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Alexis : the aftermath...
Diary entry posted Sat 10:25am 22 March 2003

After all was said and done, I had only a mini-hardware store in my leg to correct the spiral fracture in my tibia. They inserted a rod INTO the bone, and secured it with two screws at the bottom and two screws at the top of the tibia. All of this was done amazingly through a 2-inch incision near my knee and four very small cuts at me knee and ankle.

Drip, drip, drip went the morphine into my vein. I felt like a junkie, waking up every 4 hours, pressing the red button. It wasn't so much because of pain, but I really didn't feel like being awake at 3, 4, 5 am. My friends came to visit the next day just in time for the PT people to give me my crutches lesson. I felt bad for them--they didn't quite know how to react. But we all had a few laughs when the PT gave me my "lesson" which consisted of tying a belt around my waist so she could hold me up, as I went up and down 2 stairs on the crutches.

Dr. F came in later to check on me, and at that moment I hated him. His little yappy terrier dog jumped up on my bad. This animal lover hated that dog too. He told me this was not a big deal. My life was not over. This is why he does what he does--to make people better. I KNEW that, but geez, let me be bummed for 24 hours, and I WILL get over it doc. Meanwhile, the hospital people were trying to get me outta there ASAP. Living in an A-frame house in the snowy woods with 22 slippery steps to my front door, I was not about to go back there alone! As soon as my mother arrived, I was evicted. Funny, the next day I got a message from Dr. F checking up on me, because he hadn't had a chance to see me before I left! As if it was my choice to get booted????

After some resistance, I was convinced that I would recover best under someone's watchful eye, and without 22 rickety, slippery steps to the front door, so I came home to NJ, and here I have been for 2 weeks and 3 days (but who's counting). I start PT on monday and I have been swimming. Not nearly as exhilarating as skiing, but hey, at least I can do something.

The most confusing part of it all has been seeing another doctor (for short-term follow up since my surgeon is in CA) who was WAY more aggressive, telling me it is okay to put 100% weight on my foot while crutching (Dr F said 5%), and that the hardware should stay in for life (Dr F said 1 year). Two very opposite opinions--what do I do with that? The local doc said that weight bearing is okay, because the screws I have were invented by the German army in WWII to get their soldiers back out in the battelfield ASAP, so they are meant for weight bearing. Well, I'm not a soldier running off to war, just a young lady trying to get back to normal life!

It's been 3 weeks and 2 days, and I'm looking forward to the 4 week mark, because that is half way to the earliest possible recovery date (8 weeks). Some days are good and others are bad. The bad ones are the days when I sit around, not wanting to do much and it all goes downhill from there. Not having a cast and thus being able to swim has helped a lot, mostly mentally. Going from very active to basically sedentary is HARD.

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 Sat 10:25am 22 March 2003
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