It was late, and I was pretty sure out doctor's office was closed, and I said I wanted to wait until morning to go. I was hungry! I wanted to eat! John had an early commitment the next morning, and we went after that. Finally we went, and sure enough, the x-ray showed that I had indeed broken my foot. My 5th metatarsal, to be exact.
|The arrow points to the crack. That's not a joint!|
|This shows the bruising and swelling of my right foot.|
|My new accessories. Pretty uncomfortable. And ugly.|
I did not want surgery. I only went to my regular doctor at first, and he didn't think I would need surgery. He even shared the x-rays with a podiatrist, who concurred with my doctor that I didn't need to see a specialist.
Between the 1st appointment and the 2nd, the x-rays showed a little healing. Between the end of Month 2 and the end of Month 3, x-rays showed no improvement. That's when I finally went to a podiatrist. The podiatrist looked at my x-rays and told me that if I had had surgery in the beginning, I would be healed already. Bones only heal if the broken pieces are touching. My broken pieces were not touching! Close, but not touching! The podiatrist said, "That's like saying you're just a little pregnant." You're either pregnant or not. Not almost pregnant. Sigh.
If they did surgery at this point, it would be going backwards- they'd have to clean out the new bone growth, push the crack together, put a pin in, then start the healing process all over. Instead of that, they gave me a bone-growth stimulator. I had to wear this medical device 3 hours a day, every day. I did it while sleeping, most of the time. After a week, I thought, "You know, I sleep longer than 3 hours. I may as well turn that thing on for another 3 hours." I always wake up in the middle of the night anyway! So for 3 weeks between Month 3 and Month 4, I was wearing it for almost an average of 6 hours a day. I could feel that my foot was healing, the swelling was going down and it ached less. That was a really great feeling!
|This is my bone growth stimulator. I would turn it on, and it would send electrical impulses at my broken bone for 3 hours.|
Time came for the Month 4 x-ray. My bone was almost completely healed! Since I was moving, the doctor just gave me "the plan", which was to stay on crutches for a little longer, until mid June, starting to put more weight on my foot, with a boot. Then wear my boot until August 1st. I took the crutches on vacation, but didn't use them much. I mostly just wore the boot.
|Sometimes you just have to customize! Foam, polka dotted duct tape and a strap to hold a bag blinged up my crutches.|
Walking with a boot was quite easy. WAY easier than the knee scooter or crutches! No pain, just the weight of the boot. Nice and supportive and very protective. Walking without the boot was a different story. My ligaments had barely moved in 6 months and were tight. I had to move slow, and not go very far. Each week I'd try to walk farther, and eventually my foot stopped aching so much. I massaged my foot often, and took a lot of Ibuprofen.
It's been 6 months since I got rid of the boot. Now my foot is pretty much healed, probably 95%. I can walk 5 miles a day! Back in August I had a hard time walking 2 blocks to church! My foot still swells, and I wonder if I will ever be able to wear my favorite shoes again! Just to see if it was real or my imagination, I measured my feet a few days ago. Around the middle, my right foot is one centimeter larger than my left. I'm betting that sometimes it's more than that, depending on time of day and what I've been doing. It was not my imagination!
In 2 weeks, on February 19th, it will be my one year anniversary of breaking my foot. Even though it is not 100% back to normal, I am extremely grateful for the healing that has happened. If this is as far as I go, well, I can certainly live with it! I cannot complain, not when I can walk 5 miles! I may have to buy more shoes, though.
|My favorite sandals. They are too tight across the front of the foot, and I still can't wear them.|
What hasn't healed yet as much is the finger I broke while we were on vacation. We were at a beach, and I wanted to go snorkeling. John helped me in and out of the water. After we got out, I let go of his hand, slipped and fell. I hyper-extended the fingers on my right hand, and broke a piece of bone on my middle finger joint. I still can't close it all the way or straighten it all the way and have to do stretching exercises every day. I feel like the injury has spurred on some arthritis, as now all 10 fingers are stiff every morning.
So, the lessons are these:
1) Don't go down the stairs in the dark!!!
2) Don't let go of your support when you are in a vulnerable situation!
3) Celebrate the milestones, and do as much as you can to make your situation easier. Figure out what you can do by yourself (without hurting yourself!), as it will lift your spirits do not have to rely so much on others. The first day I could take a shower all by myself was a spectacular day!
4) Don't complain about your problems, because there are many who would trade you yours for theirs.
Our bodies are a blessing, and they are meant to be temporary. As my brother, a computer programmer, put it once, "Body, version 1." Be glad that you have one, and take care of it the best you can, and put it to good use!