Follow @EllenGrabe Grabe's Gatherings: The Break

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Break

Many people have been inquiring about when I was going to blog about my broken foot, so here you go!
On September 27, 2010 I was going about my regular work day.  At 12:20 I ventured out to the playground for my daily recess duty where I was to monitor all 125 kindergarten students.  I try to keep a pretty close eye on them and always walk around the playground and equipment while I am on duty.  I also just really like to watch what they are playing and hear what they are saying.  5 year old conversations are usually the highlight of my day!

As I was walking around the playground equipment I saw some kids trying to kick their ball over the fence so I headed over to the grassy area to remind them that if the ball goes in the road, then they have no ball to play with.  I was still looking behind me at the choke hold boy that I had been following around the equipment and thought I was aware of my placement of my feet.  I guess not.  As I went to step off of the playground pit of tire pieces, I stepped onto the edging around it and stepped just far enough onto the slant of the edging that my foot slipped off and onto the blacktop about 6 inches below.


I thought I was going to be fine but as my foot hit the blacktop, it landed on top of a thick tire piece and snapped sideways. 

Down I went, in front of 125 kindergarten students, 1 parent visitor, 1 education student from a local university, and 3 para pros.   I immediately felt my face burn with embarrassment.  Yes, I am a klutz, and yes, I get made fun of for it a lot, but really?  Was I REALLY this clumsy? I looked up from my misery to see half the kindergartners and the parent visitor looking over me.  The 5 year olds were the most concerned saying, "Mrs. Grabe!  Are you OK? Do you need a band aid?"  All I could think was, Mrs. Grabe needs one big band aid and one big drink.

The parent visitor kindly went to get one of the associates to help me, as I wasn't sure if I could get up by myself.   An associate came over that I am fairly close to and the first words out of her mouth were, "It's you?!?! What are you doing? Get up!"  Thank you, Paula, for making the situation better!  I looked up at her with bewilderment of what just happened and said, "I fell down!"  With that, I got up, and told her my foot was hurting and that I thought I sprained my foot.  They told me to go inside to ice it so I limped inside the building back to my classroom.  I sat down in my chair and my college student went to get me an ice pack and came back with the ice, my principal and the school nurse.  They came in and the tears came down.  Suddenly my foot hurt BAD.  They all looked at it and started talking amongst each other as though I wasn't there.  I kept hearing broken ankle, broken foot, look at that bruise, and is that supposed to be sticking out that way?  I felt as though I were a mute child and they were collaborating to figure out what I needed.

My principal decided that I better go see a doctor so the school nurse called the Occupational Health at the hospital and scheduled me in.  I called my husband and explained the story to him.  He scrambled to find someone to cover his classes and was at my school within 10 minutes to pick me up.  Now the dilemma was I going to get to the car from my room?  My stubborn attitude insisted that I could limp down to the door but my principal was firm with her "no".  She told me to  brace myself on my wheelie chair and with my foot straight out in front of me she pushed me down the hall.  We passed by a class of 1st graders and I waved as though I was in a parade.  I also turned the color of a rose once again feeling dominated by my foot and under authoritized.   Down the ramp we went and there was my husband, ready to take over the task of pushing me around.

We checked into the hospital and Eric pushed me in a wheelchair down to Occupational Health.  As he catered to my needs, I gazed around the hospital realizing that I was the youngest patient in a wheelchair by about 40 years.  Feeling a bit out of place, I asked him to push a little faster.  Occupational Health send me down to radiology before even seeing a doctor.  Down the hall we went once again,  my wheels leading the way.  Once at radiology we waited.  The old lady on oxygen went in first.  Once she came out the young woman with a bandaged hand went in. I tried to occupy myself with magazines but I couldn't think straight.  Finally they came to get me.  They wheeled me back, had me get on the very comfortable cold metal table and the forced me to move my foot in all directions that my foot did not want to move.  A few choice words ran through my head and the xray tech must have heard them because she said, "People don't like us here in xray because we make you move what hurts...hahaha"  When I didn't laugh with her I think she realized that the pain was over taking my sense of humor and it's best if she just didn't speak to me.  6 exposures to radiation later,  back into the wheelchair I went.  I asked her how they looked and she asked, "Where again does it hurt the worst?"  I pointed it the outside of my right foot.  She then said, "don't worry, we got what we needed! "  Immediately I knew...I broke my foot.  My throbbing heart sunk down into my foot making it throb even more than it already had been.

Back in occupational health they verified that it was indeed broken.  (not the greatest picture, as I had to take a picture of a picture)
They asked if I had been given anything for the pain.  I politely told them no as I impolitely thought 'has anyone OFFERED me anything for the pain?  No! ' The nurse went out to see what the doctor would give me.  She came back and said, "Ellen do you want a shot for the pain?"  Without even thinking I replied with, "A shot?!  No! Why would you even offer that?!"  With that she chuckled and said, "OK!" and left.  I just kept thinking my foot is killing me and they want to shove a needle in my ass to make my foot feel better?  I already can't stand, if they give me a shot in the butt I won't be able to sit either!  

A short while later they sent us down to physical therapy to get trained and fitted for crutches.  I passed my test fairly quickly and using the small amount of independence I was given there, I was able to crutch myself out of the hospital.  From there we went to Hammer Medical Supply to get fitted for my stylish boot.  About 5 hours after breaking my foot we finally had it wrapped, a boot on, crutches, PAIN medication, and were on our way home.  I popped a few vicadin and lounged on the couch the remainder of the next 3 days by order of the doctor.  

Those 3 days were actually relaxing, even though I got bored.  I watched movies, read, and enjoyed  quiet house.  At the end of those 3 days I had an appointment in Des Moines with an Ortho doctor.  She asked me to put no pressure on my foot for 3 weeks and if I did surgery would be imminent.  I tried my best to stay completely off my foot, but had a few minor accidents with doors, the crutches, and forgetting that my foot was broken.  Today when we went for more x-rays and our recheck the doctor said the bones are healing well and there would need to be no surgery unless I REALLY screwed up! She told me that I have been very compliant, which is a great compliment if you're a teacher!  

My instructions for the next 2 weeks are to continue to use my crutches but I can put my foot down on the floor and put slight pressure on it.  After 2 weeks I can start weaning from my crutches and walking on my boot.  In 4 weeks I go back for more x-rays and if everything looks good she said she will try putting a REAL shoe on me and seeing how I walk.  It can still take up to 6 weeks after that for my foot to be back to normal.  If the stiffness or walking is too much, I will go to physical therapy here in Newton.

So the journey has begun.  The journey of being a mom of a two year old and three year old, a wife, and a full time worker outside of the home all while having a broken foot.  It's been an interesting ride so far....hold on and the story of how my life has changed during these first 3 weeks will continue in another blog.

1 comment:

Mama Muhs said...

You paint pictures so well with your words! Glad to hear you don't need surgery and even more glad that I get to be part of your journey to walking again! :)