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Annie's diary | Respond to this comment
Comment : Surgery - Again : Another of life's ironies/jokes
Posted by Annie on Mon 3:56pm 21 March 2005


Jan 7, 2005 By this afternoon, I had had an x-ray showing I had a comminuted tri-malleolar fracture of my right ankle. At the time, I had never heard of that. What it means, is that I had (in lay-man's terms) broken off my inside ankle bone (medial malleolus - tibia fx) right above the knob, broken the outer bone about one inch up from the knob (lateral malleolus - fibula fx), and broken the posterior tibia, which is this knob on the back of the tibia you can't even see (kind of inside and to the back of the ankle knobs - I didn't even know we had one!). And I did all this walking on flat ground with good hiking boots on, albeit, in the snow and ice. Sitting in the ER, my experience was really good, though boring just waiting. I still never really ever felt pain, until the hospital staff decided to remove my splint put on by the firefighters, and put on theirs, which was supposedly better. At that point, my ankle told me in no uncertain terms it didn't appreciate that. That hurt. I managed to overcome the pain (I hate narcotics - they make me so sick), and waited. People who knew my husband kept poking their heads in. There was no anonymity in this situation for me! By now, I had been told I would be headed to surgery late that afternoon with my husband's OS. Here again, is one of life's little jokes. Just six weeks before, I had had a hysterectomy. I had just had my post-op exam 5 days before! And here I was sitting in the intake of the Operating Room again! EEEEK!Once I was taken down to intake for surgery, I had a terrific surgical nurse who spent a lot of time interviewing me to make sure there were no medical surprises. It was just as they were about to wheel me into surgery, that she asked me one last time if there was anything else in my medical history they should know about. I thank my guardian angel, because at that moment, I thought to mention to her that I had a bad reaction to many metals. Her eyes got big, and she walked out the door to talk to my surgeon. Oh, did I ever mention, my surgeon (who would also have been my husband's) had known my husband since he had worked on the ambulance with him years ago, before he went to medical school! Any way, my surgery was put on hold for about 20 minutes while they located a titanium set-up for my ankle. That was to insure the least likey possibility that my body would react to a metal being put in it. I mention this specifically, because I don't think most of us think about metal being surgically implanted in our bodies. We might know we can't wear cheap jewelry, but we might not ever make the connection when faced with surgery. I just barely lucked out. Any way, I had two screws put into my medial malleolus(tibia), and a semi-tubular plate fixed to my lateral malleolus (fibula) with six screws. I lucked out again, in that when they pulled those bones back into place, the posterior tibia moved into position and I didn't need any screws for that. Four hours of surgery later, I was wheeled into my room. My husband was only able to stay with me a little while, as the blizzard was still blowing outside and he and my daughter had to get home. So, about 10:00 that night, they left, and I was left with the reality of what had happened just 15 hours before. At that point, I was too groggy from it all to really think too much...

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 Mon 3:56pm 21 March 2005
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