I like to think of myself as tough. I have survived a lot of things in my life that people never even think about: a tough, ghetto middle school, government cheese, Reaganomics, and other things that most normal folks do not want to read about. So, I tend to walk around thinking that I would surely be the lone survivor of the zombie apocalypse with just a set of steak knives and a baseball bat. The truth is I am a marshmallow.
I injured my leg a couple of weeks ago. I was on the hamster wheel (elliptical), and my cat, Andre, would not stop attacking the cords connecting the TV to the bevy of game and Direct TV boxes in the rec room. I’m sure in Andre’s mind they were evil snakes that needed to die, but I knew that these snakes would bite back if he bit them. So, I picked him up and marched halfway up the half flight of stairs to gently toss him out of the rec room.
For some reason, in my head, I thought I was only one step up. So, I proceeded to step down, backwards, WITHOUT EFFING LOOKING WHERE I WAS GOING, to what I thought was the floor of the rec room. WRONG! I fell three steps, and landed entirely on my left leg.
I saw stars. For real. I had always heard people talk about seeing stars, and I wondered if they were talking about Sandra Bullock or George Clooney. No, they are talking about blinking asterisks announcing that you have screwed up and hurt yourself.
I leaned against the couch and talked myself out of being in pain. I said, “You can walk. You’re fine.” That tough girl was taking control. So, I did a super smart thing; I got back on the hamster wheel to finish the rest of my workout. As Carlos Mencia says, DEE DA DEE.
After I was done, I showered, got dressed, and began my workday. I work from home, so this involved firing up the MAC and typing. At lunchtime, I went to a dermatologist appointment. I was hobbling around a bit, and I knew that I should elevate my leg and put ice on it, but I had no time for that. I promised my son that he could drive me to Target that afternoon. He has his learner’s permit, so driving is exciting for him.
So, later that afternoon, off to Target we went. I hobbled around the entire store. I don’t even remember what we bought, but it seemed really important at the time. Finally, when we got home from Target, I put ice on my knee and upper calf. Later that night, I put a BenGay patch on my knee.
The next morning, I felt much better. For real. I just had a small pain in my calf, nothing I couldn’t handle. So, for the next two weeks, I continued to walk on the leg. I did not rest it, or elevate it, or compress it, or ice it. None of that stuff. I’m a zombie killer, remember?
Two weeks after the initial injury, I found myself on my bathroom floor crying. Yes, crying. Don’t tell anyone this, or you will ruin my reputation. Anyway, when I got up that Tuesday morning, after running myself ragged, showing out-of town family around, going to a party, walking around a conservatory, cleaning the house, and all of the other things I did while ignoring that calf pain, I COULD NOT walk. The pain was incredible. I had my cell phone in my pocket, so I called the home phone to alert my husband that I needed help. He could not hear me yelling.
My husband took me to the ER, where they wrapped my foot, told me to take Motrin, and presented me with a referral to a foot and ankle specialist and a set of crutches. At the time, I was thrilled. Yes. Crutches would enable me to get around while this damn foot healed. What I didn’t realize was that crutches are actually torture devices invented by the people at the Biggest Loser. They have to be. Being on crutches is the toughest cardio workout I have ever experienced.
After the first day, I THREW them down on my way to bed, crawled up the stairs to our bedroom, and laid on the bedroom floor and cried and yelled at my husband. I threw a toddler tantrum. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not going to lie. I was in pain, I was frustrated, and I would never survive the zombie apocalypse with these coping skills. I also realized that I was incredibly out of shape, which is a sad thing to realize at 41.
The next morning, I decided to call the foot and ankle doctor. The nicest woman, Marsha, answered the phone. She got me in that same day. She even called back to tell us that there was free valet parking and wheelchairs were available. YES! I would not have to use the crutches.
Everyone was nice at the office, even the woman who made me stand on my bad foot so she could x-ray it. All of the x-rays were normal, of course. There couldn’t be a simple diagnosis. So, the office scheduled an MRI for me and sent me home in a boot. The doctor told me that I didn’t need the crutches and I could walk in the boot. I asked him if he was sure about that, and he said yes.
So, now, here I am with this boot. It’s heavy, it’s ugly, and it’s not too comfortable, but I can walk to the bathroom without having a minor heart attack and breaking out in a sweat. I can make myself breakfast without thinking that I will trip over one of my crutches and hurt myself again. I hope I don’t have to wear this forever, but right now I am coping. People put up with a lot worse in life. Plus, zombies are pretty slow moving; I could still out run them in my boot.