A Day in the Life

The right side of my ankle does not normally look this fat. This was about an hour after what I have termed as ‘the incident.’

Anyone who knows me, knows I am prone to accidents stupidity that often results in physical pain.

I am not by any stretch of the imagination a ‘sporty’ or coordinated person. Put simply, the ongoing joke is that when God was handing out coordination and talent I was hiding behind the door.

That said, a few months back a friend whose husband plays pro football here in Australia, gave us a match game ball… we decided to throw it around the yard as family (something we haven’t done before) and my husband was apparently impressed enough to comment, ‘you have a pretty good arm on you!’  I can assure you, no one was more surprised than me. It just may have been my finest moment. Ever.

I digress.

I often sometimes occasionally during red moons, walk to pick up my son from school. I had walked so often over the past weeks along with my daily jalk that I felt I might possibly have graduated to being able to jog the whole way, without causing myself serious bodily harm.

On this particular afternoon I had dressed in my cute Lorna Jane outfit, tightened my sneakers, attached my ipod in its handy little silicone pouch, and found my sporty Oakley sunglasses…I was ready to go become a jogging machine!

I closed the door behind me as I took of at the speed of an Olympic athlete. On stride two I slightly misjudged where the garden bed actually met the driveway, and in a swift motion went down like a sack of (well-coordinated and fashionably attired) potatoes. Stride two, people, stride two!!

The pain was excruciating and I was sure I had broken my ankle. Unfortunately my elderly neighbor was outside at the time and saw me go down. He yelled out asking if I was OK. In my desperate need not to be humiliated further, I forced myself to my feet and plastered a smile on my face and yelled out “FINE!”as I gave what I hoped looked like a cheery wave. I suspect my ‘wave’ looked more like a drowning victim giving his last desperate signal for help before never being seen from again, but I did what I could.

I waited for him to walk indoors before I collapsed to the porch and bum-crawled my way into my home. I continued the bum-crawl until I got to the couch and called hubby in a fit of crying.

“You have to drop whatever you are doing RIGHT NOW and go pick up our son from school. School lets out in 10 minutes and there’s no way I can get off the couch, to the car and use my foot to drive.”

In typical fashion, he did what he usually does when there is work to be done in life he’s not too fond of doing – he delegated. Deciding he couldn’t possibly make it on time, he called a friends husband who was picking up their kids that day, and asked him to collect ours too.

Turned out this poor guy was already carpooling a zillion other kids and our kid would put him over the car-safety threshold. If only he had asked, my husband would have told him it would be no problem to strap our kid to the hood (he’s liberal like that).

After a while I heard the sounds of children’s voices from outside the house. It turned out this poor man (Thanks Ray, we still owe you for that one!) had to walk all 7 or 8 or whatever number it was, children to our house to drop our kid off, and then walk them all back to school where his car was parked, before driving them all home. To say he was gracious is an understatement. I suspect we aren’t his favorite people of the year.

My kiddo walked in the door and saw me and my ankle and realized things were not good. He (sweetly) asked me if he could get me anything. “Ice, towel and nail polish,” was my reply.

He didn’t question me, but my husband was incredulous when he arrived home and saw me stretching over in serious pain, in a valiant effort to paint my toenails.

“What are you doing?” he asked, “I know, I know, don’t answer that. You’re painting your toenails even though you are in obvious pain, because you don’t want to go to the hospital and have people looking at your foot un-manicured. I’m right aren’t I?”

My face was the only answer he needed. “You’re insane,” he responded, “completely insane. I can’t believe I married someone as crazy as you, frankly it speaks volumes about my mental health….” he sighed... “Let’s get you to the hospital.”

Having yet to visit an Australian hospital to test the system out, he was quite excited to see what ‘free’ healthcare looked like (especially given he wasn’t the guinea pig).

I think he quietly suspected there would be sick and dying people lying in the hallways, bright yellow warning tape across various rooms and a severe shortage of painkillers along with people screaming in agony and a mild infestation of roaches.  With that expectation, he was destined to be pleasantly surprised.

This is the same ankle, about 4 hours ‘post-incident’.

Here’s how it went:

5:15pm. Hubby goes into emergency and is followed out by a nurse with a wheelchair. I am taken straight into a private room where they took all my details, level of pain, how it happened, given pain meds etc.

5:25pm. Sent to X-ray. Told they were waiting for me there and given directions for how to navigate our way around the hospital to find it.

5:30pm: Arrive at X-ray. Hubby left me to get a snack for our son since we figured I’d be waiting a while.

5:40pm: I call hubby to rush back, they are ready to take me in

5:45pm: X-ray completed. We are told to wait right where we are. The X-rays would be developed and digitals emailed through to the orthopedic surgeon.

5:52pm: Radiologist comes out with our X-rays, tells us to go back to the original check in area, and the orthopedic surgeon would call my name. We head back but are intercepted in the hallway by the surgeon who is waiting for us, and taken to a private room to talk.

