I sprained my ankle on Monday night:
I bounced off the curb outside my house, landed wrong, and immediately went down on the pavement. You can see the scrape on the side of my foot where my rolling foot hit the rough gravel of the street fill material, directly above my ballooning ankle itself.
Obviously, I was on auto-pilot, focusing on getting to the car to help Paul unload groceries, while talking to my mother on my Bluetooth headphones. So I suppose the lesson I’ve learned here is BE MINDFUL OF THE STUPID 3″ CURB.
After going down, landing on my side, and being grateful I didn’t roll into an oncoming car in the process, I just started yelling ANKLE ANKLE ANKLE while gasping for breath from the pain. Paul helped me up, and then I hobbled, slowly, up the 16 stairs to my apartment. I still had the presence of mind to grab a bag of frozen vegetables before collapsing on the couch:
When Paul came back in, he brought me extra pillows and a bucket. Why a bucket? BECAUSE THE PAIN WAS SO BAD I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO THROW UP. Thankfully, after elevating and icing the injury – and four Advil – it subsided a bit.
I then proceeded to throw any work I had planned to do out the metaphorical window and watched Netflix for two hours. The Toys that Made Us was surprisingly distracting from the pain!
It was especially enjoyable because the women of Mattel were badass. Recommend for anyone who has Netflix and was born in the 70s. Certainly better researched than the Robot Chicken equivalent.
I woke up Tuesday to slightly less pain and the ability to hobble. After posts from nurse friends on Facebook convinced me to get my ankle checked just in case, I managed to hobble down the stairs, outside to a car, and into my local doctor clinic. The swelling was slightly better by then:
I had hoped that my local clinic doctor would look at my ankle, declare it a normal sprain, and send me on my way home again. Instead, he agreed with my nurse friends that it could be a fracture or tear, and suggested I go for X-rays and a specialist diagnosis. He then proceeded to kindly call four podiatrists before finding only one that had both imaging equipment on site and walk-in availability: a doctor at Weill Cornell on the Upper East Side.
From Fort Greene to the UES is a long way, but I managed it. I hobbled down the subway stairs, clinging to the railing and side stepping one step at a time. I took my two trains, taking full advantage of the mid-day space to sit down. I took the elevator to street level at 63rd and Lex, and then flagged a taxi to get me to the medical facility. That was where I realized, this wasn’t a clinic, it was New York Presbyterian, a HUGE facility I would have to hobble around for the next few hours.
It turned out to all be OK though. My main fear wasn’t the pain itself, but rather, any damage I might be doing by hobbling around. Pain I can handle, anxiety, I cannot. I got my X-rays, saw the specialist, and got a great look inside my ankle on the ultrasound machine:
(Image courtesy of Anatomy Physiotherapy, this is not my actual ankle)
The doctor kindly explained what we were seeing: the bones, the ligaments, the tendons. Ultimately, he found a small tear and told me that it was between a 1 and a 2 on a scale of 3 in ankle sprains. No fractures, no tendon separating or anything weird, just a plain old sprain. He prescribed me an anti-inflammatory and an AirCast:
And now I’m thankful to have the opportunity to WFH for the rest of the week until I travel to Toronto on Friday. I can walk a little better today than yesterday: I can put more weight on my right leg, and I can walk with my foot forward. Yesterday, I walked with my foot to the side, dragging my right leg and keeping it straight in a way that allowed me to hobble through the streets of New York City without turning my ankle at all. Today is much better already – even if it is still hard getting up, and I wish I had done more pistol squats before this happened
Had I done more of these, getting up off the couch would be a breeze!
Obviously, many lessons have been learned here, not the least of which is to be grateful that this should be healed within 1 – 2 weeks. The doctor suggested doing single-leg stands starting next Tuesday the 1st, as well as some simple physical therapy exercises I can do at home to get mobility back in the ankle once it’s released from it’s Aircast prison.
This has also reminded me to be grateful every day that I have a completely healthy and working body and to take advantage of it by going for a walk. Being unable to freely walk around makes me regret all the times I didn’t take a break to go outside. Go outside, people! It’s spring! Your ankles work!