This Boot’s Not Made For Walking…

It’s four weeks today since I fell and broke the ankle. It feels like four months. I am absolutely hating all the sitting around. For the first two weeks, I had to keep the leg elevated all the time which really kept me stuck in the chair. After the first two weeks, I had the cast off and the stitches out, now the leg is in a boot. At least with the boot, I can take it off to wash and give the leg a little massage. Sleeping in the bulky boot is a challenge, though. The ankle doesn’t hurt anymore and I don’t have to keep it elevated, but I can’t put weight on it, yet. I’ve been doing exercises on the floor so I don’t get too out of shape. I’m used to walking/jogging 3-4 miles a day. I will say this… I’m definitely going to have more upper body strength when this is all through!

I have, however, been making good use of my time. I’m doing some copy editing for another writer and I have started [restarted] working on my WWI novel. I’ve got a series of sketches planned, two of which are completed and one which is in progress. And of course I am reading plenty of interesting research material.

I guess if you try to look on the bright side, this injury happened in January when the weather is miserable and the days are short. By spring time, I should be healed up enough to go outside and enjoy the sunshine and milder temperatures. Well, maybe not sunshine so much… it does rain all the darn time over here. Nonetheless, I have two weeks to go till my next follow up appointment and I’m hoping for a good report. In the meantime, I’m getting around the best I can:

The Broken Ankle, Surgery and Other Medical Adventures

My new year is not off to a good start. Tuesday morning I fell on my stairs and broke my ankle. The ligaments were also badly damaged and I needed surgery. That happened on Thursday and they say it went well. There is a plate and some screws holding everything together in there. I have to keep my leg elevated above my heart for the next two weeks. I anticipate serious boredom. I guess that pile of reading material I have stocked up will get consumed.

When I feel up to it, I’ll tell you more of the story. The hospital experience was unique and pretty humorous at times. AND the care I’ve received has been wonderful.

Signing out from The Galway Clinic…

The Irish Way

I’ve spent my life to this point in a very stressed out, tough, angry part of the country. [You know I love you, Philly, but it’s true.] This is not to say the Irish never get upset or angry, of course they do. But it’s usually at the government, corruption, inequity, persecutors of people and of course the rival football or rugby club. As long as I stay outraged at wrongdoing and don’t start cheering for County Mayo, I’ll fit right in.

The village I live in is small and as a result, everyone knows one another. Even a transplant like me. For instance, the other day in taking my daily walk, I traversed a part of Main Street and as I did, I encountered the postman. I intended to wave hello and keep going but he stopped me and said, “Hiya, hold on I’ve got your post for you.” Now, mind you, I was nowhere near my house and I’ve only met the man twice in the time we’ve lived here. Granted, “the American woman” probably stands out in the small crowd, but already I’m familiar. That’s a wonderful thing. My mail carrier in Bucks County never addressed me by name and frequently mis-delivered my mail even after 14 years.

Riding the bus to and from Galway is always a pleasurable education, too. All the neighbors catch up on the news of their families and the state of the world. “Hiya, Mary. How’re ye keeping? Ah, grand, that’s grand. God bless ye.” The trip home is like being on the school bus —the driver, who everybody also knows— stops at all the old ladies’ houses so they don’t have so far to walk. “This next house on the left, Gerry, if ye don’t mind. Thanks a million.” How cool is that? It was a miracle if any of my Bucks County neighbors waved hello as I walked by. I only knew their names because their mail was so frequently mis-delivered.

And the local radio station: Galway Bay FM has its own funny charm. It’s always playing on the bus so I get to hear it often enough. They have call-in contests and the DJ always finds some connection to the caller. “Hi, we’ve got Julie from Loughrea on the line. How’re ye, Julie? Now, where do ye live in Loughrea? Northside? Say, do ye know the McGettigans? They’re two houses down? Ah, they’re great pals of mine. Went to school with Jamie, don’t ye know…” Eventually they get to the call-in contest question. It takes forever, but it’s pretty hilarious.

The radio also gives a rundown of the local death notices, the subsequent viewing location and the funeral arrangements. And on the other side of surreal they also provide the television lineup for RTE One, including plot synopses and teaser/trailers for each program. All I can say about that is, it’s no wonder everyone goes to the pub. Now, since I’m five hours or more ahead of you folks back home, I’m off to have a pint!