Have you ever jumped over the back of a couch and broken both your legs? Welcome to my life. To be precise, I snapped and dislocated four bones in my right ankle, as well as snapped and dislocated a bone in my left foot. Yep. Both legs down for the count – literally. You might be wondering, how in the flying frack did she do that? To answer your question, no, I wasn’t even drunk. Sad but true. Inebriation may have helped me in all honesty, making my legs limber instead of eager to hold onto their standing position which resulted in the pops heard around my home.
This is my story.
There I was, stoked to finally have a Saturday off with my beau. We had been dying to play the new Lost in Random game together because for once, it was a game we both wanted to play. Now, this usually doesn’t happen. He enjoys his shoot-em-up games and I enjoy my relaxing story adventures. This was perfect. He could do the battle scenes and I could do the adventure side of it. Together, we were unstoppable. Until, halfway through the game.
You see, I had decided that for optimal game play on the computer, we should move the couch in front of it so that we could be comfortable while gaming. This also gave our dogs a place to lay next to me or it would have been pure chaos. But I guess I was too confident in my ability to simply jump over the couch to exit the area.
This was my downfall.
The third time that I went to jump over the couch, my hand slipped, and I knew that I was getting too much air. I tried to correct myself midjump and landed on my left foot, but it was too late, I landed on the side of it and heard the SNAP. I changed tactics and put my right foot down, but my body was already falling, and my ankle couldn’t hold the forward momentum.
SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP.
I was in disbelief as I fell to the floor, wishing to rewind the moment to a second prior. I grabbed at my dangling ankle – refusing to believe it was broken. A sprain, like usual. I constantly sprained my ankles; this was like that. The denial seeped in as I laid on the floor, my husband unable to help. What now? Unable to accept the idea of an ER trip so late at night in the city, I made the unbelievable decision to wait until morning. Sending my husband to the store for pain meds, my ankle THROBBED, but I was determined, and my mental will was strong.
The next morning, we arrived at the urgent care unit and waited our turn. Following the X-ray, the nurses looked at me in shock. You need to go to the ER for surgery, and you cannot put pressure on those breaks any more than you have. We have called an ambulance to take you, but visitors are not allowed due to covid they told me. So, I took my first ambulance trip at 29 during a pandemic to get my first surgery on my first broken bone(s) by myself. My thoughts filled with hundreds of past and present moments scattered about as I avoided thinking about the pain.
After they wheeled me in, I was told they would need to set my bones and tomorrow, I was to have surgery. After a long night in the ER, then a hospital bed – I was rolled into surgery. They put a plate on my broken foot and a plate on my broken ankle, as well as multiple screws. I didn’t think it was that bad until the nerve blockers they’d injected wore off and that is when it truly hit. IT FRICKEN HURT, and I couldn’t walk for how many months? This was not a sprain, this was 5 broken bones, and life was going to suck… for a while.
I had just started my new job. I couldn’t take time off. I had a wedding I was in that same week. I couldn’t miss it. My reasoning was polluted as the morphine hit my veins repetitively throughout the blurred days that passed. Giving me ample time to contemplate all that was going on around me and in my head. This was one of life’s challenges and life doesn’t always go according to plan. I was just going to be a bit more off course than the pandemic had already put me.
Five days went by and still, I could not leave they said. I could not walk or put pressure on either leg. How was I to function back at home? I did not know but I could not stay. Even with insurance, the bills alone would suck my savings dry. Plus, a week-long hospital stay? I did not want to think about it.
After seven days, multiple lessons in walker/wheelchair movement, and an agreement to at-home physical therapy – I was homeward bound. Now the real challenge had begun. Staying off them for 3 months. This was not as easy as you may imagine, either mentally or physically. I went through two weddings, Halloween, my 30th birthday, and Thanksgiving in a wheelchair. Now winter with legs of a newborn deer.
I am now almost to month 5 and have moved from a wheelchair to a walker, to a cane, and wobbly movements. The recovery process is over and now it is time to rehabilitate. So, that is my story of a freak accident that changed my life into that of a cyborg. Ha! And taught me that you can’t plan everything. We all must work through the chaos at some points in our lives.
Moral of the story? Life is fragile and so are bones! Handle them with strength.