Monday, October 13, 2014

To be or Not to be......

Victoria is an actress nearing the age of 40. She has been performing in live production for many years. But unfortunately age isn’t on her side. It has been tough getting work in the last few years, picking up the occasional supporting act here and there just enough to keep her going. On the side she works at an acting school teaching young women how to be better actresses and in a round about way teaching them to replace her.

One Tuesday afternoon she gets a call from her agent telling her that he has a job offer for her. They are looking for a lead role in a new drama production. He tells her that he will email her the info.

So that night she opens the email and has a look at the script. She reads through the role they offered her. So the basic storyline is a she is a late 30’s successful business woman who gets tangled up in a company conspiracy that goes sour. She catches an ex-employee accessing company documents late one night when she confronts him. Not knowing it’s a setup by the owner to bankrupt the company and get out of paying millions owed to creditors. Before starting a new venture and raising millions in a public offering. The main scene would revolve around her having a tussle with the so called thief before being injured and then fighting for her survival to escape from the building.

She contacts her agent the next day and says that she is interested and will apply for the role. Not overly excited about the story line but it’s a lead role and it’s paying very well. The next morning the call comes through saying that her application was successful and she got the role.

So several weeks later she meets the rest of the cast at a lunch time event along with the director. Information is passed on about when they will start rehearsal and when the show will commence.

The role requires her to be dressed in neat business attire, which consists of knee length shirt, blouse and 4” black stilettos. She is accustomed to wearing high heels and performing. The main scene sees her walking in on the thief, played by mike, who then turns on her. She gets in a tussle with him trying to remove his balaclava to reveal his identity before being thrown to the floor. In an attempt to cripple her efforts the thief grabs her foot twisting her ankle badly spraining her ankle. In retaliation she lunges at him with a pen stabbing him in the leg, sending him to the floor as well. Then it’s a race for her to get out of the building for help. With a badly sprained ankle, trying to walk, removing her shoe, hopping, going down stairs until finally reaching the lobby. All while the thief chases her grabbing her just as she opens the door dragging her back in.

During the first few rehearsals everything goes to plan as per the script. By week 2 the director isn’t convinced she is right for the role. He talks with Victoria after rehearsals telling her that she isn’t selling the injury and pain and suspense of the chase. He warns her that if she doesn’t pick up her game in tomorrows rehearsal that he will look for another actress and her contract will be void. Having never sprained her ankle before she tried finding some videos online to get a better idea of how to portray it and the pain and anguish. The next day at rehearsals she tries a little harder hopping that her efforts are enough, but halfway through the scene the director yells “CUT CUT CUT”.

“Absolute rubbish”, he yells at the stage.
He calls for his assistant, “ Jill get me the files on the other applicants for the main role, NOW”.

Victoria is gutted, how can this be. Possible her final chance at a lead role and she is being sacked. She leaves the stage and pleads to the director, “please please one more chance. Tomorrow’s rehearsal will be perfect, just give me one more chance.”

He ponders his thoughts for a moment, as Jill returns with the files on the other applicants for the main role and passes them to him.

He flicks through the files as Victoria pleads one more time.
“One more chance that’s all I ask.”

He slams the files on the floor next to him, “One more chance and your done.”

‘Thank you Thank you.”

That night Victoria thinks about how to make it more life like and real. The next day when they are prepping back stage she grabs Mike and takes him to the side away from everyone else.

“Mike I need you to twist my ankle today”
Mike has a giggle, “Yes I know I have to its part of my role.”
“No I mean like you need to really twist it, I need to feel it” Victoria says with a serious look on her face.

“Umm ok, that sounds a little crazy.”
Victoria pleads, “please I need this role, I need to finish my career on a high.”
Mike thinks for a moment, “Ok if that is what you want me to do, ill help.” And he smiles. Victoria smiles back, “Thank you”

“lets do this people, I don’t have all day.” They hear the director yelling from in front of the curtain.

They take their places and commence the rehearsal. They get to the scene where mike has to twist her ankle. This time instead of pretending to he actually twists her right ankle inwards, Victoria feels the pressure build in her lateral ankle ligaments as mike twists her ankle. She screams in pain as mike sprains her ankle. Only grade one but enough for her to feel the pain. The standing in pain, the walking in pain and hopping is very real now. Her expressions and the fear and suspense in the chase are much better.

The scene ends….

“Bravo bravo” the director applauds.
“Magnificent Victoria that’s exactly what I want. If you do that every time we will have no problems.”

Trying to hide the real pain she is feeling, she smiles back at the director.
They all exit the stage, Victoria trying her best not to limp on her right ankle as she exists the stage barefoot. She makes her way to a small dressing room after the show and takes a seat clutching at her right ankle. Now visibly swollen she sits there for a moment, as the pain shoots up her leg.

‘knock knock, Its mike can I come in?”
“Yes one moment”

Victoria gets up and unlocks the door, Mike walks in and she closes the door and locks it behind him. As she turns around her limp is very noticeable and Mike reaches around her body with his arm and helps her to walk to the chair. Once seated he grabs another chair for her to put her foot up on. He admires her perfectly shaped foot, her manicured toes and the golf ball sized egg that is protruding from the anterior of her ankle.
Concerned he asks her if she is ok.

“Yes ill be fine, thank you. Thank you for what you did today.”
Not really sure what to say, “That’s ok”
“At least let me give you a ride home”, Mike kindly offers.
Victoria accepts as it will give her a chance to tell him her plan from here on.

On the trip home Victoria tells Mike that the next few rehearsals will just need a little twist as her sprained ankle will already be sore so just enough force to aggravate it.  He agrees with her plan and drops her off at her apartment.

The next few rehearsals go to plan, and the director gets everyone together. He tells them that the show is ready and they will do 2 shows the first one in a month and the second one a month after that. Depending on popularity possibly another two shows after that. There will be no more rehearsals and that they have to finalise all their costume fitting’s one week before the first show.

The next few weeks pass and all is prepared for the show. The first seating is a sell out crowd. The theatre they are performing in is the second largest in town and holds 5000 people. The writer and the production executives who financed the show will also attend this show.

Her ankle was well and truly back to normal by the night of the first show. So before the show she gets Mike in the dressing room and tells him that he will need to twist her ankle again and cause a real sprain. And once again he agrees and they finish preparing for the show.

The crowd watches as the show commences. All goes to plan and they reach the scene of the ankle twisting. Mike throws Victoria to the ground and grabs her ankle starting to twist it inwards, apply more and more pressure Victoria feels the pressure build in her lateral ligaments again. Her ankle weaker this time and ligaments still not completely heeled from the last time, as Mike twists her ankle she feels this immensely sharp pain shoot from her ankle. Not realising it at the time she has now partially torn her anterior ligament. She screams in pain and plays to her role, thrusting the (fake) pen at Mikes leg. As she continues the scene she pulls herself standing still in her heels and tries to take a step. Pain shoots right up her leg, worse than last time. Not letting it stop her she plays on the role perfectly. Every scream, every limp and every barefooted hop down the stairs accompanied by expressions of pain and fear. 

The curtain drops at the end of the show.
The crowd erupts into applaud as the actors and actresses form a line on the stage. The curtain raises and they take in the applaud briefly until the curtain drops again. As the curtain hits the floor Victoria quickly turns to head for the dressing room. Her limp is now very noticeable so Mike helps her to mask it by wrapping his arm around her as if to be happily exiting the stage together.  Once in the dressing room Mike closes and locks the door. Victoria drops her shoes on the floor and instantly takes the weight on her right ankle. Mike turns to look at Victoria and sees her holding her right foot up off the floor. He looks at her ankle and notices a tennis ball sized lump formed on the outer side of her ankle. He immediately moves to her side and puts his arm around her helping her to hop to the chair. She sits down and rests her foot on the floor.
“That looks bad Victoria”, Mike comments.
Victoria glances down at her right ankle now noticing the amount of swelling on the outer ankle.
“I think I felt something tear this time.”
Mike helps her to elevate her foot up onto another chair.
“Let me see if I can get you some ice”, Mike offers.
 As he leaves the room, he makes his way back stage when he sees the director walking around shaking peoples hands introducing the writer to everyone. He over hears him ask one of the other actresses where Victoria is, to which they tell him that she is in the dressing room. Mike immediately turns around and heads straight back for the room as he knows that they will be there any minute. He barges through the door, and closes it behind him.
“Victoria they are coming, the director and the writer they are looking for you.”
“oh shit” she starts to panic.
“What am I going to do, I need to hide this ankle.”
Mike looks around the room trying to find something.
“My boots, my boots grab them quickly.”
Victoria points to the high heel wedged boots that she wore to the show. They are tight fitting and long enough that they reach just below her knees.
Mike grabs the boots and passes them to Victoria. She quickly slides her left foot in and does the zipper up. Mike helps her with the right boot. The swelling on her ankle makes it difficult and painful. She slides her foot halfway in before it starts to press on the swelling sending waves of pain up her leg. Victoria grabs the chair with one hand and covers her mouth with the other. She pushes her leg forward as Mike works the boot on her foot. Her moans muffled by her hand covering her mouth. Mike zips up the boot and she places her feet on the floor. Mike takes a seat in the other chair, just as there is a knock at the door.

