The story itself, we can start with. A simple attempt to alight a hotel shuttle ends with me slipping off that little jutting ledge they have TO AVOID THIS SORT OF STUPID THING, landing on the edge of my left foot, in high heels, and of course my ass, because I bought a new dress for this wedding and of course I land on my ass. Actually I bought new nude pumps for the occasion as well. They're only slightly scuffed and it's barely perceptible; had it been worse I would have just thrown myself off a bridge (these shoes are cute).
So there you go. I could go on and talk about how afterwards I had another couple of drinks and walked around on my broken foot for awhile, but WHY EMBARRASS MYSELF FURTHER.
The shock I have over getting such a stupid injury is palpable, especially after a veritable lifetime of questionable choices and some seriously misplaced trust: sure, I'll sit on the hood of your car, I am confident you will park your car and not take off, pedal to the metal, down the parking lot and then slam on the brakes, sending me flying several yards before skidding several more on the pavement; you know, I've never skied before, let's try that black diamond, I hear it has a jump and everything!; a hot Mexican honey shot? SURE sounds delicious.
In fact, that shock mingled beautifully with the pain on the drive home from the wedding venue in Phoenix back home to Tucson. The pain was physical, and more importantly, psychological. That's actually the whole point of this post, how horrifically painful the threat is, of losing all those basest, simplest functions that we wholeheartedly take for granted.
For those two long, throbbing, uncomfortable hours of squirming, half-moaning and not-quite-crying, I went through a list of things I wouldn't be able to do. Since I wasn't sure how severe the break was, but was pretty sure it was a break, the time frame of crippledom stretched from two to six months, and after my dad regaled me with a tale of an ankle sprain so severe it kept him on crutches for two months and not-quite-right for a year, I may have even swooned.
The list started from the "big" stuff:, to the "small" stuff, which I realized later was the opposite: I wanted to do Warrior Dash in April. I enjoy running and biking on a weekly basis. Taking my child to school, to the park, to the museum. Walking. Grocery shopping without a goddamn wheelchair. Cleaning the house. Making dinner. Going to the bathroom by myself. Showering. Rolling over in bed. Being independent.
You know that cinematic trick of zooming in on the main character while the background seems to fall away? That's how the reality of a stupid broken foot felt as it came flying towards me. My God. One stupid moment of not paying attention, of being flippant because hey, I KNOW how to get out of a van, OKAY, turned into potentially a quarter of a year being benched during the game known as My Life.
Todd of course was amazing, jumping up for me every time I needed something, or walking me to the bathroom. And he waited so long with me at Next Care, and then went grocery shopping while I waited for the doctor and the X-Rays, and was just so sweet. But it made me feel so guilty, so stupid that just some mistake, some accident, could make my entire family's life turn upside down, dumping everything onto my husband's shoulders.
I got the X-Rays, and the doctor guy comes in and is all "Well, you did break it. It's in pieces. Surgery is highly likely." And my sweet husband is at the store and I'm alone and I see surgery and pins and boots and crutches and casts and months of recovery and loss of independence, and humiliation and fear swarm me like a thousand angry bees. Tears flood my vision. I nod my head, ask for my X-Rays, and get fitted for crutches and a boot.
The next day was better. In fact, it was fabulous. I went to Tucson Orthopedics and the wonderful doctor, who, after what he said, is now up for Sainthood in my opinion, told me it was just a fracture. Its horseshoe shape is what must have made Next Care Guy think the end of the metatarsal was in pieces. But this doctor told me it's the most common fracture there is, no surgery necessary, to walk on it whenever, that I wasn't special, and I have never been so happy to hear of my status as a mundane, boring old Regular Person.
Relief washed over Todd and me. Several high fives were executed throughout the rest of that day, and the morning after. I had been faced with, and was blessedly relieved of, the threat of a life that was filled with things I hated; the inability to exercise and move my body, to be an active participant in my kid's life, no longer being able to take care of my family, not being able to carry my own weight, do my part, not being able to be independent. And the whole walking and showering thing, that was huge too.
So now I have an ETA of six weeks for recovery. I'm walking on it, I'm going to work today, and I've only taken three pain pills (only at night) so far, though Ibuprofen is my friend and counsel. I'm managing, I'm kicking its ass, I'm going to the bathroom by myself and shaving my legs and washing my hair and I made dinner the other night. And, you know, I am thinking I might still do that Warrior Dash in April.
Thank God, the universe, the angels and the devils and whoever else moved in or stepped aside to let me escape relatively unscathed. And I'd like to think I've learned some lessons about, you know, going a bit slower, taking stock of a situation even if it's as simple as getting out of a hotel shuttle.
Hey, anyone wanna let me sit on the hood of their car while they park?