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I thought I’d share my story on here, as I found it very comforting in the worst part of recovery…
I was hiking in Massachusetts on May 26th with some friends and tried to jump from one rock down to another. I landed badly and suffered a TPF fracture in my left leg and a shattered heel on my right foot. Without any legs to put weight on, my friends carried me down some steep (and very painful) rocks and awaited some professional help.
After a few hospital visits, it was decided that I needed surgery, but needed the swelling to go down first. Since I’m a 21 year old college student who lives alone in Boston, I needed to get the surgery in New Jersey where my family lives (as everyone knows, this kills your independence). My mom drove me while I laid in the backseat. Every single pothole was hell, damn you Cross Bronx Expressway!
I was on bedrest with a knee immobilizer, soft cast on my foot for 2 full weeks before surgery. I had a 9 hour surgery on June 11th resulting in a plate and 4 screws in my left leg and a plate, 2 pins, and 4 screws in my right foot. A ton of dilaudid and a few days later, I left the hospital with splints and ace wrap to keep both feet at 90 degrees.
I thought breaking my bones was painful but the pain after surgery was unbearable. Everything hurt, I was pissed off all the time, I didnt get any sleep, and I couldn’t do a damn thing about it. I basically just laid around in misery and watched HBO shows and was a moody jerk (sorry family! ahah). The painkillers made it hard to read for me, which sucked.
Fast forward to 6 weeks-ish after surgery, I’m finally off the painkillers and just starting to get up and moving out of my bed. I thought it would never happen. I hadnt done any serious PT up to this point so my knee was crazy stiff. I started stretching and early ROM exercises I found on this website. I found it particularly helpful to sit in wheelchair and “rock my leg” back and forth. Not being able to stand on either leg (confined to wheelchair or bed) really limited what I could do.
Its been 3 months since the accident and I just started official physical therapy. I’m cleared for PWB on my right foot tomorrow and my left leg in 2 more weeks. Unfortunately you cant use crutches with half a foot, so I’m still in a wheelchair for now. I’m told everything is healing well and quickly, although it doesnt seem like it.
If youre still in that hellish stage after surgery, good luck! Download some good albums, run through your netflix queue, and get comfortable with just laying around in pain (but knowing youre healing!)