July 2, 2022

We have had a long long Winter here in Calgary and I have to say I am excited seeing the temperature finally start to pick up. I think I was too excited a week ago Monday as I was going down my back stairs to take the recycling out and had a bit of a fall.

We have this little schedule at home. On Sunday night I take out garbage and Organic recycling to the back curb and on Monday night we get our other recycling together and I take that to the back curb to be picked up. We have done this for at least a couple years and it is our last thing at night before bed chore that I have done at least 200 times before.

But… Tragedy Strikes!

I have walked down  a lot of stairs in my days but what happened is that for some reason as I was going down the last stair and turning to go into the back yard I somehow misjudged the distance to the ground and turned, I rolled my ankle and tumbled across my patio.

I let out a screech and grabbed my ankle but then I had the horrified thought that my stupid lack of coordination down one stair would attract the attention of my family and neighbours and I would have to explain how I had forgotten how to walk correctly 🙂

So I just whined quietly while holding my ankle until the pain went away a bit by bit

Finally, I got up and put a bit of weight on my leg and it seemed kinda ok. I continued limping across the lawn and threw out the recycling, limped back to the house, and sat on the couch, very whiney.

This isn’t the first time I have injured myself doing easy tasks. I once slipped on ice and went flying in the air and hurt my back. I also fell off a skateboard a few years back and knocked my pelvis out of place.

I think I have a coordination problem.

Anyway, I woke up in the morning, got up to take the dog out and feed the cat, and immediately realized that I couldn’t walk. Very bad news. I spent a bit of time in bed accessing my ankle and finally hobbled into work (to work at a desk), and my wife got me an appointment to see the doctor in the next afternoon. I

Hobble, hobble, around for a couple of days.

I have a pretty great doctor. He is really laid back about a lot of stuff and immediately noticed that the swelling looked like stretched ligaments until he felt around the ball of my ankle and I make that screeching noise again. Uh oh, time to get an Xray.

On Wednesday morning I got the XRay and by the afternoon got a call with results and a prescription. I had a strained ligament and a small crack in my ankle. Take it easy, ice my ankle lots, and get an inflatable walking boot.

What Is An Inflatable Walking Boot?

inflatable walking boot for my fractured and sprained ankleAs you can see from the picture, that as a fashion piece the walking boot is terrible, but having my ankle completely immobile while walking is fantastic.

No pain and the healing can come faster because I am not reinjuring my ankle by limping badly on it.

I have to say that the idea of a walking boot seemed bad to me as I would have this big thing on my leg and have to explain to everyone my very embarrassing story of how I forgot how to step down stairs.

I avoided the boot for 2 or 3 days and finally got it on the Friday afternoon – 4 days after I first injured myself.

I should have got the walking boot sooner – it was really great

The boot goes halfway up your lower leg and you just push your heel into the bottom against the back and there is a shell that goes on the front that you velcro into place, then pump up to get the pressure like a cast to immobilize the ankle and foot. It takes a minute to get on and a minute to take off. Easy and a very great way to help heal.

Since I have this boot on all day I can keep it off in the evening and get the mobility a bit while still icing it at least once or twice in the evening.

One day though I had the boot on too long. I was wearing it on a warm day for over 12 hours, took it off after getting groceries with my wife and the smell that wafted through our kitchen was unmistakably mine. My foot smelled worse than I ever remember after being trapped in the boot and sweating without air for the day. Terrible, and my wife and kids wouldn’t let me forget about it.

There Was An Unexpected Advantage To The Walking Boot

I was unexpectedly surprised about one side effect of the inflatable walking boot. Instead of being angry about my injury and worrying about the healing I just let my foot heal and changed my daily schedule up a bit.

I tend to be bouncing from one task to another all the time. That first weekend I had to finally slow down and sit. Of course I can move around pretty good with my walking boot but really I find it a bit uncomfortable to be walking any kind of distance. So that weekend? I sat and read. I took time to plan my blog. I just had quiet time a lot more than I am used to and it was refreshing.

I even played some Fortnite (a video game) with my son and really had some great one on one time with my son, daughter, and wife. More than I usually would.

With more time on the couch I was able to catch up on YouTube videos and learn more, I meditated with some guided meditations, and caught up with some music on Spotify. Kind of like having a bit of a vacation at home without all the work.

Mindfulness is a wonderful thing. When you know that there is no way you will be mowing the lawn, vacuuming the house, running around to stores, there is real freedom. I didn’t care as much about the regular weekend todo list and instead of the anxiousness that I would usually feel I just had space in time to do things that I always put to the side for “later”.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t all lazy. My wife was still having me do the dishes, I had to still take out the garbage and recycling (while watching the stairs:) ) but there were a lot fewer steps and a lot more intention on why I was going from point A to point B.

Now three weeks later my foot is more or less better. I am not running but am walking pretty well. I can go to the gym as long as I avoid working legs, and I am riding my bike again and have no pain doing that.

This has been a great few weeks as I look back on it. I know there was a lot of pain at times as well as lots of inconveniences, but I have been really surprised at the crazy pace I tend to have that is running around in circles so much. In the end I am pretty glad for this experience, especially coming in the Spring as I have really been able to refocus on a lot of priorities that I would not have otherwise as well as knowing that I will still be well healed for Summer.

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