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State Of The Trout Foot

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My foot is still broken! And may I just say, I had no idea that something as simple as a broken bone could possibly sideline me the way it did. After all, I spent a whole week in a plaster splint/cast thing, right? I should be healed by now.

Well, no, Jenny, why don’t you be realistic for once?

The good news is, I don’t have to have surgery. I’m wearing an air cast and slowly getting back to work. The air cast, by the way, is the most amazing medical technological breakthrough ever. With it on, I can walk around without pain. I can take it off to shower and sleep. I cannot, however, walk around with it off; I thought I’d roll those dice and grudgingly concede that perhaps the doctor knows more about bones than I do. I’ll stick to his instructions and continue periodically elevating it and not walking around like I could have possibly healed a whole broken bone in under two weeks.

There are a few other troubles I’m having, as well. Working for over a year to train for a race only to break your foot two days before that race is shockingly bad for your mental health. Also shockingly bad for your mental health? And I’m not being sarcastic at all this time? Injuring yourself doing something you have to do often in your own house. I have taken two showers since getting the plaster splint off. Both ended in me hyperventilating and crying when it came time to get out because suddenly, it seems so terribly dangerous. As a result, I’ve been bathing with those giant baby wipes they market to adults as “disposable washcloths” and avoiding going out. When I have to drive my daughter to rehearsal, I stay in the car, using my foot as an excuse. Really, I just don’t want them to see that I’m greasy as hell. I’m hoping I get over this somewhat quickly because even though I’m one of those weird people who don’t really smell, I’m always afraid that I smell and that makes my anxiety even worse and basically I’m just a broken nightmare of a person. But you knew that, because you’re here, reading this.

Now, onto the show. Anyone want to see some gross pictures? Awesome. I’m putting them behind the cut, though, because not all of you want to see my gnarly foot. And I’m gonna put a puppy picture first, so that comes up on the social media thumbnail instead:

My pit bull puppy laying on the couch beside an overturned and spilling basket of laundry. She's half in the spilling laundry.

She was sleeping in the laundry basket and it tipped over, but she kept on sleeping.

My hope for this week on the blog is to get the first chapter of The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp up on Friday, but again, we’re still playing it fast and loose with the injury and its aftermath. So, stay tuned, if you want to see something gross, click the cut link.

I should also warn you that the bulk of the grossness comes from my toenails. I have REALLY awful, ugly feet and I never show them under normal circumstances.

So, here’s a good look at some of the swelling and bruising a little over a week post-injury:

My foot, propped up on a wooden table with the air cast slightly in the photo. My foot is hugely swollen, bruised, and there's a weird lumpy sticking-up part about an inch below my fourth and fifth toe.

Here’s the bruising as it progresses. Gotta get worse before it gets better, right?:

My foot propped up on a wedge pillow with bruises on the top of my foot and across the base of my toes.

But it’s the disparity in size that really tickles me (pardon the foot pun).

The size disparity between my injured foot and my uninjured foot is comical. The injured foot is huge, like it belongs on another person, both in length and width.

So, there it is. My foot injury that doesn’t look like it should be bad enough to have any impact on me at all. But it weirdly does. 2019 is not cracking up to be my year, everybody.

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33 Comments

  1. Amy Too
    Amy Too

    I was wondering about the race. I saw that you wrote it down in the bullet journal video you made and then you broke your foot right before leaving for Mackinac. That must have been devastating, to not only miss the race which I imagine you trained so hard for and could’ve been a huge confidence/self-esteem boost, but to also miss the trip to Mackinac altogether (or to go to Mackinac and be seriously injured if you still took the trip). I feel for you and hope you’re able to heal quickly and completely in all the right ways.

    Does being witchy during fall in Michigan help your mental health at all? I’m in Grand Rapids and the fall is my favorite time for feeling delightfully witchy and pagan. The weather has been so beautiful lately.

    September 17, 2019
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  2. OUCH! So sorry you’re STILL healing. Hoping you’re up and running again soon.

    Also, your feet are beautiful. You have completely normal feet that carry you through your day. Never be ashamed of a body part!

    September 17, 2019
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  3. kirrix
    kirrix

    I read your tweets about the rectangular swelling… but oh fuck damn!

    get better soon x

    September 17, 2019
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  4. Lauren M
    Lauren M

    Hope you feel better soon!

