It’s hard going from being an able-bodied person to a disabled person but my broken leg has taught me patience and to embrace living with a disability. This morning I went for my 2-week post op check up. I’m not going to lie. I was a little nervous. I knew the minute that I fell, this was bad. The same way I knew the moment I awoke from surgery and overheard the Big Guy and the surgeon talking about how my injury was so much more extensive than he first thought. There were more pins then originally planned on, bigger screws and 2 plates versus the one we planned for. So, when I went in today, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I was nervous, for so many reasons. You my husband’s uncle had a bad break a long time ago and now he wears prosthesis. I know other people who broke their leg and never regained full mobility. I know this. It’s in the back of my mind. It scares me to death.
I am guaranteed a future filled with arthritis in my ankle. I know this. Right now, I am praying for a full, speedy and complete recovery. I just want to be who I was before the fall, as far as the leg is concerned.
I know that I needed to slow down. My life was a whirlwind and there was no slowing down in sight. I was missing things. I was too involved in the movement and not enough in the people and things happening around me.
This morning, I was terrified. This morning, I put on a brave face, held my breath and went in to get checked. My husband wheeled me in and I felt like this was unfolding as something happening to someone else. I wished it were.
I sat in the cold office, in the sterile room in complete discomfort. My mind was racing. Then the nurse came in and removed the splint. I looked down and almost passed out. Where I expected a 1-2 inch incision there was about a 10-inch incision site. As the nurse removed gauze after bloodied gauze, my heart sank. What the hell happened to me? My positivity was waning.
The nurse removed all the bandages and there was my leg, limp and small. It looked sad and feeble. I felt small and disabled. Then we went for x-rays. All I could see were the sutures; my Frankenfoot. It looked like a monster.
Stay positive, Debi. I said to myself. I mean, I know where there is a will there is a way. If I follow all of the directions, keep my foot elevated and iced as I’ve been told and put no weight on it until I am given the go ahead; it has no choice but to heal, right?
Then I see the emails, texts and messages all asking the same thing, “But will you have full mobility? Will it function like normal?” Normally, this would not bother me but after being mostly bedridden for 16 days, very emotional and after seeing the unexpectedly large incision, I cried. My heart sank and went to the dark place. What if my leg never works correctly again? What if there is a difference in size. What if I have a limp? What if I lose the leg?
It may all sound completely irrational to you all with your healthy bodies and souls but I am wounded and worse still, I know people who have lost their limbs due to trauma. I know people who’ve never walked right again. I want to be normal again, so, I’m taking it day by day.
I’m trying to see past the nausea, the scar, the recovery time, and the unexpected side effects of severe constipation, exhaustion and weakness. I’m staying positive or was until I was blind sighted by unexpected questions that make me second-guess all of it. Then I find myself crying, sad and feeling defeated.
So, while I truly appreciate all of the virtual hugs, heartfelt prayers, well wishes and pep talks, I could do without the question, “Will your leg fully recover?” It upsets me. The answer, so far, is yes. We expect a full recovery. If it turns out otherwise, I’ll keep you posted.