I’m still here. Crutching along.
Living the dream.
I had surgery on Friday.
Pictured below: On our way to checking in to surgery…I was hungry and THIRSTY- I couldn’t drink after 7 am, I guess because they weren’t using a catheter? TMI.
Dr. Marc Swiontkowski was my surgeon at TRIA.
He has a great reputation; he’s known as one of the best trauma surgeons in the area, which was definitely reassuring. I felt confident that I was in good hands.
Everything went smoothly..I think? Honestly, I don’t remember anything from when they first starting giving me some mild sedation until waking up in the recovery room several hours later. They hadn’t even started with the ‘real’ anesthesia but I was already out.
Step 1 of surgery? A pregnancy test. I guess the whole thing would have been called off it were positive.
Then the ‘nerve block’; they brought in the ultrasound which was used to place the two (very big) shots that would cut off all feeling in my leg
This nerve block was supposed to last 8-12 hours so when I still had no feeling whatsoever in my leg the next morning after surgery, I was concerned something was wrong. I called the doctor’s nurse, who said I should consider it a ‘bonus’ that it hadn’t worn off, as once it did, I would start to feel a lot of pain.
(FYI, eventually it did wear off and they were right…there was the pain.)
Anyways, back to surgery day: the anesthesiologist said since I’m ‘young’ and healthy, I had a choice of a spinal or general anesthesia. Since I’ve had general anesthesia before with no issues, I decided to just go with that; I didn’t get nauseous afterwards and it seems to have been a fine choice.
Though the surgery itself only took about an hour, I was at TRIA from 10:30 am until 5 pm. A full day. Dustin hung out there all day and updated my family on my progress throughout.
Here’s an x-ray of my ankle post-surgery. I’m like the bionic woman!
The surgeon decided against one additional plate on my tibia, instead using a couple “lag screws” to hold that part together. This is apparently good because tibia plates can be a source of annoyance for a lot of people, especially runners. He put a plate on the fibula (as you can see in the picture) but was able to position it to minimize impact on my running.
The lack of the tibia plate, however, means one additional week of non-weight bearing, meaning three more weeks of crutches. I just ordered “crutch bags” though to help carry things to meetings, etc when I go back to work tomorrow.
Well, does crutching count? I actually have been using a few 5 pound dumbbells to do some upper body strength. There are tons of videos on youtube for “chair workouts”, “injured” workouts, etc. At least it’s something! None of them are very intense. I look forward to being able to bike or swim in three weeks.
All this time on the couch gives a lot of time for online shopping. I ordered a few dresses that will pair well with the boot 🙂 (Madewell, Boden, JCrew are my favs.)
I also decided to purchase this pair of cropped pants from JCrew. They won’t look quite as cute paired with a boot as they do on the model, but at least they’ll be wide enough to fit over the cast!
The rest of the weekend post-surgery was spent reading, watching TV/movies, and sleeping.
I did feel very special as I received lots of care packages, flowers, cards, and visitors over the weekend. Here are just a few!
I also had lots of cuddle time with this lady…she spends a lot of her time in her cozy cove, but when she decides its time to cuddle, I must make room for her on the couch.
I have received a ton of books from friends to keep my mind occupied and I’m trying my best to stay positive.
It still sucks; if I hadn’t broke my ankle, I would be starting to pack for my big Antarctica trip right now. Instead…well, instead I am doing 20 minute chair workouts on Youtube. 🙁
It still sucks.
When I finally do get back to running, I plan to treat myself by purchasing a Garmin Fenix 5S! Isn’t it gorgeous?
Even though I can’t run right now, I’m still coaching and I have room for more athletes. It’s a rewarding side job that I really enjoy; one of my athletes set a FOURTEEN minute PR on Saturday at the Phoenix Marathon; it’ so awesome to see her hard work pay off in a big way. Congrats Rachel!
Reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat about coaching.
We’re still working through our trip insurance paperwork to get money back on Antarctica. It’s a bit complicated. We don’t know yet if we will be able to defer to next year’s race or end up back on the waiting list.
In brighter news, a blog reader sent me these two pictures from the Tokyo Marathon expo. He found Dustin and my name’s on the Abbott “A” for completing the 6 World Majors.
I will find joy in my previous accomplishments since I’m not accomplishing much these days…except mastering the chair workout. Done and done.
I am glad that surgery went well!
