Thursday, May 22, 2008

Down But Not Out

Sorry I've been out of the loop here, but here's what's been going on:

Over a couple of weeks ago I had posted about feeling a bad cramp in the hip while I was running with the track club. That was on a Saturday. The following Monday is when I went into my primary care doc. The doc I was assigned to seemed nice, and he felt my issue was muscular, but he didn't feel the need to do x-rays, which is probably when we would have known about the start of a the fracture. The following week we took a trip to Disneyland and did other things that required spending time on my feet. Last Friday, I was going about my morning, showered, had breakfast, watered the plants and was just doing some light housework, nothing hard. I was walking between where my bedroom is and where we keep the computer, which is a step up, and suddenly something popped in my hip and I felt extreme pain. Luckily I was just a couple of feet from the computer chair and a telephone, otherwise I would have been stuck. I couldn't put weight on the right leg at all. I called my husband at work to come take me to emergency. His office is not that far from home, but there was a snag... He was pulled over by the CHP because he has an expired license plate. (We've had problems with mail from the DMV being forwarded to our new address.) The cop was a newbie, didn't know the codes and had to look them up, and even though my husband told him he had an emergency the cop was a jerk and told him to call 911. His car was impounded on the spot! My husband called one of his employees to come pick him up to drive him home. Meanwhile, at home, I'm trying to yell for my son, who is sleeping way at the other end of the house and can't hear me. Funny enough, the cats came running...

Eventually, my son does wake up (after 15 minutes of yelling for him.) Once my son gets his bearings, he tries to pick me up out of the chair but it's too painful. DH comes home, and between him and my son, they're able to lift me from under the arms and carefully get me to the car.

At the hospital it's unusually busy. It takes a while but I'm finally seen. The one thing they keep asking me is how come the doctor I saw two weeks ago didn't order x-rays. They asked how the injury happened and I explained training for the marathon. The running and marathon training comment must have gone on the first page because, after that, most every doctor or staff who came in to see me was an endurance athlete. The conversations often drifted to local running events, shoes and which events are next...

The x-rays are taken and come back, and there's no question that the bone is fractured from one side to the other. It's the femoral neck that broke, which is in the hip. Since it broke all the way through, it required surgery. Had this been diagnosed with an x-ray two weeks ago, I might have not been going through surgery. Well, it is what it is. I have a plate and a few screws holding the bone together now, and they say that this bone area is now stronger than it was before, plus I have 20 stitches, well, staples, that come out it a couple of weeks. One thing I wasn't expecting the docs to say is that I should be running with in 6 to 8 months, maybe less.

I was in the hospital for 4 days. They had me on a metered morphine drip that I could control with a button. They called it the "happy button." They had me up and walking in the halls of the hospital the day after surgery. I'm now back at home and getting around with a walker. It feels weird to use a walker but I couldn't get around without it. I'm on a generic version of coumadin (a blood thinner to prevent blood clots after surgery) and another form of vicodin. I have very little appetite right now, but I'm feeling fluffy from being out of commission. My therapy is just walking around the house, some easy pelvic tilts, unweighted leg extensions, unweighted hip abductor/adductors, and just making sure I move my feet around a little while I'm I bed.

Being at home and not being able to do much is kind of annoying, especially since I have time to be still and notice every little thing that is dirty in the house. The house really isn't dirty, but I'm noticing every little piece of dust and dog hair, and my nit-picky side is coming out, especially since I really can't do anything about it. My cat, Lumpy, has been by my side since I've been home. My husband said Lumpy was nowhere to be seen while I was in the hospital. This isn't the best picture, it's taken with my cell phone:

I have to make sure I have that ice pack on my lap, over the right hip/leg, or he'll want to plant himself right where it hurts.

Thank you, blogger friends, for all of your well wishes. It really does mean a lot to me - you have no idea how much.

Song from Thursday, May 15, 2008:
The Space Between - The Dave Matthews Band - Run DMZ

Song from Saturday, May 17, 2008:
Too Legit To Quit - MC Hammer



Flo said...

Wow, that's crazy!!! Glad to hear everything seems to be okay though. Glad you have the comfort of Lumpy to help you recover :)

Juls said...

OMG. That is one crazy story. I am glad that you are past the surgery and on your way towards healing.

NotSoccer Mom said...

so, so glad to hear you're home. that just sounds so scary! makes me think what would i do. rest and do what the doc says and you WILL be running in six months!

havlow said...

Wow that's just awful. That's like so many bad things going on in the same day. I'm glad to hear that you are recovering though. I agree with the above, I live by myself and often worry about hurting myself and not being able to get any help. Yeesh...I sound like one of those people that need a life alert button!

Run For Life said...

That's crazy! I'm glad you're ok and for the record, Lumpy is really cute. :) Feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm glad to hear you're home and recuperating. Take it easy!! The dirt will be there when you're 100%. :-P

Love the Lumpy kitty.

leslie said...

I'm truly sorry you're going through this, but I believe that something wonderful will come out of it, because with your attitude and spirit, something wonderful MUST come out of it! Thanks for the update, and I'm still sending hugs and prayers your way. And hey -- with not getting into the NWHM, you're not out the money. (Small bright side, but bright side nonethless.)

Is Michael still running? I hope so -- he's been doing great. Tell him I said hi.

