It’s time for my stress fracture whine. This isn’t going to be pretty, so turn away if you’re squeamish around self-absorbed melodrama. If you find a petty lack of perspective nauseous*, then do not read any further.
[*that’s right. something that makes you feel like puking is nauseous. if you feel like puking you are nauseated. people who say or write that they’re nauseous are actually saying that they nauseate others. and that is funny to me.]
So here begins the whine. I’ve been on crutches and unable to carry Peanut for three months. And it’ll probably be another two months because I made the mistake, seemingly harmless, of sitting cross-legged on the floor to do a puzzle with my son. Without thinking I put the bad foot under my right leg while we were sitting, and the pain returned. The rest of the week has increased the pain and I now feel it all the time again.
That means at least six more weeks, if not more.
We’re a sling family–we cuddle and carry everywhere. We don’t own a stroller. He likes to be in our arms a lot. And we like that, too. I like to carry him, to cuddle him, and to tell him things on our walks, during our errands, and around the house. Because of my fracture I can’t carry my kid, and I’m sad. He’s sad. He doesn’t want to go for walks because he knows when he gets tired in the middle, I can’t help him. He doesn’t want to go to the playground because I can’t climb with him. Peanut is a timid guy in new places and around crowds, but he’s had to run through an airport pretty much by himself twice, and will again this month, because I can’t carry him. (He won’t use the mei tai. I could use crutches and the mei tai, but he refuses to try.)
I’m tired of crutches. I’m tired of being non-weight-bearing but extra-weight-bearing, if you know what I mean. I’m tired of the inability to run, the inability to hold my kid while he brushes his teeth or carry him to his room after a bath, the need to hop on one foot with our lunch plates, the pain of accidentally putting my foot down while washing dishes. I’m tired of holdng hands while I crutch down the street, four fingers held tightly by a little boy who feels sad and alone that he’s so far from me.
I’m tired of stress fractures that won’t heal. I’m tired of expecting to be fully functioning because the reality of my human body is that I probably will be less and less wel functioning for the rest of my days. So I’m tired.
[And this section is for all the people who seem to Google “stress fractures that won’t heal”. Today, and for at least the next six weeks, they’re my peeps.
During our move from the icky part of the state to the better part of the state, I somehow cracked a bone in my foot. I have a history of stress fractures from running, and this time I was just barely increasing mileage and frequency from a paltry ten miles a week to about fifteen miles a week (always following the 10% rule because I’ve been here before and don’t like rehab or PT or water running or crutches). And I got the familiar sense of needing to crack my foot for three weeks straight. Sure enough, my old sports med guy said third or fourth metatarsal stress fracture. Bone scan points to fourth met. (First fracture was ischial tuberosity, second was femoral neck, third was femur on other side, fourth was calcaneal. Now I’m the proud owner of a cracked fourth met.)
So I got an air cast and crutches. Doc tells me I can walk in the air cast. I do. For 6 weeks. Fracture gets worse. So I go non-weight-bearing for 3 more weeks. The cast makes it worse (it’s too heavy, and makes me rest my foot often, which hurts it). So I ditch the cast and go completely non-weight-bearing for 3 more weeks, and after two weeks of painfree hypercarefulness, the pain is back. Know why? I sat cross legged on the floor to do a puzzle with my son. Sitting on the floor with the bad foot tucked under me set me back another six weeks. After 12 weeks of care and 15 weeks from the first pain. Even with an ultrasound bone-stimulator contraption that cost us two weeks’ rent. (Insurance paid half. Gee, thanks. Otherwise it would have been a full month’s rent. When do Americans get to have health care instead of health insurance?) That means I’m at square one, and need at least six weeks, completely non-weightbearing to heal this thing. That’ll be at least 18 weeks. If all goes well.]