Hip, hip, hooray! (I think...?)
At my orthopedic follow-up appointment on Tuesday, I was told that the break in my heel that the doctors at the ER saw in my x-rays the week before was NOT being seen by my new doctor, leading her to conclude that I don't really have a fracture after all. Instead, I have a "very severe sprain."
This is good. And bad.
Good because it's generally less painful in the short term, and it means that I can once again put pressure on my foot.
Bad because sprains generally take longer to completely heal, and may mean that the strength and mobility in that foot is never quite the same.
To allow me to get back to at least some of my regular activities, my new orthopedic doctor removed the splint I'd had on for the prior week and put me into a big black boot. For anyone unfamiliar with "the boot," it looks like a big futuristic cast full of velcro and padding. It also has a funky little inflatable area in the front to further stabilize my calf/ankle, if needed.
I LOVE my new boot. Sure, I wish it was pink and sparkly (what girl wouldn't?), but the most important thing is that it's allowed me to get BACK ON MY FEET.
Of course, there are a few limitations.
I still can't drive, at least not with the boot on. The foot-bed of the boot is completely inflexible, being made of some super sturdy rubber/plastic type material. This sucks.
Also, with it still being winter around these here parts, the open-toed design of the boot means that my foot will be cold when I'm outdoors for any length of time, since all I can wear is a sock or two. It may also potentially get wet if there is snow or slush on the ground. This also sucks.
The doctor DID say I'm not required to wear the boot at all times, which could've been the case. I don't have to wear it when I shower or sleep, certainly, but I also don't have to wear it if I'm just hanging out on the couch reading or whatever. At first, I envisioned myself having it off for big chunks of the day, but the reality is that I prefer to feel the stability of it, and it allows me to move around my house a bit more quickly and efficiently than I could without it.
The doctor also said I could start driving again - without the boot - once I feel that I have enough strength in my foot to not only work the gas and brake pedals normally, but also to be able to brake hard if necessary.
Of course, the part of me that is already suffering from SERIOUS cabin fever was like, "SURE - SURE, I'm ready to do that! C'mon, how hard can it be?"
And then the MOM part of me, the part that knows that the only reason I would drive around EVERY DAY under those circumstances would be to take my son to and from school myself, completely panics and says, "Oh goodness! This means I won't be driving for MONTHS! I can't put my baby's life in jeopardy!" (Not to mention the lives of all the other parents and kids walking to school or also traversing the snow-covered roads in their cars...)
Needless to say, on that point I'm still sitting in the "undecided" category. I would hate to push my luck and cause a major accident, one that could potentially involve the loss of life. I'd also hate to further injure my already injured foot. But, oh... the idea of being able to somewhat resume my normal life is just so, sooooo tempting...
My plan is to wrap my foot up nice and snug in an ACE bandage and try driving around a bit this afternoon or tomorrow, during non-peak driving times and when Super Boy isn't with me, to see how it goes. I figure that an ACE bandage will give me some stability without completely sacrificing flexibility, so it *should* allow me to drive as I normally would. I hope so, anyway.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go kick some ass in my walkin' boot...