    Can you put a chair in your shower? Like one with rubber feet on it like they make for elderly people? That might make the panic stop somewhat since you won’t be standing.

    That and put something you can lean on that won’t move just outside of your shower so you can hold onto it getting in and out.

    September 17, 2019
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  5. Jo Tyler
    Jo Tyler

    As someone who broke both her feet at the same time, watching your adventure has been making me relive some of it haha. I cannot emphasize enough, don’t try and walk on it without the cast!!! It’ll fuck it up worse and it won’t heal properly.
    I’m so glad you don’t need surgery, I have three screws in my right foot now, and that was its own separate ordeal lol

    Also, you will definitely have trauma reactions to getting out of the shower for a while, so go easy on yourself <3<3<3 I second Lauren M's statement, getting one of those shower chairs might help.

    September 17, 2019
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  6. AuroraGreenway
    AuroraGreenway

    I really feel you about the being scared to get in and out of the shower thing. I’ve been diagnosed with cervical cancer (stage 2) and I’m undergoing radiation and chemo. What with the side effects of the treatment and meds, I feel so physically weak and shaky that I have to wait until someone else is in the apartment with me in case I keel over. To boot, it’s one of those “the more you fall, the more you panic about falling” situations, which just makes you more nervous and tense. Sending commiseration and good thoughts your way.

    September 17, 2019
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    • Kitt
      Kitt

      That is really tough, and really scary. it seems so unfair to have to worry about falling in the shower when you’re already coping cancer. And chemo. And radiation.

      Sending you lots of cozy, comforting, healing (and stable) thoughts.

      September 18, 2019
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      • AuroraGreenway
        AuroraGreenway

        Thank you so much! Long time lurker, first time poster, but when I read about all the balance and falling problems poor Jenny is having, I could definitely relate. I have cerebral palsy too, which carries its own set of balance and gait problems, so having to deal with this has all definitely been a challenge. Thanks again for the kind words.

        September 19, 2019
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  7. Jodi
    Jodi

    First, I’m so sorry you weren’t able to participate in your race. That just bites the big one! Be kind to yourself and heal up!

    Second, your feet look pretty normal to me. Nothing that bears all of our bodies’ weights is going to look pristine and unused, so try to love them. 🙂

    September 17, 2019
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  8. Iona Lovell
    Iona Lovell

    Your foot looks totally normal (albeit broken and swollen)! That sucks – hope you feel better soon!

    September 17, 2019
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  9. Heidi K
    Heidi K

    Sending well wishes your way! I’ll admit, after reading your description of your toes, as I was scrolling I was expecting some narly looking foot claws, but….they are completely normal looking lol. Hope you feel better 🙂

    September 17, 2019
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    • Right?? I’m a little disappointed tbh.

      Just kidding. Best wishes for your recover, Jenny, and I’m excited about Chapter 1 of TBCVT!!

      September 17, 2019
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  10. Maura
    Maura

    Ouch. I hope your healing goes well.

    September 17, 2019
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  11. Liz
    Liz

    As a fellow greasy person with no broken bones to excuse my filth, I would advocate for dry shampoo for your hair. Or, if you’re as cheap as I am, corn starch!

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this right now, but I’m glad you’re at least able to walk with your cast! Also, I would echo that your feet are perfectly fine, even swollen!

    That’s great that you don’t need surgery, even though the only upside of me breaking my ankle is my rad surgery scar! Well, that and getting to chase tardy students down the hall on my knee scooter.

    September 17, 2019
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    • ” Well, that and getting to chase tardy students down the hall on my knee scooter.”

      Ok, that is awesome!

      September 18, 2019
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  12. Jenny, are you on Disability? Do you get Medicaid/Medicare? Because I believe if you get Medicaid you can get someone to come in to help you with basic self-care needs like getting in and out of the tub. Or get someone to help you, like Mr. Jen. When my ex had knee replacement, I had to help her in and out of the tub, bed, etc. We had a shower chair for her, and a raised toilet seat.

    I understand your fear, though, because I have a high step to get up into my tub, now: my right ankle has been giving me trouble (fibro- and osteoarthritis-related), often threatening to go out on me. I’ve got Disability Aide of Kent County coming to install handrails for me. I live in fear of falling, either from getting out of the tub or going to the basement to do laundry (the steps are small so I have to go down sideways and then come back up on my toes), or even leaving my house (front steps are crumbling). Because I live alone, it’s even more frightening, because if I fall no one would hear me shouting for help. I am now looking into what I need to to do to get a live-in caretaker.

