Thursday, February 17, 2011

Insult to Injury - I Got the Boot

I feel a bit stupid. Crouched on the sofa cross-legged, typing away, talking on the phone, checking weather on the TV and my foot falls asleep. It happens. The surprise came when I stepped away from the sofa and my sleeping extremity, unaware that the floor was fast approaching, bent the wrong way and I heard a loud snap. It didn't hurt, since my foot was still dead asleep. In fact, it seemed so bizarre I was laughing about it.

The foot swelled up right away, but not horribly, so I applied ice, took a couple ibuprofen and strapped the foot up with an ankle brace, then limped around the house doing what I normally do, just a little slower to the task. I've never broken a bone before, and I'm thinking nothing is broken now.

Day two now - it doesn't feel worse, but not better either. Patience.....

It's now day 11 and my foot is still bruised and sore. I haven't been to the gym at all; just walking is uncomfortable. Maybe I'll call my doctor Monday.  I've never been much of an athlete - badminton elbow is my only sports injury to date - anyway, walking away from the sofa is not considered a sport, I fear. My point is, I don't really know how these injuries are supposed to go. Will I regret not having had an x-ray on the injured foot right away?

Day 12 - visit to PCP and x-ray. Unfortunately due to a miscommunication (I've no doubt it was my fault), the x-ray taken was of the ankle and not the foot. Once you're in the hospital radiology lab with an order that says "x-ray ankle" there's nothing to be done for it but to x-ray the ankle. Will wait to hear from the doctor's office after they get back from lunch, then probably back for more x-rays.

Yes, more x-rays it is - now done and awaiting results in a day or two. I've waited this long, so no big deal.

Day 14 - couldn't stand the inactivity any longer, so I went to the gym, used the weight machines, then hopped on the stationary bike for a bit. It was fine, and actually quite a relief to do something besides sit. The foot hurts a bit more now than it did earlier today, but I can live with it.

Day 16 - I have a non-displaced avulsion fracture of the fifth metatarsal in the left foot. Good to know what the problem is, and it's a small problem.

Wrapped the foot up and went to the gym on Saturday - it felt good to do something besides hobble around the house, and the stationary bike doesn't seem to stress the foot at all.

Day 19 - Kundalini yoga tonight worked out fine - had to modify a few positions to get comfortable, but I'm glad I went. The orthopedic doctor will see me tomorrow. I imagine I'll end up with one of those unattractive stabilization boots and instructions on whether going to the gym is actually a good idea.

It's Day 20 and orthopedic surgeon assures me it's a very common injury, people have lived for centuries with this type of fracture and they always heal. Fair enough. After I expressed consternation about too much time sitting around, he assured me that I could freely ride the exercise bike and use weights and whatever else I could do that didn't hurt. In his likable and mildly sardonic manner, the good doctor offered to let me try "the boot" to see if it felt comfortable - he said it would be my choice to use it or not. I was fully prepared not to like it, but the Aircast offers cushioning and stability, so my one-sided hobble is greatly reduced, as is the pain when I walk or navigate stairs.

It's not pretty, but I like my new boot and the freedom and solid comfort it provides. Back for a follow-up visit and x-rays in four weeks. I expect smooth sailing from here...

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