• Natassia Paloma

What I learned about having a broken foot

Breaking your foot can feel like the end of the world.

It all happened during the (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic. I put off going to the doctor for a few days, because of safety concerns, but after waddling around on my right foot for a couple of days, I decided it was time.

My ankle was swollen, and my foot black and blue.

"Oh girl, it's broken," said the doctor at the clinic as she looked at my x-ray.

In that image, I could see my fifth metatarsal jaggedly cut in half. I was soon on my way to an orthopedic surgeon and yes, I needed surgery.

One day after I found out I had a broken bone - the first in my life - I was on my way to the hospital at 4a.m., ready to undergo surgery. A couple screws and a metal plate would fix the fracture.

When I woke up, my foot was nice and numb. It was in a large black boot (which I still am wearing) and the pain medication was flowing nicely through my body.

"This isn't so bad," I thought.

Once the pain medication faded away, I really felt it. The worst, excruciating pain I have ever felt. I remember two-and-a-half years prior to this, laying in bed with a newborn. A fresh c-section cut across my lower torso.

This was comparable to that.

Week one

For the first few days, I laid on the couch, my lifeless foot elevated. Every time I would put it down, I would scream. The blood would rush to the surgical site, my toes would throb. The cut would throb. This was tough.

The hardest part of it all, I could not tend to my son. I could not change his diaper or make him food. I am so independent, and a single mother, so this really weighed heavily on me.

I also had to miss work during a health crisis, during a time where I should be there, informing my fellow El Pasoans about the COVID-19 pandemic. I had to listen to doctor's orders though, and I had to focus on my recovery.

Week Two

I was still in a quite a bit of pain, but everyday I was feeling better.

I crutched (I acknowledge this is not a real word) myself to the studio every day. My beautiful coworkers helped me open doors and wheeled me around in an office chair when they could. You would never know how difficult it is to open a door with a broken foot and your hands occupied by crutches!

The cut would still burn anytime I put my foot down, but things were slowly getting better.

Week Three

Much better now. I would still keep my foot elevated but when I put it down, it was not so bad.

Now I was determined. I started doing chair workouts on YouTube. You'd be surprised what great content there is. Some of my favorites were Caroline Jordan Fitness and Pahla B. Fitness. I highly recommend both. They were great and I would cry after each workout!

I started to feel like myself again. I felt strong and proud when I got through those 25-minute workouts.

Week Four

Life is good. I am still in the boot, but doing so much better. Early in the week, I would walk with my crutches, then one crutch.

Now I am crutchless. (I acknowledge that is not a word either).

I am now doing low impact HIIT workouts and abs on YouTube. My favorite now is Kim Saha. She challenges me so much, but does not require much weight on my broken foot.

I still need about two weeks in this boot, but this whole thing taught me anything is possible. I can do anything - in time. Time heals so much including fifth metatarsals.

I still need a couple months before I can run but I am well on my way!

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