Friday, August 3, 2012

How I Broke My Leg And Recovered With 11 Kids In My House

In the hospital before surgery.  If you dare to look closely you can see the break

Stupid cast

First doctors appointment
The boot
Looking so much better

Yes you read the title right.  And yes it's as crazy as it sounds.  So let me begin...........

June 24th was a day full of lots of cleaning and lots of waiting.  Justin had been in Virginia to pick up his kids and was on his way home with all 7 of them.  Yes 7, which bumped us up to 11 kids for the summer.  So of course I was calmly (or maybe freaking out a bit about 11 kids) to come home.  My brother Nic had come over to visit late that night and was keeping me company.  I remembered that our trash need to be put out at the curb, hollered at Nic I was taking the trash out and preceded to head out the back door. 

What happened next is hard to explaining because I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED! I stepped out on the back steps and the next thing I knew I was laying on my side on the ground.  The first thing I noticed was the smell of dirt which confused me but then I realized I was laying on the ground.  Of course I then thought what in the world am I doing on the ground.  That's when the worst pain of my life (worse than childbirth) hit me.  I knew something was terribly wrong with my leg and after letting out a couple of pain filled moans I screamed at the top of my lungs for my brother.

Now I'm pretty sure my brother will never forget that night.  I can't even imagine how he felt to hear me scream like that other than he thought someone had attacked me.  It felt like an eternity but Nic was out the door in the matter of seconds and we were on the phone with 911.  Shortly after our call my sister-in-law, Jaime, showed up.  Now even though I was in pain I was beginning to think maybe I just sprained my ankle or something and I called 911 for no good reason.  I asked Jaime to look at my leg.  It just looked flat and normal to me.  I'm not going to describe how I moved and what she saw but let me say NEVER ASK A PREGNANT WOMEN TO SEE IF YOUR LEG IS BROKEN.  I still feel awful for doing that but I was very convinced when she told me that I was not ok.  Then I felt the panic hit me and knew I was going into shock.  I quick phone call to Justin (who was an hour away) calmed me down and got me to relax.

The ambulance arrived quickly. I definitely had broken both bones in half.  They splinted my leg and then I had to get up and move onto the bed which was extremely painful.  I had another moment of panic when I looked into the kitchen doorway and saw Jakob standing there.  I'll never forget the look on his face.  Luckily Jaime got him back to his room.

In the ambulance I was hooked up to an iv and calls were made to the hospital.  The pain meds were wonderful.  The hospital is about five minutes away and I was in a room and seen by nurses immediately.  The doctor was not long to follow.  Kathy (my brother's mother-in-law) stayed with me until Justin got there.  I was so relieved to see him.  We found out that I would need to have surgery the next day.  Justin headed home to the 11 kids and I had a wonderful, medicated nights sleep. 

I had surgery the next afternoon and everything went well.  It was a clean break but I had a rod and four screws put in.  I had one of those awful, uncomfortable casts put on that I would have to wear for two weeks.  Although I had just had surgery my mind was focused on the 11 kids at home and how I was going to take care of them with a broken leg.  In the middle of those thoughts a man walks into my room to discuss mobility with me.  Meaning crutches, cane ect.  Well the doctor thought my best option was a walker. I on the other hand was not exactly pleased about that considering I wasn't 70 with a broken hip.  (no offense meant)  But it was the best choice whether I like it or not. 

I got to go home the next day.  Justin brought all the older kids up to get me.  Jakob was very relieved to see me and examined my leg thoroughly before deeming me fit to move.  Getting dressed and going to the bathroom was very difficult.  I was still really stressed about being home with all the kids.  My wonderful mother decided to fly out and help me for several weeks.  She arrived the following week.  I also had my first doctors appointment.  All was going well and I got my cast cut off and a boot put on.

I spent the next several weeks applying pressure to my foot and learning to walk again while helping my mom as much as I could with all the kids.  Some days were very hard and some were actually nice.  I struggle still with not being able to be the busy mommy I was.  I enjoyed my time with my mom.  She is an amazing woman.  Justin's five younger kids are quite the handful and most days were rough but it was nice to have some improvement in them towards the end.  I was ready for some peace and quiet though.  So five of his kids returned home just after mom left but we ended up keeping two of them.  Yes the two we have been going to court for.  God spent the summer answering prayers right and left. 

I'm still not walking on my own but have made excellent progress.  I have a doctors appointment next week and am curious to see how my leg is.  I'm able to get out and about to enjoy time with my family.  Everyday I feel a little better.  Praise God for his healing touch!

I have to add a few things that will make you think:

When my brother pulled out his phone and put it towards my face when calling 911 I realized I had a death grip on my cell phone in my left hand.  The thing is I had put my cell phone in the right pocket of my robe that I was currently laying on.  There is no way I could have gotten to my phone.  I believe that God put that phone in my hand.  If Nic hadn't been there I would have still been able to get help before going into shock.

It was physically impossible for me to fall off my back steps and break my leg the way I did.  You can ask my mom.  She's seen it.  For the break I received I would have had to been walking up my back steps and fell off.  But instead I was walking down and fell off the left side when stepping with my right foot.  I was on my side with my hands under my head like I was sleeping.  I didn't get knocked out nor did I have any bruises other than my leg which we are still unsure how I broke that.   I should have hit my head.  Hard.  And had a very beat up hip.  The doctor's kept asking me if I hit my head because the way I fell was just not possible.  Again God is good.


  1. Man, what a story! You are a brave woman :) I always love your optimism, Andrea... and I'm so glad things are healing up well and prayers are being answered favorably about Justin's two oldest.

  2. Brave or completely numb to the situation lol. I was able to give glory to God for the outcome of everything which meant more to me than anything because it was a huge testimony to so many people including our children.