Tales from the Ankle


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The upside: My bone is healed and it healed properly. Thank the Lord! No hard cast. Now I’m in an Air Cast. The downside: There’s a lot of work to do in the wonderful world of physical therapy, and evidently, it’s rather fucking depressing. It feels like I’m starting from somewhere near the bottom. And surely, it could be worse.

So, yes, I’m thankful for my fibula fracture injury no matter how it comes across and makes me feel in the black pit of my heart. In time, I’ll get over the multiple depression humps of my life. But today is not that day. Until then, I’ll have to deal with everything as I have been – to the best of my ability.

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Let me introduce some to the subtalar joint. This is one thing I have to work on. It is responsible for the movement of the feet – in technical terms: Inversion and Eversion. Aside from this joint, I have to deal with all the other muscles that atrophied on the side of my right ankle such as the hips, glute, lower back, knee and quad.

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Now, despite the work load I have for my ankle and certain parts of my body, I’m lucky that I’m a big fan of working hard. This isn’t my issue. My issue is being depressed and wanting results overnight because of what I’ve been able to do in the past – fitness wise. Patience and pacing myself has never been a strong suit of mine. And I would think that at the humble age of 32, (33 tomorrow), I’d have figured out how to take things slow when needed, but no. I have much to learn.

I have this self-imposed pressure. It’s me against me and I’m not sure how I feel about this: All the power to mobilize myself. It sounds inspiring to some degree, but with the time stamp I’ve placed in my head: I feel like time is running out. Okay. Day 1 of the Air Cast: It was this Tuesday. The cast came off and I didn’t care if there was pain involve. I was more scared of what was underneath the cast. Lots of dry blood. Lots of dead skin. Lots of calve deflated and missing. Lots of agony and stages of foot pain.

And for the rest of the day the thought of unstrapping and strapping the boot itself made me nauseous at home. So I did zero movement in my ankle. Day 2: I made sure to start moving my foot with the assistance of my knee just to get a bit of movement. At least 70-80 total reps (for 5 reps at a time – afternoon and evening) I performed and then packed it in ice like a dead fish.

Day 3: Which is today – I met the physical therapist. And let’s just say, I’m glad he’s not ugly to look at. However, I got the impression that everything was all rushed. I did not like that he expected me to perform circles with an ankle I haven’t used for 2 months. He encouraged me by saying, “You’re moving your knee, not your ankle.”

Then he manually took my ankle and moved it in circles and in an up/down motion. Okay, so aside from his manual assistance (and my failings!), these were the exercises prescribed to me which I did there at the place: Lumbar Bridging (Hip Thrust), Hip Abduction Unilateral Side-lying and Supine Knee Bent. 3 x 10 reps.

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Reflection on these Exercises: I felt a super stretch during the hip bridges in my right quad that I gasped out loud. My hip/glutes were contracted (mind-muscle connection) with intense levels while performing the side lying. And as for the Supine Knee – well – I felt the discomfort in my knee, so keeping my right leg completely straight was a tad difficult. So all in all it’s working. ;-) But I’m sure anything would work if your muscles were immobile to begin with, no?

My plans for tonight is to have my friend help me by manually moving my ankle up/down and in circles for a few reps a set because my foot is so stiff I can’t do it on my own. As of now, my ankle is super achy and sore from the manual manipulation of earlier. Presently, this is going to be a slow and tedious, but very much needed journey. Stay tuned. ;-)

-Pennington

Different Stages Of Foot Pain


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There’s a lot of reflections occurring between last week and this week, so expect more writing about my foot until I get to really weightlifting again. I believe these reflections are due to the realization that I may indeed receive a walking boot after they saw off this cast of mine next week. And although I’m grateful for all the help from everyone (on and offline), which includes powerful words, a place to stay, mantras, support, comfort and such – there’s still a part of me that isn’t entirely happy…yet.

