I had planned to edit all day today. I have three weddings and a portrait session to finish this week. The bad news: I didn’t get to do an iota of work. The good news: I’ll have plenty of time to catch up as I am pretty much not allowed to leave my house for the next week.
It’s easy to forget how physically demanding it is to be a photographer. We are often contorted in strange positions for long periods of time, or climbing stairs/rocks/walls to get the shot we want. Not to mention we are literally on our feet for a solid eight to fourteen hours on wedding days. This weekend my body reminded me that I shouldn’t take it for granted when I suffered my first photography related injury.
I don’t even really know what happened, to be honest. I didn’t suffer a major fall or twist my leg in some obvious way. I slipped a little, not a big deal, kept on shooting. But when I walked away from my clients yesterday evening to head for home, I knew something was seriously wrong with my right foot. I have had my share of sprained ankles – I played softball for a good portion of my youth, afterall – but I had never felt anything remotely this painful in my foot before, and I was convinced it was fractured.
When I got home I had to make a decision… a New York City ER or suck it up and see a doctor in the morning. I didn’t feel up to sitting in a waiting room all night where I would certainly be a low priority, so John propped me on the sofa, wrapped my foot in ice, and made me comfort food for dinner (tuna steak, mac and cheese, and potatoes)… I sure did marry a good one.
This morning I headed out for what would be a day of being bounced from doctor to doctor without anyone actually listening to me. Apparently if you don’t want to go to the hospital, it’s kind of an ordeal to get a foot fixed. The first doctor told me she was 99% sure it was a sprained ankle and that I should just go home, take some motrin and rest. I explained that it wasn’t actually my ankle that hurt, but she just shrugged it off – “It’s a sprained ankle. You’ll be fine.” She reluctantly gave me a referral to the radiologist… who apparently also thought my ankle was the problem. I told her, no no no, it’s my foot. “It says on this referral that it’s your ankle.” “I know – the other doctor thinks it’s my ankle, but it’s my foot. Seriously. My foot.” “Ok.” She then x-rayed my ankle.
After the doctor analyzed the x-rays, the radiologist brought them out to me, “The doctor says you just have a sprained ankle – it’s not fractured.” “Ok… what about my foot?” “He didn’t see any fractures on the x-ray.” I left, walked around the corner to my house, and opened the envelope to find some lovely x-rays of my ankle. At this point, I may have had a meltdown.
I’m not really sure why I couldn’t get anyone to properly examine my foot. I really have no idea why my ankle became the focal point today. I was speaking English, explaining my symptoms clearly, even pointing directly to the areas on my foot where I had been feeling horrible, stabbing, pulling pains for the last day. After my sobbing meltdown in the living room that frightened my cats, I called an orthopedic doctor, whose lovely receptionist kindly informed me he could see me on July 28th. After more gnashing of teeth, I finally convinced another doctor to see me immediately, and I hobbled out the door.
The last doctor was nothing short of awesome. “Your ankle is clearly fine. Your foot is seriously messed up.” Ok, those may not have been his exact words, but pretty much. After more x-rays and tests – OF MY FOOT! GO DR. DIXON! – he pronounced that I had no fractures or broken bones, but that I had definitely damaged some ligaments. He wanted to put me in a cast of some kind, but I have weddings to shoot, so I convinced him to give me a walking cast/boot thing instead. Which I will now model for you…
Sexy, no? No. I’ll be rocking this bad boy for at least the next three weeks. I feel like Frankenstein. I am also pretty much walking like Frankenstein.
He gave me anti-inflammatory pills for the swelling, and asked that I not leave the house unless I absolutely have to. Luckily my next shoot is not until next Monday, so hopefully I’ll be feeling better. Although I may go a little stir-crazy. I have another check up next Monday morning, and if the swelling and pain have dissipated, then I can start to resume normal activity (although I’ll still have to wear the boot a few more weeks). If I’m still in as much pain as I am right now, then I’ll have to have something along the lines of an MRI to find out if my ligament is actually torn. Which would be a whole new can of worms, but we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.
So… that’s that. I’m just glad I finally got someone to listen to me and treat my foot. I’m sure I’ll be feeling better by my next wedding, and I don’t want any of my clients to worry. My doctor said as long as I rest and take my meds, he thinks I’ll be fine. Yes, I may have to shoot your wedding with the boot on, but don’t worry, I will be there and I will still rock it out no matter what.