Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Injury Update: Who Needs a Fibula?

God willing, this is my last week in the bright orange cast. Not that it hasn't been fun; actually, it hasn't been. At all. But everyone has been so sweet in their concern over my injury, it's time for an update from my now well-worn spot on this couch.

First, sweet vindication. It turns out that, as I have been trying to tell those who would disapprove, I am not the only idiot fan to jump over the retaining wall in Clemson's Memorial Stadium after a game in order to gain access to the field. Apparently, I'm also not the only idiot fan to get hurt in doing so. Last week, my alma mater released new safety protocols for fans after football games. Among the most notable, no one is allowed to jump that wall any more. My dear friend John took this picture on Saturday after the game with me in mind:

I wish they had that signage a few weeks ago when I made my leap. I am a consummate rule follower and, while that cautionary suggestion didn't deter many Tiger fans, it would have stopped me in my tracks. But I digress. What's done is done, so let's discuss the current state of fractured fibula affairs.

I have been joking that in all this downtime I suddenly find myself with, I am going to write a children's book called Who Needs a Fibula? The answer, which I will stress repeatedly throughout the book, is that we all do. Life without a fibula is just not nearly as much fun. While the femur and the tibia get all the glory, that little fibula is the unsung hero, holding it all together. To illustrate my point (which I cannot stress enough), let me tell you how breaking a fibula can change your daily routine.

Most of you already know that my new method of transportation is my sporty knee scooter. I have now skillfully mastered the art of the 12-point turn to navigate even the tiniest parts of our home, and my scooter and I are kind of like Linus and his blanket. We roll everywhere together (pun intended). My clever and witty spouse has even given me the adorable (eye roll) nickname "Hot Wheels." I believe the definition of cruel irony is that moment when you roll your knee scooter over your one remaining good foot. There should be a "Backing Up" chapter in the knee scooter owner's manual, and it should simply say, "Do not back over your foot while backing up the knee scooter." We would all be better off.

While the scooter is a Godsend, it doesn't solve all my problems. For example, fixing one's hair and/or makeup while standing on one good leg and propping up on said scooter gets tiresome. Fast. I quickly discovered I don't have the stamina for corkscrew curls at this juncture in my recovery. I have been strictly a low ponytail girl, with (Gasp! Shock! Horror!) little to no makeup. I suppose since I'm not really leaving my house, this is a good way to save time, effort, and products. Still, when I get my foot back in proper working order, I am going to lay it all on as thick as a Texas beauty pageant contestant.

To add to my minimalist new style, the only thing that will fit over my cast is yoga pants. Once I figured this out, I went--where else?--straight to Amazon Prime and got myself another pair. The new pair has become my dress yoga pants while my other two pairs are my everyday, casual yoga pants. See, kids? That's why we need fibulas--otherwise we find ourselves calling elastic waistband stretch pants dress clothes, and that's just sad.

Here is a day-to-day of my view, and my style, during my recuperation. Strikingly similar, wouldn't you say?

Five days in the life of a fractured fibula. Yawn.

The broken fibula diet works nicely with elastic waistband pants, I have to say. Sweet Clint has been doing the grocery shopping, which means we have been eating quite well. The kitchen is stocked with all kinds of new-fangled treats--Swedish Fish Oreos, anyone? Our menus are a combination of guilty pleasures, death row inmates' last meal considerations, and all the junk food you've ever wanted to eat. We've had McDonald's, Mexican, pounds and pounds of pasta, Jimmy Johns, Thai snacks to bridge the gaps in our meal gluttony. Several sweet friends have brought us meals, and I think I had forgotten what good cooks I surround myself with! We've enjoyed comfort foods, casseroles, cookies, and sweets. Maybe once the Foot and Ankle Institute discharges me, they can send me straight to the fat farm.

Shockingly, gummy candy is perhaps not the best filling for an Oreo cookie.

I suppose I am getting some exercise. If you happen to be a frequent bathroom visitor such as myself, a fibula is a very nice thing to have. Otherwise, you will find yourself doing what trainers and fitness enthusiasts call a single leg pistol squat each time nature calls:

To look on the bright side, although this move is difficult, it will at least keep your casted leg in good shape. I'm sure my healthy leg is going to be svelte from propelling my scooter, so it's good to know my right one is also getting plenty of weight bearing exercise. Beast mode!

This bathroom discussion, and pardon me for it, brings me to my most dreaded time of day: bath time. I know Nurse Clint has to dread it, too, because it really is a team effort. Without a fibula, you will find yourself forced to use some pretty dreadful shower accessories. The first is the very fashionable and youthful shower seat. You've seen them in your Nana's nursing home, no doubt, and now we own one, too.

Slipping and sliding on one foot over the edge of the tub and onto this medical supply wonder is the closest thing to a thrill this cracked ankle customer gets. It will get your heart rate going, I assure you. Never underestimate the value of a non-deadly bathing experience.

Obviously, the bright orange cast cannot get wet; this is cast care 101. To aid in protecting Big Orange, the orthopedist gave us some thigh high freezer bag-type covers, which proved faulty. My cast did get a tad damp, which is not a good thing if you value hygiene, and my dutiful nurse wound up using the blow dryer on my foot for half an hour (not an experience either of us can say we treasured). Back to Amazon Prime we went, and now we employ the Seal Tight Cast Cover. Spoiler alert: it's basically a tourniquet with a vinyl bag attached.

I wanted to take a picture of myself with the cast cover on, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. This is partially because of modesty reasons and partially because I cannot stand wearing it one tenth of one second longer than I must. I don't know why this woman in the picture is smiling, unless the thing is so tight and has been worn for so long it has also cut off the blood flow to her brain. As soon as that evil cover is clamped down on my leg, my quadriceps starts to cramp and my toes--Clint can attest--turn blue. It is extremely environmentally friendly in the fact that it will reduce your shower time drastically, believe me. Welcome to the broken fibula life.

After two weeks of living as a shut-in, I was aching to get outside. Saturday, in a sheer act of desperation, I managed to curl my hair, throw on some makeup, don my best pair of yoga pants (the dress ones), and venture out. It's not so much getting out of my house that causes me trouble, it's getting up the stairs to get back in that becomes an American Ninja Warrior worthy obstacle. But the lure of a pumpkin spice latte and the need for a pumpkin for my front porch was greater than any daunting flight of stairs, and so we went. I am a woman who lives for holidays and I cannot be stopped.

Nothing says fall like cruising on your scooter through the pumpkin patch.

After my Saturday excitement, I had a relatively quiet Sunday--with the exception of this very unusual request I got via Instagram message. Up until this point, I thought Instagram was for pictures of food, flowers, and puppies; who knew this kind of deviant behavior was out there?

Needless to say, I did not accept this very creepy offer, although the hubs and I were both surprised to learn that breaking a fibula can also be a money making venture. I realize the bright orange cast is a thing of beauty, but $50 for ten minutes? This is a new form of (extravagant) weirdo. Thanks, but no thanks. I've seen it all now. 

I've got a doctor's appointment Monday morning to have my cast removed and to get myself a walking boot. As much as I love shoes, this isn't one I'm particularly excited about, but I am sure it will bring about a whole new set of adventures. I promise (as long as you don't have a cast fetish) to keep you posted. In the meantime, don't forget to take a moment and give thanks for the healthy fibulas in your life. Who needs it? We all do!

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