There’s also a part of me that can’t be happy about the thought of using my foot again no matter how small it may be because it’s hard to believe. I’ll be a week shy from a full 2 months since this fibula fracture occurred. Time breezes.. but not when you feel isolated from the world and not when you feel like your independence is on hold and not when you’re dying to feel the full adrenaline rush that only the gym can provide.

I’ll soon be headed for another type of pain I once again am not looking forward to: Learning how to use my ankle, learning how to put weight on my foot and learning the steps on how to gain full mobility again. And I’m not sure how long it’ll be aside from the surgeon who claims it’ll take a few months and by a few months he means March.

So, although, again I’m grateful, I still feel like I have a long way to go. And sure, it may not be true. But I also don’t want to get my hopes high only to fall in a bottomless pit of infinite depression and disappointment later. In the meantime, I want to make sure I’m writing down all these stages for remembrance among other things to come.

Here’s the start of it: Before surgery I had foot pain that wouldn’t quit – partly because my ankle was fucked and partly because the emergency room I visited that night thought I was an animal off the street possibly and decided to put my broken ankle in a wet splint where they practically kicked me out the attending room before it was even remotely dry. So every day after that for two whole weeks my splint shifted differently making balancing extremely painful. 

And for those 2 weeks I was being given the run around due to private and public insurance, getting referrals, fighting with the middle man for the delivery of my wheelchair, and dealing with waiting lists, until my good friend worked his magic where my surgeon’s secretary squeezed me to get surgery because time was running out and as the more time went on the more fucked my ankle would have been.

But for those 2 weeks before surgery everything was horrible as there was increasing pain each day in my foot. I felt the splint jab deeply into my ankle bones, mostly on the outer side that sometimes felt crippling to the rest of my body. I took some pain medication, but nothing besides over the counter stuff because I knew the closer surgery came the chances of me taking something stronger later. And I fear of ever becoming a drug addict because I seen my mother be a really good one and recovered far too late in her life. And let’s be realistic, who wants to commit the same family patterns and dilemmas?

Besides the jabbing pain in my ankle bone that shot straight up my leg, my foot was swollen as if someone dropped a iron mallet on it – so most times my foot felt compressed and along the way I was being driven mad mentally. At all times my foot had to be elevated because that’s the only relief I had aside from music, reading and writing. (Okay and maybe Wendy Williams.) The last type of foot pain before surgery was just how mushed together my toes were – a vision sprouted in my brain of multiple garden snakes chokeholding my toes and I wondered: if I could ever use my tiny little piglets again.

After surgery I did my best to document my foot pain in a list of stages I experienced because I wanted to be familiar with all the different pains. I also have this thing where I enjoy analyzing body pain – it’s one reason pain is tattooed on my forearm, however with analyzing pain means bringing more pain to oneself. Good thing I braced myself and was ready.

I guess one has to not only be afraid of pain, but actually enjoy it to an extent. Still, I wanted to be in tune with my body and I wanted to listen to what it was saying to me. This was definitely an experience and still is. Here’s the list:

1. Lazer pain on the left side of inner ankle bone. Dull pain on the right outer ankle bone.

1st week: The fresh Lazer pain was from the surgeon having to open the other side of my ankle (the inner left part). This pain felt new, razor-sharp and super fresh. The right outer ankle bone was dull with pain because as I said 2 weeks before surgery the splint would dig in there with a dull knife which I became used to.

2. Pressure-pain

2nd Week: I assume this was from the combination of nerves, blood, fragments being fixed and everything having been manipulated while I was asleep on the operating platter.

3. Swollen pain

2-5 Week: The obvious, blood rushing through the foot and blowing up like a fat fish.

4. Muscle spasms in calve, foot and toes

3-4 Week: The inactivity was killing me here and the lack of blood circulation too.

During this time I OD’d on vitamins, potassium and lots of water. It seemed to work at moments. But to really fix this situation, what I did was stand up on 1 leg for a 1-2 minutes at a time and allowed even more blood to flow and despite how painful it was it provided relief.

