As someone with chronic illness, I often refer to myself as broken. My immune system does not function properly, and this makes me feel broken. It is broken. I am broken. I suffer from both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. Celiac disease, pelvic congestion disorder, ovarian cysts, chronic sebaceous cysts, fibromyalgia, and was recently told to go get tested for both crohns and ulcerative colitis. A few weeks ago I spent the night in the ER due to unmanageable lower abdominal pain. I figured it was an ovarian cyst or two being a huge pain and refusing to pop, or had popped and was doing something crazy inside to cause the pain. The only reason I went in is that it had suddenly worsened and had no reaction to any of the pain meds I fed it. I had been having severe but manageable abdominal pain for about 4 days, and was eating as raw as I possibly could, but this was FAR more than anything I had experienced in this location for years! This, however, was not a cyst. It was not my bladder or my kidneys. It was not anything they could find in my blood, minus some inflammation. Nothing else was going on that they could find, and like I said, they suggested I get tested for crohns and ulcerative colitis. The pain was awful. They sent me home with lortabs and a suggestion to see my Dr. I knew it was pointless right now, and I hate my gastroenterologist. I figured if it kept going like this for more than a week, I would have no choice to go. It has since calmed down, and though I plan on finding a new gastro, I have yet to do so.
Over the last few weeks I have had my moments of pain, of good days, terrible days, and everything in between. I have been in and out of team lead meetings, rewriting training manuals, etc. It has been full of team lunches, fun work games, taking kids out to the park, bbqs, and other things that reminded me that though I am sick, life is great. I made the decision to send my oldest off to her grandparents house for the summer. She has been doing typical teenage girl things; screaming, crying, fits, boys, friends, breaking rules, etc. She was a bit upset with me, but right now I feel it really is the best choice for her at this time. Her family was so excited to be able to see her, and my little girls could really use a break from the overly reactive bigger sister. We love our sissy girl, but a summer of 9 hours a day at home alone, no supervision and a boyfriend within walking distance? I think not. I just couldn’t.
This week has been full of escalations, meetings, and investors coming through the office. I have been backed up with client meetings but doing a pretty good job. I am proud to say I have saved the company I work for over a grand this week alone, and resolved multiple client concerns. I really like being the escalations manager, and though some clients I talk to frustrate me, I am really good at hiding it and keeping my cool. I leave work feeling like I have accomplished so much when I have made a client happy and saved our company having issues. On that note, I am still getting new clients for me to manager sent my way now and then. After my Welcoming Call on Wednesday, I rushed into a team meeting I was late for. We are reworking the way our department functions on a daily basis which is going to allow us to be more productive and possibly grow at a faster rate. I hit right at the end, got the general gist, but had to rush off to another client meeting.
This meeting was to be between myself, another Account Manager, an upset client and her partner. There was some difficulty with her site, and we have been trying to get things worked out. Unfortunately the Account Manager I was to work with left earlier in the day with kidney stones. Poor guy has been suffering from them for months, and has even looked like death before being rushed off to the ER. As I left my boss’s office, feeling confident in my cute new skirt, wedged shoes and blouse combo… something happened. I partially tore some ligaments in my left ankle over a month ago and was still healing. As I turned to walk to my desk this ankle gave underneath me. Twisting and tearing, I could hear the pop, and went to catch myself with my right foot. As soon as my right foot hit the ground it slipped out from under me and I heard a loud crack. I hit the ground with more force than I thought I would, and pain shot through both of my legs. Coworkers started running over and asking me if I was alright; offering to help me up. I pulled my legs out from under me, and I could feel the damage. It all happened so fast, but I shooed most of my friends away, telling them I was fine and smiling as they walked away. I started to direct my boss on how to handle the call I was obviously going to miss, but was quickly shut down. They were all so blown away that I was on the ground, both legs swelling up before their eyes, and still making sure all my meetings were covered. Even “Jackass” told me to stop worrying about my clients and worry about myself. They have me covered! The rest of the crowd started to dissipate.
I turned to my Princess Friend, looked her straight in the eye and said, “I am not ok. I am almost positive I broke my leg and sprained my other one.”
It was a process to get me into a chair, rolled into the elevator and out the door. I was in excruciating pain, but I did not falter. I did not cry out, I did not scream, I did not shed a tear. My coworkers clapped as I was rolled past their cubicles, and I told them to knock it off! I couldn’t help but laugh as I told them all it wasn’t funny! Such a pain, those coworkers of mine, but so wonderful. A few of the stronger men followed and walked with me out to the car. They lifted me into my Princess’s passenger seat, as she had insisted on being my personal ambulance. She was so upset that I had never reached out to her when I was in the ER for my intestinal pain, as she never wants me to have to suffer alone. She would have come running at the drop of a hat to make sure that I was ok. So she was to be my savior for the day, take me to the ER, and be there every step of the way. And she was. SO MUCH!
