A Walking Cast, a Stripper Pole, and an Elephant Encounter

I don’t know what happened. At some point between midnight on a Monday and six o’clock in the morning on a Tuesday, one of my ankle tendons decided to let me know that it was the boss of my life, not me. As I hobbled out of bed and yelped in pain, I decided to do what everyone else does that has inadequate health insurance. I limped over to the computer, clicked on Google, and then typed “ankle injury.”

As I scrolled through page after page of symptoms and treatments, I ruled out one diagnosis after another. No, I hadn’t fallen. No, I hadn’t gone for a run on uneven ground. No, I hadn’t jump roped. Apparently, my injury was caused from doing absolutely nothing.

Six weeks later, I was still limping worse than Quasimodo. Reluctantly, I made an appointment with Dr. Orthopaedic. A few days later, I showed up in the office, obediently had my foot x-rayed, shuffled into the exam room, and waited. Before long, Dr. Orthopaedic entered the room, examined the x-ray, and then poked my foot.

“You have tendonitis,” he said. “That’ll be five thousand dollars, please.”

Moments later, I was fitted with a walking boot that resembled absolutely nothing beautiful or stylish whatsoever. I stood up. My left leg now weighed five pounds more than my right leg and I was sporting more Velcro than a baby in diapers or an obsessed crafter. As I clunked across the floor, I suddenly realized that for the next few weeks, I would not be able to sneak up on my children, my husband, or the postal carrier and scare the pants off of them by screaming, “BLLAAAAAAAH!” I glared at the boot that would now unfortunately be alerting anyone within a five-mile radius that I was coming. I might as well have a GPS device surgically inserted into my foot.

I tried to walk gracefully out of the doctor’s office, but quite frankly, now my knee hurt, my hip kept popping out of place, and I had to use my arms to balance myself like a tightrope walker. Worse yet, I hadn’t even had time to develop a good story to go with the boot before I encountered a lady in the parking lot who gasped and asked, “My goodness, what happened?” I really tried to think of something fascinating, but the old mind apparently went on vacation sometime between midnight on a Wednesday and six o’clock in the morning on a Thursday.

I smiled and replied, “Tendonitis.”

I won’t lie. She looked disappointed as she gave me one of those tight smiles that never reached her eyes. As I got into my car and drove away, I suddenly came up with one good story after another. I was skiing in Vermont when I unwittingly encountered a treacherous icy spot on the mountain. Instead of crashing into a group of innocent children, I veered to the left, somersaulted three times, and landed on my ankle.

Or better yet, while driving on an isolated stretch of highway, I came upon a small restaurant. Hungry, tired, and in need of a burst of energy, I walked in, thinking I would just enjoy a cup of coffee and a hot roast beef sandwich. Instead, I was greeted by a stripper pole, three burly construction workers, and a strong desire to prove I could still hang upside down, just as I did as a kid on the monkey bars at school. Turns out, I was wrong.

Decisions, decisions. On the way home, I stopped at the grocery store. As I staggered into the store and headed for the milk aisle, an older gentleman stopped and asked, “Oh my goodness, what did you do?”

I cheerfully answered, “Oh, I was on an African safari when I experienced a frightening encounter with an elephant. You should see the elephant.” I looked off in the distance as if I was remembering and shuddered.

He nodded and looked at me approvingly, “Nice story,” he said. “When I had bunion surgery a few years ago, I just told people that I had an accident with a chain saw, but I like your story a lot better.” He winked and walked away.

I think I might keep this cast on for a bit longer than the doctor ordered because it’s giving me a chance to use my creativity to its full extent, which is quite frankly, way more terrifying than the thought of me hanging upside down on a stripper pole after just ingesting a hot roast beef sandwich and three cups of coffee.


About Vicky DeCoster

Award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster is the author of "From Diapers to Dorkville," "Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!" and "The Wacky World of Womanhood." She has been published in over 60 magazines, books, and on several web sites. Vicky lives in Nebraska with her husband and two children where she loves to laugh every day. Visit her at www.wackywomanhood.com.
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3 Responses to A Walking Cast, a Stripper Pole, and an Elephant Encounter

  1. Oh no! Hope you feel better soon. At least you can laugh about it. 🙂 Somewhat. This line was great, “I won’t lie. She looked disappointed as she gave me one of those tight smiles that never reached her eyes.” Perfect description of the let down!

  2. kewsmith says:

    Stripper pole- I never would have thought of that. Good job and a funny post. Thanks!

  3. But at least your creativity won’t make you throw up. It might make others throw up, but you’ll be spared. Unless, of course, you take your creativity into the kitchen. Which would seem a shame, to spend time cooking instead of writing. Loved this.

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