I'm practicing and working on it, and I'm thinking that in no time, I'll be back in heels!!!

So it's pretty much over. The ordeal is pretty much done. God has blessed me in a myriad of ways and given me a better perspective on what I should be focused on and I'm listening. Everytime I'm able to walk up and down the stairs, or walk through the mall, or get up from a kneeling position, or whatever... all things I could NOT do just months ago, I am grateful.

So don't take your ankles for granted. Walking is the greatest thing ever. When you get up to go into the kitchen, it seems like the smallest thing and not a whole lot to be thankful for, but when you don't have to reach for crutches, a walker, get in a wheeling office chair, or hop, in order to do it... it's a beautiful thing.

Aaaahhh, I think my catharsis is complete.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

So... the surgery. My good Lord.

Okay so I told you I was terrified, and I was. I came into the hospital in the afternoon and they got me all checked in, undressed, ready to go. I was in the pre-op area and the surgeon was late. So I just waited. And waited. And watched the scheduled time for my surgery come and go. The nurses, the anesthesiologists, everyone milled about talking about their lives, etc. while I lay petrified on a gurney with a painful splint (a new one poorly done after the X-Rays) waiting to be wheeled in.

One of the nurses was VERY nice. She was compassionate and talked to me and tried to allay my fears. Didn't work. And I waited. The waiting was awful.

The anesthesiologist introduced himself to me and I told him I was terrified. I told him why. He leaned in and said, in a calm voice, "You are one of those patients who needs to have every detail explained to her. So I'm going to explain every step we're going to take." He then went on and explained everything that would be happening, including the administering of a drug called Versed. He said that Versed would not only make me happy and calm me down, but it would also give me amnesia about whatever happened after I got it up until about the recovery period. Great. So to me, that meant, even if I felt the entire surgery, I'd never remember it. That was a bit of a relief, but I was still scared.

So then the surgeon gets there. He introduces himself, and then it's time to go in. So the Circulatory Nurse comes, introduces herself and off we go. I get wheeled into the OR and I can't believe this is where it's going to take place. I go into full-on panic mode, the tears are just flowing. Meanwhile the Anesthesiologist, the Nurse and everyone seems to be having conversations all around me, about barbecue grills, cookouts, etc. And there I am BEYOND terrified. The Circulatory Nurse finally looks down and sees my tears and says, "OH! Are you okay?" And the Anesthesiolgist sees my tears and says, "She's scared." Then he leans into me and says, "You ready for the Versed?" And they put the Versed into my IV.

God Bless America. Versed is the greatest drug on earth. A second after it was administered I was involuntarily grinning ear to ear. The Anesth. asked me, "You feeling okay?" And I held my thumbs up and said, "This is better than Maker's Mark." They all fell out laughing and that was all I can remember until I was being wheeled into my room.

The PAIN!!!

OH.MY.GOD. Okay so I'm being wheeled to my room and my mother had been there waiting. So I call to her, and she comes over and says, "How are you." I don't remember what I said, but she later told me I said, "Bad." Straight and to the point.

Okay back to the PAIN (see it in all caps). Well this surgery I got the ORIF - is an ambulatory procedure, that means I get up to 23 hours of recovery - see how that's less than a day? That means I go home the same day. But thank you Jesus, my surgeon had some sense. He told my mother, "I would never send her home now, the pain would be unmanageable and you would be very upset with me if I sent her home." Hallelujah and thank you Jesus.

Let me tell you something. Anyone who sends a patient HOME to hop on crutches to the bathroom and whatever else, is EVIL. Sheer and utter evil. The PAIN that I experienced after that surgery was indescribable, so I won't even try. I wouldn't wish that pain on my worst enemy.

Thank you God for Morphine and clocks that tell me when 4 hours is dwindling down. My anesthesiologist tole me to keep the Morphine at a steady level in my system and not to let the level drop so that the pain couldn't kick back in. That was my life's mission while I was in the hospital (and they kept me for two days!) - to stay on Morphine for the entire time, every four hours like clockwork. There were times when the pain tried to poke through, and other times when I thought the itching (a side-effect from the Morphine) would kill me. But for the most part the Morphine was great and being in the hospital was not bad at all.

Now I'm home. No morphine. The pain has been bad at times. When I first got home, I had to take FOUR... yes I said FOUR percocet. I just had to.

But it's not as bad right now. We'll see how this goes down.

I can't be popping Percocet - I have a final to take tomorrow. Sigh.

