So I broke my foot skateboarding

I recently took up skateboarding again, as a tool to try and help me with taking up surfing. Or let me rephrase that. I have started learning how to surf, and I thought skating would help me to find a type of rhythm and get a sense of balance again.

I say again because in the wonderful year that was 2020, I turned 40. And the last time I was a capable skayeboarder was when I was about 14. So my wife claims its part of a mid life crises, doing these things that would normally be done in the youthful ages of life. Not that age should have anything to do with it, but I have found that getting older, I’m not quite as nimble and quick footed as I used to be. Not to mention the list of responsibilities I now have as a grown man child. But as I’m aging I find that I want to do things that maybe I haven’t had time to do, or had the resources to be able to do them. And now that I live at the coast, surfing has become a top priority, or it did until a couple of weeks ago.

We got up and went down to the local skate park, where my son enjoys riding his bike and running up and down the half pipes and roll ins. I have been taking mine and his skateboards to get him exposed to the types of activities kids should enjoy, instead of sitting in front of a TV. My wife has taken to doing some cycling so she hoped on her bike and would meet us down at the park.

After around an hour of skating and playing, and my wife meeting up with us, she and my son went over the park to the recycling center and op shop to see if there was anything interesting to find. I carried on with my mid life crises activities, choosing to ignore that little voice inside that said -“You’re quite tired now, I think you should call it a day.”

Low and behold while practicing my turns on the half pipe, lets just be clear here, its not as professional as it might sound. I don’t even drop in to the half pipe. I merely push myself a little and start “pumping” to get higher and higher up the ramp. Anyway, as I carried out a turn, the board shot out from under me causing me to fall a small distance down the ramp, landing first on my foot and then sliding on my knees and wrist. All I heard was a strange popping sound and intense burning up and through my body. I felt a bit nauseous and remember thinking, “ok, don’t panic!” My foot felt really fat with an intense pain at the bottom.

I took a minute and a good few deep breaths to try and think clearly about what I had to do next. I slowly stood up on my good leg and tried to put pressure on the hurt one. But that was not an option. Still feeling nauseous and shaking quite heavily, I looked around for my skateboard. That was going to be the best option to cover the 60 meters, give or take, to reach my phone to call for help.

Slowly hopping to the board, I managed to lower myself onto my knee and hands, and using my good foot, pushed myself to where I left my bag. The kids that were there just stared and looked at this older guy doing weird things. One of them went out of his way to actually ask if I was ok. Reaching my bag, I rolled off my board and got my phone out to call my wife, calmly asking her to come and help me as I think I have broken my foot.

While waiting for them to return I was able to remove my protective pads and managed to get my shoe off as well, as the swelling was getting a bit painful being contained in the shoe. Trying to remain calm, the next issue came to mind – how am I going to get to the car? The car park is about 200 meters from the skate park and is all grass and stone pathway, and we have two skateboards, two bicycles and bags to carry. So I packed as much as possible into the bag, got the boy onto his bike and myself onto the wifes bike, loaded her up with bag and skateboards and off we went to the car, me pushing myself along with my good foot.

Reaching the car, the next obstacle was going to be loading up. The norm is when the wife cycles down, I pack the bike rack to load up her bike and she gets a lift home. So now with the boards loaded and and my sons bike in the back too, getting the bike rack on was interesting as its quite heavy. But my wife is a capable specimen and sorted that out.

So to cut the story down a bit, the ride to the emergency room was far from fun. Trying to keep my leg elevated and not bump on the windscreen or dashboard, not to mention holding in a wee and dealing with the increasing pain was far from what I had planned for my Saturday. Time taken at the hospital is not great either. Obviously if your life is not in critical danger, you take a back seat. It just feels crappy knowing your not a priority when you’re in pain. Basically I spent eight and a half hours between getting admitted, having x-rays, going back for more x-rays which included having to try and stand on the broken foot, getting cast, getting a drink of water and being moved to a ward to await a decision by the doctor if I need surgery or not. At least by this time I got some food and some more water. Finally they decided to keep me overnight to hopefully be first inline for morning surgery.

Needless to say it was a bad night sleep with noise and pain. And don’t forget being woken up at 12.30 to get an injection in your tummy, just to avoid getting any blood clots. By the time morning came I was well under rested. I did get a breakfast which wasn’t to bad I must say. Eventually the doctor came round and decided I didn’t need an operation as my foot bones were in good alignment. Long story short I waited around again for a few hours, eventually being discharged, with my medication and crutches. I would have to return for a follow up consultation in two weeks.

I didn’t quite make two weeks as my leg started hurting and feeling very swollen in the calf area, after about 4 days. And when I stood up to go pee or get something, there was an intense burning feeling and my calf felt like it was going to explode. Just a week down the line from the initial injury it turns out I got blood clots. This resulted in another full Saturday in the care of a clinic having ultra sound scans done, recasting the leg and more x-rays, and just lying around waiting to be treated.

Home life has become a mix of difficulty and feeling worthless, and also feeling bad. My wife has taken on so much now because its quite hard to move with crutches and even a kneeling scooter. Showering is difficult, we don’t have a bath, and getting upstairs is tricky. Everything becomes a balancing act, and I have had a few close call on the stairs. Even taking a pee is difficult. I feel like a dog with one leg in the air. Sitting down to pee is just as hard as you trying to balance on one leg and not accidently bump and hurt the sore foot. I feel a little worthless as I usually cycle to work everyday. Now I cant do anything due to the foot, being booked off work and not being very mobile. Plus I am a risk with bleeding due to being on blood thinners for the clots in my leg.

So what can I do. Well I have been doing online training for the brands of motorcycles I work with. And most recently I have been learning about affiliate marketing, and yes, starting a website and blogging. I just wanted to keep feeling like I have some sort of purpose while I cant carry on with normal life. It has also made me realize what kind of life I want and the things I want to do.

It seems we get so caught up in our lives and work that we forget what is important to us, and the things we crave and need. This time of being immobilized has taught me a few things, and, I now need to work on making changes to my life. They may take time but it is important to get them done.

It seems that every dark cloud does indeed have some sort of lining. Its not necessarily silver. Here’s to another 3 weeks or so.

Published by Paul Geppert

I have a wide range of interests, ranging from the kitchen to the garage, from race tracks to the ocean. I enjoy new adventures and challenges. I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa with my mother and father and older sister. I now live in Auckland New Zealand with my wife and son.

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