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What about Joan?

August 1, 2009

If this is your first time reading my blog, you may be wondering who Joan is. In short, Joan is the name that has been given to my right broken foot (more specifically lisfranc fracture) and this is where I rant and rave about her. If you want more details about what happened, the injury itself, and why I’ve decided to write this blog, check out: Welcome, How Joan Came To Be, and About Joan. If you choose to skip these sections and then ask me for said details, I will redirect you back to these links because Joan sucks and I don’t want to tell the same stories over and over again. Enjoy šŸ™‚

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2010 in review

January 3, 2011

Thanks to everyone who read through my journey. I have appreciated all the comments and well wishes I have received from friends, family, and even strangers around the world. I still get comments today from people who have the same or similar injury and I’m so glad they have found, if nothing else, a little humor in a really bad situation.

Some good news: I wore high heels on New Year’s Eve! I really thought that I would never be able to wear heels again because previous attempts were too painful. I decided to give it a try for the celebration of 2011, a final attempt to rid of Joan forever. I figured if the pain was too much I had the option to sit down, or take them off. It was definitely a challenge, and I don’t see myself wearing heels every day on a regular basis, but I survived…and even danced! I was the most nervous about the effects from the following days, thinking that maybe all the stress from standing, walking, and dancing in really inappropriate footwear for someone who should wear orthotics would cause my muscles to rebel. But they didn’t! During my recovery I would complain, even to my physical therapists, that the one thing I really wanted was to wear high heels again. Everyone usually looked at me like I was crazy, as most people have simpler, more practical goals, like be able to jog again. Friends told me I should feel lucky to have an excuse to not wear heels, but the truth is I’ve always loved them and I really missed being able to spruce up a weekend outfit with a pair of simple black pumps. So although it seems like a small accomplishment, this is actually a huge milestone for me!

Thanks again to all my readers. I was really impressed with these statistics! And these are only statistics for 2010, overall I have a total of 4,377 views!Ā If you want to continue reading another kind of journey I’m on now, check out my other blog: here.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meterā„¢ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 2 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 13 posts.

The busiest day of the year was January 29th with 381 views. The most popular post that day was Joan lives on….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were fractralfoot.wordpress.com, anonym.to, facebook.com, lisfranc.wordpress.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for joan sucks, her foot fracture, broken ankle cast, fracture cast, and broke my ankle.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Joan lives on… January 2010
8 comments

2

About Joan July 2009
10 comments

3

The downside of crutches July 2009
4 comments

4

Joan’s Make Over July 2009
2 comments

5

How Joan Came To Be July 2009
6 comments

The Last Post…

June 29, 2010

A year has passed since Joan came to be. In fact, while the news was recounting Michael Jackson’s death I was recounting the day before my life changed. “This time a year ago, I was taking a train home from my internship in Boston.” “This time a year ago, I was going over to Kerry’s to meet up with friends” “This time a year ago, we left for the bar”… And so on. Thankfully around the time I broke my foot last year, this year I was safe in my bed sleeping because I avoided Fiesta like the plague. Joan was also well aware that it was her birthday as she wreaked havoc all day….that was fun (and strange since she hadn’t hurt that much in a long while)

A year ago today, I was waiting to find out when I could get surgery, and doped up on painkillers. More than any other time during this recovery process, I appreciate the present (and am more cautious than ever). As excited as I am to go to Plymouth for July 3rd, I fully understand that within the next few days something could happen to make it so I couldn’t go anymore, even though I REALLY HOPE NOTHING HAPPENS. So I appreciate that I can walk and drive, while simultaneously always being on the look out for large drunk men and avoiding them.

Doctors said it would be a six month to year recovery time. The bones have healed, but in the process of regaining strength I have ran into multiple muscle and joint issues from overcompensating. So although I’m still not 100%, I think I may be as close as I’ve ever going to get. I still go to physical therapy but I’m considering ending that too since their guess is as good as mine on how to solve whatever continues to irritate me. Tip if you have this injury: Seek out a physical therapist as soon as possible! I had a three week period between my second surgery and getting into the pt office. Although doctors said I could start walking on my own (tip #2, listen to your instincts because that was b.s.) I have a feeling some of my current problems came from trying to walk/regain strength on my own.

Since my last update, besides going to physical therapy, life kept happening and I graduated from college and spoke at my graduation. I left Joan out of the speech, even though I highly considered making the whole speech about her. Sorry, Joan, no one likes you. I was also invited to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines! Thankfully I have recovered enough to go Ā in August to be a Teacher of English Language Fluency in the Philippines, and I couldn’t be more excited. Ā Having a dream to look forward to definitely helped during my recovery process. Getting better in time for my suggested departure date became a hard goal that I was determined to reach.

