Moving (or: How I Learned to Sprain My Ankle and Just Keep Going)

It’s quite late at night. I should be sleeping but the pain in my leg is just enough to keep me from rest. So here I lay with the glow of my phone draped in the darkness of our new bedroom.

At first I thought I’d broken it. I’ve sprained it before but not like this. I hit that bottom step of what’s now known as our “old place” like a bat out of hell, and at the wrong angle. All of my 216lbs an the g-forces I created by hitting that step at such an angle came crashing down on my left foot, which had decided to roll inward. It was if the split second conversation between my brain and my ankle went like this:

Me: Hey ankle!
Ankle: Hey Ben!
Me: We’re gonna do this thing ok?
Ankle: Nope!

I felt a pop just before the pain hit. Not a normal pop like my joints do anyway, this was a crazy pop, nearly a crack. I hit the floor and was in so much pain I didn’t even know what to do with myself besides the decision I shouldn’t touch it. I also cursed quite loudly and my father in law came down to see hat had happened. His first instinct was to see if there was blood or a bone sticking out, cause if that’s the case he “can’t handle that shit” and an ambulance would be summoned.

I looked at it a few times over the next 30 seconds and it looked perfectly fine, just another ankle. Then the swelling began, and like that annoying little bitch in “Willy Wonka” it got huge, at least twice the size of what it usually is. All I could do was stare at it in awe and wonder what the hell I’d done to myself, and how I was going to keep up with watching Emma over the next two weeks. Our new apartment is pretty well set up for containment but there’s still plenty of trouble a 1 year old with the gifts of mobility and curiosity can get into.

Then, I suppose you could say, my recently found willpower/determination kicked in. I didn’t know if I had broken it or what, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is we have to get moved out of this house. So my internal conversation turned to this:

Me: Wow, that really hurts, it’s almost unbearable.
Self: Don’t tell anybody.
Me: Ok…but really I can’t even stand on it let alone go up and down these stairs again…
Self: Don’t care, do it anyway.
Me: But what if it’s broken?
Self: It’ll still be broken later when you have time to go to the hospital.
Me: Right….aside from tattoos this is the most painful thing I’ve ever felt…
Self: yeah but don’t think about that, just pick up this heavy stuff you’ve got to move.

I don’t want to brag or anything, but I think this is what they mean by “beast mode”. I’m not sure how I made it through the following 72 hours of endless staircases an carrying furniture and boxes up them. But I suppose that’s just what needed to be done. After all, we take care of our family before we take care of ourselves. Always.

-B.K. Mullen

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