November 3, 2008

Crippled CouchSurfer: Two Weeks Later
Apoldu de Sus, Romania

Get an x-ray, get an x-ray, get an x-ray—that's all I'm hearing from the very small handful of friends and family members I've told what's happened (a sentiment echoed by Tatiana). I'm not sure what's gotten into her today, she's really pushing for me to get one. Maybe it's hitting the two-week mark and still seeing me in so much pain.

There's been much improvement since the debilitating injury to my feet sustained on the 20th: I can put weight on my feet; I've got my full range of motion back; I'm showering standing up again; and I'm spending a bit more time out of bed (and helping things like the dishes). Unfortunately, the full extent of my injuries becomes painfully obvious in the morning, before I've taken a pain pill. Normally I can hobble around at a decent clip when I'm doped up, but without, I'm hardly able to move across the room without pausing for a pain break.

The pills are both a blessing and a curse, because I'm enabled to get around some, but I think it's just that that's keeping me from healing as fast I could be. I've got a ton more pain in my left heel now than my right, and I think it's because every time I've picked up my PVC didgeridoo cane I've used it to help support my right foot—which initially felt more badly injured than the left—resulting in the opposite foot in as much pain as the right was once in.

The truth is that I'm still in pretty bad shape. I can't walk more than a few feet without a cane and pain pills, I haven't left the house in two weeks, and I really can't imagine myself walking around cities sightseeing, let alone walking further than the curb to a cab with my backpack on.

So I suppose it's no wonder that Tatiana is pushing for an x-ray. She wants to know if there's more serious damage that I'm up against (like a fracture), or if it's something that I can just "push through".

The problem is that it's going to be a full-day ordeal trying to get an x-ray done. I'm not even sure this is something that we can do properly without the car and translation skills of Stephan. I've no idea the extent that people will speak English in a hospital facility, let alone the person who'll be interpreting the x-ray. I'm not afraid of the entire process—if we were successful doing a prenatal checkup speaking French at a Cambodian clinic, I'm sure we'll be fine—just the physically stressful, time-consuming ordeal with a baby in tow.

But tonight's already our 25th night in Apoldu de Sus, and I think it only fair to Tatiana and Stephan to figure out just what I'm up against here. Too bad we couldn't have been stuck in a city with something a little more interesting for the non-disabled of home to do during the day than run to the limited corner market.


The United States

Bob L

January 1st, 2009

GET AN X-RAY. Generally, there is little they can do to a broken foot, but sometimes it is necessary. But if something does need to be done, and you don't do it, you will have a life of misery. Hell, ya' ain't doin' much anyway, just sitting around. Spend a day and get the x-ray. And look at it yourself to see what's up. Then, if necessary, send the x-ray to a doctor you trust.

Also, GET SOME CRUTCHES. When I broke my foot, I was able to zip around on crutches faster than I could normally walk. Adjust them right and practice and you may never want to walk again. Ok, that's BS.

When I broke my foot, I was going to do nothing, but my friends insisted I get an x-ray. It's good to have friends. On my left foot I broke the 5th metatarsal, in just such a way that it would heal fine IF I had a cast to protect it. Had I not gotten a cast, it might have become a serious, life long issue. It is 15 years and I still sometimes get pains from it if I put sideways pressure on it for a long time (driving in a car). Just think if I had not had it taken care of properly…..

The doc started to put a cast on the foot and I told him that it had to be such that I could ride my motorcycle. he said I could not ride a motorcycle with a broken foot. When I pointed to the bike that I had gotten to his office on, he conceded. Made the first composite cast ever. A fiberglass cast would not give me the expansion I needed, a normal cast would not give me the strength to shift properly (I modified my bike so that I could shift both up and down by pressing down on one of two levers). So, he gave me a normal cast, then a fiberglass over it, then cut the fiberglass cast in such a way as to allow expansion. Sort of like a bedroom slipper. Worked great.

Bob L


Craig |

January 1st, 2009

When I pointed to the bike that I had gotten to his office on, he conceded.

(laughing!) What a great conversation — and +4 MacGyver points for your ingenuity!

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