Monday, February 9, 2009

I am SOOoooooo smooth...

My last post was all about the hysterosalpingogram (HSG) I was supposed to have last Wednesday, and both my excitement and trepidation about it. I wrote that post just a few hours before I was to go in and have the procedure. I had even taken two of my three 50mg Prednisone tablets in preparation for the iodine contrast. And then.

Ah, yes. And then.

Your delightfully graceful and swift pal Super Woman decided to do some quick, light cleaning ("quick" being the operative word), as my Super Mom was on her way to my house to come to the HSG appointment with me. And, as you'll understand in a moment, THANK GOD she was already on her way!

Now, when I say that I planned to do some "light cleaning," I mean that I was going to vacuum upstairs and downstairs, clean the toilets and sinks, and just pick-up the little bit of clutter that had accumulated since I did BIG cleaning last weekend.

I had finished all the stuff I wanted to do upstairs and had cleaned the half-bath downstairs and vacuumed the kitchen. As I stood near the back door of the kitchen, I peeked out at the back entryway landing and noticed that the mat was dirty with road salt, etc.

For a brief second I thought, "Should I quickly vacuum that? It's just going to get icky again over the next few days - maybe I should save it for the weekend..."

But then I thought, "Stop being such a lazy ass - it'll take 2 seconds. Just do it."

And that, my friends, was my undoing.

I went to lift my Dyson to carry it down the three - THREE - stairs leading to the back landing. I put my right foot down on the top step, standing sideways, and my ever-so-graceful foot slid sideways off the edge of the step. I totally lost my balance and tumbled down the remaining two steps, landing squarely on the outside of my right foot. The vacuum cleaner fell with me, but I couldn't tell you if or how or where it hit me during the fall, because my foot and ankle instantly hurt so bad that it was all I could think about.

I knew right away I had broken something, but I didn't know if it was my foot or my ankle, since both hurt like HELL. I sat on the bottom step in stunned breathlessness for a moment, cradling my foot and trying to cope with the white-hot pain.

I burst into tears as the helplessness of my situation sunk in: I was ALONE in my house, with a broken something.

I knew I couldn't stand on my foot, so I didn't even bother. Instead, I dragged myself up the two other stairs and across the kitchen floor, to the wall where the phone sat docked in its station. I pulled myself up to stand on my left foot, grabbed the phone, and sunk back to the floor.

I felt hot and sweaty, like I was going to pass out. I ripped my fleece sweatshirt over my head and flung it aside, and then laid down on the tile floor, pressing my cheek into it's cold smooth surface. When at last I felt like I wasn't going to lose consciousness, I dialed my mom's cell phone number.

She lives an hour and a half away from me, and had called me earlier when she was about an hour away. I knew she was within 45 minutes of my house, and that I was probably going to have to wait for her to arrive to get to the ER.

When she answered her phone, I told her I'd just fallen and that I was pretty sure I'd broken my foot. She panicked. I told her NOT to panic. She needed to get to me safely. Safety was more important than speed at that moment. I could tell she felt almost as helpless as I did at that moment, but there was nothing either of us could do about it.

I assured my mom that I'd try to call one of my Super Friends, who is a nurse, to see if she could come take a look at it and stay with me until my mom could get here. Unfortunately, when I tried to call my Super Friend, I got her answering machine. I left a tear-filled message for her letting her know what had happened and asking her to call me when she got the message. I tried another Super Friend, but she was also out.

And, so, I was utterly and completely alone with my broken foot.

As I lay on the floor trying not to cry, I remembered that they always tell you to ice injuries. So I dragged myself across the kitchen floor to my refrigerator, grabbed a few ice packs out of the freezer, and went back to where I was to ice my foot and ankle.

While there, I remembered I had to call my ob/gyn's office to ask about whether I could still have the HSG. After talking to the nurse through tears, we decided that it was unlikely that I'd be able to hold my injured foot in a stirrup for 45 minutes, so I had to cancel the HSG appointment. I'll have to reschedule it next month, hopefully. It was sad to have prepared myself physically and mentally for this procedure only to have to back out at the last minute.

After awhile, maybe 10 or 15 minutes, my foot felt a bit better (probably because it was numb). I remembered then that the vacuum was laying in front of the back door, which was locked, and that my mom wouldn't be able to get in the house because of that. So I dragged myself back across the floor, scooted down the steps on my butt, and unlocked the door. Then I dragged the vacuum upright, and pulled it up the stairs in front of me as I scooted back up the stairs on my butt.

I rested for a bit and put the ice packs back on, and then when my foot was sufficiently numbed again, I decided to tackle a bigger challenge: the staircase leading to the second floor.

See, I had *planned* to take a shower after my mini-marathon cleaning session, so I'd be clean for my HSG - and freshly shaven, as a courtesy to the person doing the procedure - but obviously a shower wasn't in the cards. I wanted to at least brush my teeth, wash my face and do something with my hair knowing a trip to the ER was imminent.

So, I bucked up and scooted up the stairs backwards using my hands and left foot. The landing was a little tricky to maneuver, but I took it slow. When I got to the top, I hoisted myself up to standing by holding onto the banister, and hopped into the bathroom on my left foot. I managed to be able to get myself semi-presentable by propping the heel of my right foot up on my son's stool to keep my balance while standing on my left foot at the sink. My foot was really throbbing, but I was moving as fast as I could and knew I'd feel a little better once I had myself semi presentable.

