Lisfranc: A Cautionary Tale

If anyone is going to have an odd sickness or injury, it will be me. 

In college, I got shingles. Shingles. It's caused by the same virus that causes the chicken pox, and usually found in more (ahem) mature people, and I was 19. I had the entire medical team come into the exam room to look at me, sitting there in my bra, mortified, as no one on the campus Med Unit had ever seen them. It was also Christmas break and my sister Wendy came up with songs for me on our road trip to D.C., like "Shingle Bells", or calling me Gerry (for having a geriatric disease). It was a loooong car ride.
So, leave it to me to break my foot just descending the stairs. Oh, but I didn't just break some normal bone in a regular way. Nooooo. Not I. 
(blurry dream sequence segue)
It was an early winter morning and Sam had a cold. He couldn't sleep, so I carried him downstairs so the rest of the family could. I was half asleep and somehow missed the last step. I came down hard on the side of my foot, twisting it upward awkwardly, and had the added weight of a two-year old on that side of my body. I heard a snap. Fell. Juggled my son. He landed OK, but I lay on the ground, telling Scott (calmly, I am sure), to help me.
X-rays revealed nothing, typical of this break apparently, but I reiterated, I heard a snap. Loud! The Dr. perused again, and lo and behold, saw the Lisfranc Fracture to the metatarsal in my left foot.
Now, this was an injury soldiers would sustain if they fell from horseback and their foot got caught in the stirrup. So OF COURSE, it happens to me walking down stairs. Lisfranc was a surgeon with Napoleon who was known for amputating a broken foot at this juncture, and they named the break after him. So, yay that I wasn't a soldier back then, but seriously? 
I was on crutches for 9 weeks, but no surgery. I did have to take care of a 2 and 4 year old still, and would throw the laundry down the stairs, shuffle down with my crutches, carry a kid up and down. They thought it was a fun, new Mommy ride. It was only scary when near traffic, as Sam was a known runner (here one second, across the room the next), and I had to keep him from darting near cars by trapping him with my legs or corralling with a crutch.
There were fun times at least. Scott & I went to see Da Bears win over the Saints to make it to the Super Bowl. In a wheelchair. In the snow. (uphill?) While tailgating, I threatened to kick a fellow Bears fan's ass with "my good foot" for saying my coat made me look like a Saints fan (it was snowing and 10 degrees so I'm wearing my warmest - and, well, black- coat!). Our girls trip took us to Las Vegas and I had major guns after crutching through mile long casinos for days. 
I have a surprising number of friends who have had accidents on the stairs, usually involving having their hands full while also carrying a child. Broken ankles, blown out knees and even a child dropped. Everyone was OK in the end, but there was damage done. Crutches. Seizure medicine. Guilt. Tears.
Thus end-eth my cautionary tale. Please, pay attention when you're on the stairs and make two trips when you have your hands full and a child in your arms, it's not worth it.
Sue & I at NYNY in Vegas, baby!


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  • As I sit at home today, recovering on day three from my concussion I got ice skating with my 7 and 11 year old hockey players Tuesday, on my new hockey skates for the first time, I find this blog very timely and appropriate for me! Glad I am not the only one that makes these things happen to themselves!!! LOL

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