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My Life With A Broken Ankle: The Real Honest Truth

Good news: No complications for my broken ankle surgery.

Some of you may have read my blog about the Butcher Babies Meet & Greet that my dad and I went to in Corpus Christi. In that blog, I included my broken ankle story. Just in case you forgot what happened, here is a short excerpt from that blog.

Around 5 AM, I woke up to go to the bathroom and feed the cats. It was dark, and I couldn’t see where I was going. I slipped and fell and heard something on my body crack very loudly. My first thought was, Well that sounded expensive. I start panicking because I didn’t know what to do. I yelled out for my dad to help me up because there was no way I could do it by myself. My dad should not have been deadlifting me off the floor because of his health. He helped me get into the chair. I waited there while my mom got dressed.

The picture above is a bruise on my foot from the fall.

That was on May 30, 2018, and I was fortunate enough that I was only in the Emergency Room for a few hours. We were able to leave with just enough time to go to the Meet and Greet. From the moment I found out I had a broken ankle, I knew I was in for a long road to recovery.

In this blog, I will be sharing what it was like for me to break my left ankle. I am going to share everything because there are a lot of things that I wish someone had told me that I had to learn the hard way. I’m also not afraid of sharing embarrassing stuff.

The first week with a broken ankle is the hardest because it’s a huge adjustment.

During the first couple of days, my brain and foot would not communicate instantly. There was a delay in the amount of time it took to move my foot without using both my hands. My biggest struggle the first week was going to the bathroom. I had an accident the first day and peed a little on the floor. I’m glad it happened because I needed to learn how much time I had to get to the bathroom. Thankfully that was the only accident before surgery.

Walking is difficult and painful

They gave me crutches, and I was very wobbly at first. My second biggest struggle was remembering that I can’t use my left foot. I accidentally put pressure on my foot the second day and cried for ten full minutes. I didn’t forget after that. In the wide shot of my broken ankle (pictured below), you can see my skin is a blotchy yellow. Those are faded bruises. How I got so many bruises on the front of my leg when I fell backward is something I will never understand.

You can plan to read and watch movies all you want, but you’re going to end up sleeping a lot.

Currently, I have 20 items checked out from the library. I think I have read one book and watched 3 movies. I did, however, catch up on 13 Reasons Why Season 2. You start to feel bad that you’re sleeping too much, but you shouldn’t feel bad. Indulge in all the sleep that your body will allow because you will be begging for sleep later on.

There is nothing wrong with sleeping all day.

Try your best to stay off of social media, because it sucks looking at all the cool stuff your friends and family are doing while you’re stuck in bed. I had to cancel so many events due to my injury. I’ll be lucky if I can go out to dinner for my birthday this year.

I want to thank my best friend’s mom for being so wonderful. She made me this gift basket herself, and she dropped it off at the hospital. That was so incredibly sweet of her. I’m glad that so many people are thinking of me and giving me well wishes. I truly appreciate your thoughts during this frustrating time for me.

Here are some tips:

-Drink plenty of water, but don’t drink it too fast. Getting up to pee is a workout. It’s a 5-minute ordeal from start to finish.

-Don’t be afraid to ask for help going to the bathroom. It has been two weeks, and I still have someone go with me just in case.

-Get out of your head. It’s easy to give in to your bad moods and take it out on other people. Be aware of your frustrations and anger.

-When sitting in a wheelchair, you can use a pillow to keep it slightly elevated and comfortable.

What to Expect with Broken Ankle Surgery:

I can’t tell you exactly what happened during the surgery because I was under general anesthesia. They did numb my leg in two places. Do not wait until you feel pain to take your pain pills. The last thing I remember before the surgery was saying bye to my parents. They gave me all kinds of medicines to help me relax, and they worked pretty fast. You’ll need to figure out the difference between pain and discomfort.

That distinction alone could help you a lot with side effects.

Getting up to pee before the surgery was complicated, but getting up to pee after the surgery is pretty much impossible. I’ve never used a bedpan before. It’s a very strange feeling. You have to lie in bed and convince your body to do something it never does. After an internal struggle with your brain, your bladder finally releases the pee. Unfortunately, once you get over that initial struggle your body thinks it doesn’t have to warn you anymore.

I’m not ashamed to admit I peed the bed. What’s crazy is that I didn’t even feel it. I didn’t feel it coming out and I didn’t even notice the bed or my gown was wet. The numbness is no joke. The struggle is real.

My ankle is 9.2234% metal right now.

I have 2 plates with 6 screws in each plate, one pin in the front of my foot, and 4 more in the back of my ankle. I have 13 metal objects in my body if you count the plates.



For more updates in real-time, follow me on Twitter at @Ruthmini

Day 2 of #MyLifeWithABrokenAnkle: Laying in bed doing nothing but watching Netflix all day is no longer my perfect day.

— Ruthie (@ruthmini) May 31, 2018

If you are interested, I wrote a children’s book called The Legend of Miss Ruth The Mobile Librarian. It tells the story of a rumor that I broke my ankle in a book avalanche.

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