May 20, 2015

Immobility: broken ankle

Since the 20 of Feb, I have been laid up. Had an accident, a Trimalleolar fracture - which means I broke my ankle bones (one ankle) on my right foot.
I seriously can sympathize with those who are in this type of immobile situation alot more permanently. It wasn't easy the first week after getting home. It was adjustment all round and I am lucky cos I already had a helper at home for the kids.
The break from work, well that's another kind of worry factor. I just kept thinking how long !

Most people hear of breaks but they heal after 2 months or so, but this is not a matter of a sprain, or a hairline fracture.  I absolutely could not put the foot down for about 8 weeks.
Crutches are tiring, I had to use a set a walking frames cos of steps between the bathroom and room, those were easier to navigate when you had to hop over a step or stand at the basin after you use the toilet. Crutches well, they are a little harder on the balancing act.

I was remotely hooked up to the office, but there's only so much I could do. Followup work is fine, doing new stuff which required acquiring information from other sources is not a remote job more a physical one, so that is tough .

Between the pain and healing twinges, it was not a totally comfortable stay at  home either. The foot was swollen and needed elevation most of the time which was tough to do if you wanted to sit and do stuff.
Since the one screw was removed around week 11, I began pushing to practise using the foot with a little more weight on it, used the crutches more and the office chair less. The hurdle for the office is 22 steps flight.

Getting out - first outing on Mother's day weekend, good and almost bad.
Everything was fine right upto the time we started to leave the restaurant and the family decided to take another route to the carpark. Short flight of steps BUT, my coordination was not too good and I missed the last step taking the last 2 steps with the crutches .. that would have ended in disaster if my brother-i-law had not been standing there and caught me before I crumbled. The foot did take a bit of shock when it landed.

Introspection: had a lot more time and yet could not focus on it. With all this time in the world, that is a strange thing to say. It's not a holiday when you are in recovery mode.

The things that happened during this interim period to family members, well fate has her timing: my mother had a slight problem at home and so she kept me company for a good length of time and I kept her company too. My niece gave birth  to the first member of the 3rd generation of the family. My car was useful to my niece's father at this time of travel to/fro hospital and home visit with baby etc. It would have been all different had I been at work in the office. You miss alot of life (involvement) that goes on when one is absorbed in work life. NOT good I'll say.

Grateful for their help, and that there is family to help. I had to bother my dad and my nephew for hospital appointments, my niece for the dressing change,
Good friends came to call, and filled some of that time wonderfully inspite of my bad hair..

Into the 12th week, exercising to put weight on the foot just commenced and has been slow.
Into the 13th week: managing steps better but in general walking on crutches is still tiring as I'm still putting most of my weight on my arms and left good leg still, while I am able to place my feet on the ground ... probably 10%-20% of the weight.

I plan to head into the office by next out of hospitalization leave, and cutting into the annual leave count.  Considering I am working from home, I suppose nobody is quantifying that, this rather means an unfair loss, so I'm trying to minimize that now that the steps management is steadier.

I gather I will be on crutches for a while till it fully heals.I have to be patient. It will get better.

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