What injury did you sustain?
I sustained a Type 6 Bicondylar Tibial Plateau Fracture of my left leg.
When did this injury occur?
November 8, 2014
How long was the recovery process?
The major recovery was over the course of 15 weeks from the date of my injury. On the 15 week date, I took my first unassisted steps for the first time. Once that occurred, I used a cane for about one more week. Then I began walking unassisted full time. As I see it, I am still recovering, but in ways that may only be noticeable to me. I can walk pain-free for the most part, my leg feels more like a leg each day, I am building strength and endurance each day, and I continue to work on my balance and range of motion. I was warned early on that I would recover for at least a year, and I am prepared for that. I really am improving each day.
What provided you the motivation and drive to press on through the difficult times after sustaining the injury?
Throughout this experience, I held on tight to my faith. I also approached this injury and Journey moment by moment. Some days it took all the strength and determination I had to just make it through the day. I learned to acknowledge the highs and lows and talk openly about them with my friends and family. I leaned on those closest to me for encouragement, for help in big and small ways (meals, visits during the day, carpool, car rides, cleaning, errands, outings for my daughter, Christmas decorating, etc.), I opened my home to close friends and to acquaintances who were so generous, and I allowed myself to just BE where I was each day, even when the days were hard and painful and dark. I believe that helped motivate me on the “good days” when I had strength, less pain, and motivation. My daughter was 4 when I sustained this injury, and there were many moments when I cried because of what this injury meant for her and our family. I was fearful that this experience would negatively impact her, and I was sad because I wasn’t fully Mom for her. Over time, though, I saw how her compassion and faith grew because of this experience. I saw how her relationships with my close friends grew because we were more reliant on them. During my first hospitalization, I marked my calendar with the weekly anniversaries of my injury, the major milestones, and I counted down the days until the next big step on my Journey, such as the surgery to remove the Ex Fix and complete the Internal Fixation, the date when I had my sutures removed and could shower for the first time post-injury, and my 12 week post-op date when I hoped to receive clearance to bear weight (what seemed like the magical milestone). I was also motivated by knowing that if I followed Dr. Heddings’ instructions and eventually my physical therapist’s instructions, I would walk well again. I also got through my non-weight bearing days by visualizing myself taking long walks and doing my favorite activities.
How did the injury you sustained shape your character in who you are today?
I know that if our family can make it through this Journey, we can make it through whatever challenges are ahead. This Journey opened my eyes to the ways I can help my friends and family during their challenging times, even when they don’t ask, and I know I must make time to do whatever they need. I enjoy the daily responsibilities and errands that used to annoy me. I better appreciate the freedom I have now that I can walk again.
Since the injury, how has life changed for you?
It has changed in many ways! Our family is having more fun, taking opportunities to travel and get away with friends and family, and we’re enjoying the little things more. I crave walks now with my husband and daughter.