Then morning after I broke, I awakened to a soft tenor voice and looked up to find a handsome man dressed in scrubs. Maybe it was the drugs, but I thought he was an angel. More likely it was the fact that he said I was NOT going to have surgery. Woo Hoo! He said a few other things, all of which I completely forgot the instant I fell back asleep, which was pretty much before he finished talking.
Breakfast arrived but I only picked at the toast and drank the tea. The nurses told me I was being discharged, which was somewhat unnerving as I did have the severe sprain on the GOOD ankle.
I was scared. No, I was terrified. And now I was going to have to figure out how to get around with a bad sprain on my good leg and no weight allowed on the broken one. Necessity is the mother of invention, I thought. Time to get creative.
The nurses came in a few hours later and wanted me to walk across the room using a walker. At first I thought it was a joke Ė a bad one Ė but a joke. Nope. Not joking. I was going home, and I had to use the walker. And yes, the doctor had ordered them to take the fiberglass casts off and put on AIR SPLINTS. Was I in hell? Was this some bizarre alternate reality where no one uses their brain? Where they torture patients for kicks? But they insisted on walking me across the room with the walker. Thus, I insisted that the first one that touched me was going to have first hand knowledge of what a broken leg really felt like. They labeled me difficult and left me alone for a while.
Less than a half hour later another nurse returned to put the air splints on my ankles. I was just getting comfortable in the cast and now they wanted to jostle me around and stick me in air splints. LIKE HELL! But the doctor ordered it! I donít care if Moses came down from the mountain with an order from God. No splints! And I want to see my doctor! Again, marked as a difficult patient.
A half hour later they made another attempt to get me to use the walker. Is it me, or have they all gone mad? Iím strung out on painkillers with a broken leg, a badly sprained ankle (remember, it was the size of a large apple, and the pain was actually worse in the sprain than the break. I guess thatís akin to having a migraine, then getting a paper cut and the paper cut is what ends up driving you batty.) Try as they might, they could not get me to walk, hobble, or limp across the room. This time I DEMANDED they get my doctor. Now I was marked as an IMPOSSIBLE patient. Did I care? Not particularly. Was I going to use that walker? Not for anything more than to help me stand and pivot or perhaps WHACK a nurse.
Finally, my doctor returned. No scrubs. Ah, he had been in surgery. And he had been told I was being difficult. Did he tell me they said that? Nope. It was the look on his face and the tone of his voice. I think he asked me what the problem was or something along those lines, similar to how a parent speaks to a child. Mind you, he is only a few years older than me at best, so this tone did NOT go over so well. Yes, he wants the splints on me. He told me that this morning. Ah, but I have no recollection. Might want to try talking to someone when they are awake... better chance they will remember. Yes, I said that, with a raise of my brows. He huffed or sighed, or maybe it was a mix of both, then left the room. At this point I clearly remember thinking, PACK YOUR BAGS, IT IS GOING TO BE A HELL OF A RIDE!
Alas, discharge time. Good-bye and good riddance. An ambulance took me home. But the paramedics had not clue how to get me up the stairs to my bedroom. The stretcher could not make the corner onto the steps, and the paramedics looked pretty perplexed. Mind you, all I really wanted to do was get into my bed and nestle with some vicodin. After a minute or two of NO suggestions, I got up and hopped up the steps on my sprained ankle, cringing every time my foot landed, until I was at the top. Then I essentially crawled to my bed.
My mother had asked one of the paramedics to bring up a wheelchair from the basement. My uncle had used it many years ago when he was dying with cancer. That was my big plan. A wheelchair. The sprain had to heal and if I used the crutches or walker, I would only make it worse since it would be forced to hold all my body weight. I was quite proud that I thought of it. It still striked me funny that it was not suggested by a doctor or nurse or therapist. Kind of makes you wonder.
Heal well and heal quickly.