It’s been a longggg road, but I am so happy I started this blog. Thanks to everyone who read it and left encouraging comments. I had no idea that my writing would reach so many people. Several people with the same injury, or other tragic injuries often commented here saying that my blog helped them, or at least amused them. Getting those e-mails from strangers was inspiring and moving. Even though I haven’t updated since January, I still get e-mails today and it reminds me that somehow I was able to make a little bit of good out of a crappy situation.

So let’s recap what I’ve learned here, shall we?

  • Name your injuries… it automatically makes talking about it more entertaining
  • Invest in Crutch Buddies if you ever need crutches, seriously they’re so awesome.
  • Avoid large drunk men, always.
  • Laying in bed is not as fun when you have no choice but to stay there
  • DO YOUR EXERCISES
  • Don’t give up or get too discouraged, it could always be worse
  • Live in the moment, count your blessings, and be kind

PEACE OUT, JOAN!

Though I’ll be discontinuing this blog, you can follow my adventures on my other blog šŸ™‚

Joan lives on…

January 28, 2010

My last post was in September, just as I was learning to let my crutches go and walk with a boot (walking-cast). I used the crutches for a while still, because I was supposed to gradually increase pressure. It was good timing since classes for my senior year were starting. I still needed to use UMass Disability Services and get a ride to class in a special van. I imagined this experience would introduce me to others with disabilities whether they were permanent or temporary like mine, but I was wrong. The bus was only occupied by the driver and me, since it was unlikely another person with a disability would be going to the same place as me at the same time. Sometimes it was enjoyable when the drivers would make conversation with me, other times we just sat in silence, which made me feel alone and awkward since I was always used to interacting with people in between classes. However, despite it not being the most fun experience, it is a great service to have around.

I discovered that people aren’t always as nice as you’d like them to be. Many people never thought to look behind them to see if they should hold the door. Some people got annoyed because they were stuck behind me going as quickly as I could on crutches. I also discovered many areas of this campus are not handicap friendly. Thankfully since I could start putting my foot down, I was able to maneuver some stairs, or open a door more easily than when I couldn’t put pressure on it. Now that it is January, I see people on crutches in the snow and I honestly just want to cry for them.

I had my second surgery in the beginning of October to get the hardware (pins) removed out of “Joan” (it’s been hard referring to my foot as Joan anymore, just because it’s kind of getting old.) The surgery was quick and definitely not as painful as the first. The nurses told me I could walk right away, but I knew they had no idea what I’ve been through. Really? You think I can magically walk after not being able to for three months? I don’t think so. I had to wear this old lady looking blue sandal with velcro straps until my post-op appointment which was about a week later… during this week I still used crutches. At my post-op appointment, they told me I could actually wear a sneaker and DRIVE. Driving back to school was the most liberating feeling after not being able to for so long.

Since then, I started physical therapy the beginning of November. The people who work there are amazing and are doing the best they can to help me but I’m still in it and I have issues I never imagined having. Due to the amount of limping that occurred while I was learning to properly walk again created plantar fasciitis aka strained muscles in the bottom of my foot and lots of pain while walking. They recommended stretches and massaging it by rolling a tennis ball on my foot. When I’m at PT they massage it for me and it kills but I know they’re helping me. Then while trying to correct this problem, by really focusing on my walking (seriously every time I take a step, I think “heel-toe, heel-toe”) I must have done something else wrong because now I have tendonitis, creating severe pain in my ankle. They had to give me medicine through an electric current, the process is called iontophoresis. It didn’t hurt but the idea freaked me out.

This has also caused a lot of emotional pain. When you have to think about the simplest tasks like walking, something I do a lot of at this campus, it wears on you. Constant physical pain doesn’t help either. I know this blog generally has a funnier tone, but I really just wanted to get this information out there. It’s been seven months since I was injured. I try to stay positive but recently it’s been tough. I have improved on so many levels, such as range of motion, and strength in my leg and foot, and I am grateful that I indeed can walk again without crutches, but I still have a long, long road ahead of me for a full recovery.

So, I suppose the moral of this article is, unless you really know someone you don’t know the battles they’re facing. Try not to get annoyed with the person walking slowly in front of you, they could be facing a battle like mine. Try to understand if someone seems frustrated over something small, chances are there’s a bigger problem going on. I’m the first person to forget such an idea, unless I find myself being the one in tough spot, so I understand it’s not the easiest concept to grasp, but at least try.

Joan Touches Down

September 3, 2009

Lack of posting once again due to lack of anything very interesting happening with Joan and I…until today. Today I had a doctors appointment and it was the long awaited appointment where the doctor told me I could gradually start putting weight on Joan. The problem now is that I have no idea how to do it. I, of course, have to start somewhere, but I’d rather just be up and running than awkwardly trying to walk while also using crutches. My doctor says that people go at their own pace, some increase weight bearing in three days, others take two weeks. I’d like to think I could be one of those miraculous people, but I haven’t put any weight on this leg or Joan for over two months. I’m like a baby, I don’t know how to walk! What a weird feeling at 21.

