Sprained Ankle – Big Deal

Back in the summer of 2006 the family set off to have a fun weekend in Myrtle Beach. For the most part, we did.

All four daughters, two son-in-laws and the first grand Daughter, three year old Amanda, headed to the beach late in the afternoon that Friday.

The trip to the beach has gotten much better over the years. The road has been improved and a few extra bypasses around some of the smaller cities makes the trip shorter.

We got to the beach late on Friday evening and everyone just hit their respective hotel rooms and crashed.

Saturday was spent checking out the beach and lots of the tourist stuff in Myrtle. We all had a great time. Before going to bed we planned for our Sunday.  We all agreed that we would gather for breakfast in the morning and then head off to the Nascar SpeedPark.  We wanted to spend a few hours there before heading back home.

Early Sunday morning Becky and I left our hotel room and headed up to our oldest daughter’s suite where everyone else had already gathered. The noise in the suite was loud because everyone was excited about the adventures we were about to begin.

The suite had two doors into the bedroom from the living room area or the kitchen area.  Amanda and I were making quite a ruckus as we ran around the suite playing tag or hide-n-seek as her parents packed up to leave.

Then it happened.

I thought I still had enough agility to leap over the end of the bed and past an opened suite case, but I didn’t. I tripped on the edge of the bed and fell on the side of my foot.  I looked down just as my foot bent outward at what looked like 90o. For those who can’t picture this, let me show you what it looks like:
I could not find an exact image of what my foot looked like at that moment, but this image is pretty close. I believe it was turned far worse than this though.

Now we all know that every action creates an equally significant and loud reaction. When I saw how my foot bent, and felt the relevant pain it created, I SCREAMED!

I let out the loudest and longest series of cursing and screaming that I have ever heard before in my life. It sounded something like this:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ynEBrzr-qI?hl=en&fs=1]

My grand daughter ran back to me to see what had happened. She found me flopping around on the floor holding my ankle, tears streaming down my face and the barrage of curse words popping out of my mouth. As any grand child would do she asked, “Boppy are you OK?”  As soon as I saw her there I reduced the number of curse words, but I was still rocking on the floor and crying out in pain.

The noise brought everyone else into the bed room to find out why I was making such a ruckus. My wife was the first to ask, “What did you do now?” She cajoled me to get up off the floor and stop fooling around before someone get’s hurt.

It only took a few minutes before the swelling started. The pain was still quite severe. I knew something was not right with my foot.

This is what it looked like. (This is an actual picture of my ankle on that day.) My son-in-laws started calling it a Rutabaga Foot. The swelling was so quick in part because we had no ice anywhere. One of my son-in-laws went looking for the ice machines and they were all empty.

The only thing we had were 3 Ice cold beers in his fridge. We wrapped them around my ankle with a t-shirt.

Our plans had been to head off to Nascar SpeedPark, but my wife decided it was time to take me to an urgent care to make sure my ankle was not in fact broken. No one wanted to go go-carting with out me, so off we headed to urgent care, all 10 of us in 3 cars. Me and my entourage.

When we arrived at urgent care it took less than 30 minutes for me to get called. The nurse x-rayed my ankle and gave me he good news – it was only sprained. She gave me a soft boot and a set of crutches.

“Keep this boot on and don’t put any pressure on your foot for 2 weeks,” she told me. I agreed that I would try my best to do what she told me.

We all got back in our cars and headed off for Nascar Speedpark.  We spent the next 3 or 4 hours playing in the park and riding all of the various go-cart tracks.  I did great because my left foot was sprained, which is the foot used for the brake.  No breaks the way I drive go-carts, especially the fast ones.

The morals of this story:

  • Careful with the language when little ones are around, even if you are in pain.
  • It’s best to know you can jump the bed, before you try to jump that bed.
  • Never let a sprained ankle get in the way of a great trip with the family.

Work thru the pain and enjoy your time with the family.

Every action has an equal or greater reaction

Can you picture this?