    If you need anything, let me know. I’ve been fortunate to have people help me out when I’ve been laid up and struggling to do basic daily chores. More than happy to pay it forward. And don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed about your current situation. After I had surgery, I had to have a catheter, and for a while, I couldn’t empty my own output bag. Other people did it for me. I remember feeling so helpless and horrified, and like I was a burden. They all told me the same thing: “You are not a burden. You would do the same thing for me.” I know you have a lot of friends who would be willing to walk through fire for you; helping to wash your hair or help you out of the shower, or cut your toenails would be easy.

    **HUGS**

    September 17, 2019
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  13. Akri
    Akri

    Agreed with all the people who say your feet look totally normal aside from being broken!

    For the shower issue: in addition to the advice people have given on how to make it safer I’d also suggest trying some good ol’ classical counter-conditioning. You can just /hack/ your brain into being less panicked about showering, by making it so being near the shower always immediately leads to something dopamine-producing (yes, this might mean you have to keep a jar of m&ms in the bathroom. sometimes science requires sacrifice).

    It’s not a super-quick fix, but it should help you heal more quickly than you might otherwise. Especially if you “practice” getting in and out of the shower while it’s totally dry, under the safest possible conditions. It might feel silly to give yourself a reward for stepping out of a dry shower fully-clothed, but it’s a tried-and-true way to deal with trauma. And hey, it’s an excuse to eat candy!

    September 18, 2019
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  14. Anon
    Anon

    I’m so sorry about your foot, but I’m glad you didn’t need any surgery for it! I broke my foot right before the end of the school year, just walking. I didn’t trip on anything, I just took a step that ended with me sitting on top of my foot somehow. It was my right foot, so for 8 weeks of getting rides from coworkers/Lyft/bus I repeated the mantra of “at least I didn’t need surgery.” I started a couch to 5k running program a few months after getting the ok to walk without the air cast, and I’m now in week 5! I jogged for 5 minutes straight last night, and I had been doing 0 running before the injury.

    It totally sucks, but it will also definitely get better.

    September 18, 2019
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  15. Brainweasels + broke-dick body = sucky. Keep healing, you magnificent beast, and be kind to yourself. *pours hot tea, gets cookies*

    September 18, 2019
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  16. Anon
    Anon

    Ugh. Hope you can get yourself back in the shower sooner than later. I majorly injured myself (basically, broke three bones in two arms) when I fell rollerblading. Up to that point, I had fallen several times without even a scratch, but that one bad fall caused me to decide to never, ever rollerblade again. Fortunately, never, ever rollerblading again is perfectly doable without consequence or feeling greasy.

    Your reaction is normal, though. Hope you feel better soon.

    September 18, 2019
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  17. Jenny Fan
    Jenny Fan

    I’m sorry you’re going through this, Jenny! Injuries are the worst because they can disrupt your life in so many ways that ripple outward into things you’d never expect. Boo.

    But can I say something? I’m here for everything you do. I’m here for you’re hilarious recaps, the stories of the worse person you’ve ever met, the interludes with your husband, The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp… ALL of it. I bought several of The Boss books (does The Sister come in paperback? I really like holding paper books… not the point, sorry) because I love your blog so much. And I fell in love with your characters. But I wish you wouldn’t refer to yourself as a disaster of a person or a broken nightmare of a person so often. Clearly I don’t know you personally, so I don’t want to many any assumptions. But if our words have an impact on our self-image, I wouldn’t want you to grow that image of yourself. I think you’re hilarious and REAL. And that’s cool. 🙂

    Just my thoughts. No matter what, I’ll keep coming back because I love everything you do!

    September 18, 2019
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    • VVV
      VVV

      This. Definitely.

      September 19, 2019
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    • Dove
      Dove

      Amen. XD

      October 8, 2019
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  18. Clara
    Clara

    What I did the last time I was on crutches post-foot-surgery is I went to London. Yay! A huge city full of grumpy people!

    It was fine. I insisted on going on the earthquake simulator in the Natural History Museum while people stared at the idiot who clearly couldn’t walk being shaken around by a machine. And I only had one incident of people genuinely refusing to give up a seat, and they backed down after the train started and I fell on them. Ha!

    London. Why.

