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My Experience Going Through a Hip Fracture

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

This story starts with my parents and I going on our usual summer vacation to Vermont back in August of 2019. However, my mother and I were sick on the way up. My mother had caught a bad case of laryngitis, and she passed it on to me, so I wasn’t able to enjoy myself in Vermont as much as I usually would have. Truly, my parents tried to find things that I could keep down, but nothing seemed to work. I could barely keep down water.

One day, while trying to go inside and feed my parents' dog, I lost my balance and fell hard on my left hip. I thought nothing of it at first. I rolled onto my stomach and got up. The next day, I was walking to complete the same task, and I lost my balance again, but I thought nothing of it because I had fallen several times before. So, the next day, my left leg was shaky, and I almost fell in the kitchen. Thankfully, my dad caught me before that happened. The next day, everything was fine until the middle of the night when I went to the bathroom, and my left leg collapsed from under me as I was coming out of the bathroom. That’s when I thought that something was wrong. My parents debated taking me to the hospital. They decided not to take me to the hospital in Vermont because they weren’t sure how long I would have to stay there. So, my parents decided that my father would take me back to Maryland the following day to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where I have been treated for years. The night before my father took me to Walter Reed, I had one of the worst spasms that I’ve ever had in my entire life. When I got to Walter Reed, the admission process was pretty fast, and they did an x-ray. Shortly after I was admitted, that’s when I found out that I had fractured my hip. They also gave me fluids because I looked pale, and the thing that made this extra fun was that I was still suffering from the laryngitis during this entire process.

I was very annoyed when the doctors informed me that I would have to stay the night after my x-ray. I think the thing that really pissed me off, though, was when the doctor came in the following day and said to me that my surgery was going to be in three days from my admission. So, they moved me to the fourth floor to have some privacy. The other annoying thing that happened was that I constantly felt like I had to pee, and they drew blood every couple of hours. I know these things shouldn’t surprise me or annoy me, considering that my parents were in the medical profession, but that's when I truly realized I wouldn't say I like hospitals. The one thing I will say for Walter Reed is that they serve excellent food to patients undergoing surgery. The day I had my surgery did not feel different at all from any other day. I went into the operating room, and the last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist joking around with the nurse. My parents told me that my surgery lasted six hours. To me, it felt like two minutes. I stayed at Walter Reed for around three days after my surgery so they could monitor me. I want to express my appreciation to the nurses on the fourth floor who checked in on me regularly. Some therapists checked to see how well I was recovering. They were okay, but I would not call them the best therapists. I honestly expected that one of the therapists who usually works with me would come up to see me since they knew me the best, but that didn’t happen. A day or so later, it was recommended that I go to MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital.

Two individuals, a man and a woman, in MedSTAR uniforms took me in an ambulance down the road to the MedSTAR hospital. The ride sucked for me, mainly because they had to strap my left leg down so it didn't move around. I also wondered, as they were transporting me away from Walter Reed, that this must be a similar process to what they do for dead bodies. I do not remember what floor my room was on, but I do remember the fact that they did not let me out of bed for a couple of days because the orders from Walter Reed had not come through. Yet they did draw my blood and gave me medications to treat my laryngitis. A day after that, I was taken down to see a therapist. I believe her name was Linda. She stretched me and also had me stand, and I almost collapsed. That’s when she told me that I should take this specific anti-spastic medication, which did work. I spent three weeks in that facility.

There were a few things I learned about that facility. One was that the therapist that I would have on the weekend was not as good as the therapist during the week. There was also an exercise group, and many other things happened, although they blur together for me. I did learn how to play bocce ball, though. Honestly, the game is exciting and quite doable in a chair. I could’ve been on my crutches had they not been trying to be cautious about me overtaxing myself, so their caution made sense.

I did feel depressed because I missed out on the things that I had not accomplished yet. I realize that what happened to me was not my fault, and I honestly try not to be depressed most of the time about the things that I cannot control. But while in the rehab facility, I had a lot of time to think. I did like the psychiatrist they sent to see me. One thing I could’ve done without, though, was visiting my parents as much as I did because I did not know the reason why they needed to be there at all. I think it would’ve been easier to call them when something happened, but this is my opinion when I got out of the hospital. MedStar sent therapists to my parents’ house, which worked out fine. Two years later, I feel like I am currently at 100%. The most important thing I learned from this experience is to be extra careful when doing anything because you never know what accident might occur.

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