An Interesting Summer Ahead

posted on 07/24/08 at 12:55:37 am by Joel Ross

A little over a week ago, The Wife headed out to the garage to get us some dessert. When she came back into the house, she was pretty excited - she found some moose tracks ice cream - and she came flying up our back stairs (there's 4 of them).

"Joel! I just broke my foot!"

I looked toward the back of the house, and she was standing on the stairs - on one foot, holding the other one. She can be a bit dramatic, so I didn't think too much of it. She tells me that she's broken a bone on a fairly regular basis, and after "toughin' it out" for a little bit, it's usually just fine.

But this was different. She wasn't putting her foot down, and she wasn't moving. So I headed down there and helped her to a stool in the kitchen. Then I went to get a neighbor to help get her to the car. We had the neighbors watch the kids (I love my neighbors - they are ALWAYS willing to help us out when in need), and we were off the ER.

Once at the ER, I got to hear what happened from her perspective. Get ready to cringe. As she was coming up the steps, she felt her foot start to slip (she was in a pair of flimsy flip-flops). This isn't anything new for her, but usually she slips down and bangs her shin on the step. She didn't want to hurt her shin again, so she gripped down on her foot. But she wasn't fully on her foot - just the end of her foot was step. She pushed down, and when she was done, she knew something was wrong. When she looked down, she could see her bones sticking up in her foot. Not through the skin, but she knew it wasn't right. Before the pain kicked in, she reached down and pushed the bones back into place!

After 4 long hours, excruciating pain (she said this was the worst pain she ever felt, which is telling given that she's given birth to three kids), X-Rays and a CT, the doctors came to the same conclusion it took my wife two seconds to come to: Her foot was indeed broken. The prognosis was basically that she folded her foot in half. She was given some Vicodin and a splint and sent home on crutches.

We went to a local doctor a few days later. He essentially told us that she broke bones in 5 places and would be off her foot for 3 months, but no surgery at this point. They'd re-evaluate on a bi-weekly basis, and with that, we were done - 5 minutes with the doctor. The Wife wasn't comfortable, so we decided to get a second opinion. In that five minutes, he did tell us that it was "a very bad and very serious injury" so we felt justified getting a second opinion. Of course, we were pretty sure it was a bad injury since, you know, you're not meant to fold your foot in half!

The second doctor was far, far better than the first. He sat with us for about an hour explaining everything. We actually got to see the X-Rays - he was impressed that the ER picked up on what happened, but his diagnosis was completely different than the other doctor's. He said that yes, there were either 4 or 5 bones broken, but that wasn't the concern. Those would heal as part of treating the real issue. What she actually did has a name: The Lisfranc Injury. Apparently it's actually quite often missed in diagnosis - that article says as many as 20% are missed.

He gave her two options - surgery or no surgery. He gave us all of the pros and cons of each, and left it up to her. He said she would never forget that she broke her foot, and that most likely, it would never be solid enough to withstand the rigors of the NFL (his examples of other people who had the same injury were Duce Staley and Aaron Brooks), so I guess that means her NFL career is over! The good news was that he thinks the recovery time (surgery or not) would be 6-8 weeks, rather than 12. And he made it more comfortable for her to sleep. Based on the pros and cons, she opted out of surgery, and I think it's a good decision.

While she's healing, she's essentially stuck on the couch. She can't put weight on it, and using the crutches requires two hands. She can't really pick up or carry our 11 month old son, who is taking it pretty hard - mommy can't be mommy right now. Frankly, it's hitting all of us pretty hard, but we'll make it through.

One last thing: I told my oldest it was time for bed the other night, and that she had to get off the cough. She told me she couldn't because "mommy's crotches are in the way." I'm almost positive she meant crutches!

Categories: Personal