Category: Daily

4 Weeks, 5 Days Post-Op Ankle Surgery

WARNING!! SOMEWHAT GRUESOME PHOTOS OF MY INCISION THROUGHOUT THIS POST!! VIEW AT YOUR OWN RISK!

It’s now 4 weeks and 5 days after my ankle/leg surgery. It’s Sunday night and I’m doing what I usually do: sitting/laying in bed, leg elevated and watching something. I was watching “Jane the Virgin”, which is the reason I wasn’t updating, heh. I finished the series and now I’m just watching random stuff, like The First 48 and Catfish. Which is my shower time show LOL.

So what’s happened since I last updated?

We survived Thanksgiving 2021. Even though there was some family drama a few days before, we ended up having Thanksgiving dinner at Jorge’s house. Dina was hosting and Javi and Julien were there. Justin was, too, and we met his girlfriend Daisy. Jorgie had stopped by for a while. My kiddos went to Mario’s for Thanksgiving lunch, like they usually do and would be by for Thanksgiving dinner. John joined us, too.

Jorge came to pick me up and we made our way to his house. It was tiring hobbling around on my crutches so I spent a lot of time on the sofa. At one point Jorge and his mom start fixing the “Knee Rover” so I can at least roll about the house.

See all that alcohol on the table? I figured having a little bit of moscato would be ok. I mean, it had been hours since I’d last taken a Tylenol 3, so I should be fine, right?

I could tell it hit me when I was giggling non-stop and rolling around on the Knee Rover. I couldn’t place my knee on it because my heavy-ass cast hurt my shin so I was sitting on it and using it like a little car 😆 . I started getting really tired but I needed to pee so I drove myself to the bathroom. I tried shoving the Rover into the bathroom with me and I’m not sure if I overexerted myself or if the combination of wine plus the residual Tylenol 3 in my body affected me, but I peed, washed my hands and as soon as I made my way out of the hallway I got really dizzy. I called for Jorge and he helped me to the sofa. But before I even got on the sofa I felt like I was about to pass out, my heart rate was through the roof and I was shaking. Jorge helped me transfer to the sofa and I just stayed there the rest of the evening—and did not drink alcohol again!

The food was delicious and it was great hanging out with everyone. Missed Briana and the kids being there, though 🙁 .

I was sad that an awesome cold front had rolled in and the rain was starting and I couldn’t go outside since I was afraid to slip. But it was a nice time and I really did feel grateful for my people, and that moment.

And Mom? Well I called to ask her the day before Thanksgiving when we should pick her up and she dismissed me with, “Oh, no. That’s ok, don’t pick me up. We’re having Thanksgiving here [at the nursing home].” I said, “Are you sure??” And she says, “Yes, yes. We’re having Sonia’s party today and then the Thanksgiving party tomorrow.” Well, alrighty then! As much as it sucks that she didn’t spend the day with us, I’m glad that she feels close enough to her friends that she would rather stay at the nursing home. She never would have done that a year ago!

November 29th was my 1st post-op appointment. I was nervous about seeing the incision but I was also glad I was going to see where the incision or incisions were located. The appointment took SO LONG; it’s never less than 4 hours at my orthopedic surgeon’s office. I’m wondering if it has something to do with Worker’s Comp. Anyway, Jorge was slowly losing it but he kept his temper. I got X-rays done, waited a while, then they took me to a room, waited a while, then they moved us over to the splint/cast room. When they finally came to remove my heavy-ass splint, two techs had to work to rip open the splint and then stand on each side while they pried it off me. I was terrified that they’d push on my incision. Oh, I only had one! I was seriously afraid I had two after all, but I didn’t; it’s just one huge one on the right side of my foot/leg.

The medical assistant tried removing the gauze that was directly on my incision. Whomever worked on my splint after surgery didn’t bother putting any non-stick cover/pad on my incision and since I’m allergic to steri-strip tape and they used glue to assist the sutures, the gauze was STUCK TO MY INCISION!!

They tried pulling it off but it was painful as fuck and they would have pulled off the glue and sutures. So what did they do? They SOAKED the gauze and the incision.

The gauze stuck to the glue over my incision. The brown stuff is a mix of water, old blood and iodine.

