Friday, August 31, 2012

Diary of a Broken Ankle - Day 20

Went to the fracture clinic again for another x-ray. Consultant said it was 'looking good' with no displacements. Fortunately he told me to come back not next week but in 3 weeks time. Said that if the ankle was looking good I could even walk without an aircast boot. Its been quite costly going to the hospital every week with a minicab - total of GBP120 spent just going back and forth from the hospital.

The swelling in the cast is almost gone now.I've been good and keeping it elevated most of the time although I think the weather cooling has played a part. Sometimes my leg does feel awkard and slightly painful when I shift position but it might be because I've been sitting too long in one position with the ankle face up.

Also can see that my left thigh has shrunk considerably compared to my right. Muscles are already atrophying from lack of use. Oh well, I'll deal with that using physio.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 11: Diary of a Broken Ankle

Chunky purple boeuf

Went for my 2nd x-ray at the fracture clinic in UCH. Once again 5 stars for the quick procedure. Came 30 minutes earlier than usual and it was the usual process.

1. Check in reception
2. Get called to the waiting room
3. Dr sends you to the x-ray with a green slip
4. Go to x-ray room and pass them your slip (they don't normally start work until 9.30am today for some reason so there was a queue of people outside)
5. Do a couple of x-rays , one lateral and one anterior view
6. Go back to the consultation room and inform them you've done your x-ray
7. Wait to be called
8. When its your turn, speak to the doctor who'll tell you to come back for another one next week and hands you a slip. Be sure to ask for a peek of your x-ray
9. Book another appointment at the reception
20. Come back next week to repeat the whole procedure.

Spoke to another patient today who also broke her ankle. She asked me how I did mine. Apparently she forgot to detach her toe clip on the bike and she fell off. My reason for breaking it seemed stupider than hers but she didn't have the benefit of friends who told her to go straight to the A&E and was walking around in 2 days with a broken ankle! Hence why she had to have screws installed within the same day when she went to check herself in. With that I'd like to thank Usha and friends for supporting me that day so that I won't have the agony of what the other lady faced.

My x-rays look good - I can see the gap between the fracture starting to close up. Amazing how the body heals itself which motivates me to continue swallowing my calcium, Omega 3,6 & 9 and magnesium pills. Too bad I couldn't post it up here . The doctor wouldn't allow me to take a picture of the screen with my phone with the excuse that too many people would request the same. Serves me right for asking - shall just do it when he's not looking next time.

Tip of the day for those in crutches: put some kitchen sponge and rolled it around with bandage tape around the handles. Voila! Instant crutch pads.
A "friend" to lean on...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Diary of a broken ankle: Day 6

Almost a week now - 5 weeks to go before this cast comes off, can't wait. Getting used to life without one leg now. Have been online quite a lot on fractures, bone healing time and rehabilitation. Found the Lauge-Hausen quantitative classification article by AF Pettrone interesting.

Apparently healing torn ligaments and tendons might take a longer time than healing a broken bone. Not sure what the state of my ligaments are as I didn't have an MRI although the consultant at UCL confidently said it was definitely torn...without even investigating it. X-Ray was quite interesting though, must remember to ask for a copy next time I come in.

My ankle hasn't been as sensitive to movement as when I first broke it - just have to becareful not to accidently hit it

Meanwhile it was great to hear from friends. Thank you for your visits, phone calls, texts and emails - you know who you are. Didn't really expect it but really touched by your sympathy. Posting on this blog was meant to share with others who're facing a similar situation, didn't mean everyone to find out. But anyways...time to crack on

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Diary of a broken ankle; Day 4

Went to the fracture clinic today - I must say the service in the UCL Hospital in Euston Road is very good. Was attended to within 15 mins of my arriving to the appointment. I've never seen so many people in crutches before. Nurse removed the original cast and I was sent to the technician's room to make a new one. I had a choice of colours as well - red, blue, pink, purple, yellow, black. The new ones were lighter than the original plaster one - the technician basically just wet it and rolled it around my leg. Felt a warm sensation and within a few minutes, it was hardened and dry. Then sent to the x-ray room for another round of blasting. Then back to the waiting room to be called. Consultant Dr. Ali came around and told me that everything was fine and I'd need to come in within a week to for a progress check. I asked to see my x-ray (since it wasn't readily shown) - he pointed that there was no displacement so it will just have to heal on its own with no weigh bearing. Also made it a point to ask for a doctor's note as this won't be readily given to you.
Since yesterday, noticed that my toes were slightly swollen so i've been trying to wiggle it as best I can- thats the most exercise I can get and keeping it elevated.Walking around on crutches is awfully tiring too....walking 20 metres guarantees swollen palms and a very tired one leg.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Diary of a broken ankle: Day 2

I had a dream last night that I could walk and even run with my cast on - then I woke up and remembered that I was still crippled.

