Broken ankle…almost broke me, but didn’t

I’m not sure when it was that I figured out that the crutches they gave me in the ER were the wrong size. I guess I am impossibly short with no hope of ever growing taller! I wondered why they hurt and why it seemed nearly impossible to walk on them. They were already on the shortest adjustment, which, I note, is one inch taller than I am. I tried changing the handpieces around but that did not help. Another thing that bugged me about the crutches was that they did not stay put. I had to be very careful about where I leaned them, and even taking precautions to lean them in a way that they would not fall, they invariably crashed to the floor anyway. Picking them up is a huge nuisance.

I started to try to think up a solution and came up with one. I called a medical supply company and asked them if they had a walker in my size. When I broke my leg 20 years ago (from Risperdal, btw, which causes osteoporosis) I used a “junior” walker. This is for little people like me. So when I called the medical supply people I was able to describe, with ease, what I needed. They had one! They don’t deliver, though. I was about to cancel the sale, since there’s no way I can get there to pick it up and have no one I can send over there. They did deliver to me, though! One of the employees  was driving near here, anyway, so she dropped it off for me.

I was more thrilled than anything to receive this! They had already adjusted it for my height. It is actually the exact same walker I used way back when. I felt like a teenager with her first car! Finally, I can get out of the house and maybe walk down the street.

I tried to walk Puzzle. Tried. We went about a block. It was a good thing I turned around when I did. Although the walker does help with stability, everything hurt way too much to be doing this. I barely made it back.

Thursday I had my appointment with the podiatrist. I had to take an Uber to get there. Now that I had the walker I was able to walk from my front door to the Uber. I am able to do the stairs, also, if I back down them. I have to go back up on my butt, then, once I get the door open, slide myself on my butt over to a low stool, hoist myself up on the stool and then, pull myself to an upright position. None of this is easy using one leg.

The podiatrist appointment was about as expected, or perhaps, hoped for. No other bones are broken and it is healing very well. Already. I was hoping for a walking boot. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I got a boot, but I am still supposed to not put weight on it for another month. No walking.

The Uber drivers have been more than awesome. I could not ask for more! One of them even told me that his “day job” is helping physically handicapped adults. I knew I was in good hands. I was especially impressed that he knew just how much help to give, and did not push any more help on me than I wanted or needed. The cost of Uber is quickly adding up. However, it’s so exhausting to go out at all that I don’t think I’m going to be using them that much.

Two hours wearing that boot around and trying to hold my foot up was so trying on me that I realized I was going to have to make a change. Why did I even need a walking boot if I wasn’t going to be walking anytime soon? I made the decision to go back to the air cast, which is really a split. That worked! It is so much more comfortable! The boot was pulling down on my foot and causing too much stress. That boot is sitting in the bathroom, barely used. I also purchased a similar, but lighter weight one from Walmart and it’s being delivered. I doubt I will be able to use that, either, for quite some time.

Showering is not hard at all. I have totally mastered making coffee, though it’s complex trying to do it. I cooked a batch of dog food for Puzzle and made homemade, salt-free hummus for myself. I finally rinsed off the charcoal in my water filter one more time, and now, it filters much faster.

One of my challenges that I have yet to work out is to get stuff up from the basement. I have two rolling utility carts down there. Both will hold 20 lbs at least. I have a spare cot down there, a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, two water bottles, and a metal stool I have used in the past as a monitor stand. And the most important item of all: My big fan! I need all this stuff, but I can’t get down to the basement!

What should I do? I wonder how much it’ll cost to hire someone to bring that stuff up for me. I would happily pay someone $20 to bring it up, and also, to take out my trash, which is rapidly accumulating in here. It doesn’t seem like I will be able to get down to anytime soon. My freezer is full of garbage and the trash can is rapidly filling up. I have had to move two big empty boxes to the front porch. I was hoping someone would steal them. I cannot move them any further than that.

Which items can I replace or duplicate, which ones can I do without, and which should I have brought up?

The big fan, I saw, was on sale at the dollar store for about $24. I don’t think anything similar is that inexpensive that I can mail order. I will need something, anything, to hold up my monitor for work. I think I do, indeed, have a piece across the room that will work. Am I able to slide it across the room, though? Likely. But that will be an exhausting project.

I decided to mail order a second window fan to keep me reasonably cool at night. I wasn’t sure if I could open my bedroom window with one leg, but I did it! I can’t do anything to my kitchen window at all at this point. Thankfully, I left it open, complete with the fan in there, the day of the fall.

People do not realize how hard it is to manage this. There have been days I have told myself I could not take it anymore. I don’t want to say anything to anyone. I don’t want to sound like a complainer.

When you use one leg only to keep yourself upright, you have to wear a very stable shoe on your good side. Thank goodness I’m a runner! I had to change to a lower insole. Even the one I am using seems to high. All my weight is on that one side and the strain is not only too much for me, but it hurts an awful lot. My foot hurts and also the socket hip joint is way too stressed out.

This is a lot of stress on my core muscles, also. They never have enough time to recover and I have this ache in my stomach muscles that nags at me, telling me I’m getting too much of a workout. Even after lying in bed for as long as possible, I am still not rested enough.

Last night, my foot and calf were so swollen I was actually scared. I could no longer wear the splint at all, and I could not slide on my flip-flop. The skin around my foot was so stretched that that, too, hurt. I hoped and hoped that if I forced myself to stay in bed all night, it would be okay by morning. It was!

Today, I am doing more herbal medicine to help all this. I have not taken Ibuprofen or any painkillers. I have taken Tylenol a couple of times for headaches, which have been frequent since I can’t sleep very well.

To get Puzzle out, I tie her leash to a piece of rope, then, tie the rope to a leash that goes around my waist. I don’t even have to step outside to do this, which is a relief since stepping out takes too much out of me! Sometimes, Puzzle will not go anywhere. She waits for me to come out with her. When I tell her I can’t, she sits and waits and waits. What a baby!

I think I need to hire a dog walker. Puzzle doesn’t seem to mind this odd arrangement, but still, I would like her to be able to go further than the front yard.

I am STILL saving money by not having health insurance. The biggest expenses are non-medical, after all. These expenses are due to inconvenience of having an injury and not being able to walk. Not having insurance means I won’t go whining to a doctor every time anything at all bugs me. Not having insurance means I solve my problems myself, which makes me stronger. Exhausted, but stronger.



2 thoughts on “Broken ankle…almost broke me, but didn’t”

  1. I just thought of an excuse to get out of seeing a doctor if someone pressures you to see one. Just say you’re a Christian Scientist and follow the teachings of Mary Baker Eddie.

    Christian Scientists believe in setting bones but opt out of all other medical treatments. They have someone in a reading room pray them well.

    1. Using religious reasons usually works in the US, because of separation between church and state. I knew someone who got out of the psych ward because she had Native blood in her, about 1/8, but it worked! Her tribe helped her, too. I wouldn’t say I was a Christian Scientist unless I really was one, though. I think just a gentle reminder that we all have a right to refuse medical care should do it.

Feedback and comments welcome!