Sunday, February 13, 2011

Insult Added to Injury

Nine days ago I was tackled by my toddler and the result was an injury to my foot. I had been running from my front door to back door in bare feet while my daughter finished up her dinner and my son practiced his piano piece. I figured I had at least ten minutes to get a short run in before my daughter needed to get in the bath. I'm training for an event called the Warrior Dash which takes place in July. I'm super excited about it and have actually been working pretty hard on training for it. Until now.

Well, my daughter finished her dinner and ran over to me to run with me and instead she ran into me knocking me off balance and into my vacuum cleaner which was in its usual spot up against the wall. I felt an instant stab of pain, said "Ouch!", and kept on running. For about ninety seconds. At that point, I realized something was very wrong as my foot sent signals to my brain that told me I had just stepped into a bed of hot coals. Hot coals do not exist in my living room so I hopped over to my couch and asked my son to get me some ice. I iced my foot for a good fifteen or twenty minutes and then thought it was feeling better so I stood up to get my daughters bath started. That was my second bad decision of the evening. Or third if you think running in my house was a bad idea to begin with.

I yelped like a puppy who's tail had been squashed by a rocking chair leg and sat my sorry ass back down on the couch. My daughter who had been sitting next to me kept apologizing for hurting me. Luckily I hung onto the crutches my oldest daughter used a few years ago when she had an injury so my son retrieved them from the closet for me. After a bit of adjusting, I was up and running again. Okay, fine, I was up and hobbling, but at least I was up. I hobbled into the kitchen and got myself some ibuprofen while trying to convince myself it was just a sprain.

After getting the kids to bed, I soaked my increasingly painful foot in an epsom salt bath to try to reduce the swelling and when I tried to wiggle my toes I was immediately convinced it was not a sprain but in fact a break as that whole pain Richter scale thing they ask you about when you go to the hospital shot up to an immediate ten. You know, zero equals no pain and ten is the worst you've ever experienced. Yeah, ten is bad. And I've had four kids without pain medication. A ten is really bad.
Oh for fuck's sake do I really have to have a broken bone right now!?
Well, since I'm unemployed and uninsured, I got some medical tape and doctored myself up while wincing, swearing and taking hissing breaths through clenched teeth, popped some more ibuprofen and went to bed with my foot up on a couple of pillows.

Six days go by, I am still in excruciating pain, I'm convinced it is broken and decide it is finally time to take myself to the doctor because ibuprofen is just not strong enough to cut what I'm going through at this point and I think the constant pain is actually getting worse as it just never stops hurting. Even when it is held totally still.
I make an appointment reluctantly because, as previously noted, I have no insurance. The doctor tells me she's convinced it is broken but she wants to send me for x-rays just to be sure. I ask her just how expensive x-rays are and she hands me this lovely form they have for people who are both broke (financially) and uninsured.
Great! Now I'm a charity case!

Good thing about going to see the doctor is that she gave me a prescription for some pain medication. I don't usually take anything stronger than ibuprofen and I am more stubborn than an ox - which happens to be my Chinese Zodiac sign if you are into that sort of thing. Anyway, I just couldn't take it anymore and had to have something and when I get to that point, you know it fucking hurts.

I drive (with both kids in tow) down to get x-rays only to find out they closed three damned minutes before I got there. Nice!
So, I have to wait until they open the next day to get the x-rays. Luckily, that will mean that I won't have the kids with me. That actually makes things easier. Except for the fact that I've got my first job interview since I was laid off over seven months ago scheduled for the same day. So, I decide to get in as soon as I possibly can and I'll cross my fingers that I don't end up in the waiting room all damned day.

I get down to radiology and they are actually pretty quick at getting me in. They keep telling me to hold my foot still and to press it down on an old fashioned x-ray board. I am one hundred and fifty percent unable to 'press' my foot down on anything so I do my best to place it gently on the board but I can tell I'm shaking a little because it fucking hurts! They take three slides...I'm sure I'm shaking in all three and have produced blurry x-rays. What a great help that will be. And an absolutely unnecessary expense.

