A Padded Toilet Seat and a Disabled Parking Pass

There are a few things I thought would occur during my 45th year of life and a padded toilet seat and disable parking pass were not any of those.  However, both of them occurred and are extremely necessary.

Before my injury, I considered myself pretty physically fit.  A normal run was at least 8 miles and I was doing that 5 days per week.  On the days I wasn’t pounding the pavement, I was pool running.  When at work, I was running the stairs for 5 minutes at a time every hour.  Crushing my movement goal on my apple watch was a daily occurrance.

As physically fit as I considered myself, it was no match for crutches.  While using crutches, you are literally exhausted all the time because you are using upper body muscles that get neglected.  In addition, the palms of your hands have permanent bruises on them making it difficult to actually use the crutches.

This is where the disable parking pass saves your ass.  No more parking at the end of the parking lot and stopping every few feet to re adjust your hands and rest for a few moments.  That long walk from the far reaches of the Costco parking lot is a thing of the past.  Also, the parking spots are much larger which is a bonus when you are trying to swing a bad leg and crutches out of your car.

I was very aware of the hardware in my hip from the moment I awoke after surgery.  My hip had an incision, bandage, stiffness and pain plus you can actually feel the hardware in your bone.  Weird, I know!  I became even more aware of my hardware the first time I sat down on the toilet seat.  The inside rim of the toilet seat just happens to sit right where the screw heads are in my hip.

After I complained to my husband about this for several days, he suggested we go buy a padded toilet seat.  So after we went out to breakfast, off we went to Fred Meyers.  Initially we looked in the plumbing section where the other toilet seats are located with no luck.  Then my husband suggested we check the geriatric section and of coarse there they sat, the padded toilet seats.

The relief was immediate!  Sitting on the toilet seat was no longer a painful event.  My husband is however not a fan of the padded toilet seat.  He says it makes him think of his grandmothers house.  In addition he also thinks the toilet seat is warm and feels as if someone was just sitting on it taking care of business.  As it turns out, he prefers a cold toilet seat.  Fiona, my daughter, is a huge fan and can often be seen sitting on the throne with the padded toilet seat.

Anyway, its the small victories.  For me, one of those victories came in the form of a padded toilet seat.









Moms say the darnedest things……

Just when you though you clearly articulated your injury and upcoming surgery to your Mom this text message happens…..

Samantha (my sister):  What muscle did you tear?  Mom says labia but I’m sure you did not tear your vagina.

Me:  HaHa.  I tore my hip flexor and adductor magnus.  They thought I tore my labrum (not labia) but it turns out I fractured my femoral neck instead of tearing my labrum.  The labrum is the cartilage around the ball of the hip.

Samantha:  I’m dying as I’m reading this to Mom!

Me:  Did Mom really think I tore my labia?

Samantha:  Tim was like “Margaret I’m pretty sure that’s the wrong body part” and yes she did!

Me:  OMG!!  I can totally imagine that conversation.

Samantha:  I’m dying I’m laughing so hard!

Me:  I don’t think I’d so openly talk about it if I tore my vagina!  The best part is you guys are openly discussing my vagina over dinner!  I’m dying!

Tim (my brother in law):  So after she told me you tore your labia, I said how would that happen running.  She said it’s not a typical running injury, I agreed.  Then she said it usually happens from repeated pounding.  At that point, I couldn’t really keep it together.

Tim:  There is more I’m afraid.  Then she said the injury couldn’t support a load for a while.  You can’t make this shit up!

Me:  Mom!  Did you really think I tore my labia?  I said labrum….

Mom:  Well, you are a nurse and I figured you knew what you were talking about.

Me:  OMG!!

Mom:  Sam and Tim would not stop laughing at me.  I figured something was up when Sam immediately pulled out her phone and started texting you.

Me:  The best part is that this was your dinner conversation.

Surgery aka Hip Pinning aka Internal Fixation


hip pinning


One word of advice….Do not google video’s of hip surgery.  You are not doing yourself any favors.  Hip surgeries are fairly brutal and done on what is called a fracture table.  Basically it’s a table that scissors your legs apart leaving the goods wide open and in clear view.  My surgeon was far from ugly so now I was also self conscious in addition to being nervous.

Wednesday (June 28th, 2018), 6 weeks after I fractured my femoral neck, I checked into the hospital for surgery to repair it (internal fixation aka hip pinning) at 7 am.  I was so nervous that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cry, throw up or maybe both.

The anesthesiologist and operating room nurse greeted me in the pre surgical area.  As I was rolling into the OR room, they both could not stop commenting on the watch tan line on my wrist.  I told them that comes from hours and hours of running outside.  It’s really like a badge of honor for runners.

I woke up an hour later in the PACU with 3 brand new titanium screws in my hip and a bandage on my leg.  The pain was incredible but thankfully my nurse was tending to my pain with ample amounts of pain medication.  When I was more awake, I washed down a couple of oxycodone’s with a chocolate pudding.  I was then transferred to my hospital room.

On arrival to my hospital room, I was greeted by my nurse and nurses aid.  They were amazing and gave amazing care that made me want to be a better nurse once I returned back to work.  While admitted to the hospital, I was given 2 goals.  Those were to pass my physical therapy evaluation and achieve adequate pain control. In my room, I washed down more oxycodone’s with mashed potatoes and gravy.

My surgeon came to visit me in the evening.  He told me I needed to be on crutches for a total of 6 weeks after surgery.  The first 4 weeks I was to use 2 crutches and be 50% weight barring.  If I did well and repeat X-rays showed adequate healing, then at 5 weeks I would be able to drop down to one crutch for 2 weeks and then wean off the one crutch.

At discharge, I was given a prescription for a large amount of pain medication, anti nausea medications and antibiotics.  I thought there is no way I will go through this much pain medication.  Boy was I wrong……