A Slight Misstep

Riddle:  What’s black and blue and puffy all over?

Answer:  My left ankle.

I am either phenomenally klutzy or lamentably unlucky.  Not two weeks after finally being able to run again following a different injury to my left foot, I sprained my left ankle while walking. Walking!

Early yesterday morning, some friends and I headed out to do the Stanford Dish, a path I’ve traced numerous times without mishap.  Midway through, after we’d ascended to the highest point and before heading back down, I was chatting with my friend Shannon.  Concentrating on the conversation, I neglected to notice that we were drifting to the left edge of the asphalt path, which rose above the adjacent dirt by around 5″.  One second I was happily talking about plans for my first triathlon ever in February, and the next moment I was writhing on the ground in pain, wondering if I would even be able to walk next month.  All it took was one step placed precariously on the very edge of the walk for my ankle to wobble and wrench suddenly outwards and downwards.

My friends actually offered to carry me down the path to our cars, but after the throbbing eased I managed to limp my way back down unassisted.   By late afternoon, it was obvious my ankle meant business so I RICEd (rest ice compression elevation) it and let poor Earl once again cater to my every need as I convalesced on our living room couch.  This afternoon, although I was finally able to bear some weight on both legs, I unwrapped the ace bandage to find a blue whale impersonating my foot.

Although I’ve been looking forward to Kaiser-free Mondays (no Taxol means no more Monday blood tests), off to Kaiser I went for a quick appointment with my internist.  He inspected it closely and guessed that I had nothing worse than a Grade II sprain (meaning no actual ligament tears or broken bones, thankfully), but sent me off to radiology just in case.  As I lay on the X-ray table waiting for the technician to finish imaging my ankle, it occurred to me that as inconvenient and uncomfortable as this experience was, it was almost refreshing to be medically treated for something as mundane as a sprained ankle.  For the first time in months, I wasn’t a cancer patient but rather your average klutzy, unlucky weekend warrior.  I left the office with a renewed bounce in my gimpy gait.


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