Thursday, November 25, 2010

I Guess I'm About to Get Good at Online Xmas Shopping...

Here I was about to write a post telling you all that I need a few days off from blogging as my job has kicked into high gear (again), but I fell down the stairs and sustained a nasty foot injury and now blogging is about the only thing I can still manage. Doncha love some irony?

How did this happen? Well, I was 3 stairs up, on my way to bed (after a very, very long day), when I decided I needed to return something to the main floor. The problem is, in my fatigue, I forgot I was 3 stairs up. I thought I was 1 stair up, so I simply walked off the third stair as if it were the first. Weird how bad that can be for one's landing. I fell on my left foot/ankle, the one I led with. The rest of my body fell on top of it. I can't figure out how I didn't damage anything else - not wrists or arms or knees or head. How did I land without trying to brace my fall???

My husband, who's persona non grata right now (not to wade too far into a marital strife moment), told me I was overdramatizing. I did scream and writhe in pain and then had to crawl up the stairs. Apparently, he's sprained his ankle numerous times and (according to him) one is supposed to do the same thing (ice), regardless of the style of injury, and that thing doesn't include whimpering or going to the emergency room. (Note to reader: He's never sprained his ankle in the 15 years I've known him.)

This morning, when I went to the emergency room (thanks to the utter graciousness of my manager, of all people, who came to fetch me from home and made sure I had reading material and snacks), the triage nurse told me to advise my husband that if he had a foot injury like mine and he didn't get himself to the hospital, he's an idiot.

Note: I don't own a car and I have no family I can call on in an acute emergency. All of my friends with wheels had to work today.

The doctor suspected it was broken, but thankfully it's just a really bad soft tissue injury. It may take 4 days or a week to heal well enough to put weight on my foot, or maybe longer. Timing is unique to each individual.

The first thing I thought after the searing pain subsided somewhat was: "Jesus, I really want to do some yoga right now. Serves me right for all of my laziness and taking it for granted." The second thing was: "I guess I won't be doing any sewing this weekend". Strangely, the questions of how hard it would be to eat or pee or move 2 feet didn't really occur to me.

I had a choice of cast or crutches with tensor bandage. I took the latter. It's easier to lie with your legs up the wall when you're not carrying around a casing.

I did mainline some arnica (200C) as soon as it happened and put some arnica cream on the swelling. I took extra vitamin D. I didn't take any painkillers till 2 hours ago because I didn't have Tylenol and I've heard that Advil and fractures don't mix. In the event that I had a break, I didn't want to impinge on healing at the get go. I elevated it numerous times throughout the night and used ice on and off. I was doing yoga mentally, if only minutely, in my constant wiggling of my toes (to maintain mobility) and the minuscule extension of my inner foot (which was contracting from injury).

It's pretty scary what can happen in a moment of inattention. I'm trying to focus on the positive: that my injury is fairly compact, I could have injured myself so seriously, and I have lots of knowledge about how to encourage healing. I do find it tough not to fall back on fear (How will I walk? Walking keeps me sane. Walking is my exercise. Walking is perhaps the most important thing I do.)

As my identity is wrapped up in all of my activities (sewing, yoga, walking), who will I be as I go through recovery? How will I manage the boredom, never mind relying on others?

I know lots of blogger-peeps have had foot injuries this year, strangely. Maybe you've had a nasty injury in the past? Tell me about your process of recovery, about your feelings. I'd really love your perspective.


  1. Oh, I have so much sympathy for you right now. Even the minor injury I sustained a little over a week ago (healing quite nicely now) upset me in many of the ways you suggest -- setting up a panic about not being able to do things I define myself by.
    Years ago (almost 20!) I broke my left fibula in two spots near my ankle, just out for a walk, but deciding to leap over a ditch (non-athletically, apparently!). 6 weeks in a cast up to my thigh, but it's the lack of activity that is the big pain (well, aside from the pain pain). What I really remember most about the episode, though, is a keen sense of mortality -- one wrong step, one momentary lapse in my proprioception and kinaesthetic awareness, and I'm broken??
    Time does heal, though, and a good physio when you're on the mend can work wonders. And you'll be able to catch up your reading . . . . and blogging. . . .Still sucks, I know. Take care.

  2. Dear K,
    As a woman who has sprained/torn both ankles repeatedly , I feel for you. And if walking is what keeps you sane, then you have a problem for a bit. Since you don't have a cast, you and your crutches (do you have snow yet? How are your sidewalks) may have to go out for some short jaunts. The crutches will tire you out much faster than you think possible.
    Also, if it is your left foot, do you use your right foot for the 'accelerator' on your sewing machine? This may be an opportunity to catch up on some things, if you have the necessary bits.
    If not, this may truly be a time to do your online shopping and get a jump on Christmas so when you are able to walk properly again, you don't have to spend it in the malls during the Christmas crush.
    Take care. If all else fails, Hyperbole and a Half is magic for my warped mind, and this post made me laugh until I cried Maybe you have already seen it.
    PS thanks for the tips you sent me ages ago on bra-fitting. They explained tons.

