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Tuesday
May222012

Depression is great time to grow your hair out

Usually, in my efforts to grow my hair out, I get to a certain point, say, when my hair covers my ears, and I get frustrated and cut it super short again. I decided in February I’d try to grow it out. Or maybe it was January. I don’t know. Either way, I’m much further along in the process than I’ve been in a decade because I’ve been so generally depressed, I forgot to be bothered by my hair over my ears. And now it’s down to my neck. Depression has its benefits.

I was actually doing better since my last depression post, for the most part. Just busy with my job, getting ready for a big work trip to London again, the trip where Harper broke her arm hours before our plane left for Europe. That was fun.

My computer keeps crashing. So I haven’t uploaded any photos really. Actually, I haven’t taken many photos in the last couple months either. I took my laptop to the genius bar once and it was fixed long enough for me to get home and try and use it and then it crashed again. I haven’t had the energy to take it back. Depression can suck the wind out of you, too.

There have been great times in the last many weeks – a good time in London and Scotland with Jennifer, the kids turned four and had a fun party, using our new grill in the back yard, spending time with family, the blessing of another day.

And then, four days after Harper’s cast came off, on Saturday, April 21, I broke my leg. Volunteering for Habitat For Humanity.

I wish it was a good story, like falling off the roof putting on roof tiles, or hanging drywall from the ceiling or something cool, but it’s not. Truth is, it had rained inches the day before, and as construction sites are wont to be, it was very muddy. The kind that you sink into and get stuck in. I happened to get stuck as I stepped and slid in uneven ground and mud and started falling left before I could get my left foot unstuck. Since there was no joint at the necessary location, gravity created one for me about 4 inches above my ankle.

Within a couple hours we had an x-ray that confirmed a break in my fibula and the ER sent me on my way, splinted, with orders to see an orthopedic surgeon on Monday. “But I won’t need surgery, right?” I asked. “Probably not,” the doctor said. I spent most of the remainder of the weekend like this:

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So that Monday, I saw the doctor and knew right away where this was going when he pulled out a pen and a piece of paper. Note: when an orthopedic surgeon starts drawing pictures, you’re going to have to have surgery.

Broken fibula. Torn ligaments. Will need a plate and screws. And I heard little else because why couldn’t I just get a cast for a couple weeks and be done? Instead, I had an Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) procedure on Thursday, April 26, and then spent much of the next six days like this:

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The pain prior to surgery hurt like hell, namely because the splint wasn’t fully immobilizing the lower leg. The pain post-surgery was nothing like I had ever felt before, but that lasted only a few days. I was back at work 6 days post-surgery (something I do not recommend. Ever.).

The worst pain has been psychological, however. The confinement. The inability to walk. The isolation. The feeling that I am stuck. The having to modify and adapt. The instructions to be non-weight-bearing, not that I could bear weight on my leg anyway. The inability to DO much of ANYTHING. And because of it, I have seen many dark days since April. Days when I have cried hours at a time, sometimes all day. Days where I had to sit in a parking lot trying to compose myself so I could be presentable going into the office. Days when I haven't wanted to say a word to anyway. Days where breathing was exhausting. Days that have gone too long and bedtime couldn't come soon enough.

I try to focus on the positive – how amazing Jennifer has been handling EVERYTHING while I am mostly out of commission, that we are all generally healthy, that we have a home and jobs, and that at least my inability to walk is temporary, even if it does seem like an eternity.

Harper and Mateo often kiss my leg and Harper, who is familiar with the pain of a broken bone, will say “Mommy, I am so sorry this happened to you.” Mateo, on the hand, shares my sentiments: “Mommy, why is your leg still broken. It’s taking a LONG TIME!” I know, buddy, I know.

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On the left is my leg two weeks post surgery, just before they took the staples out (ouch!) and put a cast on.

June 6. That's fifteen more days until I get my cast off and start learning to walk again. And my next hair appointment? July 9. We'll see how long my hair is then.

Reader Comments (5)

So glad to see your post. Was wondering about the broken leg. Definitely come up with a better story involving Angelina Jolie or something :-)

I must admit -- that is the most awesome cast I've ever seen. Here's to walking and hopping and skipping soon.

05.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJemé

I guess this answers the question, "Where've you been?" So sorry. Hope you're back on all two's in no time.

05.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

Oh hon, I know this exact feeling. I was on bed rest for 14 weeks. 14 long weeks at home, unable to DO anything except worry about my babies. That is why I got into babycenter and tv, the only things that seemed to keep me going. That isolation can drive you crazy!

We're all here when you need us, or when you need to hide from us and work it out on your own.

05.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Case

So sorry to hear about all your troubles. Been there with a depression -- still there, to be perfectly honest, but I've never tried a medication, being paranoid of changing chemical balance, stupid, I know...And I had a foot surgery, and could not walk for almost 6 months (yes, getting back to work after 5 days was insane...) I'd say that I can still giggle if I remember to watch Jon Stewart (there are all these wonderful interviews on his website), Charlie Rose is very distractful (sp?), Cannes fashion. Anyway, speaking of walking, have you tried the roller-aid? It was a life saver, and all teenagers were insanely jealous of me in supermarkets - I was the coolest creep ever! you can rent it, and most insurances cover it too..

05.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNIna

Going from "oh, you'll need a cast" to "surgery NOW if you want to spend the rest of your life walking" suuuucks. Here's hoping you don't have to suffer the orthopedic boot after the cast comes off--it's too dang hot!

05.31.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

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