Last Tuesday, I was playing pick-up basketball with a group of guys that I had not played with in three years. They all looked exactly the same, so I had no reason to think that anything would be different. At 38, I was almost the youngest guy there.
It was a really cold night. I arrived late and I was the 10th man for a 5-on-5 game. They told me I couldn’t warm up. Not wanting to look weak, I went right in without touching a ball. (We usually touch balls to warm up.)
Five minutes in, I went up for a rebound and tapped it away from the guy that was boxing me out, whose name is Larry. His name implies clumsiness. When I came down, I accelerated toward the ball as it was going out of bounds. I felt a pull on my heel, Larry must have caught the back of it when he came down and stumbled toward me. Suddenly a sharp pain, and I knew what it meant: I was probably going to start a blog.
I went down hard. When I explained where the pain was, my fellow players made a face that was a cross between "I’m so glad I’m not that guy that’s on the floor" and "I wish I hadn’t eaten that cheeseburger".
On Thursday I saw a doctor, who did a Thompson’s test. She made a different face, one of dread and sorrow. "You may have ruptured your Achilles." I said, "Ah. OK." She gave me a big inflatable boot that reminded me of my old Reebok Pumps, except for one massive improvement: velcro!
She ordered an MRI, which ended up being super loud. It showed a full rupture.
This whole time, I was away from home. Which meant I had to fly back to California and go through the airport in a wheelchair for the first time. I highly recommend it… You get to cut all the lines, and people make faces like "I wish I was that guy in the wheelchair" and "I wonder if that guy wants or needs my cheeseburger".
I saw an orthopedic surgeon the next Monday. He walked in and immediately said "Felt like someone stepped on your heel, didn’t it?" I called Larry to apologize.
Which brings us to the present: Surgery at 2pm today, 8 days after the injury. The anesthesiologist said no eating or drinking after 7:30am, so I had a cheeseburger and a bottle of Scotch as soon as I woke up (7:28am).
Wish me luck…
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