“Come in”, Victoria replies as she tries to compose her self.

The director and the writer walk in and Mike stands to shake their hands trying to hide Victoria as she painfully stands up behind him.
Victoria takes a step forward, radiating pain shooting from her ankle. She keeps a smile on her face as they both shake her hand and congratulate her on her performance. They remain in the room for several minutes the whole time Victoria tries to place minimal weight on her right ankle. Eventually they exit the room, and mike closes the door behind them. As soon as the door closes Victoria grabs the chair with her left hand and her right hand grabs her leg lifting her foot up.
Mike gets to her side as fast as possible helping her to sit again.
“Oh get it off Mike, get my boot off.”
Mike unzips the boot slowly, and then starts to work it off. Victoria grasps at the arm rest of the chair as the boot painfully works off her swollen ankle. Mike cradles her foot in his hands as he places the boot down, and then gently guides her foot onto the other chair resting it down on the her heel. She takes a few minutes to compose her self.

Mike suggests that he gets her out of there asap and to her apartment where she can get some ice and elevate her ankle. They wait out until most of the cast is gone. Mike brings his car around to the back of the theatre to an emergency exit door that is just outside of the dressing room. He then goes inside and helps Victoria up. Wearing the boot on her left foot still she tries to put some pressure on her right ankle, which has now been engulfed by the swelling. As soon as her toes hit the floor she knows she can’t put any weight on it.
“Ill have to hop”, she comments to Mike.
She wraps her arm over his shoulders and he helps her hop to the door. He opens the door and pokes his head out to make sure its clear and then they make there way out the exit and to Mikes car.
On the drive to Victoria apartment, Mike is concerned and suggests a visit to the ER. But Victoria doesn’t want to risk being seen or noticed and wants to just go back to her apartment. They arrive and he helps her to hop to her apartment and then helps her get comfortable on the sofa with her ankle elevated and gets an ice pack for her ankle. He asks if she needs anything and she replies that she will be fine. She thanks him for his help, and Mike grabs his keys and says, “Ill swing by tomorrow and check on you ok.”
“Thanks”, Victoria comments..

The next morning Mike jumps in his car and heads for Victorias apartment. On the way he stops at the local drug store to pick up a bandage and some crutches, and the attendant also suggests an aircast. He arrives at Victoria’s apartment and knocks on the door. After a few moments her hears her call out.
“One moment”
After standing there for a couple minutes he hears the door unlock and start to open, Victoria is standing there on one foot with her right foot held up behind her. He enters the apartment and immediately offers her the crutches.
“Thankyou so much Mike, you didn’t have to do this.”
“Don’t be silly, its nothing just a few things to help”
Her first time using crutches, but immediately she has the hang of it. She makes her way to the sofa followed closely by Mike. She takes a seat and Mike sits next to her and opens the bandage he bought. He lifts her foot onto his knee so that he can apply the bandage. The large lump on her outer ankle had reduced but the swelling had spread and engulfed most of her outer ankle. Some bruising also starting to show just below the ankle as well. He gently wraps her ankle with the bandage and then gets the air cast out and secures it around her ankle.
“There you go, the girl at the drug store said you should stay off it for a week and then slowly start to weight bear again.”
“Ok, thanks again Mike.”
“No problem”, he replies.
Mike makes them a coffee and they enjoy some generally conversation getting to know each other a little. Both learning that they are both single, although Mike is about 8 years younger than Victoria.

A couple hours pass and Mike decides to head off, but tells Victoria that she can call him if she needs anything and we will check up on her through the week.

They spend a bit of time together over the next two weeks as Victorias ankle heals. She is Weight bearing after only 4 days which is a good sign and pretty much back to normal by week 3 which gives her a week before the second show to get comfortable walking in heels again.

The day comes of the second show and they prepare as normal in the dressing rooms. Mike walks in to see Victoria before the show, and is a little concerned with the twisting ankle scene. She assures him that it will be fine, and that it wont be any worse than the last one.

As before the show gets under way and they reach the ankle twisting scene. And once again Mike twists her ankle. Now noticeably weaker, once again she feels the pressure build up in her ankle and then like the previous time she feels that distinct sharp pain as the anterior ligament tears a little more. She holds her composure and carry out the performance as planned. Receiving applaud at the end. As the last time her ankle swelled up to the size of a tennis ball and they follow the same routine. They spend more time together as she heals her ankle. Two weeks after the second show they get a call from the director. They are going to do one last performance. It will be at a different venue, the largest in town. 15000 tickets will be sold and it will be in one month’s time.

Victoria a Mike spend more time together over the next few weeks, getting quite close. Going out to dinner and talking frequently even now visiting each other on a daily basis.

By the third show Victorias ankle had fully healed albeit weaker than before. Before the show they convene to the dressing room as previously done, but this time things are different. Before the show instead of the usual wish each other good luck, Victoria makes a move and gives Mike a hug and then kisses him passionately. Not sure what his reaction will be, Mike takes to it like he had wanted that to happen for a while.

Both excited about their new found passion they take the stage for one last show. As previously the show gets to the ankle twisting part. Mike takes Victoria’s right foot in his hands and starts to twist it. She feels the pressure build as he continues to twist it. But something different happens this time. As the pressure builds and Mike twists her ankle, all of a sudden he feels her ankle pop twice in his hands before releasing his grasp on her foot. Victoria lets out a scream like no other as the crowd watches. The pain is so intense she almost forgets her next move. As she swings her arm to stab Mike in the leg, her ankle radiates immense pain right up her leg. She grasps for ankle with both hands as a tear rolls down her cheek. She continues her role, the intense pain only adding to the show. As soon as she stands up she knows at that moment, that her ankle ligament had snapped. Even holding her ankle up was excruciating. But she bravely continues the show. Sliding her high heel off, sends more pain radiating up her leg. She can see her ankle had doubled in size already from the swelling. As she hops down the stairs, every jolt, every movement sends lighting bolts through her ankle.

Until the curtain comes down, she plays the role perfectly.
As soon as the curtain contacts the stage, Mike jumps to her side helping her to balance on her left foot as she gently places her right foot down in front of her. He can see how hugely swollen her ankle already is, and can see the pain in her eyes. The curtain raises and the crowd goes wild with applaud. That moment, the applaud Victoria new it would be her last. The curtain comes down one final time. Mike picks Victoria up in his arms and carry’s her off the stage and straight into the dressing room. He gently lowers her down onto her left leg.

“Oh Mike, my ankle. I think a ligament snapped Mike.”
Victoria breaks down into Mikes arms.
“I’m so sorry Victoria.”
Feeling guilty for the pain she is in.
“Its ok, It’s Ok Mike, its not your fault.”

He slowly helps her to take a seat in the chair.
“Grab my bag Mike, I have some socks in there. I need to cover this up before the director comes.”
He fetches her bag from the corner of the room and moves it closer to her. She opens it up and reaches in before retrieving a pair of long white socks. They are usually quite loose on her but her ankle has doubled in size already so getting the right one on will not be easy.

Victoria promptly slips on the left sock and then passes the right sock to Mike.
“I need your help with this one Mike.”
He repositions him self so that her right foot is gently resting on his knee.  He scrunches the sock up and spreads it as wide as possible slipping it over her toes and halfway up her foot with out too much resistance.
Victoria braces by grabbing her right leg and lifting it up as mike starts to work the sock on over her swollen ankle. He gets to a point where he needs to force it past her heel and swollen ankle. He grabs the sock firmly, and with one fast action he stretches the sock past the heel and releases it so that its completely covering the ankle. Victoria moans as the movement send jolts of pain radiating from her ankle. Mike supports her ankle and foot in his hands and gently rests it up on the chair in front of her. With every passing minute Victoria can feel the sock getting tighter around her ankle and foot. The swelling continues to grow at a fast rate.

“knock Knock”, echos from the door. Victoria quickly lowers her right foot down before swivelling around in her chair. Mike helps her to stand quickly and positions her so that she can lean back on the chair and keep as much pressure of her ankle as possible.  He promptly walks to the door and opens it.

The Director, the writer and I financiers all walk in and head straight for Victoria. They shake her hand and congratulate them on the performance. Victoria does her best to keep the weight of her ankle whilst looking like she is standing normally. The comment on how realistic she was it was like she had a real sprained ankle. All while she struggles to keep the pain in as the blood continues to rush to her ankle, gently resting on the floor. After several minutes of them talking and commenting, the director has some news.

“We want to do another show”, he says with a large smile on his face.
Mikes jaw drops open, thinking to him self “This isn’t good.”
Victoria plays along smiling as if happy about the news.

“When will it be”, she asks.
“Well we are planning for 2 weeks time”
“Oh really, she replies as if to imply she cant do that.”

“Is that a problem Victoria?”
She mumbles some words under her breath, “Ummm, well I was planning on the show to end tonight so I have kind of made other plans.” Knowing full well that she would be lucky if she can bare weight in two weeks, without even thinking about wearing high heels and performing.
The director and writers and financiers talk amongst themselves for a moment.

After a few seconds the Financier says to her, “ What about in 4 weeks we do one last show, and we will double your contract price.”
“Umm”, she ponders to her self for a moment.
“Ok 4 weeks time, one last show.”

