Tag Archive: fracture

You can read Part 1 of this story before continuing along here….

The TLDR version is:

  • 4 teams
  • 60 swimmers
  • 24 hours
  • Themes, costumes, crafts and colours….

Fast forward to the day before the event. I was riding my bike to work, as usual, via my usual route. Half way to work it started raining, and well, wet road, corner, next thing I knew I was on the ground. Pretty minor. People stopped to help and put me on a chair while I checked out my skinned knee. I felt pretty fine, though, and the bike started. Pretty much a non-event so I hopped back on the bike and headed off.

And then I went to change gears. For those of you who don’t ride, you change gears with your right foot. One click down into first, then 4 clicks up for the next 4 gears. I was fine in first, but when I went to change to second gear, something felt pretty wrong. I realised there was no way I’d be able to park and walk the 5 mins to my office, so when I hit the point I usually turn left into my parking spot, I turned right instead…a road that took me to the back entrance of the Sydney Eye hospital emergency room.

9am on a Friday morning is a pretty good time to go to the emergency room, apparently, they had me straight in, no waiting. Examination and X-rays. I was trying very hard to believe that it wasn’t that bad, that it would pass, that I was just exaggerating things.

Apparently not. The X-rays came back with the bad news. One fractured ankle. Absolutely no swimming for me. This was the point at which I started crying.

20130622-112906.jpgTerrible luck, terrible timing. I posted , quite optimistically at the time, with intentions of liveblogging the Megaswim (spoiler alert – didn’t happen). One of our team captains, Bel, called me about some last minute Megaswim planning while I was still in the emergency room waiting on my moon boot and crutches. We had kept a list of backup swimmers (an essential part of planning an event like that) and she was soon onto the case of finding someone to fill my swimming shifts. Lucky for me, because they soon drugged me up to the eyeballs, wrapped and booted me, gave me prescriptions, a referral to the fracture clinic, crutch-lessons, and instructions to put no weight on my ankle at all, then sent me home. I immediately passed out from the effort of getting there (crutches are a major workout) and the painkillers and wouldn’t have been much good to anyone.

So there’s my tale of woe. Even the best laid plans can be thrown out at the last minute. And this sure threw out my plans.

Luckily, the universe, and that event in particular, did not actually revolve around me and my participation. The Megaswim went ahead as planned…..

Watch this space for part 3.



Hello Again

Goodness, things got quiet around here, didn’t they?

Sorry about that.

I had the best of intentions, really I did. I was going to totally make the best of a bad situation and find some way to make the whole broken-ankle thing a theme here and keep to regular programming. Seems actual real-life recovery from an injury like that is far more, well, exhausting than I had possibly imagined. Plus I may not quite have counted on the fact that I am in complete denial about the fact that I’m no longer 18 years old and bounce back from things with my super-human healing abilities. Seems it was bloody hard work. Still kind of is bloody hard work.

So what’s been happening with me? Well, here’s the cliff-notes version….


  1. 10 days, crutches, no pressure (did you know crutches can hurt more than the injury they’re supporting?)
  2. 3 weeks-ish, crutches, orthopaedic boot – allowed to put the boot on the ground. Explored the work-from-home thing to the point where I absolutely understood the limitations of sitting in the same spot for far too many hours a day, and not seeing anywhere near enough other live people.
  3. A bit of a 3-week transition where I weaned off the crutches to just the boot. Starting with short distances on flat surfaces.
  4. Just when I got the hang of that, it was time to take the boot off. Yay!
  5. Except everything else goes to hell after 6-7 weeks of inactivity. My left calf is vastly smaller than the right one, I have almost no range of motion in the ankle, and less strength. I’m back to pathetic limping and develop a love/hate relationship with the boot.
  6. 3 days later (sadly, not my shortest love/hate relationship ever) – end up part of a research study on this type of injury. Start seeing a lot of my new best friend – my physio Kerri. She gives me some tough love and tells me I have to ditch the boot.
  7. They give me a tick-sheet to track how I go with the physio exercises. It totally taps into my motivators and I do everything I’m asked religiously for about 10 days. Results are stellar.
  8. The crutches, boot, limping, extended working from home, weight-gain from lack of activity, and general lack of symmetry in my life lead to a secondary-effect…and I throw my back out. Badly. Luckily, my Osteo is a genius.
  9. last week or so? Getting the dreaded limp down to a minimum, rebuilding wasted muscles and spending an inordinate amount of time pretending to write the alphabet with my foot.

So where am I now? If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t notice the slight limp. The muscles are getting there and I can put on a pair of pants without sitting down. Stairs are not the daunting obstacle they were, and I can see myself starting to do things without thinking about them again. I’m at about 90% mobility and strength, and it only hurts a little bit a little of the time.  All the experts agree I should get back to 100% of what I was, with no ill-effects, and it shouldn’t be too far off. Good news all-round, really.

As for swimming?

Well, I’m getting back to the swing of things around here, so I might save that so I have something to write about tomorrow! Sorry for the cliff-hanger!

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