Injury Timeline

Monday, September 28, 2015

Nerd Rage

It is hard to believe that it has been a whole 3 months since my Lisfranc injury.  3 months since breaking my foot and shattering my navicular, and 11 weeks since the surgery to repair the damage.

People are definitely starting to notice that I've been on my scooter for a long time now.  If it feels like a long time to someone else, you can only imagine how it feels for me.  I get a lot of "How much longer are you going to be on that thing??"  I do a lot of explaining of why this particular injury is so bad and why I have to be completely non-weight bearing for as long as I have.  I still think most people don't understand.  I actually spend a lot of my day meeting strangers and talking to them about my injury.  Nate and I have a running joke of how many people will stop me while running errands and want to chat.  We've never made it one time out in public where at least 1 person didn't chat me up about my scooter or my injury.

The tops of my toes are. still. numb.  I'm hoping that gets better, the doctor said I should get the feeling back once the nerves start to normalize down there.  My range of motion continues to get better.  I'm working on my ankle pumps and marble exercises every day.  I found a new pain sensation as well.  I whacked my exposed foot on one of the wheels on my scooter.  I hit it right where my navicular plate is.  It didn't feel like bone, or muscle pain.  It was a pinching sensation of my skin getting caught between a piece of metal and the rubber exterior of my scooter wheel.  That's new!

The past week has been a bit of an emotional struggle because there were a couple of things I had planned for last weekend that never got to happen because of my injury.

I was supposed to be traveling to San Diego and completing my Spartan Trifecta.  For those of you not familiar with that, there's 3 types of Spartan Races:  Sprint (3+ miles, 20+ obstacles), Super (8+ miles, 25+ obstacles), and Beast (13+ miles, 30+ obstacles).  If you complete each type of race in a calendar year, you receive a Trifecta medal.  I completed my Sprint in February in Arizona, my Super in Salt Lake in June, and had my sights set on the Beast in San Diego (well, Temecula) in September.  It was my fitness goal for the year.  I set one every year.  And not only was it my goal, it was Nate's too, so I am the direct cause of him not being able to complete his Trifecta either and that does make me feel pretty horrible.  But... 2 outta 3 ain't so bad.

The second thing was something that played to my inner geek and stabbed me like a Morgul-blade through the heart.  I missed the Salt Lake Comic Con!  Last year, Nate and I went all-out.  We stayed downtown close to the convention center, so we could get up early and stay out late while getting our geek on.  We decked ourselves out in cosplay; he dressed as Dr. Krieger, from the Archer series, and I went as his virtual anime girlfriend.  We bought VIP passes, took pictures with Manu Bennett, Stephen Amell, and went to every Geekshow panel.  

This year, the Con was bigger and better, and had several actors from Captain America:  Chris Evans (Captain America himself!), Sebastian Stan (Bucky/Winter Soldier). Anthony Mackie (The Falcon) and my very own girlfriend Hayley Atwell (Agent Peggy Carter)!!  I was most bummed about missing Hayley.  I was so frustrated, sad, and angry that I couldn't attend my beloved Con.  But going this year just wasn't practical with my injury.  I'd probably need a wheelchair to get around, and the convention gets really crowded with people so that would have made navigating super hard.  I loved going to all the panels, and finding a spot to fit both me, Nate & the wheelchair would have been kind of challenging.  

I had to stay off Instagram and Facebook for a large part of the weekend, because between that and seeing all of the Spartan posts from California, I was getting pretty upset.  We are determined to make up for lost time next year instead!  My ever supportive husband informed me that this is what I looked like scrolling through Comic Con Instagram feeds this weekend:

Aside from having these emotional outbursts this week, honestly, the 3 months really hasn't been as bad as I'd imagined in my head when I got my initial diagnosis.  I thought I'd be stuck on the couch without a life.  Turns out that wasn't quite the case!  Yes, I'm still on the couch and out of commission more than I'd like to be, but I am doing so much more than I thought that I'd be able to.  I cook.  I clean.  I run errands with my husband.  I go tailgating.  I go to football games.  I workout 4-5 times a week.  I've added 25lbs to my bench press. I go to work.  I go to fancy wine and cheese parties at my friend's house. So while I'm not completely independent and there are still things I can't do, there are plenty of things that I can!

