So yeah, I know, this is really more of a continuation than an addition of new info. BUT hey, a post is a post, right?
I could probably do an entire post about the perils of taking a shower with a busted ankle. But instead, let’s just say that at the ortho’s office, it was made very clear that I should never, ever get my splint or cast wet. I’m not sure what would happen exactly, aside from losing its integrity and having to be redone, but I like to imagine that maybe it would turn into a gremlin? Or multiply into many useless splints?
Okay, so my first shower involved a trashbag, a dishtowel and a rubber band, none of which really make a terrific cast guard (but it does sound like a great teaser for an episode of “Forensic Files”, doncha think?). So I ordered this cast cover from the magical Amazon site, and got one delivered pretty quickly. It’s just a thick plastic bag with a big band and a silicon seal that has an opening in it. A teeny, tiny opening that barely will fit around my leg normally, let alone my leg with a cast or a bandaged splint. But with Michael’s help, I got the damn thing on and managed to take shower number 2 with relative peace of mind.
No shower would even be possible without all the stuff that Leslie brought me the other day – shower stool, shower head attachment…but the suction cup handles that attach to the shower walls? They are not terribly reliable as far as staying put goes. So…instead, I’ve worked out a system of sitting my way into the bathtub, lame and bagged leg dangling out of the bath. It’s not a perfect system, and you still have to be super careful getting in and out and not using the crutches on slippery steamed tile floors. TILE FLOORS ARE WHAT GOT ME HERE. I’m not falling for that again (#dadjokeagain).
Okay, so the other piece of gear I purchased is this: a medical elevating pillow for my leg and cast. It is much better than the many pillows I was using before, in that the pillows tend to slide around and then scatter across the bed while I sleep. This thing pretty much just sits here, doing what it’s supposed to be doing – keeping my foot up.
I was trying to think of another movie/pop culture reference for the medical supportive pillow, but I can’t really think of anything, other than I’m surprised I have not seen ads for it on Investigation Discovery, which has about three long nighttime ads that it repeats ALL NIGHT LONG: Proactiv skin care, Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty skin care, and Life Alert, which tells me all I need to know about their viewership.
Okay, that’s it for now. But tune in tomorrow for other things I’m trying to keep busy with, such as binge-ing TV shows. Stranger Things 3, anyone?
I’m a dog walker, by the way. In case it hasn’t come up before. Twice a day, I take my muttley crew (see what I did there? #dadjoke) out to some wide open expanse where such things are legal, and let them run, play, and be goofy dogs off leash. This week was going to be light – only five dogs in each group, which is a nice way to ease back into things from a four-day weekend.
But while picking up Dog #4, I noticed two dudes in the lobby, polishing the shiny tile floors. There wasn’t really a dry walkway to the elevator, and I briefly contemplated taking the stairs instead. But alas, I walked instead, ALMOST slipping despite being careful. And in the elevator I thought, Hmmmm, perhaps I ought to harness the dog, as she’s a puller and I need to walk slowly on that slippery floor. Because my only prior experiences with slipping on floors has been that I slip, fall, and maybe hurt my back or ankle a little bit. It’s not like I’m going to really hurt anything, right?
Wrong! So I did not harness the dog, and she pulled me, and I not only slipped, but I EXTREME SLIPPED. Like, if slipping was an Olympic sport, I really gave this slip my all and brought home the gold for the US of A. I was bloody AIRBORNE.
And as I went down, I felt something go SNAP! in my ankle. Like a cord. It’s weird, but it didn’t hurt at first. Then it did, and there was SO MUCH SWEARING. The two dudes working on the floor thought it was my knee, and one of them was like, trying to pop it back in like it was dislocated. I’m a little disturbed at how ready he was to leap to this conclusion, but I said no, no, it’s my ankle.
They helped me stand up, and it felt weird and hurt but not like I thought a broken ankle might feel. Like, there was no bone sticking out or searing pain. But I think maybe the adrenaline your body releases to give you that boost you might need to get yourself out of danger may have been what made me think I’d be fine. Because once I got to the truck, I realized that I was screwed.
Several phone calls, texts, and returned dogs later, my husband and hero, Michael, and I arrived at Urgent Care, who promptly instructed us that they had a two-hour wait BUT if we wanted to go to the ER, the guy at the check-in desk suggested St. Mary’s, since it gets less traffic than CPMC or UCSF. THANK YOU SO MUCH, DUDE AT URGENT CARE! That was the best tip we got EVER. I seriously want to send him a bouquet of flowers for this, because he was so, so right.
St. Mary’s is a hidden gem. Okay, not really hidden per se, but it’s off the main ambulance route so unless someone specifically requests it, nobody goes there. Yet they are amazing! Nothing but nice from start to finish. A few hours later, I was released with a splint, a referral to an orthopedic doc, pain meds, and crutches PLUS a walker because I failed miserably at crutches (Round One) to start. Also, x-rays were taken and the PA advised that I should count on being out for 8 weeks, but that probably there would be no surgery needed.
Cut to later that night: in the midst of sending out a flurry of texts and emails in an attempt to NOT lose all my business forever, I hear from Leslie, a former client (the late Jackson’s mom!) and now-friend. She tells me she has GIMP GEAR from when she had to have knee surgery, and even brings it over to me THAT NIGHT, bless her heart, veins and her arteries.
Included: shower stool, shower nozzle attachment, an ice machine for icing sore bits (not needed yet, but hanging on to this), suction handles for inside of the shower, and most appreciated of all: CRUTCH PADS!
The crutch pads are really boss. In case you’ve never experienced crutches before, they’re harder than they look on TV or when other people use them. And more than anything, they really have a way of digging painfully into your armpits. But really, that serves as a reminder that you’re supposed to be using the hand grips for support. And honestly, once I adjusted the crutches and found the right height for both the lower part and the grips, they got a lot easier. Before, it felt like they were just a little too long, especially on carpeting, and I imagined I looked a little like the Cloverfield monster:
No wonder that monster was cranky! SO AWKWARD.
At the orthopedic clinic the next day, my crutch pads were the envy of all the other patients. I can’t blame them – I certainly wouldn’t have thought to look into their existence. You just don’t know how nice they are to have until your pits are aching from your awful crutches.
Anyway, I started to look into gear I would need, especially after the orthopedic doc told me to hold off on ruling out surgery (something about the other bone on the other side of the ankle being stressed and possibly damaged, which means it might heal wrong and blah blah blah we’ll know more Monday). And she added that I should plan on NOT driving or walking large groups of dogs for at least 10 weeks.
TEN WEEKS!?! But that’s another post, I think: COVERING MY WALKS FOR TEN WEEKS.
So it was off to Amazon for me to look up Cool Stuff I Need Now, like a cast cover for the shower (my splint is rather cast-like in many ways, only a bit lighter and less plaster-filled), and a proper elevation pillow for the right leg, which needs to be elevated above heart-level to aid in de-swellifying. Which is a word now.
I also am investing in more pajama pants because I cannot wear my Lazy Pants every single day for ten weeks, as comfy as they are.
So every day, in addition to the novel I’m working on, I’m going to try to get in the habit of blogging about The Adventures of Slick Corso, or: How Much Are People Willing to Hear About Being Temporarily Hobbled? A Social Experiment. ENJOY!