1974 or 1975
Math, history or english class @ Poolesville high school in rural Poolesville, MD
Here is roughly what the classroom chairs/desks looked like back then:

The desks were lined up about 10 deep and at least 4, maybe 5 rows wide. There were at least 35 students in our English class back then.

To my right sat one of my classmate friends, Tammy. To my left a good friend named Clark. I proved what kind of friendship we had during class one day.

Being a good student, (really), I always showed up for class moments before everyone else. Even today people tease me saying I still do this, 35+ yrs later, so I can do some serious networking. Yeah, right, no one believes this. Any way, I got there early and started chatting it up with some of the other students.

Whole talking someone found a tack on the floor. For those of you unsure what I am referring to, it looked like this:

You may not be able to see that the pointy metal part of this thumb tack is about 1/4″ long. Maybe a tad longer.

Somebody said, “Man, that would freakin hurt if you sat on it.” The rest of laughed and agreed.

Then again, someone said, “Hey, Clarks not here yet, put it on his chair.” once again we all laughed and agreed.

For many reasons I was the one to put it on his chair. A) I was standing right beside his desk, B) I thought it would be as funny, if not funnier than some of the others, C) Yeah, I did not fully understand the science lesson that we (I) was about to experience.

So, I strategically (or with no real thought), placed the tack, point up, dead center on Clark’s chair. We all snickered, then scurried like the mischievous kids we were, back to our seats to await class, I mean, Clark to show up.

Now, there was more intelligence in the room than I lead you to believe. To my right Tammy whispered to me repeatedly, “That’s not smart, get the tack, get the tack NOW.” But for some reason I didn’t, or at least pretended not to hear her.

OK, here is where the science lesson really started.

Clark came into the room moments before class started and strutted up to his desk with a big smile on his face. You see, Clark was mostly always late for class, and he was beaming with happiness because he beat the Bell. I was actually happy for him myself and if I recall, I may have reached out to Hi-five him.

Now picture what happened in the next 3.25 seconds.

Clark slapped his books down on the desktop, slid into position to sit down, dropped onto the chair and KaBoom!

The immediate reaction was a result of all of Clark’s strength (farm boy) picking himself up off of the chair (I mean tack), raising the entire desk & chair off the floor, nearly above everyone’s head, as he exhaled a scream of vulgarities that totally freaked out everyone in the room.

Over the years I have thought long and hard at this next question, How did Clark know I did it? To this day, I still wonder.

As soon as his feet landed back on the floor, Clark lunged at me like a wild man, plowing me, my desk and books down on the floor up against the other row of desks, occupied by fellow classmates. He started waling on me like a crazy man. In a defensive action, I commenced waling back at him. It was total chaos until someone yelled, “here comes the teacher!”

A few classmates helped to stop us and to separate us. They then helped us to set the desks and chairs back up. This likely only took another 20 or 30 seconds, tops. The whole time I kept wondering when Clark would attack me again. I sort of expected it because after hearing him scream with pain, I felt like I still deserved more waling.

The class bell rang as Clark was collecting his books and standing next to his chair wondering if he could sit down.

I got back in my chair and straightened up my clothes and wiped most of the sweat off my face.

As the teacher walked into the classroom, she noticed Clark still standing next to his desk. “Late again Mr. B., nothing seems to change with you, does it?”

I heard Clark whimper as he sat down on his injured butt. He looked over at me with piercing eyes as if to say, “your turn next.”. I knew that was more than just a likelihood. Paybacks were hell back then.

I can’t recall talking about that science experiment ever again. I’m sure I got some payback later on.

I most definitely learned, quickly and clearly, that “every action has an equal, and sometimes greater reaction.”

Clark and I remained friends throughout high school and continued our mischeiveous activities even thru graduation.

A Prayer for Courage

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
But to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
But for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not look for allies in life’s battlefield,
But to my own strength.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
But hope for the patience to win my freedom.
Grant me that I may not be a coward,
feeling your mercy in my success alone,
But let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

— Rabindranath Tagore

Consider this . . what are you praying for?

Courtesy of Motivational Moments by Nigel Alston