Friday, November 03, 2006

On the road again…

No, not travelling…sprawled face first on it.

Well, it was a driveway, actually…and a gravelled driveway, at that. And for the past ten days or so I have been dosed with pain killers and confined to anyplace where I can keep my right foot elevated, preferably higher than my heart. So I’ve been spending a lot of time in bed. With my foot up. Stoned.

This isn’t the first time I’ve bunged up an ankle and ended up on painkillers with my foot strapped up and propped up. Early in 2001 I managed to fall off my porch (don’t ask…I haven’t quite figured out how yet, myself) and landed butt-first in a big geranium bush. Unfortunately, as I plummeted the entire metre from porch step to geranium-cushioned earth, I heard a sickening crack in the region of my left ankle…a breaking bone has its own distinct, stomach-turning sound. Alone and in excruciating pain…thank goodness one of the cars had an automatic transmission…I drove myself to the emergency room and emerged several hours later, one hand clutching a shocking hospital bill, one foot encased from toes to knee in Velcro-strapped black plastic.

It took months for it to heal, despite its being a fairly mild break, as breaks go. Of course the doctor put the Fear of Surgery in my heart by warning me that if I didn’t keep my Darth Vader boot on at all times, they’d have to go in and “pin” the bone together, a fate I emphatically wished to avoid after seeing him demonstrate the procedure on my x-ray. So I hobbled around on the ugly, clumsy thing for the prescribed three months and emerged, eventually, almost as good as new.

Fast forward five years and a Monday morning in Cape Town. I went out to pick up the mail and found the neighbours’ little bulldog, Xander, peering up at me through the bars of my front gate. Xander’s predecessor, Lexie, wandered away from home and ended up dog-napped, never to return, much to the heartache of the two little boys who live across the street. So, being a good neighbour sort of person, I took it upon myself to escort Xander home and close the gate that someone had carelessly left open.

This is another one of those “I dunno exactly what happened” deals. I closed the gate and turned to walk down the gravelled driveway, as I have done dozens of times in the past, and after only a few steps my right foot struck something hard and I suddenly went flying. Instinctively, I stuck out my other foot to steady myself, and struck something else! The next thing I know, I’m skidding on my hands and knees on a driveway full of sharp gravel, a sharp pain shooting through my right foot…thankfully without cracking sound effects.

Pumped full of adrenaline from the fall, I picked myself up and limped across the street to my house, looking back to determine that I had fallen over a large white stone that had somehow become detached from the driveway’s border. It didn’t take long, however, for the throbbing and swelling to begin, and so I called Hubby… “I’ve either broken or badly sprained my right ankle,” I told him over the phone. “I’ll be right there,” was all he said. And he was.

By the time we reached the hospital, I couldn’t bear any weight on it at all. X-rays, however, revealed no broken bones, just lots of blood in the spaces between all the little bones in my foot. A bad sprain, the doctor told me, along with instructions to stay off it and to keep it propped up, preferably higher than my heart.

It was two days before I had the courage to remove the elastic bandage, but I was desperate for a shower, so I took it off and, with the help of a wheeled office chair, rolled into the bathroom. Once the bandage was off, I was horrified at the sight of my foot! Fat as a purple and blue balloon, with five plump little sausages sticking out of one end, it was alarming! I quickly showered and wrapped in up again…the compression helped keep the pain down to a dull ache…and rolled back to bed, where I’ve pretty much been confined ever since.

Two days ago I discovered I could put enough weight on it to hobble to the loo and back, and last night, fortified with painkillers and Hubby’s strong arm to lean on, I managed to make it to a dinner out, but today I’m back on the bed with my now purple, blue, green and yellow foot propped up and mildly throbbing.

But next week is our third wedding anniversary and Hubby has booked a getaway in the winelands, a few days and nights at a lavender farm in Franschoek, and you can bet I’ll have this foot thing under control, one way or another!

1 comment:

  1. Hallo there sweetie,

    I was cleaning out my e-mail and saw your name in an old message. Thought i'd pop over an say hallo. So sorry to hear about your ankle. Hope you're good as new, soon.



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