In past news, Country Fest was fun, but I ran into the guy who brought Joan into this world out of 50,000 people at the concert, so that was awkward/interesting. Also, handicap services at Gillette stadium was not adequate and inspired me to be an advocate for the ADA later in life. I can’t imagine what life is like for people permanently disabled, because being temporarily disabled has not been a walk in the park (pun intended).

Classes start on Tuesday, that will be a whole new adventure for Joan and I. We will be using disability services, they have a van to help transport people like me to my classes. Living on my own has been another challenge, I became so used to having my mom help me, I have found it a lot harder to ask others for help. The roomies now have to help me carry things I can’t and drive me around. I had to ask others to help move me in, and the unpacking process is taking much longer than it would if I was better. I imagine it’s almost as frustrating to help me as it is to be me. With so many errands to run before school it’s an intimidating feeling to not be in control of when I can go or how much I’ll be able to do once I’m out.

In terms of Joan, the recovery is coming along but I still have a ways to go. I have to get another x-ray in three weeks, then I have to schedule my second surgery to get the “hardware” out. I have already told my doctor it cannot interfere with homecoming weekend. After the surgery, I’ll have to be off the foot again for 10 days, then back to learning how to walk.

The Joan Planner

August 14, 2009

For all you crazy Joan Sucks blog fans, I apologize for not updating on a more regular basis (I know you’re out there, I have over 1,000 views! whattt?!). As I’ve mentioned before, things generally stay the same with Joan these days. Not until September 3 will she give me a whole new set of problems when I start to put some weight on her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for Joan to touch down to earth, since this means I am starting the destruction of her, I just know she’s going to raise hell. Let it be known, if you don’t know this already, when I am healed that means Joan is dead. I know it’s still a long ways away, but just to clarify Joan is my broken right foot, not my regular right foot which doesn’t have a name because I mean, who names their feet anyway? Pshh.

Anyway, here is something you may not consider about my life, but those that are close to me know all too well: Joan requires me to plan A LOT Ā of things ahead of time before doing anything. She is also unpredictable, like now, just trying to write this post, she has decided to throw a temper tantrum, Ā causing me to not be able to focus. (Sidenote: yes I can feel where the pins are. yes it’s gross.)

15 minutes later… I’m back to writing about Ā needing extra time and extra planning with Joan.Ā 

The most important and obvious thing I need to plan is getting rides to where I need to go. Big thanks to Will for driving me to and from work (and dealing with me) on his way to and from work when he can, and another big thanks to my parents who drive 2 hours plus traffic each trip when he can’t. It really does seem crazy that they do that for me, lots of people say their parents wouldn’t, but because I can’t walk far on crutches, taking the train, walking to a shuttle, and walking from the stop to my office isn’t really a possibility. Plus I’m pretty sure they’re banking on the fact that having this internship will help me along in their dreams of me becoming rich and taking care of them šŸ˜‰

On top of work, I need rides anywhere else I want to go, from going to the bank, the doctors, out to eat… on and on. I even had to get picked up from a date once. I know, straight up middle school style. So thanks to all my friends and family who drag Joan around. Now you know, if you ever want to make plans with me, remember I need a ride to and from wherever you’re asking me to go, and plan accordingly.Ā 

The rest of this post, I will give my most recent example of what kind of things I have to consider when planning something I want to participate in.Ā 

I ordered Country Fest tickets in December, obviously not knowing this was going to happen to me. But I refused to give up yet another thing I was looking forward to, especially since I knew if I tried really hard I could plan it right and still have an enjoyable time. Ā First things first, I called the stadium to ask what I should do since I became handicapped after buying the tickets. They said they’ll switch the tickets out to “wheelchair Ā and companion seating” (Laura is my companion). They say they’ll try to seat us near our original seats, but our seats were crap anyway, so I’m hoping for better.

Next, I checked to get pricing of wheelchair rentals and reserved one (45$/week for a transport wheelchair – one you need to be pushed in, if you’re ever in need of one). I had to plan help for getting the wheelchair in and out of the office Friday (I still needed my crutches and all my stuff, so no I couldn’t do it myself) since I planned on sleeping out at Laura’s forĀ convenienceĀ on going to the concert Saturday (this is Joan’s first time not sleeping at my house). Getting ready, showering, and packing also took longer than normal, as they always do.

After work, Laura gave me a rideĀ to her house, made sure I had dinner and anything else I needed that I wouldn’t be able to get for myself once she left for work (blankets, pillows, water, clothes for bed, easy access to the bathroom, etc) .

