Injury Timeline

Friday, July 31, 2015

I Miss Sleep

Sleeping used to be one of my favorite activities before my LisFranc injury.

Now, I kind of dread it.

I have the hardest time getting comfortable at night.  My incisions will start to itch randomly, or bump up against the side of my fiberglass cast and cause an uncomfortable sensation.  Or, I'll get a visit from the little gremlin that lives inside my cast, and he will randomly stab my foot with a knife, or a searing hot poker, or a taser.  Whatever he can find.

I have a pillow fort set up, that encases me in a wall of softness.  This helps will my comfort level, because I can rest my elbow or knee on the pillows and take some pressure off because my foot demands to be elevated at all times.  But, it also closes me off from my husband, so I kind of feel like I'm in cuddle jail.  I miss snuggling with my nice, warm, husband and drifting off to Hawaii Dreamland.

I'm a side sleeper, and sometimes I can contort my body into a position that will allow me to somewhat sleep on my side, still have my foot elevated, and not have too much pressure on my incisions.  But, it's like getting all 9 (that's right, 9, I got your back, Pluto) planets to align.

I still can't stand the sensation of a blanket on my exposed toes, so I have to stick my foot out of the covers.  That drives me insane, because ever since I was a little girl, I have hated to have any body part hanging out of the covers.  Because monsters will get them.  So I lay there, staring at the ceiling in the dark, imagining all of the horrible creatures lurking unseen in my bedroom looking for a midnight snack.

I used to be able to read for an hour or so, and that would make me nice and comfy and sleepy.  I could probably read all night now without getting tired.  Even on work nights, I am staying up well past midnight still reading my novels.  Then finally turning my Nook off, and tossing and turning for what seems like days.  Then my cat decides she wants to cuddle with me, so she comes and lays on my chest and belly.  And she'll sit there purring, softly nuzzling my face, pawing at me with her adorable little paws, drifting off to her own Hawaii Dreamland.  I suppose it's more like Tuna Dreamland or Treats Island.  Of course I can't move or disturb her once she's fallen asleep - that would be rude.  Eventually she leaves to go bully our other cat for her nightly capers.  I hear him being tackled and screaming like a little girl.  I chuckle and can focus on getting comfortable again.

I have tried different sleeping techniques, breathing exercises, and playing around with the settings on the Tempurpedic to induce that lovely feeling of being tired.  To no avail.  Don't get me wrong, I can take a sleeping pill, or a Melatonin, or a Klonopin, and that'll do the trick right quick.  But, I want natural sleep!

I have to remind myself that this is only temporary!  It's been 3.5 weeks since surgery.  Only 8.5 more weeks being in a cast or boot.  Then... it's all about Hawaii Dreamland.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ready to Work! Kind of.

This week, I started going back to work.

I say kind of, because I've spent the week telecommuting, working virtual, being remote, whatever you'd like to call it.  I feel lucky that I have the flexibility in my job to do that.  I'd say that I have an awesome, understanding boss, but while I was out on medical leave she abandoned me for another position.  So now she's just a good friend. :)  I got the news that she was leaving at a really bad time in my recovery (emotionally) so I spent the whole day crying about it.  I look back now and blame that on the drugs and the after-effects of the anesthesia.  I've read on the internets and from fellow bloggers that it can really mess with your emotions those first couple of weeks, and that is NO lie. 

But, the rest of my team has been really understanding of my situation and I am grateful for that!  I went back to work on Monday morning, and as soon as I logged in online on my work laptop, I was flooded with IM messages from my team mates welcoming me back and sending good words of encouragement, wanting to catch up, and just wanting to chat with their co-worker that has been missing for a month.  It felt so good to here from them again.  The majority of my team is based in Phoenix (I'm in Salt Lake City) so it's kind of a bummer that I won't be able to see their faces when I am able to return to the office.

