Friday, December 14, 2018

Insult and Injury

(Originally published in the Miami News-Record)

Now that life has settled down a bit, I’m trying to establish a routine at my house. Housework that has been done on an as-needed basis (read: only if I knew someone was coming over) is now being done because basically I’m only working a couple days a week now, there are no small children in the house, and really I have no excuse to not have a house that doesn’t look like crime scene investigators should be called in. I’m not aspiring for Chip and Joanna Gaines status, just less “There appears to have been a struggle” status.

A couple weeks ago I was happily doing my new Saturday cleaning thing. I sprayed down the shower and decided to dust while I waited for those scrubby little bubbles to work hard so I don’t have to. As I was finishing up the mantel I looked up and noticed the TV screen was fingerprinty. Not sure why since it’s mounted on the wall and it’s not touch screen, but in my house I have learned that my children are capable of just about anything and most of all, weird things. It’s pretty much a circus when they’re all together. My circus, my monkeys, nothing I can do about it even if I wanted to. I just embrace the chaos and wait to clean it up after it’s over.

I scrubbed all the fingerprints off at the bottom and saw some toward the top of the screen. I am all of 5’2” and the top of the TV is somewhere around seven feet so I was struggling. Having been this height since I was 13, I did what I have done for over 30 years - I stood on my tiptoes. I didn’t go full pointe like a prima ballerina. I just barely went up enough to allow my paper towel a liiiiiiiiittle extra oomph.

Then I felt a pop in the top of my foot. Followed by what felt like a horrendous cramp. Then I said a bad word. Followed by a few more. I sat down and did a few flexing and pointing exercises and felt the crampy feeling subside to a dull ache. I think I know now why people avoid housework the way they do – IT’S DANGEROUS. I figured I probably needed to put on my shoes to do housework from now on since I’m old and fragile, but instead of doing that, I went on with my vacuuming and then finished up the bathroom. As the day went on, I noticed the pain was intensifying and by evening my foot had swollen to comical proportions. Monday I shoved my foot in a comfy shoe and ate ibuprofen by the handful. Tuesday morning I could barely get any shoe on. I got a same-day appointment, they x-rayed it, and she said it sounded broken but didn’t appear broken on film. Then added that stress fractures don’t always show up immediately on an x-ray. She wanted to put me in a walking boot, but since it’s my right foot I begged for anything but that. I need to be able to drive because Kady is in physical therapy in Joplin twice a week for her very own foot injury. So instead she put me in a “surgery shoe” and scheduled me for a follow up in two weeks.

As she was walking out she cautioned, “Please be very careful the next few weeks. That shoe will affect your balance and you’re a fall risk.” I, being who I am, laughed and said, “Yeah, and at my age I’m probably at risk for a hip fracture as well.” She didn’t even smile, she just replied with, “Yes. Absolutely. So be careful.” Then patted my leg, gave me a sweet smile, and said I should probably schedule a bone density test.

Ouch. That hurt worse than the injury – or the fact that I have to tell people I am hobbling around in a Frankenstein shoe because I injured myself while dusting.


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