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Sunday, February 9, 2014


I had a little breakdown last night. 

See, when you have hardware removal surgery on your ankle - there are a few things you hear over and over: "it's nothing like the last one" and "recovery for this one is really easy" and "you'll be fine." This is great, because it's an encouraging thought that recovery for surgery #2 won't be THE FUCKING FLAMING HELL that surgery #1 was. But it's also not great - because it doesn't actually help you know what to expect going in, and afterward, it makes people forget really quickly that you're in surgery recovery mode.

Of course, I have a really supportive network of friends and family - I'm not blaming anything on them. Hardware removal surgery is deceptive because you are up and walking the first day, you can move your foot (kinda), visually there is way less going on, and you've already done the physical therapy and everything. So your loved ones will be tricked into thinking that everything's cool. But for me - inside - there is still a lot going on! My digestive system is still weird, I feel a little light headed sometimes, my ankle hurts and is bruised and I have very little range of motion...not to mention, I went shopping yesterday and within 10 minutes of being on my feet I was swollen and limping. Oh! And now I have to walk EXTRA carefully because for the next 4-6 weeks I'll have holes in my bones where the screws are and can re-fracture really easily.

In many ways, it's a lot like recovery from the first surgery. I use the same stack of pillows to elevate, the same ice packs with all its timing and wrapping rituals. I'm back to not being able to do yoga which SUCKS. I'm nervous about going back to work tomorrow (I worked from home my first week of recovery) - maybe I should bring some ice packs with me? I have to be back in sneakers after I've been back to real shoes for a few months and loving it. Ugh, that part is terrible.

The hardware removal, though it may be nothing like the first one, is still surgery...and it conjures up a lot of old emotional stuff. I was able to break down last night with my mom and just talk about all of the stuff that's in pain and freaking me I think I'm ok now. Kinda. There may be another breakdown in my future. After surgery #1 I had little breakdowns literally every single day.  I'll keep you guys posted...of course.


  1. I'm just 5 mo. post op after ORIF and my doc has said the hardware will stay unless I have problems, but nothing before 9 mo to a year anyway. I've been following your story of surgery #2 and drawing from your example that I could live through all this shit again if I had to. But the thought of it makes me want to cry and burn my couch at the same time because I spent so many days and nights there. Months, who am I kidding. Thanks for keeping this real. And yes, even those closest and dearest have no idea what this shit is like.

  2. I'm so glad I found your blog! I'm 3 days post op from my ORIF procedure on my fib. So glad you put up yoga videos, I can't stand just laying around. Considering a scooter too....
    Again, thank you!

    1. Elisabeth,

      So glad you found the blog too! 3 days post-op is quite at the beginning of your journey - best of luck to you with all of the healing!! And yes! A scooter can really help :)

  3. Working on it. Wow does it hurt when I get up to do things. Idk, too much blood at once?
    How are you doing? Rehab going well?

    1. Too much blood at once? Are you referring to this horrible phenomenon?

      Because yes, that was a motherfucker for me too. Don't worry, it subsides once you start bearing weight. I'm doing ok - healing slowly slowly...walking without issues though which is great. I'll post again soon - stay tuned :)

  4. Hi. I just stopped by your blog to see how you are and see the new about the second surgery. Sorry you had to go through this again but hope it helps. I had commented to you last year when I broke one ankle and sprained the other. I've been doing so-so and am finishing up physical therapy in a couple of weeks. I still limp and have pain but am worlds better than at first. I've attempted some yoga and can use my elliptical now so I'm hoping to keep getting better. Take care and don't overdo it.

    1. April! Glad to hear from you again, even if you're just so-so. Doing so-so is okay. Just keep at it and yeah, don't overdo it...but make sure you're pushing yourself too. Perhaps now would be a great time to find an awesome massage therapist? Work on releasing your scar and working out the kinks in your body?

    2. Hi! I'm sorry I didn't respond back before but had lost the link to your blog. Anyway so 7/18 was my one year anniversary and I'm doing a little better. I was still having pain especially when going down stairs, walking alot, doing my physical therapy exercises, or not propping up my foot when at my desk alot. Today was my one year doctor visit so they recommended a steroid shot. It's doing really well now! I'm glad.

      I mentioned to the doctor I had poison ivy and sinus infection at the same time so had taken steroid pills along with a steroid shot and it felt like before I broke my ankle. It was freakin' awesome! That led to the discussion of the shot.

      I don't want to have surgery again even though I do have pain. I'm not convinced it will eliminate all pain for me. Today the doctor said that if the steroid shot didn't work and I still have pain at the incision scars then removing the implants would be recommended. The shot seems to be loosening the movement in my ankle and it feels like things are popping in there and "letting go" if that makes sense.

      Thanks for talking about the massage therapy because I think that will help. I will try that since the skin around the scar on the inside of my ankle doesn't move. I understand what you're saying about releasing the scar tissue and that makes sense. It freaks me out thinking of someone doing that but I will try it.