One Step At A Time (Literally)

by - 1:36 PM

Just about 2 weeks ago, I was hiking up a 25,000ft mountain when I came upon a herd of mountain goats with their babies. I continued my climb around them after petting one of the babies and one of the momma goats got mad. She came charging after me and I jumped about 20 feet in the air to avoid her. When I came down, I landed on my ankle and rolled it until I heard a crack. I thought nothing of it and made it to the top of the mountain. Upon hiking down, I realized my bone was sticking out and I probably should go to the doctor.
Now that I have your attention, I'll tell you what actually happened. It wasn't anything nearly as fun as I wanted it to be. I had left silks practice that Thursday evening and ended up stepping on a step the wrong way. As soon as my ankle went to the right, I heard a crack. I didn't think much of it besides rolling my ankle. My husband, as incredible as he is, had an ice pack and heat pack waiting for me. Later that night, I was laying in bed propping up my ankle knowing that I think I did more just roll or sprain it. I didn't sleep at all because of the pain and swelling. When I woke up, it hurt to even put my foot down. There was no putting any weight on it. I told hubby that I was going to go across the street to the urgent care to get some x-rays and make sure there wasn't anything terribly wrong with it. I had pole and silks to think about and an upcoming full marathon in the works so I didn't want to be using it in the future if it really was injured.
I woke up to my ankle swollen and bruised
A short wait later, I was getting x-rays of my ankle. It literally was a short wait in which it surprised me because I have never been to an urgent care, doctor, cancer center, or anything else without a wait. I was the only person there so it was a very quick wait. The doctor came in shortly after the x-rays and confirmed my thoughts. I had broken my ankle. Not only had I fractured my ankle, I had fractured it in 3 different places. I had a pretty bad fracture on my fibula, a partial fracture of my talus, and a small fracture below that. What a nightmare! I was sent home with a referral for an ortho as well as an MRI to make sure that I didn't tear any of the larger ligaments. Fast forward to the ortho and the new x-rays they took. They couldn't cast it until the results of the MRI were back and even then, they had to make sure surgery wasn't needed to repair the ligaments. I was sent home from that appointment on crutches and to stay off of my foot completely. No silks, no pole, no walking..

The results of the MRI came in and while the ligament did not tear completely (one smaller tendon had a partial avulsion) it did stretch out like a rubber band. They said I would have been better off had I broke my fibula completely in half and/or tore the ligament because the recovery is harder when you stretch it. As of now, I am still not supposed to put any weight on my foot for another week until we take more x-rays. If the bone isn't healing as much as they would like it to then there will be further testing done. They already want me to have a bone scan because any normal person wouldn't have had so many fractures from such a small fall. Chemotherapy does a lot on your body and even worse on your bones. Check out this link to read more about just how much damage is done. They think that I have osteoporosis as well because of the long term effects that the chemo has caused. For this, I have to see my primary care physician to get all the tests ordered but there are absolutely no openings until August. I'll probably end up getting my flu shot around that time also which is good because it'll be a two for one appointment. I know she will be shocked to see just how bad I messed up my ankle. I'll also have to start doing physical therapy once my ankle heals enough for them to want me to start. The best guess at the time was that I'll be doing it twice a week for 6 weeks. As of now, I am still on crutches and in quite a bit of pain occasionally. I try not to take too much when it comes to narcotics because I hate the side effects that everything comes with so I deal with the pain as much as I can. Last night was too much though so I caved and had to take something to help.  

Because of my clumsiness, I am now limited in how much of what I can actually do. Before I broke my ankle, I was always active. I could always be found at silks 2 to 3 times a week practicing drops or playing around on the hoop (lyra). If I wasn't at silks, it was pretty much a given that I would be on the pole. If that wasn't enough, I was at the gym every morning as well as going hiking pretty much every weekend. We would hike 14ers and ride our bikes. My life has pretty much turned around completely in a way I would have never imagined. I know your thinking, but you had cancer twice, but you have to think of how far I have come. I thought I was going to die going through treatment. And when I relapsed, I thought there really was no way I was making it through the second time around. But I did! And it was not a walk in the park getting from there to here. I was sick practically every month and in the hospital just as much. I went through c diff for MONTHS not knowing when I was going to recover from that. It was an extremely difficult time in my life.
But something happened and it was like my immune system woke up. For almost 2 years now, I have been the healthiest ever. I haven't had a cold in over a year. I haven't been sick in any way. I was running marathons and being in the best shape I have ever been. And now this happens. I could say it's a walk in the park compared to cancer but it's still something traumatic in its own way. My entire day to day has been changed and it's taking a toll on my mental health. When you go from doing something you love everyday to having to be stuck on the couch for most of the day, it really does get to you. This is a new challenge for me. What would happen to you if you couldn't do the things you love the most? Sleep is even difficult for me because of how much pain I get at times. Thankfully, I am able to rely on my knitting, homework, reviews (how I make money) and painting, but it's not the same. I still do my ab workouts and lift weights to keep my muscles strong but even that is frustrating because I am limited in how much I can actually do. Ever try working out without the use of your foot? It's a pain in the ass.
Even worse is that I see all of my friends on facebook and instagram posting their photos of their progress on pole and silks or hoop and I'm happy for them, but I am also completely envious also. I want to be there working on my spider drop or doing the brass monkey! And then I forget that I am broken and think "Oh I can't wait to try that" not thinking that it will be months before I am able to even attempt it. Life doesn't standstill for others while I am stuck waiting for bones to heal. I don't expect friends to give up on what they love either but who wants to come over and spend time with me when I am literally laying on the couch most of the day? I don't blame them either. The ones who support me the most are out of state. It's something so little compared to cancer but it's just as rough in its own way.
Belay- where I left off at my last silks practice
I am extremely thankful that I do have an amazing husband who goes out of his way to make sure I am ok. If I am hurting, he gets my pills. If I need out of the house because I am going stir crazy, he will drive us somewhere. Getting in nature is one of my favorite things and now I get to see nature by car. But he will still take me wherever I need to go and not complain. He'll rub my back until I fall asleep or watch corny movies with me. But he needs a break too and I can only do so much for him. If you do see him or talk to him, give him a pat on the back. I don't think he ever thought just how much he was taking on when he married me ;)

For now, I'm just trying to stay positive and think that these next few months will pass by quickly. We have a trip to Yellowstone planned for August and I can't wait until that gets here. I plan on being able to walk and hike small hikes by the time we go. I have to be strong enough to run from after the grizzlies for a selfie when they come into our campground! (That's a joke, the selfie part at least) Until then, I plan on trying to stay as healthy as possible and listen to the doctors orders, although that is really hard because I am stubborn. I've been through worse. I just have to take it one step at a time.

*What do you do when physically you can't do your favorite activities?*  

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