5:55pm: Surgeon shows me the X-rays and talks about what happened. I have torn ligaments in my ankle, it would have been better if I had broken it he tells me. Ligaments take as long to heal – often longer…blah, blah, blah. (It’s all sucky news.)

6:05pm He goes to get crutches for me and fits me for them and wraps my foot. Gives me extra wraps and bandages and pain killers and tells me to rest, ice, elevate etc and come back if I have anymore trouble.

6:12pm: As we are leaving the doctor tells me if the pain is really bad, to ‘swig a couple of pain pills down with a scotch or something.’ (I think he was joking, but later in the evening, I briefly consider taking his advice.)

6:18pm: we walk out of the hospital with my husband actually asking the lady at the front desk where the billing department is. She looks at him like he’s a little slow in the head. “There is no billing department” she answers “There is no payment for these services.

He’s giddy with joy, like a kid in a candy store. It was almost amusing.

6:25pm: We are in the car and on our way home with me having narrowly missed losing my life in front of an ambulance pulling in, due to my lack of co-ordination with the crutches. I suspect another accident in the near future if my crutch ability is anything to go by. (No one warns you just how much coordination is required to use those things!)

6:26pm: My husband excitedly announces that its “awesome” we got crutches for free and when I am done with them he’s selling them on eBay -declaring that this ‘accident’ of mine will end up being a profitable venture for our family.

6:27pm: I witheringly explain to him that no one in Australia will actually buy the crutches, because we can all get the for free from the medical community anytime we need them.

6:28pm: He seems visibly disappointed and wonders out loud about  the shipping costs of sending crutches to the USA to sell to the poor sods there – where nothing in medicine is free.

Later that evening: “Do me a favor honey,” (he looked at me lovingly) “leave that jogging stuff to the professionals from now on…eh? Sometimes we just need to know our limitations in life, and this is clearly one of yours.”

I didn’t cook him dinner for a week.

24 hours ‘post incident’. I no longer have an ankle, its swallowed by the awesome swelling, along with most of my leg. The nice grey color reaches about 3/4 way up to my knee. Sexy, no?

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31 thoughts on “A Day in the Life

  1. Stonehead says:

    I should be expressing sympathy, but I’m too busy laughing. Take it easy and, as you’ve been advised, leave jogging to the professionals in future. 😀


  2. Oh my, I thought the grey in the picture was a *shadow*. From someone who comes from a family of people with “weak ankles” and as a child, habitually sprained 1, repeatedly, the the point of “I’m shocked I can’t just rotate this baby around fully now” I hope it heals quickly for you. The dr. is right, sometimes a break is better. And I’m going to say it. I’m jealous. Not of your injury, but of the fact that you could enter an emergency room and within 90 minutes, you’d been seen, treated, and sent home. I went to the ER here, in small town West Virginia, when I *amputated* (sliced the tip off of) my right hand middle finger. I was in the ER waiting room, for probably 90 minutes before they took me back to take my vitals & ask me questions. Then I probably sat for another 90 minutes, waiting to be taken into a room. Then I sat for probably another 30-45 minutes waiting for the nurse to come in. Then finally, a dr, and 2 minutes of her time is all they needed- she applied a thing to my finger to stop the bleeding, and then the nurse wrapped it all up and gave me my care instructions. In all, I was there for probably at least 3 hours, 2+ of them with a finger that wouldn’t stop bleeding.. a lot. YaY for the U.S. healthcare! /rolleyes.


    • Ah Meg, we have had many of those experiences in the USA system, and to be fair, I’ve heard my fair share of horror stories about the system here, but I guess I got lucky! I’ve never done and ankle before – either I’m a total wimp or ankles are brutal for pain! This was 8 weeks ago, so I’m almost 100% now. 🙂


  3. dorannrule says:

    I love this story because I have broken the same ankle twice. First time was a “greenstick fracture” that healed on its own in a walking cast. When it happened I couldn’t bear the weight of a sheet on my foot. Second time was a break that needed surgery and is now held together with pins and plates. We are twins when it comes to grace in motion. A dance instructor once told me, “You have no rhythm and no balance.” Good call. Your post is hilarious Karyn, but at the same time I can empathize and feel your pain.


    • I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only uncoordinated woman on the planet – feels nice to have some company! I finally found your new blog address and it worked for me Dor! I’ve subscribed and look forward to getting your updates. 🙂


  4. Elyse says:

    Ouch!!!! I’m not sure what hurts more, though, Karyn. My sympathy pains for you or the fact that you get socialized medicine. Sigh.


    • Hilarious Elyse, I can’t tell you the times people looked at me when I was living in the US and said (with obvious horror) “You lived with socialized medicine???”

      I never understood what the fuss was about until I watched elections and the descriptions of what terrible things would befall the people of the country if socialized medicine were to be implemented were displayed all over my media outlets.

