Saturday, July 07, 2007

and the pain was enough to make a shy bald buddhist reflect and plan a mass murder

Today I consider myself to be the luckiest person alive. I am not spending the entire summer with my leg in a cast, as I thought I would be doing. I don't know whether I should thank the goddesses or that grey-haired old man in the sky or Vishnu or my own awesome cells and lymphocytes for doing such an amazing job, but I am very grateful.

It was a grocery shopping injury and we all know how deadly those can be. One bloody hole in the entire Safeway parking lot and I stepped in it. If I hadn't been hanging ont
o a shopping cart at the time, I would have gone down like a tonne of bricks. And then I could have added bloody knees and shattered elbows to the mix.

As it was, my resulting limp evolved into a ballooning foot and within a few hours I could no longer bear any weight on it. I've had a broken ankle before and the sensation was disturbingly familiar. So Jerry dug up my old crutches out of the basement and I headed to bed with the painkillers that were left over from a back injury last summer, anticipating a day spent waiting in Emerg today.

And there, as I carefully tossed and turned throughout the night, trying to find some comfortable position without jarring my foot, I thought about the implications of spending the next six weeks in a cast. Since the injury was to my driving foot, it was going to be really difficult to drive the 60 kms to and from work each day, especially at 100km/hour on the Deerfoot. And then it's a 10 minute walk from the parking lot to my building. And I suck at crutches. But I figured I could somehow get to work once and then take stuff home with me. Work was the least of my concerns.

What really killed me was the realization that I would have to miss the folk festival, including volunteering at the record tent. The locale has some pretty rough terrain, a lot of the stages are in amongst trees and it's quite hilly. I would end up with two broken ankles by the end of it.

Plus our planned trip to Manitoba would be in jeopardy as well, as that would be right about when I would get the cast off.

Throughout the long miserable night, I progressed through all the stages of grief:
denial - "I did not park in that spot, I did not wear those shoes",
anger - "how could I have been so stupid?",
bargaining - "just give me this one day to do over again",
depression - "what's the point, I'll just lie here for six weeks and get fat(ter)",
and finally, acceptance - "it is what it is, I will get a lot of reading done, maybe learn to play guitar and I'll be able to spend more time with Eva".

I finally fell aseep and then this morning, I lay in bed, thinking that the pain was not so bad. I cautiously moved my toes and felt no bolts of lightning shooting up my leg. Finally, I sat up, swung my legs over the side of the bed, and pulled myself up with the crutches. And then I very carefully placed my foot on the floor. And I did not die!

My foot is not broken after all! I am using crutches, but only so I don't put my entire massive weight on my foot,and I figure I should be off them in a few days. And I didn't have to go to Emerg.

My life is perfect. I will not take mobility for granted ever again. I have seen the light.

What kind of reprieves have you unexpectedly received? Did they change you?


John Mutford said...

Glad to hear the crisis was averted. I had images of you up in your room with a telescope, spying on your neighbours for the rest of the summer.

mellowlee said...

Whew! Thank goodness! I hope it's 100% better very soon Barb.

Deb said...

I think I've probably posted the story of my fall at McD's (like their food isn't punishment enough). I didn't know what happened at first....Ty laughed as he said I did a "tuck and roll" manouever and he didn't realize I was hurt. Then I just missed getting hit by a car that pulled into the lot. I got up to see that I'd stepped in a hole and was bleeding on both knees/elbows and had badly twisted my ankle. Plus our bag of food was totally squished/spilled. They were aware of the holes and promised that they'd be fixed soon, but six years later and it's still not done.

Deb said...

(oh and I'm such an idiot...hope you are o.k. Nothing sucks worse than immobility and crutches.

Deb said...


Karen said...

Whew! That was a close one. I'd like to know what kind of shoes you were wearing...

When we were kids, my mom was the only car in a parking lot and for some reason decided to back up rather than just drive forward out of her spot. How, we're still not quite sure, but she backed into a lamppost and gave herself severe whiplash. We're all very glad she no longer drives.

phlegmfatale said...

