Winning At Ankle Injuries, Except Really the Opposite of That
April 08, 2013
The ER doctor warned me that my ankle would take at least four to six weeks to heal, and even longer if I didn't:
1) Stay off it
2) Stretch and exercise it
3) Elevate it
4) Ice it
5) Ice it, then soak it
6) Repeat items 2-5 at least five times a day
The ER nurse added to my aftercare instructions by yelling "NO SHOES NO" at me when I asked whether I was supposed to wear the air cast over or under my shoe.
No shoes no. Okay then. So...socks? I'm supposed to walk around in public with only a sock to protect my feet from general ground filth? That's going to be a really, really gross sock.
At that point the nurse rolled her eyes at me in frustration because NO SHOES NO, BECAUSE NO WALKING NO EITHER. IT'S LIKE THE FIRST THING WE TOLD YOU, IDIOT.
You can imagine how well I've been able to follow the above instructions. As soon as I could bear to put weight on my foot, I damn well did so, because the crutches were a huge pain in the ass and the arm muscles. I maybe remembered to ice it once or twice a day. I usually made it about halfway up or down the stairs following the "proper" ankle-injury stair-walking protocol (up with the good, down with the bad, one stair at a time) before getting impatient and walking up normally. Every time I elevated it, someone would inevitably come along and sit on it, to the point that I felt too much like a vulnerable wounded animal to lie down on the couch with my foot propped up and would flinch and yelp in proactive fear every time my children approached me.
Last Thursday my air cast disappeared into thin air (okay, into a drawer that I didn't think to check), but then boys had karate so I went commando without it. And I wore yes shoes yes.
So of course, my ankle remains solidly, pathetically borked. The skin looks much less zombiefied now, as the bruises continue to make their way through the rainbow kaleidoscope of fucked-up colors, but I'm still limping and feel reeeeeally unstable and wobbly without the ankle support. And yes, it still really goddamn hurts and I kind of regret not filling my prescription for Percoset from the ER because "getting hooked on prescription painkillers and then like, having a full-on meth spiral five minutes later like a PSA commercial" ranks surprisingly high on my list of Irrational Fears. I threw it away and took Advil instead.
I keep swearing that no, today, I MEAN IT THIS TIME, I'm going to keep off it all day and ice it and stretch it and be the best little injured person I can possibly be. I'm going to get this right and let it heal properly so I'm not that person who sprains her ankle every time she steps off a curb in a stiff breeze.
(As opposed to the person who sprains her ankle every time she wears stiletto platforms and has to like, walk across a carpeted room. Whatever. That's a completely different kind of person.)
This resolution usually lasts about 20 minutes or so, or however long it takes for something like this to happen: