Sunday, March 09, 2014

The longest week

A week ago I came out from a surgery room in Memorial hospital in South Bend and had one of my most painful moments in life. In the following week, pain pill and IV were my friends. Now after a week of recovery, I finally got back to my sanity and sit in front of my computer.

Feb 25th noon, I fell down on an icy drive way on my way to the car. It wasn't a light fall. When it happened I heard a sharp pop and saw my right foot bent up. This is something I have only seen on YouTube. Fortunately my wife was with me, it could be a whole lot worse without her. At the very second I fall on the ground many things passed my mind. My pregnant wife, my daughter whom I read story to, my travel plan in next month, my job in Chicago, and the fact that my son will grow up with a cripple daddy who probably can't hold him. Then came the pain, which confirmed what happened is real.

For the second time in life, an ambulance took me to hospital. A nurse looked at CT scan in hospital and said, "how could you fall to break leg like this". It is a good question, I ask myself this question all the time.


The bed in hospital is a really good bed. Softness is controlled electrically, and buttons are everywhere to adjust position in all imaginable ways. If I were 10 years younger I would be curious, playing with the bed and discovering all hidden features. But in reality, all I worried is how does mommy explain to Yilin daddy's absence.

Finally Yilin came and visited me at night. My girl was a little scared. She saw my leg and covered eyes with hands. However it didn't take long before she warmed up, climbed up and down the room and made funny face to nurses. Before leaving she asked me, "Daddy why can you still talk?", then she skipped away.

The surgery occurred on the next day. Tibia was broken into 3 pieces and Fibula into 2. The orthopedic doctor decided to insert a titanium rod into the broken bone and fix it with nails on both ends. I didn't see how it was done on surgery table, but it sounded to me that the surgery is a walk in the park for the doctor. It went well and then it was just the matter of long, painful recovery process -- swelling, bone recovery, and celebration party.

There's so much that I wanted to do,  articles to read, work to catch up, movies to watch. I'm always lack of time but in hospital, finally I had enough time, enough resource but I couldn't do any of them. Trapped in a narrow space hour after hour, with pain and insomnia day after day, my mindset changed into a state where brain is frozen and eyes are wide open. Not being able to do anything meaningful for long time becomes the biggest torture for me, which is way much worse than the pain itself.


However don't worry my friends. In the beginning of this blog I mentioned I got back to sanity finally. Right now, things are getting better everyday. I moved from hospital to a sofa in home, then started walking with a pair a crutches once a while. The bruise looks different every morning. I had hard time sleeping, but day time becomes enjoyable. Now I'm sitting in a wheelchair, which Yilin is super excited about.

As I started reading news I realized I just missed a very turbulent week. The Ukraine crisis, terrorism in Kunming and missing Malaysia airplaine, all happened in the same week. Lives are lost and many need help much more than I do. I hope they get better every day as well.

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