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Monday, June 9, 2014

Rehab My Way

Published June 9, 2014

Rehab My Way

By Cherie C. Binns, RN, BS, MSCN

Originally written in February 2008.  Reviewed and edited June 2014

On August 20, 2005, I went to my grandson’s second birthday party, just down the street from where we live.  I was carrying items to go on the grill for the day’s   festivities.   When I arrived, Heather (my daughter) had a baby gate over the entrance to back yard to keep the 9 toddlers invited to the party contained and safe.   I made a split second decision to step over the barrier and into the yard rather than move it aside and walk through.   Except, my left foot (the one with foot drop) was not cooperating.    It caught on the top of the baby gate, I hopped forward on the right foot to clear it and when it did come clear, hit the ground on the top of the instep, effectively bending the foot in half and breaking all of the long bones of that foot. 

David arrived from late appointments a couple of hours later and took me to the ER for X-Rays.   This was a Saturday evening.   On Monday morning, we met with the orthopedist who    informed us that I’d essentially broken the foot in half and would be in a cast for 6-8 weeks.   He then decided that since I’d already started to develop a pressure ulcer from two days in a temporary cast and did not even sense localized discomfort, it might not be the best idea to put a cast on the foot so a boot was decided on instead….and a walker.  Whoa!   Was I ever a klutz!  I asked about weight bearing.  The PA said none for at least two weeks.   The ortho, on the other hand told me to let pain be my guide.   “Walk on it as you can tolerate”. He knew when he said that that I’d had reduced sensation in that foot for years from the MS.   In retrospect, he saw that the weight bearing had prevented the fractures from healing and had caused those that were properly aligned at the time of injury to shift in some areas.

Four weeks to the day after the injury, our younger daughter was getting married and Dave and I were to walk her down the aisle.  My Ortho said the foot was healed enough to do that with a slipper-type shoe but to use the boot at the reception if pain developed.   Trouble is….this thing never really hurt more than aching. Right from the beginning, I had never needed more than a couple of Ibuprofen to manage the discomfort.  I had lost that much sensation in the foot over the years with MS.  

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