  3. Oh geez, what a bummer! Hope it heals quickly and you're back to your regular activities soon.

  4. mater: I was so worried it was broken (which is its own kind of awful). I really do need to be grateful it's not worse than it is. But I'm flip-flopping. Also, my brain is very fuzzy today - maybe it's pain, maybe shock, maybe healing? Hard to write my thoughts.

    Sox: Thank you for your commiseration and your good tips. I sew with the right foot (but my left hurts too much to sit in a chair at the moment). Maybe that will change quickly? I have to cut some patterns and fabric. Not sure if I'll be able to do that. Maybe my husband will cut the fabric (he likes that job). And I'm so pleased the bra info was useful!

    Pseu: Thanks for your well-wishes. I'm putting all of my focus, such as it is right now, on getting better.

  5. That bites! No advice on this end except for take it easy. Bummer that the hubby was unsympathetic, but that's awesome that your manager took care of you.

    Get well soon!

  6. poor thing *hugs*. You posed some great questions. Unfortunately I've never had a foot injury (knock on wood) but I'm praying for your fast recovery. I'm happy your injury wasn't worst. Get well soon!

  7. feel better! Can I bring you something baked and sweet that I didn't make myself?

  8. Oy! Try to enjoy your time to be waited on by S & M . . .

    I once fell down a few stairs in Cape Cod at the beginning of a vacation and sprained my ankle. I sat on the beach and literally hopped around otherwise.

    The second week of the vacation was to be in Palo Alto. My plan was to walk everywhere with my newborn while Mr. C played jazz at Stanford and I was worried that my ankle would not heal. It healed enough for the week-long trek but I was cross at myself for tumbling.

  9. Oh, honey! I am so sorry to read about this injury. I've suffered minor sprains and broken toes in the past. I don't think my injuries were nearly as bad as this sounds. Keep the weight off the foot and give yourself a chance to heal!

  10. tanitisis - I gotta say, my husband's reaction is not popular in my books. I must be a really good employee though, no :-)?

    Victoria: Thank you! Your posts are keeping me interested!

    Jess: Yummmmm. I think I have to try to stay away from food, given my level of activity. But I may take you up on that.

    Miss C: You've got me trumped - a sprain and a newborn. You are like a superhero. I can't believe you managed it all.

    Dora: Thank you. I'm surprised by how much I take that foot for granted. The rest of my body is a mess for all the contorting I have to do. Honestly, my right hip is saying "enough"! I've broken a couple of toes but they were nothing compared to this. And I remember really disliking those experiences...

  11. Oh poor you! I know how this feels having fractured my ankle three years ago in a very similar way (carrying a big box of crockery, forgetting that I was several steps up, I simply stepped off... overtired I expect). I'd broken a bone before and I knew immediately, but due to a horrible muddle and a car break-down, I didn't get to the A&E until the next day. Luckily I made a good recovery, but it was a good five months before I was back in the pool and swimming without ankle pain. I'm ridiculously clumsy though- and have had several broken bones as souvenirs. My sister-in-law who is a specialist in such things, is willing to bet money that I'm dyspraxic. My worst 'falling accident' was when I fell through the kitchen ceiling of our current house during renovation. Mercifully, I got wedged in by my generous bottom, and walked away with a bit of bruising. Be kind to yourself- I recommend lots of things to make you giggle. I wish you a superhero-speed recovery xxx

  12. It would be shameful if I said I enjoy reading your journey as it is "wrapped" up in a questioning of identity suffused with pain, regret and a tinge of anger, yet I do see the value in your musings and mutterings. Thank you for sharing the triumphs and travails.

    Seriously, I do sense your pain and DO send you my regards!

  13. Ouch. I do feel your pain. I had ankle surgery (ankle joint fusion) on my left ankle last year and I'm getting my right ankle fused in January.
    So I know all about the indignity of having Hubs help with the showering and other preferably-private chores.
    I hope you're feeling better soon!
    PS - found you through anymommy.

  14. Oh no! I am behind on blog reading and just saw this. I hope you are improving -- will read your newer posts.

  15. Minx: Eeek. That's terrible. I am very grateful it's not broken.

    Lydia: Don't we all write so that people can have a vicarious experience? :-)

    Lyndsay: Oh that is seriously hard. I'm giving you my health vibes in advance. And thank you for checking me out. I love Stacey!

    Susan: Thank you! More info in other posts xo

  16. Oh no! So sorry to hear about your injury and your hubby's less-than-understanding reaction. Obviously I am massively behind on my reading and hope you're healing well!

  17. Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your injury! I've had a few foot/ankle injuries and they are terrible and I was screaming like a lunatic when we dropped the side table on my toe, which was miraculously not broken but still hurts like the dickens when I've been on my feet all day (I did it in July).

    I'm glad the nurse stood up for you!

  18. M: It's amazing how painful "little" injuries can be. You know, my foot still hurts fairly constantly. It's a bummer (for lack of a better way to explain it...)