With A Bird's Eye View

Lessons Learned From Having a Broken Ankle

For any of you who have televisions and have caught even a snippet of the news, you know that we New Englanders have had our snowpants handed to us on a platter this winter.  I think we are up to 103 feet inches of snow so far with another batch coming in tonight.

On February 2nd, while pretending to be a nice person and helping someone out with their snow issues, I slipped and my left leg folded under me like a Jacob’s Ladder.  After some moments staring in horror at my auto-origami project I tentatively got up and realized that I could still actually walk.  I went about my day, planning to tend to it the next day.

Well, the next day had other plans for us.  On the way home from dropping off our son at school, someone who thought that doing ANYTHING other than paying attention to the road was a good idea and hit and totaled our car.  (The husband, when calling to report said accident, immediately rattled off the list of injuries to the CAR, making me interrupt him to ask him if he was OK.  Boys and their machines!)

Anyway, looooooong story short (I know, too late), I finally saw an orthopedist on Friday, all the while gingerly walking on an ankle that resembled a combination of a baby beach ball and an eggplant and was told it was broken.  BROKEN?  Fortunately, because I had not sought treatment immediately (Hah, husband!  My procrastinating DOES sometimes pay off!) I was put into an air cast and sent home.

So what did I learn?  Plenty!  In no particular order, here goes:

1. Even the worst coffee on earth, if made for you, is worth it.

2. Change your cast sock as frequently as you can stand the discomfort.  Your nasal discomfort will become equally as annoying if you don’t.

3. Leftover deodorizing dog shampoo can assist when you first learn of #2.

4. Your cast doesn’t really get tighter when you ignore the doctor’s orders of having your foot UP for the majority of the day – it’s your ankle swelling (dummy).

5. Food from a bag with instructions written for a 10 year old reading level CAN confound a brilliant engineer and the brilliant offspring.

6. Having gooey, cheesy, hot, crusty pizza gets old……………..fast.

7. I know many of YOU know this but I didn’t – use your upper body strength with crutches, NOT your armpits.  Given that I have the upper body strength of Sponge Bob Squarepants, this was an issue.

8. Duct tape does NOT tear off skin easily and quickly like it does in the movies.  ‘Tis better to remove the REMOVEABLE cast to shower rather than try to DIY the waterproofing.  The one upside is I am unlikely to EVER grow leg hair there again.  Or skin.

9. Toenails grow faster than you think.

10. Not everyone looks charmingly tough in a cast; some of us look like bloated drunken pirates on land for the first time in 30 years.

11. Sitting down to cook is a nightmare.  I have a whole new understanding for people in wheelchairs and how perilous it is to cook when hot stuff is near face level.

12.  Snuggles from people you love really can help the pain and suffering.  And it makes you feel better, too!

Please, folks, be careful out there!