I lasted 6 days in my full cast. Six of the most harrowing days of my life. This is a difficult story for me to tell.
I never considered myself claustrophobic. Sure, I don’t care for the tiny tunnel that is the MRI machine, and you’ll never catch me caving in those damp, dark, narrow tunnels of West Virginia. But generally, I always considered myself fairly well adjusted.
And then they put a cast on my leg. Not a splint, not just plaster on the back with a friendly elastic ace bandage holding everything together. But a hard, formed, never ending, all encompassing cast, that you can’t get off. Can’t get away from. Can’t get out of. Ever. It started with nausea, then dizziness, then uncontrollable shaking and crying. And sleeplessness. Long, dark, lonely nights trying to figure out what was happening and how to stop it, how to busy my mind, how to focus on something else. And failing. Then panic. Frantic panic. A racing heart, and such heaviness in my chest I felt like someone was standing on me, until I couldn’t breath. I could not physically suck in air. Never have I felt so trapped. So terrified. So horribly wrong. Finally, after 6 days of not eating, not sleeping, intense anxiety, fear, and a torturous wait for the weekend to be over, I made yet another call to my surgeon’s office, and with a little begging and pleading, and help from the most wonderful nurse, I am now in an air cast boot. And with permission, yes, actual permission from my surgeon, to take it off whenever I want. Whenever. I. Want. I sobbed when that cast came off. Laid there on their bed, like a child, and sobbed. It was such an overwhelming relief.
So here I am, sanity intact, 18 days post op from Haglund’s Deformity removal and Achilles’ tendon reconstruction. Still NWB for 2.5 more weeks, but that, I can do.
For anyone who has never experienced this, you’ll think I’m grossly exaggerating. For anyone who has, you’ll know that I’m not. And I’m sorry. Sorry for the torment you endured.
For anyone who may ever stumble across this who is trying to figure out what the heck it is that’s happening to you, tell someone. Tell your family. Tell your friends. TELL YOUR DOCTOR. No matter how many times you’ve already called them, how many other complaints you’ve already made, no matter how much of a bother you feel you’re being, tell them. They can help you. They are health care providers. They went into this field to help people. They will help you.
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