What a relief! I've heard that people who have sprained an ankle AND have broken one say the sprain is more painful. I dunno, but I've sprained my left one several times, and it's brutal. I find that the more gentle walking I can do on it early on, the faster my recovery is. When I have just sat for weeks with it propped up, it recovered way more slowly - I think the circulation of moving it gently helps me recover more quickly. Oh, and you've gotta get one of those ace-bandage things for the ankle - it's like a sock with the heel and toe cut out, but it gives great support and helps to curb swelling.

I hope you mend quickly, hon.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I considered that, John, but then I would probably witness a murder or something and nobody would believe me except Grace Kelly.

It's getting better all the time, Mel, thanks for the good wishes!

I got nauseous reading your McD's tale, Deb - that's exactly how it would have turned out for me if the cart hadn't held me upright. Well, except for the getting run over part. And the squished food part. And the kid laughing at me part. Okay, your story is so much worse haha!
I'm going to talk to the mall management, as there are a lot of old people who shop there, and that could be deadly for them. I'll bet they fix it pretty quickly actually. Stupid McDonalds - if they can't kill you with the food, they try the parking lot method.

Yikes, Karen! I'm glad your mom doesn't drive either! Jerry's dad was the worst driver and he kept getting less and less attentive, but wouldn't give up his driver's license. It was really frightening, and we did not let Eva into the car with him.
Oh, it was these shoes- not much of a heel, but for me it doesn't take much.

I am going to get one of those ice support bandages, Phlegmfatale, that sounds perfect for wearing to work. I think you are right about the gentle exercise as well, I'm finding if I sit took long, my foot stiffens up, but walking around with one crutch is good. I've had both a sprained and a broken ankle and you are right, sprains are really painful, but breaks are a major pain in the butt.
Thanks for all the great advice!

Dale said...

My reprieves usually involve the glory of a return ticket Barbara. Glad you're okay, sounds like it could have been pretty horrible. How would you have typed your blog? With your other foot? I shudder to think.

Allison said...

I'm so glad to hear that it was not broken, how's it holding up now?

BeckEye said...

Glad you don't have to miss the folk festival! And I'm glad your foot's not broken. Were you recently playing with someone else's crutches? 'Cause you know what they say...if you pretend to be on crutches, you'll end up on crutches for real.

I can't think of any major reprieves right at this moment. Although I was in a car wreck once, and I was in the passenger seat, and when I looked out the window there was a giant steel pole that we narrowly missed hitting by about a foot. I was thanking my lucky stars and that gray haired guy in the sky all night. I still look back on that night with great thanks.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thank the powers that be for those unredeemable return tickets, Dale, or we'd all still be sitting at the kids' table!
I couldn't type with my other foot though, as it is usually firmly embedded in my mouth.

It's doing pretty well, Al. I think I must have super healing powers or something.

I swear I wasn't fiddling with anyone's crutches, Beckeye, but that is good advise along the lines of that from my mom: "don't drink milk and eat cherries or you will die".
It's those narrow steel pole misses that keep us forever humble. YIKES!

Anonymous said...

Barb, so glad to hear you are not seriously injured. Try to R.I.C.E. your ankle as often as possible. Bryan wonders if your lawyer has been in touch with Safeway yet. And be careful in the garden-I sprained my wrist using a dandelion weeder 2 weeks ago.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Wrists are nortoriously poorly designed, Berni! I hope you are mending well, or we shall have to compare injuries when we get together.

My foot is coming along very well - I'm leaving the C part out of that equation though, as it hurts to squash all those little foot bones together. And tell Bryan it's nto Safeway's fault but I will certainly alert the mall management to the problem - wouldn't want any of the elderly stepping in that.

Beth said...

There is a God, and he loves festivals as much as we do! Praise Jesus, Mohammed, and Vishnu!

I slid across my grocery store’s produce floor last summer, leaving me with fascinating pain. It took about six months before the floating pain subsided.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That is indeed a fascinatingly good pain story,Beth! It's great to get a new party trick like that, innit?

And you have to admire a woman who can do a good pratfall!

Nora said...

I like the title of this post - it's always been one of my favorite lyrics, and it's effective here. Long live Morrisey.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hi Nora, welcome! You actually have to look pretty hard to find BAD Smiths' lyrics imo. But that is a fine one.