I sat there with my foot sticking straight out for about an hour. When they finally came to check on me the medical assistant said it was going to hurt, but she was going to pull it off. So she did. Some parts were brutal but I was glad it was off. She cleaned it a bit more and blotted it dry, then I had to sit there another hour and a half with my foot sticking straight out so it could air dry. It was exhausting and my foot was really swollen. They told me I wasn’t going to be able to get casted that day, due to the incision being too damp, so they put me in another splint. This one was WAY lighter than the hospital one! I was to return that Friday, December 3rd to get the sutures removed and get casted.

Jorge and I were both starving so we stopped by Zamora’s on our way home. I know I’m gaining weight from being completely sedentary and eating high-calorie, carby foods, but man: those enchiladas are LIFE.

My boss was quick to ask if I got my medical excuses and reminded me that I had an important training coming up the next week, all week, so he suggested I start teleworking because I’d missed a mandatory tech check that morning. I kind of felt pressured and instead of asking for a couple more days to mentally prepare, I said I could start the next morning. So dumb of me. My anxiety was through the roof those next few days.

But I worked and caught up on eleventy-billion emails with a lunch-time nap daily. I was still taking at least 1 Tylenol with Codeine per day, usually in the evening so I could sleep through the night, and it would make me drowsy after a few hours of being in front of my computer. But I made it work and when 4:30pm came around I didn’t feel as guilty about catching up on “Jane the Virgin”.

Linda took me to my December 3rd appointment. It, once again, took 4 hours just to have them remove my splint, tell me it’s still too “damp” to remove the sutures and then they showed me how to put on and remove my splint since I’d have to let my incision “air dry” at home for the next week for a few hours a day. I was actually supposed to return on December 8th to get the verdict on whether my sutures would come out or not, but since I had training the entire next week I had to reschedule for December 13th. The good news was: December 5th was the first day I didn’t take not one pain pill! More good news? I received my tiny fridge I’d ordered for myself since the kids liked to leave me without liquids during the day -_-.

I was mortified to find out that I’d have to be on my webcam throughout the training on Monday morning. So since I had very little time to prepare, I just filled in my eyebrows, put on mascara and lipstick and threw my robe on. Too bad; that’s all they get LOL

I did the same thing on day 2 of training, but finally, on the 3rd day and beyond I made myself sit at my desk for the full workday. I was super tired and my ankle was swollen by the end of the day, but I wanted to have a nice background and not be sitting in my bed all day. Plus my back was killing me since I couldn’t just flop over when I got tired.

I had Eenan put my Squishmallows up at the top of the bookcases and we both decided they made me look more insane 😆

Jorge was here the weekend so we hung out watching “Jane the Virgin” when he was here and he did my bidding, like bringing me food and non-stick pads for my incision. Monday comes around and we get some coffee and tacos and he takes me to my appointment to FINALLY see if my sutures can come out. Another 4 hours at that office and they finally tell me that the sutures can come out. The doctor checks on it too and says the medical assistant will “clean it up” and remove the sutures. When she finally comes in with the scissors and tweezers, she says she’s going to remove them and then put tape over it. I ask what kind of tape, because I’m allergic to steri-strip tape and she says, “Oh, this is steri-strip tape.” So she asks 2 other people what she should put on it and no one really answers. So she rubs iodine on the incision and then begins poking, snipping, pulling, poking, snipping, pulling. When she gets halfway through she pokes and prods the same spot repeatedly, to the point where I’m cringing in pain. I’m squeezing the crap out of Jorge’s hand. She says, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but this one’s really in there.” Well of course it is—I was already 2 weeks behind on recovery because of the wet gauze and sutures being too damp after that, so obviously they were going to be imbedded in my skin. After 30 hours (that’s what it felt like) she finally finished. The incision looked even WORSE now because there’s raw, bloody skin, a deep hole where she was digging and the glue that was STILL all around the incision was now yellowish-green looking and even crustier looking than before. She didn’t “clean it up” like the doctor said, she just put a gauze on my incision to cover it. I asked her if it was going to stick to the wound and she said no (lies) and I asked if I’d need antibiotics (since she practically dug all the way to my bone) and she also said no. They took me over to the splinting/cast room and they replaced the gauze. Of course the first one was already stuck and the man had to pull it off. Grr. Anyway, this time, they weren’t putting me into a cast or splint—they were putting me into a boot. They wanted to stabilize my leg and straighten it back out to a 90 degree angle. I told the man, “It hurts to straighten it out, though” and he said, “By the time I’m done with you, it’ll be at 90 degrees.” A few painful moments later, it was LOL.