I hope that it's soon.  I've been trying to take every opportunity to get out of the house when I can, even if it's just a car ride with the husband to fill up gas in the car.  I start to have anxiety attacks about what awaits me when I do return to the office.  I've never thought about how handicapped accessible the building is and how well my scooter will work.  Can I get to my desk and into my office chair without assistance?  How am I going to elevate my foot during the day?  It gets very painful, swollen and turns purple if it hangs down like a normal foot.  How am I going to stay comfortable for 8 hours a day?  Are both my scooter and I able to fit inside conference rooms for meetings?  How do I stay comfortable with minimal pain when I have long meetings?  Will my scooter fit in the bathroom?  Is it going to be a pain using the toilet?  What if someone is in the handicapped stall when I need to go?  I'll just have to sit and wait around?  How do I carry stuff from the lunch room, like a hot cup of coffee or bowl of soup?  Are my co-workers going to get sick of me asking for help with normal, everyday tasks that people should be able to do on their own?  I guess I'll figure that out as I make the eventual trip into the office.  It may not be as bad as my anxiety is making it out to be.

I really am trying to stay positive otherwise.  I've been making it down to my basement gym every other day to activate my beastmode and bust out some workouts.  But, I've found myself getting kind of bored with my exercises.  All I can really do is upperbody and core.  I tried to do some knee squats, and my right quad is SOOOO weak!  Nate told me that my right leg is looking rather wimpy.   I think it is too. It's hard to absorb because right before Spartan, I was deadlifting/squatting 100+ lbs.  I'm trying to get creative with my workouts and keep it interesting, but I haven't quite figured out how to do cardio with my home gym.


I am hoping that once my cast comes off, I'll be free to do a little bit more, like biking or swimming!

All in all, going back to work was a good thing.  I'm absolutely swamped with work and playing catch up, so it keeps my mind occupied, and off this whole pity-party-I-only-have-one-leg scenario that plays over and over in my head.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

4 Weeks Post Op - Operation Get Swole

It has been 4 weeks post surgery today!  In some ways, I look at the time has passed, and it has flown by.  In other ways, I look at it and it seems like it has taken forever to get here.  Doesn't matter, I hit the milestone and am a third of the way through my non-weight bearing phase.  Hooray!  In two weeks, I'll be halfway - I have to keep breaking it into manageable chunks to keep it from feeling overwhelming.  Kind of like weight loss!

I haven't noticed a ton of changes to my foot.  It does bother me that I can't see what's under there and how it's actually looking.  I can't say that it necessarily feels "good" but it doesn't feel bad either.  I don't have a lot of pain when I'm simply sitting or laying around, aside from the random nerve firings or cramps that I feel.  My incisions do itch from time to time so I am very aware that they are there.  When I'm up and about and/or don't have it elevated, I definitely feel my foot becoming angry and swelling up.  And of course, when I bump my foot (especially when my toes get pushed) it still does hurt quite a bit!  The biggest offender has been my cat.  He frequently likes to "kiss" (aka rub his face all over) my foot and sometimes he gets a bit overzealous and his expression of love causes me shocking pains.

My cast is also starting to loosen up as the swelling has gone down.  It doesn't feel quite as snug and supported as it used to, mainly in my ankle area, so I feel like I actually have a little bit of motion and wiggle room inside the cast.  

My left ankle is still hurting, and it is becoming quite annoying.  I'd like to be able to get up/pivot/hop/put weight on that foot without much pain but I haven't been that lucky yet.  It does feel a lot better when I put the lace up brace on, but if I wear it, I'm pretty much limited to flip flops because it doesn't really fit into any of my other shoes.  I have very much not been caring about fashion these days though, just whatever is comfortable and practical.  Zero F*cks Given!

I did make an actual physical trip in to the office yesterday!  It felt great.  It was a rainy and gloomy, and I kind of wanted to just stay home under my couch blanket, but I REALLY wanted to go in.  So, Nate loaded me up into the car and off we went.  I'm really lucky I get to work in the same building with my husband!  I had an easy enough time getting in to the building (thanks handicapped parking), and I found out the building is pretty accessible, so I didn't have any issues getting around or through doors.  As luck would have it, the handicapped accessible door right by my desk is broken, so I have to take the long way to get out of my area.  I see it as an opportunity to get a bit more exercise worked in to my day.  The biggest challenge I've come across that keeps me from wanting to go in everyday is the comfort issue.  In my 8 hour day, I couldn't find a way to sustain comfort.  I was able to elevate the foot on my cube desk, but it was awkward and put a lot of pressure on my back and on my other joints.  I could only stay in that position for maybe 45 minutes, before I'd have to get up and scoot around and stretch my muscles.  I had a lot of people make a comment to me that I didn't look comfortable... they were absolutely right.  It sucked.  Here I am resting uncomfortably at my desk (and shhh... I haven't updated my calendar since June)

But, along with going in to the office, I also had access to the office gym.  Pre-injury, I visited it everyday and I have a strong band of gym buddies that I have been really missing!!  So of course, I had to make a trip in.  Ever since Spartan, Nate has been undergoing.... 

