Easy to laugh about sprained foot now

I want to thank the doctors and nurses in the ER at the Cottage Grove Hospital for their prompt and kind care of me last week when I injured my foot. It was such a weird situation when it happened and the mental visuals of how I must have looked when it occurred brings a smile now, but was not too funny at the time.

I was watering my flowers along the front of our house which sits on a hill overlooking Territorial. The flower bed runs along the very edge of the slope. I have the first 4-foot drop-off cleared and it is covered with bark mulch. The rest of the 25-foot or so slope is covered by heavy underbrush growth, including blackberries, which I try to keep at bay as much as possible. 

As I walked along the top of the flower bed, I began to lose my balance and fell. I knew that if I continued head-first down the hill, I would end up in the blackberries which would probably keep me from rolling further, but would not be pleasant. 

I don’t know how I did it, but I landws on my feet at the bottom of the first 4-foot drop, facing in the opposite direction, and remained standing. It was then a matter of crawling my way back up the 4-foot incline and trying to repair what was left of my dignity. 

Those mental visions that I then began to have involved amazing Olympic gymnasts I loved watching through the years … Olga Korbut, Cathy Rigby, Mary Lou Retton, Simone Biles … you know, those young, slender-but-muscular powerhouses … and try to compare them to my 80-year-old crepe-skinned body. 

I was fine following my “physical feat,” but after finishing my work in the flower beds, I went inside to rest. When I got up, though, the bottom of my left foot began hurting terribly. It felt like there were large rocks in my shoe and I could barely walk. The pain would not go away and progressively got worse and nothing helped and the pain brought me to tears. 

Our daughter, Gloria, arrived about that time to pick up Grizz, her English Mastiff — our grandpuppy — who stays at our house many days. She took one look at me and said, “We were going to go to the ER.” She alerted her sisters and brother and by the time we got to Cottage Grove, our son, Rob, was there with a wheelchair to greet us. 

As we entered the ER, my visions had changed to those of Jim and me embarking on our upcoming June vacation to Eastern Canada — Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia — Jim pushing his walker and me on crutches, in a cast. 

Fortunately, the X-rays showed no sign of a fracture and the diagnosis was a sprain that did not begin to hurt until the swelling began to affect it. Rob, a 30-year surgical assistant for Slocum Orthopedics, guessed that I sprained the plantar fascia tendon on the bottom of my foot.

Two days later, I am walking almost normally on the foot again, thanks to over-the-counter pain relievers and a reduction in the swelling.

I am aware that, at my age, I need to be more cautious about potential falls. This was my second one in about a month’s time. The first time, I tripped over a log on our property and skinned up a knee pretty badly. Fortunately, neither injury will affect my otherwise fairly good health, but I know only so well that the next one could.

All of us need to be aware that our lives can change in an instant, so we need to make the most of each moment and not put off the things we are still able to enjoy with our loved ones. 

And, above all, we need to consciously count our blessings each day.  

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