Have you ever had a broken bone? Near Christmas, our youngest daughter Leah fell on the ice and snow in the driveway at her rental home, and it broke the fibula in her right ankle. The fibula is the long, thin and lateral bone of the lower leg. It runs parallel to the tibia, or shin bone, and plays a significant role in stabilizing the ankle and supporting the muscles of the lower leg.
Because it was a spiral fracture, the typical treatment is surgery. The orthopedic surgeon highly recommended having surgery, as he was concerned with its stability. He would be putting a metal and screws, made of titanium, in her ankle to stabilize it. When the Physician Assistant told me and Leah this at the appointment following her initial emergency room visit, my first response was, “We want a second opinion!” It was my concern over her going completely under anesthesia and the risks associated with surgery.
Leah decided to go home and research the pros and cons of surgery versus a cast. Ray and I did research, too. Ray has been a paramedic for over 30 years. He has seen these types of fractures before and he agreed she should have the surgery.
Leah before her fibula surgery
The surgeons have their list of patients on a digital board in the waiting room for families and their patients’ status (pre-op, in surgery, recovery, etc.). I carefully watched it for when Leah’s surgery would begin.
Leah decided that she wanted to have the surgery done. She couldn’t eat or drink anything past midnight the night before surgery. The operating room staff was incredible. I was able to meet them after they had prepped Leah. I was glad the anesthesia tech was joking around with her prior to surgery, making her laugh.
The surgery was about an hour long, and the recovery time a little longer. During her surgery, as I waited in the waiting room, I prayed and meditated on Scriptures I’d written on little index cards at home, before we went to the hospital. This helped me to stay (relatively!) calm, and to have faith and peace.
During the surgery, the orthopedic surgeon put a heavy, black boot on Leah’s ankle and leg. Neither of us knew that he was doing this, and we were pleasantly surprised (they are expensive!).
I drank two bottles of water, and spit out the black coffee and sugar that was being served. It was lukewarm and tasted terrible. I had forgotten that the operating room nurse had told me prior to Leah being wheeled into the operating room that after the surgery, the surgeon would talk privately to me in another room to let me know how it had gone.
A nurse came to the waiting room door as I anxiously waited for news, after I saw on the digital board that Leah was now in the recovery room. “Jones’ family,” the nurse said, looking around. She was a large, tall woman and spoke loudly. She took me to a small room with a round white table and chairs, and spoke into the radio on her shoulder, “Jones’ family in the room.”
For what seemed like an eternity, I waited alone and prayed in that room. Staff passed by the room. I felt I was on the verge of hysteria and wanted to grab someone, shaking them to tell me what was going on. Was this normal to wait this long? Was the surgeon going to come tell me that my precious child had not made it through the surgery and had DIED? I was physically shaking, but I prayed, “Lord Jesus, no matter what happens, I trust You!”
When the surgeon came into the room, he smiled at me and said, “She did great!” I bowed my head and cried. He looked at me kind of funny and I explained, “I’m just relieved.” He then answered my questions. One was when would I need to buy her a boot? He said he’d put it on during the surgery. She had eaten pudding and crackers following surgery after waking up. I was so thankful she didn’t throw up. As soon as I saw her after surgery, I ran to her and hugged her, so thankful to God that she was okay!
The surgeon said that Leah would have to wear the boot and be out of work for at least 6 to 8 weeks, and possibly 3 months or longer. Leah has a very busy, hectic job as an assistant baker at a deli/coffee shop, where she is on her feet, running back and forth, for most of her shift. They are holding her job for her as she recovers. She really likes her job, so she was disappointed to hear that it’d be this long before she could work again.
While I understood her concerns, especially financially, I told Leah that the only thing that matters is her healing! God is also Jehovah Jireh, the provider!
Thank God the surgery went well! Afterward, we went to CVS Pharmacy’s drive-through window to pick up her prescription pain medication, and then through a drive-through for us to eat supper in the car. The emergency room nurse who gave me Leah’s discharge instructions told me, to my great surprise, that she could eat normally, other than not eating something spicy or greasy.
But she said after surgery, many people drove right away across the street from the hospital to eat a cheeseburger and fries! Leah opted for Dairy Queen instead of Burger King, and cheese curds instead of fries. I’d never heard of these. They are pretty good. (We both ate a cheeseburger–it was so good, as I had fasted lunch for Leah’s surgery!)
Ray and I encouraged Leah to stay at our house after the surgery, so that we could watch over her after surgery and help her with her recovery. She agreed to do this temporarily. Since her own bed was at her rental house, we decided to buy a new, firm queen-sized mattress and box springs for her old bedroom. Her bedroom at her house is too small for it, so we are now keeping it.
I had bought pretty aqua-blue and white flowers pictures for the walls, after Leah moved out of our house last year to decorate the walls. I already had the black floral comforter and nature print for the wall, but purchased aqua-colored new sheets and pillow cases. I think it looks really nice.
Shortly after Leah’s surgery, she and Ray both got a virus. They were very sick for three days. It was awful! Thank You, Jesus, hers and Ray’s healer! When she got well, her friend Moriah came over with her family and had bought Leah a soft, stuffed beluga whale that was holding a doughnut. So cute! Leah loved it.
Recently Leah and I visited her sister Eden. She and her family are preparing to move to Colorado this week. Below is a pic of Leah with Eden as Eden is sorting through which clothes to take and which to toss, for the move.
Leah wanted to continue her online college classes, and not take a break after her surgery. But she needed to elevate her ankle most of the time. I found a cool bed desk on Amazon to help her do her class work. It was perfect! I’m so proud of her for pressing on!
I don’t know if you’ve ever sprained or broken a bone in your foot or leg before, but it’s very hard to use crutches. They hurt under your arms and it wears you out to use them.
Leah’s Physician’s Assistant recommended at her visit prior to surgery for her to buy a scooter (knee walker). She found a bright green one on Amazon. It even has a little basket in front to put her phone, wallet, glasses, and other things in–so cute! I think this is such a great invention! It has helped her get around the house and to her doctors’ appointment visits so much easier than the crutches! You can see it in the pic below, at her physical therapy appointment.
Leah’s physical therapist Sam is amazing! Her orthopedic surgeon recommended physical therapy in the weeks following surgery, with “gentle movements” at first. Sam seems very compassionate and sensitive, and he reassured Leah and me both at her first appointment that his goal was NOT to cause her INTENSE pain. She could expect some “discomfort,” yes, but he would make sure she wasn’t in great pain. As therapy progresses, it will become more intense and for longer periods of time.
After her first physical therapy appointment, we went to IHOP for some yummy pancakes, eggs, hash browns, and coffee. It was so good! Leah was happy to get out of the house for the day, as she was spending most of her time in bed with her ankle elevated (per her surgeon’s orders!).
We also visited Leah’s older sister Heather in Belton on this day. It had been awhile since we’d seen Heather. It was so good to see her!
At Leah’s second physical therapy appointment this week, we went out to eat Greek–gyros and baklava. I also had a tasty Greek Salad. It was all delicious!
While recovering at our house, Leah really missed her cat Jax. Her room mates were taking care of her, but brought Jax to our house the last week she was with us. Leah and Jax were so happy to see each other. We had missed Jax, too!
Leah went back to her rental house this week (two days ago). Ray and I wanted her to stay longer to heal more, but she felt ready to be in her own house. We miss her and Jax, and we are praying for Leah’s speedy, complete healing. I will still take Leah to all her doctors’ and physical therapy appointments, weather permitting (she lives almost an hour north of us). Please keep her in your prayers! Jesus is the Healer!
“Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.”–Psalm 30:2