November 20, 2019

A Year Since ORIF Ankle / Leg Surgery Update

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I declare today…  NO FLIP FLOPS DAY!!!  So this does not happen to you…

Has it been a year since I fell in flip flops and broke my leg and ankle?  You can read about the beginning of the journey here.

Look at me now…  I have a triathlon under my belt…  700 meters swim, 12 miles bike, and 3.1 miles run!

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and my foot…  it looks a lot prettier… SEE!

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A year ago today, I could never imagine that things would get better…  I just saw the immediate sucky future…   Guess what?  A year is a great amount of healing and as bad as it seems on day 1, week three, or even three months…  If you had ORIF Surgery like I did, it WILL  get better…  How could it get much worse, right?  It is easy to joke  about it now that I am over the most difficult part of the event…  but my original intent in writing about my recovery was to shed a positive light on all the negative stuff you read online about ORIF.  As I have said in other posts, I feel like I read it all and most of it made me cry.  I prayed my healing would be different than what I read online and then vowed, if it was different, I would share because people need to know it will get better.  My journey was tough!  But it made me stronger!

I think my two posts about the ankle break here and here are two of my favorites and I love how I have met many women and men who have a similar story to tell.  I just beam when I read that my post helped them see more positively.  I almost would go through the pain again just so I could help those people…  Almost!  That initial pain really is the worst pain – worse than child birth and I had a horrendous experience with my first child’s birth and yes this pain seemed worse.  But lordy, pain meds work…  Morphine was my best friend that day!

So what’s it like a year after?

The pain part is basically gone… but it still gets stiff especially if I do not make sure to exercise.  Mostly at night it will be stiff and I will limp my way up the stair to bed.  In the AM’s it is often stiff too.  I guess the secret is to just move and a body in motion stays in motion and things loosen up!    It still has tingly feelings ever so often and I feel it is less sensitive to touch.  I am more ticklish in the other foot for some reason.  But basically it feels ok… It really is never like it was but it isn’t painful.  I will say  that PT is the best medicine.  I did about 12 weeks of PT.  Yes, it is like a job, but so worth the long term results.  I am so thankful for the treatment I received and YES am still paying $$ for it!  Good thing for payment plans…  this break was not cheap and we should have it all paid off about a year and a half after the initial event.  UGH!  So the pain in the wallet is worse than the pain in the leg!

How’s it look?

Never in a million years did I think I would be posting various pictures of my feet on my teaching blog… but here is the picture I took today, 1 year later…
I just pray some weird-o with a feet-fetish does not visit this post.  Hee-hee!

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You can see that the left ankle looks somewhat bigger than the right because of the hardware…  But not much of a difference.

The scars are there…  but not bad!

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No one ever notices the scars enough to ask me…  what happened?  I so want someone to notice my scar so I can tell them it was from a shark bite…  LOL!

The inside scar is the most noticeable.  You can see the outside one, but not as much.  The inside one itches now and then still…  nothing cream cannot cure.

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Above is what the scars look like today – not too bad!
Never be ashamed of a scar.  It just means YOU were STRONGER than whatever tried to hurt you!

Do I limp?

Not normally… but if I worked really hard – like after the triathlon…  I do tend to limp a very little.  After a normal exercise which for me is usually either a three mile run or a 8 mile bike ride, nope I do not limp.  I actually think that the exercise helps me.  Sometimes stairs are a little shaky still…  People cannot probably tell, but I focus a lot on stairs still.  I use the hand rails a lot.  I notice in the morning when I wake up I kind of side step down the stairs putting more weight on my right leg.  It think because my ankle is stiff from the immobility while I sleep.  I think I walk pretty normally now.  I am extra watchful on grassy hills.  LOL!

What’s the hardware feel like?

At first the hardware annoyed me.  It kinda felt like I constantly had rubber bands around my ankles…  Now, I know it’s there, but I am use to it.  It doesn’t bother me in shoes or when I walk.  I actually feel like my ankle is stronger with all that titanium in it.  I fell and twisted it already…  while I was doing the tri.  I was worried, but after three days of rest, it felt much better.   Now it’s the other ankle I worry about!  My steel plated one is STRONG!!!

Moral Morals of the story…

Flip Flops are convenient, sometimes cute, and easy to put on…  but can break your ankle and if you don’t believe me, just do a google search with broken ankle and flip flops and you will get articles like this !  That say things like this:
“”Flip-flops have singlehandedly caused more problems with people’s feet in the last couple years than probably any other type of shoe,” said Dr. Rock Positano, a podiatrist at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery.”

God is good…  Even through the bad things, he shows you things he wants you to know…  like friends and family love you… like you are stronger than you  think… like you need to sloooowwwww way down…  like it’s time to let people do things for you…  like life is good even when you are broken…

I had big plans to burn those orange flip flops…  but I trashed them instead.  I figured fires are dangerous and I didn’t need another accident.

Here’s to a safe and fun rest of summer and fall for all!!!