October 21, 2008

Crippled CouchSurfer: Day 2
Apoldu de Sus, Romania

Closing in on 36 hours of sitting here on this bed, and I still can't tolerate the pain of placing an ounce of weight on my feet. I'm antsy, and having a very hard time staying in one place, though Aidric seems to generally enjoy my constant company alongside him.

Calcaneus is the technical name for the heel bone—one of 26 bones in the foot. I look at my feet and wonder just how badly I've damaged them. A 'greenstick fracture' is what it's called when the bone doesn't break all of the way through. Fractures are called simple when the bone breaks but the skin doesn't. A compound fracture is when the broken bone tears through the skin.

Could I have really damaged (sprained) the muscle and tissue around my heels to make them feel this way, or is there something more to this? Have I actually fractured or broken one or both of my heel bones? Even resting, I'm still in quite a bit of pain. This is certainly the worst physical injury I've ever had in my life.

Although the dirty, gritty, unfinished hardwood and tile floors of this home are really no place for such an endeavor, I've discovered that if I must get around the house, that it's best done shuffling along with my sandals under my knees. I imagine I'm quite a pitiful sight, slowly crawling on my hands and knees, using one hand to pull an alternating sandal and knee forward at a snail's pace.

What I really need is one of those little wooden platforms wheels on them that some (disabled) street beggars use to scoot around on. That would be perfect.

But in all seriousness, I've gotten a big dose of disability that I'm living through right now, and I'm finding the experience to be a physically painful and a mentally humbling one. I've only temporarily lost the use of my legs from the ankle down, I can only imagine the horror of losing the ability to move my legs altogether. Simple tasks like lifting myself onto a toilet, showering, or even getting a glass of water have become painful, time consuming chores. If Tatiana weren't here, I'd be subsisting off bread and non-perishables.

But she is, and she's been really great. And now Aidric and I both get yelled at when we try to venture off the bed and onto the floor. Quite a pair my son and I are these days—both unable to walk, both quite dependent on Tatiana for food and drink, and both of us stubborn as all hell. I'm sure this experience is as scary, saddening and exhausting for her as it has been for me.

I'm so happy that Stephan (our CouchSurfing host) enjoys our company and doesn't mind that my injuries will be keeping us around for another week. Last night was already our 11th night here—the longest we've stayed with a host before.

Despite the injury, I'm feeling very fortunate.

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