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Recovering after Leg Surgery: Week One

Recovering after Leg Surgery: Week One

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Be sure to read how I broke my Leg First

And Also part II the Surgery, before reading about my long week by week recovery.


That first night home from the hospital was terrible.

I lay in bed on my back, waiting to fall asleep and hoping that I wouldn’t snore.

I jerked awake at 3 AM pain flaring through me, and wished with everything I had that I could sleep on my side.

I called Chrickette and asked her to help me to the bathroom, she obliged.

She came into my room, turning on my light for me, and stepped up to my bed. She wrapped one hand around my ankle and the other around my thigh, she then held up my leg while I pulled myself from the bed.

I hopped, with the help of my walker, to the bathroom, where I proceeded to try and gently sit on the toilet. I failed, it was more like a flopping action, my good leg gave out halfway down. The jarring to my broken leg had me hissing in pain.

After doing my business, I levered myself up from the toilet, which was a lot easier than trying to sit on the thing.

I hobbled back to my bed where I found my sister sleeping… on my pillow. I woke her up again, and had her help me situate my leg back on the pillows.

The next day found me sitting on a recliner in the living room, my leg propped up and things gathered around me to keep me entertained.

My mother sat next to me listening to a message from Chae-lo.

“I’m coming home this weekend. . .  and I’m bringing a boy.”

What? She bringing a boy?!

Here’s the thing, I have anxiety, it’s not constant like others might have, I call it more situational anxiety. Meeting new people is very high on that situational list, in fact, it’s probably at the top. Being in pain, especially from an injury is right up there next to it. And then the fact she gave me 3 days advanced knowledge, this was adding up to be the worst week of my entire life, and that includes the previous weekend when I actually broke my leg. This was by far the cruelest thing any family member had ever done to me.

The minutes were counted by how often it took to situate my leg for optimum relaxing, the hours of icing, and the days by the times I fell asleep in my chair.

I was constantly being awoken by messages from my siblings, each deciding to come for a weekend visit to my house… Not to see me and my poor leg, but to meet this boy.

There were going to be 28 family members there… plus a family friend who was staying next door at my sisters house who had his lovely family with him.

A grand total of 35 people (including the new boy) were going to invade my sanctuary only days after my surgery.

I was not doing well.

The day before the invaders arrived I gave up on decorum and asked for help in the bathroom.

The few days of the plopping down on the toilet, the pain from the jarring, I had had enough.

As Chrickette pulled me from my chair (It was a rocker recliner and wasn’t steady enough for me to push off of) I looked at her and said, through gritted teeth, “Will you help me? Hold my leg steady as I sit down?”

I could see the discomfort cross her face, but she nodded her agreement.

She shuffled in before me, stood by the tub, and held my leg as I sat.

It was such a relief, there was no movement, there was nothing that caused  pain! We decided to employ the same method whenever I sat down anywhere, it helped so much.

We also came to the realization that I had not showered in a week.

The doctor had said that it was okay for me to shower, but he wanted me standing up without the brace on. No way was I going to attempt to stand in a shower, on my one good leg, water drenching the floor my foot would be on.

Plus we have a tub shower, there was no way I was going to get into it, and there was nothing for me to hold onto. I called my best friend who is a hairdresser and begged her to come over and wash my hair for me, to find some way to do it that did not involve the shower.

The thought of having all those people over and having dirty hair was just one to many problems at once. She came to my rescue, figured out a way to wash the dirt from my head while I was laying on my bed. It was wonderful, I felt like a human being, and having someone scrub your scalp is just like heaven.

That night I was laying in bed, trying to get comfortable, my mother was standing next to me, re-situating the pillows every time I said “No, it’s pulling on my cut.” or “no my knee is to straight, it hurts.”

by this time it was a nightly ritual, either my sister or one of my parents helping me in my madness.

I was unloading my emotions of the upcoming weekend on her, crying my eyes out. She handed me a tissue and when I blew my nose it came as a gushing of blood, (I was taking a blood thinner in the form of shots, still one of the most unpleasant things) I freaked out, my mom freaked out and called for help. My sister Chrickette came in followed by my father who sat behind me so I could rest against him. Amidst my tears, sniffles and dabbing at the blood my sister finally told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was going to take the narcotics (Which up till this point I refused to take, I was only taking tylenol).

When the bleeding had stopped, my face wiped of all of the dried crusty stuff and my shirt changed to wash it before the drips stained, my father grabbed the pill bottle. He took a pill and cut it in half,

“This is only a quarter of the recommended dose, lets see how this does.” he said as he handed it to me.

I knew they were tired of my pain, even I was tired of my pain, but I didn’t want to take them. It was the words “sleeping helps heal, and your body won’t relax enough unless there is no pain, the pain is halting your healing.” that finally made me take the small white pill.

It was another half an hour before I was relaxed enough to sleep, even then I still had some pain. I still woke up in the middle of the night, I still took a while to fall back asleep, but the pain had lessened.

When morning came I knew that they were right. I took a whole pill when I sat down in my chair. It was wonderful, there was still a little pain, but I felt like I could handle it.

The weekend was spent with way to many people, feeling super awkward whenever the boy would sit anywhere I could see him, and naps, a lot of naps. Apparently a side effect of narcotics was that it made me drowsy… I fell asleep all of the time. I would be listening to conversations and bam! Asleep. I would wake up and all the people in the room would be different.

Someone took this picture during one of my naps. My brother also decided to take advantage  of my walker for his own nap. Why he did that when he could have just pulled the lever and had a more comfortable foot rest, I don’t know.  All I can say is that my family is weird.

We ended up using my walker as a sort of cage around my foot that jutted out into the middle of the living room by way of the foot rest, because there were a lot of children, especially young toddlers.

Honestly, the only reason I lasted through that entire spontaneous family reunion event was because of those pills. They made me fall asleep before the anxiety would get to much for me to handle. It also helped that I told my brothers that they were not allowed to tease me because my emotions were way too close to the surface and they would end up bringing me to tears even though I knew they didn’t mean to.

By Monday morning I decided no more narcotics during the day, I just couldn’t take the sleepiness. So it was back to tylenol while I was awake, and the big pills at night. That worked a lot better for me.


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