ARGGH!! Stupid foot. :(

So last Wednesday I got to work at my normal 8:30a and buckled down for a long day of last minute manual writing for some new internal software we’re launching. Long story short, around 2pm I realize I’ve been out of water for quite some time and decide to make tea. I let the tea steep in the break room and step out across the hall to use the ladies room. So far, so good.

Coming out of the ladies room and crossing the hall back to the break room I found the tip of the sole of my shoe somehow wedged in the rubber threshold strip separating the hall from the break room and WOOSHCRACKSPLAT! I was on my face with a searing pain shooting through my shin, ankle and foot. Additionally, my skirt was somewhere near my middle and my boyfriends Stewie (Family Guy) boxers were out for all and sundry to see. I quickly managed to wriggle around a bit and pull my skirt back down, saving what was left of my dignity, before I noticed that the searing pain in my foot had now become an eerie numbness affecting everything below mid-shin on my right leg. I remember a few voices around me asking if I was ok and if they could get me anything, I asked for the HR rep (we’re supposed to report all injuries on work property, of course) and advised that I couldn’t feel my foot but I was pretty sure it hurt like hell.

One lady put together a bag of ice while another ran off to find the HR representative. I noticed my foot seemed like it was ready to swell into a small version of the Hindenburg and frantically fought to remove my shoe before it became trapped against a giant mound of foot and ankle.

The HR lady came by with one of my co-workers and they both began to question me about my well-being, what happened, etc. I remember saying, “nothing, I just decided a busy walk-way would be a stellar place to take a coffee break and maybe a nap” while I winced and rocked and held a big leaky plastic bag of ice to my foot.

The HR lady asked if we should call the paramedics or if I was okay to walk and I nearly lost my mind. I’ve been working REALLY hard for the past couple of months to lose weight, but I’m still not at a weight where I really want to be hoisted through my office building on a small plank by hunky guys in uniform, you know? Besides, this is probably just a slight ankle twisting (that hurts worse than any ankle twisting I’ve EVER felt) and it’s no biggie, lemme hobble back to my desk with what’s left of my dignity and I promise to go to urgent care.

The walk back to my desk is roughly 30 yards and I wanted to die with every hobbled, awful step.

My parents whisked me away to urgent care (with my boyfriend in tow. Ridiculously, he’s not allowed to drive me to urgent care from our work but was allowed to leave for the day and come with us as a passenger.)

A couple of hours later they decide it’s likely a sprain but since the x-ray showed a “slight abnormality” in my foot (Like an alien? Stigmata? What?), the doc referred me for a CT scan the next day. I limped home with a cane and a fashion-forward blue velcro Frankenshoe. Every step was excruciating.

Next day I limp into the CT scan (still excruciating, longest walk down a hallway IN MY LIFE) and eventually back to urgent care to discuss the results.

A different doctor tells me HOLEY MOLEY NOT GOOD! It looks like I have bone fragments (ossific bodies) roaming around like a band of outlaws, threatening some important ligament and wreaking havoc on what’s left of my poor, battered foot. She schedules me for the podiatrist first thing Friday morning and I leave again, this time on crutches with a splint and orders to put NO weight on my right foot.

If you haven’t met me, let me just tell you that my ass is huge. It’s huge. I’m working on it, but I’m only about 25 lbs down, which is like taking a dixie cup full of water out of your bathtub, for comparisons sake. My arms and left leg are completely uninterested in taking up the slack for my now wildly misshapen right foot. No one limb wants to pull more than their share of my ass and, at this point, my left leg is ready to throw up the white flag and break just out of spite. I had the good presence of mind to borrow a wheelchair from my mom (it was my grandmas) and do what I can to minimize the crutch/hopping on one leg thing.

Podiatrist appointment goes better than planned. Despite what the previous doctor said, podiatrist says he doesn’t think I’ll need surgery. The bone fragments are NOT NEW! Apparently I’ve had random bone chips in there for awhile, the edges are soft and they’re not anywhere that looks horribly out of place. Huh. That said, I definitely have a torn ligament and my now bluey mottled foot hasn’t reached it’s full swelling potential. Foot doc advises me to continue not to put weight on the foot and sends me home with my splint and a compression wrap to milk the swelling out of my foot until Thursday when he intends to put… dun dun DUN… a cast on it. Aiy me. At this point I’m so ecstatic that I’m not going into emergency foot surgery that I nod and leave, waiting to pop a new vicodin and nap before my foot throbs itself off of my leg.