Only 2 more weeks until surgery!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I've Lost My Marbles!

Ten weeks post-op!  And I had another physical therapy session!

I went to see Stephanie (my lisfranc physical therapist) again, and she was really excited for my progress!  My swelling is down a half centimeter in my right ankle, which she assures me is a really big number, as far as feet and ankles go, after seeing my reaction of sheer disappointment.  I'm only 1 cm off from leftie.  Yay!  She also measured my range of motion on my right foot, and I've improved 14 degrees.  14 is a much bigger number that I can get behind.  I've been working diligently on my ankle pumps.

Then, I got a set of new exercises to do for the next few weeks leading up to my 2nd surgery to remove the pins.  My favorite is picking up marbles with my toes (video below)!  My toes were super, super stiff at first but they gradually loosened up and I could pick up more and more marbles with my piggies.  I tested out leftie to see how she'd perform picking up the marbles and she was an old pro.  One day righty will catch up.  Also, marbles are hard to find in stores so I had to get them from Amazon!

My new list of exercises includes 2 hamstring strengtheners and a harder clam stretch.  I definitely am feeling the burn of an unused hamstring when attempting the exercises.  I trust and will obey anything my physical therapist tells me, so she thought that she was hilarious when she told me to crutch over to the treadmill, and then informed me that we will be doing some walking this session.  A look of sheer terror must have came over my face because she grabbed my arm and said, "Just kidding!"  Ha ha.. very funny Stephanie :)  Although I am looking forward to the day that we are able to get up on the treadmill and walk for the first time.  She did give me something to look forward to, however.  She said that the day I get my stitches out from my hardware removal surgery, she will see me back to back from that appointment with Dr. Van Boerum. And, we'll start putting weight on the foot that day!

I also had been having some nagging nasty pain over the top of my foot since getting my stitches out a few weeks ago.  I assumed that it was one of my screws or pins irritating the area and that it would go away once I got them removed.  But, the pain wakes me up frequently in the night, and I take my boot off and massage the area and stretch.  I also can only keep my boot on for a couple of hours during the day before the pain strikes and I need to take it off, massage and stretch.  When I told Stephanie this, she immediately knew the problem, left the room, and came back with a circular piece of foam.  She cut a hole in the center.  She had me point to the spot where the pain was the worst; it was not hard to miss as it was red, angry and puffy.  She placed the foam pad on top of my foot and centered that spot in the hole she had cut, and then had me fasten my boot as normal.  THAT FIXED EVERYTHING.  It turns out that my boot strap was just severely irritating that part of my foot and there was a tiny part of my incision that was not healing because of it.  Since she hooked me up with that extra padding, I have not had an ounce of pain! (at least not in that spot - it still hurts when I bang it around and I'm not careful with it lol) 

Also, last weekend, I was able to make it INTO the stadium for the Utes game!  It actually was much easier than I anticipated, thanks to the help of the hubby and my mom.  I tailgated for several hours beforehand, making sure to ply my body with plenty of alcohol incase it was a bad experience, but not too much, since I didn't want to have to use the bathroom during the middle of the game.  That was what I was most anxious about actually.  My friend had a great idea though, for future use maybe.  He suggested I wear Depends or some sort of adult diaper. 

We got to the stadium very early, about an hour before kick-off, so that I'd have plenty of time to get into the stadium and up to my seat, without encountering too much of a crowd.  It was a complete success.  The floor inside was nice and smooth with no cracks at all so I cruised along on Trumpy ringing my bell at people that got in my way.  I couldn't believe it actually worked and people got out of my way as I was rolling by!  Usually I do that just for the humor aspect.  Anyway, Nate helped me up the 35 rows to my bleacher seat, and much to my delight, there were people cheering me on in the stands as I hopped.  

"Way to go girl!"  "That's dedication!"  "That girl is still going to the game... awesome!"

I scooted on my butt along the bleachers to my seat, while Nate went back down and he and my mom took Trumpy to Guest Services to hang out until the game was over.  It was the 9/11 tribute game, so there were 3 paratroopers that dived onto the field before the start.  So awesome.  The only problem I had during the game, is when something exciting was happening, everyone stood up.  It completely blocked my view of the field and the jumbotron, so I had to ask what was happening every time.  But, that was the worst of it!  The Utes won over Utah State, and I DIDN'T have to go to the bathroom the whole time!  Despite of all that tequila I drank...

