Tag Archives: ORIF surgery

The move and the second break


I was officially walking without a boot by about June 22, getting my strength every day. We worked hard to get the house packed up with a scheduled move of July 1. I went back to work on June 29 and it was like “riding a bike” I hadn’t forgotten anything in that two months off work. Back into the swing of things and answering lots of questions from customers asking about the break, and was I glad to be back at work. Scott took July 1 and 2 off work so he could facilitate the movers and he and Noah did a LOT of moving on their own using our two vehicles. All this happening while i was at work. I would leave to go to work and come home with all the boxes in the house on the first day, and on the second day, everything was put away! Amazing. They really hustled and I am so proud of all their hard work. That weekend, July 4, Scott’s family came over for a day visit, bringing subway, drinks and cake to celebrate my mother in laws birthday. I really enjoyed showing off the house. It is a bit smaller in square footage than the water view house, however the space is organized in such a way that there is no wasted space, and the overall living area is much more efficient. I have two stories in this house. I’ll try to explain the layout.

The house is set midway on two acres, with a corn field on one side and a Bed and Breakfast on the other. It’s a traditional farm house, built in 1913. Two stories, full front porch and partial side porch that is now screened in. Downstairs is a grand stair case, a foyer, dining room with closed up fireplace, kitchen with wood stove that is out of order 😦 and closet that holds a stacking washer/dryer. Also off the kitchen is a full bath with sink, toilet and stand up shower. Kind of odd to have a bathroom right off the kitchen but it had to be modified as it IS an old house. Anyway, also downstairs is the family room or living room, and the screened in porch is off the living room. There is also a back porch and a back entrance into the house, which is what we primarily use as the driveway makes a complete U going around the back of the house. On the property is also a small shed and a separate garage. Upstairs are three bedrooms, a full bathroom with a tub/shower combo and another foyer or “landing” if you will, that is big enough for my desk and Bingo’s bed. Third story is a finished attic space. Finished in that it has a floor put down, but not insulated for anyone to actually want to hang out there.  On the property is a mulberry tree, fig tree, pecan tree and a few assorted bushes. I think Scott said we also have a crabapple tree. I would love it if we had some wild blackberries but as of yet it doesn’t seem like we do.

We had settled in quite nice and I was in a good routine of doing chores and hanging out with the boys before going off to work. On Saturdays I would commit two hours to house cleaning and actually enjoyed it! I had ordered and received a free fit bit through a program at work and was wearing it around the house and to work to track my steps each day. On July 31 I got home from work around 6:30, had dinner with the family then we all head outside as we are inclined to do, each working on a project or getting some fun exercise. I was walking laps around the yard. The guys had been gracious enough to mow a “path” for me to walk around and I was working on that, and had just completed my eighth lap when Scott turned to look at me, I looked at him and quickly lost my balance and fell over. Keep your eyes where you’re walking people! I was right next to the fig tree when this happened, there was a shallow divot (what’s with me and shallow divots?) and I stepped into it with my right foot and fell to the left. I had seen a little pile of branches, so when I heard the multiple cracks I was hopeful, oh so hopeful that it was the branches. I could tell however by the FEEL of my ankle, that it wasn’t the branches, it was my leg. Crying in pain but also crying in anger(why am I such a klutz?? how could this happen AGAIN??), Scott hollered for the boys to bring me the crutches (good thing to have around it seems) and he got me up and I went UP the five stairs using the crutches, into the house.  Scott had been mowing so while I lay on the couch just ANGRY that I’ve done this again so quickly, he got a quick shower. Back down the stairs and to the ER, where they quickly determine I had broken two bones in three places and would again, need to see Dr. Deafenbaugh on Monday. They splinted me up, drugged me up and sent me home to wait out the time until my appointment Monday. We saw Dr. Deafenbaugh right away that Monday and he said yes, I would in fact need surgery this time, and he could do it the very next day, or I could seek a specialist or get a second opinion. We knew of an ankle/foot specialist across the bay and asked that they schedule me with a consult with him. Well low and behold, consult made, a few more X-rays, a few more splints made up and now it’s a waiting game, waiting for the surgery to be scheduled. I finally had the surgery TWO FULL WEEKS after the initial break, hey, I was the one who wanted the specialist! What a difference I could feel right away. Just having the bones not floating around and the broken ends knocking into each other anymore was a HUGE relief. Now I am officially six weeks post op and on Tuesday I get the hard cast off for good (I had it removed once long enough to remove the 26 stitches) and then I’m into a “walking boot” or “air cast” for another six weeks. Boy am I ready! I think most of my pain now is actually from my cast pinching nerves in my toes. However I am certain that once I start walking on my foot, putting weight on it, I will start experiencing new pain and will have new challenges to overcome.

