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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Beginning of a Slower Pace of Life

It started out as another "normal" day of training.  I woke up excited that I would get to take Azure to church for the first time and then head to Manhattan with the group for a day of training at the mall.  :)  I hopped in the shower to begin my day at approximately 5:45am.  Well, I guess I didn't really exactly "hop:" into the shower.  I don't exactly "hop" anywhere these days.  I should have suspected something was wrong about my shower entry when it was awkward to get in.  I should have thought about how I would get out before I got the floor all wet.  But, of course I didn't.

Getting out of the shower was when things all went wrong.  I fell.  Not entirely unusual.  I remember sitting on the floor, taking inventory of the situation, and trying to figure out how I was going to get back in my chair. Azure is in his kennel in the other room and barking like CRAZY because he heard me fall.  I finally decide the power chair is my best bet for getting back up.  I'll just crawl to it and use its weight to pull myself back up.  Oh, but before I can do that, I'd better get my foot out from underneath.  I am in no additional pain at this point and have no idea anything is wrong outside of my usual clumsiness and tendency to fall.  Well, I pull my foot out and immediately start crying.  Am I in pain?  Not yet.  But, although my drop foot always hangs, this time it is not hanging straight.  I start crying because I know it is broken and I don't know what that will mean for my near future.
All I can think of at that moment is what we were told on the first day of training--if there is a medical emergency, I come first.  Call 911 and then the trainer to take care of Azure.  Fortunately, I have a personal care attendant with me who also heard me fall and then Azure bark and then me cry.  I end up crawling over to the toilet to use the grab bar to stand.  She is holding my foot up so it doesn't drag and cause anymore damage.  We manage to get me back in the chair and then decide what to do.  I don't want to call 911.  I don't want an ambulance to pick me up.  I am still in no pain and think I can transfer to my van and do this on my own.   We do call the trainer and wake her up with the unpleasant news that I have a medical emergency.  She agrees 911 is not necessary, but she will be right over with the accessible van to get us to the hospital.  She arrives and takes Azure out for his morning bathroom break.  Then it is back in the kennel for him and off to the hospital for me.

Unfortunately, this is a routine I know all too well.  Paperwork first and then x-rays.  Fortunately, they are able to take the needed x-rays while I remain in my chair and put my foot on the table.  Then, the doctor arrives to look at the x-rays and see what is next for me.  When he comes in the room and asks if I've broken my leg before, I know it is bad.  I have to tell him "no", I've broken my foot, but not my leg.  I have broken both major bones in my leg (tibia and fibula) and there are six visible breaks.  It is not until I read the report that I understand the confusion.  The report says I fell and pinned my leg under myself (not under my power chair).  I would hope my own body weight would not have the force to break my leg in six places.  :)  But, hey, I was always told if you're going to do something, do it right.  I guess that goes for breaking my leg too.  :)

It is now time to put my leg in a temporary splint--plaster AFO and entire leg covered in ACE bandage.I am given permission to continue training this week--just ice and elevate as much as possible.  I am to see my orthopedic doctor by Friday and come back and see this doc by Wednesday or Thursday.  I am discharged with no pain medication, because I don't want any, but told to call if I change my mind.  I will not be calling.  No matter the level of pain, I will be dealing with it with over the counter medications.  I would rather deal with pain than with nasty drug side effects.  I don't leave with medication, but I do leave with a lollipop and a sticker.  And it's only 8:30am.


What injury stories do you have in your life?  Any exciting ones out there?  How do you feel about pain medication?

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