Having a break…

No seriously – I’m not taking a break from my blog – I have a broken ankle! The image of my crutches may have given it away and a lot of you may already know this if you follow me on my Facebook Page or Instagram.

It all started at one of my beloved Boxercise classes – it was coming to the end of the class, we weren’t doing anything complicated, just running up and down the hall, when I turned to run back and so my foot was sideways but I still had forward momentum and my left foot turned under me – I heard a crack and felt a concentrated pain like being pinged by a bit of elastic and my first thought literally was “Oh shit, I’ve just broken my ankle” which was then followed by thoughts of how would I deal with the kids.

I collapsed on the floor clutching my ankle and my Boxercise partner called our lovely fitness instructor over who was brilliant and did everything perfectly with regards to an accident (I feel so guilty I managed to hurt myself in her class – what a muppet I am), she got me some ice and had me elevate my leg on a chair.

As I wasn’t crying, feeling sick, overly shocked and still quite coherent I’m sure people thought I was probably being overdramatic saying I’d broken my ankle. There was lots of discussion of maybe it was ligament/tissue damage – I said: “It could be, but I don’t think so, I’ve broken it!”. Even my poor partner had heard the crack!!!

We recorded the incident as we waited for my poor hubby to be dropped off by his mum (his dad sat in our house, as the kids were asleep in bed).  Once my hubby arrived, with the help of my lovely friends we managed to get me into the car (one of the perks of being a lightweight) and then it was off to Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, and their Urgent Care department.  We got there around 8:40pm and registered with the reception, who were very kind but warned me that the wait for triage was 3 hours but x-ray  was only open for just over another hour – the wait was on! I was terrified that I wouldn’t get seen, and totally having my priorities right I was worried I’d have to cancel my hairdresser coming to me the next morning! The important things in life eh!?

Looks ok with the ice - slight swelling noticeable without the ice!
Looks ok with the ice – slight swelling noticeable without the ice!

Called/contacted family to let them know the situation and obviously inform everyone on Facebook whilst we waited! Social Media helps keep your sanity when you’re in for a long wait…

Lucky for me I did get called in time, the triage team were great and knew x-ray was closing so rushed me through and said I could finish the questionnaire part once I returned from having my x-ray.  Whilst in triage it was time to (carefully) remove my trainer – agh…

02 trainer off
Hmmm, that’s unusual shaped ankle! Think my sports socks acted as compression and kept the swelling localised!

So I did get through to x-ray – phew!!! I think I was the last one seen that evening – I was so relieved! Then it was back to the waiting room to wait to be seen by a doctor and find out what exactly I’d done!
It was lovely sitting in the waiting room surrounded by coughing and hacking people – I think there should be two waiting rooms – one for people with injuries (like me) and one for those that could possibly be contagious!!! 😛

03 Sock off
Looks relatively normal when the ice was there! Looks like my foot has been moved to the right!

Finally, a doctor came out to me, and straight away said, as he walked us round to where they put casts on – well the hubby wheeled me round in my wheelchair, “bad news is you have broken your ankle (oh I was right), but good news it isn’t impacted or displaced so you don’t need an operation (phew and yay!).  Unfortunately, for you all the nice nurses that apply the casts have gone home, but I was taught old school and I can do you a cast” which is what he did, very well I might add – I got a back slab, which is half a cast (plaster of Paris) that is then held on with bandages (just like when I broke my elbow over nine years ago – but that needed pinning!) but they had no crutches to send me home with – that was fun!

So tired - could easily have dozed off as he applied the cast! My elbow back slab from nine years ago!
So tired – could easily have dozed off as he applied the cast! My elbow back slab from nine years ago after my op to pin it!

Got home safely with lots of help from my wonderful hubby, it was now about midnight (4 hours from the initial accident) – I hadn’t cried at all since doing it, but I was reduced to tears when I realised I just couldn’t stretch my running trousers enough (even with the side zips undone) to get them over my cast and I had to cut them off. This made me rather emotional – think I will have to treat myself to some new funky sports trousers once I am all healed.
05 Cast onThe advice was not to put any weight on my leg at all, keep it elevated as much as possible – basically, I was incapacitated and could not do anything! What is extra fun is we only have one toilet and it’s upstairs!

All I can say is thank you so much for my hubby and his work being so understanding and my supportive family and friends as I did this on Thursday 17th March (I think I took getting plastered on St Patrick’s Day a little too literally) and we still had a week of school before the Easter holidays and then there were the Easter holidays to deal with and having a six-year-old and four-year-old to care for! The hubby worked from home quite a few days, I’ve stayed with parents and my in-laws as I couldn’t do anything!

I initially did quite well, feeling ok, and did get to have my hair done the next day – my wonderful hairdresser even brought crutches with her that she had, which she let me borrow, saving us having to go back up to the hospital. Getting my hair cut and coloured made me feel so much better. Loving my pixie cut!

Looks better - can't believe it got so long (for me!)
Looks better – can’t believe it got so long (for me!)

Then things went a little downhill for the rest of that week (apologies now for too much information – skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know, but I was whammied the rest of that week), firstly I came down with the flu – temperatures of 39.6 celsius for 4/5 days and an awful cough – haven’t felt that ill in years, as if getting around on crutches isn’t exhausting as it is. Probably picked up whilst sat waiting at QMH! If that wasn’t enough to deal with my monthly friend paid a visit (seriously – now!!!) it lasts a lot longer when you’re sitting around all day too! Then (probably due to lack of eating) I was little loose for a day! It was a seriously bad week!  It’s ridiculously tough trying to sit on the loo with a broken ankle at the best of times, it’s such a mission when you can’t put your foot on the floor, but this was just horrendous.  I took my first lot of painkillers on the Saturday, not because of my ankle, but because of the poxy flu!

