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tales of the metatarsal

From here, item # 113.

So this was one of those summers between 1990 & 1995, when I was back in KL during summer break.

We're usually running around barefoot in the house.

So that fateful day I ran up the stairs like I'd done a thousand million times before, but somehow my right foot slipped off of the edge of a step, yet still took the full brunt of my weight anyway; I kinda fell forward, and almost passed out from the sharp pain in my foot.

I kinda lay there, stunned, blinking to clear the black/grey clouds outta my eyes; swallowing hard to clear that roaring in my ears...

The pain seemed gone, but the aftereffects were still there - I felt weak and queasy.

I limped gingerly back down the stairs, to the couch, and lay down, elevating the foot.

I remember my brother was also back for the summer: he asked if I was okay, I said yes, but certainly didn't feel like going out [I'd run up the stairs to change cos the mother was on the way back from work, was going to pick us up to go out for lunch], so just kinda immersed myself in not giving in to the faintiness.

By the time they got back from lunch, the worst of my queasiness was over.

And my foot didn't really hurt much when I put my weight on it - just a slight twinge/whisper of something.

So of course it was assumed by parties-I-shall-not-name that all was alright, and that i was just trying to milk attention from the whole thing. I couldn't really protest either, because, well, i *wasn't* in pain... and I couldn't quite articulate my gut feeling that all was NOT alright. [That entire scenario was all-too-common an occurance - my inability to articulate in the face of sneering dismissal]

So, over the course of the next week or so, I limped around the house to the exasperation of unnamed family member(s); we went on vacation to an island [Pulau Tioman, i think] and had to walk around quite a bit; I drove on the trip back because it wasn't fair to exclude myself from driving duty when everyone in the car knew how to drive and should shoulder the burden.

Soon, I was going to be flying back to the U.S.

I *still* felt something was not quite right.

I finally talked my parents into giving permission to go to the doctor.

Went to the doctor.

And even the doctor pooh-poohed my concern, saying "Aiyah, you probably just bruised your bone or something... but nevermind, I'll have an X-ray done just to be sure"

Got the X-ray done.

Waited to be re-called to the doc's office to go over the results.

I get called in...

... ... ... only to get THOROUGHLY SCOLDED for walking around with a broken foot.



This coming from someone who tried to make it out like she was doing me a HUGE favor for ordering an unnecessary X-ray just to please me.


Anyways, turned out that one of those pesky metatarsals was broken, but not quite all the way - there was this long diagonal wavy-edged wedge of space that should have been bone.

But since I was flying off in a day or two, the doc didn't want to put me in a cast [was that really a reason? Or she didn't want to deal with me since it was almost knock-off time?? who knows...]... so she bandaged my foot instead, advised me to keep my weight off of it, and to go see a doctor once I was back in the U.S.

So there I was, with this huge bandaged foot that of course could not fit into the shoe I'd been wearing.

And the plan had been for me to take the bus back home.

Not with that bandaged foot I wasn't! I couldn't really walk with it - but neither was I issued a crutch that would have enabled me to get around without setting the foot down.

So I called the house, managed to get hold of my brother, *and* a car was available, so a while later he swung by to pick me up. The family was in quite a dither at having dismissed my now-proven-genuine concerns about my injury. An old pair of large moccasin-type shoes was dug up so that one shoe could be used to "house" the bandaged foot. No crutches were in the family inventory, but a cane was also dug up so that I could put *some* weight off my foot.
I think I was [and still am] justified in making them feel bad about it. Muaahahahaahahaaa!!
A few days after all that excitement, I left for the U.S. limping into the plane with a bandaged foot. Did I have mis-matched footwear to accomodate the bandaged appendage? I suppose so, but I don't remember ... i *know* there's a picture or two taken at the airport, so i suppose one day, when I'm back in KL, if I remember I can look it up and inform all of you who are curious about such things. And we'd also be able to confirm if it was my left or right foot that was broken because I can't remember for sure - I *think* the right is right so I'm going with that for this tale. Minor detail. Carry on, carry on...

Anyways. Moving on..

so I get to the U.S. ... I end up at the university's medical center, and at first they were going to refer me to a proper hospital for treatment, but then after calling over for advice, i was told that essentially there was no real way to treat that injury [i.e. setting it in a cast was of no use]. So I got this big blue wraparound shoe thing for the foot to keep the sole flat, and a pair of crutches,,,, and a few days after THAT started the fall semester. On crutches.


The first day of school was wet/rainy, and the rubber things on the bottom of the crutches weren't doing a good non-slip job - I remember slipping and sliding along slippery floors almost crying with frustration and wanting to hurl those damned things away.

On other days, I actually enjoyed hopping around on them crutches. It wasn't an attention-getting thing - I just liked the swing/rhythm of movement! I was actually disappointed when, after an x-ray check-up, it seemed the bone was knitting well enough but there were signs of osteoporosis because i wasn't *using* the foot, so I was essentially ordered to stop with the crutching and start with the walking.

It was weird to walk-walk again after so long...

But I did, and all is now well.

Although, sometimes, I do get a twinge in my foot, and I wonder if it's the site of the knitted metatarsal reminding me that it's there.

If ever I have a reason to x-ray my foot in the future, I will surely want to see how it looks now, over 12 years later.

Lesson Learnt: Well, it was yet another nail in the "The Parents Are Always Right" coffin. So if ever you do suffer a fall, please go get it checked out. And others who dismiss you? Don't care who THEY are, dismiss THEM!!



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