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Adrienne : Visit #1 to the OS...
Diary entry posted Mon 8:45pm 10 June 2002

I broke my tib/fib on Thursday afternoon and had my first appointment to see the OS on Monday. Since I couldnít get down the steps using either feet, due to the sprain on the left and the fractures on the right, I had to call the ambulance. That was when the REAL adventure began.

If they canít get a stretcher up the steps, they use a chair. I think itís called a stair chair. Itís nylon and foldable and has straps that hold you in place and handles to lift you up from the floor. This is how I would be carried up and down the steps for the next two weeks.

When they carry you down the steps (and my steps are very steep, a point on which they ALWAYS remarked), you are strapped into this chair with your arms across your chest because instinct dictates that when two people are carrying you down the steps in a chair, huffing and puffing and swaying you from side to side and front to back, you will grab at the first fixed point you can (in my case it was the railing). Bad idea. I shifted the weight and almost went over sideways. But I did learn my lesson. Keep your arms inside the vehicle (or chair) at all times!

I should have warned them that Iím a lot heavier than I look. People ALWAYS underestimate my weight, usually anywhere from 20-50 lbs. Iím 5í9Ē and have weight trained for years (I even scare some of the guys at the gym Ė hmm? Maybe thatís why they donít ask me out. Note to self Ė lift lighter weights in front of cute men who may have issues with their masculinity.) So the weight training causes me to actually be heavier than I look. I can guarantee you that these guys certainly werenít expecting me to weigh 160 lbs. Probably more like 125 lbs. No one ever guesses over 140 lbs and even that's rare.

So Iím going down the stairs in the orange chariot with the two husky men grunting and groaning as they carry me. Sounds pretty exciting, huh? It was, but not the kind of exciting I like(grin). I didnít feel like Cleopatra, and I did not like being strapped into a chair. My final comment regarding the stair chair: You havenít lived until you have experienced this. Correction: You havenít lived this until youíve experienced this with one broken leg and one sprained ankle. Should you feel short-changed if someday in the distant future you find yourself lying in a bed somewhere, taking you last dying breath and realize that you never got to ride the orange chariot with two husky men carrying you? Well, if you do, itís probably better that you take that last breath and move on because thereís nothing left for you here!

Next, the big strong men drive me to my doctorís office, but they donít put on the lights and siren, even though I batted my eyelashes, smiled cutely, and finally even begged. ďYou already got the special effects show when you broke your leg,Ē they remind me. DAMN! Shouldnít have told them that. But I was in pain and didnít get to enjoy it, I insist. They donít bite. Killjoys!

Alas, my grand entrance into the doctorís office, wheeled in on a stretcher with my personal entourage. Did I feel like an idiot? You bet. Did I beg them to let me get in a wheel chair because I felt like an idiot? But of course. Did they agree? Not for an instant. GRRRRRRR!

First stop, X-rays. Yep, still broken. No surprise there. Next stop, exam room. Ah, now comes the fun part. Off with the air cast (oh yes, I did let them put the air cast on my broken leg during a moment of weakness at the hospital for those of you who have been following the saga closely) and on with the fiberglass. I ask the doc if Iím going to have surgery. Nope. Wait! I want it! I actually changed my mind on having surgery because I had done my research online, like any problem patient who wants to be able to challenge their doc at a moments notice, and I had discovered that there is a higher risk of arthritis and malunion without it. And I certainly didnít want that. Also, healing tends to be quicker after surgery. I certainly DID want that. But doc wants to be conservative, so he PUSHES, PULLS, SQUEEZES, and YANKS my bones into place. (I actually think he wanted to wait for the swelling to subside as the risk of infection when there is swelling increases significantly. But he didnít tell me that. I deduced it on my own after more research. As youíll learn, most Orthos are great at withholding info. Maybe they think they work for the pentagon. Note to self Ė remind doc that he doesnít work for the pentagon.)

While he tugs on my leg and tries to push the bones into place (Yes, I did think I was in a medieval torture chamber at that point), I forced myself to remember the five waves of pain I suffered through after I broke it. This was significantly less painful, so I just gritted my teeth while doc tried to put this humpty-dumpty back together again.

It wasnít until an hour later, when the cast had fully set that I realized the magnitude of pain I had been outfitted for back at the medieval torture chamber. The cast had become a vice grip and it now became a battle for my sanity (what little I had left). Who would survive? The cast or the patient?

More to come on the next posting of Ö ĎThe Broken Legí

Heal well and heal quickly.

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 Mon 8:45pm 10 June 2002
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