Cutting Open the Body and Cutting Open the Soul

I’m working on cutting down the dramatics, but it isn’t easy.

So the story of the ankle goes something like this:

Roy and I had a phe-NOM-enal honeymoon, just being together, planning for our future, frolicking in the sun, finding out how much we like each other, being athletic (ie Volleyball…the fact I have to emphasize what constitutes athletic is ridiculous, but I also know my readers), etc. As Roy described it, Without going into too many details, at the end of our lives together, our honeymoon will be one of the top ten trips that we end up taking together. The people we met, the places we went, and just the way we were able to just reconnect with each other and enjoy being in love again. I hope all our trips together will allow us to do that.

And so we were both on the same page, returning home to our lives (BOOOO) late night Thursday, for a one day week the following Friday. The day goes well for both of us, although we’re exhausted. We text, we’re adorable, we’re in love.

We decide to cut out a bit early and meet at home to start our weekend come-down, when I get a text from Roy saying that he is going to “swing” by track practice but will home soon. About 30 minutes after I get home, Roy is back…and limping. Now me, being an apparently hard heart, and evil person, doesn’t ask why he’s gimping it up, I assume he’s milking this “bruised heel” he had been complaining about for a couple of days.

So…I yell at him, call him a sissy, yadda yadda.

Never once do I realize he’s limping on the wrong leg.

He, with all the patience in the world, tells me to push into his ankle from the back, which I do and my hand sinks into his leg.

“Hmmm….that feels weird”, I think. But I don’t puke into my mouth until I push on the back of his healthy ankle and THE TENDON THAT SHOULD BE THERE STOPS MY HAND.

(insert visual of Team American barfing scene)

And with that demonstration, we haul our asses to the ER where Roy is told (almost gleefully by a few doctors and nurses) that he has torn 90-95% of the tendon in his ankle and he’ll be off his leg for the next year.

A. Y.E.A.R.

And to make insult to injury, the nurse tells me soooo sweetly, “I’m glad this happened after the honeymoon…this is going to be a true test of your marriage”.

Um…can you go $&#@ yourself too, please? Thanks.

And that’s it people. Just like that, everything changes.

I have a mate who is literally and TOTALLY incapacitated for the next year of our lives. Yes, he’ll be in a walking boot at some point, and yes this could be a lot worse, but for the moment for BOTH of us, this is pretty bad.

Roy comments in his blog, I know that my wife is struggling with this. She wasn’t prepared to come home from our honeymoon and have to care for a gimp. I also don’t think I’ve really communicated with her how this injury is affecting me mentally. It is my nightmare injury. Let me say again – this is my nightmare injury.

But HOW did this happen, you ask, breath abated. Here’s how, in his words:

On my way home, I swing by track practice (I coach shot putt). I get in front of my athletes. It had been over a week since I had seen them last and their technique had gotten a bit off, and I needed to demonstrate to give a visual. I get into position for a standing throw, with my back to the field. I load myself and take a breath. This is something that I’ve done thousands of times. I had properly warmed up. I had taken a few practice throws. Everything was fine and prepared and ready to go. I push against the ground and begin my weight transfer and begin my body turn…and it just didn’t feel right. No power. To control. I can feel the shot go wide right and my right foot just doesn’t come around properly, and when it does, it kicks the metal guard on the ring. I tumble over and roll onto my back.

I actually fall fairly well and have been practicing with a few good friends. No joke. I practice how to fall.

I can hear the kids gasping, it began a the beginning of the throw as it went foul right and continued as I lay on my back, embarrassed and laughing. I tell them I’m alright and get up. I take two steps…halting, limping steps…and realize that I have no push on my right foot. There’s no pain (except in my toes where I kicked the metal guard), so I’m pretty sure nothing is broken. I finally notice how far right the shot went. I think at least one of them was lucky to not get beaned…but at least some of the gods were smiling down upon me. I go to the ground to check on my ankle…feeling around…and find a ‘void’ in my Achilles tendon. It wasn’t completely gone, but there was not much still attached. Less than 24 hours from arriving home, I had badly ruptured my Achilles tendon.

We had to stop by the school first to get some guidance on procedure…and I hopped and hobbled. Again, probably not a great idea…but I’m male and sometimes it’s just easier to do it myself than to spend time looking at other options. We finally go to the ER and the news is confirmed. Ruptured 90-95%. Lucky in a sense because if it was fully gone…my calf muscle would rolled up like a school board map. That would’ve been really painful.

Regardless…I can not state how disruptive this injury is. I feel as if anything I say will be an understatement. But I also know that it wasn’t the end of the world. Life does go on, and I could still work and I would get better on crutches.

And so now we’re dealing with it. I’m frustrated. He’s frustrated. We bicker. And I feel like I’m watching all of our dreams for the coming year go down the big ass drain of nothingness, and I just want to fall apart. He is doing his best to put on his brave face, but we’re both aware of the strain that we’re now under and we are just sad to have to go through it.

Buttttt……he had surgery yesterday that went really well, and as long as we don’t get super depressed and/or actually start to hate each other before this is over, we’ll be in a very, very, VERY good place.

Now he has a scooter and a peg leg….YAY!





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