HEALING FROM A STRESS FRACTURE

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I tripped over the uneven sidewalk on my block a month ago, twisting my foot twice trying to prevent the fall. I couldn’t flex my foot without feeling pain. I went home, got in bed, put ice on my foot and fell asleep. Then the building’s central fire alarm went off.

The sheer volume of that alarm is horrifying. tiny-smileys-yesemoticons-005

I got dressed in a panic, unable to lay my foot flat, and hobbled down three flights. A frail silver-haired woman carrying a birdcage appeared to be doing just fine and offered help. By the time I reached the bottom, everyone had wanted to help.

I thought the incident would have caused more damage, but the next day, my foot seemed better. I figured if I could hobble down three flights to flee a fire or an ear-shattering alarm, I didn’t need to see a doctor or get an x-ray. In fact, I should continue working out, cooking, cleaning—all the things my OCD tells me cannot wait. (As an aside, my ex-boss said she loved hiring OCD people because they get things done if it kills them.)

The thing is I am always saying you can’t get to the solution of any problem and stay in the solution until you accept the problem. But I didn’t want this inconvenience, this foot injury thing. Summer had arrived. Aside from that, I had deadlines, goals, plans. I said, a few times, this is a bad time for this to happen as if there are good times for it to happen.

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It turns out, the pain from a stress fracture typically settles in after a couple of days, but the recovery process is just beginning. If you don’t take care of the injury, it gets worse.

I made the appointment.

An x-ray showed a fifth metatarsal stress fracture with the bone still in place. I didn’t need surgery, but they saddled me with this very expensive and hideous CAM boot.

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They also gave me greasy Pain Stat cream. I don’t know how much that cost, but it is very messy, slippery stuff. I didn’t like it. tiny-smileys-yesemoticons-015

No one encouraged me to stay off the foot. In fact, the physical therapist said, “Hey if you’re comfortable walking twenty blocks, walk twenty blocks.” No one said anything to me about shoes either. Maybe they thought I would figure it out for myself, but I wasn’t thinking clearly in between all the stress and denial.

It doesn’t take long to figure it out. Walking around the neighborhood with legs of two different lengths and one heavy boot is not good. It throws your hip out of whack, and when you get home, everything hurts—calves, other foot, hip, back, everything but the foot in the boot. I started looking in my closet for shoes to match the height of the boot. I had nothing like that. I threw out my sneakers months ago when I moved. I never wore them.

My chiropractor said the imbalance consequences are common while being treated for this type of injury. She confirmed that the shoe you wear on the other foot, preferably a sneaker, must be the same height of the CAM boot. She also suggested Arnica Gel instead of Pain Stat. It does the same thing without the grease. She further explained that when something like this happens, it causes inflammation throughout your body. You have to eat things that are not inflammatory. So throughout the ordeal, you eat right, rest, ice, be gentle with yourself, and take good care of those other parts like your back. You must send lots of love to your body—TLC.

I went back to the podiatrist and told him about the imbalance problem. Well, they had a solution for that all along but never mentioned it. tiny-smileys-yesemoticons-004How do you like that? They gave me an adjustment for the other foot before I left. It was a flimsy rubber thing to put over a shoe. They didn’t seem to care what shoe I put it on or whether it was a close match, and it was another $50. I could have bought another pair of shoes.

I did buy sneakers, and then the boot was comfortable as long as the sneaker and adjustment gadget were on the other foot. That made it even. You feel kind of like a monster walking down the street and a little slow, but nobody’s going to mess with you.tiny-smileys-yesemoticons-010

After weeks of compliance, the foot only bothered me when I took the boot off—muscle atrophy.

I got to replace the monster CAM boot with a small ankle/foot brace after only three weeks. My foot was back to normal except for the atrophy. Considering, too, all the footbaths and “physical therapy” they keep giving me without asking… this little mishap was costly. That’s a good incentive for me to pay attention and watch where I am going.

I know that a fifth metatarsal fracture is not the worst thing that can happen to someone. In fact, it’s very low on the list of awful things that can happen. I hope it never happens to anyone reading this, but if it does, I hope sharing some of my mistakes will help.

I’m a happy camper now.tiny-smileys-yesemoticons-012

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

It’s funny, though, realizing what you’d taken for granted—like when I’m listening tiny-smileys-yesemoticons-031to music, and I want to dance. You begin to do it, forgetting. Soon I will, though. Be ready.

 

© Copyright June 12, 2015 by Kyrian Lyndon at kyrianlyndon.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted without permission. e/mail

6 thoughts on “HEALING FROM A STRESS FRACTURE

  1. Thanks for sharing your mishap, Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I know the pain too well. I am getting ready for another journey I must accept and complete on my own…a total hip replacement with other damage and pain from passed injuries. However one learns to accept, walk through it and feel the pain thus this time I may see a bit more sunshine on the other side.
    My spirit is ready to soar and live again….glad you are feeling better. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ellen, so sorry you are going through all this. It has been such a long ordeal for you. Humor has helped me with these setbacks, and I know you have kept your humor, grace, and faith. I know you will soar again, and I hope this happens sooner than you think. Please feel better, my dear friend. Love you. ❤ HUGS

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