When I went to the hospital the next day, the doctor told me that I needed to have emergency surgery. My doctor had a great sense of humor. He told me that he chopped up people for fun, and I knew that I wanted him to do my surgery. I would rather laugh than cry any day of the week. I had to wait eight hours before my surgery because I ate a cheese stick while I was waiting for my x-ray results. Your stomach needs to be completely empty in order for them to administer aesthesia. They put me in a room with a television, and it seemed like every single commercial was about food. This was torture for me. When I went in for surgery, I was starving, but I lost my appetite instantaneously when I noticed all of the knives and saws on the tray next to me.
When I was in the operating room, I was shaking because I was nervous and because the room was freezing cold. The nurse piled blankets on top of me and then proceeded to strap me onto the table. I must have looked terrified because my doctor joked that they had to strap me down in case I decided to run away. The thought of myself hopping on my good foot with an ankle detached on the other made me laugh.
When I woke up from my surgery, I was in more pain then when I broke it. I stayed in the hospital for the night, and I could probably write another post about that grand adventure. My Dad insisted on sleeping on a chair next to me to make sure I was ok. I was sick (no details worth mentioning here) from the aesthesia, so needless to say, I still could not eat. My ticket out of the hospital was a crutches test. I had to successfully hobble up and down stairs in order to be released from the hospital. This was easier said than done. I was dizzy, nauseous, and not exactly skilled on the crutches. My pain increased significantly when my ankle was not elevated. All of the blood rushed to my foot, and my toes actually turned a dark shade of purple. I almost fell down the stairs, but by the grace of God, I made it home.
I stayed on the couch downstairs for weeks. Through this experience, I developed a deeper love and appreciation for my family. Believe me. I was not easy to live with. I was very depressed, and they had to do everything for me for two months. They had to serve me food, drive me to class, duck tape a towel and plastic bag around my leg, so I could take a shower…and the list goes on…and on. Because I could not do anything on my own volition, it was a humbling reminder that I cannot do anything on my own.
My Mom knew that I was feeling useless, so she asked me to decorate my sister’s birthday cake. This is my job usually, but I was so tired. I did not sleep one wink the night before because the pain kept me up. I did, however, take a hearty dose of Percocet, which makes you drowsy. The cake actually was one of my best creations. However, I almost ruined it by passing out, face first into the cake.
As I mentioned earlier, my injury rendered me completely useless, so I needed lots of assistance. Even after I stopped using my crutches, people still needed to help me get around, and my Dad had to carry me on the beach when we didn’t have the nifty beach mobile. Walking on sand was out of the question. I thought it would be smooth sailing once I got off of my crutches and got my split removed, but it was still very difficult to walk. I limped because it felt like my ankle was so stiff that it was going to snap off. My sister told me that I looked like the alien from the Men and Black movie when I was trying to walk (the part when the alien was struggling to fit into the skin of the man on the farm).
God was faithful during this entire experience. I had friends and family to encourage and take care of me, and God provided for my financial needs as well. This was not an easy journey, but I can walk without pain and am praying for complete healing. I hope to some day play soccer again. I read a quote in a Daily Bread devotional when I was doing physical therapy for my ankle, and it really resonated with me: “Write your plans in pencil and give God the eraser.” I struggle with letting go and letting God. I need to pray, “If the Lord wills, [I] shall live and do this or that,” as it says in James 4:15.
Our life is uncertain, our path is unclear,
Yet we have no cause to falter or fear
If plans that we make our dreams to fulfill
Are born out of love for God and His will.
—D. De Haan