Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Turn and face the sprain

When I was a kid, I thought it would be the coolest thing in the world to sprain a joint or break a bone. I saw so many friends and classmates with their (signable!) casts and their finger splints, and I wanted a piece of that action! When it finally happened, it was anticlimactic (my brother stepped on my little finger, and I didn't even know it was broken until a doctor confirmed it looked like an old break, long after it was healed). Now that I'm a seasoned connoisseur of musculoskeletal injuries and they just keep on coming, I'm pretty sure it's not cool at all.

When I was young and all starry-eyed about the idea of showing up to school in a cast, I thought it would be a sort of badge of honor—like, "Look at what happened to me! I was doing something so awesome and exciting that I caused serious damage to my body in the process!" However, in real life, I've never acquired an injury in an awesome or exciting way. Among my most notable injuries: I broke my toe getting out of bed, I sprained my back because I coughed while bending over, and I sprained my ankle dancing to Gangnam Style. These kinds of mishaps do not serve to bring me the glory I always imagined. In fact (dancing to Gangnam Style!?), they're downright embarrassing.

My latest injury was acquired in an equally unimpressive way: I sprained my ankle falling off the couch.

At least I can say that this injury was caused by altruism. I was giving the dogs water when I noticed one of their bowls had quite a lot of hair and particles floating around in it. Rather than force the dogs to drink hair and particles, I thoughtfully dumped the bowl into one of my plants so I could give the dogs fresh water. The plants, as you might recall, sit in my bay window behind a grate, requiring anyone who wishes to water them to stand on the couch and lean over the grate—a precarious position to say the least. I handled this acrobatic feat with aplomb, but the trouble came when I turned back to return to solid ground. As I was lowering my left foot in preparation for landing, it got caught on the yoga mat that I use as a waterproof pad under the slipcover. The slipcover was not on the couch at this time, because it had recently been washed (removal of a urine spot courtesy of Bubalou), so the yoga mat was free to fold upward under the pressure of my right foot, and snag my left foot on its descent. My left foot did not handle this acrobatic feat with much aplomb, as it twisted quite painfully before my knees collapsed. The subsequent tumble was surely a sight to behold, as the half-full dog-water bottle and dog bowl I was holding all went flying to the ground along with my body. So to recap, I get karma points for suffering this grievous injury whilst providing water to both dogs and plants, and the dogs get all the blame.

Dogs. Ruining my life on a regular basis!

In case you were worried, I don't think this is a very serious sprain. I can still walk (limp) on my foot and run it through an approximation of its usual range of motion, and I was able to bike (slowly) to work today. I'm sure I'll be back to my usual tricks in no time flat, but in the meantime, "flat" is the operative word. I am pretty certain that all those lovely high-heeled sandals I have been so excited about wearing are going to have to go into hibernation for the foreseeable future.