I’m currently sitting in the Down Under at the University Center, listening to Jed Whedon’s History of Forgotten Things, and avoiding the 12-page monster that is due on Sunday. Instead, I opted to write a reflection of the last eight weeks, which have surprisingly flown by. For me, according to everyone else, it’s been “forever” since I broke my ankle. It’s strange that I don’t feel as though it’s been so long, but it also concerns me as I realize just how accustomed to the cast and crutches I have become.
It feels crazy to utter the words “I broke my ankle eight weeks ago.” It certainly doesn’t seem that long, to me. And the sheer fact that I broke my ankle often surprises me. I’ve never been an athletic person. I tried sports in middle school and once in high school. I played volleyball (I was awful) and basketball (I was even worse at this than volleyball.) I LOVED baseball through middle school and played summer softball, which I wasn’t completely awful at.
Because of my distaste for the fall and winter sports, I replaced them with theater and music. By the time I could try out for softball, my freshmen year, I made the decision to stick with the more artistic extracurricular.
When I found roller derby, three years ago, I was hesitant, terrified and skeptical. I loved skating as a kid. I had a lot of parties at the rink. I even considered myself to be not half bad at skating. Getting accepted in the Babydolls training program by the Mad Rollin’ Dolls was a huge surprise and absolutely amazing. While I never was drafted to a team, I have been committed to the sport both on and off the track ever since.
Now, three years later, I haven’t been on skates in eight weeks.
On March 8, I made it almost a full hour into practice. I had just put on a brand new pair of Juke 2.0 wheels and had recently adjusted my trucks. I skate on Reidell 965 boots with Invader plates. I had been having some issues with agility loss and had been fighting my trucks. Upon asking for assistance I found out that it was time to adjust the pivot pins. That had been a few weeks earlier and I was still trying to get it right.
For that first hour I was still adjusting those damn pivot pins and getting used to the switch from 93A wheels to 95A. The one positive thing was that the bane of my derby existence, the snow plow stop, had suddenly been working for me. I had never actually been able snow plow before and the switch to the Jukes fixed that. I was talking to everyone and anyone who would listen to me about how amazing this was. After three years, I could do something that everyone else seemed to find so natural!
An hour into practice, we were doing a simple drill I had done a hundred times. Two rows of skaters, one row slides in to hit the other skaters off the line. I was in the hitting row. I’m also pretty darn good at hitting other skaters off the line.
I don’t know what went wrong. I’ve replayed it a thousand times in my head. I was sliding in to hit the other skater, I missed my timing and as I approached the line, slightly ahead of her, my foot just stopped and I fell over.
I heard the dreaded crack. I felt the instant pain and I made some sort of scream type noise. The girl I had gone into hit is a great friend of mine and had fallen on top of me. She scrambled off and I lay there, thinking, “What just happened?”
Whistles blew; a couple dozen skaters came in to my rescue. Mentally, I was freaking out, though everyone says I was very calm. A couple of the off skates members helped me off the track, ice was fetched, gear was assembled and my husband called. All the while the only thing I could think is “what does this mean? Will I be able to skate the scrimmage in May?”
No. No, I will not.
My husband and I were in the E.R. for over four hours. Many x-rays were taken. I amused the staff with my calm demeanor and jokes. I don’t take things very seriously when things look grim. When they asked what I did I just said “Oh, I fell over.” They laughed. Then I explained roller derby and every single Nurse and Doctor thought that was about the coolest way to injure oneself ever.
I wasn’t actually in a whole lot of pain. Which was a surprise. After a couple hours I was thinking “Oh man, I’m totally wasting everyone’s time. It’s just a bad sprain.” I started telling my husband that. He rolled his eyes and just kept trying to keep my mind off things. I was all good, mentally strong until the doctor finally came in, place a hand on my ankle (the one I just injured) patted it a couple times and said “Well, you broke it.”
I abruptly became nauseous and was pretty sure I was going to pass out.
Leg was casted, crutches acquired and pain meds distributed. At midnight we were finally going home.
Emails were sent to all my teachers. My employer was called. I posted on the Facebook and Yahoo group pages for the league. My ankle was broken, I was broken, and I will be back soon.
That first day I felt incredibly amazingly special. I had just broken my ankle. I logged onto Facebook to 27 posts on my wall asking if I was okay, from fellow skaters. My husband took off work to be with me. My mom stopped by with groceries. By the end of the first day I had eight league mates coming over the next day to feed my husband and me.
The first week was like this. League mates came and went bringing me supplies, food, well wishes. I realized just how amazing it was to be involved in this league and this sport. Ankle injuries happen, a lot. It was amazing to know that when something happens to one of us, we take care of each other.
I’m so damn tired of sitting around on our sofa. My leg is up, my butt is numb and my cats have gotten quite used to my presence.
I can’t work yet and I am not ready for school. I’m dying of boredom. By Wednesday I have already beaten Mass Effect 3. Multiplayer was fun, but getting old. I decided it was high time to finally sit and watch through the reincarnation of Doctor Who. My friends had been trying to get me to watch it for years, so what the heck, it’s on Netflix.
I’ve also managed to lose about five pounds because I can’t feed myself while my husband is at work. Also, I NEED coffee. Thankfully a few league mates are willing to oblige me this.
I have an appointment at the Ortho Clinic and find out that my doctor thinks that derby is one of the greatest sports ever. He and his assistant talk derby with me and assure me that I will play again, just as soon as I learn to walk first. They also tell me that they are 80% certain I will not have to go through surgery. Thank god.
