On my way to work this morning [1], I stumbled and fell off a curb into the street. This isn’t the first time that’s happened, but usually the way it works is that I swear loudly for several minutes while I crawl to the sidewalk, sit there for a minute while I make sure nothing’s too badly damaged, and then get up and slowly continue on my way. Except this time I couldn’t get up. I sprained my foot pretty badly, and it’s the side with better balance that I rely on for things like getting up off the ground, and I could not figure out how to get to the curb. This is easily the most painful foot injury I can recall. My foot is swollen and puffy like a marshmallow.

About a minute later someone driving by stopped to see if I was okay and helped me into a chair swiped from the porch of the nearest house. She was nice, but in a hurry, so I ended up still stuck in the parking lane of the street, which was safe enough, but felt pretty weird. Especially because I couldn’t manage to stop crying for more than 30 seconds, because my foot really fucking hurt.

It took about half an hour for my brother to come and get me, between the rush hour traffic and retrieving the car keys from my mom who was out walking the dog. In the meantime, a lot of people drove by, walked by, and almost no one stopped to see if I was okay. There was one woman who helped grab another chair so I could put my foot up a little (thank you!), but otherwise everyone seemed to think I was just another Portland weirdo and Not Their Problem. Including the apparent owner of the chairs, who stuck her head out the door to ask if I was going to return them. Even after I told her I was injured and waiting for someone to come get me, she just blinked and closed the door.

Okay, I realize there are some complete crackheads in our neighborhood, but I was dressed for work, wearing a skirt and actually a little more dressed up than average. I don’t think anyone has ever described me as seeming sketchy, even in jeans and flip flops. So what the hell? I realize I wasn’t crying “help! help!” but I’d expect a little more concern from people. One guy driving by waved, in a “hey, having fun out there?” way.

Eventually my brother pulled up and helped me into the truck, and helped me get cleaned up and over to the doctor’s office where they concluded that my foot probably isn’t broken [2], but I still need to stay off it for a few days. I can’t actually flex my foot into a walking position right now, so it would be tough to put weight on it even if I wanted to.

Much hopping and driving around town later, I purchased a pair of crutches [3] and came home. But drugstores? You need to have more chairs. Like just inside the entrance. So that people with limited mobility can take a break instead of leaning on the rack of shopping carts and getting in the way of all the other customers.

Things to note about trying to get around on crutches: stairs are terrifying. Your hands are occupied, so you can’t carry anything. And if your good foot is also the side with worse balance, even crutches won’t keep you from tipping, falling into the counter, and dropping one of them on the cat. Also, the working leg will get tired very, very quickly, so you’re stuck remaining near things you can lean or sit on. Those hand rails in handicapped bathrooms suddenly make so much sense.

I hope this heals quickly.

[1] Well, really on the way back to the apartment to get something I forgot, but since I initially left with the intent to arrive at work, that counts, right?

[2] Pending review by a radiologist, but the doctor didn’t see any obvious fractures.

[3] It took several tries to find a usable pair of crutches. The clinic only had one in the right size for my height, Rite-Aid had a ratty pair that Peter reported was not worth purchasing, Choice Medical doesn’t stock them, Care Medical (where they referred us) was out, the store by Lloyd Center we both remembered as having such things doesn’t seem to be there anymore, and finally Walgreens had what I wanted. At the very back of the store. And there was nowhere to sit while I waited for Peter to get them. And not one employee asked if I needed help. Have you noticed a theme here? It’s really not fun to be injured, have everyone staring at you, and not get even the slightest bit of concern from people like store employees who you’d think would want to have a happy customer. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with everyone?

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3 responses to “Ow

  1. …it’s the side with better balance that I rely on for things like getting up off the ground….

    Also, the working leg will get tired very, very quickly

    Well, maybe it’ll get stronger and be less of a weaker leg?

    Sorry, just trying to see a bright side. I’ll help you ice your foot now.

  2. Ouch! I hope you get better soon.

  3. KariSueSpagleBagel

    I hope the Timbers win and celebratory VooDoo Donuts helped with the healing process a tiny bit. Stay off that foot, let us know if you need anything & heal up soon!