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Published: July 23rd 2009
Picture from better days
Me launching at Tegelberg last summer.
2009 is definitely not my lucky year. I'm in hospital again, with a broken shinbone this time. How could that happen? I still can't believe it myself.
About two weeks ago, I bought a pair of new running shoes because I wanted to start running soon. To try the shoes out, I did a bit of running in the shop. I could feel one of my legs in a very strange way. It was the shinbone of my left leg, exactly the spot through which the Australian doctors had put a pin after my pelvis fracture. The following weekend, I could feel that spot when walking around. Then when I was in rehab, I tried some running on the treadmill, only two minutes twice, and really slowly. The leg started hurting badly. Therefore, I went to see an orthopedist as soon as possible. He x-rayed the leg, listened to what I told him, and his diagnosis was that the muscles around the spot with the hole in it were very tense. He prescribed me some massages and sent me home.
On Sunday, I went for a big walk. There was a little ditch that I wanted to cross. It
A picture I took in Lyon a couple of weeks ago.
was not very wide, so I didn't have to jump, just take a big step. I didn't want to land on my left leg because I was a bit scared, so I used my left leg to push myself towards the other side of the ditch. The very moment I did that, I heard a loud craaack, and in the next moment, I found myself sitting with my bum in the ditch. My leg was wobbeling around in a strange way, and I knew it was broken straight away.
Some people who lived not far from where I was called an ambulance. First, a doctor arrived. I asked him for some ice as my leg was already swelling. He didn't have any. Then the ambulance arrived. The first thing one of the paramedics did was taking my blood. I was still sitting in the mud with my bum in the water. I asked him whether he could not get me out of there first and then take the blood. But he said no and explained to me that they'd have to give me some painkillers before moving me, and that he'd have to take some blood before giving me the painkillers. Very strange! Anyway, they took my blood and gave me some painkillers and then moved me out of the mud. There were three of them - two paramedics and a doctor -, and still they didn't manage to get me out of there without making me scream in pain.
I was taken to a hospital in Esslingen, where they x-rayed my leg and confirmed what I had already known: The leg was broken, exactly in the spot where the hole in the bone had been, and the fracture needed surgery. I made them take me to the BG hospital in Tübingen, where I had been after coming back from Australia - a very good hospital, and they knew me there already. The doctors in Esslingen gave me a CD with my x-rays on it.
My friend Marie went to pick up my mum, who arrived back from a short trip to Switzerland that very evening, from the Stuttgart main station. And she prepared all the things that I had asked her to get ready for me. She even left her work one hour early for that. Thank you so much for that, lovely Marie!
I arrived in Tübingen, and there it turned out that the doctors in Esslingen had given me a CD with the CT of someone's pelvis, but certainly not with pictures of my leg. I was glad I hand't stayed in Esslingen, goodness, how unorganized! Anyway, I needed to be x-rayed again.
It was clear that I needed surgery. The doctors discussed for a while what exactly they would do. One suggested a so-called fixateur, which consists of some metal pins that are attached to the bone and come out of your skin. There are a couple of wires that run from one pin to the other alongside your limb. Scary! I was glad when the other doctor decided to put a plate into my leg.
This time, only the part of my body below the bellybutton was anaesthetised. The feeling was really funny, I could still feel that my legs were there, and I could also feel the position in which they were, but I could not move them and I could not feel when the doctor touched or moved my legs. And in my feeling, the legs stayed in the same position, one leg flexed, one leg straight, although they did not stay in that position. So I could see that my right leg was straight, but it still felt like it was flexed.
I stayed awake during the whole operation. I could not see what they were doing because there was a curtain between my head and my legs, but the anaesthesiologist kept on telling me what the surgeons were doing. After one and a half hours, it was over - it was ten p.m. by then. During the night, my leg became more and more painful. The nurse brought me one painkiller after the other. Apparently I'm still so much used to huge amounts of strong painkillers that normal dosage doesn't seem to be enough.
I stayed in bed all Monday. On Tuesday, I already did my first walks around the ward on crutches and expanded that bit by bit. Today, I walked up and down some stairs. I'll have to stay in hospital till Saturday, then go home and do physio and stuff again.
2009 is definitely not my year. Well, it can hardly get any worse, can it?
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