Count me among the casualties of this mad scientist weather we’ve been having. Last week, I was strolling down the bare pavement of my sidewalk to put my daughter’s car away, unaware that a fresh layer of freezing rain had lubricated the way.
As I stepped onto the frictionless surface, I knew something very bad was about to happen. Sure enough, my right foot slid underneath me and I came down on it, just like an NFL running back making, what turns out be, their last carry of the season.
As I fell back, I heard a loud crack from the right ankle. I also heard something louder: the blaring of my daughter’s car alarm. Miraculously, I pushed the right button to turn it off. As I lay there, I recalled how I’d stopped drinking milk 20 years ago and wondered if that had been a good idea.
I got up and put the car away and tried to resume my normal activities. My throbbing, deformed ankle demanded attention, though, so I slipped some ice inside my sock. This lessened the pain considerably. However, the ice combined with all the corpuscles racing toward my ankle gave me the chills.
So, I decided to retire early. I told my wife matter-of-factly that I’d slipped on the ice and broken my right ankle. She offered to take me to the hospital but I was determined to show my family that I wasn’t a wimp. They thought I’d overreacted to major surgery by moaning for a month. I’d show them I could get through the night with a fracture.
At first, I didn’t think I’d make it. The pain was a “nine” in the resting position. Then I dangled the ankle, so it wasn’t touching anything and fell into a merciful sleep.
The next morning we visited an ER that was swamped with people nursing body parts that had struck the ice. After a few hours, an X-ray showed that I’d fractured the right fibula.
The technician who applied the mold to my ankle had two artificial legs, so I wasn’t in a position to feel sorry for myself-yet. That night, though, I thought of all the gloomy scenarios. I’d be housebound in a cast and go out of business, because I’m self-employed.
The next day, the orthopedic brightened my outlook, though, by writing me a prescription for a walking boot. After some minor squabbling with the HMO to get the referral for my boot-they threatened to kick me out of the HMO for yelling at them-I was fitted and flung away my crutches.
I haven’t spoken to the village yet about my fall, but I’m sure they’ll be agreeable to having heated sidewalks installed throughout the village. I also hope they’ll suspend the night parking ban, at least until I get this boot off.