Almost Without a Hitch
Of course, me being me, the one problem was a doozy - I broke my ankle shortly before I left, and since I thought I'd only sprained it, drove nearly 1600 miles on a broken ankle.
It went like this...
- Thursday afternoon - finish loading the car. Check that I have everything and head back downstairs to the car to head for psych appointment.
- Two steps from the bottom, right ankle twists under me. I end up sprawled on the cement, whimpering and a bit shocky. I pull myself together, collect everything that fell out of my handback and haul myself to my feet. Right foot hurts like mad whenever I put weight on it.
- Oh, I think, I've twisted it. It should settle down. I've given myself mild twists before and after a bit of rest, they fix themselves. I hobble to the car, and drive to the psych, using left foot to brake since right objects to any kind of twisting.
- At psych, discover that I have definitely at least sprained the ankle, which is now badly swollen on the outside. The psych gets me a ziplock back full of icecubes, which I use to ice my ankle.
- On my way home, I stop at a CVS to get an ankle brace to help prevent swelling. I phone my husband and ask him to get me a cold pack and some wrappings.
- I get home. Husband helps me into ankle brace and other medications, then helps me back to the car. I give him my set of apartment keys, the access card for the security gates, and the parking permit for the prime parking spots.
- Driving starts. I stop for dinner at a truck stop near the Kinder, LA exit, refill my ice bag, and take advil. So far so good. I drive a few more hours, stopping near the eastern LA border around 9pm, and hobble to the first motel I find.
- Foot is now a study in Bruise, but not too badly swollen. I take more advil and sleep with the foot propped up on a pillow.
- Friday AM. I wake up about 5-30 am needing the bathroom. I just barely make it -- getting there takes about ten times as long as I'm used to. I organize self, make a rather careful descent into the bath by sitting on the edge, holding on as I swing the good leg over and easing myself down. Showering is done by leaning back into the shower stream, while the bath continues to fill. This gets me clean, but getting out makes me think I might not want to do this again any time soon.
- I hobble to car with overnight bag, then drive around to park as close to restaurant as possible for breakfast. At breakfast, lovely waitress offers to get me what I want from the buffet. I thank her muchly and leave a tip even though this isn't needed.
- I hobble to reception and check out, then hobble back through the restaurant to get back to my car. By now, it's just on 8am.
- Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, a little bit of Georgia, and Tennessee. I stop several times - gas, bathroom, lunch and bathroom, bathroom, dinner, and finally motel near Tennessee/Virginia border sometime around 9pm Eastern time. Each stop gets a refill of the ziplock bag with a fresh set of ice cubes, and advil is taken regularly.
- I peel the support brace off my foot, which is now about double the normal size and a truly spectacular sample of Bruise. I medicate, and again sleep with foot propped up on a pillow.
- Saturday. This time, I don't even attempt to bathe. I sponge a bit, dress, and realize there is no way I'm going to get that brace on my foot. I'm starting to think at this point that it might be more than a sprain. I loosen shoe even further, put cold pack on again, and take overnight gear to car before hobbling to breakfast.
- Tennessee, Virginia, a teensy bit of West Virginia and a teensier bit of Maryland later, I reach Pennsylvania. Only a couple of hours to go. I'm up to four advil at a time now.
- Reach Boyertown intact and weary at about 5-30pm. Haul self out of car and begin long slow hobble to home of friends who are boarding me until I can find a new place for self and hubby.
- Friends ease shoe off, take one look at foot, and say "ER". They unload my car for me, then Rob takes me to ER, leaving Heather with their kids.
- ER takes one look at foot, and says "Broken". They Xray foot to find out what I broke and mutter astounded things about me driving nearly 1600 miles with broken ankle and walking on said ankle. I'm given a half-cast and orders to take myself to an orthopedic surgeon ASAP. Crutches are issued.
- By 9pm, I'm back at "home", and arrangements are made for me to sleep on the sofa. The guest room was set up in the attic, but there is no way I'm going to get up two flights of stairs with a foot I'm not allowed to use at all.
- Sunday is spent mostly lying or sitting around, with foot propped up on whatever is available. The sofa has become "mine".
- Monday, I go through the rigmarole of finding a local-ish orthopedic surgeon who is in my insurance network. After more fiddling about calling hospital to get XRays released, going to hospital to collect XRays and visiting the ortho, I am the "proud" owner of a bright blue cast from toes to knee. I have strict orders to stay off the foot, and to come back in 2 weeks to be XRayed again to make sure the break is healing cleanly.
Since then, I've started my new job, which I like, and my toes (the only part of my foot that can be seen) have slowly faded from purple/black to a yellowish green with hints of unbruised skin. The swelling has also started going down, as I have more room inside the cast than I had when it went on. I've also gone from Tylenol-3 to normal doses of Advil, 3 times a day. Stairs remain an obstacle, but they are no longer a complete "roadblock". We're considering seeing if the ortho can prescribe me a wheelchair for the time my foot can't be used, simply to make it easier to get around the office - I scoot around in an office chair rather than use the crutches, because it's easier and takes a lot less time and effort.
Apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, everything is fine :)