Monday, January 05, 2009

Give me a break! (Or three)

Last night, just moments after I'd finished work and completed a post, and just moments before I was planning to head to bed, Tom and I decided to take Shasta for a walk in the lightly falling snow. What was to be a quick 10-minute walk ended up being a ride in an ambulance, a night in the emergency room, an x-ray with white broken lines all over it, and a scheduled surgery.

Last night also included the most pain I've ever felt in my life -- natural childbirth included!

I was just heading down the three steps in front of our house when I slipped and fell. I immediately knew something was very wrong. The immediate pain was indescribable and I was anything but quite or demure about it. Nope -- I was absolutely screaming in agony.

Tom went in the house to get Peter who has some EMT training and suggested that Tom call an ambulance. (I was coherent enough to tell them that no WAY would they try to move me on a sloped, icy driveway and drive me to the hospital themselves!)

The paramedics arrived in no time and they somehow got me into the ambulance in spite of my screams of agony. I don't think I opened my eyes the whole time because I was turning very much inward, trying so hard to practice the breathing and relaxation I used to teach as a Certified Childbirth Educator.

But it was no use. This thing hurt like a MF! And because of the snow, it took what seemed like an eternity to get to the hospital and I was hyperventilating the whole way there. Once we got to the ER, I wanted one thing and one thing only: drugs to dim the pain. It again took forever to find a vein, just like it did back in February when I had surgery on my eye. But one talented (lucky?) nurse finally got in and I got my drugs (propopal?) -- which only slightly dimmed the pain, but made me very loopy.

It turns out that the guy who was assigned to us was in Peter's firefighting class (NEVAC) years ago, which was nice... for Peter; I didn't really care about anything but dimming the pain!

Tom took a few photos at the hospital (he knows his blogging wife well!). This was what my leg looked like when we arrived. As Peter and Tom said, it just doesn't look right!


I'm sure glad I didn't see this photo yesterday!

I was then wheeled to x-ray, and soon after that the doctor informed us that my ankle was (is... sigh) broken in three places and all the ligaments around the bones tore as well -- and that I'll need SURGERY in 5 - 7 days, once the swelling goes down. All from a silly little spill on our front steps?!

Peter's friend, who he knew from EMT training (dang -- I promised him I'd remember his name... he told me I wouldn't... he was right) then cut my boot off, very, very (very) gingerly, per my instructions demands sheer panic. This is what's left of my boot:


They also cut off my new snow pants, my sleep pants and my fleece top -- don't ask me why. Then the doc put me out completely and set my foot (meaning he pulled and tugged at it... a thought that still sends me reeling!) and I woke up with this:


It's temporary, just until the surgery.

Would you believe that, in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, in the midst of the worst pain I've ever felt in my life, I was thinking about work and how I can possibly start on all these projects. In my panic, I even mentioned to Tom at the hospital at 1 AM that I needed to call my boss and ask him about his priorities. Oh brother!

So I'm home for at least a few weeks, the first two of which (one before and one after the surgery) will be spent here... IMG_0659

...working at home, in bed -- at least to the extent that I can while on these really, really strong drugs!

So it is what it is and, as bad as the timing is, I just have to deal and get through it. I keep telling myself that it could have been worse.

It also could have been better. Sigh!

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BethanyWD said...

Oh, Carol! I am feeling for you. I am hopeful that you can get your pain under control (advice from someone who's had 4 surgeries - ME! - is to not let the pain break through once you have it under control - meaning, take your pain pills on time!). Once the surgery is done, I'm sure you will begin to feel much, much better and be on your way to recovery!!

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD Carol! Just looking at that picture of your poor wrong-pointing foot makes me absolutely wince with pain.

I'm so sorry! Don't worry about work. Microsoft (and your company) is not going to go out of business while you take time to take care of yourself.

Let me know if you want company- I drive right past your house on my way home.


Michelle said...

Oh my goodness!! I hope you have a speedy and painfree recovery - what a freak thing! Poor thing

Anonymous said...

This is so awful for you! And it's scary just how quickly something freakish like this can happen. (It COULD have been worse—thankfully you didn't hit your HEAD).

Well...there is a bright side. You'll get to spend more time than you thought in your new robe!

loren2h said...

Your poor foot. I got queasy just looking at the first pic. Thinking good healing thoughts your way.


Maria said...

Wow lady! That is horrible. I hope they put you out to set that foot! Jeesh! Good luck with the surgery!

Home's Jewels said...

Carol! I'm so sorry. I'm glad Tom and Peter were home. It sounds like you're on the beginning of a long journey.

Margaret said...

Oh, OUCH. That looks terrible! I'm so sorry that it happened; as you said, it could have been worse, but this is bad enough. I guess I don't need to tell you to take it easy because you have no choice!

Anonymous said...

Oh, OW OW OW OW. I'm feeling for you.

