Sunday, May 2, 2021

Girl, Wash your toes


X-Ray side view

I'd love to be able to tell you I broke my ankle on a wild hunting expedition stepping on a bear trap or in a sky diving accident or something else exotic and exciting.... but here is what actually happened:

(If you get squeamish, this post is not for you, keep scrolling.)

X-ray profile view

I was playing soccer in a local adult rec league. As a forward, I was in the goal box along with my other teammates trying to score. The game was close, and we were giving our all.  I was playing near the goal post and the ball was going away from the goal along the end line. I was leading with my left foot about to take a touch to keep it in bounds.  I was poised to turn to get the ball back in, hopefully scoring.

Well, that didn't happen... As I went to take a touch with my left foot the goalie dived for the ball, got the ball and landed on my foot.  It gets kind of gruesome from there.  I heard and felt 2 breaks and as I went down, I knew it was a major injury. I immediately started to freak out.

Our son was there watching, and we have taught him how to unlock our phones and make calls in case of an emergency. He also has both my and Kyle's phone numbers memorized.  I called to our son and asked him to call Kyle while my teammates called 911.

Our son earlier that day at Monster Jam

As I laid there my teammates gently took off my shoe, then my soccer socks, then my shin guards. They asked me if I could wiggle my toe? "If you can wiggle your toe, it is not broken," one player said. I could wiggle my toes, so I thought that was a good sign. But then when they put my leg down, my ankle went one way, and my foot went the other way. Then I really panicked.

By this time Kyle, was on the phone and our son gave me the phone to talk to him. Kyle knows how to calm me down and he started talking me down off my cliff I felt like I was on. The firemen and EMTs were arriving and Kyle was on his way. James was quickly packing up all my stuff. (I think he aged about 3 years during this traumatic series of events.)

The EMTs took one look at my ankle and said they were going to put a splint on it and take me to the hospital. As they carted me off the field on the gurney I was wondering if they could tell if it was broken, since I could wiggle my toes and all... without hesitation he said, "Oh, yeah".

At Monster Jam that morning

Skipping ahead, Northside Hospital Cherokee was wonderful. The care I received was top notch and the staff was very accommodating. After trying to set the ankle in the ER, it didn't set completely straight. The ER Dr. contacted the Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Widener, and he decided to go ahead and schedule me for surgery the next day.  He already had a full day of surgery, so I was blessed to stay overnight so he could do the surgery the next day.

The hospital was almost at full capacity, so they let me spend the night in the ER. The next morning, they moved me to a room in the women's ward while I waited to have my surgery that afternoon. When I got to the preop room, I asked someone to pray with me and we did. Then, as they prepared me for surgery, I felt God's presence as a friend I volunteered with at our church walked in to my preop room. I remember when she was going through nursing school and how we prayed she would pass her nursing test. I remember how hard she worked to earn her degree! Now, in the middle of my story she was my preop nurse!

After the surgery, Dr. Widener told me the injury was worse than they thought because there was a third bone broken, that they couldn't see in the x-ray, which is why it didn't set right in the ER.

The official diagnosis is a Trimaleolar fracture. In layman's terms, the three ankle bones were all broken, and my foot was dislocated. The thin bone broke at a diagonal, the bigger bone broke across the bottom, and the small bone on the back broke vertically. So, he put four screws on the metal plate attached to the thin bone, 2 screws going up on the big bone, and one screw going across the small bone in the back.

Watching our son's little league game

Now, I am wearing this half cast for 2 weeks. I cannot put any weight on that leg. Then I will switch to a boot and start physical therapy for the next six weeks. I feel overwhelmingly blessed with Kyle and James helping and doing so much, all our dear friends and neighbors rallying with us by bringing meals, flowers, chocolates, snacks, fruit, and offering to help in different ways. Thank you to my dad and my in-laws and to everyone for all the calls and texts of friends and family checking on me.

And no, the blood was not rushing to my toes Tuesday morning. I just needed to wash them...

A lady bug landed on my good ankle

Immanuel (Hebrew: עִמָּנוּאֵל‎ meaning, "God is with us"

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Matthew 1:20-23 NIV