5. Foot feeling warm as if someone is putting warm water over my cast

Week 4-5: From my understanding they claim this may happen when nerves are compressed. Also this feeling can be due to muscle inactivity and lack of circulation.

I found the warm feeling however to be a form of healing, as my foot felt so good during this time. It felt more like a body-spiritual experience.

6. Foot hurting in the back of my ankle

Week 5-7: Just elevated my foot for long periods of time. I didn’t find any concrete evidence on what causes this.

7. Tiny click that goes on/off somewhere in the ankle, I think on the right side when I moved my knee or foot to move, whether it was to get out of bed or holding my leg up, etc.

Week 3-4: Also not sure what caused this. The good thing is it went away.

8. Toes became white due to lack of circulation. Tingle, pin/needle sensations as if my foot was asleep. Toes felt super cold.

Week 4-5: It felt like drama, like death. Also claims lack of muscle inactivity and loss of blood circulation.

9. Knee hurting.

Week 5-6: I assume lack of knee movement and the way in which the hard cast pulls on it. I decided to start light stretching and move it a few times throughout the day.

10. Bottom of heel hurting as if I’m stepping and digging onto a hard pebble and am rolling on it like a pin.

Week 5-6: Feels like intense drama. Not sure what caused it. Foot in elevation mode.

11. Compression pain

Week 4-7: It feels like a person is taking their hands and trying to make my foot small by compressing and squashing the crap out of it. This feeling is odd and it’s very uncomfortable. Medication doesn’t heal it, therefore I just assume it’s a part of the body healing on its own.

I can only hope that this could be beneficial to someone who ever has to go through this in some way as a form of what to expect pain wise. I remember searching for a weekly stage of what I’ll be going through with this ankle/foot of mine and only remember seeing people speaking of muscle cramps within the 3rd-6th week. That wasn’t enough, so I documented what I could and slightly researched after to make sure I wasn’t the only one who felt such pain or try and find out about nerves, Fibula Fracture, etc.

I had written enough. Originally I wanted to write about how I overcame the pain, pressure and swollen crap, but I thought to document and reflect with the world of my blog. To be continued with my body challenge of the month and how I coped with getting out of the stages of pain.

-Pennington

An Open Letter to Indifference


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It took me a good length of time to warm up to your hands and be open to your kiss. I never imagined the day. That one time when we took time off from seeing one another – a month and a half – I had far-reaching sentiments wrapped in a box with ribbons that glowed of reasonable expectations and hopes. I loved you.

And on that altered afternoon when I came to visit, I went with every intention to slowly pull away the gift wrap that was you – emotionally speaking. I fancied to display how much I missed you and your darling face and your scent I consider home. I looked forward to quality time and a world of welcoming love same as usual. And perhaps it was my mistake – expecting you to always be on the identical page as mine? We were disconnected.

And my eyes were wide open to your loud actions and your words failed me because they were of a sexual nature and your hands no longer defaulted to being warm. They were indifferent now. And with an energy of a wolf, you came onto me and unwrapped my clothes with hungry claws leaving me bared for a moment just enough to capture the view of the voluptuous latina you glared as feast.

You walked me to your white door and pinned me against it with heavy aggression and kissed me with the same force with a tiny dollop of love inside your breath. And you groped every part of my meat and ate from it as if you were in a state of panic, of pure desperation, of a teenaged boy whose hormones got the best of him – just like a wolf taking over its prey.

And boy, I wish I left. I wish I could take my heart out my chest and stomp it onto the ground until there wasn’t a beat left – how it hurt like the day I was five years old and my mother first broke my heart with parental neglect. Because between loving you and the three hour trip it took to travel made even my thoughts feel small until they disappeared like smoke, like white lies, like happily ever afters.

And in this instance, you didn’t understand – how my sensible feelings have changed and how they buried themselves in deep despair and how anger created a shift in perspective; how these sentiments were relentless and at the same token – unforgiving. You didn’t realize the crime being committed; the way I was dramatically falling out of love with you; how this time when you cupped my face, kissed me deep and served me pleasure in the bedroom I was gone. I checked out emotionally and felt like freedom contained in the wind.

