Not a Molehill

Eight days from injury to doctor

Nine x-rays

Two fractures, fibular & tibula, the former requiring surgical repair

One boot

Two crutches

One knee scooter

One wheelchair

One surgery

Ten screws

One metal rod

Seventeen staples

Five weeks injury to completing surgical procedures

Six more weeks with no weightbearing on healing leg

Years ago, 18 to be exact, I slipped on our back deck stairs due to black ice. I landed spread eagle, robe open, in a foot or so of snow. Hurt so bad!!! I hurt all over but my leg looked and felt broken. X-rays at urgent care revealed there was no fracture, surprising everyone (medical staff, my sister and I). It was “just” a really badly sprained and bruised right low leg and, uh, that pain was so bad for so long.

Fast forward to nearly two months ago, January 25, 2022. There I am, falling down in my bedroom, apropos of nothing, my arms feathering down, seeing my left ankle turned out further than it should be, thinking ‘that’s not right’, and then putting it out of my mind as requiring emergent care. It took superhuman strength, at least supersara strength, to get up on my bed, (not a pillowtop.) I immediately started ice and elevation for both ankles, both of which started to swell and bruise not long after injury.

This was the first week of “recovery,” but about five days in we realized both of the injuries were not the same. The right ankle held onto deep blue and purple bruising for quite a while but the swelling decreased, responding to my efforts. The left, however, maintained its swelling and there was some bruising that just held its color, just greening around the edges. I’d already scheduled a visit with my primary later that week to talk about other issues. She sent me immediately for x-rays, referred me to orthopedics, and wished me luck. The call the next day from the practice informed me that my fibula was indeed fractured.

I admit to seeing medical molehills and turning them into mountains in my younger years. Now, not so much. A couple of decades have taught me that the medical system will make it a mountain all on its own. My 2013 experience falling down our outdoor stairs without a break in spite of a really ugly appearance, gave me enough information to waylay treatment in 2022. They’d just tell me to ice and elevate no matter the formal diagnosis, I said to myself.

Most medical personnel with whom I’ve had contact over the past few weeks have asked how my injury occurred and how it was treated initially by emergency room physicians or maybe urgent care. When many medical professionals think I must have sought immediate attention, I was certain it was a mountain rather than a molehill, and I do wish I had recognized it right away. I wouldn’t have walked on it for a week. Doctor reassured i didn’t cause any further damage, but it sure hurt. Water under the bridge now.

I am so relieved to be on the other side of this mountain and on my non-weightbearing way down.

This post has been proofread, unlike some tired attempts. Anything I missed? blame it on the leg!

Published by Sara Z

Writing is one of my passions. Most blog entries are relatively short articles regarding a wide variety of topics. I'm a middle-aged wife and mother of two adult sons. I've been a teacher, counselor, medical transcriptionist, student teacher supervisor, substitute teacher and retail clerk. Staying home now due to fibromyalgia. Seeking purpose.

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