“Fantastic” the financier exclaims, filled with excitement they all shake her hand again and then proceed to exit the dressing room. As the door closes Victoria lifts her right foot up to release any pressure on her ankle. Mike rushes to her side to offer her some support. She puts her arm over his shoulders.
“Help me to see if I can put any weight on this ankle. I need to be walking as soon as possible if I have any chance of pulling this off.”
Mike recommends for her to not try this, but she insists. She slides her right foot forward about a quarter of a step and rests it flat on the floor. Using Mike for support she transfers some weight to her right foot. As she transfers weight to her ankle the pain begins to multiply, adding to the feeling of severe instability in her ankle, she takes a step, followed by another and then a third step until the pain is unbearable. She grasps at her leg as she lifts her foot up.

“That’s enough for now Victoria, you need to rest that ankle.”
Victoria looks down at her swollen ankle covered by the long white sock, and nods her head in agreement. Mike helps her to take a painful hop to the chair where she sits down lifting her ankle up again and resting on the other chair nearby.

Mike scans the hallway waiting for the remaining cast to vacate the building. Once again her moves his car outside the emergency exit door nearest to the dressing room. He promptly makes his way back inside and scans the hallway one last time to ensure the coast is clear. He enters the dressing room and tells Victoria that he is ready. He collects her things in places them into her bag as she starts to lower her right foot onto the ground. Using the chair for support she stands herself up onto her left foot as her right foot hangs down just behind her. Mike can see the agony in her face and moves to help her. With one swift movement he picks her up in his arms and carries her out to the car.

They reach her apartment and Mike takes her straight to her bedroom. Gently lowering her onto her bed. He grabs two pillows and gently lifts her right foot up placing it down on top of the pillows. He scurries off to the kitchen and returns with an ice pack, the bandage and a pair of scissors. He runs the scissors along the sock, cutting it in half slowly, until it separates from her ankle and foot. Gently he slides the sock out from under her heel and drops it to the side. He looks at her ankle with a devastating expression on his face. Her outer and inner ankle, her heel and half her foot are completely engulfed in swelling to the point that her normal ankle shape and structure is completely unrecognisable. He promptly positions the ice pack be prepared gently onto her ankle cover as much as possible.

He lays on the bed next to her, and consoles her for a moment.
“I think we need to get it checked tomorrow”, he suggests.
Victoria ponders the thought for am moment.
“We will see how it looks in the morning, ok.”
After some a brief chat the ice begins to numb the pain, enough that Victoria drifts off to sleep. Mike stays by her side all night, waking himself every few hours to check on her and replenish the ice pack as required.

As the sunrises and shines through the window Mike awakens to find Victoria looking him in the eyes.
“Morning’, he exclaims.
“Thankyou Mike for everything, for being here with me lastnight.”
“Don’t be silly Victoria, I was never going to leave you here on your own with a badly sprained ankle.”
Victoria smiles at him.
“How does it feel this morning”, he asks.
“Its aching at the moment, and I haven’t tried to move it yet.”
He sits himself up and positions himself closer to her right foot, before reaching down and lifting what remains of the last ice pack he placed on her ankle.
Victoria pulls herself up as well so she can see how it looks. At first glance it doesn’t look good. The swelling had continued over night engulfing her whole foot and even her toes looked swollen. Light bruising has started to show on both inner and outer ankle areas, below the outer ankle and along the out sole of her foot and patches up the outer side of her leg aswell.

“Can you move your ankle at all?” he asks as he watches closely. He sees her toes wiggle but that’s it.
“Nope I can’t move my ankle at all Mike. Maybe I should see if I can put any pressure on it?”
Mike promptly disagrees, “No you wont Victoria, you need to rest it for now. I really think we need to get it checked out.”
She replies with a quick NO. “I can’t risk being seen.”
Mike ponders his thoughts for a moment and comes up with a plan.
What if I take you to the hospital in a different city, its only 3 hrs away and I will feel much better if we get it checked to make sure it’s not broken.”

Finally she agrees to his plan, and he starts to get her ready. They make their way to his car, Victoria crutching with her ankle tightly wrapped in the bandage and the aircast nestled around her ankle for added support.

After reaching the hospital they spend most of the day their as the doctors examine her ankle. X-rays show no breaks but the mange to get her an MRI on the same day to check the ligaments in her ankle.

After some further evaluation they finally get the verdict. Her anterior ligament is ruptured, there is an 80% tear of the Calcaneo ligament and the Posterior ligament is also partially torn. He explains that although her ATFL is ruptured, it has torn in the middle like a piece of cloth and the fibres are still close enough to each other that there should be some repair by the body. But it will be weaker and could take up to 8 weeks to fully heal. So they leave the hospital with some instructions on how to treat it and a prescription for some pain killers and anti inflammatory to help with the swelling. The car ride home is quiet, once home they make their way back into victorias apartment.

They devise a plan together that will see Victoria non weight bearing for a minimum of one week, Mike will use ice and massage to try and get the swelling down as fast as possible. Also they will start some exercises as soon as she feels up to it. Mike brings some stuff over so that he can stay at Victoia’s place for the next few weeks and help her as much as possible.
Week one is fairly uneventful, Victoria remains non-weight bearing and spends most of her time with her ankle elevated and iced. Mike carried out a massage on her ankle day and night trying to get the swelling down, but there is little change in the first 5 days. Day 7 offers some hope, as Victoria awakens to a much less swollen ankle. Almost visible is her outer ankle bone and the swelling around her foot and toes have dramatically reduced. Also with the reduction in swelling comes the ability to move her ankle a bit which cheers her up. She starts practicing the first ankle exercise the dog suggested which is commonly called the ankle or toe alphabet. Basically she sits down with her leg straight and foot hanging off the edge of the bed and using her toes and ankle she writes the alpha bet in the air. The first few attempts are painful and barely resemble any actual letters of the alpha bet but by day 9 she sees a dramatic improvement. Mike had suggested that she go a second week non-weight bearing and focus more on some exercises, so that’s what she is doing. Day 10 sees more reductions in swelling, her ankle now returning to its former defined shape, the bruising has gradually subsided. Mike ventures out to the drug store that morning and returns two resistance bands of different strengths and Victoria gets straight into the next level of exercises. This involves her sitting flat on the floor with her leg straight out infront of her. She loops the resistance band under the base of her toes, and then slowly points her foot forward and backwards and left and right. She carried this out several times a day and gradually sees some improvement. Mike now switches to a cold followed by hot pack application and some deeper tissue massage which further reduces her swelling. Day 13 sees Victoria’s first steps since the injury. She uses the crutches for support and manages several steps on her first attempt. They are both very happy with her progress as she is almost 80% weight bearing after only 13 days and her ankle mobility is improving dramatically now that she is weight bearing. Day 16 Victoria ditches the crutches and is walking on her own. She keeps the ankle wrapped to provide some extra stability but is relatively pain free and mobile by this stage. She moves onto to heel raising exercises, which sees her standing flat footed and raising her heel on her injured ankle. Then progressing to raising both heels and standing in a tippy toe position. Day 18 and Victoria is recovery very well only 7 days from the next performance she is walking and can even manage a short jog. Almost all the swelling has gone and the bruising is almost non-existant. She asks Mike to fetch her high heels that she has to wear in the performance to she if she can walk in them. They start cautiously with Mike by her side offering a little support as she takes her first steps. Surprisingly she can walk not to bad. A little weak and a little sore after a long period of standing in them but much better than they had both expected. The next few days she increases her exercises and walking in high heels until the day before the show.

Mike sits her down and tells Victoria that he doesn’t want to twist her ankle this time. He is afraid that it could re-tear the ligaments very easily. After some discussion, they come to a compromise where Mike will twist her ankle but just a little bit. It should be enough to give her just a little pain. They both take it easy for the day, and prepare themselves for the show the next evening.

The last Show….
Preparations go as planned and Victoria and Mike share a passionate kiss in the dressing room just before the show starts. As the curtain draws the crowd roars. Every seat is packed and the front row has the director, screen play writer and the financiers and their friends watching closely.

Unfortunately the show does not start particularly well for Victoria. In an early scene where she is pictured in her office, she accidentally rolls her right ankle slightly. It was barely noticeable from the crowd but as Mike watches from the side of the stage he knows it’s not a good start. Like the brilliant actress she is she brushes it off like it never happened. They reach the scene where she walks in on the thief (Mike) and the two break out into a scuffle. Just before Victoria is to be wrestled to the ground, she is caught off balance. As she steps back her weight shifts awkwardly over her right foot, and her ankle snaps outwards violently. So much so that her ankle bends at 90 degrees as her body weight forces the ankle outwards. As her ankle reaches its full extent, a series of “POPS” or “crackles” reverberate of the stage. Mike looks Victoria in the eyes as she falls over and the expression on her face says it all. She felt every single pop as she falls down to the floor. Mike almost ready to break the scene and help her, resists for one moment, as Victoria shrugs it off like its part of the act. She winks at him as if to say, “I’m ok don’t stop” and then goes on with her lines.