      Granted, I have heard horror stories here of people waiting hours with a sick child or a broken foot – no doubt it happens, but so far I have nothing but positive experiences to report – though I will say the entrances of hospitals over there are SO much prettier and well-decorated!!


  5. Yikes! You really don’t do things by halves, do you? That bruising is seriously impressive, not to mention the swollen-to-high-heaven dimensions of your post-incident ankle. Wishing you a quick recovery, and in the meantime, am hoping you are inundated with kindness and help from the people around you.
    I had to laugh when I read the bit about the nail polish. When I saw the photo right at the top of your post, I swear I was thinking, “wow, look at those gorgeous toenails!” 🙂


    • Ha! Thanks for the comment on the toenails – for all my painful efforts, the medical staff seemed to barely notice! I milked that ankle for a good 24 hours – until my husband went on a business trip and I had to deal with kiddo, cooking and housework on my own. Not the most languid of recoveries! Still, it was weeks ago now, so Im doing much better thanks!


  6. Anita Hamilton says:

    Beautiful writing, I felt like I was there with you… Take it easy with that poor ankle, and make sure you go to Physio to strengthen it back after you heal.
    Cheers, Anita


    • Thanks Anita – so many people suggested I do physio – and I ignored them, until it had been about 6 weeks and I realized they were right – it needed to happen! Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting – much appreciated. 🙂


  7. dorannrule says:

    Hi Karyn – it’s me again. This time I’m here to tell you I’m giving you the Reader Appreciation Award! You are definitely well appreciated. 🙂


  8. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? I ain’t believing this!!

    First off. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I kinda chuckled as much as I didn’t want to at you falling in front of the neighbor. But really…if it was me I would totally be disappointed if YOU didn’t laugh.

    But girl…I just can’t believe the swelling! I am just so, so sorry. It looks terribly painful. I just feel terrible for you.

    And that man of yours??? PRICELESS! That man is a riot!!

    (Though I’m betting you probably have a different choice of words for him during all this!)

    I sure hope you’re back up and bouncing around soon…sending tons of hugs your way.

    Love. =)


    • Oh Carrie, you KNOW I wrote this whole post so you could laugh!

      What’s the point of bad fortune if you cant get a laugh or two out of the deal? What else would I have written about in my blog? A calm, orderly life is an empty blog I always say…

      and to answer your comment, yes, my hubby was in the doghouse for a good few days after that comment – we both enjoyed some peace and quiet with the lack of conversation 😉

      Hope you are well I miss you posting as often as you used to – but we both know I’m not one to talk!


  9. A great article indeed and a very detailed, realistic and superb analysis of the current and past scenarios.


  10. First, OUCH! Second, I support putting beauty before pain – or ER visits. To say that I enjoyed this post sounds so wrong. How about this: I read it with great interest – and hope that you’re healing well and feeling better! I’m visiting by way of Virginia Views and am happy to have been “introduced” by her. I love your blog’s banner!


  11. mj monaghan says:

    And I bet you would clean your house before a cleaning person came to clean it, wouldn’t you? My wife is the same way. You all go to the same training school for women, don’t you?


    • Of COURSE I don’t clean before the cleaning lady comes, I ‘tidy up’. Really, its not the same thing…. regardless of what my husband would tell you! Your wife sounds like a fine, ‘tidy’ woman, lucky you!

      Thanks for the comment 🙂


  12. societyred says:

    Unfortunate situation but great writing! I hope you’re feeling better by now. I expect you have some updated photos of the various shades of purple and green that I know your ankle turned.
    Last summer I did the same thing except it was at a campground and I was on my way to the bathhouse for a shower. Wrapped only in my towel with my soap and shampoo in hand I turned to look at my wife and stepped on a large round rock. Everything went flying as I hit the dirt totally embarrassed. And as usual when I do these things, my wife laughed hysterically! Very slow trip after that…no hikes, but plenty of amazing colors on my foot.
    Love your work!


  13. Oh my. I’m sorry to laugh because it looks so painful, but the story with it is so funny. And Michael is mistaken ( mj) we ALL go to tidy-lessons it’s just that it seems that a lot of guys choose to cut class that day. Kris.


  14. mark says:

    I hope your absence from blogging is not related to a crutches related mishap! Oh, and OUCH! Bitsy kicked one of Louis’s chew bones about three years ago and that broke her toe. She tripped and broke her wrist less than a year later, less than 15 minutes after a minor car accident. You and her should start or join a league of professionally accident prone. Oh, and I love your husband’s entrepreneurial spirit!


    • Mark, sorry for the delay in response. I’m thinking some kind of league is a fabulous idea! She and I do sound like kindered spirits – send her my condolences on that! My hubby is ever the entrepreneur!


  15. As they say, laughter is the best medicine! Well wishes.


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