Underestimated Predicament - Broken Ankle Pt. 1

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sooooooo turns out I didn't sprain my ankle. It's funny how at the end of my last post, I mentioned that my pain didn't feel like pain from a sprained ankle but it felt like something else.

This was what it looked like after the earlier bandages were taken off. Bruises on the side of my ankle was a sign of torn ligaments I think?
Turns out my fibula is fractured causing my talus bone in the ankle to dislocate. Also, I had torn ligaments. Listen to what your body is telling you, people! This was more serious than I thought it was.

My underestimated injury required surgery called ORIF (Open Reduction Internal Fixation), where they had to insert a metal plate, which held 6 screws drilled into my bones to straighten the broken fibula plus re-position the talus bone for recovery. The doctor also had to do ankle ligament reconstruction on my ligaments that tore.
Thankfully, the surgery was successful and the spinal injection given was not as painful as I thought it would be (ETA: The spinal injection site is starting to bruise. Hmmmm). I thought it was the kind of pain that would elicit blood curling screams from me, but thank God it wasn't. The post-surgery spinal injection wound was even more annoying to be honest because I had to lie down most of the time and it would always rub against the injection area.

It's also very interesting how everything from my waist down just felt numb. It's even more interesting that you can't feel the surgeon cutting into your leg. So cool. I wanted to see what was going on, but there was a curtain separating me and the operation area which is understandable. But being my curious self, I asked the anesthetist if he could help me take some pictures and he did! I get to see what they did inside my leg, and the X-ray showed how it was fixed with the 6 screws and metal plate. The doctor also had to put my leg in a splint.

Ahhhh wonder what path I would have gone down if I was a doctor/surgeon. Their job is so noble in my opinion, healing the broken and helping people regain certain skills and abilities. Okay, enough why-didn't-I-become-a-doctor talk before I spiral into the vortex of over thinking about my past and future. Cue X-rays!

Before: An X-ray of my broken fibula and displaced talus bone.
After: 1 metal plate and 5 screws later.... one more long screw will be inserted which will connect my fibula and tibia together at the bottom.

Lessons I have learnt so far in this very unneccessary experience:

Lesson 1: Heavy people are more prone to serious injuries due to their weight. Because of my big boned and heavy body, a small fall can cause a big impact. Sigh, the many woes of a heavy person.

Lesson 2: Just go to a western doctor instead of a Chinese traditional doctor to save your time if you think you need to. Wasted 4 days of bed rest with herbs on my leg when all I needed was an X-ray to see what was going on.

Lesson 3: In a zombie run, if you want to follow a crowd, do so with extreme caution. Or you'll end up like me. You might as well get your life tag pulled out then risk spraining your ankle or worst - surgery and months of healing/rehabilitation.

Lesson 4: If you have screws and plates in your body, you are allowed to have a different take of the song Titanium.

Lesson 5: If you plan to do a spinal injection for surgery anesthesia, here's an important tip: go to the toilet and do ALL you need to do before the surgery. Because the anesthesia is going to last 6 hours and you don't get to pee and your bladder refuses to let you pee. I am usually called the girl with the strong bladder from my friends, because I can hold my pee and not pee for a long while (not a good thing to do btw). I made sure not to drink excessive amounts of liquids before and after the surgery so I don't need to: a) use the toilet which is like 200 miles away for me after a LEG surgery; and b) use a bedpan. But for some unexplained reason, my bladder just filled up after the surgery and the pain of not being able to pee because your body isn't letting you, is excruciating. They had to put a catheter (and I'm going to leave it at that), and the relief of letting go of your bladder after that is SO great.

Isaac and Jas dropped by with a Christmas gift and a card!

I don't know if I should be relieved this injury did not happen during my school period, or sad that this is happening during the Christmas/New Year/semester break season. This is making me have to cancel all my plans for my semester break! I was suppose to find a Christmas cookie recipe to make as Christmas gifts! Now, I can't even BUY Christmas gifts. This is going to take forever to heal, and I'm not ready to be grounded for 2-3 months. As much as I love lazing around, I may go stir crazy. Not getting to go out with my friends, eat good food, go for the usual Christmas/New Year festivities... Le sigh. Oh well, looking at the bright side, I get to save quite some money and petrol not going out.

My house is also a total hazard for whomever who has a broken body part like me. We don't have railings in toilets, the slope to the entrance of the house is uphill, the steps into my house den is high, we have a lot of tall steps on our stairs, the toilet nearest to the living room is far far away. I admit it's not going to be an easy feat to live in my house with a broken leg, therefore I'm predicting that I will have to stay in bed for a loooooong time.

The cousin and fam bought me beautiful blue flowers!
And damn, with my impending lack of exercise due to the immobility of my leg, I'm gonna be fat as hell. I was so pumped up to work out and train for my Nike Run next year! I even bought an app that could help with my training progress. Guess that's delayed and will have to wait till my next semester break. I was also going to learn to cook some dishes e.g. chicken and avocados with balsamic vinegar, spaghetti carbonara and poached salmon. I had so many plans!!!

It's okay it's okay, trying to reassure myself that I have also other hobbies and skills to explore and throw myself into without having to move my legs. For example, I've always wanted to learn French and this is my opportunity. I now also have more time to spend on quiet time with God daily. Hobbies like knitting and quilling came to mind, but I'm not meticulous, hard working and creative enough for that. I'd probably just dump the project after a few days but hey, never say never. Also, I can probably study and get a head start for next semester's subjects, no harm there.

Roasted granola with chocolate chips from Xian Jin. Thanks XJ! So addictive!

This rehabilitation process and trying to regain movement and strength to my leg, is not only a long, physically demanding and taxing phase, it also tests the mind... to not give up and sob over small defeats, but to rise over the challenges faced and stand up strong at the end of the day. I don't know when I got this emotional, but I almost cried when I almost slipped on the wet uphill slope to my house entrance, thinking how I can't do simple things like this and havivng to trouble my already tired family members just to get things done for me.

Pray for me, as I go through this whole new experience that I have not explored. You'll probably be seeing me blog more often because I have left this blog abandoned for far too long! I'd also like to help people in the same situation as me as I wasn't informed enough about how to handle things like this. You kinda gotta learn along the way and see how it goes, like life. More updates on my leg next time!

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