We waited a few minutes for the crowd to clear, and Nate left to retrieve Trumpy from Guest Services.  My mom stayed behind with me.  I didn't really want to hop down the stairs, so I used my l33t tricep dipping skills to dip myself down 35 rows of bleachers to the entrance.  I hopped on my scooter and off we went out the exit.  I had a group of guys following close behind me because I was going pretty fast, and people were scrambling out of the way for me to pass, and they used me as a crowd clearer.  At least I'm good for something!

I had a ton of fun, my team won, and there were no casualties.

Although, Trumpy was left unsupervised in a room full of other mobility assistance devices at Guest Services during the game.  Who knows what kind of trouble he got into.....

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Lisfranc In the News

Lisfranc injuries have been getting a lot of attention this week in Utah because Taysom Hill (the quarterback for BYU) is now out for the season with said injury.

Let me start off by saying that I'm a Utes fan, but I really feel horrible for Taysom and wouldn't wish the injury on my worst enemies. Except maybe Tom Brady.  No, not even him.  I'm no collegiate athlete either, but who knows if he'll be able to come back from this injury and be able to perform at his same level?  It's very sad.

A co-worker of mine told me to look on the bright side one day when I was down.  He'd told me, "If you were a professional athlete, your career would be over!"  Thanks?  I guess that is one way to look at it.  I'm not a professional athlete.  I can still have my career.  

I've been seeing a lot of questioning on social media on why this injury would end a season, and even a career.  Most people think that it's just a foot sprain, you can rub some dirt on it, and be good to go.   That just shows how little the world (aka normal people) have no clue about this injury or how serious it really is.  You have no idea, unless you've actually gone through it, or someone very close to you has.

Gionni Paul (a linebacker for the Utes) recently reached out to Taysom on social media, as he too suffered through this injury.  There's an intense rivalry between BYU and Utah, players and fans alike, so to see Gionni offer support was heartwarming to me.  This injury has a way of bonding people together that have had it, because we're all going through the same hell, or have gone through it.  I'd be willing to talk to anyone, or help anyone, at any stage along the way, tell them about my experiences, my ups and downs.  Hopefully one day, I'll be able to tell people that I once had this injury; I recovered, it's now in the past, and I'm a stronger person because of it.

I'm grateful for the care I'm receiving at TOSH.  Even though I'm slightly mad at my doctor for slicing me open, pumping me full of metal and sidelining me for 3 months.

This week has also had some frustrations though.  I'm really sick of not walking.  My foot, for the most part, feels "great".  By great, I mean it feels mostly normal.  I know there's pins and plates and screws in there, but I can take off my boot, wiggle my toes, flex my foot back and forth without much pain now.  I. just. want. to. WALK.  Not run, or ride a bike, or swim, or anything.  I just want to stand on my own two feet and take a couple of unassisted steps. It's astonishing to think I haven't walked in almost 3 months.  I've got just over a month left until that second surgery to get the pins out that are preventing me from bearing weight.  

I'm sick of people having to take care of me, and trying to do things for me.  My husband knows this, and he knows if I truly need something I will ask for it.  I'm stubborn and will try to do most things on my own, even if it takes me four times as long to do it.  Like cooking, or dishes, or trying to get things off the top shelf in the cabinet.  I only ask for help if it's truly something I cannot do.  Or, for those times when I've spent a half hour getting ready for bed, undress, climb in, turn the light off and lay down, and realize I've forgotten to do something.  My husband's the best at helping me with those moments.  It feels like people are in my face sometimes with their helpfulness.  While I appreciate the offers of help from others, I can do things on my own.  I'm a pro.  I got this.

