March 26, 2014
They Gave Me the Boot
The irony of my day is probably what keeps me laughing. I wrote my last post on Sunday, but those of you who get it in your email boxes didn't see it come out until Monday. About the time you were reading the words "I think this I'm bored time is coming to an end," I was taking steps to ensure that it wouldn't. Actually, just ONE step.
That step was on a piece of sidewalk that unevenly sloped down to another, rougher area, just the right way for my right ankle to roll and send me to the ground. You may not be acquainted with Mr. Right Foot yet, as it's the good ole' Left Leg that gets all the attention here. Mr. Right has been the handy, stable, superhero side, steadily growing more muscular over these past three years as it's picked up the slack for its not-so-stable partner.
We had just walked out of the office of a lady I was sure would rent us her open storefront for the youth center we're itching to get started, but she quite politely insisted that we should look elsewhere. Part of the problem is that it's difficult to explain what this youth center is going to be. I can tell anyone who's spent time in Europe or the U.S. that we're envisioning a sort of coffee house geared toward youth, and they get it. But that venue doesn't exist here, and it is perceived more like a place for gangs to congregate or for drugs to be sold as loitering teens pass around a bottle of beer.
So, yeah. I was feeling a little discouraged from the landlord's reaction and off my game. I normally spend my walking moments looking at the ground beneath me, so much so that my neck hurts after even short walks and I've commented about how I'll break this habit once I can walk more stably and don't NEED to watch my every step. The always-uneven sidewalk surfaces of Paraguay took advantage of my moment of distraction and planted a slight decline just under my right foot, knowing that the left knee would buckle instead of come to the rescue. And buckle it did. And down I went, in slow motion.
|Okay. Okay. Paparazzi here is really just guys with cell|
phones, but you get the idea. When you fall in public,
THIS is what you imagine!
As soon as I gathered my pride and made sure no news cameras were around to catch that (aren't they always?), Ken reached down to scoop me up. Not an easy task, as I've put on a bit of weight in these less-active few years. Once I was up, I held onto Caroline (thank God she decided to come along!) while he ran for the car, which was only a few yards away. It was facing the wrong way, though, and all the streets of our town are one-way, meaning Ken had to make a huge loop to get back to me.
I tried to balance myself, but the recently-operated-on, still-not-quite-100% left knee wasn't ready to take on all of my weight, and the right foot and ankle were throbbing from what I assumed was a sprain. About the time I felt the knee couldn't take any more, I shifted a little more weight onto the sprained foot, and the world went black. I had enough time to tell Caroline, "I'm passing out," but not enough to lower myself to the ground. Again, thank God she was there. She said I fell straight forward, where she happened to be standing. She tried to catch my dead weight but ended up merely breaking my fall as I rolled over to the sidewalk on my side.
I laugh to imagine this scene--now that it's over--because Caroline said 4 people passed by us lying there without stopping to help. I can only guess what went through their minds. We've just come out of tourist season, when visitors from all parts piled into our little city, standing out in stark contrast to the look of a typical Paraguayan. We were mistaken for tourists constantly during this time, as many of the visitors looked more like us. You may remember my descriptions of the women here--skin-tight jeans or stretchy pants, sexy shirts, super-high heels, just-right makeup including those long, fake eyelashes and vibrant eyeshadow, and hair that just stepped out of a salon. And you know me. I was my typical self--camo cargo pants, a t-shirt, tennis shoes, and these kinda new dreadlocks. So I'm sure Caroline looked like a sweet little girl trying to help the homeless lady whose eyes were rolled back in her head, surely because she was stoned or drunk or both.
Thankfully, a couple of men finally ran over and lifted me into a chair they brought from the empanada stand next door, where I assume they were eating. One yelled at Caroline to go get me a bottle of water, but she was nervous to leave because I was still groggy and my purse with our bill-paying money was on the sidewalk beside me. After he yelled his command again, she took off as fast as she could get the water and get back, and a few minutes later Ken pulled up. Phwew! What fun!
To make a long story a tiny bit shorter, a visit to the ER showed that I'd broken a bone in my foot during the (first) fall. That caused the second fall. Since the knee is still delicate and can't really make up for this foot that I'm told CANNOT touch the ground, I'm stuck in bed. I'm not nearly as okay with it as last time, since I had some warning back then, whereas this came suddenly. I had big plans for projects set to start this week and in April, and now they're on hold. Postponed. Again.
There is a bright side and a lot to be thankful for. Caroline kept me from what could have been a serious face plant in the concrete, and neither of us were hurt from the passing out episode. I am not in a tremendous amount of pain--it's tolerable. It's not the unbearable heat of mid-summer. The ankle joint seems to be intact. I was given the choice of a cast or a boot, and I went with the much-easier-to-manage boot. My family has experience with me not being able to walk and knows just what to do. And I have a list of projects from the last time around that I can complete on the computer now. Yeah, let's just stick with the bright side.