Thursday, November 8, 2012


Yes, it's been awhile - did you expect anything else?

Since my last post I have left my job, traversed the US, broken an ankle, moved to the UK, went to an Olympic soccer match, and started a new job.

Oh, did I gloss over something?

Read that again.  Go on, I'll wait.

That's right!  During my treck across the United States I managed to break an ankle!  I was so shocked when it happened that I was convinced it wasn't broken. 

Everyone I meet here keeps asking me how I did it, but the story is so boring I've been telling people that I jumped out of an airplane and landed wrong.  The real story is much more boring.  I was walking through a field that had just been mowed.  Since the field had just been mowed, there was cut grass and hay covering a hole I didn't see.  It wasn't really a hole, it was more of depression.  Regardless of what you classify it as, I stepped in it wrong and my ankle twisted.  The sound I heard was like stepping on dead tree branch - crackle!

Once I hit the ground, my husband ran over to see what had happened.  He got me to a standing position and walked me over to where we were sitting.  Since I was able to walk (painfully), and move the ankle (painfully), I assumed it was just a really bad sprain.  Luckily, we were at a cookout and there was a large bag of ice available for me to put on my ankle.  After 20 minutes of icing, my husband was pestering me to figure out if he needed to take me to the hospital.  I told him that I would get up and walk to the bathroom - if I was able to walk, then the hospital wasn't necessary.  Well, wouldn't you know it, I COULDN'T WALK.  So, we left the kids with the nice folks at the cookout and went to the emergency room - if that's what you want to call it. 

The emergency room was part of a very small, country hospital in Southern Vermont.  Sure, they had doctors and nurses and an x-ray machine - but that was it! 

I was sent to get my ankle x-rayed as soon as we got there.  Shortly after I returned, the doctor came in and gave me the bad news - it was broken.  But he also had good news!  It didn't need to be put in a full cast.  Instead, he formed a peice of fiberglass to mold to the bottom of my foot and the back of my leg, secured it with an Ace Bandage, and sent me on my way with instructions on what to do if things changed. 

We had camped out the night before and were planning on camping that night as well.  Since I was in so much pain, and couldn't really see how I would get up and down in the tent, we decided to cut our visit with my friends short and head on to our next stop.  We decided this in a cell-phone dead zone (eh, it was Southern Vermont), so we couldn't call our friends who weren't expecting us until the next day.

The friends we were going to are in Northern Vermont - a 3 hour drive away.  We figured we could call them on the way, giving them enough time to prepare for us.

Unfortunately, they had decided to go out for the evening and didn't return until we were 20 minutes away from their house.  Since we had never gotten the ok from them to come up early, I was calling all of the hotels, motels, and inns in the 60 mile radius of their house - they were all completely booked!  What the hell?!  What on earth could be going on in Northern Vermont that not a room was available?  I never really did get an answer to this aside from New Yorkers don't like to spend their weekends in the city.  Don't these people buy country houses for this problem?

Anyway, once we did get in touch with our friends, they were very understanding and said that of course we were welcome a night early - phew!  If we hadn't gotten in touch with them before getting to their house (at 11:30pm, mind you) we were planning on pitching the tent next to their house (which also happens to be the yard we shared when we lived next door to them) for them to see when they woke up in the morning.  We stayed there a total of 4 nights.

During the days we were there I was in contact with the hospital in Southern Vermont.  They had had their radiologist read the x-ray and suggested I see an orthopedist before leaving the country (oh, did I not mention this happened 6 days before our flight to the UK?  Yeah, good times).  I tried to get an appointment with an orthopedist in Northern Vermont, but their weren't any available.  So, the hospital in Southern Vermont suggested I get a walking boot to use until I could see someone in the UK.  I was able to procure this the morning we were scheduled to leave Northern Vermont for Boston.

The walking boot was MUCH better - it felt much more secure and alleviated a lot more of the pain.

Since this post is already sooo long, I'll fast forward to now - 15 and half weeks after I  broke my ankle.

The ankle is still pretty useless.  It turns out it wasn't a normal break.  It's what's called an Avulsion Fracture - where my ligament ripped a peice of bone away from the main bone.  Because of the force that this happened, the damage done to the ligmaments and tendons in my foot was pretty extensive - how extensive, nobody knows because the only way to see that damage is with an MRI.  An MRI was not done in the US when the injury occurred because it was a small, country hospital.  An MRI was not done in UK because they cost a lot of money and the National Health Service won't pay for one until all other options are exhausted.

So, the plan now is to do physical therapy for a few more months and then reevaluate to see whether an MRI and surgery is necessary.

Well, that's all I have time for.  I'll try and be better with posting, but we all know how that promise has turned out in the past.