11252551_10206266444832910_7937447956928058571_o Here you see the initial X-ray of the break. The fibula was  a LONG break, and the tibia was a short break.

11836715_10206354802881806_7363466312832731552_n  Here you see the post op X-ray. Two plates, one of them looking like a hook, and eleven screws.

11900133_10206376033612561_2839644818876852401_o This is when they took the cast off at two weeks post op to remove the stitches. So glad he didn’t cut through my ICTHUS tattoo.

11900067_10206376027612411_5456461958954563687_n Same stitch removing day, the outside of my foot. The red icky bit is from a fracture blister that had occurred before surgery. I had to have it de-roofed and bandaged up before they could confirm surgery wouldn’t be an issue.

I’m going to have some lovely scars to show you all soon! Once I get the walking boot, I’ll wear it all day every day for six weeks, taking it off to shower and I think to sleep. It will take me a week or so to get my balance and strength with the boot, based on my experience with the first break. We are already planning a Kings Dominion trip. We had bought the tickets MONTHS ago but had to keep canceling because of my break, Sam’s break (yeah, runs in the family) and then my second break. Now it seems, boot and all, we’ll finally get to go and the money won’t be wasted.

Prayers appreciated as I start walking in the boot and building up my strength. A big issue for me has been that the pain meds keep me awake, so I’m kind of a zombie most of the time because I either stay awake and not in as much pain, or try to sleep through the pain which is possible, but not fun at all.

the mad attacking rabbit hole


The Doctor asks me “So how did this happen?” I explain I had just been walking laps around my two acre yard, trying to get some exercise, lost my balance in a shallow hole and fell over. Snap crackle pop my bones were broken. He says “that’s it? that’s all you can come up with?” I say okay sure, yeah a rabbit attacked me, tried to eat my head off. He laughs, we talk about Monty Python and the exam continues, the surgery scheduled.
That’s the initial X’ray. I had a splint put on and was told I could have surgery right away with the local orthopedic surgeon, get a second opinion or seek out a “sub specialist” who’s “thing” is ankles and feet. I chose option three. For that I got to wait a solid two weeks before the actual surgery. Doctors like to take vacations after all. August 14 was my scheduled day. 1pm my scheduled time. I think I was actually started on around 4pm but that was okay with me. Good drugs can do that, make things okay that aren’t really, or make you not stress when otherwise you might. Last thing I remember was the plastic gas mask and “breath deep, breath deep.”
Two plates and eleven screws later and I was waking up. I remember asking how long did it take and had my husband been told that I was awake yet. I was told the surgery took only a little over an hour, everything went well and husband had been told I was awake and was waiting for me in my room where I’d be spending the night. 11836715_10206354802881806_7363466312832731552_n
It’s so interesting to see how different doctors do things. How my local ortho would have sent me home but this sub specialist kept me overnight. How some post op’s get into a soft boot or “air cast” after about 3 weeks but I won’t be in mine until 6 weeks post op. Anyway. I picked him for a reason and am trusting his work.
About 4 days post op I went in to have the plaster cast removed (plaster absorbs blood which is why my Dr. prefers it as the first cast) and my skin checked. I took a few gruesome pictures while I waited for the new cast to be put on. 11900067_10206376027612411_5456461958954563687_n outside right image. EWW. But I have it on good authority (Facebook comments) that this actually looks good considering what it’s been through.
Inside of right ankle. Hey he didn’t slice through my Ichthus tattoo!!
I count 27 stitches, and I’m sure there are more underneath those black beasts.
Next week I go in to get the stitches out and get yet another cast on. Right now it’s a baby blue color or “Carolina Blue”. I am thinking a bubble gum pink or Kelly green will be the color of the final hard cast before I am graduated to my air boot.
This is quite the long process of recovery, but not near as bad as some have it, and at the end of the day I’m still alive and kicking, well, alive and punching. No kicking for a little bit longer….