Love your positive attitude and I’m glad that a reader sent you the photo of your name on the Abbott Wall – that had to be a great pick me up for your spirits!
Thanks Kim 🙂 I don’t know if I’m all that positive…it’s tough!
I LOVE that Fenix and think you should def get it. I ended up with some long-awaited diamond studs after my foot surgery so I’d say that’s getting off easy. 😉
Crutching will give you some awesome arms and shoulders. Mine were RIPPED after my stint. Once you’re allowed to, I would recommend finding an aqua jogging class. It really helped me in my recovery. You’re such a strong runner that I know if you do aqua jogging you’ll come back quicker than you imagine.
Ha, good to know! I actually get a little winded after crutching from meeting to meeting at work so it must be some sort of workout…
I will definitely be aqua jogging! And I love that you got diamond studs post-surgery 🙂
I broke my ankle on Feb. 6th! I’m not a runner, (I do exercise everyday- well, did). I am pregnant, so I had to be awake throughout the 3 hr surgery, it was by far the worst feeling. I was given an epidural, and then a block for the next few days, luckily I have experienced hardly any pain and am just taking 1 Tylenol before bed (surgery was on Feb. 19th). Good luck with your recovery, I will be recovering along side you!
oh my gosh, WOW! That must have been so weird to be awake during the surgery….so did you hear them talking during the procedure?? Incredible.
It was terrible! The sounds and pulls on my leg were awful! I am now 2.5 weeks post op, and I feel SO much better! I’m looking forward to getting a boot on Friday, and then some PT with the ankle. It’s a tough road, but you come out stronger than ever, and very aware of ice!!!!
That is some serious hardware!! Hope that you feel better soon. That Fenix 5S is drool worthy. I would caution you to test it out before you commit. I have the Fenix 3HR, and current pace is unusable. Look at my Strava feed (outdoor runs, not TM LOL) and you’ll see that the pace analysis is all over the place – varying from 6:30 to 9:00 within every mile. Others have the same issue. My understanding is that it’s due to the case interfering, but no official word. I still like the watch and can deal with it, but it… Read more »
From what I’ve read, the 5 series is better, but I’ll be sure to do a bit more research…I definitely have a lot of time to do so 🙂
That Fenix!!! Gorgeous! You deserve that 100% Jessie! So glad to hear your surgery went as well as possible and your spirit is amazing. You have some pretty awesome friends and family who love and support you.
Thanks Kim- I do feel fortunate to have such great friends and family (and a very patient husband) helping me out. I don’t know how I’d do it if I were living alone.
Glad you’re trying to stay positive – and that Fenix is DEFINITELY something to look forward to!
I hope you get your insurance sorted out. Always such a pain having to make a claim.
Ugh, just lots of paperwork from the doctor etc to proof I would be unable to travel…on a ship…on crutches. Or fly without blood clots. So many risks, it’s seems obvious why I can’t go.
Jessie, I’m glad to see you’re healing well. I cannot imagine the pile of boxes that would be on my doorstep if I were in your situation…retail therapy! 🙂 definitely treat yourself to the Fenix 5S. I got one for my 40th bday, and I LOVE it! Happy healing!!
Awesome to hear! I will definitely be treating myself 🙂
I don’t think you’re being fair to yourself in saying you’re not accomplishing much these days! Recovering from surgery is very tough, mentally and physically, and is a big accomplishment in and of itself every day! Honestly, your marathon training, in a strange way, will serve you very well in the recover process. You already have the skills of determination, stamina, fortitude and mental toughness to help you through this time. One day, you’ll look back on this as just a speed bump in the marathon of life! (Ok, that was totally cheesy…. but it’s still true!) Keep being positive.… Read more »
Great question Katie. Some people’s bodies reject the plates and screws sooner rather than later and they have to have them removed. It’s also common for them to start to be a bother in 3-5 years. Apparently the surgery to remove them is only a two-week recovery (which is shocking…! How does the bone regrow where the screws were??)
Some people have no trouble at all and they are in there for life.
Thank you for those kind words too- I hope you are right!
[…] Monday: I worked from home on Monday because I needed to keep my leg elevated above my heart for at least 4 days after surgery. (Did you miss my post about my surgery? Catch up here!) […]
[…] situation isn’t quite as dramatic as when I BROKE MY LEG THREE WEEKS BEFORE THE ANTARCTICA MARATHON (!!!), but it’s still a bummer…(That event set the bar high for […]