I broke my leg while hanging curtains in my bedroom in my new apartment. I was standing on a chair that was probably too short for the task I was trying to accomplish and the chair tipped over under me and sent me crashing to the floor. I remember looking at my leg and being relieved that it didn't look like it was bent in an abnormal direction. I also remember thinking that -- like a stubbed toe that hurts like hell at first but then goes away -- the pain could potentially pass and I could get on with my day.
It didn't pass and, when it became clear that I wasn't going to be able to walk into the next room to make a call, I dragged myself on my butt to the living room to get my cell phone. I got in touch with my friend Chris, who proceeded to call an ambulance and our friend Todd to come to my place and get me to the hospital. The concern was that my apartment was locked from the inside and there was discussion of breaking my door down. Instead, when they finally got here, I once again dragged myself -- this time to the front door -- and managed to get the door unlocked.
The next hurdle was the broken elevator in my apartment building. The bickering ambulance drivers -- who had decided that I just had a sprain -- had to bring me down three flights of stairs on a chair. Neither one was in particularly good shape, making it all the more hellish. I just closed my eyes and prayed that no one smashed my leg against the wall.
Anyway, this could go on forever. They got me to the hospital. I was diagnosed with a distal tib-fib fracture in my left leg that did not require surgery. I was given a just-below-the-knee fiberglass cast that first night that was almost immediately split on both sides to allow for swelling. I had my first check up four days later and they were pleased with how things looked -- nothing moving in the wrong direction. I kept the same cast, except that it was wrapped with more fiberglass to seal up the cracks. I went in for my next visit a week later and, again, everything looked good and I kept the same cast.
I have tried to get a sense of the timeline for this, but the best that my doctor has given me is that the "average" healing period for the fracture is 20 weeks, but that I should be on the short end of that, based on my progress to date. I can't get a straight answer about how that 20 weeks breaks down in terms of when I will get this cast off, when I will have a walking cast and when I will be allowed to walk with nothing at all. I'm not asking anyone to say something and sign their name to it, but it would be nice to have something to which I can look forward.
What are my concerns right now? Is my cast too big? What is the best way to sleep through the night? How can I deal with the chafing that is happening on top of my foot/toes, because of the cast rubbing against them? When will I be confident and/or strong enough to really feel like I can get out of the house and do something productive? Is my leg going to be shorter/misshapen/scrawny looking? What can I wear so that I don't have to look like a frumpy mess? How long will my friends want to take care of me before it all becomes a bore?
Yeah, there's a great deal of time to sit around and think paranoid thoughts right about now.