Six months ago, I was volunteering outside of the local community theatre, helping them get ready for their annual haunted house, and I stupidly slipped in mud and hurt myself. It was ironic because there was a wet spot on the concrete, and someone else had commented that it could be a hazard during the haunted house, and I privately mocked them because like that was going to happen, ha ha, and then I stepped on the mud by the wet spot and my flip flop went one direction and my body went the other direction and I basically did a slow slide into the splits and abraded the skin off the front of my shin and on the top of my foot.
I couldn’t get up immediately because it was so confusing and terrible. My niece Krislyn (she’s an adult) turned around and was looking down at me trying to figure out why I was joking around and doing what I was doing, basically breakdancing instead of helping. I pulled my legs around so I was lying on my back with my legs going over this curbing on the edge of the sidewalk, and then she saw the horror that was my leg. She wanted me to get up right then but I needed to lie there for a minute, get my bearings, and reevaluate all of my previous life choices. But after a minute of reflection I realized a fly or something was going to land on all the fresh meat that was my leg, and the idea of a fly coming in for a wee smackerel encouraged me to get to my feet. Krislyn helped me hobble into the theater bathroom. Then she rushed off and got me some bandages while I washed the mud and grit and other random stuff off my leg.
Okay, so this was the only picture I took that day. This was in the bathroom; I’m sitting in a chair and I’d washed the leg and was waiting for bandage delivery. This was October 4, 2019.
Oh, this was also hilarious because it was warm that day, so I had just gotten back from going home and changing when the injury occurred. So I’m wearing those flip flops and a pair of hot pink athletic shorts instead of the sturdy jeans and tennis shoes I started my day in. I sometimes wonder how things would have been different in real shoes and jeans. Then again, I still have the jeans and they would probably not have survived the slow slide, so there’s that. Yeah.
Friends and family said I should go to the doctor, but I didn’t really see the point in giving away my sweet copay over the leg injury. It wasn’t like the doctor was going to sew it closed or anything, right? It actually looked like it could have used a skin graft but I had a feeling my injury would not qualify for such things. So I just used Dermoplast spray and Neosporin ointment and wrapped it up with nonstick gauze pads and a stretchy wrap each day for a couple of days.
It did not occur to me to take another picture of my leg until October 10. My husband Ben had advised letting it dry out to heal, so that’s what I did prior to this pic. It hurt though, and was itchy and looked scary. The hole in my foot was the most troubling.
Here’s the leg on October 12. Internet said I was being stupid and that moist wounds heal best. So I went back to wrapping it. The issue was, it was a ridiculously large injury. It was hard to wrap both my leg and my foot in a way that didn’t allow the bandages to constantly slide off. I tried a lot of different things. I started adding A&D ointment to my routine, since my kids’ doctor used to recommend it for the vitamins. So I’d spray it with the Dermoplast, then do a slurry of Neosporin and A&D, then redo the wraps each day.
I tried gigantic bandaids – cutting off the sticky parts on the center areas of the wound and attaching them to each other using the sides of the bandages.
On October 13, results were unsatisfactory. And I was starting to get itchy and sore. I decided maybe I was allergic to the bandaids.
I went back to stretchy wrap and nonstick guaze pads, but since the wrap seemed to make my skin irritated, I found a pair of black tights in my dresser and cut off the toe and thigh, making myself a little sleeve to hold the wrappings on. It worked well because it took care of both the leg and the foot injury at once, and held things on while I slept. I was very proud of this innovation. This was still October 14. I was getting better about taking pictures of the leg. Basically my entire life revolved around the leg at this point.
The leg was still itchy. Was it the nonstick pads? I bought basic gauze instead. I liked that I could wear pants with the sleeve. I used medical tape on the top and bottom of the sleeve to help it not slip around, and it was a lot nicer. I could even put my tennis shoes on that foot again, if I left the laces all the way undone. I could also wear flip flops with the sleeve. I preferred tennis shoes so I could hide the whole thing. People tend to ask questions when you’re wearing part of a pair of black tights on your leg and foot, and I didn’t want to discuss that when I was just trying to pick up some shredded colby jack at the local grocery for taco night.