Mike continues to act as per the script and a minute later they reach the ankle twisting scene. Mike reaches down for her right foot, making it look forceful and purposeful, but actually does it very gently. As he cradles her foot and stands up he brushes his hand over the outside of her right ankle. He feels a lump and then looks down. What he sees is that her outer ankle is swollen like a tennis ball. Literally like there was a tennis ball under the skin on her outer ankle, the lump protrudes outwards almost 2 inches. He knows that he wont have to twist her ankle, just making it will make it hurt.  He does his best to make the scene look realistic pretending to twist the ankle, the slightest of movement sends jolts of pain down Victoria’s leg. The scene goes off like nothing was wrong and the show continues. Every movement from here for Victoria is excruciating. No hope of being able to bear any weight, and even holding it up just a fraction of an inch sends intense pain radiating from her ankle. Amazingly she pushes on like it was all part of the script. 

As the curtain lowers, she collapses into Mike’s arms. She composes herself and stands next to him with her right foot gently placed in front of her. As the curtain raise to a standing ovation, all the cast take one last bow. As the curtain lowers one last time, Victoria collapses into Mike’s arms again. Breaking down into tears, and the over whelming pain takes over her emotions. Mike wastes no time in picking her up in his arms. As they weave through the cast on the set, headed for the dressing room, the other members who thought it was tears of joy soon realise that her ankle is hugely swollen.

As he carries the sobbing Victoria to the dressing room, Mike yells out to one of the production assistants back stage, “Get me ice and NOW”.
The man scurries off to get some ice. Mike takes Victoria into the room and helps her to sit down. He drags another chair over and lifts her foot up and rests it gently down. As Mike consols her, her tears slowly dry up and her mumbles turn to words. Not wanting to ask the obvious question but rather gauge the severity of the injury, he asks “Are you ok Victoria?”

As she wipes any final tears from her cheeks, she looks down at her ankle.
What was earlier a tennis ball sized lump has grown to the size of a large orange, protruding outwards several inches.

“I felt it, I felt all of them snap.”
She moans whilst grasping the chair as the pain continues to radiate from her ankle.
“When I stood up my ankle felt like jelly, I couldn’t move it at all.”
 There is a knock at the door.
Mike rushes to the door and opens it to find the production assistant standing there with an ice pack and a first aid kit. Mike takes it from him, while he over hears a conversation from down the hall. The director and his patsy are talking to another cast member.
“Is she ok? What happened? I don’t know, but her ankle is very swollen.”
Mike closes the door knowing that they will be at the dressing room in no time.

Mike places the ice pack onto Victorias right ankle and then moves to her side to hold her hand. Only a minutes later and there is a knock at the door. Victoria yells out, “Come in”. The door opens and the director and his patsy move briskly into the room.

Congratulations turns into concern, as they realise that she is indeed injured. The actress in Victoria kicks in again, tell them that she will be fine. They once again congratulate her, and one of the financiers passes her a check.
“Here you go Victoria, this is your doubled contract and a personal thanks from all of us” she takes the check and thanks them before she glances down at the amount on the check. Her eyes open wide as she reads the amount, $100,000.
“Thankyou so much”
“No thank you Victoria.”

And they all leave the room.
She passes the check to Mike to see.
“Wow that’s a lot Victoria but you deserve every cent of it.”

Another knock at the door echoes through the room. Mike answers the door and there is a reporter standing there.  She asks if she can do an interview with Victoria, Mike checks with Victoria and then lets the reporter in.

Victoria answers the reporters questions and then the reporter gets a few pictures including a picture of her badly sprained ankle. Then she thanks them both and exits the room.

Back at the apartment, Victoria lays down in bed with her right ankle elevated and an ice pack resting on it. She takes a few pain killers to help numb the pain and hopefully get some sleep. Mike stays by her side through-out the night, changing the ice pack regularly.
In the morning Victoria awakes to a deep intense throbbing pain from her ankle, as Mike walks through the door. He hands her some more pain killers, and a glass of water and then helps her to sit up in bed with some pillows behind her back for support. He then returns with a coffee for her and the local newspaper.

She opens to the front page and there is a picture of her. The headline reads “Actress Retires after the best performance seen in decades.” She told the reporter that she would be retiring from acting and looking at opening up her own acting school. She reads through the Article, “ Best performance seen in years…. Critics review the show as 10 out of 10, Actress continues the show with a severely sprained ankle despite the pain.” The picture on the front page shows Victoria seated in the dressing room, with her right ankle up on the chair and the ice pack removed. The angle of the shot captures her whole body including her severely swollen and sprained ankle.

The weeks to come prove to be the best part of their lives for Victoria and Mike. She takes several months to recover from her injury and is left with a completely ruptured ATFL, partially healed CTFL and posterior ligament.

They both quit their jobs and Victoria uses her large check to open their very own acting school, both of which will work and run fulltime. Mike proposes to Victoria and they get married 6 months later. Shortly after the wedding Victoria falls pregnant. Mike continues to run the business full time as the pregnancy proves to be difficult on Victoria’s immensely weak ankle. Due to the body releasing a natural relaxin, which increases the laxity in the ligaments, Victoria suffers two grade 2 sprains to her right ankle, through out the 9 month term.

As the years go by what started as an acting role, blossomed into a happy and fulfilling life together. Victoria regularly found herself elevating and icing her bad ankle, and every couple years she would inadvertently sprain her ankle again.

Every time she sprained her ankle, she would sit with an ice pack on her ankle, while Mike would read that famous front page article from the last and greatest performance by Victoria.

The End. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Country Girl Lacie

Lacie lives on a small property out of town. Originally she shared the house with her husband, but a couple years ago they had decided to go there own ways. Lacie is now 34 and enjoying her time alone on the property and has strived on her ability to survive and look after the property herself. She lives a fairly solitaire life. She has a few work colleagues that she talks to occasionally and she speaks to the neighbours occasionally. She has about 10 acres, which consists of an older style two storey house, a barn and stable for her one horse and a few small paddocks that have been divided to allow her to move her horse around to feed on the fresh grass.

Accountant by day, Lacie commutes to the city roughly about 3 times a week to see clients. She mainly does business accounting, which is good for her as she can do most of the work from home online, and her clients simply email her all the information.

It’s a Tuesday morning and she gets her self ready for work as normal. She puts on some smart business attire including a skirt that goes to just below her knees and a nice top. Lacie has looked after herself over the years, weighing in at only 120 pounds, her 5”7 build was very toned.

She places her brief case onto the kitchen table and slips on her gumboots. She heads out the back door and go to check on her horse Rosie who spent the night in the stable. She makes sure she has enough hay and water and then makes her way back into the house. She leaves her boots at the door and then goes back in through the kitchen.

She slips on her work shoes, which are a pair of conservative black 2” pumps. She grabs her brief case and heads out the front door. As she descends down the 5 steps from the front porch, her right foot slips and her ankle twists outwards.

“Oh shit”, she exclaims as she regathers her footing. Lacie grabs the rail for support and gingerly tests her ankle out, slowly rotating it around. She takes a good look at her ankle and feels that it’s just minor. She continues to descend down the steps slowly with a slight limp.

She limps to the car and feels that it will probably pass over the day so she continues on her way to work for the day. During the day it troubles her a little, just some minor aching and minor swelling evident by the end of her day. She returns home that afternoon and heads straight for the kitchen. She grabs an ice pack and then limps her way to the dining room table. She takes a seat and reaches down slipping off her size 7 shoe from her right foot. Her toes are painted a deep red colour, her soles are smooth and her ankles are slim but not boney looking. She does a quick visual check of her ankle which shows some very minor swelling around the outer ankle bone. Lacie extends her foot and stretches her leg out resting it down onto another chair then slowly rests the ice pack on her ankle.

This was her first injury in her life and didn’t really know much about sprains etc. So she grabs her laptop off the table and opens it up, she searches for some information on what she may have done. After a quick search she determines that it’s probably just a strain or at most a grade 1 sprain. She then goes on to check her email while the ice continues to numb her ankle. After about 20 mins she removes the ice pack and moves her foot and ankle around, it feels a little sore but nothing major. She gets up and tests her weight bearing and finds that she can walk fine with just a little pain. So she decides it nothing and heads off upstairs to get changed.

The next morning her ankle feels fine the little bit of swelling has almost completely gone and it feels ok. She gets ready for work as normal and completes her more routine. Today she moves Rosie out to the paddock closest to the house and leaves her to graze for the day. That afternoon she returns home and puts on her sneakers and running clothes and takes Rosie for a walk down the track.

During that walk she notices her ankle feeling a little wobbly. Not thinking too much about it 20 mins in she slightly rolls her right ankle. There is minimal pain so she just continues on not really thinking much about until about 5 mins later when it happens again.

“Arrggh, what is going on with this ankle?” She poses the question at Rosie who shakes her head.

Once again there is very little pain, she stops and rotates it around a little and then continues on. Aver the next 40 mins it happens another 5 times. Eventually she returns to the stable and secures Rosie in for the night before making her way into the house. She removes her right shoe and sock in the bedroom and inspects the ankle which doesn’t look swollen at all. She moves it around and pokes and prods a bit with her fingers not really sure what she is looking for. But she finds a spot in front of the outer ankle bone that is a little tender.

