27 January, 2008

4 Weeks : Cast Removal

Two days ago, the cast/splint placed on my leg during surgery to stabilize things was removed. In the image, you can see the metal plate and screws that the doctor installed to my fractured tibia. He did not put another cast on my leg and I have to admit that it felt kinda weird to leave the clinic without anything to secure my leg. His opinion was that the leg was secure, that no weight should be placed on it for 5 five weeks, and that it was up to me to slowly get the rotation back into my ankle.

The ankle area is extremely stiff and as each day passes, I regain more and more movement. There is little or no pain in the area, which meant that I could finally lower the times I take those pain killers. I really don't like the nausea which accompanies taking those things.

The best thing about all of this is that I can now put my whole body in the shower. Before, with the cast on, my wife had to help me wrap my leg in a plastic bag, and that only half of my body was in the shower. I can now take more showers :-)

So, for the next month, I will still be on crutches. I have to admit that I've grown pretty efficient at using them. I can drive the car, go up and downstairs and I'm looking forward to heading back to teaching in the classroom, although I will miss the time spent here at home even though the circumstances weren't ideal.

Some of things I got to do while recovering from my broken leg:

  1. Created a Facebook account
  2. Focused more on my MFA homework.
  3. Watched a lot of TV - Below is a list of some of the shows that I HAD to watch on a regular basis.
  • Supernanny (a lot of the techniques on this show worked).
  • Oprah
  • The Price is Right
  • 12 o'clock Local News
  • Dance Wars: Bruno Vs. Carie Ann
  • Extreme Home MakeOver
  • Heroes: Season 1
  • American Idol
  • PBS Cooking Shows (My favorite: Barbecue University)

And lot of movies :
  • 3:10 to Yuma
  • Cloverfield
  • Rush Hour 3
  • Music and Lyrics
  • Dreamgirls
  • 30 Days of Night
  • The Cradle
  • Daddy Day Camp
  • Ocean's 13
  • Mr. Magoreum's Wonder Emporium
  • The Contractor
  • War
  • Sicko
  • Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
  • Grudge 2
  • Hitman
  • I Am Legend (Twice)
  • White Chicks
  • Pirates of the Caribbean 3
  • White Noise 2
  • No Country for Old Men
Take care of yourselves and be conscious about the decisions you make, as each decision creates an outcome.

12 January, 2008

Week 1: 100 mph Sled Ride = Broken Leg

On Dec. 31st, New Year's Eve, I experienced a sledding accident at Mt. Charleston. The hill I decided to shoot down was steep and when I reached the bottom of the hill, I hit a ditch. My left leg was jammed into the side of the ditch, I heard a snap, my leg became numb, but what shocked me the most was the position my leg was in. I did my best to straighten it out and laid their in the snow. My family put me on the sled and carefully brought me down the mountain and waited about an hour before help came. I was rushed to Summerlin hospital and their, the doctor placed a nice splint to hold everything in place.

A few days later, I saw the doctor and he recommended that I keep the splint on and to keep the leg elevated. Apparently, he liked what he saw and the leg was too swollen for a cast, so I rested on a couch for another week and waited to see him again a week later.

Yesterday, I had surgery on my leg. It had been 12 days since the accident. They installed a plate and screws which secured the fractured area on the lower part of the tibia (that's the lower arrow). The higher break, on the fibula, was not touched. The doctor said that this bone was non weight bearing and would heel just fine on its own.

So as of today, how does the leg feel. I definitely could feel a difference. The leg feels more secure. I can move my toes and my knees, which drove me crazy the first week. The new splint is very heavey. The pain I feel is not from the broken bone, but perhaps the installed plate and the incisions, which at this point, feels like an insect bite compared to the fracture pain. The pain at this point, on a scale of one to 10, about a 5.

Okay, so what did I learn from all of this? Obviously, an event like this is a sign from up above right? Well, I'm taking it as a sign to slow down, enjoy life and to think about how much responsibility surrounds me. Slow down and think and think before you make a move. Good thing I only injured my leg, and not my spine or hip, that would've been worse. I'll take the leg for now, it'll be with me for the next 3 - 6 months. I get it.

Thanks to everyone for your support and patience. I'll get through this. So keep that fan main coming and continue to do your best.

Your Patient,