Thursday, November 8, 2012

Differing Medical Opinions

Right, you remember how I was saying that I’m not particularly good at football?  SOCCER, I mean soccer.  Well, that was an understatement.  I’m atrocious.  I’m not even good at being bad.  This time when I went down, I was not as graceful as the last.

Do you know how sometimes when you are watching soccer someone randomly falls down even though no one is around?  Like they are trying to pull a foul?  Maybe it’s my Italian blood, but that’s exactly what happened to me.  I was trying to just jump in the air and change direction, but I landed horribly on my right foot.  Collapsed like a ton of bricks.  Which was technically a change of direction.  It hurt like hell.

But it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as when my good Cameroonian buddy came running over to try to help out.  First, there was a slight communication difficulty as to where I hurt myself.  He thought knee when I tried to convey ankle and manhandled the shit out of my foot trying to straighten my leg.  Somehow through the pain I was able to communicate ankle, unfortunately they have the practice here of trying to massage out the pain.  I spat out profanities faster than ever before in my life.  The French ones were sadly lacking in force and resigned to things like “shit”, “stop”, “go away” and the like.  I was more colorful with the English.  There were moments when he would stop and we’d stare at each other as I tried to catch my breath.  Then he’d start again.  I honestly thought about how nice it would be to pass out and exasperatedly yelled “will someone who knows French please kindly tell him to fuck off?”  He finally did and I lay panting on the ground with my head swimming.

So that was fun.

I’m not really knowledgeable when it comes to first aid.  I know you elevate and rest the area, but not really why.  Maybe massaging it immediately after could help.  Pretty much every Cameroonian who talked to me about it said that it should be massaged.  Course they also said that I probably wouldn’t walk for at least a month or two.  Luckily I was promptly carried to our training center porch and had Americans who do know first aid pamper me.  I was a most humorous patient laughing and cracking jokes between my yelps of pain.  And most of my demands were for things like chocolate.

I’ve since been to see our onsite nurse.  I’ve a nifty splint and some cream that stops it from hurting and may do something about swelling.  Though not much as it has been a day and my foot still kinda looks like a balloon.  We are all relatively convinced that it’s not broken.  Course the local X-ray machine is down and when told this the nurse followed up with “so, I hope it’s not fractured”.  Pretty sure from the way I fell and my current range of motion it was just some pulling muscles, ligaments, or other optional pieces.

Probably the most fun part was trying to deal with my family (and neighbors or just general people who happened to be walking by and came in to see the commotion).  They were not OK with me waiting to see our nurse in the morning.  They called the Peace Corps a couple times to argue with them and even tried to take me to the hospital themselves on the back of a motorcycle.  To plead our case, I tried to explain to them that while I could in fact walk on it, that was a bad idea and could make it worse.  I wasn’t actually sure I could walk on it, but I hoped that would be enough.  It wasn’t and in desperation I decided to try it out.  I managed a few steps well enough and felt confident enough to support my whole weight on it.  This is obviously stupid and you should not do this.  At this point though, they had me half terrified and I figured if I failed at least I’d have a good reason to be drug to the hospital.  Anyway, it worked out fine and they let me be.  Well, minus the talking to host pops still gave me about how mad he was I didn’t call him immediately.  It’s good to feel loved.