Thursday, March 27, 2008


So on the 9th, I decided to go out for dinner and then downtown. Having seen my family off the previous day, I wanted to get out. SXSW interactive was going on and I eventually met up with the same old friend who inspired me to start this blog a year ago.
I woke up the next morning and my left ankle hurt. Figuring it was just a sprain, I wasn't too worried but planned on going to my doctor to get it checked out. I called up a coworker who has been helpful in the past and lives in my general area. He was busy that morning, but not all day. I called another coworker, but it turns out she was out on vacation. I knew I couldn't drive myself in my manual transmission car, so I just laid around and hopped whenever I wanted to go anywhere. I put ice on the ankle and it helped, so I figured it was a sprain at worst. At about 2pm Raney called and said he was free, did I still need a ride. I called my doctor's office and got an appointment to see the Physician's Assistant. When we got to the office, I hopped all the way to the sign-in counter. When the called me back, fortunately they had a wheelchair for me to ride in. They took x-rays first, and when the PA came in with them it was quite obvious my ankle was broken, tibia and fibula. She immediately started calling to find an orthopedist who could take me and my insurance. Raney took me straight from my regular doctor to the orthopedist's. He pretty much looked at the x-ray and said he'd operate the next day, using some screws and a plate to perform "reduction with fixation." He kept referring to "lateral malleolus" and "medial malleolus" as if I knew what he was talking about rather than just saying outside/inside or fibula/tibia. He put on a plaster splint (which was nice and warm from the exothermic reaction) and sent me home with a prescription for pain pills. Raney tried to get crutches at the pharmacy, but they didn't have any in my size, so I had to hop around again that evening.
Tuesday morning Raney gave me a ride to the hospital and waited until they admitted me about 8am. They took me to the prep room, where I had to strip and put on a gown. There wasn't much activity for quite a while after that, every once in a while someone would come and do something with my charts or whatever. I was kind of surprised when they stuck me for the IV that they first gave me a little shot of lidocane before the actual needle- removing the tape they put over it the next day hurt more than the needle stick would have. I killed time by reading the newspaper I'd brought with me. About 10am the action started- I met the anesthesiologist, the OR nurse, the intern before the doctor came in and they wheeled me to the OR. The last thing I remember before falling asleep was being moved from the gurney to the operating table. The next thing I knew I woke up in the recovery room at noon, with my leg in a plaster splint similar to the previous one. I immediately felt clear-headed and as though I'd just had a great night's sleep. Once they noticed I was reading the paper, they decided I was ready to go to my room. The room was really nice- private, looked kind of like a decent hotel and had trees outside for a pleasant view. I spent the afternoon watching TV and reading the newspaper and my book, Kerouac's "Dharma Bums," in bed except for when the physical therapist brought crutches and gave me instruction on their use. I fell asleep about 10:30 and was awoken about midnight to take my vitals. I was awake for a while, then got some more sleep before waking up for good about 5am. Not too long after that, people started coming in for blood work, vitals, etc, etc. The doctor stopped in to say it went well and that my fibula had actually broken into three pieces. At 9 they started to get the discharge papers together, and Raney took me home again about 9:30.
I spent most of Wednesday through Saturday on my couch with my leg propped up on pillows. Every once in a while I hobbled up the stairs for the bathroom and to check my email. I ventured out to get my mail and newspaper every day, but otherwise didn't move around much. I got phone calls from my family, napped, but mostly watched TV. Eventually I got to where I only had one page worth of shows on my DVR and had gotten pretty stir crazy. Sunday my friend Jimmy picked me up and brought me over to his house for a barbecue for his future daughter-in-law's birthday.
Ankle HardwareMonday morning I got a ride with a coworker who lives just up the street from me. I was glad to get out of the house, even if it was to go to the office. It was a tiring day for me and I wasn't sorry my ride had to leave on the early side. He gave me a ride the rest of the week until I had Good Friday and the weekend to again lie around doing nothing. Monday morning (again having the day off by virtue of working for a British company) I got a ride to my doctor's. The intern removed the splint (without cutting it), dressing and staples (some of which hurt slightly). The wound was really gross, some bruising on the heel, swelling, and some blood around the incisions. Then I got an x-ray to check on how it was going, then a little later the doctor came, looked things over before putting on a simple bandage and getting me into a boot-type cast. He gave me instructions, recommendations, etc and a prescription to get a handicapped placard. He didn't exactly recommend driving my car, but didn't say I couldn't, so after I was home for a little while I figured I would try it out. I didn't have much trouble, so I decided to go have lunch at Chuy's. From there I went to the county offices to get my placard, and stopped at the grocery store for a couple things before getting home. Once I did get home I was exhausted and didn't even go out to get my mail. Tuesday through today I've operated somewhat like normal, driving to/from work and to lunch, but as I suspected traffic really sucks. So far I've found that leaving at 6:45 traffic is ok, but sucks if I leave after 7:30. Going home, 4:30 is about the latest I can leave before traffic starts building.
I'm kind of concerned about the traffic at the drag race this weekend. Friday won't be bad, Saturday shouldn't be bad, but Sunday could really suck. I'm going to plan on heading to the track about 7am.

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