I was considerably cheered up when some beautiful flowers arrived sent by my wonderful group of mummy friends – which also came with a balloon, retro sweeties and some chocolate!!!
07 Beautiful flowers

Made it through all of that and started feeling more human – which was a relief, but then realised I couldn’t stand for more than a couple of minutes before the pain in my ankle became so concentrated and agonising I just had to sit down and elevate it again. I don’t know if it was because of the weight of the cast (as it wasn’t a lightweight one), the bone healing or a combination of the two!? When it got like that I didn’t know what to do with myself and I’ve got a high pain threshold, I’ve had two babies with just gas and air – but this nearly broke me! I ended up snoozing a lot as I sat on the sofa –  I could’ve worked on my blog or my OU studies, but just didn’t have any enthusiasm to do it! Sorry – all a little bit woe with me!

I invested in some more slipper socks (good with the grips on the bottom when hopping around on crutches), got a get well card from my cousin. When I started feeling better all I wanted to eat was jelly – and I did do a drawing for a British Gas Easter tition of their penguin Wilbur! Michelle, my fitness instructor Michelle bless her, also paid me a visit and I got some yummy grapes and a colouring book! I have been spoilt!
08 Bits PiecesAnyway, made it through the Easter weekend, we had a nice day celebrating my nephew’s 5th birthday, it was great to get out of the house and sit on someone else’s sofa for a change! Once the bank holidays’ were out of the way, I decided on the Tuesday it’d be good to ring the hospital and ensure my follow up appointment was in the pipeline. I’d asked to go to the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough for my follow ups as QMH doesn’t have an orthopaedic department, so I rang the PRUH – they didn’t have my details so I had to contact QMH.  Once I’d eventually got through, I found out that my information hadn’t been passed on (typical) so they did it then and there. A couple of hours later I got a phone call to tell me I had a follow-up appointment on Monday 4th April at 3:10pm.

In the meantime, on the Thursday, as crazy as it may sound, I did go along to my Boxercise class, Michelle kindly collected me, which I much appreciate.  So I sat in a chair with my leg elevated and worked on my upper body. It was so good to get out of the house, a change of scenery is good for the mind, and see some of my friends. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it felt great to be doing some real physical activity!

Exercise - using a resistance band and weights!
Exercise – using a resistance band and weights!

My daughter also wrote me the sweetest little note, God bless her. I think mummy hurting herself has really affected my Pink One and Blue One – even if they don’t quite realise it themselves. They’re used to me running around and being active – and since doing this I just haven’t been able to do any of it.
10 Pink Ones note
Finally, Monday came round, the hubby and I made our way to the PRUH, leaving the kids in the capable hands of my mum and dad (mum kindly giving the kids a haircut for us). Driving around the car park for about 20 minutes trying to find a space – still couldn’t travel far on my crutches.  I was really nervous – wondering what was going to happen. Didn’t need to worry straightaway, the hubby and I ended up waiting 2 hours past my actual appointment time before I was seen – serious numb bum situation!

We were eventually called by the doctor who sent us straight on to have my case removed and be given a walking boot.  I was slightly surprised that I didn’t get to have another x-ray – so my cast was cut off and my poor leg (which was skinny to start with) looked waif-like and very bruised. I was terrified to move it.

Though the swelling has gone down!
Though the swelling has gone down considerably!

Fortunately, very swiftly it was safely encased in the walking boot. Which was slightly uncomfortable whilst it was fitted for the first time – but I was big and brave.
13 Walking boot

We then went back to the doctor and had a chat, I asked lots of questions – but still feeling like I’ve got no answers.  I need to wear the boot for at least four weeks (and sleep with it on, which isn’t exactly uncomfortable) and no running for three months or more (great when part of my blog is about fitness and exercise). That putting pressure on the broken ankle in the boot will actually help the break heal better apparently – which makes sense, but is scary at the same time. I can start moving my ankle when it feels comfortable to do so – but I feel so nervous! Currently, cannot see me removing the walking boot at all! Haha! I’m worried I’ll do too much and end up doing more damage to my ankle or not doing enough and my ankle becoming really stiff! Also, that’s it, no more follow-up appointments with the hospital – I’m on my own! Think I may look into seeing a physiotherapist – just need that initial guidance!

I did manage to get photos of my x-rays, which I think is cool (I’ve got the ones of my elbow somewhere) – look at the first set of images (don’t scroll too far!) and see if you can see where I have broken my ankle – as I couldn’t see it at all until the doctor pointed it out. The bit of information I am holding on to for dear life is that this didn’t happen because I have weak bones – if I did the doctor said the break would have been a lot worse.
12 x-ray

Well here’s the answer for you!
12a x-rayI’ve broken off the end of my ankle bone – bizarre!

What is exciting for me – is that since having the boot on I can sit at the table again (did some OU study), with my foot down on the floor and then two full days after getting the boot I actually took my first unaided steps in nearly three weeks – no crutches! I really didn’t  think that would happen. I just must remember to take things slowly and carefully, this healing process takes time and patience – and not let my anxieties and worries get the better of me!

Have any of you broken your ankle before? How did you cope? Share with me in the comments!

My hubby has kindly brought me breakfast in bed each morning since I hurt my ankle (though now that I’ve got the boot I’ve been able to come downstairs again) and I’ve been watching the first season of Glee – so I can’t complain too much! 🙂 xxx

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4 thoughts on “Having a break…

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