Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Saga of the Broken Ankle

It is very important to me that this is a story of me being a Good Person and Helpful Motorist, because then I don't feel like such a dork for breaking my ankle.

Back around December 13th, we had quite a snowfall, and the sheer amount of the damn stuff coupled with some crappy weather meant that streets were not cleared in anything like the manner in which we have become accustomed. So that four days later (FOUR DAYS!) traffic was still hopelessly slow due to icy conditions. At about 5:30, I was stuck at an intersection behind two cars that couldn't make it through due to the ice. The traffic lights kept cycling, and they weren't moving because whatever motion they had got stopped by the lights turning red.

The guy in the stuck car next to mine hopped out to push the car in front of me, and he couldn't do it alone. So, subject as I am to peer pressure, I got out of my car and went to help. We got that car moved safely through the intersection, and I walked back to my car.

Whereupon I stepped on an icy patch, my ankle gave way and I ended up on my butt in the dark and the cold, surrounded by skidding traffic. I hopped up with immediate big pain in my right ankle and right wrist, but dammit, I had to get my kid to a doctor's appointment, so I carefully avoided getting my car stuck at the spot I just pushed somebody out of, and I drove myself to that appointment, and then drove myself home.

I didn't take off my boots until I made it all the way to my own couch, because it HURT! I iced it and elevated it and had to miss my last class of the semester. And much of it got better, but part of it didn't. Turns out that, yes, it was broken, which I found out a full 7 days after the accident.

(I am prepared to deliver a rant about the bad medical care I got when I went to the doctor, but I'll save that for later.)

I finally saw an orthopedist who put me in a boot, stuck me on crutches, and said "that's a weight bearing bone you broke. Stay off it and come back in two weeks."

Which in some ways is a relief, because before I got the crutches, I was crawling around on my hands and knees--at least this way I was upright and could even go out in public! Sort of--crutches are not something one can be agile and graceful with right away. Furthermore, you don't really think about how much you rely on having both your feet and your hands available to do stuff. Because make no mistake--when you are on crutches, you don't have hands. And so you can't carry stuff around--like laundry. You can't push a grocery cart--but that doesn't matter because with a broken right ankle, you aren't driving anyway.

So that's the background for why I am housebound mostly, and why things are so hard to actually accomplish. The good news is that my ankle seems to be healing, there's only a slight misalignment in the healing, which couldn't be improved by surgery so I've dodged that. I go back in 10 days, and gods willing I'll be allowed to put some weight on in, and maybe even drive.

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