Once at the ER we were in the door fairly quickly, examined, and into Xray within 45 minutes of arrival. The Xray tech was named Jeff and was really actually pretty funny. He responded very well to my sarcasm, and was wondering why I was not showing that I was in pain at all, though looking over my swollen and broken looking legs you could tell that I was suffering. I had just had Princess help me pee (that was funny), was given two lortabs, and sent on my way. The back and forth banter between Xray Jeff and I was a nice distraction from the growing pain inside. PLEASE JUST LET THE TABS KICK IN! – The Xrays were NOT fun at all, and in an all joking manner he called out in triumph when I cringed during one of the Xrays. He felt like he had broken down my wall of pain mastery, and saw what was really going on inside! It was actually sort of cute, and I found myself wanting to talk more to him. I didn’t follow through, mainly because I was in too much pain to appropriately flirt, and was almost positive I was not going to be able to walk for awhile. This can put a damper on any type of new found friendship. So lame.
Once back in the room, Princess and I arranged for my girls to be picked up and we tried to call my mom. My mom had told me she was coming down the next day to help me clean my house, so it was almost perfect timing for me to injure myself. Having her come down that night instead of the next day would be very likely and so helpful for me. The doctor popped his head in the door and announced that my ankle was in fact broken. He pulled up the Xrays and showed me the snapped fibula bone. The gap in my ankle bone and the tibia, which may be a problem, but we will have to wait for the swelling to go down. Princess continued to ask him question after question about my illness and how it will relate to healing. What I need to do. How I am going to get around with not one, BUT TWO legs I can’t use. He suggested I at least try to use crutches and just figure out how to utilized my severely sprained ankle. He then left the room, and never returned. Princess was fuming.
You know, I am really lucky to have such wonderful people in my life, and Princess has always been so good to me. She knows what it is like to have chronic illnesses; having celiac disease and asthma, she is more understanding than most of my friends. She is protective, caring, and more than happy to go out of her way to help those she loves. I just happen to be someone she loves, and I love her back. She went on and on to me about making sure I see both the orthopedic surgeon asap, as well as my rheumatologist as soon as I can. She was so very concerned that I was not going to get the treatment that I need, and that I would not heal properly. She wanted to take care of me, and I let her. I never let anyone take care of me, so it was about time I let go and let someone. I did.
After I was set up with a boot on the right leg, and a stirrup splint on the left, we headed out to fill my prescription of pain meds. I stayed in the car while Princess ran inside, texting me for info she needed. She returned with a bag of gluten free goodies, and my drugs. I can honestly say that this was the nicest thing anyone has done for me in as long as I can remember. As broken and hurt as I was, I had been surrounded with loving and caring people. My coworkers are awesome people, and took great care of me. I have been getting emails, texts, and other inquiries from so many people asking how I am, it really makes sitting at home with two out of commissions legs, unable to walk.. so much better.
There is so much more that has happened, even since Wednesday when I took this crash, but I am not going to go into that. Here I sit alone today, kids at daycare (thanks to Princess stopping by to pick them up on her way to work), watching Netflix and eating gluten free Oreos substitutes. Another good work friend is coming over to bring me lunch, and tonight Princess and Lovely are going to come to help me shower. We will see how that goes. Keep your fingers crossed, as these breaks have cause a flare up in all my joints, my muscles are killing me, and my sinus infection is going nuts. My mom helped me arrange my livingroom into a basic living space, surrounded by pillows! The coffee table is pulled over and up against the couch, where I am going to be living for the next few days, maybe even weeks, depending on how much time I need to rest myself in order to heal and return to life.
My feet are both bruised. Legs will both randomly go numb. Since some of the swelling has gone down, when I move I can feel the bones shift and pop. My throat is dry, I am exhausted but can’t sleep. We have made arrangements for my youngest to go with her dad for the entire weekend, and for my middle child to stay with me. She can help me get water and other random things I will need that I can’t get myself. Middle child is pretty good at taking care of herself, and my mom bought some items that are easy for her to get so she can feed herself this weekend. Monday morning I am going to see the Dr, which my mom will return to take me there. I am both excited and nervous. I don’t want another exam, Xrays, etc. They are going to hurt, and I am already so tired. My wrists and arms hurt from having to be utilized more often than they used to, lifting my body to and from the wheelchair.
To sum it up, right now my life sucks. I am broken. I am emotionally, physically, and mentally broken right now. Everything is falling apart, but I am keeping myself together as much as I possibly can. I have so many people who love me, care about me, and want to help me. The only thing is… they can’t fix me. I appreciate their love and support more than I can express, but at the end of the day I am literally broken.
I am so, so, so broken.