The boot started to irritate the incision right before I went to sleep. It was really annoying trying to find a good position to sleep in because the hard plastic on the side of the boot was digging in directly into the cut. By the time the morning came around and Jaylen was taking me to my appointment with my physician at Texas Federal Wellness Center, I was in pain. My doc checked the incision to see where my progress was and upon taking off the outer gauze we realized the gauze the girl had put on the incision the day before was once again binded to my incision. So she carefully blotted some iodine on it and gently pulled it off. As soon as she did, she said, “You have an infection”. I knew it was going to happen!

The first photo was after the 2nd follow-up appointment. The middle one was at my physician’s office at Texas Federal Wellness and the third photo is from today after cleaning it up the last few days. All that nastiness was the glue they never removed.

I spent the next couple of hours trying to get my meds. I sent a gross photo of my infection incision (the middle one, above) to my Worker’s Comp contact at the surgeon’s office so she could show the surgeon and call in my prescription and she did. Love that woman! Then I had to keep calling HEB to see if they received it. They did, but had no info for my claim. I spoke to several people and they had no idea what they had to do. I said, “Look, I don’t mind paying it out of pocket. How much is it going to be?” The girl said, “The pills are $4, the cream is $354.” I said, “WHAAAT?? Ok, never mind.” And laughed. I gave her the claim number, because I knew that’s what they were going to need and it worked, thank GOD. worked.

So that’s where I am now: getting over this darn infection. Alaethia’s soccer season started that same afternoon. And Emily made the tennis team, so she’s been practicing for that. (Taking after mama!) I’m so sad that I won’t get to go to their games any time soon. I can’t wait till I get over this infection and can finally put weight on my foot, drive and get around. I’m not even wearing the boot since last night, since I’m pretty sure its not helping my incision close up. It would have been such a nice scar later on too, if that girl hadn’t gone crazy digging into my skin 🙁 . Oh, and I also can’t wait till my “quick showers” aren’t a whole darn hour anymore. Which I’m going to do now. Wish me luck!

Ankle Surgery

I broke my ankle on October 27th. I FINALLY had surgery on Tuesday, November 16th.

I woke up at 8:00am to get ready. The kids had already helped me out tons the day before by taking my cats to John’s apartment while I’m recovering. Their main area is my master bathroom so they tend to make messes everywhere and the last thing I need is a cat hair in my incision LOL.

Linda was here bright and early for me. She was driving me and staying with me while I was in surgery. She’s a Godsend, really. I owe her so much. Crazy that she was mom’s caregiver for so long and now she was there for me.

So Linda and I arrive at the hospital and they wheel me in. I was to be there at 9:30am and they were really quick about taking everyone in to the 2nd waiting area…but they didn’t take me in to pre-op till around 1:00pm. I needed to pee since around 11am but I didn’t want them to call me right when my buns touched the toilet seat, because that would be my luck. So as they wheeled me to pre-op I asked to go pee and did the urine test. The fact that I was going to have surgery didn’t hit me until I was undressing and in the hospital gown.

The nurse came and put a compression stocking on my left leg, my good leg. Then another nurse came and drew blood. Another came to insert the IV into the top of my hand and although it hurt like hell, the nurse really was pretty gentle. Linda thought I was joking when I yelled, “OH NO, THE IV! Give me your hand!” I was definitely not joking LOL.

IV’s are worse than child birth! Change my mind!

It was another 2 hours between me getting into pre-op till I was taken in to surgery. Both orthopedic surgeons that would be working on me came in to speak to me, Dr. Pechero and Dr. Gillette. Leave it to me to have the type of surgery that would require TWO surgeons to work on me, Dr. Gillette being an orthopedic trauma surgeon. He’s actually written 2 papers and assisted with 3 more about this type of fracture and repair, which I thought was cool and again—only I would fracture my ankle in a way that was rare enough to have medical papers written about it.