And this might be an embarrassing topic, but this is my journal and voice to the world, but I totally do not feel sexy.  At all.   This is probably the thing that gets me down the most.  How can I feel sexy when I'm rolling around on a scooter?  How can I possibly be attractive to my husband in any sense?    "Hey Baby, wanna get with me and my boot? ;)"    I used to love getting dressed up and going out on a Friday or Saturday evening, decked out in my cutest dress and my sexy Louboutin heels.  But now, it's all about which yoga pants are the most comfortable and which tennis shoes are going to give me the most support for my left leg.  I haven't worn a pair of jeans or really anything cute since my injury.  My clothes have to be practical and comfortable, and sexy does not fit into that category.   I also feel like a blob.  I'm still working out and eating right, but  I just feel... puffy.  Not like myself.  I was looking at my ass in the mirror at the gym yesterday, and my butt is just not as cute and perky.  I haven't squatted, deadlifted or lunged in 3 months, so its just flabby and droopy.  My shoulders and arms are for sure filling out though....maybe a little too much.

I just want to feel like myself again.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Just Do It

8 weeks post-op this week!!  

I got the cutest card from my co-workers in the mail.  Cheered me up for sure!

If I'd had a less severe Lisfranc injury, I think I'd be able to start bearing weight this week.  But that damn little navicular had to get in the way of my potential!  It is the reason I am still not walking yet.  I guess that's what happens when you shatter it into 11 different pieces.

That's OK though, I still have had a week of progress so I can't really complain.  I've been doing my range of motion PT and it's to the point now where the foot is not really stiff anymore (at least when attempting those exercises).  My therapist said when I am pointing and flexing my toes that I should try to point and curl them like a ballerina as much as I can.  

So in my mind I visualize I look like this

                                          When in reality I look like this:



I also successfully made my goal of going in to the salon and getting my hair done.  I had been so nervous about it because I was just afraid how I was going to navigate on my scooter.  Turns out though, it was really easy!  I'm much more pro on my scooter than I give myself credit for.  I had to get into the chair once, out for a wash, and then back into the chair.  I shouldn't have been so nervous about it because I conquered it like a boss.  My hair stylist, who is FABULOUS by the way, gave me a stool to elevate my foot, and then I just sat there for a couple of hours while she played with my hair.  I got it darker for fall, and felt like I needed a change since I myself am going through so many changes in my life.

Bam!  I love this new color!

I am starting to use my crutches a little more.  I keep them down in my basement for when I go down there to workout in the home gym, so that I don't have to butt scoot around.  I've found that I'm about 100 times better on the crutches than I was when I first injured myself.  I guess I'm just really comfortable hopping around on my left leg, and I'm sure that it's super strong now so I can do a lot more with it.  I'm not going to use them as my primary mode of mobility but there are definitely nice to have around now that I'm not so afraid of them.

Perhaps the most exciting thing this week was the opening college football game of my Utah Utes against Michigan! Spoiler: the Utes won :)

(me and one of my best girls, Aimee - who made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies JUST FOR ME!... love her)

I have season tickets, but was really worried about having to hop up to my seat on the 35th row of the stadium.  So, we decided not to attend this game, but it didn't stop me from tailgating!  I got to get 12 hours of good, clean & dirty tailgating in my system.  I saw lots of friends.  Ate lots of food.  And drank lots of booze.  The only challenge was getting in to the port-a-potty on my own, so I needed help with that, but otherwise I just sat in my lawn chair with the foot elevated on my scooter.  People brought me food and drink as I requested it.  The port-a-potty trips definitely got more challenging as the night went on, the sun set, and I consumed more and more alcohol.   I have a light on my scooter so that helped.  At one point, it was so dark, that Nate lifted my scooter up and shined the light into the port-a-potty window for me so that I could see what I was doing.  How sweet is he?

It was the most depressing thing to see all of the other patrons heading to the game!  I met a couple of other people in casts, and one guy who had a boot like me, and was being pushed by friends in a wheelchair.  So, I'm determined to go to the game next week, and actually go inside the stadium to watch the game instead of from the tailgate lot.  I also bought some cute new boot accessories to decorate with my team colors.  

(my "Ute Boot")

YEAH!!  Go Utes!

I think I'd say to anyone out there reading this, debating on whether or not to do something with your broken foot (like go to a game, or a hair salon, or visit friends, or a road trip, or what have you) advice is to JUST DO IT!  It's so worth it in the end.  I immediately regretted selling my tickets once I got to the tailgate and found how much I was able to move around and do things (even if I required help).  I am done putting my life on hold or settling for less just because I've got a Lisfranc injury!