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Comment : 2 broken legs
Posted by donna on Thu 8:23pm 6 March 2014


Ann- 12 years ago both, (yes, both) of my legs were broke in a car accident roll over that I went thru the windshield and back into the car (centrifugal force is real, let me assure you) with my L ankle severed hanging by a a two inch chunk of muscle and skin. In the ER just before surgery - I did something that guaranteed me that the ortho surgeon would work to save the foot, he did. Some days now I wonder if that was the right move. Minimal details - L leg from knee down all bones shattered, compounded with sever at ankle. Funny, I never felt the break or sever..but when landed look up thru the seat and said to my self "What is that?" "Oh, that is my foot. Wow, my bones look gray. Don't look, don't touch they can fix that." Not really knowing at the time who they were. R leg was broke on the femur about a half inch from the femoral artery, not a compound fracture with some hip damage. That was probably a blessing much more and the femoral artery severed it would have been bye bye. Today, there is more hardware and steel in my legs than bones probably. This wasn't all the damage, but the worst of it. I used to know how many bones were broke at the time, I don't anymore, but I do remember the ortho telling me that it was amazing I wasn't in intense pain with so many broken bones and that after less than 1 week I took myself off all pain meds and demanded (actually) straight generic aspirin, it has always worked the best for me. Morphine, percoset, percodan, diluadin...too much for my system. If I had to recount now, I'd say at least 75. Which leads me to the first point, in your asking advice. 1) Be your own advocate. You know how drugs/medicines affect your body more than any doctor or nurse ever will. If you don't agree, or question it - no matter the question- speak UP! If you don't agree hold your ground. Remeber that there is such a thing as AMA, against medical advice. I truly believe switching to the aspirin was the first step in my recovery. I finally got "conscious". 2) Water therapy, water therapy, water therapy, and water therapy. I cannot stress it enough. Water therapy. Ask your PT, demand it from your PT - find a heated therapy pool in your area. I still use it to this day. Some days, many .. it is the difference between getting up and not getting up. If you do not have a heated pool (but most hospitals do! ask, ask ask.... and ask about insurance coverage) use a regular pool. Even if you do it yourself. 3) Stay water hydrated. I cannot tell you how horribly painful the leg cramps are that come after you are "healed" so bad you wake up in the middle of the night in intense pain, with the muscles strethed taut one way from the pressure of the metal inside. For some reason keeping excess water hydration inside <my> your body helps with this. 4) Desentized your entire injury, it will seem to heal faster and better. PT may have taught you some of this. Sit on shower chair, let hot water run over you, then switch to cold, then back to hot. Way two, while sitting, use blanket, towel, wet towel, sandpaper, your nails, feather duster, etc etc... run in alternates up and down your injured leg. 5) Know how bad it hurts when you hit your funny bone? OH gawd it hurts for the entire day when you hit your knee that has metal in it like the funny bone...watch where your sitting for table legs, they are killer. 6) I was a runner before, I cannot run now. But that does not stop me from trying. Try to run as much as you can. I cannot run on land, but put me in a pool and I can run like crazy. Normally. Exercise, exercise - it will help. But learn and accept your new limitations - I can no longer jump, so no more jumprope or basketball. 7) Know how most store have seat carts for shopping? Initially, I thought that was the best thing and used them constantly. Yeah, don't do that. You get to dependent on it, and what finally stopped me using them was while sitting in it, I saw such the ugly side of people's behaviors towards handicaps and younger generations. I was just too disgusted with the behavior of my fellow man. I too was young, I was 38 at the time. 8) I save the best I think for last. I have a deep faith in the man upstairs, remember this mantra when you feel like you are in a crap storm that you cannot tolerate one more minute because of this. Four little words to say to yourself - "This too shall pass." On that same note, it is easy to go inside yourself and say things like "Why me?" try it the other way -- "Why not me?" You know the details of your accident but when you get caught up in the why -- you will never know that. This could have happened to you now, so that in ten years; you life crosses the path of someone else that may need your experience. Or your experience of this may ferret out something later in your life because of this. You will never know HIS plan on the why...so the best way to deal with it emotionally I have found is "This too shall pass." God bless and get well.

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