The surgeons didn’t want to originally, but they were going to “go in” through the back of my foot, so I would end up with two incisions on the back of my foot. They also explained that they may have to bend my knee in a strange position to get into my foot. OR, they would flip me over, buns up, so they could operate. Of course they would. Especially since I’d signed the paperwork that students were allowed to observe in the operating room. Oh well. You’re welcome!

I met the anesthesiologist and he brought some liquid and inserted it into my IV to “take the edge off”.

I honestly don’t remember much after that except that a nurse was waking me and asking me if I felt okay. I was groggy and had that after-intubation-sore throat, but I got dressed, they wheeled me out to Linda’s car and she drove me home. I somewhat remember getting into my bed; I think it was around 8:00pm (outpatient surgery). I remember speaking to Jorge, sending updates to the kids and Mario, friends and family and briefly seeing the kiddos before I passed out. I had so much saline in me and I was so thirsty from not drinking anything since 11pm the night before that I woke up every hour or 2 to go pee. My leg felt heavier and heavier as the night went on.

I had enough drugs pumped into me that the first part of the next day didn’t seem too bad, pain-wise. But my leg felt even more heavy so I started dreading having to get up to pee. I was still on the liquid diet (they didn’t want me to puke due to the anesthesia) so around 2pm is when I tried eating 2 Fig Newtons and I was okay.

By 8pm that night, I couldn’t stand the pain. My right knee and leg looked so much bigger and obviously swollen than my left one. Plus my neck, back and legs were now sore from the position they had me in during the surgery. And I couldn’t sleep most of the night. I finally fell asleep around 5am.

So Thursday morning my kids forgot to leave me coffee or something to snack on LOL. Then since they were in a hurry and Bentos never came back after letting him out, Jaylen put his food and water bowl outside on the porch and figured he’d be ok. My camera app kept going off, indicating that someone was at the front door. It was Bentos. Running between the front of the house and back porch, waiting for someone to let him in. Then I hear thunder…and it starts raining. Of course it would rain!! And poor Bentos is terrified of thunder so I felt bad and had to let him in. So I prayed to God that I wouldn’t kill myself with my crutches and newly operated-on leg and made my way to the front door. He’s not there. Went to the back door and he runs in, soaking wet. He attempts to jump on me and I yell “Down” and attempt to carefully move with my crutches and almost slip on the wet floor! Of course I would twitch my bad ankle and felt a pain rush up my leg. Then I couldn’t find him and he ended up being in my room, hiding in the curtains. The little damp and dirty doggy laying on my white curtains. I asked him to get out and then it took me like 30 minutes to calm myself. I swear I’m so out of shape, just using crutches to “walk” with makes me winded!

I also spent Thursday morning trying to get stronger pain meds but it was to no avail. They told me to double up my Tylenol with Codeine and that I could start Ibuprofen. I also spent lots of time trying to get my medical excuses and all that sent to my boss who needs to pass those along to admin. I spent some of today doing that, too. It’s a bit frustrating that I have to spend some of my recovery time tracking down all these things and worrying if my paycheck is going to be short or not. Ugh. Anyway.

Today has been better. A little. My knee is still in a lot of pain from not being able to move from this position. My leg is incredibly heavy today and since I, OF COURSE, had to start my period today, I’ve been back and forth to the restroom a lot today. Not fun. But Gina and Omar came in clutch today. She called to ask if they could get me some dinner and brought the kids and me some Papa John’s Pizza. It was the best!

I’m actually feeling a little stabbing pain on the left side of my ankle now, which means that I’ve forgotten one of my pain meds. Since I’ve been incapacitated and in bed, I’ve been passing the time by watching shows (started and finished “Narcos Mexico Season 3,” “Locke & Key,” “Dietland”, “The Astrological Guide for Broken Hearts”, “The Curse of Von Dutch”. Watched “LoveHard” and “Red Notice” and have kept up with “Grey’s Anatomy” and “A Million Little Things” and have also started switching between “Catfish” and “My 600 Lb. Life”). I’ve also been blogging, scrolling through social media and TikTok, playing Pokemon Go and sleeping. Hopefully I can finish my book soon (Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes—STILL reading that one) and start watercoloring again. Hoping I start feeling better soon and that there aren’t any crazy problems with this recovery. I always go back and think about my breast reduction surgery. That one was tough!

