First off, I just want to say thanks to everyone who’s given me advice so far. You guys have been so supportive, and really brought my morale up over the past few days - thanks. Anyway, I guess I’m starting this diary because: 1) It’s something to fill my time up my time on the couch with. 2) I probably – hopefully – will never have this experience again but it would be interesting to document. And 3) I’d love to hear from anyone else out there. So, on to the diary…
Well, my story is relatively calm compared to most other people’s. No car wrecks or sports injuries…just my poor lack of coordination. I share a room with three of my friends up at school, and we all decided to re-decorate our apartment for the New Year this past Friday. My friend Ryan and I started by stringing lights around the living room, so we stood on a table to reach. I leaned over to hammer a nail into the corner wall and lost my balance. My foot hit the table edge, my ankle gave way, and I fell. Unfortunately for me, our mini-fridge was next to the table, so my leg didn’t fall to the floor –it got caught in between the two instead.
Immediately I felt something crack and waves of pain shot up my leg. My body weight swung for a second as I regained my balance, and drove leg further down. After the initial shock was over, I tried to raise myself up on the table, hoping I could free my leg, but it just made things worse. Ryan eventually managed to move the fridge out, and carried me to the couch. By that point my other roommate, Izzy, had heard the commotion and came into the room. Both of us EMTs, she examined my leg and ankle while I leaned back and tried to ignore the self-diagnoses running through my head. I was pretty sure something was broken, and so was Izzy, so she splinted my leg/ankle and drove me to the hospital with Ryan.
At the ER, I was seen by a guy named Dr. Doctor – no joke. I guess he was destined from birth. Anyway, he took down my history and examined my leg, finding crepitis around my fibula and tenderness/swelling along my leg and ankle. I got a full series of x-rays from my knee down, and Dr. Doctor paged Dr. Wong, the OS on call for the night. He came in and diagnosed me with a closed transverse fracture of my tibia and fibula – the fib being more severe. I also probably had a complete tear of the ATL in my ankle (though I need to have an MRI to confirm it). Fortunately, neither of my fractures were displaced, so he decided to hold off on surgery and try me in a long leg cast first. The news hit me like a brick and needless to say, I was pretty distraught for a few minutes. Soccer is a big part of my life, and god knows how many people have to leave the sport after an injury like this. I was relieved though that I didn’t need surgery…at least not right now.
Dr. Wong put me in a cast around midnight, wishing all of us a Happy New Year somewhere around my knee. It was definitely an exciting night – though not quite in the way I expected. Since then, I’ve spent most of 2005 on the couch or in bed. I’m only 20, so I’m sure all you young adults out there (and parents too) can appreciate how much an “I want my mom” kind of time this is. My college is in Maine though, and I live in CT, so unfortunately my parents can’t make it up here until February. Fortunately, Ryan, Izzy, and all my other friends have been great with helping me out and trying to find entertaining things to do. And it definitely helps to have an EMT in the house.
On Sunday, I woke up with no feeling in my foot and toes. Scared the crap out of me. Izzy took me to the hospital again though, where we found out my leg had swollen too much for my cast and had cut off circulation to my foot and ankle. So, Dr. Wong replaced it with a long leg plaster splint to allow for additional swelling, which has worked well so far. Hopefully that’ll be the last complication.
So yeah, I guess that’s it for now. I’m open to any advice people have, as this is my first serious leg injury and I don’t quite know what to expect. Plus, I have nothing to do on the couch except check the message board and email religiously until school starts in a week and a half.