Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Unexpected Developments in the Ankle Saga

Since I'm now at home from uni for Christmas, we got all my notes and xrays transferred to our local hospital. Mum took me up for a regular fracture clinic appointment yesterday. We went expecting it just to be a formality and get some xrays taken but boy were we wrong. The Doctor read through my notes and told me straight away that I'd need an operation- not the best thing to say to someone in the 1st sentence after you meet them! I was sent for xrays on my ankle, but also my knee since the Dr thought that with the damage in my ankle, there would have to be something wrong higher up in my leg. I haven't had 1 single bit of pain higher than the top of my ankle so I was relieved that the xray came up clear (though it left the Dr very confused as to how I'd managed to mess up my ankle so badly but not mess up my shin bone).

Anyways, the xrays confirmed the suspicion that the ankle wasn't healing properly so it was decided that I should have surgery. I had my red cast taken off and the full extent of the bruising showed. It was actually quite entertaining to see that nearly 2 weeks after the accident, I had clear bruising from my toes to halfway up my shin! I had a new cast put on (black this time), and a junior doctor came round to sort out surgery paperwork- they were going to keep me on a ward overnight and do surgery the next day. I was the last one out of the fracture clinic, and as it is so close to Christmas, everyone just wanted to go home.

I was wheeled up to a ward, where there was one other lady there. I'd missed tea and had nothing with me so mum went home to pick up some stuff for me. My phone battery was dying and I was miserable. I feel sorry for the poor nurses that were subject to my mental breakdown! Another lady was bought into the ward and her daughter gave me some food and magazines to relieve my boredom. Mum came back and sorted me out for the night- at the same time, Dad was at the walk in centre with Grandad who had developed a rash. Quite a stressful day for the family! After a bit of tv and a huge feast at 11pm, I tried to go to sleep.

It was the worst sleep of my life, and the being woken up every 4 hours to have my blood pressure and temperature taken was highly annoying. I mean, it's not like I'm ill, I'm perfectly healthy apart from a broken ankle. This morning I was treated to more entertainment from the old ladies. The surgeon came up to brief me about my surgery, but then returned at lunchtime to tell me that there was no chance we could have surgery that day. Nil by mouth for nothing! Mum and Dad came up for visiting time, I got my cast changed (it was so itchy!) and after being given ibuprofen and cocodamol, I was discharged with the idea of trying to have surgery the week after. I spent the rest of Christmas Eve firmly planted on the sofa in my new white cast, my onesie and wearing a santa hat, while watching the Grinch and eating Dominoes. Perfectly happy family fun. Just what Christmas is all about. And just what I needed.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Diagnosis Time

When I woke up on Friday morning, the ankle was no better- it was a lot worse, now resembling a cankle. After speaking to my parents, we decided it was A+E time (even if it was just to get some strong painkillers and crutches!) so after a few messages to friends, I had 2 people take me to hospital. I had to get a housemate to help me down the stairs and to the car which was annoying- I'm usually fairly independent and hate having to rely on other people.

After about 15 minutes in the hospital waiting room, we noticed the hospital staff acting weirdly and all the doors were locked allowing no-one in or out. Apparently we were in the middle of a 'code black' situation where there was potential exposure to hazardous substances- this went on for about 45 minutes. After seeing the Doctor in triage, I was put into a wheelchair and taken through to the minor injuries unit where I was sent for x rays. The results came back quickly and if it wasn't for having 2 people there with me I don't think anyone would believe the diagnosis- fractured tibia!

They put me in a plaster of paris cast to allow the swelling to go down and gave me crutches telling me to come back to the fracture clinic on Monday. After more xrays to check the cast was in the correct place, I was sent home- the whole process took 3 hours. More fun getting me up the stairs on crutches- its definitely not my most dignified moment having to slide up to the 3rd floor on my bum. All my flatmates just laughed at me not realising how much they'll have to look after me! I spent the next few hours getting used to life on 1 leg and crutches, and trying to work out which clothes would fit over a cast.

Since it was the Christmas event at the union that night and I'd got a ticket and had invited friends round for predrinks, I let them all know I was stubborn and still happy to go out as long as they were happy and patient enough to be with a cripple for the night! I never realised how hard crutches are- I was dead after about 100m, so I ended up being carried to the union and security took pity on me and got me a wheelchair for the night, which my arms were forever thankful for. I can honestly say I never thought I'd ever have my photo taken with Santa whilst sitting in a wheelchair! My faith in humanity was restored this night- so many people that I hadn't seen in ages/didn't know at all were all more than happy to help me out and not complaining at all when things were taking 10 times longer to do because of me.

Talking about faith in humanity being restored, I was woken up to a lovely text from a friend who I had seen once since May saying she was on campus that day (which was a surprise) and was it ok if she came round with a care package for me. After realising that I was going to be stuck in the flat all weekend, I was more than happy for people to come and visit- sitting in the same room for hours with no laptop was not my idea of fun (the no laptop thing is proving to be an issue for getting deadlines in next week). Thankfully, I had 4 visitors at lunchtime and they were absolute angels and did a food shop for me! I am surrounded by seriously the best people ever! Dad's coming up to the fracture clinic with me and to pick up my car on Monday, now I've just got to work out how to get this work finished for Monday and get excused from my presentation.

Friday, 13 December 2013

A Setback

I've had a pretty rough week- lots of deadlines and nothing seems to be going my way at the moment. Anyways, I was surviving and as a break from deadline/life stress, I went to trampolining training yesterday night even though I still had work to do. As we were done with comps for the semester, I was working on new skills and putting new routines together ready to compete at the elite level in my next competition.
About 1 hour into training, I was working towards crash dive ballout. I'd been doing preps for the ballout all semester and had actually landed the whole skill 2 weeks ago when a higher level coach was at the session. After a few goes working on straightening out the crash dive, I decided to just do bouncerolls out of the crash dive to prep for the full skill. The first attempt felt totally normal, if not a little slow rotation, so on the second attempt, I tucked a little tighter to speed up the rotation. I must have got lost in my air awareness which is usually pretty good, because this time, instead of landing on my back, I landed on my feet in a very deep squat with all my body weight in front of my body, and possibly with the outside of my foot twisted. I felt a crunch in my ankle and immediately rolled back and held my foot. A tingling feeling shot up my leg and I sat and waited for the pain to wear off so I could at least get off the trampoline without causing too much fuss.

Half an hour after the accident
Alas, this didn't happen. In my attempts to keep myself calm and to not completely freak everyone else out, I stayed quiet and did simple tests on my ankle- my toes could move but the instant bruising and limited movement in the ankle told me that I wasn't walking away from this one. My stubborn side was immediately apparent, refusing help to get off the trampoline and hopping over to the closest bench to sit on, where we iced and elevated it straight away. I was pretty sure it was just a sprain- I must have been in denial over the crunching sound that I'd heard! After 20 minutes, we thought the swelling had gone down- until we looked at the outside of the ankle (we'd been icing the inside because thats where the bruising had shown up straight away) and we saw a lovely golf ball shape on what used to be my left ankle. Again, my stubborn side refused to go to hospital- I'd had such a bad week that this was the final straw and I just wanted to go to bed! So after about an hour, my friend drove me back to my flat and it took 3 people to get me up the stairs! After a few phonecalls to my parents and as much paracetamol as possible without overdose, I ended up going to bed with a very swollen ankle, hoping that it would die down by the morning.
The swollen ankle before bed- about 3 hours later