Broken Ankle 2022

Dates updated: initial post Oct 29, first followup Nov 9. Last updates Nov 30 & Jan 25

  • What happened - Sun Oct 23 - while we were on a weekend RV outing, the gardener had been rototilling our yard. When returning home, I had pulled the car up close to porch to unload a couple things. When returning to car, fortunately I had my hand on the door when I stepped on a couple small fist sized rocks that had missed the yard and were right beside car (noon to 1pm). Both ankles went sideways under me. Since I had my hand on the door, I was able to "complete" the fall to the ground without injury other than the ankles. After getting Dave's attention, he tried to help me up, but we were only able to get me on a yard chair, no further. Even with the help of our neighbor, there was no way to get me in the car, so 911 had to be called. At this point I was already positive that at least one of the ankles was broken. The wonderful paramedics listened to our request for no siren, so no lookie-lou's from the neighborhood. Kudos to the paramedic who did my IV, as I'm whan is known as a "hard stick" and he managed a vein with the first stick. As he put it, "if I can stick it in a moving ambulance, I can do it with no movement".
  • Diagnosis - Sun Oct 23 - While in ER, I'm revising my own diagnosis, that just the right ankle is broke, the left is only sprained. Confirmation, after x-rays, showed that the break was worse than I thought; both the inside and outside of the ankle broke. A very small hole in the skin on the inside gave the diagnosis of "open fracture" as bone almost went all the way through. Sorry for being graphic, but some people wanted to know. Not graphic is this pic.
  • Surgery - Mon Oct 24 - since I am an "add-on" to the surgery schedule, it was late afternoon for mine. Went to "prep" about 2pm with surgery at 4pm. My surgeon, Dr Northrup, coincidentally, from the same office as my spine surgeon. 8-10 pins/screws and 2 plates later I went back to my room.
  • Hosptial - Tue Oct 25, Wed Oct 26 - was what one might expect in the hospital. BTW, it was Huntington this time. Surprisingly the menu was quite extensive, and the food very good. During my time healing, I had several great nursing teams, PT, and pet therapy volunteers. Even had a Reiki session. I didn't really "feel" any different, but God gave different gifts to different people, so who knows what difference it is going to make. I had 2 different pet therapy visits. Chester is a 14 year old Puggle, and Maisie is an 9 year old Goldendoodle. Eventually, I'll link some picture, but during this writing, I don't want to take the extra time. With PT, I practiced getting around on a "kneelie" as I won't be able to bear weight for awhile.
  • Going home - Thu Oct 27 - official discharge late afternoon. It took about 45 minutes for me to get from car to bed, and it took a combo of the kneelie, my walker, and Dave's brute force lifting to get up the 2 steps to the house.
  • Writing everything thus far on Sat Oct 29 - Dave is being a trememdous help to me. Although moving from bedroom to bathroom, kitchen, or living room is accomplished via the wheelie, there are a few things he has to help me with via lifting. I can get on the toilet, but he has to get me back up. Same with getting up from the chair at the table - I temporarily had to move computer to living room table, as I can't get on or off the chair I usually sit in. Thanks to Connie & Judy for bringing dinner last night and today. It gave Dave a break of figuring out dinner - he'd been going nuts during the week deciding what he wanted to eat; I'm usually the one who plans meals. Tomorrow, son Matt and family are bringing a few things for the freezer as well.
  • Upcoming: phone call with primary care at 1 week point
  • Upcoming: visit with Dr Northrup at 2 week point. I think I get a walking cast at that time.
  • My determination to heal fast - SeaWorld with the kids on Nov 5th. That one should be easy since I'll be using scooter. RV outing 2nd weekend of Nov. I hope I don't have to cancel last minute, but that will depend on the day we leave if I can manage getting into the motorhome. But the biggest incentive for healing is our Dec cruise. Scooters for cruise itself, so no problem, but the shore excursions will have to be using the kneelie.
  • Sat Nov 5 - We made it to SeaWorld, though the kids weren't able to go after all. We had a good time anyway.
  • Doctor followup Wed Nov 9 - Well, I misunderstood about what would happen today. I went from a "splint cast" to a regular cast. Won't get the cast off, and start wearing walking boot until Nov 30. If you are NOT squeamish, pic 1 and pic 2 are the graphic pics of the inside and outside of my ankle. Pic 3 is a copy of the xray showing the plate and scews. Pic 4 is not graphic, just the new pink cast.
  • I'm changing from a kneelie to a walking crutch. Not a simple as they make it look; will take some practice to get that good. Meanwhile, I'll use in conjunction with my walker for stability.
  • Last updates Nov 30 and Jan 25 - Without further issue, I did get the walking boot as planned on Nov 30, just in time to leave a few days later on our cruise. Still didn't put weight on ankle without support because of my pre-existing balance issues. So if I wasn't using my scooter, I was using my walker. The last part of Jan, I was feeling much more secure in weight bearing, and was able to dispense with the boot at the planned Jan 25 doctor appt. By my own choice, I'm using and "ace" wrap for a little additional strength, and when I feel comfortable enough without it, will stop using that. I got a cane for balance support in open areas, and the porch steps. I never expected that a broken ankle would contribute to my balance being "off" more than pre-break. For those who didn't know, I'm single sided balance as I lost my right side balance nerve years ago (see acoustic neuroma diary). With the break, I put myself as 40% balance now, instead of 50%. Maybe that will improve in the months to come as I get better strength in the ankle. All-in-all, I'm thankful that things went as expected by the surgeon; there are so many seniors who don't recover from falls/breaks as they age.