Four more weeks…

I had my follow up for my broken foot (AKA 5th metatarsal fracture) today.  I’ve been trying my best to not bear weight on my foot since 11/1/2018.  The past 46 days have been difficult.  I’ve tried my best to not walk.  I admit, it’s so hard in my stair-filled house, so there are times when I do walk (without crutches in the walking boot) especially after work.  My autoimmune arthritis is not happy with crutches and scooters, so I’m often just too exhausted and in pain to manage crutches for another moment.  Before going to the appointment, I was trying to be optimistic. I even brought my new left boot with me in hopes I could wear it out of there.

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Sadly, it still remains unworn.

I knew in my heart the foot was still broken.  It still hurts quite a bit.  When I had to get my X-ray, the tech made me climb up 3 steps  to get the pictures. (They seriously make people with broken lower extremity bones walk up steps for X-rays.  It’s their “thing”. Crazy, right??)  I realized in that moment….I couldn’t walk without the boot on.  I simply couldn’t do it.  I had to haul myself up the steps relying mostly on my arms.  In that moment, I knew my foot was still broken.  After 7 weeks of healing, I wasn’t healed.  I. Wasn’t. Healed. The knowledge reverberated around my brain.  I went to the exam room and sat on the table with the X-rays displayed in front of me. I saw that the foot was better but still fractured.  The place it is fractured is exactly where I ached.  So I sat on the exam table with my surprisingly normal-looking ankle (the boot is good for something, I guess!) and a flakey dry foot with a sock covering my desperately-in-need-of-a-pedicure toes.  My mind began to race. What if I need surgery? How would I manage? What would I do with Georgia? How could I pay my bills if I had to take time off of work?  I felt my face get hot.  I know my blood pressure was probably skyrocketing.

Suddenly, I felt like a spectator in my own body. I knew I was panicking without having all the information I needed.  I realized that my brain automatically went from “How will I take care of Georgia?” to “How will I pay my bills?”  Money.  Being sick makes you poor.  My medical bills combined with my dog’s poor health has made me even more poor.  As my brain was spiraling, I began attacking myself for walking without crutches from time to time.  I got mad at myself for working 2 out of my 3 jobs instead of resting my foot altogether.  I worried about taking care of my dog, my cats, my house, my mortgage, my obligations….but never once worried about why my foot hasn’t healed. I never worried about my body, just my obligations.  I blamed myself for it not healing.  It’s warped. I felt the ugliness of self-loathing begin to start and I knew I had to get control of myself before the doctor came in.   I took some deep breaths and tried to calm myself down. Luckily, I had the presence of mind to bring a magazine into the exam room. A simple magazine became my touchstone to calm.  I read an article about my new boyfriend, Aquaman.  He’s a unique guy with a unique perspective on life. I stopped focusing on my panic and began focusing on Jason….Honestly, how can you not focus on this man!  As I read, I felt myself calming down. Honestly, I had no control over what was going to be said to me by the doctor. I just had to be present….and look at pictures of Jason Mamoa…..49021053_10218690803407425_7562412843807539200_n

*sigh and swoon*….Now back to my story….

The doctor came in and determined my foot is between 60-70% healed. I don’t need surgery, but I need to remain non-weight bearing for 4 more weeks. FOUR. MORE. WEEKS.  I know it is for the best.  I know it…..but it hurts emotionally and physically.  Using my knee scooter is giving  me one bun of steel, while my other one remains a cross between Jello and cottage cheese.  I have to sleep in the boot, so I rarely get a full night sleep. Between the it getting caught on the sheets and my cat Milo’s determination to kill the boot while I sleep,  I’m exhausted.  I’m frustrated…..and more than anything else. I’m sad.  I have to take some time to grieve when I get medical information that is hard to swallow.  I have to grieve for the fact that I won’t be able to walk around freely over the Christmas holidays.  I have to grieve because life is still going to be tough for a few weeks.  Once I get it all outI have move on because life isn’t going to stop and wait for me to catch up.  I may be treading water, but I’m not drowning yet.  Now it’s time to organize a plan.  I’ll head to my parents home over the holiday.  Their home is one level so there will be less need to cheat and walk without crutches.  I’ll give my foot some serious rest for 2 weeks and hope that by my next visit, it is healed. I got my second pair of crutches back from a friend, so I no longer have to carry one pair up and down all three flights of steps in my home. I’ll keep the scooter for everything else. I still have to work, but I’ll make time to rest.  It’s time I focus on taking care of myself so I can heal.  My goal is to achieve that 30-40% more of healing that I need to do. Wish me well.

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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

2 thoughts on “Four more weeks…

  1. Damn, I thought I was your heart throb. Oh yet another woman chose someone else over me. Oh well. I will do my best to recover.

    —— lol

    Hey I am glad the foot will not require surgery. Many blessings. I am off to do a Doppler scan on my lower right leg, ankle and foot to see if I can have surgery on my right foot. Its a race to see which one of us heals last.

    Liked by 1 person

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