It was easy to become the watcher and observe from the outside in how you made me feel – like a woman selling herself off Hunts Point Avenue, like friends with lewd benefits. There was a dangerous courage in your behavior because of all the history that came before and will continue after us. I’m in disbelief and I can never feel the same way about us again. However, this has been a long winded way of saying: I’m not a maximus call.

-Pennington

To Live A Long Way


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I came around again.

This isn’t the whole story.  I’ve come to mull over this horrible year and I have to admit – yes I’ve come a long way. The past months I’ve shown myself how brave I can be in the face of torment – falling off a longboard and feeling my ankle shift out of place and hearing something pop. I lived this so many times in my head; flip flop between regret and living life. I was brave as I told my friends in a calm state of mind and voice to call the ambulance as I couldn’t get up.

I came a long way.

I’ve been having to survive, nearly homeless if I didn’t have people in my life who would open their doors to me. My income vanished in a blink of an eye and my roommates were battling between being loyal to me as I have them or being loyal to their money. I had to use a manipulation tactic to see where the psychological factor would lead and somewhat hope they wouldn’t call my bluff or speak about interest later.

And then the biggest turning point wasn’t the quarter-size cyst under my arm giving me hell or the gallstones giving me brutal pain through my workouts a couple of months ago. It was the moment I’ve been waiting for since the age of 9; my mother once again – dying. This time it was true. This time it happened. There was no lie, no prank, no do-over. All the things that shaped my life, that made me cynical, that made me envy happy mother-daughter relationships, become accustomed to tough love, detachment and desensitization have all made me who I am today because of this inevitable day.

I came a long way.

It only took a month and fifteen days. It only took me having to deal with the courage to face my mother’s wake and burial. It only took numerous hops up and down funeral, church and house steps. It took my anger for my brother having the audacity to not show up at the funeral knowing he was the favorite and had all of my mother’s love. It took not being spoiled at my friend’s house where I was safe and sound – to get out my comfort zone and back into the mobile world I’ve been so frightened of.

I had zero choice but to deal with the outside world more than what I cared to without crutches and a side of wheelchair. There was no looking back, no time to be scared, no time to waste. I was dealing with death and countless complicated emotions. Suddenly, my prayers became deeper. There was only time to woman up and act the way an adult should – courageously courageous without a shadow of doubt.

I came a long way.

I deal with sadness in the form of anger because sadness is weakness to me. But this all trickled on as I was happy my mother was no longer suffering on earth with her incurable disease. I felt a big weight lifted and suddenly nothing else mattered in this world. A final came. A final of everything. So I finally painted my nails a color that would brighten the rest of the days of the week. I bought a shimmer nude lipstick for my neutral and/or depressed days and bought a dark berry one for days when I feel vibrant or stirred with sexual desire.

I no longer felt the fear of going outside. I didn’t rely on a hoodie to conceal myself or my hair or my beauty. I didn’t only feel like coming outside during moonlight hours to catch a moon tan. I wanted the sun on my face for once – the thought seemed to comfort me.

I guess because I wanted to look at the sky because I picture my mother high in another plane of existence. I want her to know that I live like she did – strong! Life is too short to be weak. Life is too short to stand still. This world is bitter, cruel and dark with glimpses of beauty – and when this world hits you, you have to punch it back with greater force because you have to brave on even when you’re not sure what it all means.

-Pennington

I’ll Remember You Three


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I’ll remember you as cold and typically distant, there in body – not in spirit, on your phone nonstop, barely a spoken word, tiny complaints, annoyed facial expressions, being passive, sex on the forefront of the mind, in and out menial conversations, game apps, assisting me and the folding of my wheelchair, zero mantra of hope, making me sandwiches and fetching cups of orange juice, implying I may not be in as much pain as I seem, comfort in the back of the car when the wind directed my flowing tears after leaving my mother’s burial, sharing a cab ride, and a cracked joke about my mom on her way to heaven asking for a cigarette.