I hate to break (no pun intended) it to you, but I don't think you'll be back to work in a couple weeks. I had the same injury (tri-malleolar ankle fracture with dislocation and surgical reconstruction), and it was a full 8 weeks before I was able to remotely resume my life, and another year of rehab after that to walk properly. A reconstructed ankle is indeed a long journey. I'm just telling you because I wish someone had told me upfront how long the healing process is. The doctors made it sound like a-little-surgery-a-little-rehab-and-you'll-be-fine, like it was a walk in the park. I wasn't prepared for how disabled I'd be without my leg.

Don't try to be a brave soldier after the surgery and go home right away. You'll need to be in for a day or two just for the IV pain control.

Christine said...

I am SO SORRY! That looks SO painful! I can't imagine what that must have been like.

Take care of yourself and get well quickly!

Anonymous said...

Carol Henrietta Snider! (Seriously, what is the 'h' for?) You get off of the internet THIS INSTANT--you hear me, young lady! Sorry, folks, but someone has to make this feisty mama take a dose of her own medicine and REST. NO work, NO blogging, and definitely NOT "just one more email." Lots of rest and pain pills and bad, hazy television for you, missy--that's an order!

(Seriously, those pictures of you made me tear up. :( I miss you and hope you feel better very, very soon. When you're up for visitors, the kids and I will come and bring you hugs and chocolate.) xoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Just a tip: Before the surgery, tell the surgeon, in no uncertain terms, to use STITCHES to close the surgical wounds, NOT STAPLES. Seriously, you don't want to have staples pinching you under a cast. You won't be able to get at them and they will drive you insane. For weeks!


jennifer said...

Oh no, oh no no no how awful. I'm very impressed that even through your pain you wrote a cheerful blog entry - just shows again what an upbeat person you are, even from the depths of agony. (the agony of de-Feet, ha ha ha ok sorry about that.)

I'm glad to see from the photo of your bedrest station that one of the kitties is there to comfort you.

Unknown said...

Oh NO! What luck! That completely stinks. I hope you are feeling less pain (and more drugs) very soon. I had a cast on my ankle after foot surgery a few years ago and it was no fun at all.

Here's to lots of pain meds, naps, movies and spoiling from hubby!

Hope you are feeling better soon.

LBaum said...

WOW, it was bad enough just to imagine from your description, but those pictures really are worth a thousand words. Unbelievable! Sending prayers and healing thoughts your way.

Lynn B.

christina said...

Oh my goodness, what are we going to do with you? I'm so sorry.

And NO WORK, just healing and lots and lots of pain relievers!!

AstroYoga said...

Oh - I am so sorry. it looks like your goal of writing more may be coming to you in a way that you never planned! Being immobilized has a way of making you sit still long enough to write.

I had a shattered wrist into innumerable pieces (after a car ran into it in a cross walk) a few years ago and your description of the pain and you odd sense of priorities while lying in the hospital reminds me of my accident. I'm sure calling the boss seemed completely reasonable at 1 AM :-)

My unsolicited advice - let your loved ones help you and if you can avoid having metal left inside of your body, ask your doctor to do it (even if it means another OP to do it). That was the best advice I received during my accident. That, and drink prune juice - those pain meds have a few side affects the docs sometimes forget to mention.

Good luck in recovery, and may this journey allow you to discover a new layer of yourself.

Anonymous said...

OMG, that just made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. With my history of falling, this is would be my worst nightmare come true. As one reader said, don't let the pain get ahead of you! Take your medication on time, even if you don't think you need it right then. It's much easier to control your pain that way. Also, expect a long recovery. Not to scare you, anytime you have surgery on either your feet or ankles, it takes forever to get back to normal. I wish someone would have told my son that when he broke both his legs some years ago. Better to be mentally prepared.

Let hubby and the kids take care of you and spoil you. You'd do the same for them!

Sam said...

ooooh oh ouch! That foot does look horrible - all wierd and wonky in the first photo!

Wishing you a very speedy recovery with lots and lots of bloggy time!! ;-)

Amy said...

Oh Carol...I am so sorry that happened! Take it easy and take it one day at a time. Same thing happened to me (one indoor on my parent's stairs) nearly 3 years ago. It takes time but I am up and moving again. Remember to take care of yourself! :)

Anonymous said...

OmiGoodness! Eek and Yikes! Sorry for your pain and discomfort. Glad you have Tom to take care of you. But double Yikes! I hope you enjoy your recuperation at least a little bit and that everything medical goes perfectly and that you're back to your mobile and active self soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm sorry to hear this.

Betsy said...

Oh no!!!! That looks terribly painful! Wishing you a speedy recovery! (((hugs!)))

Cheryl Lage said...

Oh Carol, bless your heart! Eeeeesh, nothing like an injury to thwart things, eh?

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, and I will definitely be checking back in on yours...and you! Heal and relax! said...

I wish you a quick convalescence.

Goofball said...

oh my gosh....I knew I had to read the oldes posts first and I knew I had missed a serious post somewhere from your facebook status's. Yikes, that is awefull. The thought of the pain you must be enduring turns my stomac upside down already. I sure hope the next posts will tell us that you now suffer less pain. Aaaaah how did you cope with that?

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