The pictures are from before my surgery, basically just look at the skinny bone. I wish I had an X-Ray of it PRE break to compare, because it doesn't look all that bad to my untrained eye. The story is a direct transcription from "The Broken Ankle Book" in which I keep track of my pills, pain, and travails. The following excerpt is the 30 hour time period encompassing the immediate before, during (obviously was not awake for that) and after hours of my surgery. AND before you get all judgemental, because I am going to be completely honest, I never took the prescribed amount of Hydrocodone (20mg every three hours) because I was trying to be "tough" instead of a "druggie". So if it seems like I took a lot of pills to you, ONE DAY after surgery resulting in EIGHT screws and a plate in my leg... Please do come over and let me take a sledge hammer to your ankle after which we can discuss the merits of painkillers. I mean that with the same purely good intentions as the people who warn me about addictions and tsk tsk at my needing anything stronger than ibuprofen at all. :) Oh, and by the way, while I "censored" the swearing, I said I'd be honest and I meant it.
10:15pm thursday, july 7th
No food allowed after midnight so I ate a huge dinner. No Ibuprofen allowed either so I'm taking 10mg Hydrocodone (HC) instead of 5. Not just because of the Ibu- a mouse just jumped onto my wrapped up ankle and I instictively jerked and twisted my ankle to get it off. Oh S#$^ the pain. Maybe I at least undid any knitting my bones have done in the 3 days since the 3 breaks. Am scared that I am already healing wrong. One hour 15 minutes 'till I cant eat or drink anything but clear liquids. After 9am not even a drop of water allowed.
Surgery is at 3pm but we have to get to hospital by 1. Procedure is an hour and a half and supposedly I can check out by 6pm. HC is not only good pain relief but great for anxiety- I may be getting a plate and screw in my foot (aw, how naive) but I'm not even scared. We'll see how lovely I feel this weekend though, eh? Must note pill count throughout recovery- no addictions for me, betch. (Please watch the "Shoes" video by Kelly on youtube for correct pronunciation and usage of this hilarious word.)
8 am, Friday, July 8th
15mg HC and a gatorade to last me until 6pm. AM SO DAMN HUNGRY ALREADY.
Home. 8 screws and a plate in ankle. No food yet. A little sleepy but will eat 1st. Must keep foot above heart for 72 hours- 5pm Monday. :( At least am totally numb from a pain block they gave me and amazingly painless.
Numbness fading pain intruding... a lot... taking a 10mg HC and hitting the hay.
O god the pain sleep impossible taking 15mg HC can feel every screw in bone trying to breathe except then I would cry. O god OW O F@#$ OW O GOD F@#$%
Still O F@##$% If this monstrous pain doesn't subside in another half hour then F@#$% the rules I'm either having another pill or a F@#$%^& beer. Maybe both.
OK I cried a tiny bit. The HC is making me sleepy, as is the time, and the pain is no longer crying pain. It's as painful as you can get without actually hitting the crying level. It is bite your lip try to breathe pain. It is rub your face because you don't know how much more you can take pain. It is there-is-a-giant-metal-screw-through-my-ankle FOR REAL pain. So what if the HC makes me sleepy because this pain would only let me sleep if I was dead.
OMFG I forgot I can take ibuprofen now ooooh S@#$$. O GOD CRY I can't get to it F@#$%^ me.
OK had to cry for about 10 minutes. Managed to move easy ( haha not so easy under the circumstances) chair to get ibuprofen. Got ice for foot. Back to lip biting stage but I can mostly breathe.
I know it's too soon for hope of ibu kicking in but now I'm getting stabbing throbs up my shin. Also I keep realizing I'm tensing my foot and I CANNOT stop. Every time I relax I find it tensed again.
OK hell with it I'm "sleeping" in my chair tonight. Think I just got about 45 minutes. OW crap I'm taking another 10mgs. It's been 3 hours so F@#$% it.
Pain scale...16 or 17 out of 10. Tired as hell. Can't sleep. I can close my eyes and "listen" to the pain, though. A sharp searing here, a dull throbbing there, a dancing mix of the two across my ankle. The searing shoots up my shin like a squealing saxophone or an 80's hairband vocalist, the bass thuds in my foot and the dancing mix is more like drums-maybe cymbals wrapped in a layer of felt. A 3 piece band of pain.
THE SNAZZY TRUE BLUE SCREWS
Here is a visual I made to go with the sounds.
That's right. Am taking another 10mg before it gets worse again. Pain, pills, and insomnia. What better party could a girl ask for? Why, music, of course. Her own personal live band, playing very, very locally.
Will try one more time to sleep in bed. Luck to me. Got hour and half ish of sleep (not all at once) in chair.
Pain woke me took 10mg of HC, attempt sleep.
Got an hour of pain laced sleep, had to pee, 10 more mgs. Mom's making me pizza and Ima have a beer with it DAMMIT. And an Ibuprofen.
20mg HC. 1st time I take actual prescribed dose.
Got another hour and half of sleep. Pain worsening. 10 minutes and and I can take my next dose, 1 minute till I start crying. However I might have slept longer if neighbor hadn't come over calling, "helloooo, hellooooo". I didn't answer.
Moral of the story: actually I kind of hate projected morals, I say get whatever YOU want out of something, so this moral is the lesson that I learned, and you don't have to take anything from it at all. What I came away with from that most painful night of all the moments since the break, even more painful than the actual break, is to follow doctor's orders. He SAID that the first 3 days would be the worst and that's WHY he prescribed what he did. By taking only two thirds of the HC (85mg out of 120) I did not get a badge of honor, a purple heart or silver star or least of all quicker healing. I got precious little rest- one of the most important factors in healing, and agony that stretched minutes into days. I did get a pretty picture and a cool band name. But when the doctor says drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest, you don't sprint a mile with no water. Five days later and the pain is less; so are the pills. There IS no "tough" or "druggie" the day after surgery, there is conscious, careful, thoughtful healing, and a great thankfulness to those who help you through it all.
Next time I promise much happier update, PLUS the exciting "after" X-Rays! Pretty Cool!!!!
4 hours ago