College on Crutches. It Ain’t Easy.
You know how some kids daydream about breaking their arm? I was one of them. Honestly, I didn’t want to break anything. I just wanted a neon green cast for a couple weeks to show off while my friends signed things like “get well soon” on my healing wrist. Looking back at my elementary school self, the thought of having a cast almost seemed like fun. The reality of this, though, really is everything but fun. I’m 21 years old now, and my eight year old dream has finally come true.
Little over a week ago, I missed one step down a flight of stairs (the last one, too) on the way to my boyfriend’s university’s annual Fancy Dress formal, which sent my favorite pair of Steve Maddens into an untimely death (my right heel split) as I sprained my ankle and broke my fifth metatarsal on my right foot. Screaming and crying as this occurred, I did what anyone else would have done (not!) – I put my torn heel back on my right foot, stopped my mascara from running, dusted my dress off, picked a few pieces of gravel out of my palms, and grabbed my boyfriend’s hand, letting him know I was still game to dance.
He protested, but I was on a mission to dance and enjoy the night. Nothing could have stopped me. So, we did just dance. We danced for hours, and it hurt like hell, but that was not going to stop me from twisting, turning, dipping, grinding, and all that good stuff. After having one of the best nights from this semester, the two of us called it a night, which is when reality hit in the form of red, black, purple, and blue bruises around my right foot and ankle.
Following a trip to the ER, six x-rays, and one doctor that wasn’t too eager to answer questions, I was sitting in a sticky vinyl wheelchair realizing that I broke my foot and sprained my ankle. Most people have a tendency to be accident prone (especially when alcohol is involved), but, damn, I really did it this time. A double whammy!
With a week of crutches under my belt, a soft cast and now an air-cast (picked by a super creepy orthopedic doctor over an actual hard, plaster cast), I can attest that college is not a place for crutches, casts, or broken bones of any kind. Every day activities have proved beyond difficult, from opening the door to the bathroom (which I swear weighs a ton) to getting a tray in the dining hall (I have to fully rely on my best friend to get my dinner for me). When I think of college, I think of independence, which I am sure I have lost in the last week and a half because now I have to rely on everyone around me for help.
Never had to rock crutches or a cast in school? Straight up, it sucks! If I am not going up and down the two flights of stairs in my residence hall (there is no elevator, and I live on the third floor), I am lying in bed with my foot elevated (still in pain – I have had a bit of difficulty with pain killers working effectively).
Walking to class used to take a minute or two, now I have to leave 20 minutes prior in hopes to get there on time. And the worst of it all (in my opinion) is the inability to shower. Although I have an aircast on (which I can take off during a shower), I still can’t maneuver around by myself well enough to make it to the shower or stand alone. So, now I have to wait until Thursdays for my boyfriend to come pick me up (I can’t drive anymore since it’s my right foot), so I can bathe like the rest of society.
Frustrating is the only word that comes to mind when describing this situation to other people. While I am blessed to have friends that go out of their way to help me and an amazing boyfriend that can be patient in taking care of me, I have to admit, my spirit is a bit down because I know I am in store for a lot of patience testing moments within the next six weeks. However, I know my broken foot and ankle needs to heal, so at least this torment of only wearing Soffe shorts and smelling like I haven’t bathed in days (and I haven’t) is worth it.
Although I will have my cast for the rest of the semester, it won’t even be off in time for my own formal or end of year parties that are coming up, I have to confess – I had the best time the night this happened. It seems stupid, foolish even, but knowing that was the last time I will have fun like that for awhile makes it even more worth it. I’d rather have that one crazy night of dancing on a broken foot instead of just going home and never dancing on it at the ball, after all. Call me crazy, but knowing that I had such a fabulous time makes up for the times I’ll be missing in the coming weeks.
Ok, so I know I can’t be alone in this. Who has broken something since being in college? Tell me. How did you survive? What was the hardest part? I want to hear everything about your stories.