Sunday, October 07, 2007

"On a scale of 1 to 10, how much does it hurt?"

"I've never had something hurt this much, but I'd rate it about an 8.5"

That was the conversation with the nurse at Greenslopes hospital yesterday evening after I injured myself during netball.

About 10 minutes into our Grand Final, I went to run into a gap from a standing start. As soon as I pushed off with my right foot I heard a snap and I thought I'd busted my shoe, cos my heel went straight to the floor like there was nothing to push against all of a sudden. As soon as I put the foot down a second time (to stop from face planting) I knew it wasn't the shoe. I let myself collapse into a heap because I knew right then that the next few months are going to be about the hardest in my life so far. :(

I couldn't understand why people didn't seem to agree with me when I said I thought I'd snapped my achilles. I think that was simply due to the fact that I wasn't screaming. I wasn't making much noise because I was focusing all my energy on not fainting. There wasn't actually as much pain as I thought for this sort of injury, but that may have been that I was in shock. The desire to faint was I think mostly from shock, plus having gone from running around to dead stop.

I moved to a bed in their like "sick room" I guess, and lay down for a little while and started to feel much better. Then for some unknown reason the muscles in my leg started spasming. That's what I rated as the 8.5 out of 10. It was quite excruciating, and I could do nothing to stop it. Thankfully that stopped after 5 minutes or so and I managed to not cry (though it was very tempting)

Once the game was over I hobbled over with the rest of the team to get our 2nd place trophies. I could walk on the leg, but so long as I walked on the heel only and didn't move the foot at all. But walking the 15 metres or so to the presentation area was enough to leave me very light-headed and again I struggled against the urge to faint.

Thankfully Andrew and I carpool, so he had his first chance to drive my car. He was having fun in it I think. I wasn't appreciating the bumpy ride too much though, but that was thanks to my car's suspension and Brisbane's crappy roads.

At the hospital emergency room I was subjected to way more questions than I wanted to answer while standing. Again I was starting to get light headed and some of the questions were almost too much to answer through the blur of the pain.

I finally got given the ok to sit down and wait for the nurse, but literally 5 seconds after hobbling to a chair the nurse called my name so I had to hobble over to the examination room. She asked a few questions about it before a doctor joined us. He got me to kneel on a chair, then pinched first my good leg, then the bad one and immediately said "that's bad." :(

So a bit under 2 hours later I was hobbling out to the car on crutches in a cast from my toes to a bit up my thigh and a referral to see a specialist this week.

Andrew snapped a few photos on his phone:

So absolutely everything is really awkward now, and simple things like showering is an ordeal. Sleeping last night was uncomfortable, but thankfully mostly pain-free. Until this morning that is - I got up to go to the toilet (a mammoth task in itself), and for some reason my leg decided to thank me with a pain of about a 7 out of 10. :( I hope that's not a regular thing.

Right now I've got it up resting on a chair beside me and I'd say it's maybe a 1 out of 10. I've managed to go this far without any sort of pain killers (not even a Panadol), and I'm hoping to continue doing so. When it comes to pain I'm much more about addressing the cause, not the symptom, so I'm just trying to be nice to the leg and hope that it's nice to me in return.

The next step from here is to make an appointment with the specialist and discuss my options - basically either leave it in a cast and let it recover on its own, or have surgery to repair the damage and speed up the recovery. Apparently surgery is the more common option, so I'll probably be going that route. It's a little daunting tho.

So the next few months are going to... well... suck. I'm glad right now that I have LOTS of sick leave at work, and can pretty much work from home, so I think I'll be doing that for at least a week or two to start. That's good and bad - good because I won't have to go up and down the stairs at my unit here, but bad because I have no aircon and summer is starting to make an appearance.

I'm really pissed at my body that I've been trying to lose some weight and get into shape and it keeps breaking on me whenever I make an extra effort. It's got me wondering about my future in netball. I'll miss at least 1, more like 2 seasons because I won't want to risk further injury by pushing it too much too soon.

At least today is Bathurst, a day where I was hoping to be glued to a couch all day, so the leg won't influence my life too much in the next 8 hours. The next 8-12(-?) weeks will be a totally different story. :(

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