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So I'm not going into all of the bathroom renovation troubles because that would be ranty and I don't feel like it. I'll just say that it has been over three months since we had a toilet in the upstairs bathroom and I'm quite tired of it. At least the tub and walls have been refinished, so if Paul could just find the time to put in the new floor so that the new toilet and sink can go in we'll have a real bathroom again. I mean, seeing as how I just shelled out $1200 for the refinishing and Paul is about to shell out $600 for plumbers (whenever that bill arrives), I think it would be nice to have a fully usable bathroom again.

Having to go downstairs to use a toilet or sink is annoying enough at normal times (especially in the middle of the night when mostly asleep), but lately it's been even more of a problem:

In mid-November I got sick. No, not swine flu or anything really bad; turns out it was a viral infection that manifested in two- to three-week cough (plus bad sore throat and loss of voice for the first part). The coughing was keeping me up at night and I actually missed a hockey game on November 18th because I was so utterly exhausted that I was worried that I might actually have the flu--also, it was just plain hard to breathe and I would never have survived playing. I hadn't missed a game in ten years, so it was really upsetting to miss it.

Some codeine and days off work later (3 days off in one week), I eventually got better and felt ready enough to play my next game. It was against what we call the Superteam--a team of people who are all as good as or better than our best players who just bulldoze us 10-0. If I had trouble breathing and couldn't play very long or well, it's not like it would really cost us.

This team has slapshots. Those have always been rare in our league, and the girls who do them aren't actually that good at them (the shots aren't too strong and rarely hit the net). However, this team has one very powerful girl whose slapshot could keep up with any guy's. So she wound up for one and, as defence, I was going to stay where I was and block the shot. Unfortunately her shot was stronger than I figured and didn't hit me on the shin guard where I expected it to. Instead it went lower and hit me on the left ankle on the bone just above where the ankle bone sticks out. It seems that skates afford much less protection than I thought--my foot went numb and I went down.

I originally come from ringuette, a sport so full of prima donnas that the performances could compare to those of international soccer players. The girls would get hit or take a bad fall, and the play would have to be stopped while they screamed and cried and had to be helped off the ice--and then they would be back out on the next shift. I have always promised myself that I would never do that--unless I was unconscious or broken, I was damn well going to get up, and as quickly as possible. And if I couldn't get up right away, you can bet that I wouldn't be out on the next shift.

I couldn't get up. I tried several times to get up on my own, but I couldn't put any weight on my ankle at all. My team actually had to help me up and get me back to the bench. No comment or apology from the girl who did it (not that that was expected), but another of her team followed us back to the bench, telling me that if I needed anything, she was a doctor. Nice of her :), but the arena keeps first-aiders who need to earn their pay at some point, so I let them give me a bandage and ice.

Needless to say, the game was over for me. I had to be helped to the dressing room and, once undressed, half-carried from the room to the car by two of my teammates (I'm lucky these girls are strong!). Very embarrassing, but I still couldn't put more than a feather's weight on the ankle. My parents had been the ones to take me to that game, so we went back to their house and they gave me an old pair of crutches to use.

Unfortunately, it was as I've always figured--my fibro makes it too painful on my arms for me to be able to use crutches for more than a few steps at a time. So if I needed to keep weight off the ankle for long, I was going to be housebound. I worried about that, especially since the next morning (a Saturday, luckily) I still wasn't able to put weight on it. Going downstairs to the bathroom was a huge and very annoying ordeal. I also had to cancel a hair appointment that morning, and I couldn't go with Paul to scope out a potential wedding/reception site (an appointment that I had been waiting for for weeks and whose previous one had been cancelled due to my having been sick). However, by later that afternoon I was able to put some weight on the ankle again so that I no longer needed the crutches and could get around with just very painful hop-limping. Since it was getting better, we figured that it wasn't broken or anything so there was no point in going to the hospital.

I had recovered enough to hobble around and made it to work that Monday morning, and over the course of the week I worked on just getting it better and eventually getting rid of the limp. The department Christmas party was the following Saturday and the swelling needed to go down enough for me to fit into my boots, as well as be able to dance in them!

