Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, June 29, 2020

I understand why my break wasn't bad enough for surgery

I finally got out my old external DVD-ROM drive, as my laptop is new enough it just has an SD card slot for removable storage, and put in the CD that has my x-rays on it. I understand why, while it hurts and is making me limp, I can still bear weight on a broken ankle. Yes, it is a medial malleolar fracture, which is a broken bone in the ankle joint on the inside of the ankle. I had one on my right ankle when I got hit by a car years ago, but that was due to a lot more force and a different subtype of fracture. It took me a little while to see the broken part on this one...it's just a little bit on the end of the tibia, which isn't all that integral to bearing weight and doesn't require surgery. Here's the image, with the broken bit on the left tip of bone:

That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, of course, but it is much milder than my fracture of the right ankle eight years ago. And thankfully, being on the left, it doesn't affect my driving. I am taking the boot off and just leaving an ACE bandage wrapping, sock, and shoe on while driving, but I drive an automatic so the left foot is not used.

I went back to work today, had a very productive day, and despite being physically tired after walking all over the place in a boot, I feel good about going back.

Sunday, June 28, 2020


Sigh. My roommate worked as a CNA for years. I have learned today that 1) I was wrapping my ACE bandage wrong, and that's why it was slipping and 2) I sat on the shower chair (which is backless) the wrong way when I showered. (Should have YouTubed that one first). Once he showed me how to properly do the bandage, it occurred to me that I didn't do well in the shower and that was probably wrong, too, so I did, indeed, look it up on YouTube.
How is it that I had THREE nurses in the family and no one bothered to tell me? And I sprained my ankle approximated four times a year. I guess that's on me for apparently not paying attention, but still.
As I have said on numerous occasions, I realise that I'm book smart, and I may have once been in a Gifted & Talented programme, but my common sense leaves much to be desired. Which I know, which is wisdom, I guess. But man, I feel dumb right now. [And just in case you need it, here's the video that comes up when you Google 'how to use a shower chair']:


So I didn't quite get to the shower part today, although I got a lot of rest. We're down to one lightbulb of six or seven in the bathroom and I wanted to make sure I had light and my roommate was around in case I fell.

But...despite sink baths, I haven't really felt clean since I showered five days ago.  Now the puppy just smelled me all over like, 'hey, you smell like garbage, can I roll in you?'  I am definitely taking a shower first thing in the morning after my roommate and I are both up!  I hope the chair fits, as this shower is a bit narrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

I had to remind myself that it's Saturday

I've been off since Tuesday after the accident.  I am glad I'm going back to work this Monday, though.  I was so happy when Dr Fine told me that I didn't need surgery that I cheered in the exam room.  See, the last time I broke an ankle (my right one), I got hit by a car on October 12, 2012, and didn't go back to work till January 2, 2013.  And I didn't even get to take a proper shower till December 13, 2012, because a stitch had popped up so it didn't completely heal as it should have immediately.  My doctor did tell me I could take a shower with this as there's no incision, but to use a shower chair, which I have with me. I've actually been putting a pillow on it and using it to prop up my ankle for icing.  I got a walker, a boot, and the chair out of my storage unit the other day because I was afraid I might need surgery or even might be put non-weight-bearing when I went to my appointment on Thursday.  I am so glad I went in a few months ago and brought them from the back of the storage unit to the front. But I didn't need the walker, at least, although the boot was useful, as I didn't need to get another, and my goal today is to use the shower chair and get one, as I'm tired of sink baths.

I'm also just taking it easy.  Saturdays I have a few chores I normally do, but I'm not going to today, although I do need to see if I can do just a little laundry. It isn't much, so it won't be heavy.  I think I can do it without pain.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Had an early morning appointment

with my ophthalmologist, Dr Kielar, today.  I started seeing him twice a year several years ago because I had a little ocular hypertension--not glaucoma, or even high enough for drops, but the pressure in my eyes was just a bit too high.  He also follows me to see if there are changes in my retinas or eyes due to my diabetes.  This was just a brief exam--no field of vision test or picture of the optic nerve this time.  They basically numbed my eyes with these yellow drops and did the pressure check, after just running me through a quick exam to make sure I was seeing well.

