Busted, Bruised… Broken?: What 140 Pounds in Motion Can Do to an Ankle


Riding twelve miles on the roof of an over-stuffed jeep: $.60

Jumping down off roof of jeep and snapping ankle ligaments: FREE!

Being carried around by extremely tall and strong boyfriend: also FREE!

X-ray in the most dilapidated hospital I’ve ever been to: $2.75

Flirting with hot x-ray tech: another FREEBIE!

Recovering in the Honeymoon Suite for five days: $45

Finally knowing where to direct your rage about the incredibly rude, late-night crashing and banging: PRICELESS.

The overstuffed jeepney-bus-thingy. And my ankle ligaments are just waiting to be snapped.

About 9 p.m. on our first night at Swiss Star was when it all began. We hadn’t necessarily wanted to stay here. I busted my ankle outside a resort with “no vacancy” jumping off public transport headed in the wrong direction. We thumbed a ride back toward town and took the first room we found. “No,” they told us, “we don’t have anything cheaper or smaller than the Honeymoon Suite available. We’re sure.”

Not really in a position to argue (later it would turn out that our suspicions had some merit), Pat carried me across the threshold and deposited me on the bed where I would mostly remain for the next five days.

My ankle a few hours after the initial rest, ice and elevation.

It was hard to tell who’s who at this place. It seemed there were hotel guests, restaurant patrons, residents who lived somewhere on the premises, and staff. Having arrived on a holiday, the restaurant declared we were the last customers and locked up as we finished our last bites of dinner. They disappeared and then it was just us and the crickets chirping outside our little Honeymoon Suite.

Until 9 p.m.

Someone in the courtyard… well, I don’t know what they did exactly. But I had plenty of time to contemplate metaphors as they did it ten or eleven times in about three hours. A heavy, hard book being thrown against a wall? Furniture being tossed off the roof? A baseball being rocketed full-force into the stone steps? The only thing I knew for sure: it was LOUD. Shockingly, disturbingly, RUDELY, INFURIATINGLY LOUD. And it was right outside our room.

Where I laid my head while pondering the rude racket outside our door.

Pat went to the door and started undoing the locks to investigate. “No, no, no!” I yell-whispered, my wild-imagination rapidly envisioning the gang of thugs waiting outside – curiosity as their weapon of choice. (Not likely on an island with a 40 mile long perimeter road.) So he shrugged and we returned to our books.

And then it happened again. But this time ABOVE OUR ROOM. Oh, no you didn’t! Is there an apartment above us?! Are you serious! A resort that rents the top floor? And is too small to keep night staff to mediate issues like this? Okay, this is just unbelievably RUDE. It’s nearly midnight, and this racket is still going on. Oh, that is IT. We are asking for a noise-discount in the morning. This is out of control.

The alcove in our room.

When Pat went to order us breakfast in the morning, I reminded him about the noise issue as he ducked out the door. Ten minutes later, he came back. Laughing.

Mangoes. Before Pat had even said word one, the cheerful owner inquired about our night and asked him if the mangoes had bothered us. You know. The ones that are blown out of the tree by the wind and land with a sickening crack on the stones. Or echo for a full five seconds after they torpedo into the tin roof. And then clatter their way to a final resting spot.

Mangoes. ♣

My love of mangoes was not harmed by this experience. Click for photos of the nothing that I did for five days of rest, ice, compress and elevate.

p.s. I’m publishing this nearly two weeks post injury.  No, it wasn’t broken.  And the update is: Still bruised.  Still swells up if I try to walk around without a compression wrap.  Still extremely loose joint. Still can’t balance on the  foot.  Still can’t walk normally down a set of stairs. Still can’t walk faster than a granny.  Still doing self-prescribed PT program.  Still smiling.

p.p.s. The hospital – omg.  This is one of those situations where you choose to have a good attitude.  Crumbling, dilapidated… just barely getting by.  The doctor evaluates me while I sit in a wheel chair next to the reception counter.  Pat wheels me to the xray window where they mark a few things on my Rx, then send me to the cashier to pay first.  Then we go into the xray room – home to a machine that had to be built somewhere circa 1950.  The faded mustard-colored paint is peeling and flaking off the concrete walls.  The room is full of junk – dusty cardboard boxes overflowing with old records.  Jugs of developing fluid on the floor.  Pieces of old furniture.  Crumpled blinds covered in dust.  We’re talking perfect setting for a horror film.  Complete with the spooky wisps of daylight creeping in through the dirty curtains.  I crawl up onto the creaky table, am given a heavy vest to drape over my body that looks like it was made from the saddle of a 1800’s outlaw, and then rotate my foot to three different positions while the tech hides behind the lead wall and snaps photos.  Two minutes later, we hold the xray up in front of the window to examine it for fractures.

Before getting up on the table...


While we wait for the doctor to come give the okay, the power goes out.  Brown out.  And who knows when it will come back on.  Lucky timing that it happened before the x-ray!  Doc says I’m good to go, walks us to the lobby, and instructs Pat to buy an elastic bandage at the pharmacy in town.  I try and ask if that’s necessary or can I just keep using my scarf.  He doesn’t understand, so I make him stick his hand out and I start wrapping his forearm like I would my foot.  He laughs and sends us packing.  The (hot!) xray tech makes a production of wheeling me outside to the street that overlooks the ocean where he claps his hands high over his head and yells “Tricycle!” to get someone to come give me a ride.  I’m cracking up the whole time.  Hilarious!



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