"Operation Get Swole"

.....and he is doing an amazing job!  He is focused on bulking up and hitting his "glamour" muscles.  Basically he is hitting the weights pretty intensely and eating a billion calories a day.  He makes his daily uber shake, which consists of more calories than I eat in an ENTIRE day.  I can see his body transforming and his shirts are getting too tight in the chest and shoulders!  He is so sexy... I just enjoy looking at him :D  I hope to have some progress pics of him soon!

So, I went along for an Operation Get Swole workout session with Mr. Stud Muffin and activated the beastmode.  

I got a lot of stares and some funny comments about working out in my cast.  But ya know, Zero F*cks Given!  My favorite part was getting to see my trainer, I hadn't gotten to see her in a month so we had a lot to catch up on!!  She's had her fair share of injuries and offered lots of advice, coaching and encouragement for getting through the injury.  The most important of that is just allowing my foot to heal and not try to start doing things too early.

My office visit was a success and a break up of the monotonous couch life.  I can't say that I was super productive that day because of all the socializing I did with my co-workers.  I need to get the comfort situation figured out, so that I can go in the office more.  It was also exhausting spending an entire 8 hour day there, I need to work up my strength for being back full time.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pimp My Scooter

I am coming up on 3 weeks post-op, and I'm feeling pretty good about things.

My new scooter arrived via Amazon, and the first important order of business was to pimp that sucker out!

Sheepskin cover for my knee pad?  Check!
Headlight (recycled from Nate's Ragnar gear) for nighttime bathroom trips?  Check!
Basket for carrying stuff and things?  Check!
Purple bike bell for warning both husband and animals to get out my way?  Check!

Now I can scoot in style.  I've also lovingly named my scooter "Trumpy" ( Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Pod People reference for all you non-nerds.)

This week, I found an inspiring blog post from one of my favorite female athletes, Amelia Boone. She injured her knee training for the Spartan World Championships and had to have surgery, and was out of the sport for a while.  I think a lot of things she said resonated with me.  When a huge part of your life revolves around being active, and you are sidelined with an injury, you feel like a part of you, a part of your personality and identity, is gone with it.  You have to find the things you love and have passion about that don't revolve around being active, whether that is taking up a new hobby or simply changing your routine.  It can be so easy to have a pity party, and sit around feeling sorry for yourself, but you've got to push through that and find ways to keep yourself happy.  Which is exactly what I did.

I have a home gym in my basement, with a TRX and a set of powerblock dumbbells.  I knew I couldn't do one of my typical workouts, but I just got a little creative and managed to work up quite a sweat!  I figured this foot injury was a chance to focus on some upper body strength, so I worked on my chest press, rows, shoulder press, 1-legged push-ups, tricep kickbacks and bicep curls.  I also found a ton of core exercises to do, included some 1-legged planking!  It actually felt really great to get back to some physical activity, after a couple of weeks of being couch-bound.  It's pretty amazing what a good workout can do for your body AND your mind.  And most importantly, I still can activate beast mode!

I also had a lot of outings (Nate calls them adventures!) this week too.  It's pretty important to get out of the house.  I saw three movies (Terminator Genisys, Ant-Man and Inside Out), went to two grocery stores and even cooked a meal.  My cousin Mark came through with my 3rd treat-of-the-week from Spain, which included chocolate covered figs with brandy, fig preserves, breakfast muffins, and tabasco infused olive oil!

A while back, I'd posted if there was a medal for the LisFranc injury, and all the bones I broke in my foot.  Turns out, there is!  Cuca, Todd, and Clara made me my very own personalized medal!


It's now been given a permanent place on my medal hanger!