Things continue to go back to normal over the next few weeks. She manages to convert a few of her clients to some new state of the art accounting software which will allow her to access all the info from home and reduces her trips into town to once a week which she also uses to do shopping and pick up any supplies needed.

About 4 weeks later she takes Rosie for a ride in one of the paddocks on her property. She is wearing her riding boots, long pants which are tightly fitted to her legs and a long sleeve shirt and her riding helmet. They trot around for about 40 mins giving Rosie a good work out. She makes her way back to the stable and dismounts form Rosie then secures her in for the night. She leaves the stable closing the door for the night and makes her way towards the house. As she is walking she doesn’t see a small stone on the ground and steps directly on it with her left foot. her ankle rolls outs sharply and sends a jolt of pain up her leg, as she gracefully stumbles forward trying to catch herself from hitting the ground.

“Ahhh, god damn rock.”

She takes a moment to compose herself and then tests her ankle out. She moves it forward to take a step. A jolt of pain radiates from her ankle as she takes a step limping moderately.
“This one feels a little worse”, she tells her self in her head. She continues to limp towards the house before reaching the back door. Climbing the steps appears to cause more pain then before so after two steps she takes a couple small hops to get herself up the steps. She heads to the kitchen and continues to limp moderately but the pain is bearable. She grabs the ice pack from the freezer and takes a seat at the table. She reaches down to her left boot and unzips it all the way down.

She grimaces as she slides her left foot out slowly from the boot and then rests it up on the chair. She pulls up her pant leg to expose her ankle and foot, which is covered by a thin white sock that extends about 6 inches up her leg. She reaches down and slips the sock off slowly, letting out a moan of pain as it squeezes over her ankle.
“Arrgghh, damn looks a bit more swollen this time.”

Removing the sock has uncovered how swollen her ankle is. There is a golf ball sized lump starting to form on the outer ankle area. She rests her foot back down and gets the ice pack on it straight away.  She thinks to herself back to when she injured her right ankle and realises that this one is worse and probably a grade 1 maybe slight grade 2 sprain. She gets her laptop out again and starts to do some research. She reads a few descriptions in regards to minor sprains particularly grade 1 and grade 2. After about 20 mins she removes the ice pack and the swelling has increased but it hasn’t decreased either. She does some tests but rotating her ankle around to see how the range of motion is. It moves ok slightly limited and the pain is tolerable. She decides that it’s probably just a grade 1 sprain. She limps around the house completing her night routine and after showering before bed she goes looking for the first aid kit. She thinks that she might bandage it tonight to hopefully help with the swelling. She finds that her first aid kit is lacking in bandages and all she can find is a small crepe type bandage that is 2 inches wide and very thin, usually something used for wounds rather than sprains. She grabs it anyways and decides it will have to do for the night and tomorrow is her day to head into town so she will get some supplies then.

She awakes in the morning to find her ankle quite stiff. She removes the bandage and can see that the egg has gone down but the swelling has spread out. Now her outer ankle which is usually quite slim is looking less defined and more rounded. She gets her self out of bed and starts the morning routine. Her limp starting quite heavy but over the next hour her ankle loosens up a lot and she can move more freely.

After checking on Rosie, she decides that heels probably aren’t a good idea for work today so she wears some flats instead. She leaves her ankle un-bandaged as the small wrap she has wouldn’t do much for support anyways. Then she heads off to work. After work she goes past the store and picks up her shopping for the week and also swings by the drug store and purchases a few 3” ace bandages to restock her first air kit. As she walks through the drug store she goes past and aisle that has several different types of crutches hanging on racks. She stops for a moment and ponders to herself. “Should I buy some just in case I need them?”

After a minute of looking at the crutches she decides that she won’t get them and then makes her way to the register. By this stage of the day her ankle has become more painful. Starting to ache more with every step. She gets to her car and swings herself into the drives seat. She glances down at her left ankle and can see that the swelling has actually increased a bit over the day. Luckily she has an automatic vehicle so she rests her left ankle on the drive home.

once home she unpacks the vehicle and puts everything away. A quick check on Rosie and she heads back to the house to prepare for the night. After dinner she rests on the sofa with her left foot up on a pillow. She has the ice pack on a few times to numb the pain.

The next morning it is feeling better and the swelling has reduced again. Today is a work form home day and she decides that she will just let Rosie out into the paddock for the day instead of taking her for a walk.

Over the next few days her ankle improves greatly. She is back to her normal routine and not experiencing any further pain from her left ankle. The weeks go by as normal and turn into moths before to long.

About 4 months later on a sunny Saturday morning she decides that she will take Rosie for walk. She puts on some walking clothes and her sneakers and socks. They head down the dirt road that weaves through-out the property. About 1 hr into the walk they are on there way back and Lacie decides to stop for and give Rosie a rest for a few minutes. She sees some left over hay in the paddock next to the road. She ties Rosie up to the timber fence and then slowly climbs over. She makes her way to the hay and picks up a couple handfuls and then heads back to the fence. She holds the hay over the fence for Rosie to chew on and after about 5 minutes it pretty much all gone. Lacie dusts her hands off on her pants and then starts to climb over the fence. She swings her left leg over the top and slides her self over slowly, until she looses her balance and goes crashing down with her left leg extended to try and catch her self. her foot lands awkwardly and as her body weight shifts down onto her ankle it rolls outs violently. Lacie goes crashing down to the ground with a scream.


She immediately grasps her ankle as she pulls her self into a seated position.

“Oh shit Rosie, this is a bad one.”
Rosie lets out a snort.

Lacie takes a moment to compose her self and starts to feel her shoe getting tighter. She looks down at her left ankle and can visibly see a lump growing from under the sock and sticking out of the top of her shoe on the outer ankle. She decides that she needs to try and get up and make her way back to the house. She uses the fence to pull herself up and manages to stand without putting any pressure on her left ankle. Using the fence for support she tries to put some weight on her ankle and take a step. Pain goes shotting up her leg as she limps very heavily on the ankle. Confident though that she will be able to walk back to the house she unties Rosie from the fence and she starts the journey. Every steps sends pain jolting through her ankle and lower leg, But slowly she makes her way towards the house. She stops every so often for a rest. She contemplates trying to ride Rosie back to the house but with out a saddle its nearly impossible for her to get up onto Rosie’s back. So she continues to walk. With the house in sight her ankle starts to really ache. Every step becoming more difficult and painful as they go. She starts to stop every couple of steps. She looks down at her ankle which is now very swollen. The outer side of her ankle is the size of a half tennis ball. She pushes on a few steps at a time until they reach the house. By this stage she can’t bare anymore weight on her ankle. She secures Rosie into the stable and then slowly hops her way to the house.

She hops straight for the freezer and then over to the table and takes a seat. She positions another chair in front of her and slowly lifts her foot up resting it down gently. She knows she has to get her shoe off so she goes to work on the laces, untying them as much as possible and opening the shoe up wide. With one hand she lifts up her leg and the other she grabs the shoe.

She takes a breath, and then with one motion she slides her shoe off. “Arrrggghh oh god, oh god…” She drops the shoe to the ground and grasps her ankle with her left hand. Her foot just hangs there while she composes herself for a few moments. She grabs the back of her little ankle sock and starts to work it over her heel. She is immediately met with resistance due to the swelling. She takes a breath, “Ok Lacie lets do this”

And slides the sock off. It presses into the swelling sending jolts of pain radiating up her leg. She drops the sock and gently guides her foot onto the chair resting it down onto her heel. She looks down at her naked foot and can see the extent of the damage. Her outer ankle is the size of a half tennis ball and her outer ankle bone is unrecognisable beneath the swelling. She tries to move her foot around, and finds that she can move it in all directions with some pain, but pointing her foot is the most difficult and painful. She places the ice pack on her ankle and then slumps her head into her hands. Hoping that the ice will start to numb the pain shortly. After about 5 mins she feel a little relief from the ice. She reaches for her laptop again and fires it up in hope to find out how bad her ankle is.

She digs around various medical style web pages and comes up with a few things to try to determine the severity. She identifies where the major anterior ligaments are and starts to prod with her fingers. She finds that the ATFL is very tender and the CTFL is slightly tender. She tests her range of motion again after having it iced for about 30 mins. It’s still the same as before with the pointing action of the foot the most painful and difficult. Lastly she has to see if she can weight bare at all. So she supports her ankle and slowly lifts it off the chair. Using the chair for support she stands her self up keeping the weight off her left ankle. She moves her left foot down flat on the floor about half a step in front of her. Holding the chair with her right hand she slowly transfer her weight to her left foot and takes a step. “Arrggh”, and she take’s a second step, “Argghhh.”

She takes a few more steps with out the support of the chair. Each step sending waves of pain radiating from her ankle but she can bare weight with a very heavy limp. She limps her way to the fridge to collect a new ice pack and then returns slowly to the table and chairs.

She rests her left foot back onto the chair and places the ice pack down on her ankle. Satisfies that she can bare weight even if its with a heavy limp she is confident in her self diagnosis that it’s a grade 2 sprain. After about 30 mins of more icing she resides to the fact that she has to get herself sorted for the night so she gets herself up and slowly limping around she continues through her morning routine and tidies up in preparing for a day slumping on the couch. After about 1 hour of limping around she stops for a moment standing up holding onto the kitchen bench. Her left ankle now starting to ache a lot more, which is probably due to the walking around. She lifts her left foot up behind her and looks down. Her outer ankle now a little more swollen and what was more of a lump before seems to have spread out a little to engulf her whole outer ankle. There is also a little swelling showing on the inner ankle. Looking straight down at her heel from that view her ankle looks almost twice the size.

