It’s been more than a month since I face planted going down three steps at my favorite watering hole, and I still have a bruise halfway to my knee.
I wish it were a better story for the reason I’ve been on crutches, in an ankle brace and finally vet wrap for the past 33 days, but it’s pretty uneventful. I was outside on the patio at an undisclosed location watching a Sunday football game when I came back inside and my weak ankles (weaker than that of Hank Hill) led to my demise. There wasn’t even alcohol involved – just an ankle that has known to fail me at times.
First step, right foot – fine. Second step, left foot – belly flop onto the floor. Within seconds, my ankle began to swell and bruise, looking more like those of the pink elephants in “Dumbo.” The pain was excrutiating. I’ve sprained a many of ankle in my day, but nothing crippled me more than this incident. I hobbled as best as I could to the passenger seat of my car, tears rolling down my cheeks, where I was taken home and consoled with ibuprofen and an ice pack.
The next morning, my ankle looked more like that of the purple hippos from “Fantasia,” and I realized I was unable to operate my car. You can’t drive a stick shift with a busted ankle. I got ready for school and managed to hobble to the passenger seat of the SUV belonging to my significant other.
As he dropped me off, all I could say was, “Thanks, Dad.”
I felt completely helpless – something that is completely foreign and uncomfortable for an independent woman. On the flip side, I didn’t have to open a single door and had plenty of “options” to carry my book bag.
By Tuesday, I had a temporary parking pass for the SO’s (automatic transmission-bearing) 4Runner and a set of crutches as one class was on the other side of campus out of hobbling range. I refused the let the pain or lack of walking ability stop me from attending class and work.
I thought back to a horse show circa 1996 when I sprained an ankle when simply dismounting at lunch break. As I climbed off my horse, simple stepping down out of the stirrup, my ankle popped. I collapsed to the ground in pain. Half an hour later, I was sitting in the dressing room of the horse trailer with an ice bag on my ankle when my mom came by to check on me. Or rather “motivate” me. She gave me a once-over with a glaring eye.
“You better put some vet wrap on that shit, and get your ass back up on that horse. I paid too much money for you to be here today.”
Good thing my boots were lace ups. Just like I managed to ride that horse that day, I managed to unskillfully crutch my way across campus to my statistics class and then back to my marketing class, my Miami Dolphins pillow pet in my backpack to provide adequate cushion during class time.
That weekend, I went to my car and was able to push in the clutch, but doubted I would be able to manage in New Orleans morning traffic. The significant other was a good sport about it though, driving my little HHR all over town, even though he as a bigger guy looked like Donkey Kong on MarioKart.
By the end of the next week, the swelling had subsided, though the bruising had creeped up my shin and down to my toes. But I was able to push in the clutch with no problem. An X-Ray had confirmed that it was not broken, but we had come to the conclusion judging by the bruising that, me, being the chronic overachiever, had managed a high and low sprain all in one fall.
I went to the farm store and purchased some neon rolls of vet wrap – the same brand that I had used at that horse show 10 years ago – and that has proved once again to be the cure all, ensuring stability throughout the healing process.
I should probably use it all the time as a preventative measure. At least 3M produces it in pretty colors. I wonder if they sell to individuals in bulk…