Tuesday, June 16, 2020

So where WAS Blechta last Tuesday?

by Rick Blechta

Last Tuesday the entire planet wobbled on its orbit, the population looked up and wondered. Well, actually, I don’t think anyone batted an eye and planet earth went its merry way as it usually does, but it would be nice if at least one or two readers of Type M wondered why I hadn’t posted anything.

The reason is simple: I was laid up on a bed of pain and here is the sad story of how it came about. The news isn't all bad, however. My accident has also led me to re-examine how I write about the physical wounds I dole out in my novels and how my characters respond.

Last week while wearing sandals and moving too fast cutting around the front of my car as my wife waited behind the wheel, I stepped on the tiniest of pebbles and rolled my ankle. Falling to my right, I bounced off our wooden fence and finally came to rest on my left side under the front bumper of our car. My right ankle was already screaming at me as well as my left thigh where I’d landed squarely on a big wad of keys in my pocket. I couldn’t have moved if my life depended on it.

Probably everyone reading this has sprained their ankle at some time, maybe both, maybe numerous times, so let’s assume we all know how much this injury hurts.

My wife and son helped me into the house and upstairs to the bedroom. Ice was applied and I lay there in utter misery for two days as my foot swelled to glorious proportions. I couldn’t lie on my left side. I couldn’t lie on my right side. Even with over-the-counter pain killers, I couldn’t sleep. And I certainly couldn’t walk without someone supporting me, not even the eight steps to the bathroom.

And was I pissed! Literally, in one second, my life got turned upside down at least for the near future.

As far as injuries go, it’s relatively minor. No bones were broken, no tendons shredded, I just had a really bad sprain. “Stay off it,” I was told. I didn’t need much persuading.

However because of all this, I didn’t realize it was Tuesday until it was nearly Wednesday. It’s easy to lose track of what day it is during the pandemic, and my sprain made this even worse.

So that’s the reason my byline didn’t appear last Tuesday.

One good thing did come out of this mishap, though. As fate would have it, the scene on which I was working when I had my fall happens to be one where one of my characters is injured in a car accident. Lying there with throbbing ankle and opposite leg (big bruise where the keys were), I realized just how much I had minimized the injury my character sustains in the crash. I had her up and around in a couple of days, with a following chapter where she’d be right as rain again.

It. Would. Not. Happen.

Now, one week after my fateful journey to the ground, with my right foot glorious shades of purple, red, and yellow, I can hobble about, and I’m faced with a few months of wearing an ankle brace whenever I’m out and about. There ain’t no way I’m ready to go out dancing anytime soon, covid-19 or not.

The result is that I’m having to re-think everything I’d planned for that section of my novel. Either I have to take my character’s injury and the resulting period of healing, or I have to allow her to have a miraculous escape.

Right now I’m leaning towards the miraculous escape. I wouldn’t want to put her through what I’m dealing with right now.


Susan D said...

Oh poor Rick. :^(

You're right. It's all copy.

Sybil Johnson said...

I wondered where you were! I figured you were busy. Sorry to hear of your injury. I've sprained plenty of ankles, but nothing like this. At least you got some ideas for your writing out of it.

Donis Casey said...

That sound horrible, Rick! I hope you're dancing soon. The thing about injuries and sometimes even illnesses is that it can happen so fast! You get up in the morning and put on your socks and eat breakfast, and suddenly everything changes and you're in a new reality. Like Susan said, though, it's all copy in the end.

Unknown said...

That ankle looks really ..... interesting. Poor Rick. Try arnica on it or in pill form.

Aline Templeton said...

So sorry, Rick. I do hope you're moving more comfortably now. But it's all grist to the mill!