My guess is if I wasn’t crippled, the time gone in to planning would have at least been cut in half considering the only thing I’d really need to consider would be “What kind of beer do I want?”. The answer: Bud light lime. Tomorrow, I hope all this planning and help I’ve asked for pays off . You better believe there will be a blog post about it!Ā 

So there you have it. The stupid little things that add up to make planning to do fun things, such as going to a concert, a huge ordeal. Want to make plans? I’ll have to check The Joan Planner first. She will make it as hard as possible to make it happen.Ā 

If you’re going to Country Fest, look for the girl in a cowboy hat, one cowboy boot, and a wheelchair!Ā 

Check up with Joan

August 6, 2009

As predicted, my doctors appointment today was fairly useless. They took another x-ray, said it looked good, then said to come back in a month which is when we can start talking about weight bearing. The good news is, this time I asked to see the x-ray. The doctor didn’t believe that I hadn’t seen it, so I was either really out of it if he showed me after surgery, or I just haven’t seen it. Regardless, he printed me out a copy and VOILA.. the moment you’ve all been waiting for:

Joan

Sorry it’s such a large image, but when it was smaller it was hard to see. Anyway, here is Joan. If she were a person, that cold metal would be her heart. Nice jumble of crap, right? How any of that makes sense is beyond me, and who knew doctors learn how to build forts out of screws in class? Kind of looks like the hardware needed to put together the crappy futon I had freshman year.

Moving on. I told him that everything else is starting to hurt besides my actual foot like my Achilles heel and my leg… probably because they do not want to live with Joan anymore and want to be used like normal body parts again. However, the doctor was concerned I could be at risk of blood clots in my leg so he told us to schedule an ultrasound. Meanwhile, I was expecting to go straight to work from the doctors in Danvers considering we were half way there. Wrong. I had to go back to Gloucester (20 minutes away from the doctors and in the wrong direction of work, for those of you not from around here), wait around to have a gross ultrasound (I HATE veins and looking at them and hearing them..yea hearing blood flow through my body is not my idea of a good time) only to find it came out negative. I understand it is a good thing I don’t have blood clots, but what a huge waste of time and another thing to add on to the insurance bill.

Also, excuse me Sports Medicine North, but how insensitive are you to have an unlimited supply of GOLF magazines laying around everywhere?! It is very doubtful that anyone coming in to see a doctor at this office would be able to play. Think about it: foot injuries, hand injuries, hip injuries, back injuries. Pretty sure those are all vital components to the game of golf. Thanks for making me feel worse. JK, I don’t even play…but in that case put something out that I’d be interested in reading.

In other news, I apologize to the people who come across my blog by searching for things like “first time on crutches” or “crutches handicap” …Reading “The downside of crutches” must not make you feel better AT ALL. Don’t fret scared readers, it does get easier on crutches, just never enjoyable.

How is everyone else doing today?

Rambling with Joan

August 4, 2009

There are multiple occurences in each day that I think… I want to blog about this (I KNOW! My life is that sad).

I figured today would be a good day for that since I had to call out of work due to Joan being a huge bitch the past couple days.

First of all, it’s a good thing I didn’t try to make a Joan Sucks blog at blogspot.com because, oh, there already is one!!! Unfortunately, the guy didn’t have as much motivation to keep going with his rants and raves and only posted two entries in November of 2008 about his neighbor named Joan. Nonetheless…hilarious that another joansucks blog exists.

On that note, it has come to my attention that some people who read this blog have relatives or friends named Joan, so my apologies, and by no means do I mean to offend anyone (unless you don’t like them…then go ahead and think that). Some people, however, aren’t sure about the name Joan. Why, you ask? Please, let me explain. While looking at my blog stats, I am able to see how people come across my blog. Usually it’s from a link I posted on Facebook or Twitter, but others find me from certain terms they search for. Some may find me by searching for blogs with key words such as “broken foot” or “lisfranc” but today someone searched “is the name joan boring” and stumbled upon this site. Awesome.

Some new fun facts about Joan:

  • She went on a boat and apparently didn’t like it because she’s been nothing but trouble since
  • She has a doctors appointment on Thursday (receptionists seem to think scheduling an appointment 2 weeks and 2 days after my last appointment is close enough to “3-4 weeks”)
  • She has driven me to drink immense amounts of water as a way to distract myself all day (kind of like chain smoking…but better for you)
  • She encourages strangers to say infuriating things to me in passing like “Wow, that must have hurt” (Obviously, idiot) or “Oh, I had a boot on for eight weeks, it was awful” (Try 16, bitch).

Joan’s on a Boat

(if you live under a rock and haven’t seen the original..watch this first.)

Yes, I know this is the lamest video ever.