Sunday, January 10, 2010

Life on Crutches

After being hit by a car, by an older woman who was in insulin shock (the police found her sitting in her stopped car, staring straight ahead in a zombie-like state, several blocks away from where she hit me and my bicycle), and breaking my femur, I ended up in the hospital for several weeks. Seven months pregnant at the time, the hospital didn't know what to do with me. At first, they put this whale bellied woman on the orthopedic floor, a curiosity for sure, if one can judge by the number of interns and residents that flowed through my hospital room door, which as everyone knows, affords no privacy. After "putting" my leg in traction, an ancient form of torture of which I will spare my readers the most gory details (it was more intense than the worst childbirth pain, but fortunately it only lasted a minute or two; for the imaginative, lets just say it involved drilling into bone without benefit of anesthesia), someone, a nurse I'm sure, discovered that Surprise! I was in labor. I couldn't feel it because I also had suffered a tremendous back wrenching, which was taking all of my attention, not to mention the ancient traction torture ceremony. How many pain killers can you safely give a seven month pregnant woman with a fractured femur who is also in the early stages of labor? The orthopedists certainly didn't know, so I was whisked away to the Maternity floor.

I don't remember what labor-stopping miracle drugs they gave me at the time, but they did, and the contractions stopped. Three days later, after they had pulled the two ends of my femur far enough apart in traction, they operated on my leg. Two metal rods were inserted on either side of my femur, to stabilize it, as an internal splint. There were the usual hospital stay "scares" - I had a blood clot, so they had to do chest X-rays on a still pregnant woman, when my husband was not around and my obstetrician not available. After surgery, my blood pressure fell dramatically, so they gave me a blood transfusion. (This was in the very, very early days of the AIDS crisis, before screening was done for HIV). Finally, after two weeks, I went home, still very much pregnant, on crutches, with an external splint on my internally splinted leg, and scars on either side of my knee from the incisions.

No, I don't do ANYTHING the easy way, ever. More to come in later posts, as my "Life on Crutches" story continues.

1 comment:

  1. That is an amazing story! You went through hell. My heart bleeds for you, even though it was so many years ago. Sometimes trauma is hard to get over, especially because I know about the future outcome of certain things. ((Hugs)) to you!