    R.e. your shower fears – do you have a non-slip mat, or a grab-rail, and if not, would you consider getting either? I am a huge advocate of the latter after being an on-crutches person for about two years.

    September 20, 2019
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  19. Cameron
    Cameron

    Jenny, I don’t know if you’d be willing to try this, but I wash my hair in the sink all the time. Just take a cup, lean over the sink, and pour it over your head, put in the shampoo/conditioner/etc, rinse and repeat until all the shampoo is out! I struggle pretty bad with dysphoria and a lot of the time, this is the only way I can stay clean until I can save up enough Sanity Points to shower.

    September 21, 2019
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  20. Jordan Bell
    Jordan Bell

    Sorry you’re injured and I hope it heals up quickly. You’re an amazing person whose writing I really enjoy and who I’ve learned a lot from. You don’t deserve how crappy 2019 has been.

    September 24, 2019
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  21. E Dogg
    E Dogg

    As a person with balance problem who has tumbled down stairs, faceplanted in snow, and fallen in the shower (one time when I was showering up to go to the neurologist, even), I get you. That is incredibly sucky.

    If you have a fairly standard tub/shower, may I recommend a sturdy clip-on handrail? Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Medical-Adjustable-Bathtub-Safety-Shower/dp/B07BHVZG2Q

    Mine is incredibly useful — it doesn’t have quite the nursing home vibe of full-on installed rails, and it’s much cheaper. With the hand hold and the nubbiest, rubberiest shower mats I can score, I’m able to shower alone in the house even on bad days without worrying about my failure to train the cat to call 911. Maybe you would find this helpful?

    On the worst days? Neoprene and thermoplastic water shoes. Or, in a pinch, regular but non-beloved socks with dots of hot glue all over the soles.

    September 25, 2019
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    • Dove
      Dove

      Oooh, thanks for the link! I should probably get that. 🙂

      October 8, 2019
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  22. MyDog'sPA
    MyDog'sPA

    Jenny, if it’s any minor consolation, at least you didn’t shoot yourself in the foot (like a US president I know . . . .)

    🙂

    Get better!

    September 25, 2019
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  23. Vince
    Vince

    I can highly recommend Nilaqua body wash, if you have it in the States. It’s a big squirty bottle of foam soap that you apply and then towel off. I have it for low spoons days and you’d be amazed at how clean it makes you feel, look and – most importantly in my opinion – smell. Apparently they also do a shampoo, but I haven’t tried that so can’t attest to its effectiveness or otherwise. But definitely get the body wash if you can.

    September 30, 2019
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    • Dove
      Dove

      Annoyingly, Amazon lists some of their other products, such as the shampoo, but not the body wash. They have it on the UK/Global Amazon, their own website, and a few other websites showing pounds as the currency… 🙁

      October 8, 2019
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  24. Dove
    Dove

    I hope you’re doing well. I’m sure it still sucks and nothing goes back to normal immediately, unfortunately, but as dorky as it sounds, you’re an inspiration to me in ways I never expected. Your situation was the impetus to finally see some doctors about my foot (after I’d had a nasty incident last year and either it never really got better or the plantar fascitis was enough of a shift in the way I walk that it started acting up.) I still keep procrastinating on the exercises but I do have a physical therapy appointment soon… I dunno, just wishing you well (though I always wish you well but don’t usually say it, of course, haha sorry I’m awkward.) XD

    October 8, 2019
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  25. Bree
    Bree

    I’m so sorry about your injury and the toll that it has taken on your mental health. I completely empathize – I fractured my knee in a car accident a couple weeks before a race that I had spent a year training and fundraising for, and my doctor also had to be firm with me and prohibit me from attempting to do the race – I brought up the idea of walking in it and she just shook her head and said “absolutely not.”

    I was also afraid to do regular everyday things after the fact – in my case it was driving, which was essential for getting around in my area, and to some extent I struggled to get back into exercise out of fear of injuring myself after my knee healed. I don’t know how much this will help you, but as someone who has been through a similar situation and can empathize and relate – it does get better, things do get easier, you do adapt to the situation eventually. I completely understand that everybody’s mental health is different and that your trajectory is going to take its own course and you’re going to take the time that you need to adjust to what happened, but I truly hope that you start to feel more comfortable showering and doing other things soon despite your injury, and I’m glad to hear that you’re taking the time you need to rest and recuperate so your foot heals.

    October 8, 2019
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