Sunday, April 21, 2013


On February 21st there was a men's church ball game.  Brandt loves to play basketball.  Church ball, no so much.  Every year he tries to make it to one game just to remind himself he doesn't like to play.  He had gone that one time and then the 21st arrived.  We didn't have anything going on and Brandt asked me if he should go.  He said he didn't really want to.  I, on the other hand, said, "Sure!  Go.  Run around for awhile.  Have fun."  And off he went.  Bout 30 minutes later he returned, hobbling into the kitchen.  I said, "You better be joking," since he has done that in the past.  He has horrible ankles and rolls them all the time.  He told me he wasn't and that it is worse.  The kids were in bed so I called Debbie the Magnificent across the street and between her and Keith they sat in our house so that Brandt and I could run to the Instacare before they closed. 

So we were seen and they took an x-ray and told us that it looks to be ruptured, but that we'll have to get into an orthopaedic on Friday to determine treatment.  They put him in an ortho-glass splint, gave us a prescription, and sent us on our way.  The next morning I called to see where we could get in.  The only place was in Sandy at Alta View Hospital.  We took our kids down to my mom & dad's and went over there.  When we arrived the girl asked us if our insurance was accepted there.  I had assumed the lady that set us up would have our info so I didn't even think to look myself.  Found out we weren't covered.  So, the lady who helped us that morning and set up the appointment actually worked in that office so she came out and profusely apologized.  They were missing a part of our info and that was the difference between being covered and not.  So she helped us call every single orthopaedic surgeon from Sandy to Ogden.  NO one could see us.  I finally got the University of Utah to squeeze us in on Monday afternoon.  They were already over-booked by 20 patients that day.  So we had to wait all weekend to even know what our prognosis was going to be.

Monday we had our appointment and the doctor didn't even need to take an x-ray and knew he needed surgery.  It was crazy when he had Brandt lay on his stomach and bend his knees.  Just looking at the feet you could see how one foot was held up and the other one just flopped.  Nothing attaching it to hold the foot slightly up.  He also squeezed the calf muscles and the one foot would jiggle up and down.  On the injured foot, nothing. 

The doctor scheduled us for surgery on Thursday.

Thursday came and we went to the office and Brandt got put under. 

The surgery went well.  The doctor said it was a typical rupture and it was all put back together.  They put him in a cast similar to what he had before, just a little more full coverage.  They also gave him a nerve-blocker so that he wouldn't feel his lower leg for 2 days.  He had a bag around his neck that held a little baby bottle type thing.  Within the bottle was a balloon that held the medicine.  Coming from that was a catheter that went down to the back of his knee that was inserted into his leg there.  After the 2 days were up I had to undo the bandage behind the knee and pull out the catheter and throw it away.  It was in there like 10 inches.  Pretty gross just pulling it out.  Brandt said that undoing the bandages there was probably the most pain.  It was taped up like crazy and it was all over his hair.  Ouch. 

Surprisingly, Brandt was never in too much pain.  He complained the morning after surgery and decided to take some pain meds then.  I can't even imagine how painful it really would have been had he not had that nerve blocker.  We had crutches and he could get around with them but had to stay down for 2 weeks (plus the 1 week before he even had surgery).  Brandt is not one to sit still so it was pretty painful for him to not be able to do anything and to have to have me do everything for him.  At first I thought, "One more kid, no big deal."  But I was surprised.  I was wiped out.  So tired.  It was a change to our routine.  I actually liked having him around.  Didn't like the small paychecks, but guess you can't have everything, right?

After 2 weeks we went back and they took off his bandages and removed his stitches.  They put on some tape to keep the cut closed up and put him in a hard cast with the toe pointed down so that there was no pull on the Achilles. 

We got a knee-scooter and he was cleared to go to work part time.  He was only able to case up routes, not carry them. 

No good picture of cast.  I think my mom does but this is the best I had. 
And the beloved crutches.
He did that for 2 more weeks and then back for another check up. 

Originally we were told that we would get that cast off and then another hard case for 2 more weeks but we were pleasantly surprised that he got a boot at that time.  It was a boot with spacers in the heel.  After so many days we were to remove the spacers to bring him closer to flat-footed. 

We're at that stage right now and it's painful for him but I think it's getting easier and easier.  After working 10 hours or so a day his leg is sore but he's moving a bit easier now and has stopped using his scooter in the mornings.  He can only deliver driving only routes but at least he gets to work.  It's been an adventure and we're still in the thick of it.  He'll have a lot of rehab and his leg muscles have dwindled so he'll have lots of work trying to get it back to where it was.

Throughout this whole thing we've been trying to find the "reason" for this trial.  I think it's been nice to have him home a bit more and for him to spend some time with his kids.  It's been good for us to "tighten the belt" and live on less money in preparation for the overtime at his work that seems to be going away.  I don't know.  We're still looking for that "ah-ha" moment when it all makes perfect sense.  In the meantime, we're just taking it one day at a time.

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