I ran.

photo (6)So…last night I ran. I ran for the first time in nearly 14 months. I wasn’t planning to run. It just happened.

I ran.

I am camping with my family and just before dinner last night I decided to walk down to the bathroom.

I ran.

After a few steps, I felt magic in my legs. My quads were loose and stretched. I felt my muscles come to life. They yearned to run. I figured, what the heck? Might as well try running the couple hundred feet to the bathrooms.

I ran.

When I got to the bathroom moments later, I felt my legs had come to life. I quickly took care of business and decided I would take the long way back to my campsite.

I ran.

Muscle memory kicked in. One foot in front of the other. I felt alive.

I ran.

My lungs burned. But I kept going, with a ridiculous smile on my face.

I ran.

I was determined not to stop to catch my breath. I refused to walk.

I ran.

It wasn’t far. It wasn’t fast. But that didn’t matter.

I ran.

I’ve been walking on a broken ankle for months

Yesterday, my mom commented on how surprised she was at how I’ve been tolerating the pain during recovery. I haven’t been complaining (of course, the drugs have been helping). She is just amazed, especially since in the past week, I’ve made amazing progress and made it yesterday with only taking 4 pain pills all day!

I told her that this weekend I realized that the spot in my ankle that had been giving me the most pain over the past 8+ months is the exact spot where my surgeon found a surprise fracture (and fixed it with a screw).

Basically, I’ve been walking around since July on a broken ankle.

I am such a badass.

I guess I’ve just gotten used to the pain.

I can’t wait to finally walk around without pain or discomfort!

Easing back into work today (part-time, from home). My assistants are taking good care of me.
Easing back into work today (part-time, from home). My assistants are taking good care of me.

Holy surgery bills

photo (1)Things I found out when I looked at medical billing (pre-insurance) for my surgery:

  • A pregnancy test costs $77 (I could’ve gotten one at CVS for less than $10).
  • The screw they put in my ankle cost $81.06.
  • An extra 30 minutes of surgery costs $1,618.
  • An extra 30 minutes of anesthesia costs $383.50.
  • Repairing ligaments costs $6,582.
  • Exploring an ankle joint costs $4,363.

So far, the total for surgery is $32,916.89. Still waiting to see what insurance will pay. Hoping this doesn’t set me back too far. Right now what it says I owe will hurt the wallet a bit, but won’t break the bank. I have pretty good insurance, so I’m hopeful the final total won’t be too much!

Das Boot Part Deux

YOU GUYS.

Today I said goodbye to my cast and hello again to Das Boot!

Das Boot

*chair dance*

And more good news from my doc. My ankle is looking great! (Ok, really, it looks like a gross rainbow, but medical-wise, it’s looking good). Incisions are healing well. Doc says I’ve been doing everything right. Wahoo! I can start putting weight on my foot as tolerated and in a week or two I can start weaning off the crutches!

*chair dance*

There’s even more good news! I can go to my friend’s wedding Saturday (just the ceremony, but still, wahoo!). I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to attend. Oh, AND, I was cleared to start working part-time from home next week and then to head back to the office (as tolerated) on the 25th! SQUEE! You guys, I was so worried I was going to be out of the office for another month (which I would not be able to afford).

So, overall, today was pretty awesome. Oh, and I got to go to Target again. You know what that means.

Motorized cart at Target
Motorized cart at Target
Wheee!
Wheee!

WARNING: Graphic photos in links below!

For those of you curious (and have a strong stomach), here’s a photo of the outside of my left ankle. It’s where the ligaments were repaired. Here’s a photo of the inside of my ankle, which is where the screw was inserted to repair a fracture. I’m not sure which side they went in to remove the bone spurs. Not like it matters when looking at gross photos of my foot.

 

 

Post surgical blues

Leading up to surgery, I was overly optimistic. Four to six weeks off of work? I will get sooo much stuff done. I’ll knit a bunch of hats and scarves, I’ll have time to catch up on my reading, I’ll watch all the documentaries in my Netflix queue and do some design work I’ve been wanting to do.

Boy was I wrong.

When I’m not in a drug-induced nap, I’m watching marathons of “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation” or “SpongeBob SquarePants” on Netflix. I’m playing stupid games on my computer or iPad. The only thing I’ve knitted so far was a cover for my cast to keep my toes warm.

photo (2)Speaking of my toes… we have a little situation going on. As you can see (sorry, gross, I know)… my toes are a nice bluish purple. That’s from getting up to go to the bathroom and let the dogs outside. I was up for maybe 10 minutes total and my toes went all cray-cray.

Apparently, I’m now getting into the crazy swelling stage of recovery, where if you don’t have your foot elevated, everything swells and starts to turn colors. This could go on for a couple of months. MONTHS. WHAT THE HELL?

BTW, the orange is from the betadine they put on you to sterilize everything before surgery. At first, my leg and toes looked like I got a bad spray tan. Now it just looks gross. Add in the blue toes, and we’re on the way to getting a rainbow.

