I’m Not Afraid of Lunar Monsters

What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?

I’ve never had a broken leg. I sprained my ankle in high school when I stumbled down some steps. And I did have hairline fractures in both of my feet (separate incidents.)

The first incident? The intern in our workplace ran over my foot. I was leaning into the car getting my stuff ready for a conference, but the door was open and I was not “in” the car. She was eager to go and said something  like “Everyone ready?” and hit accelerate. I screamed as the tire went over my right foot. She stopped on top of my foot. She screamed and two people went to comfort her, then she backed the car off my foot so I screamed again. My coworker called 911 and our boss just sort of stood there. The driver was sobbing and I was just sitting there on the ground, holding my foot as if my hands could prevent anything from falling off. It was quite surreal that no one gave me first aid, but they were busy comforting the driver (it was an accident, but hello – my foot?)

A passerby was an EMT and came to my rescue. I was scooped into an ambulance and sent on my way to the ER. Everyone else went to the conference. The concern was that I had to give a presentation. I sat in the ER by myself sobbing because it hurt, I was worried that I would be fired for missing the conference and having no idea where my overnight bag had gone. My father rescued me from the ER. My boss called and I was pretty far gone on pain meds so I don’t remember that conversation except that I was nervous and did not take any days off from work.

So I was on crutches for several weeks. That’s when I got a glimpse of how small businesses don’t want to submit worker’s comp complaints – wow, that was a nightmare  because the car insurance people were saying one thing and my employer was saying another. My leg healed, but I would definitely say I learned that I am not successful in office politics.

Fast forward many years and I’m walking out of the office with several coworkers, across the blacktop parking lot. Without warning the pavement beneath me crumbles and I trip onto the ground. My colleagues help me up and other than a torn pair of pants, I think I’m just fine. My foot hurts for a few days. At one point, I can’t walk so Ledcat takes me to the doctor. They examine me and send me to UPMC Braddock for xrays, assuring me that they would get the results that night. No scripts, nothing. I get the xray, but the tech laughed and said their doc wouldn’t even read them that night and my doc wouldn’t get the results for two weeks. I am in intense pain and scared. My friend who is a podiatrist squeezed me in, got my xrays and sent me for a walking boot the very next morning. I was walking around on another fracture foot, the other foot this time. I did the elevate, rest, ice, wear the boot thing and my doctor calls me a week later. A week later. I had already switched doctors at this point.

Boot Cast
This thing made life doable for many weeks.

My foot healed, but I learned that I am not a good patient. I’m not supposed to have expectations of my doctor. I am supposed to be grateful and humble. And not misunderstand what I am told even if the other person in the room with me heard the same thing as me. We are both wrong and nothing will be done about it. Find a new doctor.

So I broke my feet and learned a lot about healthcare systems and such – it really helps to have friends who are doctors or nurses, they save you much wasted effort and frustration by simply explaining things. For free.  But  you shouldn’t have to be well connected. The other solution is to sue. Once a personal injury lawyer is involved, much of the frustration is removed from your shoulders. I suspect that is part of the deal. After all, no hassles for you and you end up with a few thousand dollars and a higher insurance deductible. Sometimes, that seems worth it.

So I’m not sure I would try to walk on the moon. I’m not afraid of lunar monsters, but I’d pretty worried about the infrastructure that got me there. And would allegedly bring me home.

My feet? Well, they are fine with the occasional twinge. If I walk more than say 5 miles in one day, they ache a bit no matter the pace (exercise or a stroll, doesn’t matter.) Sometimes they both hurt, sometimes just one. I don’t wear heels ever, but that’s no real sacrifice.

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