Sunday, 22 June 2008

That’s what I get for skipping the gym

Well....would you believe that I've twisted my ankle? It takes me back to the time, a good decade ago now, when I was still living in London and I accidentally stepped on the edge of a riser during the warm-up in step class and caused myself an injury. Stupidly I continued with class (mental!!) only to hobble over to my friend Sarah place afterwards where I was supposed to be helping her prepare Sunday lunch for 8, a lunch that was delayed an hour, because instead of having me to help her chop vegetables and what not she had the added inconvenience of fussing over me and spent a good half hour fashioning ice packs out of tea towels and packages of frozen vegetables which she strapped to my ankle to reduce the swelling. What a sweetie!! I remember I was healing fine until a few weeks later when we were out celebrating Sarah's birthday. A group of us had gone to see Saturday Night Fever the Musical, and then onto one of those clubs with a seventies night where everyone got dressed up seventies style. I think it might have been called Carwash. Ah, those were the days. Those clubs were all the rage at the time and I remember they banned afro wigs because they were a fire hazard!! Anyway there I was dancing away, dressed up in flares and a lurid polyester shirt with big pointy collars with a feather boa around my neck - I may have even been attempting to entice boys with my boa a la Eartha Kitt - when Sarah shimmied over to me in her 4inch platform heels, bearing more than a passing resemblance to Huggy Bear from Starsky & Hutch with her naturally curly hair teased out afro style and wearing a long leather coat and purple star shaped sunglasses. She put her arm around my shoulder and we started dancing and the next thing I knew I was laying flat on my back, Sarah's arm still around my shoulder, looking up at all these hands reaching down to help the two of us back to our feet. It turned out that Sarah had fallen off her platforms and taken me down with her, twisting her own ankle and not doing a lot of good for my own ankle injury. Alcohol was of course involved.

Alcohol was involved on this occasion too, although nowhere near as much as last time I twisted my ankle and I honestly don’t believe it made a significant contribution to my mishap, since I’d only consumed two glasses of wine and was more than capable of walking. No, on this occasion I lay the blame for my injury on the unevenness of New York’s pavements. Oh don't give me that look, it's true, I swear to you I wasn't trollied!!

I’d skived off my usual cardio kick-box class in favour of going for drinks after work with Emma, Debs. Post drinks we were heading over to Tenzan for sushi and had briefly stopped by Emma’s apartment to check that her boyfriend hadn’t left a candle burning - he’d called her worried that he might not have blown one out before heading out with the boys for a Friday night out – and Emma was going to run upstairs quickly and check the place wasn’t on fire. However not being one to miss out on an opportunity to have a good ol’ nosey at someone else apartment I asked if she minded if we came up too. I’m a cheeky one at times – well I am with two glasses of wine under my belt, but I love to see what people do with the tiny spaces most New Yorkers call home and Emma didn’t seem to mind a bit, so upstairs we all went.

They have a lovely place as I expected they would, very tastefully decorated – most renters don’t bother - and cosy railroad style studio apartment. It was nice, if a little small for two, but the price of apartments in New York – they pay $2,000 per month – often means that couples end up sharing apartments a hamster would reject as too cramped. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that she and her boy have been fighting more frequently than usual since she moved into his place a few months ago. Personally I think if your relationship can survive sharing a studio apartment it will probably survive anything, it's been the kiss of death for many a New York relationship I've known, since not only do you have to get used to living with each other, but there’s nowhere to go when there are the inevitable disagreements, or simply for those times when you just need your own space. I think if you can afford it, it’s wise to find a place which at least has one bedroom; that way there’s somewhere to retreat behind a closed door should you ever need to seethe quietly in a corner.

Curiosity satisfied we descended back to the street to walk over to Tenzan and…well, one minute I was upright and the next I was sat on the floor feeling significant pain in my ankle having toppled off my wedges. I think a combination of factors led to what happened next: sling back 3inch patent wedges – very cute if impractical - whose heel straps never stay in place and an unexpectedly sloping New York City pavement. I’m assuming I took a step, expecting my foot to hit a flat surface, but instead I must have stepped on a slope, my foot slipped out of my right shoe and I went down like a ton of bricks. Eeek!!

I was mortified that I’d wiped out and I am sure the New Yorkers who stepped around me, while Emma and Debs hovered in concern, assumed I was just some typical Friday night drunk. I got to my feet as soon as possible despite Debs – an old hand at ankle injuries, having sprained hers badly last year playing football/soccer. She was in a supportive boot for weeks – advising me to stay where I was and recover. Once stood, I dithered whether it was best to go home and ice it or hobble across the street to the restaurant. Icing it would probably have been the most sensible option, but I was famished and I can never think straight when I'm hungry, so instead of heading home I limped across Second Avenue to sate my rumbling stomach. Fortunately I was carrying my trainers since I’d originally planned to hit the 6pm cardio kick-box class, so I was at least able to change into more supportive footwear.