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. God. I'm SO sorry to hear of this! Oh, the pain must have been unbearable! You poor honey. I sure hope you heal quickly. BIG HUGS!

Backofpack said...

Wow, what an ordeal. I'm glad to hear you are doing so well - time to break out the movies and books! Hope you recover well!

Anne said...

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. No that hungry? I'm not surprised. I lost my appetite for awhile too and lost 10 pounds. (And I had the same dust must be the POV from the chair or couch.)

barbie2be said...

hang in there irene, and do as the doctors order.

Pamela said...

WOW Irene.. what a story! .. Glad to know you are home now & healing..& please Barbie says ..listen to the Dr's ok? *hugs* to you!

Michelle said...

Wow. Have you resisted the urge to call your primary care doc and give him an "update"? I'm so sorry he missed the diagnosis. Ouch! I was thinking about you a lot this week. I'm glad you're all stitched up and have started the road to recovery but very sorry you had to go through this at all :(

And that damn CHP rookie. What part of an "emergency" did he not get?! That irritates me. I'm sorry you had to sit in pain for one second longer than you should have.

Do you have any long lost projects that can be done during your recovery? This might be a nice time for a special family scrapbook project or writing a novel or something.

Please keep us posted on all the details. I'm so glad you have Lumpy to keep you company. Cats are so in tune. Take care and let your family provide all the TLC you need. And pop those Vicoden when you need 'em, we heal slow when we're in pain so don't try to tough it out.

Irene said...

Yep! Crazy! I think Lumpy is worried that I'll be gone again because he's following me everywhere!

I left out so much, but that's what happened! I'm already looking ahead.

I'm glad to be home, too! It's all about resting, now.

After this ordeal I was thinking I should figure out a way to wear my cell phone all the time. My dad and I actually discussed being at home alone and getting hurt. I was lucky in that everything happened right near a telephone.

Run For Life,
Thanks for visiting! Lumpy got his name from being a lump. Once he plants himself somewhere, he's not moving... Thanks for the well wishes. :)

LOL... I know, the dirt will still be there! Lucky me! LOL!

Anne (run-dmz) told me the same thing... There is a reason why everything happens, perhaps I really wasn't meant to run in the Nike event after all. It all works out. I'll come out of this stronger. Yes, Michael is still running. He has to carry the torch for the both of us, so to speak.

It's like when I get down at Evan's level and that POV shows me things I don't normally see... And from the couch or bed POV I'm noticing all kinds of things. heh! I haven't lost weight but I'm losing muscle... I'm having a case of the fluffies.

I will. Someone suggested I be pushy and go through Kaiser to get a sports medicine doctor or physical therapist. I'll be checking into that. Thanks, friend.

I am. When it comes to stuff like this I follow everything to the letter. I'm doing the exercises they gave me and resting.

I've thought about calling the first doc I saw. I guess it's a common misdiagnosis, from what I've learned. I guess the CHP rookie was thinking it was just another excuse, as I'm sure he's heard plenty. Projects? Well, nothing that requires being still, but I have some books to read. :)
Thanks for your support!

Irene said...

I'm dealing with it OK. Thanks for your well wishes. I'll get past this!!!!

Michelle (BOP),
I tried to read in the hospital but I couldn't get past the first page without nodding off... Now that morphine isn't in the picture, I'll catch up on my book reading. :)

Anonymous said...

Irene, everytime I hear of something like this - where the symptoms seem to be so clear- I wish that some smart computer geek would write a program that we can enter the symptoms and the correct fix would come out. Unfortunately we are human and there are way too many variables in diagnosing a problem.

Like several other folks have said, you will come out stronger after this whole ordeal blows over.

The way I looked at my running injury was that it gave me the opportunity to try other forms of training. some say that we have only so many steps in our lifetimes to take, while running, so I looked at my injury as keeping those steps (as in the bank) for later days.



PS Glad to hear you are in good spirits :-)

c said...

Irene, You are one amazing woman. Thanks for the account. Hugs and healing wishes being sent to you!

Irene said...

I understand the variables. We are only human, after all. I'll begin swimming as soon as I'm able. I'm already looking ahead. Running was not my first love, swimming was. I know I have more running days in my bank. Thanks so much for your kind words.

Thank you! Every hug and healing wish helps.

WADDLER26.2 said...

OMG--- I am so sorry that I did not read this sooner. Hugs and prayers to you. Thinking of you

Irene said...

No worries! You were participating in your tri! I'm glad you were out there and did that. I may have to start looking into tris. Thanks for the hugs and prayers. :)

simplypink said...

You have been put through the ringer! Hopefully now you're on the road to recovery. THanks for having your daughter update! Get well soon!

Guess what...our kitties are practically twins! :)

Irene said...

Simply Pink,
Such is life, I suppose, but I am just rolling with it. I'll be OK. Thanks for the well wishes!

Is your kitty heavy? Mine is. ;)

wendy said...

what a total bummer! It sounds like you're staying as healthy as possible though...

I'm so glad you got the expert opinions of endurance athletes. It's even worse when every doctor you see says, well you know, running is bad for your joints, etc.

I'm going to look to you for inspiration on how you recover, and of course, how you keep making such delicious yet healthy meals!

Irene said...

Thanks, Wendy. It's usually doctors who don't know anything about athletics who say you can't so something.