Surgery and Recovery

So last Thursday I had surgery. The break is on the fibula, which is the skinny leg bone on the outside of my leg. It runs down into the ankle, so even though it’s a leg bone, I have a broken ankle. It’s a spiral fracture, which means I twisted and the break is in multiple spots.

The anesthesiologist recommended a sciatic block prior to surgery. I was a little skeptical of this, as I am not too keen on messing with big nerves in my leg. The plan is you block the sciatic nerve, which meant I would feel nothing from the knee down as I recovered from the surgery. I’d still be under general anesthesia and out for the surgery but this would help with recovery. I’d have an internal catheter for pain medication that would wear off about a day or two after the surgery. James encouraged me and I decided to go this route.

The surgery went well. My doctor inserted three small screws; I did not need a plate nor were any ligaments damaged. It was the very least amount of work he had anticipated. I will have 100 percent recovery.

I’ve never felt better coming out of surgery. I went in at 6:30 a.m. and was home by 2:30 p.m. and, as promised, I could feel nothing from the knee down on my left leg. It was amazing how good that felt — my first time without pain since the accident.

Because my leg was so numb, I needed help getting around to the bathroom and such, so I was a step back on self-sufficiency but a step ahead on pain management (which seemed like a check in the “win” column for me).

On Monday, I began to get the feeling back in my leg. Basically, it feels like you’ve let your foot go to sleep and it very slowly and very tingly wakes up. In preparation, the docs told me to “load up” on my oral pain medication. The transition from ending the internal drip to going to oral meds was not something I wanted to get behind on, they said. Better to have it in the system than try to catch up.

Tuesday, I felt horrible:  woozy, sick to my stomach, not myself, sleepy, unable to concentrate, weepy. We figured out it was most likely all the pain meds in my system and me probably not needing that much medication. So we worked on cutting down the drugs and that alleviated a lot of the issues.

Today, the ankle is a little throbby but the rest of me is much better. I feel like I’m finally coming out of the haze that’s kept me still and in the chair for almost a week. Not that I can do much, mind you — the foot needs to be kept elevated as much as possible, the boot is honking big and uncomfortable to haul around, and the throbbing and what feels like swelling gets very unpleasant the longer I’m up.

Visits from friends have been helping immensely. We are so loved and cared for. And I must be feeling better if I’m starting to feel guilty about the “real world” things I’ve missed (and am continuing to miss).

I’m back on Monday for my post surgery visit and we’ll see how that goes.  One day at a time!

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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