He said the pressure was a little higher, but not enough for drops as if it gets too high and I'm put on the drops I'll be on them the rest of my life.  But apparently, it reads a little higher anyway because I have thicker corneas, which is genetic.  He said that's better than if they were thinner as they'd have higher pressure than the readings.  He also gave me some tips on my contact wearing (which I knew, and which I follow, thankfully, except sometimes I'm a little over my monthly wear, and so I've started changing them at the beginning of the month to be sure I don't go too long).  But I don't sleep in them or swim or shower in them at all; I even take them out for naps.  I usually do take my contacts out when I get home, which he encouraged, as 12 hours is about the limit of what they should be worn.  We also discussed amoebic and bacterial infections and what happens when they infest the eye (apparently it's extremely painful and takes 6 months just to kill amoebae, and then there may be scarring and a need for a corneal transplant.  I first was made aware of them by my optometrist, Dr Zent, who stressed drying hands thoroughly after rinsing or washing them with tap water, as any wetness could allow the parasitic infection.  Dr Kielar said you should not rinse your case with tap water, but use solution, and if you can, have two, so you have one drying at all times.  I don't use tap water on mine.  I actually just ordered a multi-pack of the solution I use, Bio-True, from Costco yesterday (that was what I needed but wasn't going to go in-store for because of my ankle).  It has two full-sized containers, one travel one, and a couple of cases.

Speaking of my ankle, I'm feeling pretty decent.  I did wear my boot today while I was out, and I remembered the secret to getting the thing on without stress. 1) Put your foot into the inner lining. 2) Put that with your foot into the plastic/rubber case. 3) Line up the bladder with the hole on the cover.  4) Lace the straps through their loop and fasten.  It makes it so much easier than trying to just put your foot in the whole thing at once.  Also, I wore short capris today, which was a mistake, and I must remember to wear long pants rather than a skirt or shorts or capris.  I have a pretty large calf and the velcro only closes in a sort of 'v' shape, leaving part of it unattached.  It doesn't hurt as far as the fit and the use, but it does rub against bare skin unless I have some cloth there.  That is not good for someone who is diabetic at all.  So again, lesson learned.  I'm glad I have till Monday to work out the kinks before returning to my job.

Okay, it's late morning and I haven't eaten anything. I'm going to go have some cereal. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2020

It has almost been a month since I posted

I'm not sure why I dropped the ball on that.  I've been busy--I went back to work full-time on June 1st.  Then three weekends in a row we took down a honeysuckle hedge and then our friend Brenda came over and we chipper-shredded the resulting wood so Brenda could take it to her garden and spread it on the paths.  We've filled up the lawn waste receptacle two times with branches that were sawn because they were too big for the chipper-shredder.  There's about one more load.  But we got enough done so the mowers could mow.

So my weekends have been busy, too.  In fact, the only reason I'm writing now is that I'm home for a few days because at 12:37 am on Tuesday (Monday night), I tried to pick up something that had dropped off the bed (if you must know, it was a teddy bear).  I had my CPAP masque and a pair of headphones on and was teetering on the edge and trying not to lose the headphones or masque at the same time while trying to grab the stuffed animal.  And then I fell, with a very loud boom, onto the hardware floor.

Once I picked myself up, I was hurting all over and it was hard to tell what I'd done to myself, although my toes looked bruised pretty quickly and my foot and ankle hurt more than everything else.  I went to an urgent treatment centre for x-rays the next morning, first thing, and found out that I had broken my ankle (yes, again, but this time the left instead of the right, thankfully), a medial malleolar fracture (which is what I had on the right when I was hit by a car in 2012).  They gave me a lace-up brace and made me make an appointment with the doctor who did my ankle surgery back then.   They sent me home and didn't say anything about being non-weight-bearing, so while I've stayed off of it mostly and iced it for two days, I have put some weight on it. I had an appointment with my doctor today. I do have a fracture, but it's more like a chip on the bone, and he didn't think it warranted surgery.  I could go back to work Monday in a boot and since it's the left ankle, I can still drive and then take the shuttle with the boot on, which is much easier than if I'd had to have a walker or something.  I'm the only driver in the house, so it was important that I be able to drive.  However, he did want to get an MRI to make sure the deltoid ligament was okay, although he said it was a large ligament that was not likely to have torn.  He just wanted to rule that out.  So I should have an MRI sometime next week.  I'm off till Monday but I can go back, to the relief of my backup person at work, I'm sure.  My boss was relieved as well, I think.  Considering the last time I broke my ankle I was off for three months, this is really good news.  And yesterday I'd gone to my storage unit and got out my walker, my shower bench, and my old boot from the last time.  I couldn't find my cane, but I took the walker with me today in case they made me non-weight-bearing.  But I'm okay.  I just need a boot, and the boot I have is universal, not right or left, so I can use it, although I forgot how long it took me to get into it and how heavy it is.  But it's better than surgery.  And he said I shouldn't take a shower standing up but could use a shower bench, so it's good I pulled that out.  I've taken sink baths and washed my hair in the bathroom sink the last couple of days. I am definitely showering tomorrow!

Anyway, that's what's going on in my world.  Hope you're doing well.