I’ll remember you as a selfish bitch, grieving inwardly and out, unconcerned when it came to everyone else, money-seeking cuntbag, couldn’t carry out a sister’s dying wish of cremation, head out in the clouds of complete nothingness, forgotten identification card, planning a memorial for death as a healthy outlet, taking time off work to eat like a greedy hog who’s content to be lazy, judging others, caring for nonsense drama like a half-sister threatening you with words on Facebook and sending me on my way with one-hundred dollars and bags of brand new clothing.

I’ll remember you as a developing friend who became my good friend, who redirected his attraction to me so we can be platonic, who wanted to represent something new and different in my life, as the one who cared for me with warm compresses, tending to my cyst, having meals prepared along with home accommodations so I can maneuver around the house with a broken ankle, who gave me poetry every day of light and love, hands of great passion which caressed my face and taught me about warmth I have missed, who visited my dying mother along with me because you felt, more than I that it was significant.

-Pennington

Mutuality


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The night was full of curiosity and mutuality and winds and whispers that soothed exact.  Daylight blared through the tasteless windows with all its promising newness; sharpening beauty in a welcoming space of two bodies interlacing as one glorious flame.  Lying in bed, there was an earnest sense of giving and receiving sensuality, in addition to an urge of freedom between the pair.  There was diversity in both worlds – yet beneath the façade there joined parallel natures which compelled the two to pierce the moment at hand as one.

Without formed and repetitive guarded guises, she came to him baring a part of her soul, free as a bird as did he.  During when words became spells and words encircled the situation like conjuring smoke in a séance, she stroked his luxurious charcoal hair over and over again until his brain registered what was occurring – instantaneous magic!  He penetrated her eyes with all the fire in his core and resembling a potent magnet pulled her into an earth-shattering kiss.  The energy and explosion melted their suckling lips and delicate tongues.  Every open mouth kiss was pain released, joy embraced and passion undiscovered.

-Pennington

Hiding Out


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I stayed indoors with my fears of falling again and re-injuring or injuring a new body part of mine. I stayed indoors because I live in New York City where the people are wild with busy bodies. I stayed indoors because I realized quickly that the world outside is definitely “lack of movement friendly.” I stayed indoors because it was better than dealing with the antics of and lack of wheelchair or crutch accessibility. I was much safer being in the house, safer being away from obstacles that would love nothing more but to come and test me.

During the moments of going out into the world, I watched and lingered with my eyes on people’s ability to move, walk, jog, sit, jump, ride a skateboard and dance. It looks easy – using two legs to perform. Everything is easier. I wonder, if they understand how awesome it is to be able to move so freely in the world of rapid movement.

I wonder, how many of them were grateful.  Or how many of them like me never even pregnant a thought of having their ankle mobility and such taken away for a limited of time. So, I miss being able to use my ankle in various ways in a very mobile friendly world.

Moving on – everyone has a habit of wanting to tell you what to do with your life and they even go as far as to give unsolicited advice many times because everyone whose not you has the solution to everything, including your broken/displaced ankle. Imagine when all kinds of people – relatives, registered nurses who are connected to friends and the surgeon want to chime in on my life and what decisions I should be making and why I should do this or that.

There were quite a few people who were against me and my obtaining a wheelchair. They said it will limit my body use and I’ll lose my muscles at a quicker rate, not to mention stall the healing of my ankle. I got a wheelchair anyway because this is MY life, not theirs. And if these people have never had the pleasure and interesting experience of learning how to use crutches and over long distance (or have a built-in mental fear of using crutches), well, why the FUCK would I listen to them for?

To rewind a little, from the emergency I was given lots of pain medication and they practically threw the crutches into my lap like another useless perscription of sort without instructing me on how to use my brand new legs. Did this build my confidence level with crutches? And was it supposed to? I think absolutely fucking not!