I achieved this, although I had this nasty bruise along the bottom outside edge of my foot where the blood was obviously pooling inside. That part didn't hurt, although where the puck had hit was still tender. Still, everything was going well, and I expected full recovery within the next couple of days.

I got the exact opposite. On Tuesday (December 8) I stayed home to watch over the guys who were refinishing our tub. I woke up that morning with my ankle bothering me, and it got more painful throughout the day. When I took off my sock late that evening to get in the shower, I noticed that it had swelled up again. My limp of course came back with a vengeance.

Wednesday morning I found myself in too much pain to put any weight on it again (screw you yet again, lack of upstairs toilet!), and it was swollen like crazy, to the point of there being no recognizable ankle, and the swelling encompassed more of my foot (the only thing Paul and I could figure was wrong was that perhaps I had indeed gotten a fracture and that it had seemed all right until something had shifted out of place). Since this was weird and worrying, Ma took me to the hospital (and of course we were having a 25cm snowstorm that day, which just made everything harder). As humiliating as it was, I actually needed a wheelchair at the hospital :P.

I had X-rays and it turned out that the ankle was never broken. However, so much blood had pooled inside that it had coagulated before it could be reabsorbed, and this had caused an infection and cellulitis. So I had to get on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and missed three days of work yet again--annoying considering that I hadn't missed any work due to the original injury! My recovery was set back not only to zero but actually into the negative, since this infection gave me more pain and much more swelling than the injury had.

I went back to work on Monday, still pretty badly limping (I have a 12-minute walk from the train to work that can't be avoided) and unable to actually zip up my boot. I can zip it partway now (I had a visible ankle as of Tuesday), but it still feels tight and uncomfortable so I leave it unzipped when not outside. I have a second follow-up appointment tomorrow, but I think the recovery is going okay now and I should be back to almost normal by Monday.

A huge problem that came of this is that I have been unable to do my Christmas shopping. I'm going to be stuck doing it last-minute this weekend and it's going to suck a lot. Well...at least it was the last hockey game until next semester, so I won't have to miss any more? I still can't believe that it got infected, that a puck could end up causing all that.

People tell me I should be more careful--"why didn't you move out of the way of that shot?" The answer is that I was doing my job as defence and it was a conscious decision on my part to block the shot. I've always figured that I would never regret any hockey-related injury, because I would never not be playing, and my decision in the same situation would likely be the same each time. I would never not have tried to block that shot, so I don't regret this injury. It's not like it was some pointless accident. If I get hurt doing what I love, so be it.

Ma is not quite so understanding--she was angry about the shot itself, though. As I said, in our league not many players have slapshots, and nobody else has one like that. And the thing is, such a shot is really unnecessary when playing against a team that you are going to beat 10-0 anyway and half of whom are beginners. It was a show-off dick thing to do, and my injury didn't even stop her. You can bet that the seas parted every time she wound up after that. Of course, slapshots are allowed in our league, so none of what she did was against the rules, but it was really against the spirit of fair play in a recreational league. Ma took this even further and complained to the ref about it after the game (*sigh* way to embarrass me), as well as actually catching the player as she left the ice. She told the girl that a shot like that doesn't belong in this league, and only got further pissed when the response was a laugh and "Of course it does". It was also dickish of her to laugh...but then again, what is the response to a random senior citizen scolding you? At any rate, I'll bet that she still uses that shot in all subsequent games against us.

Anyway, I'm the captain of the team, and if I felt that something was really amiss, I would have spoken up. But the game is the game, and sometimes your opponents are dicks, but as long as what they're doing is not malicious or against the rules, you suck it up. ...Not that my team wouldn't like to take her down next time we play them, though. ^_~

I am looking forward to the end of this more than three-week recovery, though. I've only managed to play DDR once in over a month now, back in that tiny period between my illness and my injury. The lack of that exercise makes me feel so lazy and unaccomplished regardless of the situation, and I'm probably going to suck at it when I go back to it. Also, minimal movement and constant access to goodies (people keep bringing them to us at work) is not a good combination.


...And now I have a paper cut. So totally boo to these last few weeks. :P
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tripathy

December 2010

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