Broken Ankle – The rest of the story, I warn you, it gets gory

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The next morning Mum and I popped over to the N&N to sort out the mess that was my ankle. After a trip through A&E and into Minor Injuries I was informed I would need ANOTHER xray because Northampton hadn’t unlocked my records for them to see. Eventually it was decided that I was going to need surgery.

In the fracture clinic appointment on the Thursday, I was asked if I had any questions. Much to my Mothers dismay the first thing out of my mouth was “Will I play Rugby again?”. They replied with probably not. Genuinely, if looks could kill, the surgery would have been pointless as I would have been a tiny pile of ash on the floor. Not a happy Mama.

I had surgery on the Monday afternoon having waited on the day ward for the day where I couldn’t eat or drink. It wasn’t a fun day. I stayed overnight in the hospital and honestly I can’t really fault the staff at the hospital. They were clear in what they told me and almost everything they said was going to happen happened. Although thankfully I wasn’t sick as the anaesthetist told me I would be. I went home the next morning with a bright blue cast and a set of crutches and was told to come back if it really hurt, and then to go back in two weeks to have the stitches removed.

No major issues happened in those two weeks, I even went back to work a week and a half after breaking it! So I went back as I was told and had my stitches removed. Apart from nearly passing out after the stitches were taken out, all was OK.

I returned 4 weeks later (ON MY BIRTHDAY) to have my cast removed and this was where the problems began. The wound from the surgery had opened up in the cast and bled all on the inside. It had also started overgranulating (that might not quite be the right term), and this was a major problem.

Overgranulation (as I understand it) is where the tissue from inside the leg grows too fast and grows above the skin line. This means that the skin is unable to close over it and leads to an open wound. They don’t really know why overgranulation happens and they don’t really know how to fix it.

So ensued around 6 months of the doctors and hospital trying to work out how to fix my wound. I can say that nearly everything was tried. Lyfoam, Iodine, Silicone, Seaweed to name but a few things that were put onto my wound. I went from non weight bearing in a boot, to partial weight bearing in a boot, back to non weight bearing, to fully weight bearing without a boot and back right to non weight bearing again, I was going round in circles.

At some point in this 6 months the wound became infected. This happened after a trip to the doctors where I was getting the dressing changed. There are two possible reasons for this infection, either I am allergic to silicone or the doctors got it infected. Anyway, I was put on a course of clarithromycin DESPITE telling them that I had problems with erythromycin. This landed me at the emergency doctors at 5am in the morning after having an ambulance crew out to the house because the 111 operator told me to take surgery strength codeine and my eyes rolled back in my head.

There was a reason this doctor worked on his own at 5am. He was possibly the rudest man I have ever met. I had been throwing up for around 12hours and was in a fairly severe amount of pain. I told my mum that I felt like I was going to pass out to which he replied “can you lie on the floor, I can’t be bothered to pick you up” and then when he gave me my medication he said “just don’t look at the side effects because you will think that you are going to die”. Lovely.

The problem with the antibiotics caused a further problem of oesophagitis, which I didn’t get fixed until incredibly recently.

After going back and forth for multiple months, hospital appointments twice a week (all while trying to finish my third year at university), my consultant FINALLY said “To be honest, I’m sick of seeing you, if your wound isn’t healed by Friday then I’m taking your pins and plates out.” This was on the Monday, and it was music to my ears. Low and behold it was not fixed on the Friday, and by the next Monday I was back in surgery to have it all taken out again.

A quick surgery later, and I was sent home and told to return in 12 days to take the stitches out. I was walking within 4 days, and managed to go to UEA Derby Day and have a great day (I mean I was limping but YAY FREEDOM). The day after surgery I ended up in the back of an ambulance again as I was having chest pains thought to be a blood clot on my lungs, it wasn’t, and two days later I completed an assessment for University completely high on painkillers. Got a 72 for it as well (y).

At 12 days I had the stitches taken out, went and smashed a job interview (the job I work now), and it was all happy days. From Remembrance Day 2015-May 2016 and I was finally able to walk unaided, without a boot on. Now I had to start the long road of rehab as I had around 20% movement in my ankle and I wanted to play rugby again.

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