Diary of a broken ankle: Days 1 to 4

Sunday 25th December

A Christmas day run is something I always enjoy. It gives me the chance to clear any cobwebs after Christmas Eve drinks and is a great excuse to enjoy that extra slice of cheese later in the day. This year my mum and I headed out the door at 8am, Santa hats upon our heads, four dogs in tow, up onto the Cumbria fells. We managed 0.5 miles before I slipped and fell.

It was a fall like many I had had before, yes I am slightly clumsy. However this time I heard a crack and an excruciating pain. My mum, struck with panic at our remote location, pulled me up to my feet and dragged me to a bridle path before running back to the car with the four dogs. I managed to hobble down to the road assisted by the stone wall and was rushed back to my mums to asses the damage.

Once home we decided to rest my ankle for the day to see how it faired. Compression, ice, elevation was all I did for the entire day.

Monday 26th December

Upon waking I found the swelling had reduced and I could put a small amount of weight on my ankle. As I was due to fly to Australia in 3 days time we headed to the hospital to ensure the bone wasn’t broken.

Not my actual X-Ray

After being poked and prodded by the doctor he was certain there was no break but sent me
to X-Ray just to be sure as I was flying around the world very soon. One hour later I was back in the consultant room when the doctor told me it was bad news. I had broken my fibula just by my ankle bone and flying by myself around the world was very unlikely. I was put in a half cast and given an appointment with the specialist at the Fracture Clinic the next day.

Tuesday 27th December

I was up early, and heading down the M6 for Lancaster hospital. Full of nerves I sat and prayed that, one, I would not need an operation and two, the break was a hairline fracture so I would be able to weight bare and fly to Australia in two days time.

My name was called and I was locked in a small room waiting for the specialist to arrive. Ten minute later he told me bluntly that I had broken the bone, I was lucky I didn’t need an operation as the bone was currently  lined up but I need a full cast to ensure it stayed in line and I need to come back in a week to see if it’s healing correctly. I had to rest, keep it elevated and bear no weight on it. My mum mentioned Australia, he looked at me and said he is putting me in a full cast, full stop. If I wanted to fly they’d have to split the cast then I’d have to go to a hospital in Sydney and have it re-plastered. Splitting the cast runs the high risk that I would knock my ankle at some point and have the bone come out of line and end up having to have an operation.

It was not the news I wanted. There was a lot of tears as I had it plastered up and had my blood taken. I knew that flying around the world by myself with a badly broken ankle was not a good idea. I returned home feeling blue and broke the news to my fiance who was already in Sydney.

Wednesday 28th December

I awoke feeling less pain in my ankle thanks to the full support the cast provided. However felt pain everywhere else. Two days of lugging myself around on crutches, climbing up and down stairs on my bum, and using muscles I don’t usually use day to day had taken it’s toll on me.

Coming to terms with my inability to fly to Australia meant this was the first day no tears were cried which was a mini win. I was also starting to feel more confident on my crutches having struggled for the first couple of days.

The day was spent cancelling flights and being driven home to pick up my belongings so I could move into my mum’s home for the next two weeks so I had someone to help look after me and my little dog.

Thursday 29th December

The day started out well with a few mini wins. I managed to wash my hair by myself balancing on one leg the entire time and seem to have managed the art of shuffling up and down the stairs on my bum with clutches in hand.

flowersHowever the blues started to kick in the closer my original flight time came. There were tears on Facetime to my fiance as I told him my frustration of feeling completely useless, he advised I kept myself busy so I didn’t concentrate on the time and what could have been. I took his advise and put on some movies and dived into the left over Christmas chocolates.

Come 12pm there was a knock on the door. My step-dad entered the living room with a huge bouquet of flowers from my fiance, cue more tears.

The rest of the day was spent like the ones before, leg elevated, bum nestled into the couch and movies on the TV. But today one eye has been on the clock, for right now I would have been flying over Kazakhstan had my accident had not happened.

Diary of a broken ankle:
Week 2 – Down days and mini wins
Week 3 – Mental health and finally some good news
Week 4 – Returning home and finding support
Week 5 – The cast is off
Week 6 – Returning to work and ankle rehab
Visiting Paris with a broken ankle
Week 7 – Cycling and a half marathon surprise
Week 8 – First unassisted step and last hospital checkup
Week 9 – Returning to work


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