Chris: My sports life was good. In fact, the best it has been since 2007. I was playing in a competitive indoor soccer league and in a very competitive basketball league. I was playing sports at least 3 nights a week. Life was good. And then during one of my soccer games, I dribbled past a guy on the other team and when I went to plant to take on the next guy, the front of my foot caught on the turf and rolled. I immediately heard the pop and was pretty sure it was broken. I hobbled off the field and within a couple of minutes, the other teams goalie was injured and replaced. The score was tied 4-4 and I really wanted this win. I figured I could score on the new goalie even with my hurt foot so I went back in the game. Not a good decision. I wasn’t able to put any weight on it at all and had to sub right back out.
As the adrenaline wore off, the pain started to become unbearable. The drive home was miserable. In fact, my friend Scott saw me driving home and called me to make sure I was going to make it. Lisa wanted to take me into the ER, but I know the drill. They would only splint it and instruct me to go to the Orthopedic clinic in the morning. So I took some drugs and settled into the couch downstairs. The worst part of the night was when I got a Charlie horse in my calf and couldn’t stretch it or do anything to help it subside.
Lisa: My poor guy. He was hurting for sure that night and kept saying, “How could this happen when my sports situation is so good here…” to which I replied… “Honey, it’s your sports situation which did this to you!” Of course I tried to get him to go to the ER but I wasn’t surprised when he said he wouldn’t go till the morning.
Chris: The next morning, Lisa drove me to the hospital and I got an x-ray to confirm it was fractured. It was an oblique fracture through the mid to distal 5th metatarsal with approximately 4mm of displacement and mild foreshortening. I called up to the Ortho clinic and told them I was on my way up. The podiatrist tried to convince me I would do just fine without surgery, but I really wanted it fixed perfectly, especially given the foreshortening and displacement. They put me in a bulky cast and scheduled the surgery for the following Monday morning.
Lisa: The funniest part of this morning was walking in with Chris as he let himself into the imaging center and asked the techs to image his foot. Then minutes later he walked across the hall to his co-workers office, sat himself on an extra chair and told his friend to pull up the x-ray. Within minutes there was 5 Radiologists in the room with eyes fixed to the screen and discussing the diagnosis. I should have taken a picture… it was pretty amusing.
Chris: The surgery went great with a perfect result.
Lisa: We were at the hospital by about 8:00 and soon after he was wheeled into surgery. I sat in the van and read my book for most of the time and then went back into the hospital until they came to get me. I walked back into post-op room just as he was coming to. He glanced over and saw me and gave me a funny wave. The nurse leaned over and said, “It’s the men that are the goofiest coming out of anesthetic.” The doctor came out to talk to me and Chris tried so hard to communicate to him asking questions that we had already covered moments before. Of course he doesn’t remember even seeing the Doctor. I helped get him dressed, picked up his meds and brought the van around as the nurse wheeled him to the door. Just the movement getting to the van made him nauseous. We had to wait in the van for nearly 30 minutes before I carefully drove home. Getting him in the house was even more difficult. Ryan held him on one side and I held the other side but just getting through the kitchen and onto the family room couch was something. Chris fell asleep and didn’t move for hours. Later he had some soup that the Pattersons brought over and some more medication and regardless was in a good deal of pain for that first night.
Chris: My recovery was as good as could be expected. I slept in the basement most of the time with my leg elevated, because any time it wasn’t elevated the pain was horrible. I was on the heavy drugs for about a week, but then transitioned to Ibuprofen so I could get back to work. I got a normal cast about 2 weeks after surgery and had that for about 4 weeks. Then I transitioned to a walking boot, although I couldn’t walk on it for another 2 weeks. However, that was so nice because I could take it off to shower and to hang out around the house. I then spent about 2 weeks walking in the boot before finally being back to normal “pairs” of shoes. So about 8 weeks of cast and boot. My foot feels great now with very little residual swelling. I am running and biking and almost back to sports.
Lisa: Chris’ explanation makes it sound just quick and easy, but I assure you it was not. It was long and frustrating. He literally sat on the couch for a month – which was painful for both of us – especially during a long season of soccer for 5 of our 6 kids. The picture’s right below were actually taken by Matthew and I think it captures his time on the couch perfectly. He was definitely frustrated about not being able to move but he also had too much time to think about our future and his different job opportunities. Some stressful months for sure. – More on that later… Thankfully his recovery did go quite smoothly and he’s back to walking and starting to get some exercise. So grateful to have him back to normal.