The above song by the Bangles perfectly sums up my day yesterday. Iâ€™m not typically one to post to this forum about my personal life and struggles, but I really just need to vent right now. Iâ€™m upset, tired, uncomfortable, and very crabby so I apologize if this comes out both long and muddledâ€¦
This past holiday weekend was wonderful. A couple of friends and I (4 individuals in total â€“including 6 dogs!) went out to Cook Forest in western Pennsylvania and rented two cabins for the long weekend. We had a fabulous time and spent the weekend relaxing, enjoying the beautiful scenery around us, laughing and generally being silly, hiking, swimming, going horseback riding, exploring the area (into the Allegheny National Forest), and having the obligatory cookout and Fourth of July picnic/barbeque/party. It was an amazing weekend and I enjoyed myself immensely â€“ as did my friends. It was a perfect way to kick off the summer and Iâ€™m so grateful that we were able to pull this off as a group. Itâ€™s a weekend I certainly wonâ€™t be forgetting anytime soon and, believe me, thatâ€™s a good thing!
But hereâ€™s where things get a little less fun and a little more frustrating. Due to some serious health issues in my past, I suffer from osteopenia (a precursor to osteoporosis). This means that, along with some other medical concerns, I am at risk of injury and illness far more than the average individual. In fact, it has led to numerous hospital visits along with breaks and fractures within the last 5+ years (Iâ€™m 26 now). However, I knew all this going into the trip and managed to remain upright and healthy through the entirety of the weekend and came away so grateful for my physical and emotional well-being. It took time, energy, information, and a lot of caution, but it was well worth it and I was so thankful for my health that it didnâ€™t even occur to me that Iâ€™d potentially be at risk once I returned home. And, boy am I now regretting my lack of preparation and careâ€¦
I spent the first part of yesterday lounging around the house and relaxing. I had a nice, quiet morning and then when my roommate returned from work, we were planning on going out to get a quick bite to eat and then run some errands â€“ including doing some grocery shopping. But we never managed to make it out yesterday. Well, I did, but not as originally planned. I donâ€™t know how it happened, but as I was walking down the steps, I must have either slipped, missed a step, or had my ankle give out on me since I was soon tumbling down 2-3 steps and onto the floor. It happened so fast and all I can remember is that I felt a crack and then managed to roll over my right ankle and foot 3 times before coming into contact with the hardwood floor between the living room and dining room of our home. And then? Searing, unimaginable pain. In fact, the pain was so severe that I almost instantly went into a state of shock where my temperature plummeted and I was fading in and out of consciousness (or so my roommate and the EMTâ€™s told me). I remember coming to while in an ambulance and then I must have faded back out because the next thing I remember was being rushed in the doors to the ER. Once they pumped me full of some heavy duty pain medication I was more able to focus on everything that was going on around me â€“ including the parade of nurses, residents, radiologists, and doctors filing in and out of my room. And within an hour I had gone through two sets of X-rays which were definitive enough to confirm what everyone already thought â€“ I had several breaks to my right ankle and foot (and toe).
It turns out, though, that I was lucky. The X-rays they took of my hip and knee (and my other foot and ankle!) were negative. And, if I wasnâ€™t lucky enough that my breaks were localized, I also was blessed to have broken bones which allow me to still retain some usage of my ankle and foot. Unfortunately, however, any usage I have is extremely limited and Iâ€™ll be on crutches for a minimum of 4-5 weeks and in a walking cast/boot for at least three times as long as that. But, within 3 hours I was out of the emergency room and on my way, with my roommate, to the pharmacy to pick up my painkillers. And while the entire situation sucks, Iâ€™m grateful that my injuries were not as severe as they could have been and that I am able to still be a functional, independent adult.
The breaks were to my right fibula, the fifth metatarsal (Jones Fracture), my small toe (fifth phalange), and a number of probable (as in almost 99.9% likely) occult and hairline fractures on the inside, outside, and top of my right foot. Iâ€™m allowed to put weight on my right foot, but it must be extremely slight and with heavy assistance from my crutches and, of course, while wearing my walking cast/boot. They didnâ€™t want to use a fiberglass cast one me since they wanted me to continue to use my foot and ankle with an upward and downward range of motion. However, I cannot move my foot side-to-side and, as of now, my foot is turned inward and Iâ€™m unable to be flat-footed outside of my brace. Therefore, they gave me a wrap for my ankle and sent me on my way with a prescription for a custom-fit brace which I was able to get into as early as mid-afternoon today. Needless to say, Iâ€™m in a tremendous amount of pain and am discouraged by this new break (or, rather breaks). But, most of all, Iâ€™m angry at myself for being so careless and feel so powerless in that there is so much that I canâ€™t do on my own at this point in time. I feel so much guilt and shame for having fallen and caused this and I hate that I have no choice other than to ask for help and support when itâ€™s needed. And, while I do have friends and family who are able and willing to support me, I feel too undeserving and unworthy to accept their assistance.
Iâ€™m thankful that I have family, friends, and a wonderful roommate, who can help me through this mess, but itâ€™s going to be a long period of recovery and feeling as I am right now, Iâ€™m not exactly willing to go through the pain, discomfort, and frustration of weeks and months of living with one bum leg, visits to the doctor and orthopedist, X-rays galore, and physical therapy. And, let me just say that I have zero insurance. So, yeah, this is going to cost me a ton of money, time, and patience and Iâ€™m just so frustrated and overwhelmed. And, if all that was not bad enough, I have a business trip scheduled for this weekend to Fort Wayne, Indiana which I absolutely cannot get out of. I just feel like Iâ€™m a walking disaster and while I know Iâ€™m sitting on a platinum pity-pot, I canâ€™t seem to drag me and my heavy walking brace/cast off the pot and back into my life. Iâ€™m grateful that Iâ€™m okay, but Iâ€™m also angry that Iâ€™m not. It makes no sense, right? And, yet, it does. In short, Iâ€™m miserable. Just plain miserableâ€¦and scaredâ€¦and ashamedâ€¦and angryâ€¦andâ€¦andâ€¦andâ€¦
At this point, Iâ€™m exhausted and feel as though Iâ€™m struggling to make sense so Iâ€™m going to end this for now. I know yâ€™all probably have bigger worries and concerns than my broken ankle and foot, but I appreciate that youâ€™re all here and available to listen. â€˜Cause, right now, I just need someone, somewhere to hear me and know that Iâ€™m having a rough time.