Anyone who knows me pretty well knows I love shoes. I don’t actually buy many pairs (really) because I like to buy expensive shoes, but I love to admire shoes. I especially love when I feel like it is my shoes that really make my outfit and I get a little kick out of looking down at my feet during the day. If you don’t love shoes, you really can’t understand and you probably think I am crazy. If you do love shoes then you know exactly what I mean.
Being forced to wear sneakers all the time has been so disappointing. Looking at my favorite shoe websites is like being in the ice cream aisle at the grocery store when I’m on a diet. (Luckily I can’t get to the grocery store these days.)
Here are some shoes I’ve admired over the last several weeks:
OK, yes, I probably could break my ankle all over again in the Boden heels, but the other 2 are sensibly flat.
I really want to order the loafers, but it is like shopping for spring clothes in March when you live in New England. You buy them and they hang in your closet until May when it is actually warm enough to wear them. That makes me sad.
I haven’t even mentioned how lonely the shoes I already own are feeling. They really can’t understand why only the left sneakers are getting all the attention.
Healing update: I am officially down to one crutch! This is very liberating as I can now carry things in one hand from place to place. I never imagined I would appreciate that so much. It’s taken some extra Advil to get here, but it has been worth it.
One of the hardest parts of dealing with this broken ankle has been the logistics of getting around. Not being able to drive and not being able to carry anything (beyond a backpack) is a challenge. Because of the steps leading up to my second floor condo, I even need help just to get out the front door. The many inches of recent snow fall has done its best to trash a lot of my plans for going anywhere.
Last Saturday afternoon when there was 6 inches of fresh snow from the day before I found myself sitting at the window watching my daughter walk the dog. The sun was coming in the window and I opened it so I could get some fresh air. And there I was with my face practically pressed against the screen sucking in air like it was my last chance to breathe and I realized that I had a clear case of cabin fever. I hadn’t been outside since Thursday at that point and it wasn’t clear when I was going to be able to go out again.
Despite the ice and snow Rob took me out on Sunday so I could meet up with Tracie for coffee. We had to carefully negotiate our parking lot and then find a place to park near the coffee shop where I could get in. I had to navigate around ice and snow on the sidewalk as well as dress warmly enough for the cold, but still be able move with the crutches. It was great to be out, but it was also exhausting. I got home and took a nap.
You can repeat that story with different details all this past week.
And here I now am. I want to go out, but it is so damn hard to get anywhere I also just want to stay home.
Before I end this I will give another health update:
I saw the doctor on Tuesday and she took another x-ray. Yes it is still broken, but things still look to be healing well. I am allowed to put more weight on my foot and she wants me to work up to walking first with only one crutch and finally without crutches (still in the boot) over the next several weeks. I have some exercises to do as well. So, looks like it is time to start working for my recovery and I am totally up for it.
As you can see I am not the only one who ever thought to blog about their experiences with a broken ankle. I am just one in 1.4 million or so. While this does make me feel much less creative than I had imagined, it also makes me feel better because I know I am not alone. I am not the only one who has found this to be significant, emotional and a situation worthy of writing about. I scanned a bunch of posts and saw a lot of the same feelings of frustration, occasional loneliness, and anticipation of recovery. A weekend project will be to find someone on a similar timeline.
It is 9:30 on a Saturday morning. Normally I would have already walked a couple of miles, attended my Pilates class, chatted and gossiped with Tracie, and be just about getting ready to think about leaving Starbucks to start the rest of my day which no doubt included cleaning, driving Zoe to her activities and errands. Instead I’m sitting here in my pajamas. I’m physically exhausted from the week and I am hoping to recover a bit today. I just finished breakfast and before that I was listening to some podcasts (Catching up on Serial and Slate’s Spoiler Specials) and scanning Facebook. After I finish this post I’m going to go watch a movie and then read. Rinse and repeat.
