Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's a long story... #3

About 3 1/2 weeks into "recovery" I knew something was not right, it felt like my foot was not connected to my leg (a retrospective "duh" always pops into my head at this point in the story). I went in to see another doctor and he took new x-rays. He suggested I start walking on it as much as I could even though I told him that my foot was not connected to my leg. When I "walked" it was like I was shoving my leg into my foot and using the whole thing more like a cane than a leg. Apparently he didn't understand and sent me on my way, there was no way I could walk so I was still on crutches while randomly shoving my leg into my foot. About 8 hours later I got out of class and found about 15 texts on my phone, 6 missed calls, and a bunch of voice mails.

After I had left the doctor's that day, the x-rays had been sent off to radiology for an expert to look at them. It was here where the giant fracture in my talus was found and the doctors started to panic for telling me to walk on it. I was immediately scheduled for surgery. They explained to me that the nature of my injury was very unique and there would be a team of 3 surgeons working on my foot. This isn't something anyone wants to hear, I wanted to hear "oh, we do this all the time, we know exactly what to do." Instead there was a looming unknown on both parts- the doctors and myself. It all happened so fast though that I didn't have much time to process any of it so I went in, came out, and knew that God had a plan for whatever was going to happen.

They were right, the injury was quite unique: I had fractured the dome top of the talus off and it flipped totally upside down and sat inverted for the month I had been misdiagnosed. Everyone is baffled as to how this actually was accomplished but the surgeons took care of it, drilled in a bioabsorbable pin (no metal!) to connect the two pieces and called it a day.

It's a long story... #2

At about 8:45am my body was fully extended on the climb (meaning I was totally stretched out, not crunched up) and my left foot slipped from the boulder and unfortunately it landed right between two pads, a space of about 8-10 inches. I hit the ground and was slightly confused because I knew my left foot had just landed on solid ground but it was not in pain. Hmm... I lifted my leg up and my poor foot just sort of dangled there. At this point my brain was calculating that this was a very bad thing and my body almost went into shock, I warned the guys I was with that I might possibly faint and my nausea was out of control. Luckily, I did not faint and was able to control my breathing. One of the guys I was with worked at a physical therapy clinic and was able to palpate my foot without me being in very much pain, we both assumed my foot was not broken. He taped my foot up really well (by the grace of God I had thrown a roll of tape in my bag just for good measure). Everyone assured me that is was impossible to get cell reception out there but I tried calling my dad anyway. Miraculously the call went through and my dad, whose phone was on silent, answered. I told him the situation I was in and asked him to pick me up at the ranger's station at the entrance of the park. The guys dropped me off and I waited about an hour for my dad to pick me up. Thank God I had prepared for the desert cold!

My dad came driving up to save me and I felt better already. He suggested we go home, get some crutches from the garage, and call urgent clinics. We did just that and found a clinic with minimal wait time. I got in, got x-rayed, and was diagnosed with a severe sprain. I was not able to walk but the pain wasn't too bad. I was told it could take up to a month to heal so I trusted the doctor and went on my way.

It's a long story... #1

Alright people, this is the start to my amazing learning-to-walk-again journey! First off, perhaps I shall tell you the story of how I got put in this predicament. On January 9, 2011 I fell from an easy V1 climb on Chocolate Boulders out in Joshua Tree. I was bouldering, a type of climbing where ropes are not used but instead large pads are brought out to the desert for "catching falls." I had been bouldering off and on for about two years, steady for a year. During this time I had taken many falls, generally the pads paired with good spotters prevent injuries.