This is October 15. It was so red and itchy! I figured it was all the healing making it itch but dang I wanted to scratch the wound open. IT WAS SO BAD, Y’ALL. I would put the wrappings on and kind of gently scratch against them.
The sleeve got loose so I cut the other tights leg and made another. And then it got loose and so I cut up some long socks and used those as a sleeve over the tights. Also that red spot on my knee is when I fell down at Hurricane Harbor in St. Louis summer 2019, har de har har.
Around this time, I put on the A&D ointment and the Neosporin and I realized that it was not itching, it was BURNING and I needed to get it off IMMEDIATELY and so I ran to the bathroom and washed my leg while tears ran down my face and that’s when I concluded that all the wraps had been innocent the entire time, and I was apparently allergic to either A&D ointment or Neosporin and although I knew I could drop one or the other and determine which it was I didn’t care to find out at that point and I stopped using them both. Internet searches showed it could be either one, so forget that business.
From there I moved to a combination of this silver gel solution I bought on sale a while back, plus frankincense oil and lavender oil. I still wanted it to be moist and disinfected but A&D and Neosporin could get wrecked. So I went crunchy, yes I did. And it didn’t burn and itch, hallelujah! And the angry redness started to recede. And I sort of wondered how I could have been so stupid to have not noticed I was having an allergic reaction earlier.
I started working at the local dance studio, in the office, and I elevated my leg cause it still hurt to have it down for a long time. Like a throbbing pain. I was also volunteering at the haunted house, but I was able to sit most of the time, even though when I had to walk it was obvious I was injured. I kept it hidden under jeans at the haunted house and no one said anything. At home I stayed on the couch most of the time cause that felt better to it. This was taken October 21 and I had stopped covering it at this point, but still kept the oils and silver solution on it regularly. I still put a bandage on the foot when I needed to wear my tennis shoes cause the shoe hurt the sore if I didn’t.
In my daughter Belinda’s bedroom during a renovation. A lot of the hard scabby things are gone but the foot one was still there and a couple others. I still was limping and keeping my leg up.
October 27. So much redness gone!
October 29. Top scab started coming off.
I made a HUGE mistake and picked at that top scab and it bled a little. I had good results with some light picking before this point, but drawing blood made me get away from the injury quickly. It was nice having that scab off, but I didn’t want a new one.
October 30. All that was left was the big foot scab. I took this picture next to a centerpiece I made last year, for beauty reasons.
I really like how in this picture you can see how much time has elapsed since the injury because my toenail polish was fresh when I fell down and you can just barely see how the nail has grown since then.
November 2. With Salty.
The foot scab started coming loose. I didn’t want to make it bleed but I also didn’t want to rip it off. I hated this scab the most because it made walking painful. I was ready for it to go. So I gently messed with it.
And then it came off.
And then I put it back on my foot so I could take a picture of it next to the healing wound. For science.
And then took some pictures of my new, non scabby leg and foot. So nice and healed, right? But I was EXCITED!
I started using Mederma for scars that night.
November 4. One month anniversary of the foot injury. I think it looks great. Others who see it are horrified, lol.
November 11. This one is kind of cool because you can see how the knee injury from around June looks so much different than the injuries from October. I was putting Mederma on everything each night.
November 17. My niece Sarah’s birthday. Leg is looking NICE. We went out of town for Thanksgiving a little after this and I don’t think I was limping any more at that point. By this time Belinda had broken her foot and there wasn’t time for two people to have walking difficulties in the family, lol.
December 4. Thanksgiving has passed and we’re getting ready for Christmas. I was disappointed that the leg didn’t look that much better than the last picture a few weeks ago. I started doing Mederma a lot more sporadic here because it was boring.
Foot injury was much less dented, which is great.
April 4. I meant to do these every month. But I forgot. And it was a drag getting the pictures off my phone and onto the computer. But I did it. And now here is my leg today. It is SO MUCH BETTER! It is my six month injury-a-versary, and I am so happy that it is so good. When it was at the worst, during the original injury and the allergy, I wondered if it would ever be healed again! When I had to walk on it and try to look normal so people wouldn’t ask, I felt like it would never be better. But hooray it is!
And if we weren’t in quarantine, I might have continued to not make this leg post that I intended to make for the last three months. But now I’ve done it and all is well. So, silver lining.
From this…to this. <3