My dog and I had turned at the end of the street and turned back toward the house.
Famous last words:
The last thing I remembered was... I was just worrying that my dog had headed toward a sewer grate and turned to urge him back away from the sewer. I was afraid he would fall in if I didn't get him away and with my right foot at street level I put my left foot into the gutter and reached out to tug his leash...
Instead of the gutter being an inch below the level of the street, it was closer to three. My left ankle folded under my leg, and with an audible and painful loud CRACK, I fell headlong. Luckily, I was able to fall flat on my face in the grass. A few feet further down the street and I'd have fallen into a gutter filled with shards of broken glass.
So I feel lucky to have landed on my face on top of the concrete sewer grate cap. Yeah, lucky.
But there I was, lying stunned in the grass, and wondering if that ominous crack I'd heard spelled a broken ankle for me. I felt like I was going to be sick, it hurt so horribly. I was also wondering if I'd be able to stand up again, and somehow get back to the house. I considered seriously that if my ankle wouldn't hold me, I'd have to drag myself home through two driveways and two yards worth of grass, on my belly.
My poor dog was cowering, shaking, a few feet away from me with the guiltiest expression on his face, though none of my condition was actually his fault. It was just a freak accident. I specialize in freak accidents that result in personal bodily harm. Don't ask me why - it seems to be my super power.
Fortunately for me, it was dark and the grass was very damp, so sliding wouldn't be too impossible. I was grateful that I had my phone in my pocket, in case I needed to call for help.
Worst ankle injury of my life, without a doubt. Standing was excruciating to the point I considered lying back down and sliding across the grass and concrete after all.
I whimpered all the way back to my house, which was an impressive feat, considering that I broke into wailing the minute I opened my kitchen door. :). The only reason I had any control over the wailing was that I didn't want my neighbors coming out or calling the cops.
Ooh, that'd be embarrassing on top of painful.
My summer was flashing before my eyes though. I had so many things in mind for my brief unpaid summer "vacation" and wearing a cast was a panicked possibility I had to consider. I can imagine how horrible sitting on the beach at Hilton Head would be in a boot. I'd do it, too. Tan everywhere except under my cast and then have a bizarre white leg and foot for a year. No way to get in the ocean and cool off. No way to easily take a shower. Minimum six weeks.
I won't lie -- I wailed and sobbed for about an hour after I got home, terrified I'd broken my ankle. It was horribly painful and swelling. I propped it up high with ice and tried to sleep while a wave of nausea kept slamming me. After asking medical advice I decided that if the swelling didn't subside or it hurt or looked worse anytime before morning I'd head to the ER.
In the morning the swelling went down a little but I was having a lot of trouble walking, and not just because of ankle pain. I was hurting along my shin, my calf, both sides of my foot, and both my instep and arch felt like something was torn up inside.
So the next day, I hobbled slowly until my lunchtime, when I went to the urgent care clinic for an X-Ray... But their X-Ray machine was broken so the nurse practitioner who barely examined my foot said that it would have bruised or swelled if it was broken. Well, heck, it WAS swelled. I've normally got a skinny foot. She said if it didn't feel better in a week to go see a regular doctor. She said it was a severe sprain, and it would probably take longer to heal than if I'd broken it. *sigh*.
My ankle is still screwed up. The bottom of my foot is making walking painful every few days. I suspect that the crack I heard was my plantar fascia tearing apart. It's been painfully tight for months, so now it's swollen and my arch supporting shoes hurt too much to wear. :). Lovely.
The kicker (Ha ha) is that I can't give myself a decent pedicure -- trimming my toenails is nearly impossible unless I can bend that ankle to reach. But it hurts too much. I'd leave it to the professionals but they don't ever take care of ingrown toenail prevention. I have pretty feet with little toes, but I have toenails that curve down at the sides rather than being flat. It just requires special trimming to manage, but managing that at the moment is difficult. So yay.
Two weeks later I'm still trying to walk without tweaking my ankle or arch, and wondering just what cardio I can do that will be effective without exacerbating the injury. I won't be running for a while, and I'm really disappointed by that.