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viewpoint

St. Liam’s first-timer

| Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Before last week, I had gone 21 years of life without ever being hospitalized, having an X-ray or breaking a bone.  Yes, I still had a childhood even without the right-of-passage leg cast or arm sling.  I guess I was overly cautious, too scared to try jumping off the jungle gym or skateboarding down the hill of doom. I was never very active in contact team sports, choosing tennis and cheerleading rather than basketball and volleyball, so the chances of injury were significantly reduced.

However, as I grew up, I became taller, more adventurous and, naturally, clumsier.  Now standing at six-feet tall, I notoriously trip, fall and slip all the time, embarrassingly enough.  So I was not extremely surprised when I landed myself in the orthopedic section of St. Liam’s Health Center last Friday after complaining about an enormously swollen, painful ankle that just wouldn’t heal.

Three weeks earlier, I was innocently walking down the stairs (while texting, I’ll admit) and tripped over my own feet, twisting my ankle in a very unnatural way. It hurt, and badly. However, with no precedent, I didn’t know what was wrong or how to respond. So I carried on with my life like nothing had happened, not even telling anyone about the embarrassing fall.  Apparently, that was a terrible idea, as walking and exercising on a badly-sprained ankle for three weeks only extended recovery time, according to the doctor I spontaneously decided to see. He pressed spots on my ankle as I cringed and wished he would stop. “Yes, that hurts,” I whined.  I was then sent to the scary, dark X-ray room to take three different pictures. It was pretty cool to see my (thankfully unbroken) bones on the screen like I had seen only on Grey’s Anatomy episodes.

After more prodding and pain, the doctor gave me a huge and hideous, white Velcro boot device that would compress my ankle and supposedly make it feel better. I also was instructed to give my ankle basically a 15-minute-long ice bucket challenge five times a day by soaking it in freezing water and making it numb — an extremely unpleasant feeling.

As I’m forced to wear tennis shoes every day and walk around in this terribly unfortunate fashion statement of a boot, I can’t help but feel for all the kids out there who have broken bones on a yearly basis. Athletes, I don’t know how you deal with this pain and inconvenience. This one sprained ankle is quite enough for my lifetime, thank you very much. I will take advantage of the pity and shameless elevator rides while I still can.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

About Maddie Daly

A senior English and French major in love with Paris, cooking and fashion, currently residing in Chicago.

Contact Maddie