Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I broke my leg

Warning: some slightly graphic content and I didn't proofread very well. Process with caution. 

I broke my leg. I know I already said that. I broke my leg on November 12, 2016 and it was/is awful. Clark and I were north of the town of Caserta, Italy when we were exploring an ancient Roman aqueduct, after we visited the town sant'agata de' goti. The aqueduct is now an ancient t monument so there is a little parking area and trail were you can climb up onto it. So we did. There was a little ledge were you could walk around the pillar and of course I did. Clark told me it was a bad idea but for some reason I thought I was invincible. We were walking back to leave. Clark walked on the ledge first and was fine and when I went to walk back I lost my footing. In all honesty, I wasn't being very cautious, I didn't think anything of it. I just wasn't being safe. I lost my footing and within a split second I knew I was going to fall. So instead of letting myself fall backward I kind of jumped feet first. It was about 20 feet up. I hit and immediately knew my leg was broken. I was in shock so I didn't cry and I could barely feel it but I looked down at my leg near my ankle and it was very disfigured.
Clark ran and jumped down to me. He was very freaked out at first. He called the emergency number and was trying to get help of some people walking by. Some people stopped and helped and talked to the emergency number people because we didn't know exactly where we were so they translated for us. And they actually stayed with us until the ambulance arrived. It was the Italian ambulance and no one spoke English which was probably the scariest, most surreal thing. I ended up in an Italian hospital. Luckily our landlords only lived a few minutes away so they came and stayed the whole time in the ER with us and I was in the Italian hospital for the next 5 days and they came and visited everyday. They truly are wonderful people. No one spoke English at the Italian hospital so we learned the crash course of Italian medical terms in 5 days and we also used a lot of Google translate which the Italian nurses that was a lot of fun. I even made the Italian paper after the accident.
After 5 days in the Italian hospital I got transferred to the US Navy hospital on the base in Italy. We requested that I get sent back to the USA for surgery because the injury was/is that bad. The doctors thought so as well so I was at the US NAVY hospital for a few days until I got on military plane for a medivact to Landstuhl, Germany. I was in Germany for about 5 days. I got an external fixation on my leg on November 17th and had it on until my actual surgery on November 28th. We flew from Landstuhl, Germany to Washington D.C. on Thanksgiving we didn't get any turkey but some really nice nurse did get us pumpkin pie. So I was in DC for 4 days until the surgery on the 28th. This whole time I was in the hospital, Clark was right by my side. My mom flew in on November 25 and stayed until December 2, it was awesome to have my mom there for the surgery and a few days after for recover.
So like I said, the surgery was on November 28, 2016. It was a long one. I went in around noon and didn't come out of it until 6pm. I have 3 plates, a rod, and tons of screws, they even did bone graphs. They actually said it looked better once they got in there then they thought it would. So that was good. The day after the surgery was probably the worst pain I had been in. Obviously since it had been about 3 weeks since my initial break so I couldn't remember the pain as well but that day after surgery was terrible for a while until they gave me a shot to numb the pain.

Each day after that the pain got better and better. I was doing PT each day and got released on December 4. My follow up appointment was on December 8th so Clark and I stayed in the Fisher House (a hotel for people staying in the hospital) for 4 days. My follow up appointment went well and they said the skin was healing really well but the stitches weren't ready to come out. So we were trying to get me an appointment at the base hospital in Tacoma WA so we could go back to Washington State. That was a headache but we got it figured out and we flew home to Washington State on December 9. I went to my follow up appointment on December 14th and they took the stitches out and put a new cast on my leg.
The next 2-3 days were very uncomfortable on my leg. The cast felt way too tight and honestly I wanted a second opinion. I also wanted a DR that was closer to my hometown where I was going to be living. That way if I had a problem I could call and talk to MY dr. Not just A dr. So I had another appointment closer to home with a DR that would be my DR from now on, on November 20th. He was shocked at how tight the cast was a removed it right away and took knew x-rays. He said it looked good and that I should be in a boot and he wanted to see my again in 3 weeks. So I have been in a boot for the last 3 days and it feels better but obviously it still hurts. I am happy to be seeing my Dr again in a few week and see if there is any progress.

I am doing everything I can to make sure my bone heals correctly. I have a bone stimulator that helps with healing and I have been taking Vitamin D and Calcium supplements. Resting a lot and staying off my feet. I am going to be 12 weeks non weight bearing on my right leg. After that I will be doing PT and working to get my strength back for the next 3-4 months. So I will be staying in Washington State until probably March or April then heading back to Italy after that. Clark will be heading back to Italy after the New Year so really soon :(

I am sure there is a bunch of stuff I missed so if you have any questions let me know and I will do my best to answer them. It has been a rough 6-7 weeks since I broke my leg. But I am handing in there and I am thankful to be surrounded by family and friends to recover. 
love, Carlee 

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Thanks for the wonderful comment. I read and enjoy every single one. Have a question for me, I will reply as soon as I can. Love , Carlee