Two Sundays ago, I got up early to go to the bathroom with both kids sleeping in our bed with my husband. I came back and Natasha was awake and needed a clean diaper. I changed her and then was playing with her. She was in our bed and I was in my wheelchair which I neglected to put on the brake.
As I was playing with N, my wheelchair started sliding back but I was leaning on our bed. So I stayed with the bed and my wheelchair went backwards, causing me to fall. I called my husband to help me back up, but I didn’t realise anything had happened. I had fallen before.
Throughout the day, my knee started swelling and I noticed I wasn’t feel so great. I had fallen before and stretched my other knee. I thought it was the same thing, where some ice and elevation would do the trick. And I did the second irresponsible thing of the day, I ignored my gut that something wasn’t right because I’m a busy mom and I don’t have time to be unwell!
From Monday on, I kept getting sicker and sicker and by Tuesday evening, my husband had to help me out of bed because I was too weak to sit up and couldn’t even hold my four month old baby. I was really ill.
We called the doctor for a home visit on Wednesday morning and she said to go to the emergency/urgent care. She called them to say we were coming. Here, the urgent care is attached to the hospital so we just went there.
It turns out my knee was broken and the bone above my knee. For three seconds of laziness (not putting my wheelchair on the brake), I got a broken leg and very seriously ill. There was so much blood gathered in my knee that it was showing as an infection in my blood. I was really, really, really sick. It was terrible.
This hospital is filled with angels though! They let us stay in the maternity ward so Natasha could stay with me. They gave us a big room so my husband could also sleep there, and even Yvann! The wonderful nurses that helped deliver Natasha were the ones helping us now, and it was so nice because I didn’t feel as much like a patient on this ward. It had such beautiful memories because both of my children were born there and the majority of the nurses knew us already.
I was slowly feeling better and was discharged on Monday. However, the doctor came by and said that my leg, if it would be left as it is to heal in the cast, it would cause one leg to be shorter. If I never intend to walk or stand, it doesn’t matter, but with technology as is, it is realistic to expect those robot-excoskeleton suits to become available from health insurance companies in the Netherlands within a few years.
They do provide standing tables now, but you cannot move in them. If my leg were to heal not perfectly, even a standing table would be out of the question. Not to mention if there would be a miracle discovery fixing spinal cord injuries in the future!
So, the doctor said we had to go to the research hospital about an hour away from us (where I was when I broke my back), and on Wednesday (yesterday), they would hospitalize me and operate on my leg on the upcoming Monday to bring it into the proper position.
I was home for one day at that point and then we had to pack up again, preparing for another week long stay at the hospital. To be honest, I am horrified of being operated on again after the horrible situation surrounding my last surgery (broken back and spinal cord injury and recovery). I was really panicking even about being back to the same hospital.
When we got there, the doctors said, they were going to try to set my leg by basically yanking on it to get it in the best position possible. If they could do that, surgery could be avoided as surgery on someone with a spinal cord injury of course has it’s own complications and wounds take much longer to heal. It could also be infected easier.
So they yanked and tugged and moved bones by hand. Normally, people need a lot of pain killers because even with my spinal cord injury and minimal feeling, I wasn’t thrilled to have them do this. They got it and said we could go home. Now, we have a 50% chance that it stays and a 50% chance that it doesn’t.
On Monday, we have to go back to the hospital and they will see if the bone shifted back to a bad position, in which case, I will need surgery and will need to have metal to hold the bone in place. My bones are already very brittle and fragile because they are not used due to my injury.
Right now, it’s all very scary and difficult. I’m trying really not to move much at all, and thank goodness my husband is home to help me. We are trying to get through until Monday with me resting only and not doing anything at home to avoid possibilities of moving the bone. Of course, I need to shower and use the toilet so it’s very nerve wracking every time I do.
I hate that I need so much help again. It’s such a struggle for me to ask for help and so demoralizing not to be able to take care of my family.
This entire experience has been a huge lesson for me in the importance of self care and making time for doing what I need to do for myself.
I know this is an extreme example, but I didn’t bother to think about what I needed to do for myself (put my wheelchair on the brake), I ended up with a broken leg that may require surgery, definitely requires months in a cast, limits my mobility extremely, adds health risks to me, and causes my entire family stress and frustration.
For now, we are just trying to take it day by day as everything is very uncertain and we aren’t sure whether surgery will be needed. I’m also desperately looking forward to this summer when I hopefully should be feeling like myself again with more mobility.
And I am already so grateful for the blessings that I have today. Because wow! things sure can change in the blink of an eye!
Do me a favour folks – give your loved ones an extra cuddle and let’s all just relax a bit. Being parents (whether we work or not) can be overwhelming and I forgot about myself for a while there, leading to a ridiculous mistake. This has all taught me to appreciate not only my family so much more, but also myself.
Today, I’m going to try to relax as much as I can and fight the urge to clean because I know it’s better for my leg to move as little as possible. I’m going to enjoy spending time with my kids, and everything else, will come later.
Thank you for following my story folks! I hope you have a beautiful day!
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Today, I am linking up at: A little bird told me, Preschool and kindergarten community, Tot school Gathering Place, The Thoughtful Spot, Love to Learn Linky, The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions, Link and Learn, TGIF, Hip Homeschool Moms, Practical Mondays