Later that day they call to say the x-ray technician said it does not look like it is broken. I think I need a second opinion. Mine. And my opinion is that I agree with the first doctor's assessment. It is broken. Right behind my pinky toe..or possibly in the joint where the toe meets the metatarcal bone. Either way, it's broken.
And...after some research, I've just learned that an x-ray will commonly not show a fracture in this particular type of injury until two to three weeks after the bone has begun to heal. Well that explains a fuck of a lot and I wish I'd known that prior to going in for x-rays.

I went back to the doc after a couple more weeks and they took another look at the x-ray. They told me it is indeed broken. I knew it!
~End update~

The interview went smashingly (and was ironically for someone in the Department of Radiology at UW) and I really do hope I get the job. But more on that in another post...after they call to tell me I am hired.

Yesterday, we had tickets to go to an RV show we'd been really looking forward to so Steph went and found me a brand spanking new boot that fits me perfectly so that I could wear that to the show. Goodwill rocks! I still took my crutches of course because I can not bear weight on my foot. Nor should I be according to my soon-to-be new boss. (Using The Secret to get the job).

I didn't get the job. *sad face*
~End update~

We went to the show and I popped one more pill than my prescription says I should. Instead of the pain hitting a continual seven on that pain Richter scale it was down around a four. I was stupid and kept putting weight on the boot I was wearing. Basically, the combination of extra pain medication and the safe feeling of wearing the boot gave me false confidence and poor judgement.

I wake up today and realize it is still hurting, but seems to be at only a five or so. So, I decide to not take the heavy duty pain meds and just see how things go. Things do not go well. My pain level goes up to about a seven again and I become the uber bitch from hell and Steph and I get into an argument that we might not have got into if I had told her I was not on any pain medication.

I pop a naproxen and stubbornly forego the strong stuff still. I go into the bedroom to make the bed and while making the bed I lean down to pick the comforter up off the floor and as I'm standing back up, I whack my foot hard on something still not totally defined. I think it was the window sill, but it hurt so bad, I'm not entirely sure what it was. I go through the fucking roof gritting my teeth but still pissed about the argument so I do it all as silently as I can because I am seriously bitchy when I hurt and the last thing I want at this point is for Steph to walk into the room.

I stand there squeezing the comforter, slowly compose myself, finish making the bed and come out of the room to sit on the couch and take some of the strong stuff. I actually start crying when I take the boot off my foot but I wipe away the tears of pain before Steph can see and I just sit here trying to bear it.

She still has no idea that I'm hurting so much, I'm majorly pissed off at myself because I think I've just re-broken anything that had healed in my foot and my pain level is sky high. She says she's going to go get something to eat and I'm doing my best to stay composed so I can fall apart as soon as she walks out the door. She can see through my attempt at composure and convinces me to take another half dose of the strong stuff. I take it, she walks out the door and I begin to lose it.

I guess she must have forgotten something because a minute later she comes back. Fuck! She wasn't supposed to see me like this. I'm crying, shaking, and pale as a powdered whore. She thinks we need to go straight to the emergency room. My stoicism has failed. I tell her I just need to wait for the pain medication to kick in and then I'll be alright. I finally convince her to go ahead and run her errands.

She had suggested putting my foot in some hot water in the tub. I try that while she's gone and it starts to bring the pain level back down a little bit. The medication starts to kick in and I have to eat some major humble pie as I send her a message apologizing to her and letting her know (finally) that I had not taken my pain meds this morning. Bitch mode begins to subside, I eat a little bit, have a cup of tea and do some relaxing breathing.

Pain meds really kick in and I empty the dishwasher right before Steph gets back with a taco salad for me. She is so incredibly amazing. I yell at her, don't explain things to her and am a total bitch to her and she brings me a taco salad. Every single day I am reminded in some way just how lucky I am to have caught her. She's quite the catch.

I finish my humble pie and promise I'll let her take me back to the doctor tomorrow to get a cast. I obviously need one. And I'll have to quit the stoic front and just take my medicine like a good girl.

Amaranthine adventures abound!

Jessica In Seattle

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