The Broken Ankle Chronicles: Day 1

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Late on Monday night, at 33-years of age, I did something that I had never done in my life: broke a bone. My ankle specifically.

I decided to walk downstairs, and after living in this home for over six years, I missed the bottom step. It happened fast. The following took place in less than one second: as I took the step to what I thought was the landing, I realized that as my right foot descended, it was going too far. Where there should have been solid footing, there was air. My right foot landed on the floor along the right side. It immediately rolled, and I heard three distinct “pops”. Two were tendons. One was my fibia.

My wife was Jane-on-the-spot and my Hero. As I screamed in pain (I uttered no curse words somehow), she rushed down from our bedroom to my side. She asked what happened. I said I didn’t know. I just missed that last step. She leapt into action, rushing to the refrigerator to get a bag of ice as I still lay clutching my foot at the bottom of the stairs.

The next few minutes were a blur to me. I know we discussed going to the emergency room. It was nearing midnight at the time, and a heavy rain fell outside that threatened to start freezing. We knew she would have to drive, and neither of us were comfortable with that. I found myself on the couch with my foot elevated and an ice pack sitting on top of it. My foot quickly became numb, which was a relief.

I didn’t make it back upstairs that night. She brought down my pillow and some blankets and got me comfortable on the couch. And a bonus: some hydrocodone that I had left over from a root canal I had in the spring. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep without that.

Then she did two things that really surprised me. She pulled the mattress off of the bed in the guest bedroom at the top of the stairs and drug it down. She placed it in the floor of the living room so she could sleep next to me while I was on the couch. Then she went into my office and brought out my desk chair.

I asked what that was for. She said that I could sit in it and push myself around with my good leg. Genius. Over the past 36 hours, I’ve used that chair as a wheelchair and a walker.

After consulting with my sister, a long-time ER nurse, I decided to forgo the emergency room and urgent care. I got in with my doctor at 3:15 on Tuesday afternoon. I got called back early, and by 3:17, my fear was confirmed: broken ankle.

I have a partial fracture of the fibia in my right ankle. I am in a walking boot (which is awesome in a way that I’ll explain in a later post) for the next six weeks. This comes at a very precarious time in my life where I am working on a career change. I’m not sure how that will be affected yet.

What I aim to do with these Broken Ankle Chronicles (since I’ll be confined to a couch for most of the next 45 days) is to tell you a little about my journey. I will do that with actual events, but the creative part of me wants to have some fun with this. I have a very active imagination, and I’m already coming up with ideas of things that I can imagine happening while I’m sitting here with this boot on and how I would react in my current, hobbled state, such as stopping a burglar, greeting aliens, etc.


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