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Dad fell and broke his leg in 2 places...

Guest cheri

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Guest cheri

It's 10:00 and I have just gotten back from being in the emergency room all day. My father was outside and fell and broke his leg in two places...one in the fibia and one in the tibia. I can't remember which one is which, but one is about 3-4 inches below the knee and the other break is about 2 inches above the ankle right on the shin bone. They are trying to get his medical team together in the morning to see if they can all agree that he is a candidate for surgery. The orthapaedic surgeon would like to put a rod in the tibia (? the one above the ankle) and he said that the break below the knee will eventually heal on its own and is OK. When I left he was on Demerol for the pain. He was having spasms from the breaks that would actually take his breath away. Oh God please help us.

I wish so badly that I could turn the clock back 12 hours and start this day over again. I dropped my 4 year old off to spend a few hours with them while I ran some errands. While I was there my Dad asked my mother to run to town and get something for him...we left him alone at home. BIG MISTAKE (why didn't I think????????) He has been so strong the past few days. I even commented to my sister that we had our "old Dad" back because he was walking, speaking, and acting like he did before the cancer diagnosis. It was the most wonderful weekend seeing him so strong and happy and I guess we just took that for granted.

I left to do my errands and about 3 hours later my husband called and told me that he was on his way to Mom and Dad's house b/c Dad had fallen and had been laying in the yard for 1 1/2 hours. :( Mom found him when she got home and called 911. I am feeling so guilty, ashamed, and just incredibly stupid for leaving him. What was I thinking? I know better than this....he just looked so good and back to normal and I never in a million years would have dreamed that this would happen to him. The very thought of him being in the yard for that long is just killing me. It's hard to even write it here b/c I should have just been there or made sure that someone was there.

We were supposed to leave for B'ham in the morning to have his CT scan, labs, etc. I am not sure what this will do to his clinical trial participation. How can I transport him to B'ham with his leg propped up in a wheelchair? I am going to look into getting a lift for their van. Not going to let this deter us from our goal of survival and beating this thing.

Have any of you experienced a bone breakage while going through chemo? What about surgery? The MD didn't mention anything about his spine metastis...I don't want a needle going in there, either. Wouldn't that effect the tumors on the spine? Would it cause the cancer to spread?

Lord help me and give me wisdom and guide us all to healing. I need you, Lord to see us through this.

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I guess I am a good one to answer about the broken leg and chemo. Last Feb. 2003 on a Mon. I started chemo and radiation for a new tumor in my L lung. On Fri I got to the hospital for the 5th radiation tx and slipped and fell at the front door. I also broke both the fibula and tibia. The break in the tibia was stable but the one near the ankle, fibula had to be surgically repaired. They did the surgery that evening. I was in the hosp til Mon. then went home. I had to use a wheelchair for a few weeks at home. I stayed in our family room because our house is on different levels and there is a bathroom on the family room level. I could get out the sliding doors to the patio and someone would wheel me to the car. I sat in the back seat with the leg propped up on a pillow in the seat and travel 45 miles to the hosp to get the radiation treatment. I did this for 6 weeks. YES it was inconvenient BUT it can be done. I cont. chemo as before also. The fracture that was repaired had a metal plate screwed into the bone to correct it. I did have to keep the cast and then the walking boot on much longer than normal because of the healing time being slower due to the chemo but I made it. Whew. it was a time. Hopefully your dad will do well.

DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP. As you said he was doing well and much stronger. I know I hate it when my family feels they have to hover at times. I am sure he does not blame anyone. You sound like a close supportive family. Go on from here and help him get better. Set up the room so he does not have to move around much. I had a lift chair, a twin bed put in the room, a walker-I hated that, and the wheelchair. Good luck, God Bless.


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My goodness, girl, sounds like ya'll had the Monday from Hell!

Take a breath! Then another....repeat....another one....now this one, close your eyes, breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose, feel the tension going from your skull...repeat a few more times so your shoulders aren't so tight....

