Having been raised with two brothers, one would think I would have ample experience dealing with injuries. Most people my age have broken bones, undergone surgery, or have been rushed to the hospital in need of stitches. Maybe my brothers and I were more careful, or maybe we were just lucky. The only injury I have ever endured thus far was a fractured middle finger in high school. Caused by a surprisingly strong basketball thrown at my hand, I was in a splint for about a month (a middle finger in a splint is very comical, as many pointed out to me). My inexperience with injuries has been altered for good, however, following a slippery fall in heels and subsequent sprain of the foot.
Last Sunday I was making the trek down from Terraces at night when I slipped on a stair and injured my foot and ankle. I did not immediately feel pain, but when I came back to my dorm and discovered I could not put weight on my foot, I realized something mildly terrible had happened. I called my Mom at an hour which was past her bedtime, and had her talk me through what to do and how to handle my first injury away from home. I missed class on Monday and Tuesday, received crutches and a boot from the health center, and saw an orthopedic surgeon in town to diagnose my discomfort as a tarsal ligament sprain of the left foot. Having grown accustomed to my Mom talking to doctors, filling out forms, and tending to me when I have been ill, maneuvering a bum foot alone was a strange experience. I had to rely on others to bring me food when I couldn’t leave my dorm, my neighbor to spot me as I hopped to the health center, and, ultimately, myself to follow doctor’s orders of elevation, rest, and ice packs. I had to allow extra time to go to classes, find the handicap entrances, and do everyday activities such as make my bed, take a shower, and get dressed with either a limp or a knee-high boot.
Yes, the boot is an inconvenience and I absolutely despise not being able to exercise, lagging behind others, and having an unfortunate limp everywhere I go. However, it isn’t the worst thing that could have happened to me. Through this ordeal, I realized I can take care of myself, and I have other people here at Ithaca who I can depend on to take care of me. I’ve slowly come to look at myself more and more as an adult, and let me tell you, that’s a pretty cool experience.