Time and the pace of my life have really changed for me since my accident. In little ways and in big ways. It has been nearly 2 weeks since I fell and almost everything takes longer from getting showered and dressed to walking down a hall or a flight of stairs. I think I even eat more slowly. Each day feels long and I am exhausted every night from all the extra effort. My sleeping has been mixed, but on the bad nights when I can’t get comfortable and can’t sleep, the nights feel endless.
Some things feels shorter, like my commute. Because I need a ride to and from work I have had the pleasure of riding with someone and talking. Rob drove me in all 3 mornings I made it to the office and it was nice to have the time to talk and organize the day, week, etc. in a way we absolutely never get to do in the mornings. While riding home with Sally this week in normal heavy traffic we both couldn’t believe how quickly we arrived having talked and talked the entire ride. Having Karen interrupt her life to come all the way to Stamford so we could go to book club was also a gift. I was so happy for the extra time with her as she is about to move away. (For the curious, we read Fates and Furies.)
I saw the doctor on Monday and I got mostly good news. He said the break is clean and the bones are lined up so I don’t need surgery and I don’t need a cast, I can continue in the boot. Even better I am now allowed to put some weight on my foot as I walk with the crutches. This makes it vastly easier. The crutches are still tough, but not so impossible and treacherous. I asked for an estimate on recovery time and was told 8 weeks which means I have about 6 weeks left. I almost wish I didn’t know that because it seems like such a long time.
I am trying not to think about the time left every day. I am trying to just go forward into each day without thinking about the difficulties. I am trying to appreciate the things I now have more time for. And while I absolutely know a broken ankle is small potatoes in the scheme of things and my struggle is a mere inconvenience in the scope of this larger world, it has really rocked my little world.
Last night I was in Barnes & Noble and I happened upon this quote from Cheryl Strayed from her book Brave Enough that spoke to me and that I will be trying to keep in mind on the tough days.
Allow your acceptance of that to be a transformative experience. You do that by simply looking it square in the face and then moving on. You don’t have to move fast or far. You can go just an inch. You can mark your progress breath by breath.
I’ve showered! The shower stool works pretty well. Getting on and off of it is not glamorous nor is it a cedar bench spa experience, but in these desperate times, being able to clean myself feels like a luxury.
I’ve been outside! I was happy to get out today for the first time since I came home from the walk-in. A doctor’s appointment and lunch made for an exciting morning. Hopefully I got a little vitamin D as well. I was worrying about not working out, but getting anywhere on crutches seems to be pretty significant exercise. Especially going up and down stairs. I need a lot of practice with that. Luckily I had very generous and patient help. Of course I had help, I can’t even drive.
Now I’m not sure how I’m ever going to go out again with the impending snow-pocalypse. I keep worrying about it and the rational part of my brain knows there is nothing I can do, but I keep thinking back to last winter when the snow never melted and just kept coming and I keep worrying that is going to happen again.
Next up I am going to consider getting a knee walker.
Around 12:45 pm Monday, January 18 I was heading out to clear off the snow from my car so Zoe and I could go out and enjoy the day off having lunch and then bowling with Karen, Tracie and kids. Zoe was walking the dog. In the parking lot my left foot slid on some black ice while my right foot stayed firmly planted on the dry pavement. Then I heard this horrible crunching sound and I was on the ground sitting in snow. Zoe came around and found me on the ground. Strong as she is, she helped me get up and I actually walked on my foot. I kept thinking it would be fine, that I just twisted it, but after sitting in the car for awhile and realizing how much it hurt to flex my foot I realized I couldn’t drive and needed to go to the walk-in or something.
I called Rob. He came home from work to drive me to the walk-in. We dropped Zoe off for lunch and bowling so at least she had fun. They took me pretty quickly, luckily. It was a walk-in orthopedic place so they seemed to know what to do. Doctor took a look, I got x-rays and surprise, surprise, it is broken! I believe I replied with a very elegant, “shit!”
So, that’s it. 1 second is all it took to knock me down for the foreseeable future. (Probably 6 weeks.) I’ve started this blog so I have a place to complain. Everyone keeps telling me it is not so bad and intellectually, I know that is true, but right now it feels like shit.