27 September 2007

Update in Gimpy

Well, I had to give up and go to the doctor. The swelling just would not go down. Now I know why.

Initially, it was the knee I was more worried about. It dislocated significantly, and having experienced the same injury before, I thought it would be sprained worse than the ankle. I knew that the ankle had briefly dislocated (or so I thought), but at the time, my knee was stuck out of joint and screaming in pain, so the ankle was an afterthought. After a 2 hour wait in the Salem Hospital Urgent Care waiting room, and another hour in the exam room (I guess "urgent" is a relative term), a very nice doctor came in to examine my injuries. I explained everything to her and she checked the stability of my knee, which was better than I expected. Then she wiggles my ankle and gets this shocked look on her face. "I need to get you into xray right now, that ankle is broken!" She says I must have an incredible threshold of pain not to be screaming while she's wiggling my broken fibula, but it really didn't hurt. I could feel it wiggling, but there really wasn't any "pain." Which is what makes it so frustrating, because when I saw the xrays, it is OBVIOUSLY broken. Which means a 6-8 week recovery, probably half of it completely non-weight bearing!

The ankle shows a classic "spiral" fracture. The break runs up and around the bone.

This view shows the break very clearly as the dark separation that comes to a sharp point.

This is my right patella (kneecap). The small "bump" on the right may be a bone frag.

This knee view shows two small, flat horizontal lines that MIGHT be bone frags. I'm hoping the knee will strengthen on its own and I won't have to have surgery. Probably somewhere down the line, I will, though.

So this is what I get to look like for a while:

They placed me in a temporary cast on the ankle that runs almost to my knee, and gave me a velcro immobilization brace for the knee. What an incredible pain in the tush!! It's worse than the injury! Worse still is the extra 20 pounds on my foot, which tweaks my knee nearly everytime I move.

If you've never had to use them, you have no idea how the simplest tasks are impossible on crutches. Your hands are tied up, so you can't carry anything, unless you carry it in a plastic bag. Try carrying a drink in a plastic bag. Just getting up to get a pen requires a lot of effort. But as hard as the crutches are, you should have seen me in the courtesy wheelchair at Target last night! I drew the line at using the motorized one!

Now I get to try to get an appointment with an orthopedist. I've already been told to expect this guy to refuse to see me because I have no insurance. But I really have no choice now, I've got a temporary cast on that has to be replaced by a real one, then I'll have to have someone to cut that one off and take more xrays to see if it is healed. Now that I think about it, the stars I was seeing while I lay writhing in pain on home plate must have been glittery dollar signs! Actually, I remember thinking "Crap I gotta get off the field! We're behind and the time limit is running out, we gotta get another batter up here!

I had high hopes of finding my 1.000th geocache (kind of a big deal in our hobby) before we travelled back to Memphis for a visit. Now it looks like I'll be lucky to be out of a cast by then! And paying $1,250 for plane tickets is gonna be tough given the untold sums this is all gonna cost. We've got to get back home for a short visit at least, though. We really need that house to sell!

If I may prevail, please pray for healing and that we can keep the costs down. Fortunately, none of this takes God by surprise, and He never needs a Plan B!

We may also have found a church to attend up here, one that has a special needs ministry for Timothy, so I'll update all three of my readers once we visit, hopefully this Sunday.


Robert Wardell said...

My computer with all my blog addresses is on the fritz and I just read about your injury. First, you are in my prayers here for a full and speedy recovery. I believe in that power of prayer.

Next, what is an old man like you doing playing the young man's game? :>) Seriously, I too love softball and if I could find a local league I'd be out there as well. I pitched, played 2nd, catcher, and right field for many years.

As for your 1000th find and trip to Memphis - if you do make it, I can guarantee we can muster up enough friends to carry a litter if we have to.

Take care of yourself and get well.

Best wishes,

Jim G said...

Sorry to read of your injury, Steve. Take time to let it heal (and plan the next big caching trip carefully).

Beaverbeliever said...

This is terrible! Hope this doesn't slow down caching...too much...

You are in my thoughts and prayers.


geoblog1 said...

Youch that had to hurt.
It hurts me.

Just your local blog approvers comment.
Glad you posted it for us.