So now it’s just me, this splint/wrap, my alien zombie foot, two crutches and a wheelchair. I’ve managed to work out most basic functions by placing my right knee in my wheelchair seat and pushing it backwards like a giant knee scooter, pushing with my good leg and bearing at least half of my weight with my right knee. This is okay, but I’m hurting in all new places. Last night some sort of muscle which runs the length of my midsection on my left side was burning from overuse. That’s new. Getting up from the toilet is an exercise in physics, self-belief and negotiating with God. My already pronounced clumsiness is showing itself ten-fold as I mash into door frames and get stuck behind doors.

This morning I had my boyfriend place the piano bench (shh, we don’t have a lot of furniture options that would work) half in and half out of the bathtub so I could finally shower. I made a huge mess and flooded 1/4 of the bathroom floor in the process, but I was so happy to have clean hair that I could’ve cried.

I’m truly shocked at how dependent I am on having two matching feet in working condition. Getting out of my house is a huuuge pain in the ass, even with help.

But amidst all of this feeling sorry for myself and wondering how the hell I’m ever going to shave my legs again, I realize that there are plenty of functioning individuals without boyfriends and moms to attend to their needs. There are millions of individuals who dress, bathe, pee and make a sandwich (not at the same time) working with less, mobility-wise, than I have.

Every small thing is magnified when you have to plan a course and chart every move to ensure you can get from point A to point B and back again without falling over, injuring the other leg, breaking through the wall with a runaway wheelchair, etc.

So I’m guessing that my life will look something like this for 6+ weeks and I can barely comprehend getting used to living my life, even for this short period, without using my right foot. The thought of going back to work feels a little like being told I’ll need to do a handstand and spin plates on my feet for 2 hours a day. I’m trying to imagine a day where I don’t spend most of it on pain meds with my leg as high as I can rest it and I’m just drawing a blank right now.

For those with similar injuries, especially if you weren’t fit enough to realistically get around too much with crutches (though I am trying, in fits and starts), any tips?

I’m not trying to hike a nature trail at this point, but maybe go to the corner market, take care of some plants I have out back or take a shower without creating a water hazard. :slight_smile:

Do you know anyone who could lend you one of those wheely trollys like the oldies use?

Good question, are you talking about a walker? I don’t know anyone who has one, but I can ask the podiatrist if there’s a way I can access one.

I also found something called a “knee scooter” or “knee walker” last night, which might be a good idea if I can locate a used one or possibly rent one (They run about 300-600 new, it seems). It’s basically a small four wheeled scooter with a cushy base which is raised high enough for you to rest your knee on.

Again, something to chat with the podiatrist about, I’m guessing.

What about trying a hands free crutch ?

I too have heard of the knee scooters - a fellow I know has used one off and on for several years for an ankle problem. It’s considerably smaller than a full-on wheelchair. Basically it acts like a narrower walker, on which he kneels with the affected leg.

Get a cheap plastic lawn chair to put in the shower. Also look into waterproof cast covers for showering. From a list just forwarded to a broken-armed co-worker:

  • no experience with any of these but a quick googling session showed them up.

There are toilet bars available - I could swear there are ones that don’t require permanent installation but a quick googling session doesn’t find them. My google-fu is weak today, sorry! Check with a local medical supply place to see what they have.

Oh - and you might want to ask around to find out what sort of protection you might need, workmen’s comp-wise. I’m not thinking lawsuit, per se, just making sure that your medical expenses are correctly covered since it sounds like your injury was due at least partly to an unsafe condition in the workplace.


Medical insurance (or workmen’s comp) should cover the cost of buying or renting such a thing.

Feet, being so far from your head, seem to be psychologically some of your least important bits. Until you hurt one. then you realize that without ‘em, your brain ain’t goin’ anywhere!
Of course, your OP title makes me think of a retarded X-creature roaming the back woods of Alabama…

Ja, my mom-in-law had one of them thar knee kneely scooter thingies the last time she had foot surgery. She got mighty sick of it, but it looked like fun gazootering around with it.

Sympathies to you - hope you heal soon.