All in all, Week 3 has had more ups than downs, which is a good thing.  My foot is healing, and I can feel it getting better each day.  Each morning, I test my toe wiggling skills, and they are improving bit by bit.  I am starting to get some movement back in my big toe even!    The cast hasn't been too bad, it feels like my foot is more protected than in the splint.  My toes are exposed though, and when I'm out in public I have severe PTSD of my toes getting bumped and sending pain shockwaves up my leg, so I try to keep them out of the way as much as possible.

Next week, I start returning to work, but I'll be mostly virtual.  I hope to make it in the office soon though, even maybe next week, because I miss my co-workers so much!  It was nice having actual, live, physical people to talk to.  I also miss all of my gym buddies at work.  I plan to still make gym appearances, but all my exercises will be above the waist.  Which, I'm finding, is a TON of stuff!  I think my mood will improve once I start to get back to "normal life" which includes going in to work AND the gym.  I'm still just really bummed that I haven't been able to hit the mountains this hiking season.  I had dreams of doing Olympus and Timpanogos.  I'm still hoping I can do the Color Run in my wheelchair though :)

Monday, July 20, 2015


I had my 2 week follow-up appointment at TOSH today.  They removed my splint, and took some x-rays to see how my foot is healing.  When the nurse peeled back the splint, I got my very first glimpse of my tootsie since going under the knife.  It looked like...FrankenFoot!!  It was not pretty.  I also have a pretty serious case of the furs, since I haven't shaved in almost a month.

First, the x-ray.  I ended up with only one plate (at one point the doctor thought he would need to do 2) and a myriad of pins and screws.  My navicular was the worst injury, and therefore has the most metal.  

And now, I present Frankenfoot, in all it's glory (not for the squeamish):

 I am going to have the most wicked scars.

It felt pretty liberating to have the splint off.  As a fun side trip, I also had my left ankle x-rayed at the doctor's office today.  When I had my accident, I sprained my left ankle.  I was so preoccupied with my right foot and it's injury that I never thought of getting the left foot looked at.  Almost a month later, I still have pain in my left ankle.  The Doctor examined it, and the x-ray was negative so no fractures.  Phew.  I had horrid worst-case scenario nightmares of needing my left foot operated on as well.  He thinks it's probably just a sprain taking it's time to heal.  I got a spiffy lace up brace for my left foot.

Now for the most important question of the day:  what color will my cast be?  Hot Pink, of course!

I'd never gotten a cast before, so the experience was educational.  The nurse came in with a basket of wraps and padding, two buckets of water, and some torture looking device on wheels.  She had me sit on the edge of the table and place my foot flat on the bar of the torture device.  Turns out it was just a way to help align my foot into a "neutral" position.  She got it aligned, and although uncomfortable, it wasn't too bad, she started to wrap my foot, and I started feeling kind of dizzy.  I have been getting dizzy spells ever since the surgery when I am in a vertical position for any extended period of time.  I also hadn't eaten.  I tried to continue on, but was on the verge of passing out, so I told her I needed to lay down.  She immediately returned with an assortment of juices and granola bars which I shoved into my mouth.  I laid there, pretty embarrassed, and she said not to worry - the body has ways of dealing with trauma and sometimes this happens.  I rested for about 15 minutes, then she came back and we started again.  This time, it went smoothly.  After the padding layer, she took the first layer of the cast and dunked the wrapping in water, then wrapped that around my leg.  By some sort of magical science, this caused the material to harden into a very sturdy cast.  She did the same with the hot pink layer - dunked it in water and then wrapped it over my leg.  I guess the chemical reaction causes some heat, because my leg was pretty darn toasty inside.  And that was it!  Good to go.

I am sure glad I got that pedicure right before Spartan, otherwise my toes might be just as scary as my FrankenFoot is!  I made another follow-up appointment in 4 weeks.  At that time, the cast will come off, we will take another set of x-rays and see how healing is progressing.  If all is good, we will start working on some range of motion exercises and graduate into a boot.

