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August 3rd, 2011

About five and a half years ago, I was leaving my apartment, rounding the corner leading to the stairwell when I slipped. I fell, but my foot remained level, wrenching it so that extreme pressure was put on my fifth metatarsal, which snapped cleanly. It took almost 9 months to completely recover, and for about three months, I lived on crutches–a pain even if you have a decent set.

Well, three and a half weeks ago, I slipped and fell at work, placing stress on the same bone. I thought I heard something, though not the definite crack I heard when I broke the bone cleanly. The foot hurt like heck, but was not ballooning up like the break had, so I prayed it was a sprain and went off to class. After an hour, the pain and swelling was enough to convince me that a hospital visit was definitely better sooner than later, so I cut the class short (it was the last class on Friday, so a tiny bit of luck there) and took a taxi to the closest emergency room.

Sure enough, this one was a hairline fracture. I didn’t need a full cast, but they made one of those half-cast things that they activate with warm water so the material hardens and makes something that can be bandaged onto your foot to keep it immobile. So it was back to crutches, and I switched back to riding my scooter to work.

The scooter was a godsend, as it was years ago. The crutches I got this time were terrible, the handles hard bare wood with no padding, just murder on my hands. Now, imagine going to the station–the south side, as the side closest to me has no escalator or stairs–a 15-minute walk even when healthy, on crutches the whole way. Then a similar walk from the station to work at the other end. Then repeat that on the way home. No. Fracking. Way.

Hell, when the typhoon hit recently, I had to abandon the scooter for one day, and that was bad enough. Even taking a taxi from and to stations, I still had to navigate the stations, and nearly fell several times because of the effect of the slippery floors on the rubber pads on the crutches. In one station, I had to ask a guy working there where the elevator to the street was–and he sent me to the wrong one, which was a long, painful crutch ride to an elevator that deposited me to a place I knew–smack between a very lengthy hallway between stations. I could have killed the guy. The pain was excruciating by the time I got to the street.

On the scooter, I just hop out my door, ride the thing to work, and hop in the door. No problem.

Things got worse, however; my first day back to work, I tried to navigate a small space, lost my balance, and fell over backwards–spraining my left wrist. The one I needed to use the crutches. Well, that was fun. Back to the emergency room, nice to find I had no breaks, but still, I now had a fractured foot and a sprained wrist, and had to get around on one crutch.

It was not a fun few weeks.

Worse, it put off the puppy search Sachi and I had planned for so long. I wanted very badly to get the puppy at the very start of a vacation period so I could be there full-time for as long as possible while the pup was small. But a fractured metatarsal means no driving, and we’re not getting the puppy from a pet store–we are set on checking out breeders and finding a puppy from a good one.

Just this week, I was able to mostly abandon the crutch, which was an improvement. Previously, I had to use my ass to go up and down the stairs–sit down and push myself up or down one step at a time, whilst moving the crutches up or down every three or four steps. Now, I am using the heel of my right foot instead and so can get around without crutches most of the time, and hopefully can start using the full foot soon. I should be good enough to drive by this weekend, and we’ll check out a few breeders with a rental before we go to Sachi’s hometown for O-Bon.

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  1. August 3rd, 2011 at 12:06 | #1

    When I was walking with crutches (I severed my Achilles tendon 2 years ago) I was walking stairs sideways, one step at a time, with one hand on the rail and the second one holding the crutches. It was quite comfortable and fast at the same time…

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