August had its moments of expecting the unexpected.
August certainly had its ups and downs. It was full of the regular and mundane (primarily working my day job) and a few moments of fun. And then I got to check something off my “bucket list” of life: I broke a bone. I’d never broken any bones or injured myself much at all in the past, aside from day to day clumsiness. I didn’t really know what to expect…I mean, how can you prepare for something like that, anyway? Well, I’ll get to how it all happened momentarily.
I’ll approach this edition of Life of Lauren chronologically. After lacking much of a social life for the first half of the month (I worked some overtime to bank some more hours for upcoming trips), I had three important events all in one day! Lindsay came over to my place and we hosted the first Inspire To Wander live chat for our travel community.
Next, we headed to downtown Toronto to attend a couple of events. First, I brought Lindsay as my guest to a media event at the newly opened Fresh Restaurant, Fresh on Front. I’ve dined at every other Fresh in the city, but this new establishment is much larger, features a huge bar with specialty cocktails, and new menu items. Lindsay and I sampled quite a few cocktails (which were delicious) and several menu items (slider burgers, tacos, poutine, onion rings…all were fantastic). I loved the ambiance of the new restaurant and can’t wait to check it out for a full meal.
After that, we stumbled (yes, after a few cocktails, stumbled) over to a restaurant near Harbourfront Centre for the monthly Wanderful Toronto meetup. Wanderful is an amazing community for female travelers, and there are dozens of chapters in cities around the world. Lindsay heads up the Toronto chapter and I was super pumped to attend my first meetup. I met several ladies from the city who love travel, and it was fabulous to connect over a beer. Hopefully I can attend the next one!
On the third weekend of August, Justin and I took a trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was our first time in the province and we were super excited for our media trip with Winnipeg Tourism and Travel Manitoba. We had an exciting itinerary, which included a bison safari in the prairies, relaxing at a Nordic spa, exploring a historic market, and so much more. If you’re interested, I summed it all up in an article, Things to Do in Winnipeg: A Couples Getaway Guide. We loved the city and can’t wait to return someday to spend more time there.
On our first day in Winnipeg, I wanted to take one final look in an establishment to snap a quick picture before we left. As I was walking into the building, I stepped onto a metal door frame on the ground. I’m not sure if it was secured properly, but the piece of metal flexed when I stepped on it. I heard a loud metallic popping sound beneath my foot. SNAP. As I heard that noise, I felt pain surge up my ankle as my leg gave way. I fell to the ground.
At first, I couldn’t separate the jarring noise of the metal snapping with the pain I felt in my ankle. It took a few moments to realize that the sound wasn’t actually something snapping in my ankle, but the sound of the door frame. I was laying on the ground in agony, grabbing my ankle. As the sound of the metal was so loud and I’m sure I cried out in pain, several people came to my rescue. Justin was still outside, waiting for me to take that picture, but he was soon right there to help. An employee helped me over to a table as I couldn’t walk. He returned with a big bag of ice and an Advil for my pain. After I rested my ankle for a while, I hobbled to the door and we called a taxi to take us back to the hotel.
Once we were back at the hotel room, my ankle wasn’t looking any better. It was extremely swollen and bruised. I will spare you the sight of it. I have a couple of pictures, but they’re pretty scary. At this point, I assumed that I had sprained it quite badly because I couldn’t put any weight on it. That night, I kept it elevated and put ice on it frequently.
In the morning, my ankle looked just as bad, if not worse. I have never seen my skin turn so many different shades of purple, blue, and green. My ankle looked more like a small baseball than something that should be attached to my body. I got in touch with my contact at the tourism board, and she became my hero. She gave me crutches to use that were perfect for my height and brought over a bandage to wrap my foot.
Maybe I’m determined not to let an injury hold me back, maybe I’m stubborn, or maybe I’m just stupid (take your pick?)…but I continued on with the trip. I ate a delicious sushi lunch at The Forks. Justin and I took a boat tour along the river. Then, we soaked at the Nordic spa. Yes, it was painful. Yes, it was difficult (mostly because it was hard to get around on the crutches). But, I still had a wonderful time and it certainly made for a memorable trip.