I still feel pretty bummed.  The doctor plainly told me today that "my days of running and high-impact exercising are over."  I'm not sure if he is just playing it very conservatively at this point, or if it really is true.  Maybe I can still run, just not long distances?  I'm trying to focus on all of the other things I can do, like hiking, biking, and swimming, but it is easier said than done.  I'm determined to make the best out of my physical therapy and stay positive.  I'm only 2 weeks down, there is plenty of healing left to do.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Surviving Week 1

I'm now past the week 1 mark post-op (~3 weeks since my initial injury).

The first 3 days after my surgery are a blur of sleep, pain, and a medication-induced haze.

I woke up on the 4th day and felt a lot of improvement in my pain and I started to taper off my pain medication a bit to slowly wean myself off of them.

I had some welcome visitors during the week as well, and it sure did lift my spirits and brighten my days!

My mother came over with flowers and spent some time with me, making sure to cook me plenty of jambalaya and seafood gumbo (and a pork roast for Nate) to keep me well nourished during my recovery.

I had a visit from my sweet sister-in-law Jessica, her husband Todd, and my sweet niece Clara.  Clara seemed very concerned about the condition of my foot.  I told her that I had a very bad owie :(

And what's the best way to survive foot surgery?  Ice cream of course!!  My cousin Mark had fresh ice cream shipped from Coolhaus and we had an ice cream tasting party!  He sent 5 different flavored pints:

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
Salted Caramel
Whiskey Charms (whiskey flavored ice cream and lucky charm pieces)
Bacon (candied bacon ice cream)
Balsamic Fig & Marscapone

I also had plenty of animal cuddles for sick "mom".  I know they know something is wrong with me, so I have an animal on my lap during every minute of the day (they rotate).  Purrs have healing powers... and so do sloppy dog kisses.  But, they are also taking advantage of me, and getting on the counters and into things they shouldn't.  They see me as their injured antelope at the back of the pack.  They know I'm not going to get up and chase them off the counter so any yelling I do is an empty threat to them.  Ugh.

Even though I had some happy moments, there were also some not so happy moments.  On Day 5, I wanted to get outside and get some fresh air.  Nate cooked brats and we had some Zapp chips, and decided to eat outside on the patio.  After dinner, I was practicing on my crutches, trying to get up the patio steps.  I lost my balance and fell over on the cement, luckily not injuring anything but my pride though. I had a really rough night after that, thinking that a normal life was just not going to be possible in my condition.  And my poor husband.  His life is totally changed by this too.  All I can do is keep practicing, and keep on healing!!

I have my 2 week appointment with TOSH on Monday.  I'm looking forward to getting my splint off, maybe seeing some x-rays, and getting the first glimpse of my naked foot.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Hitchhiker's Guide To.... Foot Surgery

If you are having foot, leg, or any type of surgery where you will lose the use of one of your legs, I've compiled a helpful set of tips to get you through the process.  These things have helped me survive so far.

Before Surgery:

1) Mobility

I did not have much success with crutches.  I felt uncoordinated and fearful that I would fall and break even more bones.  I highly recommend a knee scooter as your primary mobility device.  You can purchase one on Amazon for about $180, (Super Sexy Knee Scooter) or rent one from a medical supply company.  It does have it's limitations - it works great indoors, but is a little bit of a rough ride outside on anything other than smooth pavement.  You also can't use it on stairs.  But, overall, I've found it the best option as far as getting around.  I can still use my hands and utilize a basket for carrying items back and forth.  If you can, try to rent/buy your scooter (or other chosen mobility device) before your surgery so that you can practice on it.  I rented a scooter initially but after figuring out my recovery times, I bought the one I linked above.  Your doctor should be able to give you the forms for the handicapped pass for your car; get that in advance as well.  However, the cats are not amused by the scooter, AT ALL.

2) Prep Your House

Give your house a good cleaning.  You will want to be comfortable while recovering from surgery.  Adjust furniture to ensure that you have a clear path to your most used destinations (bathroom, bedroom, etc).  Remove any throw rugs as they can be hazardous if you are using something like a knee scooter.  You will also want to create a "nest".  This will be your primary recovery place after your surgery.  Include all of your most commonly used items such as:

Remotes, magazines/books, medications, lotion, water bottles, laptop, phone, blankets, pillows.....

