Monday, January 16, 2006

More Broken Bones

“Hi mom, is dad available? Yeah, I can hang on. Nope, everything is fine.”
“Yeah hi… Look, I just want you to know that I’ll be fine, but at the moment I am at the ER.”
“Well, I think I broke my leg. Oh, you are? Ok sure, I’ll call you later. Go ahead and finish your dinner.”

Thursday night I broke my leg. It's the little bone in the bottom or your leg, I think they call that a fibula. Whatever it is called, it is now broken and it doesn't look like it wants to play games anymore. There's a long split (3 inches) and some extra bits and pieces as far as I can see in the x-rays, but I'm no doctor. When I asked the doctor, he made one of those concerned faces normally reserved for when you need to put your dog down or someone on One Life to Live gets ill because their contract is up for renewal and the writers have not found a away around that tricky face transplant, hunted by the Yakuza Mafia, multiple personality bit they wrote in last month before everyone found out you were sleeping with some new intern in make-up. Luckily, It does not hurt. I know that sounds odd, but the thing is just sort of there; taunting me.

Lee and I met with Danielle to ride the LB Houston trail. Lap one was fun, lap two was going great. Danielle flatted right off the start and turned back, but Lee and I kept going. I picked up the pace on the tacky surface and was really hauling ass through the woods when I got to The Dips section and something went wrong. I don't know how I crashed, I just did. I hit the ground with my shoulder tucked and my head down, but the impact was flat on the side of my lower leg and I must have landed on a rise of dirt because I heard the bone go *pop* when I slapped the earth. There was no pain; I knew it was bad, I just didn't think it was broken. My primal instincts kicked in and, had I just been wrapped up in something as mundane as a bear trap, I’m sure I would have been right to work gnawing the thing off, but given the circumstances I had only to scoot off the trail on my butt and wait a moment for Lee to arrive. He got there soon and was in an immediate state of denial.

“What happened, are you ok?”
“No. I think I broke my ankle.”
“No you didn’t!”
“Yeah man, I think I did. I heard it pop.”
“Maybe you just twisted it. Stand up…”

We messed around with debating whether it was an ankle break or ankle sprain. I could still roll my ankle and flex it up and down, but in doing so there were also more fun popping noises from my leg. I tried putting some weight on it but my body didn’t think that was funny and tried to turn off my lights. At this point Lee admitted defeat (to this point he still thought I could ride the remaining 4 miles of trail) and we decided that I needed to get out of the woods. Somehow. So, I threw a leg over Lee's bike (his seat is lower than mine), held my right leg up off the ground as much as possible and used my left leg to push myself down the trail like a scooter.

Sitting on the tailgate of Lee's truck we played around more and tried to determine the extent of the damage. I did the usual left to right comparison "this side is normal, this side isn't" routine and could feel a variety of what I can only term as cracks within my lower right leg. It wasn't pleasant, my body reminded me of this with another flicker of the lights, so he loaded the bikes and Lee followed me to the ER. I hopped in his truck, threw my bad leg up on the bench seat and used my left for brake and gas. It wasn’t an easy drive but my car is a 6-speed and this seemed like the only logical way to get two people and two cars to another location. When we got to the ER we took a few pictures, started telling jokes and tried to get a rise out of the nurses. After a short wait I was in to get x-rays and soon enough the ER doc was chuckling at my bedside as well.

"Looks like you did a real job on this one."
Excellent, I’m thinking, I’m glad you approve.

"From this angle we can see a hair line fracture running down this portion of your leg..."
Oh, that's not so bad...

"But from this angle”, a second x-ray is revealed, “we can see that there are more pieces in there than there should be..."

"And finally, from this angle”, we move to exhibit three, “we can see that this part of your tibia is also chipped..."
So, what now? Does this heal on its own?

"Nah, looks to me like they'll need to go in surgically. We can call a specialist for you."
“Thanks, but I already have one, you want his number? I have it on speed dial…”

At this point they told me they'd splint my leg and I'd just need to go in to see the specialist within a couple of days. Checking around the ER, Lee had found a couple of sultry nurses and our hopes were high that one of them would slink into my floor space to administer a sponge bath and set up the splint. I wasn't so lucky.

"Oh my goodneth, you poor thweet thing, are you ok?"


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