... the emergency room doctor said fracture.
I hadn’t played golf on that Saturday morning, a few years ago in early spring, as we were at Courtney’s first Holy Communion. As we headed for home it felt surprisingly warm for the first week in April. I decided to go to the golf club and watch the group I usually play with finish their round. I walked down to their 17th tee and greeted everybody, as they were getting ready to tee off. The 17th at Bellevue is a par three. It is about two hundred yards to the green, making it hard for us amateurs to get on with one shot. Sure enough, no one in the group made it in one. I was walking along, laughing and teasing about no one making the green in one when I stepped in a hole and twisted my ankle. As I regained my balance, I felt a sharp pain that subsided with a few rubs. Dick said that if I had watched where I was going instead of teasing I might not have stepped in the hole. I walked in with the group as they finished the 18th.
The next morning as I threw the covers back and put my feet on the floor, a sharp stabbing pain shot into my left ankle. I could not bear any weight on my left foot without cringing in pain. Luckily, we had a pair of crutches that both Catherine and I have had occasion to use in the past. Catherine is a retired surgical nurse. She said that given my symptoms we should get to the hospital accident room. Catherine drove and I sat quietly in the front seat wondering about what we would find out after my ankle was examined. Here it was the beginning of golf season and I could barely walk. Maybe I have not been living cleanly enough and divine wrath was taking me to task?
What seemed a lot longer than 30 minutes, the accident room doctor came in and asked about my concerns. I had an x-ray and after what seemed another 17 hour wait the doctor said that my ankle was fractured. I was stunned and after catching my breath, asked about recovery. He said I probably would be on crutches for seven or eight weeks. I thought to myself, “Holy shit! This is just the beginning of the golf session and I’m being told no golf for two months.” I was distraught! How am I going to manage being sedentary for two months? Poor Catherine, how will she ever put up with me?
I was given the ankle x-rays and told to call an orthopedic doctor who would recommend treatment.
Charles Wright, M.D. is a bone doctor I have consulted for differing ailments over the years. He is a tall, thin, handsome man making you think he ought to be a plastic surgeon as portrayed in the movies. He has always been thoughtful and mild mannered as he was today. He put the x-rays up on a viewer and studied them only for a few minutes. I was sitting in a depressed heap with my arms wrapped around the crutches I had hobbled in on. Dr. Wright asked, “ Ed, what year do you suppose you fractured your ankle?” I didn’t understand the question. Then he went on to tell me that I had an old fracture probably from a sports injury when I was a kid. For right now I had a bad sprain that needed to be strapped and given a painkiller. He thought in another week I should be able to play golf again. I was elated. Dr. Wright showed me how to put on, lace and strap a blue boot-like device that supported my sore and weak ankle. I was so up in the clouds that as I left Dr. Wright's office waiting room I proclaimed to the waiting patients, “He’s a miracle worker, I came in on crutches and I’m walking out in a blue bootie!”
November 3, 2006