Monday, March 24, 2014


I was at a conference and it was the last night. I'd said my goodbyes and was more tired than I'd expect. Some time before midnight, I woke up to go to the loo and I imagine I thought I was in a different room, because nothing else would explain how I walked massively off-course to bump into a table.

I fractured my toe. I knew the minute it happened that this wasn't just a bad bump. The mini fridge in the room didn't have ice, but it had a bottle of coke that I applied to my rapidly swelling toes. From a previous fracture I knew I had to do ice and elevation asap. I was glad for the couple of hours' deep sleep I'd had because clearly there was going to be no more of it for the rest of the night.

One of the other writers is a surgeon. We were to travel together the next morning. She bandaged up my toes and said it didn't matter if it was a sprain or a hairline fracture, there was nothing more to be done - adhesive plaster and rest was the sum total of the treatment.

That was the first time I was using a wheelchair. Air travel becomes a different experience altogether when you're in a wheelchair. It was kind of fun, because of course my fracture was not such a big deal. But I can see how someone with rheumatoid arthritis would find it difficult to negotiate even the few steps they must take to their seats.

And leg space is never more precious than when you need to elevate your foot, I can tell you. I could feel my feet swelling up and there wasn't a damned thing I could do about it.

But what was fun was getting to go in that hydraulic lift thingie that comes up to the other door of the aircraft. It was also instructive to experience life from a different level. I wouldn't want to make a habit of it, but once is interesting.

Of course, now that I'm home, I'm thinking of all the things I can't do: drive, do yoga, skip down the steps - heck, even stretch up on my toes to get something from a higher shelf. Steps are a challenge. As is grocery shopping.

I think I'm supposed to cultivate gratitude for it not having been worse, and for all the things good health allows me to do and which I take for granted.

Right now, though, I feel incapable of the necessary amounts of gratitude that is required of me.

How've you lot been?


km said...

Sorry to hear that. Stubbing a toe is my definition of hell (and a true test of equanimity).

Fractured a metatarsal a few years ago. It was painful at first, and then I felt like a character in a bad melodramatic play, using crutches to emphasize a point in a conversation.

Are you at that point yet?

Space Bar said...

km: no crutches. I hopscotch my way around the room and I'm getting very good at it.

Banno said...

Lots of hugs, D. Playing hopscotch again is also to be grateful for. :)

Space Bar said...

Banno: Been reading your lovely and posts and it has inspired me to also write posts (but not actually get them out of Drafts!). How have you been?

??! said...


Is it one of those colourful casts, at least?

/Spring is here, seedlings are being cultivated, writing is being scorned at in favour of drowsy reading.

Space Bar said...

??!: No cast - just adhesive bandage, because toes. I'm just being dramatic, because mostly I get around just fine.