I get my first cast ever. I’m not a fan.
Can’t take it anymore. I’m going to try and go to school. Thankfully a friend is working in Whitewater this week and picks me up for classes. I make it two days and call it quits for the week. I can’t do full days, like I had been doing, because it’s just so exhausting.
And the buildings are SO FAR AWAY from each other. By the time I get home, my arms and abs are killing me. I’m tired. My foot is three sizes too large but squeezed into the confines of the cast. It looks like my toes are putty being squeezed out of a tube. I’m so grateful to have awesome professors this semester.
League mates are no longer streaming in and out of my house. My house is also getting awfully dirty and I am nearly out of clean clothes. Also, my husband kind of tries, but he’s a terrible cook.
My husband also learns how to use the washer and dryer. I have clean clothes! And our new vacuum came and he is having a ball putting it together. (I had ordered a Dyson through an employee program before I broke my ankle) After putting it together he vacuums everything, including the corners at the ceiling in the living room.
I decide it’s time to start working. Work is awesome and lets me sit on a stool. Everyone is really great about helping me out, getting items for customer pick up. They vacuum for me and put things away at the end of the night. They also think it’s really funny that I broke my ankle falling over.
It’s also my birthday this week. I had made plans for a group of friends to go see the opening of The Hunger Games and get dinner and drinks. A broken ankle is not stopping me. I meet up with a friend and her husband for pre movie drinks and dinner, and then seven of us go to the movie. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I would have to stand in line, surrounded by pre-teens, for a good thirty minutes before we could go into the theater. Oops. However, the movie was great. Met up with a few friends for drinks and my husband warns me that before I order that third beer I should consider the crutches.
I also start driving again this week. That’s a thing.
It’s spring break week. Still not working. Also, Doctor Who is FREAKING AWESOME! OMG! I want to have David Tennant’s babies. My husband doesn’t think that is terribly funny, though.
I get a few emails from a couple of league mates asking how I am doing and when I am going to start coming to practices. A couple of them really want me to come to scrimmage practices and bench coach. It makes me feel special still.
I find two pairs of pants that fit over my cast. OMG PANTS! Words cannot describe how excited I am to wear pants.
I’ve also lost about ten pounds at this point. People take notice. I can also balance on my crutches using the awesome strength of my abs.
I have my two week check up and go through the process of getting a cast removed for the first time. Even though the tech shows me how the saw works and even drags it against his palm to prove that he’s not going to flay me, I’m still completely freaked by the whole process. But the cast is off and all I can think is about how desperately I want to shave my leg. My doctor assures me that I’m healing wonderfully and officially declares that I do not require any surgery. I get a new cast and a little rubber boot thing to put over it so I can start standing on two legs again. Huzzah!
The Doctor sacrifices himself and Tennant is gone. I don’t care for Matt Smith one bit and in a fit of anger delete Doctor Who from my Netflix queue. Instead I start watching Torchwood. Now I want to have John Barrowman’s babies, but I guess he’s gay. Husband is okay with this. Also time to start playing more Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer instead of writing those papers (the ones I’m avoiding by writing this.)
School is back on. I still can’t go back to my old routine but at least it’s not as exhausting as it was before. I actually made it to all of my classes this week. However, I am now sick. Seriously?
I had a Saturday morning work meeting and on my way home I decide to stop at the Cost Cutters to get my hair shampooed. $7 extremely well spent.
I decide I can also start going to practice again. So on Thursday I show up and people are happy to see me. I even feel good about myself as I help coach the girls who are scrimmaging for the first time.
Things are getting boring. I go to school. I work. I lay on my sofa. I post a lot of pictures of our cats on Facebook. The house is getting really dirty and the lawn needs to be mowed. The end.
The finances have finally caught up with my broken ankle. I spend most of the week freaking out because our mortgage is late.
I get the cast off, for good! Doc says I am healing extremely well and is okay with me switching to a walking boot and starting physical therapy. I am very pleased with myself.
I take my first shower in seven weeks. (Don’t get all ewwed out, I was bathing.) It is damn near the best thing to happen in the last two months. I get to shower. I get to shave, both legs. I am in heaven for about 20 minutes. It would have been longer, but I think something is wrong with our water heater.
Everything is catching up with me this week. I start freaking out over money and school. I have an assignment that is over a week late, but I’m having a really hard time doing anything about.
Ok, fine. I’ll finish Doctor Who. Still don’t like the Eleventh Doctor, I do, however like Amy Pond quite a lot. And Rory, he’s funny.
Here we are. Week 8.
I finally jump back into World of Warcraft and raid in a pinch. Third on DPS, well that’s what I get for being away so long.
First PT appointment. Apparently, not only did I break my ankle but I ruptured a tendon. I was a little nervous about the swelling and discomfort, but the tendon issue explains it. He says it’s all good and I just need to do my exercises and all will be well. He even says that in three weeks I should be walking normally! Oh won’t that be wonderful!
I’m down to one crutch. I can now carry my own things at work, well the non-heavy, two hands required things. My coworkers are still cool though.
I also get out of my house to socialize!
I’m still freaking out about money and school. I can do this, I am sure, but until the semester is over, I’m still going to have some anxiety about it. It’s in my nature.
I go back and watch a couple episodes from Series two and three to remind myself why I started watching Doctor Who in the first place. Also the Canucks lose to the Kings and Hockey season, for us, is pretty much over.