She decides that she well get a bandage and some ice and go relax on the sofa. She limps for the stairs slowly and then grabs the rail for support. She moves her left foot up onto the first step and takes a step.

“Arrgghh, oh god my ankle.”

She pulls her left foot up off the ground reaching down with her left hand.
“I’m not trying that again, definitely not able to handle stairs.”
She rests for a moment to get her composure and then continues up the steps one hop at a time. Not attempting to step on her left ankle again until she reaches the top of the stairs.

She limps to the bathroom and fetches the bandage and then makes her way back down the stairs slowly. She collects the ice pack from the freezer and then limps her way to the sofa. By the time she reaches the sofa weight bearing has become to painful. She slumps down into the sofa and removes the bandage from the sealed wrapper. She slowly applies the bandage around her ankle, following a basic figure 8 pattern and then clips it off at the end. She prepares some pillows and then repositions her self on the sofa with her foot elevated onto several pillows, lastly placing the ice pack on he ankle.

Lacie spends the better part of the day on the sofa elevating her ankle. She refreshes the ice pack one more time during the day, but makes sure to only hop this time to keep the pressure of her ankle for a while.
That evening she prepares a quick meal and then decides to head up stairs one last time. She takes her laptop and a fresh ice pack with her so hopefully she won’t have to descend the stairs again until the morning. 

Her sleep that night was very poor, turning in the bed would cause her to move her ankle and remind her of the pain in her ankle. Getting a few solid hrs in the early morning was the majority of her sleep.

At about 7am she awakes again and decides to get motivated for the day. She has a few big accounts to sort out this weeks so she gets straight too it.
After uncovering her legs she takes a quick look at her ankle. She sees that the swelling has possible increased and the part of her heel that is exposed from the bandage looks very puffy. The bandage feels tight also indicating it has probably swelled more. She sits on the bed and slowly unwraps her ankle. Removing the last couple layers exposes some deep ridges into her skin from the bandage. She looks over her ankle which is looking a bit more swollen. The outer side is completely swelled over, no definition of her outer ankle bone at all. Along the base of her outer foot just below the ankle there is a small line of what appears to be purple bruising. She looks to the inner ankle which has also swelled up now, almost hiding her inner ankle bone but not as swollen as the outer side.

She swings her legs off the bed and pulls herself up into a standing position gently resting her left foot on the ground. She shifts some weight to her left foot and attempts a small step. ‘Arrgghh, that’s really tight this morning”, she moans to herself. Remembering back to her last sprain when it loosen up a little after some movement. She continues to limp around slowly, albeit painful it’s not unbearable. She rewraps her ankle and hops down the stairs.

Through-out the day she spends most of her time in the office with her left foot elevated on a chair and occasionally apply and ice pack. She alternates through limping to hopping when the pain starts to become to much. She attempts the steps again that evening to see how it feels but its still to painful to try walk the steps so she hops up and down them as required.

The next day is much the same. The swelling has started to reduce particularly on the inner side of her ankle. The bruising on the outer has got a little darker but hasn’t increased at all. She only ventures outside once to check on Rosie, but instead of her gumboots she just sports a pair of flip flops and keeps her left ankle bandaged up.

That night she researches some alternate methods to help get the swelling down and reads an article about lymph drainage which is basically massage to help promote blood flow and reduce the swelling. That night before turning in she sits in her bed and gently massages her ankle. The pain is moderate and she grimaces a little when reaching a few sensitive spots. But she pushes through hoping that it will help.

The next morning she awakes and unwraps her ankle and notices that the swelling had reduced significantly. Possibly a combination of resting her ankle and the massage from the night before. She stands to find that she has much better range of motion this morning due to the reduced swelling and can walk a bit better. Still limping moderately but it feels as though her ankle moves more normally now. Over the next few days she continues to use the massage technique and ice and doesn’t have to resort to hopping any more as the ankle appears to be copping ok just limping around.

Her ankle continues to improve over the next week and about 2 weeks since the injury her ankle is almost back to normal. Still some minor pain when moving her ankle in certain angles but in all she is walking and operating as normal.

Life for Lacie goes on as normal. She has built up her accounting work and now only heads into town ever 3 to 4 weeks for supply runs only. All of her work is done from home.

About 1 yr later she ventures into town of an evening for her birthday. A few old work colleagues of her had organised a dinner and a catch up for her birthday. Wearing a cute dress and some 3” heels into town in case she runs into mr right. She has a great night and returns to her house at about 11pm. As she exists the car she is walking up to the house she miss places her right foot into a small hole. “Arrggh shit.”
Her right ankle rolls outwards slightly but she manages to keep her footing. She grimaces a little and then steadies herself before continuing her walk to the house. When in the house she removes her shoes and inspects her right ankle. A little sore but nothing major at all and brushes it off as just a little twist.

The following Saturday she prepares herself to take Rosie for a ride along the roads around her property. She puts on her tight long pants, her riding boots and a long sleeve flannel shirt along with her helmet. She heads off at about 9 am making their way down the road that leads into her property. She continues along the dirt roads that weave through the vast open paddocks that surround her property. She comes across another rider and when she gets close realises it’s the neighbour from next door.

They stop for a quick chat. Kate her neighbour is a 45 yr old mother of 3 and she lives on the neighbouring property with her family. Her husband works on an oil rig and is away 3 weeks at a time. They make some small chat and then head off on their way.

Lacie heads back to her property and makes her way along the roads. Finally she reaches her house and decides to put paddock closet to the house for the day so she can feed on some fresh grass. She opens the gate and then rides her into the paddock. She rides Rosie around the outer perimeter to ensure the fences are still all good before dismounting close to the house. She removes the saddle from Rosie and then starts the short trek to the barn carrying the saddle. About 5 meters from the barn Lacie trips on some uneven ground. As she lurches forward trying to regain her balance she stubs the front of her right boot into the ground. As her weight shifts the momentum of her body and the extra 40 kilos from carrying the saddle, cause her to go completely over on her right ankle.
As if in slow motion she feels her ankle rock outwards violently. She feels the outer side of her ankle get tight and then a sharp pain, followed but a loud “pop”.
She screams out loud as she tumbles down to the ground. Dropping the saddle in front of her as she falls sides ways. By the time she hits the ground there is an intense pain shotting from her right ankle. Pain like she hadn’t felt before.

“Oh god, shit shit…. my ankle”, she curses as she grasps at her right boot.  The pain causes her to feel a little light headed for a moment as she lay in the fetal position on the ground grasping at her right ankle. She lays there for about 5 mins grimacing as the sharp pain turns into a deep throb radiating up her lower leg. Initially thinking she may have broken her ankle or lower leg. She takes a few more minutes to gather her thoughts and then tries to move her right ankle.
“Arrgghhh god damn that is not good,” she exclaims to her self.

She decides she needs to get her self into the house but first has to move the saddle into the barn out of the sun. She drags her self up onto her knees, her right hand constantly holding her right boot. Every movement send jolts of pain through her ankle and leg. She tries to stand up slowly, gently raising onto her left foot. The pain becomes more intense with her right foot hanging down causing her to collapse to the ground again.

She decides to try to drag the saddle to the barn. Positioning her right leg straight out in front of her, she grabs the saddle with one hand and using her left leg and other arm she slowly pushes her self backwards dragging the saddle with her. She pauses every couple movements to let her ankle rest.

Eventually she makes it to the barn and drags the saddle just to the door. She opens the door and pushes it in enough just to get the door closed. She rests for a moment, holding her right ankle very still and grabbing her leg with her right hand.

After a few minutes she looks up toward the house, which is about 20 meters away from the barn. She decides that she is going to try and hop to the house to make the process a little quicker. Lacie uses the barn for support, grasping the door handle tightly. She slowly lifts her self up into a standing position gently resting her right foot down on the ground. Instantly she feels a rush of blood go down to her foot, causing the pain to throb harder. She looks up and takes a deep breath.
“Ok Lacie you can do this,” she tells her self.

She stands up straight and lifts her right foot up just behind her and then lets go of the barn door and takes off hopping. Every hop is more painful than the last. the movement of her ankle swinging sends waves of pain. By the time she reaches halfway the pain is almost unbearable, a tear rolls down her cheek.

“Almost there, Almost there”, she repeats to her self. Trying not to stop and break her momentum. Only a few hops from the back steps, she starts to sob lightly as the pain becomes unbearable.
“oohhhh, arrgghh,” Sniffle sniffle, as she tries to suck back her tears.
She finally reaches the back steps and reaches her hand for the rail immediately to hold herself steady she rests her right foot down gently and reaches down grasping at her leg. The tears continue to roll down her cheeks. Her boot is not feeling very tight around her ankle, she can only imagine how mush it must have swollen up already. She sucks back the tears and wipes her eyes composing her self for a moment. She grabs anything she can for support and starts the short journey into the house. Hopping slowly and resting a few times before she finally reaches the kitchen. She goes straight for the freezer and retrieves and ice pack before making her way to the kitchen table. She pulls the chair out and sits down resting her foot flat on the floor.

