Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hurrah for Anesthesia...So, How Was YOUR Week?

              Great.  Except for THIS:
Yes.  OUCH

Pretty much nothing's been funny here this week:  Our youngest suffered a bad break of her ankle and leg last week and spent a week, SEVEN WHOLE DAYS, with her leg elevated and splinted, but still totally broken (like that picture right there, except just propped up on pillows), in tons of pain.  

On Wednesday she underwent surgery and now has 2 pins holding her ankle bone together.  She's recovering, and the pain is getting better slowly, but it's been the most frustrating and stressful week you can imagine.  She took a hit during sports in P.E. at school, and broke her fibula in half like a stick of kindling, and also the lower tibia, which is that piece at the mid-left in the picture (the one that isn't attached to anything).  I'm not a doctor, but judging from the displacement on the x-rays, apparently she broke her ankle bone right off.  

She straightened her leg back from its abnormal angle, by herself, in the van on the way to the ER, and then bravely told the nurses and doctor on arrival to back the heck off, when they wanted to move her leg around in all directions to see if it was actually broken...since the major swelling and awkward angle didn't seem to be dead giveaways.  
Yeah.  It's BROKEN.

We did manage to have a couple of laughs afterwards, about when she was getting ready for surgery.  Laughter helps everything...even pain.

She had to have a nerve block done to numb her entire lower leg before surgery (two, actually). If you don't know what a nerve block's where they take a needle the size of a drinking straw and stick it all the way through your leg without the benefit of anything local like novocaine.  Then they sort of poke around (guided by ultrasound, so you can watch it jabbing around inside your daughter's leg on the screen), until they find the nerve they want, the "popliteal something something", and then they continue to move the needle around awhile to make sure they've hit everything inside her thigh with this needle; then they inject whatever it is that deadens that nerve, and thus the whole lower leg.  Meanwhile, she is totally not really asleep, so this wasn't one of her favorite things.  Fortunately, the anesthesia they gave her before this procedure did make her amnesic, so she doesn't remember it.  Much. 

I wish they'd given ME an amnesic...

She kept drifting off to sleep, which was a blessing, because she'd been miserably in pain for a week, so I sat very quietly with a book and was glad to see her resting, except for every time anyone came in the room and shouted in her ear, "HOW WE DOING IN HERE? ARE YOU SLEEPING?" I guess they didn't get my hand gestures, because apparently I only speak an ancient dialect of sign language that can't be translated:

I will have to kill you if you come in here and ask my child that again.

While she was coming in and out of unconsciousness, they gave her oxygen.  At one point when she'd been jolted awake for like the third time by a technician asking "HOW WE DOING? ARE YOU ASLEEP YET?", we had this conversation:

Her:  Oh...I'm awake.  I was dreaming about chocolate.

Me:  It's OK.  Go back to sleep.  

Her:  It was a really big bar.  But when I ate it, it didn't taste right.

Me:  That's sad.  Go back to sleep.

She nodded off.  Then she felt the oxygen tubes on her face...

Her:  Why are they putting air in my nose?

Me:  That's oxygen.  I think it helps your brain or something.

Her:  Oh.   (pause)   When I wake up, will I be smarter?

Me:  Yeah.  I think so.          (because, moms know everything)

Her:  But, how do they separate the oxygen from the air?  

Me:  Ummm...that's a good question.  Go back to sleep...  

We got her home with lots of meds for the first night and day, because the pain was enough to make her faint when she tried to sit up, which made us feel like this, every six hours:

Pills!!  Pills are goooooood!

She also managed to send heavily medicated texts to a lot of her friends at like 2 a.m. a couple of nights with texts like..."hehehehe !%#^&% depene",  but she totally doesn't remember sending any of them.  Yeah.  That should go over well with the other parents... (sorry, guys!)

In all seriousness, everyone was really great, and her surgeon was a kind and gentle young wizard, who we will be grateful to forever.  Absolutely the best.
Photo: She's out of surgery. Thankfully all she had to get was a screw. Pretty gnar, sis.
Nice, huh?  Doesn't that look like it totally feels better?

And, to keep you occupied until next time, (though I feel some awkward encounter stories coming on) is a link to one of my favorite bloggers.  

If you are a wife and mother, you need this blog today:


  1. Poor thing! There is nothing worse than having to be poked, prodded, and be in pain....unless you're the mom watching this happen to your child and have that horrible feeling of not being able to do anything to help and make things better. I'm glad it's over and she's on the mend!

    1. Thanks!! Nothing worse than holding their hand and knowing you can't do anything more.

  2. Ohmygosh! I feel your pain. My middle child broke both bones in his arm on the playground last year. His arm was s-shaped and it was terrible! I have never in my life felt more horrid than sitting in that room while they straightened his arm. They said he was sedated and wouldn't feel it...they were wrong. I hope she feels MUCH better soon!

    1. Thanks! You're never really ready for that kind of stuff, are you? It was awful. She's mending well, and has no pain (what?) already, but I still hate that it happened.



    I hope your daughter is in good spirits today, sister...

    1. MICHELLE!!!!
      I missed you! :)

      She's doing good, sleeping a lot, and definitely feeling better. Not at all sure how to dress her for school tomorrow, or how she will DO school, because her classes are UPstairs...

  4. It IS good to be back. I hope she does well today.

  5. HO. LEE. SHIT.

    That's the worst thing I've ever heard. Bless her little heart! I hope she's feeling so much better soon. Poor thing. Poor mom, too! It's the worst to see your children suffering. *HUGS*

    1. Thanks Beth-- It was a heck of a week!! She's doing so good this week, in the splint, postop. She has had no pain meds the last two days, until today, when she's had some increased swelling because of being at school all day with it not elevated. Healing fast though. Now the frustration is the being-on-crutches stuff.

  6. Holy crap. I almost dropped my phone just now when I saw that x-ray. How dreadful. Hope the pain is a distant memory by now and that she is healing quickly.

    1. Right?! She's doing really good now, and almost no pain. She goes in Thursday to have the splint taken off, check the incision, and gets hopefully a boot, so she can be a little more mobile, because crutches are NOT fun.