‘Cause I’m Brokennn

I swear, y’all. Someone is definitely doing Brujeria on me. I just KNOW IT.

I know I haven’t updated in a good long while (that update post is coming!), but I just have to write about my latest misfortune.

I had already decided that enough is enough: I was going to lose weight. I needed to get my head back in the game and get back to Keto (the best way for me to lose weight, personally) and start walking again. Walking, not running, because back in June I’d twisted my ankle at work, which caused a domino-effect of problems for my right leg. The ankle was sprained, my ACL and MCL were strained and my meniscus had tears in it. My sciatic nerve was giving me trouble and I had pains in my hamstring all the way up to my lumbar. I had weeks of physical therapy to help me get on the mend.

So fast forward. Emily joined volleyball and she loves it. I was getting out of work, going to physical therapy, rushing to pick up Emily from practice and then going to visit mom at the nursing home. Then I’d get home and make dinner (or picked up dinner when I was too exhausted). It got to the point where I excused myself from physical therapy because it was just too much. I was only to go in for bi-monthly updates.

During Emily’s last volleyball game there was a popular Instagram photographer taking photos of the crowd and action shots, and of course uploading them to Instagram later. To my absolute horror, a photo of me sitting next to Mario, with Emily’s friends cheering her on in the background and Alaethia and Jaylen directly on the bleacher under us is posted—and I look like a SENORA!! With jiggly senora arms, triple chin and everything! It was another 100 degree day and my curly hair was up in a God-awful bun. I was absolutely mortified. And that was the moment that I decided I was going to “Lose 40 Before I Turn 40”. And ok, yes—that seems completely unattainable because I turn 40 in 5 months, but I was using it as motivation!

I was on a roll. I had started to walk on my treadmill (watching “You” on Netflix made the time pass by quickly) for 30 minutes. I was also sticking to Keto after a weekend of the kids having their Halloween parties (and binging on Hot Cheetos and cheese). I felt good. In the first week I lost 4 lbs., so that was enough motivation to keep going.

Then, Wednesday, October 27th comes around and I start the day as usual: dropping the girls off, feeling a tad sleepy on the drive there, get to the office, make some coffee, chit-chat with the guys and get started on my emails. It was Timekeeping day for me, so I got all my files out and got to work. The morning went by so quickly; by the time I knew it, it was noon and almost time for lunch (which I was excited about because it was rotisserie chicken salad from HEB). Suddenly, there’s a shrill sound blaring in our ears. The fire alarm. The guys said that we’ll usually get an email tipping us off about the fire drill, but we hadn’t received anything, so maybe it was the real thing?

We file out, along with the other departments. I’m holding my dress down with both hands and simultaneously holding my phone and walking carefully since I’m in my tri-color Steve Madden platforms and it’s a pretty long walk. We reach the meeting point and stand around a bit. Everyone starts walking back so we follow suit. I’m getting to the security post and raise my left leg and miss the curb. My foot wobbles and I try to catch my balance with my right foot—AND MISS THE CURB AGAIN. Only this foot doesn’t stop wobbling and twists to one side and down I go. When my bum hits the ground AND lands on top of my ankle I hear a loud *CRACK*. I say, “Oh my God,” out loud and realize the crack was my ankle. People start gathering around me, asking if I’m ok, trying to help me up. I pull my leg out from under me and I’m shocked to see that my ankle is already swollen. Someone asks me if I can get up and I tell them no, I can’t even feel or move my toes. One of the AG guys tells me he’s going to help me up and suddenly there’s 2 men helping me up, one of the CBP girls is wrapping her jacket around my waist so I don’t flash anyone and another girl, Letty, is waiting in her vehicle so they can drive me where I need to go. It felt like forever and like everything was happening so fast all at once. The supervisor on duty for CBP needed to get info about where and how it happened, so we waited in the vehicle. The adrenaline is now dissipating and I’m feeling the pain more and more. I call my friend (and guy I was talking to at the time) about what happened and he said he’d meet me at the ER. Just hearing his voice brought me to tears, especially because we’d just had a small argument that morning. I texted Jaylen to tell him what was going on, too, but he was at work and not seeing the message. My boss calls me and asks what happened and I tell him about my latest ridiculousness. He says the guys will drive over and bring my bag and one of them can take me to the ER/clinic.

Mark was the lucky one who got to take me. He helped me into my vehicle and he drove me to South Texas Healthy Systems Stand-alone ER. I was in a panic and still in shock so when they were registering me I gave them my insurance card instead of waiting for my Worker’s Comp info and I ended up having to pay a deductible (well, my guy at the time did), so that sucks. I’m going to have to fill out paperwork to get that money back. Ugh.

Anyway, they did my X-rays and it showed that my tibia and fibula had fractures. They splinted me, which sucked because any little movement hurt. I was kind of shocked that that was it and they were having me call an orthopedic surgeon on my own. They offered a name and a number and that was it. They sent me on my way.

My guy helped me into the car and helped me get settled before he had to pick his daughter up from school. He was a blessing those first few days—he even helped me shower and took care of me at my most vulnerable. But, like all good things, that came to an end, too. Heartache and physical pain simultaneously SUCK.

Luckily, Jorge, Mario, my friends, Linda and the kids have been great about helping me around the house, bringing me and the kids food and groceries and making sure I’m comfortable. Jaylen’s been a Godsend taking the girls to school for me, picking up groceries and orders from HEB and Target and taking me to my appointments.

The next few days were a blur of miscommunication with the orthopedic clinic—they ended up setting an appointment for me for PHYSICAL THERAPY and not a consultation with the surgeon. I was pissed. I couldn’t get the stupid ER to get in touch with the doctor who saw me that day to sign my forms for work, either. My PCP didn’t want to get involved with Worker’s Comp because “they don’t do that” so I ended up calling up my old physical therapy place, Texas Federal Wellness Center. In one day Malerie and Stephanie had me go in for a consult with an ortho surgeon, where I got more X-rays. They had me take 2 sets because the doctor didn’t like how something looked (I over heard him through the door LOL). Turns out, I had two full breaks—in my tibia and fibula. Another fracture in my tibia, talus, and the lateral and medial malleolus.

I’d be needing surgery. I cried a little when the doctor walked out. A sweet nurse came in a bit later and removed my splint and finally put me in a cast.

A couple days later I was seen by an imaging place where I got a CT Scan. Jorge took me to that appointment, plus the new orthopedic surgeon I’d be seeing because the original was unfortunately going on vacation. I tell you—my LUCK.

So the new ortho had my cute, pink cast removed (they sawed it off—I was terrified they’d nick me) and did MORE X-rays. We were there for almost 4 hours. I was impressed that Jorge didn’t totally lose his shit. They were going to re-splint me and let me know my surgery would be the NEXT TUESDAY because the surgeon had “emergency surgeries”. I guess because my bones weren’t sticking out of my leg, I wasn’t considered an emergency. I was so frustrated that I started bawling. I was in pain and nobody seemed to give a shit. Just as I’m wiping my face the nurse who was going to re-splint me walks in. He notices I’m crying but doesn’t say anything till we’re in the splinting/casting room. I ask why it’s going to be a splint again and not a cast and he said because the cast I had on was causing my leg to swell even more. I told him that the last time I had the splint I could feel my foot/ankle just flopping around in there an it hurt. He promised he would do a good job and asked me if I was ok. I told him how frustrated I was and he said I would be okay. So I’ve been told…

Linda brought me McDonald’s and took me to get pre-registered for surgery last Thursday. She didn’t think it was possible, but I’m as bad as she is when it comes to directions, even with GPS! It took us a good bit to find the building, but in our defense, there was no address number on it! As stressful as it all was (getting around, her pushing me in the wheelchair I borrowed all over the place, taking my COVID test and bloodwork and a urinalysis), it was also a fun time because Linda is a riot. She is constantly making me laugh. To thank her for her suffering, we went to Sweet Temptations and I treated her to dessert (I told her to get food but she and I only wanted dessert LOL). She helped me get situated in my room and I got to have my chocolate cake and Tylenol with Codeine LOL.

The days have blurred into each other and I’ve had my moments when I’ve gotten really sad (again, a breakup isn’t something I needed right now) but I’ve been able to watch tons of shows, play Pokemon Go, read, write here (this has taken me several days to achieve) and just catch up on years of sleep. This will serve as a lesson to me: be careful what you wish for. I asked for a BREAK and boy did I get one!