Happy Birthday - My Major Injury!
Happy Birthday to Me!
This has been the longest I've gone without updates in this blog, but man, these last few months have been absolutely intense.
I've debated writing a blog about things, but honestly, it's been so crazy here that I'm not really sure where to start, or how to organize my thoughts, but let me give it a try.
Back in July, I suffered quite a severe injury which impacted my leg, ankle, and foot. It shattered a number of bones, snapped ligaments and tendons, and grossly dislocated my ankle, causing additional vascular and neurological issues. I've had three surgeries in the time since it happened. The core injury is considered a severe type of a trimalleolar fracture with dislocation (which for me also included a broken leg, ankle, and foot). This led me to have nearly 3 months of straight bed rest to accompany my plates and eight screws (one of which has since been removed).
The briefest version of what happened is that in order to get to my car each morning, I had to cross a street that is on a hill and slightly curved, so I usually step off the curb in a large, designated red zone, look both ways, and cross when it's safe to do so.
On this particular day, however, a large truck was parked in the red zone, and when I went to step off, I hit some air because the curb was higher in that area. When I landed, to this day I'm not sure I'd done more than sprain my ankle, but something went wrong, and due to the momentum, I landed on my side facing uphill, with my head and torso in the street: with an oncoming car rapidly approaching.
With more instinct than logic, I vaulted out of the way and successfully dodged the car, but when I landed on the hot asphalt, it was clear things were very, very wrong: My foot was grossly facing the wrong direction and I was in more pain than I thought the 1- 10 pain scale was capable of covering. I place it at a solid 17.
I was on the phone with my mom, and after being unable to properly explain where I was, I called 911, but was rapidly going into shock. Thankfully, two amazing good Samaritans were there within moments trying to help. One helped me get out of the street and put an umbrella over me and a pillow under my knee while the other one talked to dispatch and then called my mom and SO to let them know what happened and get help ASAP.
Shortly thereafter, the fire department, then the ambulance, then my SO arrived, and I was whisked off first to one ER, then another, for a day I will never forget. Ever. (Two major surgeries in one day, one of which lasted over four hours on the operating table!)
Injuries are all different, and my particular case resulted in three surgeries (so far), including two weeks in a heavily padded splint, four months in a walking boot, advancing into a spider brace. I have been using a wheelchair and walker for the last four months, and hadn't had success with traditional crutches, so I'm currently working on gait training with elbow crutches. It's estimated that my recovery may take two years or more, so this will be a long haul.
I feel like I could write a book about the whole experience, of that day as well as the four months that followed, but they have been some of the roughest I've ever experienced. On top of that: we had to move midway through. It was awful, but we made it through. Even still: I'm using a wheelchair and walker at-best, and I'm hoping I can advance to crutches soon. The bulk of the nitty-gritty and daily-life stuff I've been documenting on my Patreon and Twitter if you're interested. Be aware: there are lots of photos of the best doctor of them all - Doctor Opal!
I spent a lot of time reading-up on things online and following blogs of those that experienced similar injuries who kept a daily blog of their progress, but I quickly realized that my own injury was simply not comparable. Rather than get frustrated that my own pain, healing, and progress were a bit out of my hands, I focused on one of the few things I could: my attitude.
I chose to try to maintain a positive attitude, because it was one of the few things I could do. And by and large: I feel I've been able to pull through. <3
While times have certainly been hard, the daily frustration I've felt at not being able to do "normal" things like get up and get a drink, use the restroom, etc. has been easily offset by the sheer outpouring of support I've received from friends, family, and coworkers. I was overwhelmed with assistance on getting items from my recovery and "fun" recovery wishlists to help me acclimate to my disability. I was humbled at having so many visitors to keep me company and lift my spirits, and those who went out of their way to help me with errands, help pack our home, and even helped us move. For this and so much more: I am forever grateful. Even upon returning to work, I've remained so incredibly thankful of the ongoing love and support of so many people, that it makes it easier to look past the months of pain and frustration this injury had beset upon me, and the journey yet to come. I went back to work worrying I would feel like a burden, and instead I feel so cherished and loved.
In particular, I don't know how I would have been able to get back to somewhat functional without the support of my mother and SO. The two of them have been incredible caretakers, especially with the amount of doctor appointments, physical therapy appointments, errands, packing, unpacking, and not to mention all the necessary assistance I've needed with so many things you take for granted, like being able to get a drink, food, brush your teeth, dress yourself, etc. My mom in particular is seriously an MVP in all this. She is the best parent and friend I could have ever asked for.
I’ve really learned a lot about myself and the people in my life from this whole fiasco. I’ve felt overwhelmed by love and support, and it’s really helped keep my spirits bright even on some of the hard days. Likewise, I’ve privately shaken my head at the sometimes confusing and mixed-messages from some individuals. Rather than feel brought-down by them, instead it just reminds me who around me really had my back when times were hard, and who just... were apparently only fair-weather friends. I feel almost comforted by that knowledge because, my god, I have so many incredibly talented, giving, amazing friends who came through in spades, and I am ever-so thankful for their love and support and smiles and hugs through all this. ❤
I still have a long road ahead of me, but I truly feel that I'm in good hands, and that in time, I can hopefully get back to walking. In the meantime, I wasn't about to let a disability keep me from achieving a lifelong dream of being a velociraptor for Halloween!
Literally the happiest I’ve been in four months. Literally.
During this time, I haven't been doing as much writing or art as I've been accustomed to, but I've been trying to have patience with myself and my new body while I acclimate and make the best of a bad situation. It hasn't been easy, but I'm doing what I can!
Thankfully, in the last few weeks I've had enough energy to start doing little bits of art and writing again, and it's felt great! I'm still chugging along on the book series I'm working on as well. Here are a few of the pieces I've made over the last few months (some of which are dated as to the days after my accident):
The recovery process continues, but now that I'm coming back out of my shell, I've been back to making a lot of posts
! I generally make updates there every day or two, so if you're interested in a feed of more frequent updates from me, I would suggest checking it out!
Here's a few of the main spots you can find me online:
In any case, I hope all of you have been well, and thanks again for your support during this difficult time. <3