She lets out a big sigh as she slumps into the chair. Momentarily resting her head into her hands as the pain throbs through her leg. Thinking her ankle is probably broken, she turns on her laptop to find some information. While it boots up she decides that she needs to get the shoe off. She prepares herself mentally, taking a few deep breaths. The sits up and reaches down to her right boot. She grabs the zipper on the inner side of the boot which runs all the way down to the sole of the shoe and slowly unzips it all the way down. Spreads the top of the boot apart and grabs below her calf with her right hand. She slowly lifts up her foot enough to get the boot off. With her left hand she gabs the bottom of the boot from behind the heel and withone motion slips it straight off.
 Aaarrrrrgggghhhhh, fuck fuck.” She screams as she slides the boot off, dropping it to the side. Her foot still covered by the thin white sock which extends halfway up her leg, hangs there while she catches her breath. She grabs the top of her sock with her left hand and starts to work it down slowly until she reaches her ankle and heel. She takes breath, “oohh Ahhh”.

Then she starts to work the sock over her heel. She screams in pain as the sock presses tightly against her swollen ankle. “aaarrgghhh”, she yells as the sock  move its way off her foot completely. Tears roll down her face. She lifts her foot up and rests it on the chair in front of her with her leg extended straight out. She starts to sob into her hands leaning her head down as the pain radiates from her ankle up her lower leg. “Oh god this is so painful”, she mutters between her sobs.
After a few minutes she wipes the tears from her eyes and uncovers her face. She looks down at her ankle for the first time. There is a huge lump on the outside of her ankle, which looks like there is an orange in her ankle. It sticks out about 1½ inches. The first thought that goes through her mind is that it must be broken. Lacie places the ice pack on top of her ankle hoping that it will numb the pain a little.

She turns to her laptop and starts to find out how to tell between a sprain and a break. She finds some helpful info and a few things to check. She also reads that the “pop” sound she heard is common with grade 3 sprains and usually indicates a torn ligament. She leaves the ice on for about 30 mins although her foot is starting to feel numb that pain is still very intense. She decides she needs to have a look so see if she can determine if it’s a sprain or a break. She removes the ice pack from her ankle. The swelling has increased some more now starting to go up her leg as well as down her foot. The inner ankle is also starting to swell. The first thing she does is to feel along the lower tibia and fibula to see if there is any tenderness on the bones. She starts about 6 inches above the ankle and works her way along the tibia, the inner lower leg bone. She presses in deeply to feel the bone working her way down slowly. She works all the way down to the inner ankle bone and everything feels ok some very minor tenderness when she got right to the inner ankle. Then she starts on the Fibula, the outer lower leg bone. She works down slowly pressing deeply. As she works her way down the huge swelling on her outer ankle is making it hard to feel the bones and becomes more painful as she presses in on the swelling. Grimacing and clenching her face she presses deep and hard into the swelling trying her best to feel the bone.
“Arrgghhh, I can’t do any more.”
She stops as the pain becomes to much. Confident that she had felt around the Tibia and Fibula enough she moves onto the next test. She starts to check the range of movement in her ankle. She points her toes forward, pulls them towards her and then tries twisting her ankle inwards and outwards. She has about ½ inch of movement in all directions but twisting the foot inwards and pointing the toes is extremely painful and difficult. Happy with her findings she moves onto the next test which is the weight bearing test. She slowly lifts up her right foot supporting it with her hands and lowers it down to the ground. As soon as it’s lowered the pain begins to increase almost immediately.
“Oh god, I need to do this quickly and get it back up”, she moans to herself.

Using the chair for support she pulls herself into a standing position gently resting the right foot down on the ground. She needs to see if she can bare any weight at all. If she can’t bare weight it is most likely fractured. She starts to transfer some weight to her right foot. The pain radiates from her ankle, throbbing harder by the second. With all her might she tries a tiny step.
“Arrgghhh” She manages a step with a very heavy limp. She braces and grimaces as the pain starts to intensify again. She tries one more just for good measure.
“Arrghhhh”, as she steps with a very heavy limp. “That’s enough I have to sit down,” She comments to her self as the pain starts to take hold.
She takes one gentle hop to reposition herself so that she can sit back down. Extending her arms down she cradles her right foot as she rests it back onto the chair and places the ice pack back down on her ankle. She turns back to her laptop for the moment to try and determine how long she might be off it.
After some reading some info from the med sites she finds a few blogs of people who have talked about their sprain experiences. Peoples experiences have varied from a week non-weight bearing to 4 weeks non-weight bearing.  She hopes that it will only be a week for her. By now the ice pack has practically become warm and she decides that she needs to get upstairs to fetch a bandage from the first aid kit.

She lowers her foot off the chair slowly resting it on the floor. She stands her self up slowly using the chairs for support and holds her right foot just off the ground. She starts her journey towards the stairs hopping, slowly trying to minimise the movement in her ankle. By the time she is halfway up the stairs the pain has doubled. With every hop she moans and grimaces as the pain radiates up her leg. She reaches the upstairs bathroom and fetches the bandage before turning around to head back down the stairs. By the time she raches the kitchen, her moans and grimaces have turned to sobs as the pain becomes unbearable. Every jerking motion of the hop feels like some one is twisting her ankle and the ligaments are tearing a little more every time. She fetches a fresh ice pack from the freezer and heads straight for the sofa. Exhausted she slumps into the sofa before raising her foot onto a pillow. She slowly holds it up to wrap the ankle with the bandage , while she wipes away the tears. Finally placing the ice pack down on her ankle she lays down with her ankle elevated and resting on the pillow.

She closes her eyes for a few minutes trying to let the pain settle as the ice starts to slowly take effect. Watching some TV to take her mind of her ankle, she nods off of about 1 hr.

She awakens abruptly, intense pain shooting from her ankle like a lightning bolt. “Arrggh, god my ankle.” She lunges forward grasping at her leg. She lifts up the ice pack and sees that her ankle has swelled. The bandage is very tight and so stretched that the fibres in the fabric are exposed. Her toes look swollen and around the exposed heel the swelling is bulging out. She slowly starts to up wrap her ankle to have a better look. Once down to the last layer, it reveals deep indents from the bandage. As she peels the final layer away she sees just how swollen her ankle has got. Her ankle, foot and lower leg have ballooned from the swelling. Now she is unable to move her ankle due to the swelling. The searing pain has subsided now that the pressure on the pressure on the swelling has been removed.  She prepares herself for the short journey to the kitchen to fetch a fresh ice pack. Hopping slowly and steady using anything she can for support. She returns with an ice pack and her laptop. Once again resting on the sofa with her ankle elevated. She opens her laptop and looks for an online drug store that is nearby. She peruses the online store and adds a few items to the basket. Firstly she adds a pair of aluminium forearm crutches, followed by a box of advil for the swelling and a box of the strongest pain killers you can get with out a doctors prescription. Lastly she looks at the ankle braces and finds what’s called an air cast ankle stirrup. She does a little research into it and finds that it’s exactly what she needs to support her ankle whilst it heals. So she adds that to the cart as well. Now being Saturday she wasn’t expecting to get them for a few days buy when she completes the check out there is an option for and over night courier to deliver. Its very expensive but she decides that she needs the crutches more than anything asap. She completes the check out and then switches the laptop off and places it on the floor next to the sofa.

Lacie spends the rest of the day and the night on the sofa. Only getting up a few times to get some food and ice. Through out the night she gets very little sleep. The pain keeps her awake most of the time, but she does manage to nod off few a few hours over the course of the night.

As the sunlight shines through the window in the morning, Lacie awakens from a brief nap. Exhausted from the lack of sleep she slowly pulls her self up into a seated position. She looks at her ankle which has remained the same size but is now showing some deep bruising below the outer ankle bone and up her outer leg, as well as on the inside of her heel. Still tries to move her ankle slightly but finds that she can barely move it, although she can move her toes around quite freely. She decides to fetch a fresh ice pack and re-wrap her ankle as the swelling has appeared to have stopped increasing. She lowers her foot down slowly, and immediately the blood rushes to her ankle. Jolts of pain start to radiate from her ankle again and at that moment she knows she will be couch bound for the day again. After the painful gruelling journey to the kitchen she returns to the sofa. She wraps her ankle up firmly but not to tight and then elevates it again, resting the ice pack down gently on top of the ankle. She spends the day nodding on and off on the sofa, the TV in the back ground helps to keep her mind off the pain.

Lacie awakens at around 4pm after sleeping for about 4 hours straight. Feeling less exhausted she sits her self up and rubs her eyes as she realises what time it is. She lowers her foot down slowly and makes her way to the kitchen for a drink. As she glances out the window she checks to see if Rosie looks alright. She has to go down there and try and get her in to the barn, but she was hoping her crutches would have arrived by now. Then it dawns on her that the courier may have come when she was asleep. So she makes her way back trough the lounge slowly hopping one step at a time. Her ankle starts to pound again. She drops the ice pack down on the sofa and continues her way to the front door. She unlocks the door and then swings it open to find two boxes resting on the ground.
“Ahh thank goodness.”