My mom arrived while I was in the bathroom and came upstairs to help me into the bedroom so I could change into warmer clothes (it was only about 8 degrees that day). I had to scoot back down the stairs on my butt again, and then my mom helped me get my jacket and shoe on and get out to her car.

We went to the ER, which is thankfully only 5 minutes from my house. I was equally grateful that they were able to get me checked in and seen within 10 minutes. (You just never know with the ER of a major medical center like that!)

After taking x-rays of my foot and ankle and having both a radiologist and an orthopedic doctor look at them, the nurse practitioner came back and said that I appeared to have a fracture, in addition to strained tendons and muscles. They didn't feel it was a surgical case at all (amen - that was my worst fear!), but were debating about what to put on my foot.

The complicating factor in that decision was the Prednisone I had taken to prep for the HSG. Prednisone, a steroid, reduces inflammation. And when you break a bone, it's natural to have a LOT of inflammation: it's the body's natural healing response. To look at my foot, you could definitely tell I'd fallen and injured it, but it wasn't as huge as one would've expected it to be in the circumstances, and the Prednisone was likely the reason why. And because they were concerned that the swelling might increase as the Prednisone wore off, they opted to put my foot in a cast-like splint, thereby giving it room to continue swelling while still achieving stabilization.

The splint is like half of a cast. There is plaster on the bottom of my foot and up the back of my calf, with some wrap-around, but the top of my foot and leg have no plaster - just gauze, and then the whole thing is wrapped in an ace bandage. The gist is to keep my foot at a 90-degree angle so that the muscles and tendons heal nice and tight, in addition to the minor fracture. If the tendons don't heal tightly enough, then surgery could enter the picture, and I really don't want that.

I was back home within two hours with a pair of crutches, instructions to keep my foot elevated and to ice it periodically throughout the day, and strict orders to put NO PRESSURE on my foot between last Wednesday and my follow-up appointment with an orthopedist tomorrow (Tuesday 2/10).

My sincere and desperate hope is that things have healed enough that they can put me in a boot, at which time I'll hopefully be able to DO more. Nonetheless, I'm looking at up to six weeks in the boot, so I won't have full mobility until sometime in March no matter what.

Say it with me: "Ugh."

It's been five days now since I fell, and I'm happy to say that I've slept reasonably well every night. I've taken nothing stronger than Tylenol for pain, and I haven't even taken that since the day I broke my foot. In fact, my foot doesn't really hurt that much now - it aches a bit, especially if I've been up and moving around on my crutches a lot, but it isn't painful otherwise.

The worst part of all of this is that I am largely dependent on others for pretty much everything right now. I can't drive Super Boy to or pick him up from school, or drive anywhere else for that matter -- it's my right foot I broke, which is the one I need for driving. I need help carrying things, since I can't carry anything while using my crutches. I need help taping a plastic bag around my leg so I can shower and get cleaned up. I can't cook, clean, do laundry (our laundry room is in the basement), or do dishes.

It's AMAZING how much we do on our feet that we don't even realize we do until we can't do them anymore. (Trust me!)

And to top it all off, Super Man was in France all last week for work, so he missed out on the worst of it! So again, THANK GOD for my Super Mom! I don't know what I would've done without her. And THANK GOD, too, for all my wonderful Super Friends, who have so graciously helped me out with getting Super Boy to and from school, and invited him over for play dates so I can rest. I will owe these women big time when I'm back on my feet, whether they see it that way or not. ;)

Funny little story to wrap things up here...

When Super Man and I were first dating, we somehow ended up in a conversation about quirky things about ourselves. I told him that I'm insanely uncoordinated; he didn't believe me. I chuckled, and then warned him that there would eventually come a time (and probably sooner rather than later) when we'd just be casually walking along, and then for no particular reason whatsoever, I'd suddenly be on the ground.

It didn't take long for my prediction to come true.

About a month after this conversation, we were at a summer festival along Milwaukee's lakefront. I was wearing a skirt with FLAT sandals (not even heels, mind you). We were holding hands and walking along when, all of a sudden, I tripped and nearly fell. Super Man was duly alarmed and managed to catch me before I hit the pavement. When he had me upright again, he looked around, trying to find the object I'd tripped over.

Only... there wasn't one.

He looked at me, perplexed, and said, "What... happened?"

I - blushing 10 different shades of beet red - shook my head, shrugged my shoulders and reminded him that I had warned him of this once. My ankles sometimes roll inexplicably, what can I say?

It's nice to be so graceful and poised.

Or so I've heard.

2 comments:

  1. Hi there,how are you feeling? I came across your blog with my foot propped up as well in a splint just like yours which is pretty uncomfortable. I was being superdad and carrying packages inside as well as carrying my daughters teddy bear and blanket because she refused to carry it herself and next thing i know I hear noises like rice crispies in milk and I am in pain on the floor. Long story short i am supposed to get a cast Thursday which I am scared about but kind of looking forward to get out of the splint. Anyway feel free to write and vent,Dave. tippytop100@aol.com

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  2. You ARE Super Woman!

    I'm so impressed with your ability to act under intense pain! I hope everything heals up well & fast. Keep us posted will ya?

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