Something’s afoot

I’m realizing that I wear those shoes a lot.
Luckily, they stretch to fit comfortably around an ankle wrap.

So it’s time to confess how I really injured my foot: I fell down while trying to walk and talk at the same time.

No, really. I consider myself very lucky that gum-chewing wasn’t also part of the equation, or I could have been crippled for life.

It happened shortly after we left Doraku sushi restaurant in Waikiki. Yes, a sake bomber had been consumed, but it had arrived in its own single-gulp glass, pre-combined, so it wasn’t like we had each downed a big-boy bottle of Kirin and our own tokkuri‘s worth of sake.

  • ASIDE #1: How cool is this ceramic sake bomb set from Purcell Living? The main container holds 8 ounces of sake, and the spines allow you to store the four beakers right on the vase.

It also was raining — real rain, not one of those moments of slight misty spatter that inspired a surfing instructor to say, “We call this blissing” — but the fall wasn’t really related to that, either. Sarah and I were deep in conversation, leading our pack of pedestrians (and possibly discussing some of them), when we got to a corner and I stepped off the curb.

On the left: How deep I assumed the curb was. On the right: How deep the curb apparently actually was.

|___________|               |                                |
|___________|               |                                |
|___________|               |                                |
|___________|               |____________|

When three feet of you is legs, it can be difficult to stop something that’s already been put into motion. Like a fall, for example. So unlike Wile E. Coyote, who at least gets to be suspended in midair for a moment while he realizes his imminent doom, I was already midstride toward what I thought was going to be my next step while my body was headed a lot farther down than it was planning to go.

So I landed on the foot wrong, and my whole leg from the ankle up went sideways. Ow. But I hopped up right away, we all laughed at the clumsy move — well, everyone did but me, smarting in my shame — and we continued on toward our destination. My foot was a little sore but I assumed I’d walk it off … although it wasn’t feeling much better when it was time to head back to the hotel. “I don’t think I’m going back to the dance club,” I said. (Our evening had gotten off to a rocky start there after a well-intentioned but uncomfortably received drag show.) “I don’t even like standing right now.”

The next morning — Christmas Eve — I couldn’t put any weight on it, which became my “oh crap” moment. Sarah had gone for her morning run and CPOS and Mr. Brooks had headed to the Navy base to pick up a few items, so I dialed the front desk and asked if by chance they had any crutches. “Is it for, you know, an old person?” the woman replied, which I briefly took offense at — hey, I’m barely in my 40s! — before I realized what she actually was trying to say. “Oh, no — I just injured my ankle and was hoping to grab a pair to help me get around.” They researched and came back negative; there was a wheelchair that a staff member would be happy to push me around in, but no crutches.

  • ASIDE #2: On its homepage,  The Royal Hawaiian promotes itself as Waikiki’s finest luxury resort with “unmatched service.” If you checked in tomorrow at the lowest available daily rate, you’d pay more than $1,000 a night before taxes and fees. So in my mind, here’s what that answer should have been: “I’m sorry, we can’t find any crutches on site, but we’d be happy to find some for you.” That, of course, did not happen. Maybe “unmatched service” means “other luxury places do it better.”

Next stop: a call to the closest urgent care center listed on my insurance site. They would close at noon — whether that was regular Saturday hours or special Christmas Eve occurrence is unknown. They also didn’t have crutches on site — “We don’t carry stock here,” said the woman who answered the phone — and when I followed up, wondering if she could think of any nearby place where I could pick up a pair, she said, “You know, I really can’t think of anyplace.”

Urgent care in Honolulu isn’t very urgent.

I decided that if they were too clueless to even know where I could pick up a pair of crutches nearby, I wasn’t going to risk what would surely be a lack of knowledge of medical diagnostics. So I did a little web browsing, then called Mr. Brooks and asked if they’d be kind enough to stop by a store on their way back from the base and pick me up a pair of crutches.

Here’s how good of friends Mr. Brooks and CPOS are: They went to Wal-Mart the day before Christmas because I told them the store sold crutches. And when they got there, they discovered that the store does not have crutches in stock; you can order them online to be delivered to the store for pickup. So instead they went to a Longs Drugs that I had called to make sure it had crutches in-store — even when that store turned out to be smack-dab in the middle of Ala Moana Center. That’s when I forgave them for laughing at me for falling down, and even awarded them a credit balance in their karma score.

The plan for Christmas Day had been to head to the North Shore for a day of snorkeling and sun, but the beaches’ long stretches of deep sand would have been near-impossible for me to navigate, so I opted to stay at the hotel while the rest of the pack headed north. (I wasn’t too broken up about this, because the plan was also to leave at 6 a.m., and I was like, “There is no such thing as 6 a.m. on my vacation.”)

Waikiki has a meandering paved pathway along the beachfront, so I could still make my way along the waterfront and grab lunch. And since I had the whole day to kill, I made my way to Queens Beach, 1.2 miles, to people-watch and begin a rollicking game of “Speedo or Square-Cut,” in which I tallied the number of dudes sporting each type of swimsuit on this, commonly known as Waikiki’s “gay beach.” (I, for the record, had regular knee-length cotton shorts on, since I knew frolicking in the waves was not an option. Admittedly, they were the ones that tend to earn me compliments for a shapely backside, but still, neither Speedo nor squarecut.)

And later, I returned to The Royal Hawaiian, which has its own section of private beach that can also be accessed via small gate from the patio restaurant, so I was able to hobble down to a chair to bask in the sun for a while, even with a wrapped right foot. I sent the photo at right to Sarah as evidence that I was in fact able to enjoy the day, even if I wasn’t with the whole crew up north as they exchanged presents.

I kept using the crutches for a few days — and as a bonus, Sarah and I got to board the plane home from Hawaii with the rest of the passengers “who need a little extra assistance.” I still have one in my car, just in case something goes horribly wrong, but I’m happy to report I gave up using them back in 2011.

Back in Phoenix, I had the foot X-rayed; I knew it wasn’t the ankle that was affected because the pain was centered more in the instep and center of the foot, about an inch below and in front of the ankle bone.  The X-rays showed no bone fractures, so luckily it’s a matter of letting the muscles/tendons heal from the sprain.

I spent much of last week in New York, probably one of the walking-est cities in the nation, and while there were periods of “holy crap let me rest this for a moment” (and I was always a bit relieved to get back to the hotel and give it a break it at the end of the day) I was pleased with how well I did overall. Maybe next week I’ll be ready to hit a treadmill or elliptical again?

But first, today, I need to hit the shower. (My first back home after the trip to New York! Very excited.)

WHAT SAM WORE: 1-8-12
An exclusive look at his sexy sleep- and loungewear!
The shirt: Long-sleeved cotton T-shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch,
a hand-me-down from Mr. Brooks that I have since turned into a painting shirt.
The shorts: Cotton jersey drawstring-waist shorts by Mossimo, from Target.
The shoes: Flip-flops by Quiksilver, from a surf shop in Hawaii (on my last trip there).
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