Towards the ending when I was heading out the emergency room it was time for my body to vomit it’s organs, raging anger and maniac depression out. I was outside (thankfully with a good friend) at 4am from the cab ride home to the concrete of what was going to be my new place of stay – vomiting and vomiting and vomiting and vomiting. I thought about people who used heavy drugs and why? I thought about why was I going through this and than quickly thought: Why ask why?

It took me 30 minutes to get inside the apartment, due to my drugged-ness of medication and learning how to use crutches for the very first time. The feeling of illness, nausea, pain in my foot, vomiting every few crutch-steps, along with a crackhead up my ass telling me a home remedy consisting of soaking my foot in butter and sugar – while trying to balance from the extreme dizziness I felt and eyeing the ground for immediate cracks on the floor at 4am was one of the hardest things to do in my life. I still don’t know how the fuck I made it into the elevator or into the abode.

The same week, a few days later, I felt froggy and decided on going to hang out with a friend of mine like we do every Friday. The only catch was using crutches. (I didn’t even think about getting a wheelchair yet and the thought of staying indoors seemed very depressing.) It didn’t hit me until I got to the lobby where I actually felt frightened – as frightened as the first day of kindergarten: Was I going to fall? How long will it take me to go to his car from the building (which is a 40 second walk) with these crutches? Am I sure I want to do this? I allowed myself to feel the panic. I digested it and braved on. It took roughly 10 minutes.

Mentally I was completely helpless. I felt powerless, which triggered humiliation, shame and pure embarrassment. Note: This doesn’t mean I look at people who use crutches or a wheelchair and say to myself, “They should feel humiliated.” This is what I feel personally. This is my experience. And those 10 minutes felt long. I lowered my head in defeat, and when people asked me if I needed help – I smiled half ass and unconvincingly. I was drowning, fatigued. I had to stop short every 5 crutch-step. It was enough and still is enough to use a wheelchair when necessary, especially when I’m going the distance and/or shopping.

I’m not above using a wheelchair at the moment and I don’t see why I should be. Why can’t I make things easy for me when I need it now the most? Why do I have to abuse myself physically even when I have a broken bone that needs to fuse together and heal? I physically abuse myself when I go to the gym and weightlift for hours during the week. (This doesn’t include cardio or stretching work.) I easily put in 10 hours or more at the gym a week. This doesn’t include workouts at home or how much I walk the city streets for extra mileage and to boost my metabolism whenever I can.

I also know, unlike most people I don’t have a problem with inactivity. I have the opposite problem – where I need to learn and force my hand for when my body, central nervous system or mind needs a day off from the gym. So when it’s time to bounce back, I’m going to put in 100% because I have a wonderful gym mentality and like a dear friend who reads my blog has stated to me, “You want it more than most.” And I do. And I’ve already proven this to my motherfuckin self for a decade with weightlifting.

So, excuse me if I want a fucking wheelchair. Excuse me, if for the moment that I believe it’s necessary to take a moment out, to relax, to say, “Hey, it’s alright to take it easy because it’s important right now.” I’ve given myself permission and fuck what anyone else thinks. Who likes hopping or swinging on one leg? This is my life. Fuck everybody else!

I write this, just in case someone else is questioning whether they should use a wheelchair at any point in time for their fibula fracture when they need it because people couldn’t mind their fucking business and you may doubt yourself. Just because you’re young and not obese doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to use a wheelchair. It’s your life, your business, your prerogative. Fuck everybody else and their shameless opinions. They don’t know you or what you’re going through. They get NO say! You have my permission. :-)

Pretty soon I’ll be hopeful in not needing to spend money on cabs like I’m made out of trees or hold my heavy leg up during the cab ride because New York City and their infamous potholes hurt! I’ll be hopeful to not have to base a decision at the whim of a day or night – trying to figure out if I can be fundamentally happy where I nap and put the world and my ankle to sleep, so I don’t wallow in pain or depression. I’ll be hopeful about the near future where I don’t have to pick something off the floor in trembling balance and any sign of dog toys or sneakers on the floor won’t instill fear in me.

