“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

I finally got in to see the specialist yesterday about my leg. After-hour clinics are basically equipped to evaluate whether you are dying (in which case they send you off immediately to a hospital with real doctors) or not dying (in which case they tell you that you are not dying and give you a referral to see real doctors at a later date). In my case, I was very much not dying, but only in excruciating pain. Which means that they didn’t get my referral until a full three days later, with a total of five days between the time of the injury and actually being seen by the real doctor.

The real doctor, an orthopedist in my case, confirmed that, yes, I had indeed broken my leg. As leg breaks go, if you really have to have one, mine isn’t the bad way to go. The fracture is in the fibula, the thin bone at the outside of the shin involved in stabilizing the ankle. It isn’t a simple break, however, since it spirals around the bone and there is some splintering involved.

The short version of this evaluation is that:

Good news – I get to have a boot, not a cast. Which means I can take it off to wash. For a person with a pathological aversion to being dirty who bathes twice a day, this was very good news.

Bad news – Even though the fibula is “not weight-bearing”, I apparently may NOT put any weight on it. Yeah. Scratched my head on that one, too. But in practical terms, this means I can ONLY take the boot off to wash, and it must stay on at all other times. And that I cannot actually walk on my “walking cast”. In fact, in an ideal world, I should be laying down “with my shin above my knee and my knee above my heart” when I am not answering the call of nature.

Riiiiiigggghhhht. I can see myself doing THAT for four weeks.

In the real world, the world I can actually live and work in, this translates to: “No walking except on crutches, no driving, and oh-by-the-way those waterpark season passes? Useless.”

I do not do helpless well. I must be the world’s shittiest patient. I see dishes on the sink or my son’s toys littering the floor and I go almost completely spastic with the need to clean them up. I do not like to ask my coworkers to fill my water bottle or get my document off the printer. I would rather put blisters under my arms from the crutches or become a slave to my office chair. I am becoming a contortionist from the complex act of putting my underwear on in the morning around the boot, because I cannot STAND the humiliation of asking for help with that most basic of personal care issues.

I have no doubt that this bone is going to be just fine in a couple of months.

But I may very well be batshit crazy by then.

July 25th, 2008 at 11:55 am
9 Responses to “The verdict”
  1. 1
    Tari Says:

    You have my complete sympathy! I did 12 weeks of bedrest while pregnant with my 2nd son and I felt the same way – how do I ask someone to make me a sandwich, refill my water, find where I left my book? As my dad said at the very beginning: “YOU sit still for 12 weeks?! that will be fun to watch!” Gee, thanks.

    Hang in there.

  2. 2
    OS Says:

    I was shocked when a girl I work with broke her arm and couldn’t see a doctor for days. It’s just crazy! And the recovery now, that’s tough for sure. Maybe you could take all the can’t tidy up energy and channel it into the novel we would ALL buy. At the least, maybe the crutches activity will build some added upper body strength for fighting . . . hope whatever diversion you find makes it sail by.

  3. 3
    Cinnkitty Says:

    “Batshit crazy” — yep, that pretty describes exactly how you are going to be! 🙂

  4. 4
    Deirdre Says:


    a leather backpack when I was working with crutches saved my sanity.

    I could crutch to the copier, pick up the document, insert in the back pack, put the backpack back on, and crutch back to my desk. Same thing with closed beverage containers and anything really that wouldn’t spill. It all went in the backpack. Things took longer, but at least I didn’t have to ask someone to carry my stuff for me.

  5. 5
    Beck Says:

    Ack! You poor thing!
    I was put on bedrest for MONTHS with The Boy and for WEEKS with The Baby and I thought I would LOSE MY MIND. But I did it!

  6. 6

    Oh man, it’s going to be a long four weeks — sorry to hear that.

    Backpack is a great idea! Also, there are these things that I call “reachers” or “graspers” (wish I knew what they were actually called). It’s like an extension of your arm with a trigger on it that creates kind of a pincher at the end. You can pick things up with it without moving. I had to go through a stint of rehab (spinal cord tumor was removed and they had to cut a nerve to get it out, so I couldn’t walk very well for awhile), and this thing would even get cans off a shelf! If things are in reach, it will allow you to pick them up without getting sore from the crutches.

  7. 7
    ulrich Says:

    If I were you I’d hire a personal assistant. If it were me it would likely be a beautiful strawberry blonde woman. – for you perhaps I could suggest a Cabana b…er assistant named Paublo? 😉

    Seriously though, that really does bite. the grip extentions are handy though if you want to look into it. – and for the printer, Check with your I.T. department they may be able to set up a local printer for you. – I do this for teachers where I work.

  8. 8
    magpie Says:

    Oh, that’s no fun at all. Hope the four weeks goes swiftly.

  9. 9
    jerusha Says:

    Ah! I found you again (and I subscribed this time!)

    I feel your pain — though not quite as acutely. I had a spiral break of my little toe the first of July. I kicked a notebook of all things. Knowing how much that tiny little bone hurt, I can only imagine what your leg has been like!

    I’ve got 3 more weeks in the boot, and then I get it x-rayed again. They’ve threatened me with a pin if it doesn’t heal properly.