The Broken Ankle Chronicles
We made it. My walking boot and I, that is.
My wife and I had this trip to Edisto Island in South Carolina planned for months, and I wasn’t going to let a broken ankle stop us from coming.
The first morning of our stay, we were greeted with torrential downpours. However, the clouds gave way to sunny skies in the afternoon and warm temperatures. We sat on the beach for a little over an hour.
We have to leave early in the morning on New Year’s Eve, but any trip to Edisto, no matter the length and weather, is always worth it.
The good news is, I should be able to go without the walking boot one week from today.
I’m officially more than halfway through with the six week recovery from my broken ankle. Much of the pain and swelling has gone away. I can put a like weight on it, but gingerly and not for too long. I believe I’m on target to be able to go without the walking boot at the six-week mark, January 6th. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, I’ve had the broken ankle for over a week now. The swelling and pain are going down. The foot itself resembles the fur of an albino calico cat: a mottled collections of blues, greens and pasty white skin. I’ve found that I can put a little more weight on it everyday.
My wife got me out of the house on Sunday for the first time since I saw the doctor last week. I was getting stir-crazy, and she knew exactly what I needed.
We drove up 49 towards Asheboro with the intention of having lunch at a little diner at Baden Lake. It advertised some nice sounding sandwiches with a lakefront view. When we got there, it was closed. Read the rest of this entry »
There was no Day 2 of the Broken Ankle Chronicles. Most of that was spent in a hydrocodone stupor. I probably couldn’t have have put five words together on a page. So, we press forward with Day 3.
The pain in my ankle has subsided a bit. Most of the problem I have is with the swelling as a result of the actual sprain. While there is a throbbing pain that comes from my ankle bone, the problems I have in getting around stems from swelling — that I’m blaming on the sprain — and the actual walking boot.
The walking boot is really an interesting piece of equipment. Designed to keep my leg from having too much side-to-side motion while the fracture in my fibia heals, I find it fun that it uses a technology that I had as a part of my shoes in the early 1990’s.
Yes, the old Reebok Pump line of shoes. I remember getting a pair in elementary school and I was so proud of them. I thought I would be the best athlete on the playground armed with my blue and white shoes that increased how well the shoe clung to my foot.
I busted the left one the first time I played kickball. That was a sad day. Deflating to say the least (pun intended).
My walking boot has a similar setup. It has a large, gray circle on the tongue (the pump) and a release valve next to it. There are four straps to the boot, and when you pump it up, it helps keep my foot stabilized better.
I’ll have to wear this boot for another 5 1/2 weeks. I’ll just have to try to remember not to play kickball in the meantime.
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.