3) Arrange For A Caregiver

You are going to need someone to take care of you and/or visit you regularly so that you don't go completely crazy.  In this case, it's mainly my husband, and my mother, but seek out any friends and family ahead of time and arrange for visitations.  If people lend a hand and want you to let them know if you need anything, take them up on it and be specific.  Can you bring over a meal on Thursday for dinner?  Can you help me do my laundry on Friday?  Can you clean my kitchen on Saturday?  Don't try to go through this on your own.  Also, plan quick and easy meals (cereal, ramen, etc)

4) Purchase Helpful Items

Amazon was my best friend, but I purchased the following things and installed them (well, my husband installed them) prior to surgery to help me along:

5) Entertainment

Line up your entertainment because you will have a LOT of down time while recovering.   Netflix, movies, books, magazines, computer games, music, board games.  Thanks, Mom, for these great gifts.

After Surgery:

1) Medications

If you are going to be like me, I was in a lot of pain after surgery.  The main lesson I learned was to NOT get behind on my pain meds.  Take your medication when your pain begins to escalate, and not when it is already intense.  You will have a much harder time controlling your pain if you get behind schedule.  I set up an alarm on my phone to help me remember my doses and took my  pills on schedule every time.

2) Pooping

Don't laugh.  If you take any sort of narcotic pain med on a regular basis, you WILL have trouble pooping.  After one or two days it's all fun and games, but then it becomes a real problem.  I took a few supplements to help me out:

-Exlax (twice a day)
-Metamucil (3 times a day)

Take that and you're sure to be right as rain in a day or so.

3) Rest (and ICE!)

It is so important for you to rest.  You will realize very quickly that you do not have your normal energy levels that you had pre-surgery.  Your body is devoting all available resources to healing your injury site!  Taking a shower, even getting up to go to the bathroom can be exhausting.  Listen to your body, and rest when you are tired.  It's OK to take naps if you feel like you need them.  Ice packs and elevation are also your new best friend.  Its amazing at what type of pain relief they can provide.

4) EAT

Eat food and make sure that you are getting enough calories each day.  Do not eat at a deficit.  My doctor recommended a balanced diet of fruits/vegetables, and PROTEIN!  Protein is critical to the healing process so eat your meats, eggs and nuts!  I also supplement my protein with protein powder.   I also purchased Jarrow's Ultra Bone Up Formula to help with my bone healing and make sure that I am getting enough calcium and vitamin D each day.  I figure that it can't hurt :)

5)  Combat Depression

This one has been hard.   Set goals for yourself each day and accomplish them.  Go outside, even if its just on one of the steps in your backyard.  Open the window and get some fresh air.  As you feel ready, plan trips to the grocery or small outings with your caregiver just to get outside of the house.  Just don't over do it.

I'm sure there's more I will discover in the coming weeks/months.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Surgery Day

I had a follow-up appointment on Monday the 6th with Dr. Van Boerum at TOSH.  He confirmed the swelling was down enough to perform surgery the very next day.  After a mountain of paperwork and discussing my life medical history, I was instructed to report back to the TOSH surgical center at 9AM Tuesday morning.

I insisted on having a last meal.

Bombay House - Chicken Tikka Misala and Chicken Makhani with Garlic Naan

I then wanted a treat and Nate drove me to Iceberg and we waited in the drive through for half an hour for a BlueBerry Cheesecake over-the-top shake.  I made sure to finish it all before midnight - my cut off for eating and drinking since surgery was in the morning.

My mom drove to our house from Tooele and rode with us to the TOSH hospital, for moral support and to keep Nate company during the 2 and half hour surgery.

We arrived at the hospital and checked-in at the surgery desk.  Almost immediately, I was taken back to a pre-op room and covered in warm blankets as various nurses and doctors came in to check vitals, discuss anesthesia and prep me for surgery.  I wasn't nervous too much, just ready to get the surgery done and get my healing under way.  I was bummed that I was "resetting" all the healing that my body had done over the last week and a half on it's own, but excited to get to the real healing that would be with me long term.

The most nerve wracking moment was when they instructed me to give them a urine sample so they could test me for pregnancy.  I managed to somehow maneuver myself into the bathroom and pee in a cup.  As I handed it over to the nurse, they told me that if I was pregnant, they couldn't operate.  A moment of panic came over me as I realized that I'd missed my period last month!!!  It seemed like it took FOREVER for the results to pop up on her little machine, but then, she told me the results were negative.