It was difficult to shift position while lying down. No matter which way I lay my leg, it felt awkward - as if my bones get displaced everytime. A bit worried if the bones are already shaken up everytime i moved. I can't wait to get to the fracture clinic which is still 2 days away.

My toes are still ok - can wiggle them and I dont' think my swelling is so bad although I can't see (i've got a half-plaster cast- meaning its wrapped in dressing but the plaster is only half of it)

Also every small thing becomes a challenge - taking a bath, carrying a drink or a plate with your crutches, putting on pants - and I haven't even left the house yet. Everything needs forethought and planning. Everything gets done a thousand times slower as well. Right now I really want to wash my hair but the challenge of not getting my cast wet and the bathroom floor is a bit annoying. Sometone suggested a useful tip of wearing a pouch to carry things around....but I keep taking it off to sit down anyway.

Diary of a broken ankle: Day 1

Yeah so here's an excuse to start writing on your blog again - break an ankle and be forced to stay home.

Missed catching a frisbee and fell awkward - Heard a loud snap and then was on the floor with extreme pain in the left ankle. Unable to stand so K & S had to support me while someone called a taxi. Was taken to the UCL A&E in Euston. Fortunately not many people but had to wait a bit before I got an X-Ray. Radiologist says 'Uh not good- its broken' Looks something like this:
Mine was in the exact location with the sideway-bend towards the ankle i.e I have a Weber B fracture of the fibula. After then x-ray,waited some more for the nurse to confirm what to do with my leg (as orthopedic wasn't there). Noticed toes turning blue-black, so had to elevate it. The swelling was slight but not too extreme. After about another hour or so, was put in a cast and then x-rayed again. The nurses were extremely friendly although i couldn't stand the waiting around. Luckily my poor friends didn't wait too long wasting a perfectly sunny saturday afternoon in the A&E , was only sent home 4 hours later hobbling with K and crutches. Getting into the taxi was tricky and now understand why we need ambulances. I couldn't bend my knee anyway to get into the car, so lay prone along the back seat. When we arrived home I discovered another challenge, I couldn't go up one step! Thought with my crutches I could swing around and get to work even - that was blasted away when I realised the enormity of the task . There was no way I could go up steps without smashing my already smashed leg - my weak arms couldn't support my body weight on the crutches anyway.

Friday, August 03, 2012

At the London Olympics 2012

The tickets

I'd never thought I'd see the day when I could say 'I went to the Olympics!'. If I could go back 10 years to my self in the past and say 'Fiona, you'll see the Olympics', I'd thought you'd be balmy. I was still in Malaysia, the weather was hot, still relatively new in a boring job working with insurance agents and dealing with the day to day of ordinary life. (actually come to think of it, exactly 10 years ago I was in Istanbul, Turkey so impossible thoughts wouldn't have been too far away of being achievable)
Earl's Court Venue
But today, here I am....right in the middle of the London 2012 Olympics. A lot of Londoners took the opportunity to stay away because of threats of transportation disruptions and congestion but I wanted to be in the thick of it. It would also have been madness not to try for tickets being a lifetime opportunity. London has been eerily quiet on the streets which is great - wish the Olympics would never end as I could actually cycle on the road without the fear of being knocked over. For those who did remain, was the reward of the enthusiasm and excitement all over the city. For first time, we're all talking about sports and not the depressing economy...At work, with friends, on TV, FB.
Team USA(white) vs Team Brazil(blue)

To attend an event is to witness the peak of the excitement - the atmosphere was totally amazing. The game was between Team USA and Team Brazil for a preliminary round Group A with both teams almost equally matched though the crowd support was Brazilian-biased. There was never a dull moment as the emcee livened up the crowd prior and between the matches but the match itself was exciting as the USA fought to win 1:3 (3 of 4 matches)

Team GB(red) vs Team Italy(blue)

The 2nd match was the home team vs Team Italy. The home crowd was enthusiastic still (and this was at 1030pm on a school night). The game was less suspenseful as Team GB tried their darndest (ranked 97th vs Team Italy's 6th) but the real story is behind the team itself. This is the sport that Britain slashed Olympic funding, resulting the team living on no income, paying their way through their training on odd-jobs, sleeping on sofas...This was especially true within the women's volleyball team where whatever remaining was prioritized to the men's and beach volleyball. So to come this far was an amazing feat itself. It's the phrase echoed by the founder of the Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who said "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well."