Conditions + Treatments
On the morning of December 24, 2014 my husband and I stepped out of the taxi and shouldered our packs at the foot of the canyon we would hike up on the first day of a six-day hiking trip in the Canary Islands. Ten minutes later, I stepped in a hole and broke my ankle in two places. After spending a day of getting immediate care I was given an open cast in order to fly back to the U.S. to get surgery. As you can imagine, dealing with holiday airline schedules and medical clearance to travel was not fun; I wasn’t able to get back to the United States until December 28th.
Having lived in Tuscaloosa for awhile I knew that I needed to be seen by one of the doctors at Andrew Sports Medicine in Birmingham. I researched Dr. Waldrop online and saw that he had done a fellowship in Vail, Colorado so I knew he probably had seen plenty of ankle injuries. On the 29th I called his office. The office staff was very accommodating and friendly and was able to fit in me into his schedule the next day.
During my first visit with Dr. Waldrop, I immediately said to him – “Here is what you need to know about me… yes, I am older, but I love the outdoors, I love hiking and I have a lot of years ahead of me…” He interrupted me and said – “look around this room” (pointing at pictures on the wall of active people – young and old). “This is what we do here.” I knew right then that I had the right doctor. He was going to get me back to doing what I love – hiking.
Because of scheduling challenges I didn’t have my surgery until January 5th. I could have done it sooner, but I knew I wanted Dr. Waldrop to do it; another correct decision on my part! It couldn’t have gone better. Every person in the process told me what to expect, what to do, and how to follow up for optimum results. (Special kudos to Tina and “Big Red” in central casting.) Sure there was some pain, but it was always manageable and I saw improvement every week. Every office visit I had following the surgery was excellent – from getting casts made, to taking x-rays to eventually being fit for a compression sock (that became very dear to me), to renting my knee scooter and of course getting updates from Dr. Waldrop – I was treated well.
When it was finally time for physical therapy, I knew that my time to passively heal was over and I needed to really work hard to recover my strength and mobility. It was hard work, and I took it seriously…I didn’t cut corners or miss my daily exercises. In fact, without being boastful I should say that I followed instructions to-the-letter. By March I was back at work. By April I was doing walks in local parks. Lest I forget, I should also mention that my husband was a Godsend during this journey- and it is important to have support through the path to recovery.
In December 2015 I was back to serious hiking – this time a seven-day trek on the Island of Maderia. We are already planning our summer hike…Scotland, I think. Thanks to Dr. Waldrop and his team, I am looking forward to many hiking trips to come…