It was a sweltering hot Wisconsin summer day. The kind where the humidity hits you like a brick wall as soon as you open the door. It's like trying to breathe through a down pillow in a steam room. I had C in the car seat and scooted around the side of the house after M who had launched himself away from me. His last home therapy session of the day had ended minutes before. I was in full panic mode since we were already late for his Audio Integration Therapy appointment 40 minutes away.
It happened so quickly. Down spout with tiny divot at the bottom. A slightly sloped yard. A kid running around the corner of the house. A Mom trying desperately to catch him in her hot pink flip flops. Left foot in the hole, she loses her balance, right foot goes down on the spout trying not to fall, right foot slipping off the down spout and going into the hole at just the right angle. Me going down like a plank with a distinct POP. I belly flopped. HARD! The pain shot like lightning through me. I couldn't make a noise or breathe. For a moment the sky was pink.
And then I found my voice. And I used it. I think they heard me in Australia. Big fat tears instantly ran down my sweaty face. I couldn't get up. I had no idea where M was. C was in the car, strapped in, and chilling in the air conditioning. I was alone. By the time I got to my hands and knees, the muscle spasms had begun. Imagine the worst Charlie Horse ever, over and over, over. Now imagine it enveloping your entire foot. Imagine it convulsing so hard that your foot becomes a lumpy mess, swells 3 times the size of your other foot, and your toes are pointing in all kinds of weird directions. I was sure the bones were ready to poke through the skin.
I crawled through the driveway and into the garage. With dirt and gravel imbedded in my knees, I reached up, opened the door, somehow got C out, somehow shut off the car, and crawled into the house to get my cell phone. I still had no idea where M was.
I called my Mom. Luckily, she was driving home from work so she was already in her car. I hyperventilated into the phone that I hurt myself and she needed to come. I couldn't even make complete sentences. While I sat on the garage steps, M appeared. Good, they were both alive and accounted for. Next I called my Step-mother next door. Mom stayed with the kids and she drove me to the hospital. Every bump in the road sent searing pain up my leg and seemed to make the muscle spasms intensify.
I forgot to mention that I had been battling (and losing) against Poison Oak for two weeks. The rash and hives had now spread to my face. I was actually thinking that when Audio Integration therapy was over, I'd head over to urgent care to have it looked at.
Well, there I was. Soaking with sweat and tears, dirt and gravel in my knees, unshaven legs, and covered head to toe in hives, one of which had swollen my left eye half shut. And of course, the Frankenfoot. I was so attractive.
Initial Xrays showed a bad sprain, nothing broken. After one month of wearing a Cam walker boot and still not much improvement, Xrays were retaken and revealed that I had dislocated all 5 long bones from the cube-like bones that create the arch.
It's called Lis Franc dislocation. Reserved for NFL players and people who fall out of buildings. Extremely rare and extremely severe. A career ender.
I am so talented.
So, 2 pins, 3 screws, 2 operations, 12 weeks on house arrest and wheelchair, and 8 weeks of physical therapy later, here I am. I had to throw away 90% of my shoes because now my right foot is an entire size larger than my left. I have pain every day, I limp, and probably another surgery in my future, but I am walking, working, and happy.
It was life changing for me. The cause of my early mid-life crisis, so to speak. I had plenty of time to reflect while on my 'house arrest'. I have made many changes in my life as a result.
The photos do not really do it justice. Such lovely shades of purple......
A map of my hardware installation. Dr. A is quite the artist. And a kick-ass surgeon BTW. And fun. He said "shit" once during conversation. I like him.
Hey! It's Wolverine!
Ew!! When I look at this, I remember how itchy those skewers got. Especially the left one. *Itching that spot right now*
E, K1, K2, and Mom pimped my cast. I got lots of compliments!
Hope you are not totally grossed out. That's me, Clutz Extraordinaire!