Dr. Van Boerum came to visit me.  I was scheduled for surgery at 10:30.  He was already "warmed up" as he had done another surgery already this morning.  He spoke to Nate and my mother, and gave them some instructions on what would be happening once I was in recovery.  I'd see them again in my recovery room on the other side of the hospital.  Here we go!

I was then whisked away in a wheelchair to the surgery room by my anesthesiologist.  From the bits and pieces I remember, once we entered the surgery area, he told me it was going to be chilly.  He wasn't lying.  It was COLD in there.  He told me that it was even colder inside the operating room.  He wasn't lying about that either.  It was FREEZING.  I remember getting up on the table, and again my OR nurse gave me plenty of warm blankets and turned on a warming light above my body.  I looked around and could see x-rays on the wall, but they weren't mine.  It was someone named Judy.  I was trying to get the attention of the nurses and doctors to tell them I wasn't Judy, but I was so groggy.  The anesthesiologist informed me that I would be going to sleep soon.  I remember looking over and seeing my x-rays up on the screen instead of Judy's and I felt relieved they were looking at the right ones!   The last thing I remember is the doctor telling me that I was going to feel a burning in my body from the anesthesia and not to worry.  I never did.  I just fell asleep.

I woke up in the recovery room, oblivious to what had happened after what seemed like just a second.  My foot was in a ton of pain (I thought it was going to be numb still, what the hell?!) and my throat was very dry and raspy.  I had a very persistent nurse asking me to give her a pain level from 1-10.  I told her that it hurt.  She forced me to give a number.  I said a 6, I think, and she gave me drugs into my IV.

The next thing I remember was seeing my husband and my mom, and also my mother and father-in-law.  When did they get here?  I didn't know they were coming!  I was so happy to see my loved ones and I settled into my hospital bed.  I was staying overnight.

I met another flurry of nurses, and I eventually gave up and started to call them all Ashley.  Eventually it was time for my family to leave and that made me so sad and upset.  I'm glad they did though, because I had a very rough night and I'm sure it would have been hard on them.

Outside my room, there was a sign indicating that I was a fall risk.  I had to call the nurses each time to use the bathroom and that was humiliating.  Partly, because I drink a lot, A LOT of water.  Like 100 oz a day.  So I pee, A LOT.  I saw the nurses a lot that night.

They also had me on some pretty wimpy pain medication.  It was okay for the first few hours, but once it wore off, it felt like I could never get ahead of the pain.  At one point, I reported to the nurse that my pain level was at an 8, and she gave me a sweet dose of dilaudid in my IV, which helped for about an hour where I was able to squeeze in a few minutes of sleep.  Other than that, I didn't sleep, mainly because of the pain, but also because the nurses were coming in every 5 minutes to take me to the bathroom, and the old lady across the hall from me had her TV volume turned up to 11.

I finally saw my Dr and his PA in the morning, and told them how horrible my pain had been and that I needed something stronger.  They both agreed and put in a change order for my meds.  Once I got on the stronger medication, it was a lot better and I was much happier!  I also think they told me I only had to have 3 incisions, but, I can't be sure of that conversation.  I do know that I ended up with 2 plates and a number of screws/pins.  It's all pretty hazy.

My mom and my husband arrived at the hospital in the morning around 8 or 9.  I was so glad to see them!!  After a few hours of making sure my new pain meds were working, and after practicing the crutches with the physical therapist - I was clear to go home!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Verdict

I arrived at the doctor's office at TOSH expecting to endure a lengthy wait time.  I checked in at the front desk, and found the comfiest bench for Nate and I to hang out until it was time.  My appointment was at 3.  At 3:04, the nurse called us back.  Awesome!  No wait time at all.  I navigated on my knee scooter to Dr. Drew Van Boerum's office, hopped up on the examination table. Not too long after, he arrived.

He pulled up my x-rays on a huge computer monitor.  And started our meeting off by saying, "Well, this is a pretty bad injury you have here."  Oh, great.  He explained a good number of things about the foot anatomy, and what I'd done to mine.  

