Hey there, all back to normal!
Oh right, you missed the part where it wasn’t normal.
Last night, Steven and I dropped by a neighborhood place, Claudette, for dinner. We ate at the bar, and toward the middle, somewhere between the cauliflower appetizer and our chicken tagine, my ankle started hurting.
It hurt like I’d just rolled over onto it, which is something I do often, especially if I’m wearing clogs with socks – slippery combo – so I know that pain well.
But I hadn’t done anything to it.
Just sat there on a stool. By the end of the meal, I was barely enjoying our almond financiers with a caramel dipping sauce which is also great just eaten like soup, because my ankle was completely pulsing with pain.
After hobbling home, I kicked off my boots expecting huge relief, but the ankle hurt worse. The skin was hot and the veins were popping out even worse than they normally do.
I took an Aleve. Then another. An hour later, another.
In between, I was on my iPad, alternating between trying to ignore the pain while watching The Good Wife and googling the pain. I’d already had a thought: Deep Vein Thrombosis. So I was basically googling for reassurance that it couldn’t be that.
I tried “ankle pain without injury” and found that yes, that could be a sign of DVT.
I tried going more specific: “ankle pain” and “stool,” which of course gave me results related to sharp ankle pain during bowel movement. I kind of realized that would happen as I typed in “stool.” I can’t blame google for leaping to that conclusion, since I never hear the word “stool” without thinking “sample.”
Nothing persuaded me that it wasn’t Deep Vein Thrombosis, which involves a blood clot that can travel to the lungs and kill you.
I thought of warning Steven that if I had a coughing fit during the night, he should call 911. But I didn’t want to scare him right before his birthday, which is today. (He was already worrying that I wouldn’t take him to dinner. And, that the pillow I was using to elevate my ankle would get dirty from my sock: “My head goes on that! Did you just put on that sock, or was it inside your shoe all night?” He doesn’t handle my ailments well.)
My next thought was that if I did go to the hospital and die — for real, I was thinking this — that Steven would, in a few weeks, have to deal with going through my belongings, and would come across the underwear that just came back from the cleaners looking like someone chewed through the crotch. Four different pairs, all with doggy-bite holes. And these were new, not expensive or anything just Gap Body, but I’m telling you they were still nice!
What do they use to clean over there, hydrofluoric acid? Time to switch to a green cleaners.
Of course, I kept these pairs, because a woman can never have too many pairs of ruined underwear. Standbys for when the good ones are at the cleaner being ruined.
I imagined Steven going through the undies drawer, and, rather than the usual thought when going through a dead person’s stuff — “She was just wearing this. Just last week. And now she’s gone.” — he would have the thought, “Good god, what kind of monster was I married to, and what the *f* was her pH level?”
I was almost going to get out of bed to stuff the underwear in a plastic bag and throw it in the kitchen garbage, but that seemed like too much work, and too much weight on my foot. So I gave up the inconvenient idea that I was about to die and focused on another scenario:
What if my ankle is injured for weeks?
I won’t be able to go on my walks. Or to dance. I’ll get fat. I’ll have to work out on a stationery bike, peddling with just one foot. I’ll have to go to the doctor. I’ll have to get an extension on my assignment tomorrow.Why don’t I appreciate normal life when it’s normal?
Normal is amazing!
What’s wrong with me, complaining that the days are shorter and the building switched off the air conditioning for the season and it’s hot at night, and I have too much work and I never look good in those “boyfriend” jeans no matter how many pairs I try on and where’s the staggering wealth I keep waiting for?
I should appreciate, with all my being, every second that isn’t dominated by ankle pain or any other kind of pain. Normal is enough.
I’ve had friends go through the worst shit this year.
Chemo, lawsuits, sick parents, dying parents, one even who lost her husband. Bet they’d all give anything to have life go back to normal.
We all have “life is precious” moments. Know what’s really precious? Normal. I know, I’m getting really philosophical about a tender ankle. But when things turn while you’re just sitting there on a bar stool, it messes with your mind.
Today, I woke up alive and my ankle felt fine. Life is normal, and I’m so happy about it.
Though I may have to give up bar stools.
Do you ever think about how precious “normal” is?
Have you ever thought about someone going through your underwear when you’re gone?
Anything else to say?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.