My story starts on Friday, February 20th 2004. I play for the UC Davis rugby team and we had a game against Chico State. I felt good coming into the game, our team was heavily favored. I thought this would be a good chance for me to try out a few new plays. I didnít get many chances for that though; about 15 minutes into the game Chico state kicked the ball down the field to one of my teammates who then passed me the ball. The field was wet and a little muddy. I ran up the field past a couple of defenders before one of them finally hit me down near my knees. After that two more tacklers jumped on my back on my way down. As I went down to the ground I could feel my foot stick in the mud, my body turned a bit, but my foot didnít it stayed in the same place. I heard a loud crack. I wasnít quite sure if it was me though, during games my adrenaline gets pumping and I donít really feel anything. After everyone piled off me I went to try and stand up and that is when I felt it. I couldnít move my ankle at all; it hurt quite a bit now. I scooted myself off the field and waited for the trainer.
The trainer sent me over to the Hospital where I had my leg x-rayed. Much to my disappointment I had a distal fibular fracture. Which means I fractured my fibula down near the bottom of it, just above the little knobby part on the outside of my ankle. The doctors told me my rugby season was over, they said it would be 3 months before it was healed and I could run again. To say I was a disappointed would be massive understatement. I have been playing rugby for 8 years, and now as a senior at U Davis we have the best team we have ever had with a chance to make the final 4 and even possibly win the national championship. This was the season I had been working towards my entire life. The final 4 weekend was 10 weeks away though, so I decided I would do everything I possibly could to try and come back early to be able to play.
I got a half cast in the hospital, and then a fiberglass cast the next Monday when I went in to see the OS. The cast wasnít too bad at first, but eventually it became more and more uncomfortable. I began to hate it; to me it represented all that was wrong in my life. At this point there was quite a bit wrong with my life also. I couldnít do anything on my own. This was very hard for me to deal with because normally I am a very active and independent person. I couldnít transport food, I couldnít do laundry, I couldnít do dishes, I had to sit on my couch and watch TV all day. If this wasnít enough to get me depressed, only one of my friends ever came by to see me while I was injured, and that was only for about a minute before he had to leave. Life was pretty grim.
After a week with my cast on it started to get very uncomfortable. A week later I went in to see the doctor about it and he told me the cast was cutting off the circulation to my feet. He removed the cast, and then gave me a walking boot. He said to treat it as if it were a cast though; I had to leave it on all the time (other than baths), and no putting pressure on it. This was a very good thing though, the walking boot was much more comfortable. I could also see the swelling go down within 15 minutes of having my cast taken off. I noticed my foot was also quite disgusting. They were discolored, the skin was flaking off, and there were sores covering my ankle and parts of my feet. Now that I had the walking boot I could do something about it though. I dipped my foot into the bathtub and began gentry scrubbing it. The tub quickly filled with dead skin, it was pretty gross. After that I drained the tub, refilled it, and hoped in myself for my first bath without a cast on. It was very nice.
Wednesday, March 31, two days short of it being six weeks since my break, the doctor clears me for FWB. I was a little surprised by this since I had heard most people get PWB first and then work up to full. I wasnít going to complain though, this was the happiest I had been since the break. The doc told me to toss my crutches aside and try to walk out the door. As I first put pressure down on my leg it felt very strange. My heal hurt, it definitely was not used to having pressure on it. I could do it, I could walk, although it was extremely awkward and gimpy. I was told to keep the walking boot on for the first 3 days and then I could start walking without it. I decided to speed the process up a little though. I got rid of the boot a little less than 2 days later and I am now gimping around with nothing on my leg. I think that the more freedom my ankle has, the faster I will build muscles and get my ROM back. I have an appointment to see the PT on Wednesday; hopefully I will get good news. I am starting to hear talk that if I can go hard in PT and really work at getting my ROM and muscles back fast I might be able to make it back for the national championship game. This has me pretty excited and I am now redoubling my efforts. I know it is still an outside chance, but that is still a chance. I also still have to hope my team makes it there. They have a tough road to get there.