Yep. You guessed it. This sucks, man.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I can't sleep. My mother's in there knocked out, but I can't sleep at all. I'm so terrified. Today's the day of my surgery.

What am I afraid of, you might ask. Well, let's go down the list. I'm afraid of so many things. I've never been cut into before, so I'm afraid of infection. I'm afraid that the sterility won't be on point and I'll get some horrible staph infection, or that I'll catch some ridiculous communicable disease. Ahhh but those are the little worries. My big, huge, unrelenting worry is that when I'm put under, I won't be put ALL the way under. That I'll be under enough for me to be paralyzed, but not enough for me not to feel the entire surgery. I'm afraid of that, and that I'll have nightmares about hearing the drill and feeling them cut me open and setting my bones for the rest of my life. I'm TERRIFIED.

TERRIFIED. And then I have another final in 4 days. Great.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

So my exams are over (the pre-op exams) except for the one on the 11th. I did it!!! I'm so proud of myself. I had to pretty much do it alone because I couldn't get on campus alone and everyone was studying themselves. I can't ask anyone to come get me and drag me around on campus in my wheelchair.

So I'm done for the most part. LOL I'm talking like I didn't have the ONLY meltdown thinking I was going to fail Bus Org. But I didn't. I didn't fail. I was able to say SOMETHING on that exam that made sense, so I didn't fail, even though I would have BET the FARM that I was going to.

I have got to start going to church more, because God is so great. He looks out for me ALWAYS. Whether I deserve it... or not. Sigh.

And yeah this still freakin' sucks. Horribly. But my ingenuity knows no bounds!!!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Today's my first final. I feel pretty good, believe it or not. My friend (who was there when I fell) has been great about getting me on campus and this accident has made me call on my ingenuity.

I'm ready for my Con Law exam. I'm scared as hell, but I feel more confident this semester than I did last semester and when I talk to other students, I can actually have a conversation. *shrug* I'm going to be fine. Uggh, I have another tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

So I didn't want to bore mySELF with tales of how horrible this experience is. But the good news just keeps on coming.

So I go to the clinic. And of course I need surgery. But not only do I need surgery, but I'm lucky enough to need "the pin." Woohoo! Yes, yes, the pin! How exciting! So here's the deal. I have two breaks in the fibula, and apparently the fracture is unstable. Therefore, I need an open reduction internal fixation to correct all the damage I've done. The surgeon will set the bone and then put a plate and God knows how many screws into my ankle so that it heals properly. But here's the fun part, since the ligaments are also damaged, and the ligaments support the bone, I need a pin that will hold my ankle together (picture a toilet paper dowel running across the length of my ankle holding the bones together) so the bones don't spread while the ligaments are healing. Now why, you might want to know is that the news that beats all other news? Well, because if I didn't need the pin, I'd be healing in 6 weeks, but... since I DO need the pin, I'll take 12 weeks please. Yep. Me... the one who was crying about ONE week, is now sentenced to 12. That's just great.

I don' t know how I'm going to get through this. I'm not even kidding. I mean I know I logically will, because I have to, but you can't understand what this feels like. I'm soooo very upset. I don't understand why this had to happen. I have my first final on May 4th, the second on the 5th, the third on the 6th. The surgeon scheduled my surgery for the 7th - and then of course I've got one more final on the 11th.

This is just fabulous. If it weren't so damn sad I'd laugh.

And I spoke to an insensitive idiot, who, after I told them I needed surgery, said to me, "Well, there goes your summer." Thanks Captain Obvious. And fuck you. And then as if that weren't enough, when I told them I had a final AFTER my surgery, they said, "You're not going to be able to take that test." Again, I say fuck you - I might cry, but you know nothing about my resolve. I WILL take that exam. Yes, I will.

But for now, I'm worried about my FIRST exam. WTF, how the hell can I study - I fall asleep every two seconds, my body is WORN OUT.

But I'm studying the best way I can.

And yeah, this sucks.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Okay - so I didn't want to post about my bitch-ass moments where I would hop and pant and struggle to do something, only to burst into tears with frustration at how hard EVERYTHING is.

It's hard. I HATE crutches. They suck more than I can tell you. Picking up your entire body weight and pulling it around is NOT by any stretch of the imagination, a fun time.

I cry like a baby now over dumb shit. I hate this more than anything. I really hope I don't need surgery.

I go to the Ortho Clinic on the 29th. I'll know for sure then.