If you’re feeling lazy, you can read the following sentence and skip the rest of this post: 1. always wear your joint braces; 2. in softball, there should be 2 first bases (1 for the runner and 1 for the fielder); 3. because I did not follow my own advice in #1 and others did not follow #2, I wrecked my right ankle.
I’ve been trying to find a way to relay what seems to be critical information for future blog posts — namely, what exactly happened to my ankle — without sounding melodramatic or self pitying. In an attempt to de-dramatize what for me was indeed traumatic and life altering, I will stick to the facts.
August 2007: I’m at bat in an intramural softball game. I swing, make contact, and sprint to first base. Unbeknownst to me, the inexperienced 1st-base woman has her entire foot on the bag. I’m focusing on outrunning my pathetic hit, making up for mediocre batting with speed. In an instant, my foot snaps over the 1st-base woman’s misplaced foot and I collapse. An eversion sprain (the foot rolls outwards), followed by an inversion sprain (I try to catch myself and end up doing double the damage). Forgetting I’m not wearing Swede-Os, I stand up, shake my foot, try to “walk it out,” and after 1 to 2 steps collapse on the field.
A few friendly men carry me off of the field and an EMT creates a makeshift splint. At the ER an hour later, my foot and ankle are at least double their normal size. According to my orthopedist during my visit the next day, my toes “look like little hot dogs.” How delicious.
At the ER, I am x-rayed, pumped with heavy-duty pain medicine, placed in a boot and crutches, and instructed not to weight bear at all.
My orthopedist thinks I have a 2nd-degree ankle sprain that should heal up within a few months. He writes me several prescriptions for narcotics, joking that I can pay for my college books by selling some of the pills (yeah, he’s a cool orthopedist…one of few), and instructs me about icing and eventual weight bearing.
A week later across the country, a radiologist at an imaging center where I have just had an MRI runs into the parking lot and asks, ‘excuse me, are you the young lady who just had an MRI of the right foot?’ I think he knows the answer because my right foot has a solid boot on it and I’m hobbling to our minivan.
‘I’m the radiologist and I’ve read your scan. Please, could you come into my office for a few minutes?’