Day 5, Post-Op. I’m not feeling as much PAIN in my ankle, per se. I’m feeling a lot of stretching and discomfort and ITCHINESS! I just want to reach something in there and scratch above the right side of my ankle but there’s some iron-clad splint all up in there. The back is getting itchy, too, but I’m thinking it’s because either the incisions are starting to heal, or they already have and my weird, jerky, involuntary movements are causing the scabs to stretch and tear. *shudder* Just thinking of it gives me the heebee jeebees. But yes. I think my anti-depressants are causing me to develop Tardive dyskinesia (this is my hypochondria speaking) or I have restless leg syndrome, because even before surgery I was getting these weird spasms and jerks in my legs, usually around 11pm. And now it’s apparently happening when I sleep, because I’ll wake up from sleep with a bad pain. I’m just praying it’s my imagination and that my incisions are healing perfectly.
I’m also feeling quite tender and bruised towards the top of the splint/cast, sort of near my shin and calf. It’s the weirdest pain ever. Jorge said it’s probably because of them shaving my muscle off of the bone to make repairs. Just thinking of that makes me want to faint.
My face still has the weird scabs I noticed when I woke up Wednesday morning, the day after surgery. I think I had old zits or some that were forming and they didn’t give a fuck when they ripped the intubation tape off my face 😆 . Now I have these scars and a cut and it’s taking all the power within me not to mess with them when my anxiety strikes. I already managed to chew the inside of my cheeks and some of my lips. Why can’t I just stop doing that!?
I’ve spent the day finishing up “The Hook Up Plan” on Netflix and now I’ve started “Valeria”. They’re pretty good! I also finally opened and started using my AirPods I bought for a good deal on Target.com. I gotta say, I love how they make phone calls sound. I swear, sometimes I think I’m going deaf like mom. It really frightens me.
I ventured out into the house today! Emily pushed me in my computer chair LOL. But I immediately regretted it because my Halloween decorations are out and my Thanksgiving ones are not D: . There were old cups and dirty dishes on the dining room table and on the counter in the kitchen. The kitchen nook table had a juicy, rotting banana on it *aherk*. Emily cleaned that up. And threw the moldy, fermented apple juice down the drain. I was trying not to have an anxiety attack. She was supposed to make spaghetti because that was the deal if I got us Raising Cane’s for lunch, but because the pots and pans she needed were dirty, she refused to cook. Same, kid.
So she made me a sandwich instead. I am SO nervous about gaining weight while I’m thrown in this bed. I swear, I will not take being active for granted once my ankle is healed. I couldn’t imagine being stuck to my bed like this. This is a huge reminder about eating better and not going full Type 2 Diabetes (I was pre-diabetic during my last check-up). I think of dad and his amputations. I think of Mom and her now using a wheelchair most of the time. I think of grandma and the 61 years she spent confined to her bed.
Don’t get me wrong, the resting and downtime is great, but it’s frustrating not being able to clean, or do laundry or dishes (even though I hate it), or organize my bedroom or my desk. I’d like to move my Cricut machine to where it’s more functional and I can use it better, but there are too many Knick-knacks on my desk and shelves and I can already hear the girls whining if I ask them to help. The little time I spent in my computer chair in the kitchen really made my leg sore, so I came back to my room.
I guess I’m done whining for now 😆 . Going to get back to watching “Valeria”. And figuring out how not to lose my shit with the itchiness happening in my foot.
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.
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!
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!