A Tired Older Woman: Loses Weight and Keeps It Off! by Annie Acorn
Okay, I’m embarrassed. I write fiction, and I don’t even have an exciting story, which seems to be becoming a trend when it comes to my injuries.
The first time I found myself in this situation, I stepped off the top step of a perfectly normal staircase and about ten seconds and three bounces later, I found myself flat on my fanny at the bottom of the treads – a small bone attached to my hip well and truly broken. An hour and a half later, an ER nurse with no sense of humor ordered me onto a gurney that was raised to the height of my chest. Needless to say, I balked at her request.
Lesson Learned: NEVER break a bone again.
This was in 1980. Time passed, and memory dimmed. Life went on.
Then, in 2002, the traction tread on my tennis shoe connected just right with one of the safety grooves on the handicap ramp leading up to a local department store in broad daylight with no one even near me. One second I was excited about being two gift cards away from completing my Christmas shopping three weeks early, and the next second I found myself flat on my face – my purse thankfully wedged between my cheek and the concrete of the sidewalk.
Blushing, I clambered to my feet and dusted myself off, as I explained to the two young women who had immediately rushed to my side that I was a bit shaken, but otherwise fine. I then proceeded to walk the forty paces to my car and get in at which point my left knee cap began throbbing.
I turned the key in the ignition, backed out of the parking space, threw the car into drive, and attempted to turn the steering wheel only to hear a loud click from my now useless right arm. Not surprisingly, it, too, had begun to hurt, so left-handed I drove myself to a nearby emergency room where I handed my car keys to a complete stranger, who was waiting for his wife to give birth to their third child and was nice enough to offer to park my vehicle while I was wheeled along the hallway and into X-Ray.
Twelve weeks, a broken radial bone, a cracked knee cap, and an arthroscopic surgery to remove scar tissue later, all the king’s horses and my orthopedic surgeon, whose phone number was 251-BONE, had put me all back together again.
All of this had definitely been a learning experience. For instance, I quickly realized that while I had taught my two sons how to cook, clean, and do laundry, I had completely neglected to pass on those all important to any woman skills – how to put on makeup and effectively wield a curling iron. Try and do either one of them with a single left hand when you’re right-handed and you’ll immediately see what I mean.
Most Important Lesson Learned: NEVER EVER break a bone again.
Fast forward to last Sunday, a quiet day at home that I had spent being a nice person and minding my own business. Getting ready for bed full of good cheer, I started along my back hallway – barefoot on well-padded, wall-to-wall carpet. One second I was looking forward to a productive up-coming week. The next second I heard a loud crack from somewhere south of my right knee and amidst excruciating pain felt bone move against bone beneath the sole of my right heel.
This time the ER doctor told me nothing was broken after a simple foot x-ray and handed me crutches, the only item of extreme torture leftover from the infamous Inquisition that is still used on a daily basis in the continental United States. To make matters worse, I was prescribed an enormous bottle full of an opium derivative pain-killer and told to take an amount large enough to bring down one of the Budweiser Clydesdales. Unable to sleep due to the pain, I took one half of one pill – dosage prescribed two pills every 2-4 hours. I spent the next four hours engaged in a series of psychedelic dreams and awoke overwhelmingly nauseated to a room that was wildly spinning, which made me wonder if the ER doctor had secretly thought my injury bad enough that I should consider suicide.
Anyone who had seen me maneuvering through my home over the next few days would’ve thought for sure that I was drunk and possibly homeless, due to my lack of skill using the crutches and the variety of bags hanging from various parts of my body as I hauled food items, bottled beverages, and even laundry from here to there. Did I mention that I live alone?
Thankfully, two days later my new BFF – another orthopedic surgeon – provided me with an air cast having now diagnosed that a chip had pulled from the bone in my heel as the tip of my fibula had broken off. Having cautioned me not to drive, as if I could wearing a moon boot on my right foot, he kindly offered to replenish my supply of narcotics, but I surprised him by declining his offer. Can you blame me?
A week after my initial injury, the air cast has vastly reduced my discomfort and is assisting with my forthcoming healing. So to all of you who have expressed concern about my sudden disappearance from Facebook, Twitter, and all standard forms of business communication, I say thank you for your prayers and well wishing.
The good news is that I can once again carry my laptop from my desk to my armchair. The bad news is that I’ve been prescribed six weeks of physical therapy.
Final Lesson Learned: NEVER, EVER, EVER break a bone again.