Temporarily Disabled: My 6 Weeks in a BootReading Time: 4 minutes
“I think I broke something,” I said calmly as I (not-so-gracefully) exited the Uber SUV.
My friends and I were returning from a Halloween party in the wee hours of Saturday and, while climbing from the back row of the truck, missed the top step and twisted my ankle. Like really twisted it. And yeah, I was wearing high-heeled boots rather than my sensible Doc Martens, but don’t blame the victim.
No one believed me, but every step and toss and turn in my bed was excruciating.
After a visit to Urgent Care on Sunday (where I was told it was merely sprained and given a low boot and crutches). I rested, iced, compressed, and elevated. I decided to seek out a specialist on Monday. I saw the images with my own eyes. A clean break on each side of my ankle. I was given an even bigger boot, a recommendation for a CT scan, and many many instructions.
Sitting in the office, I quickly ran through in my head all my work and personal obligations for the week ahead. And, ironically, I had just written a column about “rapid reflexes” for Thrive Global.
Because writing can be both inspirational to others and a form of self-therapy, I decided to chronicle the six weeks of my experience as a temporarily disabled person and the healing/growth process. Originally, it was just a private journal. But then I figured, what the hell!
I titled it “The Wild and Weird Adventures of Scooter Girl.”
Because I had just dubbed November my month of Gratitude, I’m deeply grateful for all my friends who have been helping me out and for the fact that my injury wasn’t worse.
So, here we go…
Installment 1: The Fall Before the Fall
I love a good challenge.
But I wasn’t expecting to start the holiday season with my right foot in a high air cast, a pair of crutches, and what they call a “knee scooter.”
The universe must have tossed this badly broken ankle at me for some reason, such as:
- I need to re-boot (pun intended) and sit still for a while
- Figuring out who my true friends are is vital at this stage of my life
- I had lost appreciation for the simple things in life (like my health)
- The lesson that “high heels are usually not a great idea for me” had not yet been learned
- My Medicare benefits hadn’t been fully utilized in 2021
So, here I am.
Sitting in my apartment in the aforementioned air cast, awaiting my scooter delivery.
I was able to navigate the shower this AM, so at least I don’t smell and my hair will look better. No one likes a physically-challenged woman with dirty and disheveled hair.
And I have tentative plans to try out my new scooter for happy hour across the street.
Nothing can keep a scooter girl in the corner. But I will be VERY careful over the next six weeks.
Installment 2: Not-so-Kinky Boot
I ended up returning the scooter because it was big and clunky and made me feel like an invalid (invalidated?) Iordered a lightweight lime green one from Amazon, along with accessories (memory foam seat and basket…I didn’t see streamers and a bell). Blessings, Bezos!
Although I’m joking on the outside, I’m aching on the inside (literally). I ventured out to an event yesterday and am paying the price. My new insights:
- Some bathrooms for the disabled are as far away from the entrance as possible, which makes no sense to me. But I’m digging that rail on the side to prevent slip and falls.
- Most people are genuinely concerned and helpful when they see someone who can’t walk. I may leave the boot on for the rest of the year, so my colleagues will give me rides and bring me coffee.
- Many activities CAN be done without a foot, including:
- Watching Netflix (although I do way too much of that)
- Learning new stuff online (ditto)
- Talking to friends on the phone
- Addressing holiday cards (which will be done WAY early this year, although I’ll have to figure out the stamp and mailing thing)
I may hire a short-term personal assistant this month, but that seems kinda bougie. I’ve been surfing Care.com for candidates. I keep thinking about Kramerica.
Installment 3: Reality Sinks In
Learning to live with a disability (even if it’s for a mere six weeks) is clearly a process.
Shock, pain, acceptance, distraction as a result of the outpouring of sympathy (and the purchase of medical supplies), then annoyance. I am now in the middle of phase 5 (i.e., annoyance).
I would give anything at this point for one good night of bootless sleep. But my respite is getting easier each day. I’m hoping the results of my CT scan will allow me to sleep in a sock-like thing rather than Frankensteinian footwear
Speaking of immobilization in bed, the ice splint cometh! I saw my foot for the first time in two days, and the technicolor bruising was kinda scary. So, I’ve gotten better about the icing process, even teaching my Amazon Echo to time the sessions.
I went out with some girlfriends for dinner last night and discovered that the boot is a good conversation starter and, oddly, a man magnet. Weird.
Getting dressed up and socializing was so good for my heart, soul, and head. Feeling like a person and not a patient will aid my recovery.
To be continued…