Have you ever flown with an injury? It was an interesting experience! When I arrived at the airport, I was allowed to use a wheelchair and Justin pushed me around. Thankfully, we flew with only our backpacks and not too much stuff, so it wasn’t terribly difficult to get around. At security, I had to get a full pat down in my chair. I appreciate that they are very thorough in this check for everyone’s safety. It took about 10 minutes in total to get completely cleared through security.
Then, we waited at the gate. Our flight attendant pre-cleared us for boarding and we boarded the plane first. There were about five other people in wheelchairs on our flight. Justin and I were seated in one of the exit aisles (we had booked these seats ahead of time). I was concerned that they might not think I was fit enough to sit in the exit aisle, but thankfully, they didn’t change my seat or make me move. I was a little concerned that my ankle might swell during the flight or I could wind up with a blood clot. For extra precautions, I took an Asperin before the flight and I didn’t have any issues.
When I returned home, I kept my leg elevated, ankle wrapped, and put more ice on the injury. The next day, Justin and I were working together, so I got him to drive me to work. I probably should have just gone to the hospital. But, I wanted to talk to my boss in person and sort out what the next steps were for a possible disability leave. It was pouring rain outside and I almost slipped once while using my crutches. It was a close call!
Finally, four days later, I went to the hospital where they determined that my ankle was not sprained, but it was fractured. I really thought it was a sprain, but it was actually broken. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get fully treated at the urgent care centre, but I was fitted with a temporary cast. I’d never worn a cast before, and what a pain that was to wear. I was still hopping around on crutches, and I had the most awkward bath ever keeping my leg up in the air. The next morning, at 6:45am, I had an appointment to see the orthopedic surgeon at a different hospital.
The orthopedic surgeon brought much better news. I didn’t need to have a cast; I have to wear a walking boot while my ankle heals. As my right ankle was the injured one, I wouldn’t be able to drive for the next four weeks. This means that I had to take a short term disability leave from work. For the rest of August (and continuing into September), I haven’t left the apartment and I’ve spent most of my time on the couch. I’ve worked a lot on the blog, on photo editing, and catching up on Netflix. With that said, healing is my number one priority. This means a lot of relaxing, sleeping, and eating properly.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR TRAVEL
Sadly, we had to cancel our upcoming trip to Florida for Universal Studios and Disney World. I feel really bad because it was Justin’s birthday trip and now we are unable to go until possibly December. However, I am still going to TBEX (a blogging conference) in the Finger Lakes in September as Lindsay has agreed to drive me (yay!). I’ll be the one wearing the giant walking boot if you end up going – please come over and introduce yourself!
I have to wear the boot until September 20th and then I’ll have my follow-up appointment with the surgeon. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to lose the boot by then and ease back into regular life.
THIS MONTH, I’M OBSESSED WITH…
For the most part, I haven’t been obsessed with anything that I can’t see beyond the walls of my apartment as I’m pretty much stuck here! Needless to say, I’ve watched a lot of Netflix.
- TV Shows: Better Call Saul, Catfish, 13 Reasons Why, Orange is the New Black, and countless repeats of The Office and Parks and Rec.
- Knitting. I’ve worked on quite a few new hats as I’ve opened my Etsy Shop back up. Stay tuned for some new goodies, once I’m able to actually take photos of them.
- My cats. Yes, I’m always obsessed with Chickpea and Tiny, but they’ve been my best buddies the last couple of weeks. They are super happy that I’m home with them everyday as they’re getting so many extra cuddles and snuggles.
- Planning New Zealand. I’m still gearing up for our New Zealand trip in November, starting to sort out car rentals and accommodation. I’m not sure how much the trip will change with my fractured ankle. I’ll have to play it by ear. Fingers crossed that I’m all healed up by then!