Breaking up with CVS


A few weeks ago I broke my ankle. I mean I really broke it. Two bones in three places. As my bff said, my legs are like metal detectors for shallow holes. I had surgery last Friday, and two plates and eleven screws later I am on the road to recovery. I opted for an orthopedic surgeon whose sub specialty is ankles and feet, and for me that meant a little bit of travel to and from the hospital and doctors offices for surgery and follow ups. A side effect of that is that the doctors have written me a LOT of prescriptions for my meds, because they don’t send out prescriptions without seeing the patient, and because I live far away, they know I can’t just pop in to get more meds prescribed. Anyway, all that to say that I had duplicates of prescriptions that I went to get filled today at CVS. One was written on Friday (day of surgery) and the second was written yesterday, when I went in for my follow up. The idea is that if I’m taking these meds at the maximum allowed amount (they are pain meds) I would go through one bottle in only 8 days. Okay. So I go to CVS and hand over both papers to the cashier at the “drop off” section of the pharmacy.  “Um, you want these BOTH filled?” me, “yes, save me having to travel out again please.”(in my head, WHY ELSE WOULD I BE HANDING YOU THEM BOTH??) her “Oh well let me see if I CAN.” She goes over to the pharmacist, who I know from the bank, a nice enough woman and I’m sure holds no ill intent towards me. I can hear them; “she wants them both filled? I’ll have to call the doctors office to verify this”. Let me back track and say that when  I saw the Doctor yesterday for my follow up, he INSISTED I take another prescription and that was AFTER I showed him I still had the one from Friday that I hadn’t yet filled. So he knew I’d be turning in two at a time. Okay, back to CVS. I’m standing there, crutches and all, my foot throbbing, as the pharmacist is now on hold with who knows who, trying to verify that these are legit scrips? I don’t even know what was the point of it. At some point I hear the cashier say “can she get the one and come back for the other when she needs it?” and I spoke up loudly, maybe a little bit of a yell thrown in “Just give me one and let me go home!” Why the pharmacist didn’t jump at this I don’t know. She stayed on the phone with the doctor for a few more minutes, me waiting, the pain starting to give me flop sweats and the poor boys looking for a chair for me to sit down on. Scott says (after my retelling of this story) that I am now on some FBI watch list as a person of interest. Yeah, I’m real interesting all right. But more than this, I just wanted to get my meds and go home and take one and put my leg up. Hallelujah thank you they finally got the ONE prescription filled, oldest first of course because that makes sense (they have to explain this to me like I’m a four year old who was recently bopped on the head by Mr. Bunny Foo Foo) and let me on my way. OH but , let me see your ID, make sure you are who you say you are (maybe that should have been done first??) and the 8$ bill was laid for me to pay. So why am I breaking up with CVS? Because Rite Aid fills this in half the time, half the questions AND at almost half the price. A nifty $4.25 was what I paid for the exact same thing a little over 8 days ago. In addition, Rite Aid is now closer to me than CVS, has more cosmetics offerings and their Plenti Card syncs up with Ibotta like a dream. It’s been nice knowing ya CVS, hasta la vista.