I definitely do not have the luck of the Irish, and I think I may have jinxed myself after breaking my silence. Three days after my post about recovering from breaking my left fibula last February, I dislocated my right ankle, breaking the tibia twice and fibula once. The fancy name is trimalleolar fracture. This break was way worse than the first one. 😦 Again, it was a freak fall, with my foot coming down in an awkward position with all my weight in totally the wrong place. I yelled last time as I went down, this time I screamed. Leaguemates say it raised the hairs on their necks, transmitting pain and terror all at once. I guess I really scared a lot of people. As I lay on the floor, I couldn’t think about anything but the pain. Derby sisters are an amazing group. It happened at scrimmage, right in front of the penalty box, where my captain/ER nurse happened to be sitting. She moved so fast that I think my foot was in her hand as it hit the floor. Another league mate, a police officer in her real life, had my head in her lap before I knew it, helping me to focus on my breathing. ‘Cause this time, that’s what it was about – breathing through the pain. And, I’m not going to lie – terror that it had happened not only again, but worse. There was no car ride to the hospital this time – I couldn’t even imagine getting off the ground on my own. I told my captain to call for an ambulance.
At the ER, the doc told me they’d have to “reduce” my ankle, which meant putting my foot back where it was supposed to be, before they could x-ray. It wasn’t painless, but I had a great doc and she was quick about it. You’ll notice that there’s a splint in my x-ray, to hold everything in place. A few days later I was back in my ortho’s office, discussing more surgery, more incisions, more plates. I really am going to be Robo Gracie!
A week later I had my surgery. I was lucky, I hadn’t ruptured the ligament that connects the tibia and fibula. That means six weeks of no weight bearing instead of ten. That was good news! Hello friendly recliner, we’re old friends. I’m not sure how long my recovery time will be this time around, or when I’ll be able to work again. Breaking the right ankle makes it much harder to get back to driving. No driving = no working. I at least had the XSI Sports Insurance in place this time, and have actually already received my first check from them to pay the ER bill. However, no income makes it really hard to pay the bills. My husband is working sporadically, which makes our situation harder financially. My captain has set up a Go Fund Me account ( www.gofundme.com/6gbim0) any amount you can donate is appreciated!! If this link does not work, go to http://www.gofundme.com and search for Gracie O’Malice. My link should be first on the list.
My derby family and students have been amazing! One of my derby sisters organized a dinner calendar, and my husband and I had dinners for more than two weeks! So much food. A student installed a safety bar in our bathroom to make it safer. We’ve moved since I broke my other leg, and our previous bathrooms had great safety bars. I miss them! We also live in an apartment now, so the dog walkers have been much appreciated.
The first time around, most people asked if I would return to playing. I get that question less this time around. Many have told me that they assume I’m done. How can I risk this again? Two breaks in less than a year. So much pressure on my husband, as now he has to work, take care of our place, and take care of me. Lot’s of financial stress. As much as I love this sport, I don’t think I can do this again. I actually said that to my husband as I was being loaded into the ambulance. He said, “Babe, you don’t have a choice”. He’s right. However, the risk has become too much. How do I feel about it? Truthfully? I feel robbed. Like a thief in the night snuck in and stole my derby future. I had goals, aspirations. I wasn’t done. My body decided differently for me. I’m not 20 anymore. I have to work. These are life’s realities, and they suck. It’s hard to be positive.
Will I continue to coach? Hopefully. Frankly, I’m not sure how I’ll handle just coaching, with out being a player. My boot camps will definitely continue, I really like working with our newbies. And yes, this break also coincided with a Cherry City recruitment. I can’t do as much this time around, and I remember how tired I was last year, so I recruited some other coaches/skaters to lead to workout portions. That was hard, since I’m such a control freak. I am still giving the clinic presentations, and running the forward fall clinic. We’ll see what the future holds. My first goal is gaining range of motion back at the ankle. I’ll keep you posted this time around.