-Pennington

Brother’s Absence


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And maybe brother was supposed to be out the picture
So I can obtain closure with mother
Life – the ambiguous fixer
Every time he was around, I wanted to scream
I wanted to live in another family’s dream
From the attention she gave him
Left me unhinged
But these years he saved me by never coming
Around to see her when it was the most important running
There’s a bigger picture up in the sky
And sometimes the inexcusable diguises as a why
And I no longer need to understand the goddamned
Or the motherland of disbands
Or keep hold of poisoned anger
I’ve given up every clamor of an anchor
My heart has opened up with the spacious grace of Athens
I’ve been released by my brother’s absence

-Pennington

P.S.

Why didn’t my brother see our mother once in the past 4 years just one more time before she died roughly 3 days ago?

That Crutch Life


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Six screws and a plate later. Yes, to actual x-rays before my surgery roughly a week ago. What horror! Anyhow…

It’s interesting how an injured, and a very broken ankle changes your perspective on just about everything. Like how it’s possible to be afraid to come outside after this type of freaky incident. Or how I won’t risk taking a bath/shower with a bag over my hard cast for fear of infection – so I stick with cloth baths. To be honest, I can’t even count all the ways yet, but for the moment these are my current reflections.

I now think about a road map of the easiest access with the least amount of distance and body trouble. I think about what libraries have full wheelchair accessibility and what streets have the least amount of bumps and cracks. I think about how bad the weather is going to be, what big pants can I wear, and if the supermarket has big aisles for me to wheel myself around in.

I now check other people out who are in wheelchairs and I remember every single person I’ve ever encountered in my every day life or those who came to the gyms I worked or I’ve trained at. I made sure I complimented those who worked out with splints, crutches and wheelchairs because I’d imagine it would be one of the hardest things to do in life. So, it’s interesting to be on the other side of it – and I was right – it’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with, and I mean this in terms of the mental aspect.

I never thought shit like this would happen to me and I’ve been going through (is it possible?) my 5 stages of grief in my own way with this Crutch Life. Related: I had so many different plans, started a new job, about to start another semester of school – among other things and life kind of robbed me and for some reason unbeknownst to me has me sitting put on the bench. Probably because there’s something greater coming my way – gasp – I hope! Life – my ambiguous teacher.

Lately, I flip flop between emotions. I can’t stick to one: Sometimes I think yes I’m glad I wanted to practice longboarding and it’s the chances one takes in life that makes you feel fully alive. Or on the flip side, fear is an indicator to keep you safe and perhaps I should have listened to my initial gut so I can continue to keep a short regret list in my life. I’m now fearful of skateboards and longboards apparently. I was even scared to come outside for fear of falling down again and this time completely breaking my ankle off. The struggle of imagination is real my friends and I’ve been flirting on the line of post traumatic stress disorder.

I’m now both embarrassed and humiliated when I go outside (mind you I’ve been camping out at a friend’s house, far away from where I live to avoid further embarrassment/shame – and yes it’s fucking stupid I think like this) and crutch slower than an elderly who panics at the sight of ongoing traffic. I hang my head low and I chew on my bottom lip as if I defeat myself with every crutch-step I take, counting them like reps, pausing when there’s not enough gas in my system with sweat thrown at the back of my neck because holding my injured leg up and out in front of me kills my hip flexor and the healthy leg/foot screams at the amount of work it needs to do just to keep the rest of my 185lb body afloat.

It’s really interesting how having crutches changes your world. I’m not sure what’s more interesting, the strangers who offer their shoulder to replace my crutches or the people who have a deep sadness in their eyes and tell me about the time when they had their injury and they know just how hard it is to be on crutches and they’re very sorry I have to go through this. Or those other strangers who don’t care and ignore you completely whether its because they believe injuries and crutches are contagious or just because (insert whatever here).

