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AnneMarie_E : Broken Tibia/Fibula August 26th, 2010
Diary entry posted Sun 8:56pm 26 September 2010

Broken Tibia/Fibula
Plate / Screws / 2 huge incisions on left foot

So here's my story:
I was on holiday at a beautiful, remote location in northern Ontario (Camp Manitou - boat access only). We were having a bonfire with a group of friends complete with guitars, sing-a-longs, etc. At around midnight I got up to go to the outhouse when my foot got caught in the root of a juniper bush (these roots lie low on the ground and are often covered with leaves, dirt, etc.) I fell down hard to the left - my friends heard me moaning and came to help. They pulled my foot out of the root, saw it swell up like a balloon and told me not to put any weight on it. They got me a child's wagon to sit in and pulled me over the rocks to the main lodge. I spent the night at the main lodge without any pain meds (yes, OUCH!!!) as it was too difficult to make our way by boat in the dark. Luckily there was a nurse in our group who kept me calm, elevated my leg, instructed my husband to ice it, etc. throughout the night.

At the first crack of morning (6 am) my brother-in-law and nephews arrived to help me make my way to shore. We travelled by little tyke wagon, tractor, boat (over very choppy waters - this was very difficult) and finally by car to get to the nearest hospital. Once there they gave me a hefty dose of morphine (halleluia!) and sent me by ambulance to the nearest hospital for emergency surgery (2 hour ambulance ride). I arrived at the hospital in Sudbury at 2pm and had orif surgery Friday the 27th at about 9:30 pm .... What an adventure!!

The first 2 weeks: (till September 13th)

These were definitely the most difficult. I had a full leg cast (foot to thigh) for the first 2 weeks and was kept in the hospital for 5 days. When I was discharged I was unable to travel yet to my home in Toronto so I stayed with my parents who offered to take care of me. I was very uncomfortable during this time - tons of pressure and pain - especially when I would lower my leg for even a few minutes. Sleeping at night was often quite difficult. I am sooo fortunate to have had my parents who brought me food, helped me to sponge bathe and just let me lay with my foot elevated - just what I needed. I felt very weak during this time and sometimes felt like I would pass out just from the effort of "hopping" with my walker to the washroom.

September 13th:
This was my first follow-up ortho appt and x-ray. My ortho surgeon told me that he's a bit concerned about the screws he sees in the x-ray and about range of motion down the road. They remove the full length cast and replace it with a fibreglass half cast (below the knee). 2 men came to put on the new cast and while they were putting it on they pushed and pushed on my foot until I thought they were going to rebreak it!! This hurt so much I was in tears.... noone explained to me why they were doing this. It might be because when they put my first cast on they told me my foot was about 80% in proper position; perhaps this was to move it another 20%??! Did this happen to anyone else? This cast is much more manageable but is still completely non-weight bearing. I was thrilled because the smaller cast meant that I could finally go home - to Toronto and to my husband and son (my daughters have gone away to university in September). I can almost cry in relief! My parents have been fantastic but I miss my husband, my son, and my own home.

September 13th - 26th:
I was worried about coming home because we have 3 stone steps to overcome in order to get in the front door and then 3 more steps to get from the main floor to bedroom/bathroom level. My husband has built a wooden ramp to help me get in and I cry in relief! He's also rented me a wheelchair; raised toilet seat with handles; and a tub transfer bench - all the things I will need to be a bit more comfortable. The stairs freak me out !! They really, really scare me and I won't do them by myself. The advice I've read is to scoot down and up on your butt - but how do you get up from sitting on the floor on the top step to a standing position??! I can't imagine doing this successfully so I hop up/down the stairs using crutches when my husband is home and standing behind me in case I fall. I only go up/down the stairs when he's home - otherwise I spend my time in my bedroom: not so bad with a computer, tv and lots of books (except it is really bad, if you know what I mean).

It's now September 26th (4 weeks):
Pain is greatly reduced - I haven't taken a pain pill in a few weeks now. Each day feels like a week but I'm waiting for October 4th when I'll see my surgeon again. I'm sooo hoping to get walking boot and begin to be told I can "bear some weight" at this appt. I know from reading many other posts that this might be a bit optomistic - especially at my age - 49 years old .... but still can't help hoping!



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 Sun 8:56pm 26 September 2010
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