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My Broken Ankle
 
 
Go to:
The Accident
Before Surgery
After Surgery
Arthritis
Infection
No Hardware
 
 
 
The Accident
 

     On February 11, 2008, while driving to class, a vehicle driving too fast came over a hill and hit the back corner of my car.  I had made a right hand turn to head south at the time.  I saw the other vehicles lights coming over the hill after I had already started into my turn.  If the person had been driving the correct speed limit, she would have had time to slow down and stop.  I made an attempt to avoid getting hit and at the last second the other driver saw me and tried to avoid hitting me by going around me instead of applying the brakes. If both of us had not made some type of move she would have hit my driver side door.  Instead, that vehicle hit the back corner of my car spinning it almost 180 degrees and into the northbound lane head-on into a utility pole.  I was (like always) wearing my seatbelt.  If I had not been wearing my seatbelt, I would have had far worse damage than just bruises from the seatbelts and a broken and dislocated ankle. Seatbelts save lives, so buckle up (buckleuppa.org).

     The accident occurred at around 6:00 am.  At the time of impact I did not realize I had hit a utility pole. I thought I was still on the road.  I had never experienced an airbag deploying.  When the airbag deployed, some type of powder filled the inside of the car for a few seconds.  It was dark and I mistook the powder for smoke.  My first concern was to get my keys out of the ignition.  After a few attempts, I realized the keys were stuck.  I then decided to get out of the car as soon as possible fearing fire or explosion.  Of course I had this idea in my head from watching too many movies.  Ha. Ha.  It was 10 degrees outside that morning and I was less than four miles from my home so my car never really had time to warm up.  This might have been the reason why I felt no pain and did not notice my ankle was broken.  I opened my door and stepped down to get out of the car.  The ground was soft and mushy (or so I thought).  I then wondered if I had gone into a field.  I tried again.  All of the sudden there was a man there who asked if I was able to walk to his car.  I looked down and then saw my left foot off to the side. The mushy feeling was me stepping on the bone and tendons keeping my foot attached to my leg.  From my view it looked like I could have put the bottom of my foot flat up against a wall off to my left side (if there had actually been a wall there at the time). I told the man it looked like my ankle was broken.  He then looked down and saw it.  He went and got his SUV and pulled it up near my car and helped me to the passenger seat of his car.  He then pulled his vehicle around and parked it at the stop sign across the street.  

     This was when I saw my car right in front of us on the other side of the road, facing opposite the direction I had been traveling.  The utility pole was buried deep into the engine, which I could see since the hood looked like a piece of crumbled aluminum foil.  Apparently, the man did not see the accident happen but when he drove by he stopped to help us out.  I think he may have gone to the woman's car first and then came over when he saw me trying to get out of my car.  In all of the confusion, I never found out his name so I could thank him.

     As soon as he parked his car at the stop sign, he got out and went out to help the woman.  I could see her car too. It looked like an SUV.  From the side I could see, I saw her driver's side tire was flat but I could not see any other damage.  It was still dark and my glasses were knocked off by the airbag and somewhere lost in my car at the time.  I did notice that her vehicle was facing north too.  I do not know if it spun around when she hit me or if she parked it there after the collision.  I had my cell phone on me so I called 911.  The man was able to help the woman out of her car and she walked over to his car and got in the back seat.  I asked her if she was ok and she said she was fine but just a little sore.

     Soon after she got into the mans vehicle, her husband arrived and so did the ambulance and some other emergency vehicles.  The emergency personnel put me on a gurney and loaded me into the ambulance. The woman did not want to go to the hospital but after several minutes, her husband talked her into it.  The ambulance took me to the hospital at 7:00 am.  I asked the EMT who was in the back with me if he would remove the shoe and sock to check for bleeding.  He took off the shoe and cut off the sock.  No skin was broken and the ankle still didn't hurt.  I could feel my feet and toes but no pain.  

     When I arrived at the hospital I was taken to the Emergency Room. I was not moved out of the Emergency Room until late afternoon. They took some x-rays with a portable x-ray machine and got my personal information while I was there..

     After I was moved up to a hospital room, the surgeon arrived and said that they would be unable to perform the surgery that day.  They set my dislocated foot.  I was tempted to start singing "Footloose" since they gave me a shot to numb the pain, but I chickened out.  Because it was a bad break, it took three attempts to set it correctly.  On that last attempt, the shot they gave had started to wear off.

     After my foot was set, I realized how late in the afternoon it was.  I had wondered why neither one of my parents had shown up.  I called my Dad's office.  I did not know the number where my Mom works.  Apparently the hospital never called my Dad even though I gave them his number shortly after I was admitted to the ER.

     Unfortunately, I developed a fever the next day and they had to cancel the surgery twice.  Finally, on February 14th, they performed the surgery.  After a few days of healing and some initial training on how to navigate steps with a walker, I was released from the hospital on February 18.  For the next six weeks, I had to keep the foot elevated and not put any weight on it.  Once I was allowed to put weight on the foot again, I went through 5 months of physical therapy.




 
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