Sunday, February 10, 2008


Until yesterday morning I had never had a broken bone in all 33 years of my life. Truth be told I could have lived another 33 without ever acquiring firsthand knowledge of just how badly having a broken bone (especially a hoof) SUCKS!!

What used to be a 10 second walk to the bathroom has turned into what seems like an uphill marathon of grueling proportions. Hell, my heart rate gets up and I break a sweat making that trek on crutches. Trying to find my balance on one leg, once I set the crutches aside, ain't no walk in the park either. I know I must look similar to a flamingo....but far, far less graceful.

The pain is pretty bad. Right now it has me up at 2 a.m. typing on this computer when I should be in bed mending. However, the cast has a contact point with the back of my heel and it feels like it is on fire. I can't make it stop burning for anything. I'm thinking I might amputate before the sun rises. I'll be like Caroline Ingalls on that episode of "Little House on the Prairie" when her leg got infected while Charles and the girls were away and she had the butcher knife, the tourniquet and the boiling water rocking and rolling when Charles walked in and caught her. Only in my amputation....I won't get caught. I might not have enough Percocet to do it painlessly...but amputating without good drugs couldn't hurt much worse.

For the next few weeks until I can bear weight again my sweet doggie will have to stay outside in his fence M-F from 6 am to 4 pm. I'm gonna miss him. I won't even be able to go outside and wuv on him. He and I will both be unhappy campers for a while. Saul has done very well with me being laid up. He gently sniffed my cast a few times but hasn't tried to chew on it, stays out of the way when I have to hobble somewhere on my crutches and close by wherever I am when I am sitting or laying. He is curious about the crutches. I'm scared he is gonna decide that they are big silver sticks made for his chewing pleasure....while I am walking on them. That or he's gonna decide they are big silver aliens trying to eat his mommy....while I am walking on them....but so far so good.

It's 2:30 a.m. and I want some coffee. Somebody unplugged my coffee maker yesterday so now I have to wait for like an hour til the water is hot enough to make coffee. I have a Bunn coffee maker that keeps water hot 24/7....unless someone unplugs it. I managed to get it plugged back up, get coffee in the basket and water in the pot. What I haven't figured out is how I am gonna get a cup of scalding coffee from the pot to the table with no hands without waking up a member of my family and asking for assistance. That'll be a neat feat indeed. It's likely I'll wind up with third degree burns on top of a broke foot.

Not being able to do simple, everyday tasks for myself is getting old quick. While some folks might milk a broke foot for all it's worth I am finding mine to be an extreme annoyance. I can't dress myself, I can't hold anything and walk, I can't get up and get something if I need it. No, Ms. Independent is stuck at the mercy of others. My family has been great so far. My husband got up and turned the bathroom light on for me at 2 a.m. My son just got up and walked a cup of coffee over to me at 2:45 a.m. That's some serious love there. My daughter waited on me hand and foot yesterday with nary a complaint. She even undertook tackling my dirty kitchen of her own free I guess having a broke foot does have some advantages after all.

I won't be able to drive for a long time and that will take some getting used to. I am used to covering most of the state in a week via car. In order to get to Montgomery and torment Troy King and his ilk I'll have to get a ride to and from the house. All of the Compassionate Care meetings will have to be moved to Alex City until I can drive again. Luckily my friend Christie O'Brien, who coincidentally is about to have a cast removed from her right hoof, has said she would help out once she is mobile again.

I itch under my cast. And I can't get to the place that itches. It's MISERY!


Valis said...

You have my full sympathy Loretta :-)
Know what that feels like! Had bi-lateral knee surgery and was on crutches for six weeks. Least you have some loving family to help out. Keep strong!

Loretta Nall said...

Thanks Valis. Knee surgery would have to be just awful. I met a fellow wheel-chair bound shopper in Wal-Mart yesterday. We stopped to compare injuries and he told me he had just had knee surgery.

Anonymous said...

I broke my left foot in almost the same type of accident a few years ago, so I feel for you! I "rolled" my ankle and fell forward - this resulted in a spiral fracture of the 5th metatarsal. I was in the cast for about 6 weeks. The Dr wanted me to stay in the cast for a little longer, but I threatened to cut the damn cast off if she made me do that! The painkillers I got just made me insane, so I quit taking them as soon as I could. As far as the itching inside the cast went, well, let's just say I made good use of my grandmother's extra long knitting needles!

I am a bone densitometry tech. and I talk to people every day about osteoporosis. Most of my patients are transplant patients and are taking enormous amounts of steroids in order to keep their new organs, but the meds play havoc on the bones. Fosamax is good, but a pain in the rear to take (very specific about when, how to take it, etc) and it can aggravate already existing problems if you have acid reflux problems (heartburn). Actonel is another form of the same med. Boniva has mixed results. The absolute BEST thing you can do to combat this is to exercise. The best types of exercises are those in which you work against a resistance of some type. Weight training is the best of those. Even now while you are laid up you can still do some stuff. Get a light-weight set of dumbbells ( or a couple of cans from the pantry) and do some exercises with them - all of your bones benefit from this too - not just those bones in your arms, etc. It takes about 12 months of consistent exercise before I usually see changes in the scans. Other stuff you can do: water aerobics, bicycle, rowing, etc. I even get people to buy resistance bands from a sporting goods store and use those - which could be good exercise for you right now too! The bad news: You are probably going to have to do this type of exercise for the rest of your life in order to avoid the problems your relatives had. The good news is that you found out you had this before you start fracturing your hips, or having compression fractures in your spine (which is why lots of little old people with this look bent-over. Their spines actually collapse to the point where there is little separation between the vertebrae!) Hang in there, and take calcium with vit D every night before you go to bed.

-your friend in Texas