Monday, May 2, 2011

The Big Fall, part 4

It has been just two weeks since my riding accident with Scout and yet it feels like an eternity. I went to my doctor appointment last Thursday and I think that if it weren't my own injury, I would have passed out when they cut off the bandages and I saw the devastation.  My whole leg is various colors of yellow to black and the outside of my ankle is still swollen and blackish. I must have a sprain as well as the break. The backside of my leg hurts a lot too with swelling and discoloration. The doctor did in fact cut me more than he originally said he would. I have a 3 - 4 inch gash on the inside of my leg with 10 staples holding it together. The nurse gave me some alcohol swabs to clean up my leg but the color didn't come off much although I was able to get a lot of the dirt off.

The doctor said it looked good, (Really?) and that I should come back in three weeks to get the staples out. Then the nurse resplinted and wrapped it up and I was on my way...

I have been off of my leg for two weeks now and another three to go, at least. When I had my surgery last week, I got a handicapped license for my car and, at this appointment, the doctor gave me a prescrption for a wheelchair.

My sister recommended me getting a wheelchair and,when I asked the doctor, he said, good idea. He wants me to go to work because as he said, he didn't want me to sit and watch the paint dry. I was issued a laptop for home so I can work out of the house but there are things I must do at the office as well, so I am driving in most days anyway, since, fortunately, it's my left leg.
However, the laptop is for work so I haven't had much internet access for personal use lately. Twice now, at work, using the crutches, I have gone off balance and fallen twice, once backwards when the key to the door I was pulling open popped out and once into the stall door as I tried to go to the bathroom. The wheelchair is great, however actually getting to use it is a huge problem. I have to balance on one leg as I put it in my Subaru hatchback and take it out again. This scares the heck out of me, that I will fall. And then, I need to put on the elevated leg lifts which weigh about ten pounds each.

I have finally figured out how to take them off before trying to lift the chair. It's hard to roll on any ground that has an incline or not level. Saturday, I actually went to Penney's with my son, who rolled me around. My sister advised me to watch out for the hidden dangers when using a wheelchair and sure enough, I gashed my arm on a piece of clothes rack that stuck out, unseen, as I rolled past.

My sister broke her ankle falling down stairs just a couple of months ago and every time I spoke with her she was over whelmed and teary-eyed depressed. I really felt bad for her then but now I really understand how she felt. I've been going through depression too. One night, after going to work on crutches, I stayed working until almost 9:30 at night. Partly because I had lots of work to do, partly because I wanted to be alone and feel sorry for myself. My thirtieth anniversary would have been Monday. We got married the same year as Charles and Di and it made me sad to watch the royal wedding of their son a few days ago even though I was happy for them too.

The really crazy thing is that besides me and my sister breaking our ankles, her husband took a serious fall at work in December and has been in major recovery since. He fell from a platform and broke his wrist, shoulder, leg, and heel. He has been bed bound since so when she fell down the stairs, they had to call emergency because he couldn't even help her. They go visit the same doctor, both in wheelchairs. It's actually kind of funny in a very sick way. And she has a lady at work that broke her ankle earlier this year and another friend who also broke her ankle. It's like an outbreak of broken leg bones! However, on a serious note, my sister is recovering and I will, but it's unknown to what extent her husband will recover. He still cannot use his right hand or left leg and needs more surgeries. Please send prayers his way.

My sister tells me how hard it is to be completely dependent on others. She says it's like people think your brain is affected along with your body. No matter what you ask for they change it up on you. Just the other day I asked for a peanut butter and strawberry jam on tortilla. I got a cinnamon toast, butter (not peanut butter) and peach jelly sandwich, just not the same. I don't even like butter on my toast or bread.

Today, I was intending to make a trip to visit my horses for the first time and it is snowing and cold!

All day! For the last couple of weeks, it has been very windy and cloudy off and on. Many days, my phone weather app describes the local weather as dreary. Has anyone else ever seen that used to describe their weather? Not even London, Moscow, or Portland get dreary weather.
I know this post is kind of random but that's the way I feel, scattered thoughts.


Cheyenne said...

I am well impressed!!!!! That is some scar! ....When you fell off, you did a real good job!Lol.