The damages:

Navicular Bone - Comminuted Fracture (This bone is about the size of a golf ball, and was fractured into 11 pieces he could see)
Cubiod - Fractured
1st, 2nd, and 3rd cunieforms - Fractured
I also had breaks and dislocations on my 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal bones

Well done.  The only bones I did not fracture were my Talus and Calcaneus.  And my pinky toe (5th metatarsal)  Was there perhaps a medal I could get for that?

I also go the first look at my foot since the initial injury.  It was still fairly swollen, discolored and bruised, but not too bad.  Still cute toes :)

I immediately started with all the questions I'd been bouncing around in my head.

How long is my recovery?

The typical recovery for an injury like yours is 3 months non-weight bearing on your injured foot.  If you thought you'd be back to Spartan racing in September, that's not going to happen.  You are going to need a lot longer recovery than that.

3 MONTHS?!  3 months I would not be able to walk, let alone do any racing.  Goodbye Trifecta dreams!

How long until I can get back to my "normal" level of activity?

You can start partial weight bearing after 3 months. 6 months until you can return to normal activities.  


How long will I be out of work?

If you were in construction, it'd be 6 months.  But, since you have an office job, you can probably return a few weeks after surgery.  You'll want to stay at home and be horizontal with your foot elevated during that time.

Will I ever run again?

I would recommend getting a bike instead.  With this type of injury, you are prone to early arthritis and running will only increase your chances later in life.  There are plenty of things you can do besides running.  And walking is okay.

OMG.  Ahhh....  Must... hold.. back tears.... till he leaves.

What about surgery?

You definitely need surgery.  There's no question about that.  I'll fix you though.  You still have some swelling in your foot that needs to go down, and as long as that happens, we can do surgery on Tuesday.  I'm sending you over to get a CT scan so I can have a "map" of your foot for surgery.

Then, he left, and he'd send the nurse back in to re-wrap my foot and get me scheduled for a follow-up appointment to check on my swelling on Monday morning.  Nate also remembered to ask about a handicapped sticker for the car, which he gave us the paperwork for.

Once he was gone, the flood gates opened as I realized what my diagnosis was.  I was a very active person and a large part of my life was spent in the gym, hiking, and running races.  It was also something that my husband and I did together.  We couldn't do those things for a while now, and he would also be taking a lot on over the next few months.  I was the primary cook in the house; I made dinner every night.  I couldn't really clean or carry things, or get up and down the stairs without help.

Nate assured me that we'd get through this, and that he'd make sure that I still had a life during my recovery.

I wasn't so sure about that.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I Workout!

A little bit about me, pre-injury, as I wait for my appointment at TOSH.

A few years ago, I weighed over 215 pounds, but finally got my life together both physically and mentally with exercise a healthy diet.  I firmly believe that being healthy isn't a diet.  It's not a race with a finish line.  It's a way of life, and that's the only way to have long term success.

Sure, I started out just walking around the block and on the treadmill.  Then I started going to fitness classes at work, just for a way to have fun and incorporate more exercise into my life.  I started doing Yoga, Zumba, Step & Pilates.  I had lots of fun with the classes and the people that I met there.  I just started to build upon my fitness platform, and found myself strength training, and lifting weights.  I also started to take advantage of our beautiful scenic Utah, hiking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter.  I eventually ended up as what I affectionately call a "gym rat," working out at least 5 days a week and feeling a whole lot better about myself.

The diet part was much harder to embrace than the exercise part.  I love food.  I love to cook food.  But, I found ways to introduce changes, a little at a time, that made this transition easier.  I also learned that I can make really healthy, delicious, and flavorful food without all the crap.  And, it was husband approved.

I managed to somehow inspire my husband to join me in my lifestyle change, and together we have lost over 100 lbs, and still counting!  He's now in much better shape than I am (damn the male genetic make-up!) and stronger - which he assures me is just "science"- but we tend to seek out active weekends and things that we can do together.  That's what is making this injury ever so painful.

I was feeling down and I desperately needed some physical activity, so I did about a 15 minute upper body workout at my home gym.  I was going so crazy!  With one leg, I could still manage to do tricep dips, bicep curls, push ups and several core workouts.