I didn't think that I was going to talk about my injury, but Jayne's post caused me to decide otherwise. I know I have mentioned this injury in the past, but these are different times with different readers, and I will likely write about it differently as well.
I was struck with how Jayne's injury stemmed from a seemingly non-threatening situation, and I realized that such was my case, which presently haunts my later life.
Almost exactly 30 years ago except for a few months, it was the first day of summer vacation. I played a few sets of pretty competitive tennis and was feeling good about my game and looking forward to a summer with much good exercise on the court.
That evening, I took my youngest to her softball game and was warming her up before the game. We tossed a few back and forth. She threw one that I had to reach up and to my right for. I stretched up and felt a pop in my ankle. I actually felt like I heard it too, but who knows whether that is possible.
I don't know why it happened. Was there a bit of a depression which I caught just right (or wrong)? I don't really know, but I knew it was bad straight away, and the immediate swelling provided plenty of confirmation. So I made arrangements for a neighbour to take my daughter home after the game, hobbled to the car, and basically drove with my wrong foot. I got into the driveway, leaned on the horn, and asked Sue to take me to the hospital once she came outside to see what was going on.
These were the days before triage, and I sat in the waiting room quite awhile without being attended to: no ice or elevation. It irks me now to think about such lack of treatment, but that was then.
Eventually they bandaged me up and sent me home with a cane and a prescription for Tylenol 3s. I don't know how many of those pills I took that night, but it was way more than my limit, and they didn't help at all, or at least it didn't feel like they did. I was in agony,
Basically, I spent most of that summer in my recliner where I read a lot of Ludlum. Eventually I had physio and began to get back on my feet, just about in time for school to recommence two months later. Physio had been delayed because my foot had reacted to the bandages and given me a huge blister type of bubble on the inset. It was ridiculously huge.
Back to school I went without a cane and managed to play tennis again the next summer, but it was mostly less demanding doubles and not energetic singles. I remember reprogramming myself to begin my runs with my left foot and not my right, but I managed.
But the injury changed the way that my foot fell when I stepped, and 20 years after the injury, my ankle started to bother me.
Eventually, CT scans revealed the total disappearance on one cartilage plus bone chips. I could have opted for fusion surgery but results couldn't be assured. Not only that, but I wouldn't have been able to put weight on it for 6 months. With, the rest of my body and especially the left knee is not up to me hopping around for 6 months, I decided not to forego the operation.
And so, I live with a limp or at least an odd gait and feel the pain in my ankle with every step. While I don't want to overstate the pain, it does exist. I still sometimes contemplate having that operation although I still don't have a clue about how I would manage that long recovery.
So, I kind of hobble about on my slow but almost daily walks, but I do keep at it regardless. I call it hobbling, but I trust that it isn't too noticeable. In other words, I don't think I exactly look severely injured.
That seemingly innocent action of stretching for the ball first caused a summer of inactivity and rehabilitation followed by unremitting lifetime consequences although I did have two decades where my ankle was relatively good. I guess that is something to be thankful for. But don't ask me to be overly appreciative. Okay?