She reaches down and grabs the small box and turns throwing it towards the couch. She then picks up the larger long skinny box which is obviously the crutches and drags it inside. Using the box like a crutch she makes her way slowly back to the sofa.

Her ankle now throbbing intensely but her mind is distracted. She opens the small box first retrieving the Advil and the pain killers and also the air cast stirrup. First things she does it takes 2 Advil tablets and 2 pain killers and washes it down with a mouth full of water. She un-boxes the ankle stirrup and undoes the Velcro straps. She inspects its briefly working out how it goes. She opens the two sides apart and then hoops the heel strap over her foot and pulls it up under the sole of her heel. She presses the two halve against the inner and outer ankle and she can feel the softness from the gel inlays. She wraps the Velcro straps around the leg and stirrup and tightens then up. “Ahh that feels good,” she exclaims to her self. Instantly she feels how supportive the stirrup is.

She continues to un-box the crutches, retrieving the two aluminium forearm crutches out of the box. She briefly reads the instructions on how to set the height and then adjusts them as required. She uses the crutches for support and slowly pulls her self up into a standing position. She places her arms through the crutch supports and grasps the handles tight. Having never used them before, she starts slow with very small steps as she gets a feel for it. After about 5 mins of crutching around the lounge she feels more confident with them. Relieved that she now has some mobility, she is also happy with the support the stirrup offers her and how much less painful it is to crutch rather than hopping. Her ankle starts to remind her that it’s not ready for any big journeys just yet, as the pain starts to radiate from having it hanging down. She positions herself back onto the sofa with the ice pack for another hour or so.

She decides she needs to get Rosie back into the barn so Lacie starts the journey out to the paddock on her crutches. Still getting used to them she moves slowly holding her right ankle up behind her. She manages to get Rosie back into the barn and ensures she has enough food and water. Then retreats back to the house. She feels much better on the crutches now and starts to get back into a bit of a normal routine. Preparing some dinner, then showering and ending the night in her bed. Although more mobile she still has to take a rest every hour or so to let the pain settle but the pills have helped with the pain as well.  

That night she gets a decent amount of sleep. The pain killers working for most of the night and her ankle secured in the stirrup has preventing her from inadvertently twisting it through the night. She gets her self up and makes her way down stairs to start her daily routine.

After having a few days off work she needs to get back into the swing of things, and makes herself a coffee before retreating to the office to begin. During the day she elevates her foot on a chair and uses the ice pack once or twice. That evening she removes the stirrup and bandage before showering and takes a look at her ankle. The bruising below the ankle has darken considerably and her toes have become more puffy as well. There is also some bruising pooling at the base of her small toe.

The next few days are much of the same, mainly working and staying indoors with the occasional venture outside to check on Rosie. The swelling has reduced a little mainly around the lower leg and above the ankle but the remainder of her inner and outer ankle and foot are still quite swollen. She attempts some massage on her ankle that night before turning into bed but is unable to apply mush pressure as its still to painful.

Now 10 days from the injury, the ankle is looking somewhat better the swelling has halved and the bruising is slowly starting to fade. Still having not attempted to bare any weight she gets around on her crutches while she completes her morning routine. She then decides she wants to try some weight on her ankle. So finding some space in the kitchen she gently places her right foot down flat on the floor. Her ankle is very stiff so her foot placement is more forward and out to the right as opposed to a normal step. Using he crutches for support she transfers a little weight to her ankle. To her surprise she can actually manage a heavy limp with the support of her crutches. But her ankle feels extremely stiff.

Throughout the day she tests it a bit more occasionally trying a few steps here and there. It seems to improve a little over the day, which is encouraging for Lacie. The following few days it continues to improve until day 16 when she now only uses one crutch and is managing a steady limp. The swelling has continued to reduce and she has been able to massage it deeply the last few days also improving the reduction of fluid in the ankle. By day 18 she is walking with out the crutches. The ankle swelling has reduced considerably and much of her normal foot definition has returned. There is some minor discolouration still evident below the ankle and near the base of her toes but largely it has all gone. She decides to head into town to pick up some supplies now that she is able to walk around although still limping. She continues to wear the brace and bandage with some ballerina flats to protect her soles.

After a day of shopping and walking around her ankle has become quite painful. The drive home to her house is difficult as the pain continues to increase. Thinking that she may have over done it so early on. When she returns home she unpacks the car and retreats to the sofa with an ice pack. Propping her foot up she removes the brace and bandage and finds that her ankle has swelled up a bit again.  She spends the rest of the day resting on the sofa with the ice packs and some gently massage.

The next few days she continues to take it easy only walking minimal distances to ensure her ankle doesn’t swell up again.

Weeks turn to months and everything goes back to normal. She continues into her normal routines. Her right ankle fully healed now albeit obviously much weaker she takes a bit more caution when doing activities outside.  Occasionally her right ankle will roll out a little and give her pain for a day or two but nothing major.

The following Autumn Lacie prepares the barn for the winter stocking up on some hay she had delivered. She stacks them in the corner, nice and neat and interlocking. She stacks them like a set of stairs several rows high. She climbs onto the bales slowly dragging another behind her and places it on top.

Lacie stops for a moment.
“Hello is anyone there?”

Lacie hears the person calling but doesn’t recognise the voice. As she slowly makes her way down the haystack, the voice sounds again.

“Hello”, noticeably closer.

She turns her head and replies, “Hello I’m in the barn.”

As she replies to the voice she steps down with her right leg. Then her leg slips between the haystacks and she goes tumbling backwards. She extends her left leg to try and break her fall. As her left foot hits the ground toes first, it buckles outwards going forward and sideways over her ankle.

“Arrrrgghhh,” Lacie screams.

As her body weight goes over on her left ankle, she feels her ankle ligaments tighten. First there is a searing pain forward of the outer ankle followed by a loud “POP” and then as her ankle continues to roll outwards she feels the same pain shooting from below the ankle bone. Just as she thinks her ankle will hold, she feels a snap and another “POP” echoes from her ankle. She tumbles down to the ground, lading on some loose hay.

“Arrgggghh, fuck fuck,” she curses out loudly.

As she looks up this man is running towards her. He looks tall and handsome and is what she describes as a new age cowboy.  Wearing the cowboy boots, the hat, denim jeans and long sleeve shirt.

Her attention quickly returns to her ankle, as she grasps her left ankle with both her hands. The man reaches Lacie and takes a knee next to her legs.
“Miss are you ok? Sorry if I startled you?”

“No that’s ok you didn’t startle me I’m just clumsy,” She giggles briefly before her attention turns back to her ankle.
“Arrggh, it’s starting to swell,” Lacie exclaims.
Straight away she knows what has happened and what to do.

“Please can you remove my shoe and sock before it swells to much?”
The cowboy replies, “ yes of course miss.”
He repositions himself and helps Lacie to straighten her left leg out in front of her. She is wearing her riding boots, which is good as they will be easy to remove. He reaches up the inner side of her left boot and runs the zipper all the way down. He reaches inside the boot with his left hand and holds her leg firmly and with his right he slides the boot off gently.

Lacie squirms as the movement sends agonizing pain radiating up her leg.
“Arrgghhh, god, ooohh ahhhhh,” She takes a few deep breaths. He exposes her long white sock and places the boot on the ground next to them. The swelling is already starting to show on the outer side of her ankle.

“Please get the sock off quickly, I can feel the swelling growing.”

The cowboy acknowledges her request and starts to pull the sock down her leg until it is bunched up just above her ankle. He slides his fingers into the sock and holds it tightly as he works it over her heel.

“Arrrgghh,” Lacie moans as the sock works past her heel and ankle.

He slips the rest of the sock off exposing her pretty foot and toes.

‘Here it comes,” Lacie exclaims as she feels the pressure begin to build on the outer side of her ankle. She watches as her ankle instantly starts to grow. 30 seconds after the sock is removed there is a huge lump on the outer side of her left ankle. Roughly the size of a large orange it completely engulfs the outer ankle.

The man decides he should introduce himself, “ Hi I’m Dean, I have just purchased the property next door and I wanted to come over and introduce my self.”

Lacie blushes thinking to herself what a goose she is. This handsome man comes over to say hello and she tumbles down the haystack.

“Hi Dean, nice to meet you. I’m Lacie.”
Feeling rather embarrassed she asks if he would help her into the house.

“Of course,” he replies.

She gathers her boot and sock in her hand and Dean slowly helps her to stand up.
“I need to try bar some weight to make sure it’s not broken.”

Dean supports her by placing his arm around her back as Lacie places her left foot down slowly. She takes a step holding onto to Dean tightly, and then another. She grimaces as the pain starts to radiate fiercely up her leg. Her ankle is extremely weak and feels like it wants to give out on her as she tries a third step. Happy with her ability to bare some weight she is confident that it’s not broken.

“Yup as I thought, another grade 3 sprain.”

As Dean picks her up in his strong arms, she can’t help but think maybe this is a sign, maybe he was sent to rescue me. Maybe he was sent to take care of me this time. As the pain becomes overwhelming she finds herself slowly fainting in his arms, maybe this will lead to something more. Her eyes close as she passes out.

The End