I made use of a sliding technique involving my foot as hopping on one leg has been dreadful ever since the surgery. But I get enough internal and external rotation from this like one wouldn’t believe. Thank the Lord for the sliding and twisting technique. Thank the Lord for my having actually being faithful to my training as I wouldn’t know how I would’ve push through exhaustion or know what to do when my body wants to cramp up and spasm. All those single-leg exercises came in handy and who knew I would live through a time when it’s critically needed.

As for the medicated life, it has been a small type of hell. I had the doctor switch me from one pill to another pill because I’m not a drug addict (don’t intend to be either) and I don’t need strong stuff, plus I don’t need to vomit the entire day for the next few months. I’ll take the pain just like the word pain tattooed on my arm. Thank you. Still, the medication screws with my taste buds and they have also made me constipated to the point where I give birth and my rosebud goes numb from the excruciating pain of widening to three times its size. I’m still hurt.

I don’t groom nowadays. I wear no make up. My eyebrows are growing in and they seem to bring back the nostalgic days of being in elementary school and not knowing what to do with eyebrow thickness. The truth is though, I don’t look in the mirror anymore. I’m more selfless than ever before. But I’ll make sure to make it a point to paint my nails because colors brighten my fucking day – and I need my fucking day brighten now more than ever!

Have I mentioned how bitter I am towards certain people? People speak from a place usually without knowing how you or they would feel or think in this situation. So, so far I think the biggest lie and shitty advice anyone has given me is: “You’ll be extra grateful for having your broken ankle after the fact.” Really? How fucking so? I’ve been grateful before the injury. One reason why I’m a gym rat and why I weightlift is because I have limbs. I should put my entire body to use. But these people, these people speak from an unknown place. They speak without considering that they don’t gym it. The use and extent of their ankle is only going to and from work – and don’t get me started on if they have a sitting down job! So telling me or anyone else whose injured they’ll be extra grateful, I don’t see the purpose in saying this, unless the desire was to insult.

Also to point out, it’s difficult for me to eat my pride and even harder for me to allow others to take care of me. It’s hard for me to sit back and be okay with being vulnerable. It’s hard to ask another for anything, hard to be dependent and it’s also hard to inconvenience someone else at my expense, even when they don’t mind.

I haven’t even touched how I feel about taking time off from the gym because it would depress the fuck out if me if I sat down and really thought about it. In any event, right now I’m taking it one day at a time. That Crutch life!

-Pennington

Fracture Fibula


The findings:

Oblique fracture of the distal fibular metaphysis with approximately 5mm posterior displacement of the distal fracture fragment and 4mm medial displacement of the proximal fibular shaft. Widening syndesmosis. Tibiotalar subluxation. And more.

How did this occur?

Longboarding. I became overzealous in furthering beginner progression. Despite wrapped fear around my neck, I over rode with bravery when the board decided to slip from under me. The ankle caught under my other leg and as I fell my bodyweight landed heavy and moody. Ankle twisted and became deformed. Instantly I knew it broke. In a collective moment I tried to straighten my leg and attempted to twist out the ankle. Time became nonexistent. Everything was present in slow motion.

What now? 

Waiting on surgery. The first surgeon decided to tell me he couldn’t assist me because they don’t take my insurance. A full 8 days wasted after showing up in his office. I enjoyed how in the surgeon’s mind it was okay to make a person travel with no access to a car or wheelchair all the way to his office just to hear a no.

Evidently, he’s never had a broken ankle as he would have been better empathetic and understood how difficult and how mentally frightening it is to travel by and with crutches. Aside from this, I’m reminded how cruel the world is and how money rules without question of morals and how poor people get treated unfairly without a quiver of emotion. I now await another surgeon.

Mood: Somewhat stable with a side of delirium. The positive light in my gas tank is fading (somewhat). Still strong in other ways. Still blessed for those taking care of me, for continual healing, for people’s prayers and all the works that go unseen behind the scenes.

To be continued…

-Pennington