An experience I could have done without

I managed to fracture my left tibia and fibula on Saturday night. This is the post I wrote about it on Facebook.

As mentioned yesterday, I was a guide for a Halloween Journey at my friends’ kids’ school last night. I looked super-cute and made the fortunate decision to wear my lace-up, over the ankle,Ariat riding boots. I truly think they kept things from being worse. The Journey had 7 “scenes” representing places around the world and traveled over the school grounds, which is set along the mountain-side. This means the terrain was of varying levels and somewhat rough. I had finished the Journey and people were traveling down a hill to the “Reform Club” at the bottom. A woman in my group slipped in a muddy patch, and went down hard on her butt. The only thing hurt was her dignity, but I said that I would go stand above that patch and direct people away from it. As I made my way around the patch, back up the hill, my feet slid out from under me and I landed hard on my right side, facing down the hill. As I hit the ground, I heard an unfortunately-familiar sound, “CRACK!” and felt sharp pain around my left ankle. I’ve broken bones before and I knew what had happened.

There was much screaming and gasping in pain from me and people immediately rallied to help me. At one point, I almost passed out, with voices and vision fading and blurring, but they got me laying down on the ground and that helped a lot. Turns out, I was blessed enough to have two doctors in my group: a female gynecologist and a male foot surgeon/podiatrist (? a foot doctor of some sort). They were assessing me, and did a lot to reassure me. Someone called 911 and thankfully Kona Community Hospital is about 2 minutes down the hill from the school. An ambulance was there soon, but then came the challenge of getting me to the gurney at the bottom. They put a box split around my lower left leg, and the two attendants plus my friend Eric carried my top half, while at least one, possibly two, people carried the left leg so no weight was pulling down on my heel. The attendants were awesome, and so was everyone who helped me (I only remember the name Ally because Julie told it to me later). Per the EMT, I look much younger than 40, by the way.:)   I kept it together for the most part in the ambulance and all the way through the ER. My nurses were lovely, so kind and very careful not to hurt me as they got me half-undressed, ran an IV and started giving me drugs while getting the intake information.Shout out to Alecia the travelling nurse!

I had some morphine before the X-ray (always ask for the anti-nausea drug at the same time! I didn’t get sick at all!), and they eased off my left boot with less pain than I expected. The laces on the boot got cut, but the boot itself came off relatively easily. It had helped to contain the swelling on that side, and based on where the break was, I think it helped direct the fracture and keep it from pushing out. X-rays confirmed that my tibia and fibula both had clean fractures (above the ankle and below the knee respectively), and I was put into this odd split. It stated out as long strips of fabric that were wrapped around the base of my foot and up the sides, then another one was put… somewhere I don’t remember. The whole deal was surrounded by ace bandages to halfway up my thigh, and I was encouraged to make sure my knee had a slight, natural bend. The fabric got warmer and I could feel it expand and contract. By the time they released me, it was hard and very heavy. Pretty cool! Julie had stayed with me in the ER, but then went to pick up my car from the parking lot, and came to get me. Yay for the RAV4 with a backseat that allowed me to stretch out in it!

To wrap up the rest: the Z’s got me home, and after I lost it (finally) while they tried to figure out how best to help me, they gave me some space and ended up going back to the hospital to get me adult-size crutches as it turned out their daughter’s crutches were too short. I am now working on how to move around without putting any weight on the leg, keep the leg elevated while resting, and not wince too much when some movement makes the bones shift inside the splint. Also, I’ve had periods of extreme sweatiness come and go. I hope to see the ortho specialist within the next day or two, and that she will say I don’t need surgery.

I’ll keep you posted!

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