I am a gong show. I am a walking, stumbling, no-balance, poor-spatial-skills gong show. I have a long history of injuring myself while…walking. I am the queen of showing up with giant, purple, angry bruises from…I HAVE NO IDEA. So, when I got myself couch-ridden last week, no one in the Sisterhood or in my life was surprised.
It all started innocently enough – a long 8-km walk a couple of weeks ago with two of the sisters, one that we had taken before and one we used as a wild-flower collecting expedition.
But on the last kilometer, just after buying supplies for the yummy breakfast we would have at Jacqui’s house afterwards, I rolled my ankle. It wasn’t a bad one (remember the long history? Yeah, also not the first one…), but it made me go down onto my knees and skin my elbow. Both Toni and Jacqui weren’t surprised to find me on the ground, but of course they were worried. I hobbled home, reassuring them that everything was okay, and after a day or so, my ankle felt normal again and happy.
That Tuesday, though, I did it again. This time I was also on a sidewalk (the most dangerous walking surface known to Julia), and I was just walking, minding my own business, but I was with Sophie. We were chatting on the way home from buying some bread and milk from the grocery store across the street from us, when I went down again. My ankle gave out, rolled, and stabbed me in the back.
This one hurt a lot. I was able to hobble home, reassuring Sophie that I was fine, but once I got inside the house with Ben, I started to sob. I so wasn’t okay. My ankle was sore and swelling, and my knee, which caught my fall, was torn and bleeding. Ben cleaned me up, found the biggest band aid we had in the house, and then left me to be a parent all day. Sugar daddies are like that. 😉
This roll stuck with me a bit more – my ankle was more tender and sore, but I kept plowing through my life, as I’m wont to do. I kept mothering and walking everywhere, including wandering the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market while pulling a wagon full of produce and babies, and hanging out with other mom-friends and their babies at splash pads and parks, and generally ignoring my traitor of an ankle.
But last Saturday, my ankle had the last laugh. I was sitting (SITTING!!!!), with my legs tucked under me as I always do because I’m short and can’t touch the floor, so it’s more comfortable to sit with legs pulled up than dangling down. I moved to get off of the stool I was on and my ankle twisted funny. From that moment on, I couldn’t bend it. I couldn’t stand on it. I couldn’t put any weight on it. I couldn’t move it without it screaming at me. It was all done. And so was I.
I tried to ‘pop’ it because it almost felt like the joint was stuck and just needed a bit of pressure to go back to normal. Nope.
I tried napping, hoping that my ankle would relax and be fine again. Nope.
I tried crawling around, hoping time off of it would help. Nope.
I tried getting Ben to carry me everywhere, while laughing my head off at how ridiculous I must have looked. Nope.
And then, after the babies were in bed, I tried going to the hospital for x-rays. Yep.
My ankle wasn’t broken, just sprained really, really horribly. And I was prescribed the classic athlete prescription – RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. I wasn’t allowed to put any weight on it, I had to keep it up, I had to put ice on it, and I had to wrap it in a sexy tensor bandage. Yay me! I hobbled out of the hospital with a brand-new pair of crutches and extreme worry.
Worry about walking with crutches – if I couldn’t walk like a normal person with two healthy legs, how the hell was I supposed to accomplish walking with two sticks stuck under my armpits??
Worry about the prescription – how was I supposed to complete my RICE with three babies under 7 at home??
Worry about my ankle – did I ruin it completely? Will I ever be able to walk or run normally again? When can I run again? When can I walk again? Why does my ankle hate me???
I got home, ate an ice cream sandwich because that’s what I do when I’m sad, and went upstairs to bed. Where I fell. Again. It was spectacular – I mis-crutched in my bedroom and ended up falling right back, like a tree timbering, to avoid catching myself on my out-of-commission ankle, all the way to the floor, where my head landed in the lost sock basket and my crutches flew into the air and I started laughing. Hysterical laughing. Tears streaming down my face until I actually started crying. Hysterical crying. Ben had to calm me down and literally put me to bed. Gong show.
Of course, after a good night’s sleep, and some drugs, things started to unwind a little in the worry department. I remembered important things, like I’m not alone. I am not an island. I am a mother and wife and daughter and sister surrounded by a village of people who actually like me (they’re so screwed and crazy…). And that this silly ankle problem that HURT LIKE HELL was not the end of the world. I always think on the bad days that it’s the end of the world, that it will never get better, that this state is how things will always be. But then I get talked out of that tree and everything gets brighter.
Ben stayed home with me on Monday all day, giving me a second full day on the couch and giving us time to figure out the rest of the week.
I kicked the day off with a shower, which of course included me falling again. This time no crutches were involved, but I fell in our tiny bathroom, and my underwear got caught on a door hinge on the way down, so that when I landed, I not only had a hurt toosh, but my underwear were up near my neck and I had a giant wedgie. Sexy gong show.
Then, I asked for help from sisters and from my dear mom friends and my own mom.
Andreah came every morning to clean my kitchen, wrangle children, and fetch me coffee, water, and food.
Andrea and Michele ferried Sophie to her art class every morning, sometimes keeping her for lunch and play dates. Bethany took my kids for three of the afternoons, letting me rest and keep my foot up while she fed and napped and chased my babies.
And my mom kicked in an afternoon of motherly love, which included toenail painting (including Isaac’s!).
I’m happy to report I’m walking around now, fairly crutch-free, with some tensor bandage fashion and ice-pack dates punctuating the day, versus being the day. My ankle still aches and I know I still have to take it easy, but at least I’m moving in the right direction, I haven’t fallen in a while and I’ve stopped giving myself door-hinge wedgies. I’m cured! At least until my ankle decides to hate me again.