Once I got home I removed my shoe cautiously and was not happy to find my right foot had a distinctly balloon-like appearance. I couldn’t put my foot flat to the floor and I sat curled up on the sofa feeling sorry for myself and clutching a bag of frozen peas to my ankle. How convenient that I needed to defrost a bag for the pea and mint soup I planned to make on Saturday. By the way I'm getting good at this soup business if I do say so myself, my pea and mint soup was delicious, all thanks to B and his 'thank-you for letting me stay' gift of a blender/smothie maker.

I woke on Saturday morning with a very stiff right ankle, a lovely dark grey bruise across my toes and a sore left hand from where I’d broken my fall. Checking my email I saw a note from Debs informing me of the ankle injury treating acronym of RICE:

R…um…I’ve forgotten what the R is for

Rest!!! That’s what the R stands for!! Actually I didn’t follow that advice too closely this weekend as I needed to give my apartment a good scrubbing before my parents arrive next Saturday, but I strapped my foot up in a support bandage and wore my trainers and it didn’t feel too bad. It actually felt better once my circulation got going and I was able to put my weight on it at least, so while I’m not planning cardio class any time soon I did make it to Pilates mat class today. Yeah, I know, maybe I should have stayed at home to fully recuperate, but how bad can Pilates be for an ankle injury, it's essentially laying around on the floor.

Next time I’ll think twice before skipping the gym.


Blur Ting said...

Oh dear, you poor thing! Maybe some Rum would help alleviate the pain?

I have recently been looking at style tips on how to decorate a small apartment and then I realised that apartments in NY are even smaller than our apartments in Singapore! They're starting to build tiny apartments like this here in Singapore now.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Blur Ting, I assume that's drinking rum and not applying it topically :-) Hmmm, not so sure I would risk that, clearly I have enough trouble standing up :-)

Yeah, our apartments are tiny here and often weirdly configured. I'm always curious to see what people do, especially on a budget since I'm not keen to spend much money decorating a rental. Have you checked out for design ideas. It's a cool site.

Kitty said...

oy! how awful?
well, glad it's getting better at least.
Take it easy! I know of people who have chronic turned ankles and the poor thing only gets worser and worser.

No high kicks or tap dancing for you!

Bangs and a Bun said...

Wedges + slopes = danger!

Hope the ankle gets better soon. It's funny, because growing up, any injury in my house was cured by a pack of frozen peas. My mother swears by it. Though she did once try to heal my broken arm with the peas, which didn't quite work. Sometimes you do actually need medical attention!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks Kitty :-)

Hi Bangs, yes I should no better than to wear anything other than flats while walking NYC streets. Wedges were just asking for trouble. That's funny about your Mum and the frozen peas. Although I imagine they cure about 80% of ills ;-)

Anonymous said...

PA to the rescue! Well, erm...a bit late as I wasn't there and I'm just reading this now? However, I am First Aid/CPR trained.

Backtracking for a moment.

I was once walking to work (yes, on uneven pavement) and a woman totally wiped out, twisted her ankle and almost did a face plant. She was wearing these knee high leather boots with a "moderate" heel.

Take note: NEVER remove footwear if there is a suspected injury as it WILL swell up like a balloon (dependent upon injury) or if worse (fracture) unless you can find some kind of splinting material--you're fucked. Not to mention, if you are not FA trained...I don't know if there are any "Good Samaritan" laws where you live, trouble? You screw up, someone can sue you? I'm okay up here.

Also, if someone is conscious, you MUST ask if you can help them. If they say no, you back off, call 911 in a "responsible" way and try and convince them they need help.

Anyway, this woman was in trouble. She couldn't walk! I told her outright she needed to go to hospital. I asked her where she worked (i.e. how far she was walking and ironically in the same building as me.)

Okay. Not life and death so I said, you're getting in a cab and going to hospital. Small denial argument ensued. I told her that I was FA trained so I knew she had an injury (or suspected...was pretty sure!)

I got through to her, hailed a cab and like a "Good Mommy," made sure she got in and went.

A couple of days later, she was walking around in a soft cast. PA knows best! PA was going to become a nurse for freakin' sakes!

The woman bought me a bottle of wine for helping her! ACK! Sooo not necessary!

Now. For you my dear fish. Considering you didn't want to go home and ruin the fun and wanted to eat etc... *laughing* while at the restaurant, you should have asked them for some ice and done it there. I mean, you were a paying customer and they would have had ice! It would have kept things at bay until you could have gotten home.

Considering it wasn't as bad as the other woman (I was helping her move--she literally couldn't walk--you said you could hobble...)

Granted, you should have stayed off it anyway...

Still, wish I was there. I could have fixed you up properly. Drunk or not. *wink*

Mike S said...

A small cloth bag full of uncooked rice (or two) is great to keep handy. Keep one in the freezer for a reuseable ice pack that forms a tight fit, and one in the cupboard ready to chuck in the microwave and nuke on high 3-4 minutes for hot pack. Cheap, convenient, reuseable, cheaper than peas. The best thing, if you must wear impractical shoes to go out, is to keep a pair of easily folded flat outside slipper/shoes with rubber bottoms to move around in outside, and a ziplock bag to enable you to shove them in a purse or pocket upon reaching your destination. Also reuseable and fit almost any walking occasion in good weather:)

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi PA, thanks for the advice.

Hi Mike, the rice thing is a good idea. I shall have to take your advice on that.