Now, you're doing well...thinking through to getting your dad to his appointments...Seat him sideways if you need to, with his back propped against the side of the van and his leg up on the seat - prop with pillows and rolled towels if needed...

The Blame Game? STOP THAT! Stop it right now! Woulda, coulda, shoulda never did anything for anyone... Sure, you can say someone should have stayed with him, but if HE hadn't fallen, would you have even given it a second thought? Methinks it would have been cause for celebration - "old dad" back, enjoying an afternoon to himself... Stop it, stop it, stop it! You're wasting energy and thought process...turn those blame storming cells to brain storming cells and figure a way out of this...

..and ya know, he may have fallen, he may have been out in the yard 90 minutes, but SOMETHING got his attention and pulled him out there - HE was "exploring" on his own... Not a bad thing, he just ran kinda low on luck...NOT YOUR FAULT! He could have fallen with you right there, how worthless would you feel then? Kicking yourself harder because you were "right there" and couldn't catch him??

Water over the bridge...tomorrow is another day. Don't be so hard on yourself, you did NOTHING WRONG, nor did anyone else. Continue breathing...deep breaths...kinda like my husband...in bed, snoring while I'm sitting out here... Think I'm going to join him....

Please, stop beating yourself up. HE was okay with being alone, in fact, sounds like he WANTED the time. He DID get what he wanted, just a heckuva lot more attention then he wanted.... My paternal grampa used to be just like that! Couldn't argue with him (and he DID fall once where no one could catch him, suffering from brain mets with prostate cancer).

...and after being under "supervision" while on drugs after surgery, I can see why people just want to be LEFT ALONE (yep, all caps, that's what I wanted, in all caps) for a while to just "be"...

It's going to be okay. You'll figure a way to get him to his appointments or the appointments will come to him....don't panic, breathe/think/react.

Take care,


(Sorry I rambled, it's past my bedtime and I'm heading there now.)

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Boy can I relate.

1. Last October Earl went outside at about 10:30 at night. I was asleep on the couch (Yes I am a wild woman) Of course he fell. He took all the skin off the center of his face from forehead to chin and did a good job on his hands and knees. It took him 1-1/2 hours to get into the house, crawling.

When he got into the garage, he climbed up on my car and used the horn. I did not hear him. (I am a notorious deep, deep sleeper) Oh by the way, it was raining.

I woke up when he got into the kitchen. He was covered, and I mean covered with blood. The good news is he didn't break any facial bones or need stitches, the bad news he looked like he had lost the heavy weight championship. Really did up his sympathy quotient from friends and family.

2. 45 days ago (but who's counting) I was out running errands. Earl said he felt better than he had in months so he decides to go pick up a bird feeder that had fallen down. Yep, he fell and broke his fibula down near his ankle. Took him 45 minutes to get into the garage, which is where he was when I got home. Just got the cast off yesterday.

He was on chemo with the first fall and on Iressa with the second.

Do I feel guilty, unbelievably so in the beginning. But I got over it. I hate to say it, but both times he acted without thinking and secondly guilt doesn't do any good anyhow.

His ankle healed in the same amount of time as if he was healthy. He doesn't even need PT for it.


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Can't say much about broken bones since I've never broken any bone in my body except all of my fingers on both hands (at different times) playing football in high school and college. You've already gotten some good advice on how to deal with the various inconvienences (I GOTTA learn how to spell that word! :)) of dealing with someone wearing upteen pounds of plaster on his leg.


You can, in my opinion, stop feeling guilty anytime. Right now might be a good time (if you haven't already). If I read your post right YOU didn't take your Dad out in the yard, throw him down on the ground, and stomp on his leg. You made choices based on the best possible information you had (i.e. your Dad was feeling better and seemed capable of handling himself). So, therefore, this is NOT your fault. Logical? Logical.

Anyway, here's praying for a speedy recovery for your Dad.


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