Monday, March 31, 2014

COLUMN: Waffle Week

They say the best trick to being a good writer is to "write what you know." Well, thanks to my broken ankle, the only thing I know right now is my couch. It's been five weeks stuck at home since my tibia and fibula lost a quick and decisive battle with a rogue patch of ice -- and as such, I've really nothing else to talk about. Ergo, some highlights of my sabbatical:

•• My new least favorite phrase on Earth is "now we need to form the cast." I assumed this would involve some kind of high-end precision medical expertise. And it did -- from the dark ages. A nurse poked around until she found THE most painful spot on my ankle and then pushed in on it so hard while the cast set that I almost vomited on the spot -- the spot being her head. "This may be a little uncomfortable," my fanny.

•• Ever seen the TV show "Chuck"? It's pretty awful. And I can feel confident in my opinion having now watched 57 episodes of it in a row. Thanks, Netflix.
•• The only thing worse than having a cast is the process by which they remove it. I don't care how many times the nurses told me it was perfectly safe. I'm still absolutely convinced that their little vibrating circular saw came within millimeters of severing my femoral artery. Plus I'm SUPER ticklish down there and it took two nurses just to hold my foot in place while I simultaneously laughed and cried. Next time the cast just stays on forever.

•• Had someone been around with a video camera when I was trying to get down my front steps for the first time in a cast, I would be the king of Youtube right now. Take someone who's already challenged in the coordination department and cover one of his appendages in fiberglass? I am nothing less than comedy gold right now, people.

•• I'm starting to think I may have to withdraw from the men's slopestyle competition.

•• Rachael Ray just informed me that I can take french fries, cover them in cheese and eggs, throw them in a waffle iron, cover them in bacon gravy, and not be considered a sociopath. What else have I been missing on morning TV all these years?

•• Last week I woke up and went to move my casted leg without realizing there was a cat laying atop it. THAT'S a weird feeling. Thought I was paralyzed for a split second there.

•• I keep watching the finest Olympic athletes in the world and all I can think of are the thousands of poor exposed ankles just a split second from tragedy.

•• You know that soft spot in my living room floor? Yeah, I forgot about it, too... until I wiped out on my knee scooter and took a faceplant to the carpet. When one already has a broken ankle, this is NOT a recommended activity. On the plus side, my cast just passed its structural integrity stress test with flying colors.

•• I really want to leave the house -- but not half as much as my cats want me to. As I type this, they're both on opposite ends of the living room staring me down -- and it's a look that clearly says, "Why won't he leave??" I am, after all, occuping THEIR couch.

•• So let me get this straight: Folks can strap a piece of wood to their feet, throw themselves down a mountain, jump two stories in the air while doing a triple somersault, land on their ankles, and be just fine. I, meanwhile, slip on a sliver of ice, fall two feet to my knees, and my ankle shatters like glass. Yeah, that seems fair.

•• I've now graduated from a blue cast to a purple cast to something called a "cam walker," which is just a giant boot with a series of straps requiring a Master's degree in physics to get on and off. It weighs twice as much as the cast, and it's apparantly designed to efficiently remove ALL of the moisture from one's leg as dramatically as possible. This is TMI, I realize, but I just took the thing off and wondered what the powder was covering my leg. Then I realized that the powder WAS my leg. Eep. Somebody bring me Aveeno, stat.

•• I assumed that getting the cast off meant that my ankle was nearly healed. Then I tried to put a sock on. THAT was a reality check.

•• Nothing against Matthias Mayer of Austria, but I just made it to my bathroom and back with a split time of UNDER ten minutes. Where's MY medal?

The bad news? Two more weeks before I can put weight on my ankle. The good news? It's something called "Waffle Week" on Rachael Ray.  

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