But, you have my sympathies, it must be painful....Best wishes.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Val, what you're going through is part of the normal process. Having been through Betty's accident and my cancer surgery, the good part is when you can come back to your horses and the things you love. It kind of makes you appreciate them even more.


Laura said...

Well, now that your surgery is done, I hope you are on the road to recovery... It must be tough trying to get around and get used to doing everything... Sorry to hear you are having some tough moments - that is part of the process, I guess. I hope your sister and her husband recover as well.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

That's quite the rash of broken ankles and assorted bones. So odd how that happens in bunches like that.

I can't even begin to imagine how limiting and uncomfortable it must be to try to do even the most ordinary tasks. Hope your healing goes well and the next 3 weeks fly by for you.

Shirley said...

That sure is a colorful leg! Actually, broken bones do cause bruising, when I took first aid it was one of the tell-tales we were to look for to pinpoint the location of a break.
I hope it heals well for you and is soon a distant memory.
I bet this gives you a new appreciation for the plight of handicapped people.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Oh bummer - just read the whole story of your accident. You did a number on your ankle! I hope you are feeling a little bit better now, and that you have a swift and complete recovery. <<>>

Paint Girl said...

That looks painful, I am so sorry. I hope the recovery goes very quickly so you can get back on your feet again!!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

It's tough having to sit in the same position for so long. I had several people offer to help me with the funeral, reception, and the work that needed to be done around my mother's house. I was amazed how I could give very specific directions, and they'd do what they wanted anyway. It was a blessing having my uncle there, though, because I was literally double and triple booked with appointments and unexpected visitors. He was able to handle one thing while I handled another, and we got it all done. I feel for you. This is one of those things that can suck up a couple of seasons and even when you think you're recovered the healing is still going on as long as a year later.

Leah Fry said...

Dang! Good one, Val. All you can do is sit back and let it heal. Hope your weather improves so you can get out and see your ponies soon. Watch the footing.

Breathe said...

I don't blame you one bit for being down and scattered. You have a dozen memory triggers, and pain certainly doesn't help.

Perhaps if you handed your food order in in writing... Just kidding. Good help is hard to find.

Sending you and yours healing thoughts...

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Yowza! The Dr. really did open you up pretty far to get to working on that ankle. It's interesting how much longer they keep staples in compared to stitches.

I had a tough time with crutches, too. And I had to use them for a very long time and then again after I broke my knee 4 months after the ACL surgery. I went through a lot of depression, frustration, and impatience, too.
Watching other people mindlessly walk when I wasn't able to made me so sad. I vowed to never take walking for granted ever again.

I hope you'll soon be strong, feeling better, and walking on your own again.


Merri said...

oh man! I feel for you. that's a shock to see your own body so beat up.
I never understood depression until I got it after a bad accident I had 12 years ago. You are getting better, you KNOW you're getting better and lots of people are worse off than you are - but you feel like just weeping. But, this will pass, as will the injury. Which is quite impressive - I can not BELIEVE you walked halfway home on that! I also can't believe how difficult it is to have to deal with all that one-legged thing on your own - just getting around, getting a wheelchair in a car, losing your balance, etc. I guess you just don't know till you're trying to do it. Healing sometimes takes a long time, but just remember it WILL heal. I hope you can at least get more comfortable soon. A lot of people are thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way!
- The Equestrian Vagabond

achieve1dream said...

Sorry you're having to go through this. I feel for you because I've seen first hand with my boss's broken ankle and with my husband's injured back. Depression is definitely an issue. It just sucks all around. I'll pray for your brother in law. That is really awful. :(

fernvalley01 said...

Hugs, there is no good time to get hurt , but this seems like a particularly tying time for you .Hope you are on the mend and feeling more like your self soon

Rising Rainbow said...

Just looking at your pictures makes me wince. I can imagine how painful it is.

I can understand why you want to feel sorry for yourself sometimes. Life has dealt you some hard blows. I didn't realize you were married the same year as Charles and Di. It would be hard to forget that kind of connection. However, it seems to me that the two of you were blessed with a great love between you something the princess was not fortunate enough to experience before she died. I know you treasure that love and being without it now is the source of your pain, add in this injury and drugs and you've a prescription for depression but it will pass as your leg heals and you regain your mobility. In the meantime, we're all here for you if you need us.