Sunday, January 29, 2017

My cats love my broken leg

Popoki the cat on my cast

It's been close to three weeks since I slipped on the ice while walking my pug, twisting and turning as I fell until I hit the dirt with a leg snapped in multiple directions. I'll be honest: During those few sickening moments when I heard my leg breaking, my cats were the farthest thing from my mind. But as it turns out, my cats have benefited from this break more than I ever thought possible.

The technical term for my leg break is "distal spiral tibial fracture, compounded by distal fibula disintegration." Or something like that. In essence, it means that my shin bone broke in about five different places in a spiral pattern, while the small bone behind that shin broke into such tiny fragments that it couldn't be put back together again.

These are the sorts of breaks that are "life changing" according to my surgeon. Some people simply never recover from these breaks, and they end up with blighted gaits encumbered by canes for the rest of their lives. Other people aren't paired with the proper surgeons, and they lose their legs altogether after a fracture like mine. That almost happened to me, and I'll be forever grateful to the trauma team that stepped in and took over my case while I was in the hospital.

So I have a lot to be thankful for.

But the recovery is a real bitch.

I have been completely confined to my home or the hospital for the past three weeks. No social engagements, no movies, no dinners out. No trips to the store. No running off to pick up something at the craft supply store. No visiting my humane society for volunteering. No yoga. No running. No biking. No protesting with like-minded women in my community (which really hurts).

And most crucially: No walking the dogs.

Liam the pug looking sad

The last time Liam took a walk with me, it ended with me leaving the scene in an ambulance, and him getting carried away for an escorted trip home by the fire department. I can't remember the last time I walked Sinead.

My husband has been walking them, but it's different. He is a brisk walker, and he walks them because the dogs need to walk and he likes to take care of their needs. I walk with them because I like to go walking and I like to take note of the changing seasons. I tend to walk a little slower, and we stop to eat cookies and work on training and enjoy one another. They're not getting that now. Neither am I. And sometimes, the loss is almost too much for me to bear.

So there's a lot to mourn. But meanwhile, many of these little felines of mine are having an absolute field day. Why? Because I don't move around all that much.

Fergus the Siamese kitten

I am normally a very fidgety-type person who is up and down multiple times each hour. I sit down with a book and then need to get up to make tea or check my email or see if the bird feeder is full or floss that little bit of popcorn out of my teeth. My cats just get settled in my lap and I'm back up again.

Now, I am forced to stay put and to ask someone to bring me the things I suddenly think I need. That means I am often in the same spot for hours at a time. And the cats are parked right there with me. They may leave to get a sip of water or something, and when they come back, they seem shocked that I am still in place. They roll and purr and knead with delight when I don't move.

I keep telling them that I will get better. And oh, how disappointed they are to hear that.

Popoki the cat looks very upset

But I don't quite know when that recovery will take hold. This horrible cast comes off tomorrow, as does the external hardware that is keeping my bits of bone in place. I will progress to a boot that will (wonder of all wonders) come off when I want to do something like take a shower, but I will not be able to put any weight on this leg for another month. So no walks until March.

I think my cats will be happy with another month of seated mom. I just hope I can keep my spirits up long enough to see myself through this long winter.

I'm sharing this post as part of the Sunday Selfies series as hosted by my friends at The Cat On My Head. It's a bit nontraditional for a selfies piece, but I think it fits in nicely, don't you?

Please leave me a note, so I'll know you were here. And do join in the blog hop. Selfies come in all shapes and sizes (clearly), and we'd love to see your critters. Share!


  1. Oh, poor Liam looks SO sad in that photo. But we're glad to hear of the benefits of time with the kitties. We want you to get well soon, of course, but are happy that you're getting som special time together. :)


  2. Oh wow, we hope you get better fast! But we are happy you have the kitties to help and comfort you until then.

    Erika and Sebastian

  3. Cats are the silver lining to so many people's stories. I wish you weren't going through this ... I can't even imagine how tough it must be.

  4. My dogs would not be happy if I couldn't walk them, the Man would not do as good a job. I also like to walk them for the sake of walking. I know this is a very difficult time of you. POTP that you make a full recovery.

  5. I am glad you have your cats to keep you company and give you healing purrs. I am sure it is frustrating to be trapped at home.

  6. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Life-changing accidents are just horrific. Glad your precious fur babies are there to comfort you though.

  7. In a round about way this is an adventure, though one not to be repeated anytime. I am so glad you have some company, and cats and dogs excel at being just where we need them, when we need them most. get well soon and keep blogging to keep the spirits up. purrs Erin

    1. I do need to adjust my thinking. Calling it an "adventure" is a very good way to start. If I call it something different, I might start to feel a little differently about it. Good idea. Thank you!

  8. But you have pretty toes!

    Sorry for your mishap, but sure glad you're as back to "normal" as you are!! :)

    1. Isn't that funny? My cousin and I have a standing pedicure date, and we always go weird and wild as a sort of private joke. It was slightly embarrassing to go into the ER with blue, glittery toes!

  9. Jean, if you ever want to talk, send me an e-mail with your phone number. As I told you, I went through something similar (but much longer recovery) in 2011. Though the critters love it, the boredom is incredible. When you mentioned hearing your leg break, it made me cringe remembering that! Take care. I am praying for you. Hugs, Janet

    1. You are just the sweetest friend. I may very well take you up on this. It might help me to talk to someone who has been through something similar.

  10. It's very frustrating, Jean, but having your kitties and doggies around make it a little easier, they're good helpers to help you through this. Healing Pawkisses and hope you feel much better soon❤❤❤

  11. We are late catching up. Our sympathies on your struggles, we went through something similar and could not wait util we were mobile again!

    Hang in there, you WILL get better!!

  12. I'm sorry to hear you broke your leg!!
    I hope you get all healed up nice and fast.