little miss messy hair
better like umbrellas

musings on broken ankles

me: you know what has struck me since i broke my fibula?
sop: that you’re not super-human?

Besides not being super-human, i have been struck by a couple of things. The first is the extent of the inaccessibility of our campus. I always thought our area was pretty bad, plotting out wheelchair paths for students in my head, but i realized the other day that it is even worse than i thought. The campus goes uphill, and must be terraced by its own nature. The building in which i work is on the southern end of the main campus, with plenty of buildings east and west of us. However, to get to any of the buildings to the west, you will have to go a good ways to the north before being able to go back downhill and to the south. However, the building directly west of us has a bridge to go into its 2nd floor and an elevator that goes down to the first. My belief has been that this would be the way to go if you were in a wheelchair, rather than go around the library from our building. To get to the bookstore, for example, you should go to this building directly west of us and use the elevator, then go over to the bookstore. The route around the library extends the length of this trip by about a fifth of a mile. Not far, but when you only have 15 minutes between classes, it can definitely make a difference.

I learned this week, however, that none of the doors on the second floor of said building have automatic openers. I, being on crutches, can manage, but someone in a wheelchair? A further annoyance was that the redid the library recently and re-terraced the southern side of it – with only stairs. I was shocked at the time, and am even more shocked now that i realize the ‘short-cut’ i thought was there doesn’t really exist. And all it needs is one retro-fitted door.

The second thing that has struck me is the variety of people’s attitudes toward injury. Reading needled and comments people have been making to her made me wonder about this even more. Seriously, when i told one person that my doctor said it would be 3 – 4 months before i could run again this person said, “oh, no, it will be at least a year” and went on to tell me of all the pain and problems i would have based off her experience – with a completely shattered talus. Not to downplay the fact that it will be work, but these are two separate injuries. I’ve also had people tell me that my ankle will always be weak, because they hurt their ankle and now it is weak. But i have no tendon damage, so really, it should not be any weaker once it has healed. Again, different injuries. Many people seem to love worst-case-scenarios. Of course, most of these people I find otherwise fabulous, so I can’t linger on this one attribute anyway.

I also feel pretty lucky that i did not have many doom-sayers after Rich’s death. Perhaps because no one knew really what to say at all. Death and grieving are difficult subjects and suicide even more difficult, of course. It probably helped that it was not an observable injury. Random strangers did not approach me to say how I would never be the same, although in that case is was certainly true – if not always in a tragic way. Despite our culture’s love of the idea of there being only one ‘soul mate’ for each of us, we tend not to tell someone who has just lost their partner that they ‘will never be happy again’. Thank goodness.

spill it