Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Trials and Tribulations of Having Sprained Ankle

Despite having not gone to medical school, with my adequate knowledge of medical terms and emergency situations gained from years of religiously watching E.R., House, and Grey’s Anatomy, I have come to the conclusion that I could be a very successful doctor in India.When I sprained my ankle over a month ago and went to the hospital, I was assured that as long as I wrapped my ankle in an ace bandage and had plenty of rest, I would be better in about 4weeks. Well 4weeks came and went and I wasn’t doing much better. After the first 36hours of my sprain I was able to actually put weight on my left foot, therefore enabling myself to walk again, but after a month my ankle still ached and I walked with a limp. I continued to wear the ace bandage longer than the prescribed time since I knew I wasn’t done healing, but I was beginning to grow very impatient and restless.
While I would never describe myself as an “active” person, I am a very self-sufficient person, so needing constant help to get up, walk across the room, and get to class got old very quickly. Consequently, and much to the dismay of the other Tagore residents, my usual dinosaur impressions/walks rapidly turned into zombie impersonations. With my bum left leg I found I could do a mean zombie, but always in the back of my mind I knew that if a real zombie apocalypse were to occur, my sprained ankle would quickly lead to my demise.
Not having Dr. Carter or Dr. Bailey to turn to, I googled “sprained ankle symptoms” and “treatments.” With the help of Web M.D., I diagnosed myself with a Grade 3 sprained ankle. This meant that I had torn or damaged the muscles/tendons on either the interior or exterior and along my shin, or quite possibly all three, of my left foot. According to Web M.D., the most common treatments for a Grade 3 sprain is to immobilize the foot, usually with a boot, and to follow up with physical therapy. But alas, I am in India, and even if I could get a hold of a boot, keeping my ankle “immobilized” is simply out of the question.
Yes, I suppose I could contain myself to my bed and Tagore for entire 4-6weeks while my ankle successfully heals, but that’s not going to happen. I have to get to my classes and run errands, but most importantly, I would go insane. I would probably end up sawing off my own leg in desperation, and then wield the bloody appendage as a weapon when others got too near.
Ultimately, I decided not to confine myself to Tagore and to go about my regular Indian-life to the best of my leg’s ability. However, I still cannot walk long distances, which has often lead to missing class if the bus doesn’t come or I can’t catch a motorbike, but let’s be real, it’s not like I’ve ever been disappointed by that misfortune.
In an attempt to save money I still haven’t left Hyderabad since I got back in January, but even though I had generally planned not to go anywhere, having a sprained ankle has stopped any spontaneous weekend get-a-ways. We’re still taking advantage of Hyderabad’s numerous Lady’s Nights throughout the week, but whenever we go I’m mostly refined to remaining at our table, with my leg elevated, drunkenly dancing by myself, from a seated position.
Overall, my sprained ankle has been the biggest hindrance in the plans I had to take advantage of Hyderabad’s outdoor activities. Since we traveled so much last semester, I never adequately explored campus or joined any groups to go rock climbing or bouldering. However, since I knew I was going to be spending a lot more time in Hyderabad this semester I had every intention of joining Hyderabad’s Outdoor Club, which leads weekly expeditions to go on nearby hikes and climbing excursions. Granted, I make a lot of plans and I fail to carry out the majority of them, but this was something I really saw myself doing and enjoying. However, due to my bum leg I never even joined the mailing list.
Within the past week or so I’ve been getting really restless and tired of being handicapped, so I made plans to go back to the hospital to get my ankle checked on to see how extensive the damage really was and if there something else I could do to encourage healing. So I hired a taxi and yesterday, Friday, I set back out to Apollo Hospital.
As the all-knowing knowing Web M.D. suggested, I requested a sonogram to be done on my ankle, which can show muscle damage much more clearly than an X-Ray. Much to my disappointment, the sonogram showed no sign of damage. It was then suggested that I could get an MRI done of my foot, which would definitely give a clear picture of my foot muscles, however, even though medicine in India is much cheaper than in the US, an MRI would’ve still been over $100 and even I can admit that the most likely conclusion would’ve been for the doctor to tell me to just keep doing what I’ve been doing. So I left, proving the saying wrong that no news is not necessarily always good news. However, the doctor I saw did say that if I called him this week he could try and get me a boot, so hopefully that will help some.
Other than me doing a whole bunch of nothing, not a lot has been going on. My friend Maria and I are planning to go to Jaipur, Udaipur, and Agra over Holi, which I’m really looking forward to. The Norwegians, myself, and two other “year-longers” are planning to go to the Andamen Islands during the 2nd week of April, so we’re all really excited for that too. I still don’t have my travel plans set for once I’m done with school, but I at least know I’ll be somewhere up north.
The only other really remarkable thing that’s happened has been that every electronic device that I own has seemed to stop working. All of the chargers and cords for all of my Apple products have stopped working, so now I’m completely reliant on the kindness of others to charge any of my electronic devices. Earlier in the week I also thought that my camera was broken. Luckily I turned out to be wrong, but I had prepared myself to send it back to a factory in the US to be fixed, which meant that I probably wouldn’t receive it back here until who knows when, but now that’s unnecessary.
*I wrote the above about two weeks ago and haven't gotten around to publishing it*

Later today my friend Maria and I are boarding a train to Udaipur, Jaipur, and then Agra. I'm really  about the trip, but I'm dreading the train rides. They're all going to be approximately 15hr, and the ride from Agra back to Hyderabad will be over 30hr, but luckily we have an AC compartment for that haul. If all goes to plan we'll be able to see the Taj under the full moon and my next blog should be considerably more exciting and less whiney.
Also, I never called the doctor about getting a boot. Who's surprised? Not me.

*I tried to post this last week before I left and apparently it didn't work. Damn you India!!*

No comments:

Post a Comment