Anyways, when my toes swell up and get blue, they also get super tingly and uncomfortable.

So that’s awesome.

And on top of that, I have been feeling lonely. I’ve had a few visitors (thanks, guys!), but I just feel secluded because the couple of times that I have left the house I felt exhausted the entire following day. Life is going on for everyone else and I’m here, sitting alone at my parents’ house. Ok I’m not really alone – I’m just that crazy hermit lady holed up in a house alone, with three dogs.

</pity party>

Day 4

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It’s been three days since my lateral ligament reconstruction, bone spur removal and bone fracture surgery.

Today started out a bit rough. I was in a lot of pain this morning and spent more time sleeping than I did yesterday. I’ve had a really upset stomach (let’s just say  that the narcotics are doing a number on my digestive system).

I was told that today would be the first day I could attempt to shower, but I was feeling so exhausted that I just washed up and threw on a Bondi Band. I may attempt a shower tomorrow, but only if I have the energy to stand up on one leg long enough. My ankle is non-weight bearing for at least three weeks, if not longer.

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And then these beautiful flowers arrived.

My sister and her boyfriend had them delivered from Whole Foods. They are so beautiful and were the ray of sunshine I needed on this rough morning.

Thankfully, mom was home today and answered the door when they arrived. I’m not sure how I would have gotten them in the house otherwise!

Today I napped, watched Netflix, played some games on my computer and designed new business cards for my LLC. I can’t wait to see them!

photoTomorrow, the plan is to do some knitting. I’m working out a pattern for a bootie of sorts over my cast to keep my toes warm! Here’s what I have so far. –>

And, let’s not forget about my adorable nurse.

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I’m alive.

Ligaments fixed. Bone spurs removed. Surprise fracture fixed with a screw.

LOL, I got screwed today.

HAHAHHahahahha.

Shut up, it’s the drugs talking. Very, very powerful drugs.

PS. Apparently, my ligaments were so bad, that the doc could have popped the ankle out of the socket easily. It would have basically slid right out.

 

 

The S word

So it’s been awhile. I turned 30. There were holidays. A wedding. Craziness at work.

Notice what’s missing?

Yeah.

Working out.

www.footsurgeryatlas.com

My foot/ankle situation hasn’t gotten better. In fact, it’s gotten worse.

On February 22, I will be having a lateral ankle ligament reconstruction surgery. It is as crazy as it sounds. If you are crazy like me, you will already have googled what this is. I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s a link to a step-by-step photo gallery of the surgery. Oh, and here’s video.

“Surgery involves making an incision on the side of the ankle to allow the surgeon to clearly see the torn tendons/ligaments and perform surgical repair. ” (Source: Ortho Foot and Ankle Center)

Basically, the surgery involves cutting ligaments in half, overlapping them, and sewing them back together. My surgeon is also going in to clean out the ankle joint and will remove the spurs.

I have three weeks to get my affairs in order – prep everything at work so that my coworkers can cover for me for however long I’m out of work and figure out what I need to bring to my parents’ house, where I’ll be staying during recovery.

I know I’m going to go crazy during recovery. I will need things to keep me busy. I figure I’ll sleep quite a bit the first few days, but after that, I will probably do a lot of knitting, crocheting, iPad gaming, documentary watching and reading. (So if you’re interested in one of my hats, place your orders soon!)

And, if you’re in the MKE area, please feel free to come visit. I will go stir crazy. And I’ve heard I’m fun when I’m on painkillers.

 

Das boot

Just when you think things can’t get worse… they do. I am a walking limping example of Murphy’s Law.

Things were progressing well with my ankle. The swelling was down, the lump of scar tissue/fluid was barely there. Then, as I was walking to the car Sunday afternoon, my ankle gave out on me and I fell… hard. I felt something “go” in my ankle. Not sure if it was a snap, rip or whatever. But something happened that shouldn’t have happened.

I stayed off my foot the rest of the night and have been nursing it with ibuprofen, ice and continued to wear my brace.

But as each day passed, it got worse. The pain intensified. There’s a constant pain, just varying in intensity. Walking hurts. Sitting hurts. Everything hurts.

So I went back to my ortho today. Another set of x-rays showed a couple new spurs, but thankfully no fractures. In order to stabilize my ankle, I was given a fancy aircast boot. It’s huge. But it’s keeping things in place, so I guess there’s that.

My ortho guy (he’s a PA – so he’s not a doctor, but I don’t really know how to refer to him except for as my ortho guy) said that if things don’t get better in the next 2-3 weeks, he will order an MRI and refer me to an ankle/foot specialist where we will discuss the next steps. There’s a possibility I have a torn tendon. AWESOME.

I thought I had hit a low earlier this month, but I’ve hit an even lower low.

Will I ever run again? I HAVEN’T RAN SINCE JULY 22. That’s more than three months. I feel like I’ve lost my identity. I’ve lost three months of my life to the never-healing ankle.

I don’t know what comes next, but I do know that today, I will eat (and drink) some feelings. And maybe, just maybe, some of yours as well.