Tuesday, April 14, 2015

BREAKING POINT

I've been in a cast the past couple of weeks as I ended up with a metatarsal fracture on my right foot (somehow, all my injuries are on the right). Luckily, I have my mum here from Oz to help me out, otherwise, I believe I may have gone insane.

 The first day we moved from NYC to SF, I ran out with Luca and fell down a whole flight of stairs, twisting my right ankle, but as the pain went away and more importantly as I was only thinking of my son (who luckily was completely fine, as I fell holding him tight and up high), I completely forgot about it. I then proceeded to walk with Luca about one to two hours a day up and down the hills of SF carrying him in my baby carrier. I wore ballets most of the time. I've never been one to wear heels, but ballets have always felt very comfortable to me and I usually trawl around in them (and the Aussie in me has me go barefoot at home all the time, which still shocks the steadfastly European sensibilities of my parents). They're of course not the shoes with the most support, but since they were comfortable for me, I thought nothing of it.

Everything adds up. The fall. The walks. Carrying Luca (who is 17 lbs) and my "loukaniko" (Greek for sausage, what I term my post-baby rolls). My poor feet had to support quite a bit more weight post baby. I was 106 lbs. before pregnancy and gave birth at 147 lbs. Since all I could see was that my stomach and breasts had changed, I naively believed that I would waltz out of the hospital very close to my pre-Luca weight. Ha! I left the hospital with 132 lbs and I've pretty much stayed that way. I started ramping up my exercise and went back to my yoga and ballet bar routines. So, while I was flabbergasted to be told I got a stress fracture, really, I should have been surprised that I didn't get one sooner.

Stress fractures are very common post-baby, particularly among nursing mothers. We lose bone mass nursing as well as calcium and on top of that, we stress our bodies with added weight, no sleep and running around looking after our little ones (I'm now taking prenatal vitamins and added calcium vitamins). I'm also sure many mothers carry their babies everywhere, just like me, and are determined to get back into shape, increasing intensity too quickly on over taxed bones.

I've torn several ligaments and broken numerous bones before, but this fracture felt like nothing like that. Suddenly, I felt pins and needles in my foot and had trouble moving it. Then, the swelling and throbbing started. Being ignorant of the fact that I was in a high risk group for a fracture in my foot and not feeling what I would then term as pain, but more a strange discomfort, I walked up the hills from Valencia up to Cole. When I got home, my husband thought it might be tight muscles and gave me a massage. My foot got progressively worse, until I couldn't walk on it anymore.


At first, when I went to the doctor, they misdiagnosed my fracture as a spider bite. I grew up with spiders and was skeptical - my skin was normal and there were no suspect fangs. The x-ray was normal but it takes up to 2 weeks for a stress fracture to show. I went back the second week and again had a daft doctor who reassured me it was a spider bite. It was only when I went to a podiatrist after 2 weeks that she diagnosed me correctly - feeling my fracture even before I had my x-ray taken.

It only took me a day to soak my cast in the shower. I spent a few hours trying to dry my cast, but had to wait more than 24 hours to change it. I was going nuts - my skin had developed a hot, sticky rash and while I wanted to give my skin a break, I had barely 2 mins before they put me in another cast.

Being in a cast and not being able to move is driving me nuts. I've always been an active person - to a fault- and I'm struggling having to keep my feet up. Without my mother to help me with my son, I don't know how I would handle it.

It's been quite a stygian month. The day I fractured my foot, my son got sick for the first time with an ear infection. The next week, he got a urinary tract infection - our worst nightmare (what the pediatric urologists had been saying was only a matter of time and what we myopically believed would not occur due to our diligence in changing and washing him). Then hubby got a virus. Then we caught what we had as we continued to play our game of musical misfortunes. I'm hoping May brings new tidings - beginning with getting my cast off.