The Roundup -

Hot Pink Scooters


March 20, 2019 | View PDF

Lois on her scooter.

I can't believe I've done this again. I thought we gained wisdom as we age, but not this old fall hen. Two years ago I broke my arm after slipping on ice. Learning from experience, I invested in trail crampons and used them faithfully in icy conditions to make certain I would not fall on ice again. However, the end of January this year, I was out collecting twigs (without the crampons, of course, as I was just in my own back yard) for kindling. I slipped on slushy snow, fell, slid downhill several yards, and when I came to a halt, I stared with disbelief at my left foot. It flopped way too far to the left, did not straighten back up when I willed it to do so, and I knew I had a problem.

To say I felt total annoyance with myself would be a slight understatement. I wasn't even having fun, I hadn't done anything interesting, but here I was, flat on my back in a foot of snow with what I knew was a broken ankle. At least if I decide to break a bone, I ought to have had a little bit of fun in the process, don't you think?

I fished my cell phone out of my pocket and dialed my husband who was a mere two hundred feet away working in his shop. I told him I figured I broke my ankle, and after listening to his several expletives, he asked me where he could find me. I told him, elbowed my way up the bank, and arrived at the top of the bank about the same time he did pulling the toboggan. I rolled onto the sled and he dragged me to the car. Off we went to visit the friendly neighborhood emergency staff at the Ennis hospital.

The nursing staff did nothing to alleviate any anxiety on my part. The doctor took one look, shook her head, and announced in no uncertain terms that yes, I broke it, I broke it very badly, and it would need surgery. She said "Lois, when you break something you really know how to do it right." At least my parents would be proud if they were still alive, as they always taught me to do the best job possible.

Every other staff member, on seeing my foot, made similar comments about the break, they oohed and aahed over the angle the foot chose to rest, and made soothing clucking noises when they spoke to me. Let me tell you, those coos do NOT reassure a person. My husband had the audacity to take a picture of the foot while I was lying there waiting for someone to do something besides making ominous comments and clucking noises, and he now will show that picture to anyone who cares to look.

While lying there, I also had a terrible thought. When I was young, my mother always admonished me to wear decent underwear in case I ended up at the hospital. In almost seventy years, this had never happened, but my mother was right, it finally occurred. I cringed when I remembered that my underwear sported more holes than material. Oh well, too late to do anything about it now.

The emergency staff also cut off my new pair of jeans to work on the smashed ankle. Too bad my jeans weren't in the same state as my underwear. Then I wouldn't have minded the loss.

The doctor was correct. I did need surgery, I suffered a bad break, and I could not weight bear on that ankle for six weeks. Six weeks! That meant the middle of March. Almost a death sentence for a person like me who stays physically active. Speaking from experience, I would much prefer to break an arm rather than a leg or ankle. At least with a broken arm, I can still move around, take my hikes, accomplish chores with little inconvenience, and I can still function and have a life.

A broken ankle presents a lot more challenges. A person needs some sort of mechanical device to get around, and I quickly discovered that crutches do not work well, particularly outside in this terrain and at this time of year. They prove useless in snow, ice, and other winter outdoor weather. Crutches also require the use of both arms, so a person has very little freedom to carry anything or get anything done whatsoever.

My husband came up with the best possible solution for this bad situation which guaranteed my grumpiness for six weeks. He found broken ankle scooters for sale on line. I decided if I needed such a contraption, I would at least purchase one in a bright, cheerful color. I bought a hot pink scooter and counted down the days until its arrival. This scooter had all terrain tires which made it useful outside, it came with a handy dandy basket for carrying items, and it featured locking brakes.

The scooter finally arrived, my husband put it together, and I tried it out around the house. I used it the next day in Virginia City, scooting up and down the boardwalk, and it met my expectations. The scooter worked well in the house, and outdoors it didn't slip and slide in snow or ice like crutches can. I felt stable and safe on my hot pink roadster. With my scooter, I did just about anything I wanted indoors, including vacuuming, getting in and out of the shower unassisted, and a host of other tasks. It provided a safe sturdy mechanism for providing stability, and it worked well outside for shoveling snow and traveling up and down my driveway for exercise. I eventually made it all the way to Virginia City and back with my scooter, something I could never have done with unstable crutches on a hillside.

I've decided my scooter performed better than a personal servant. The scooter didn't talk back, it didn't tell me I ought not to do something, and it required no wages. It stood at the ready 24-7, and you can't beat that.

I received the OK to walk again by mid-March, but I need some sort of walking boot for awhile, along with physical therapy. I know I have hurdles to overcome which will not prove much fun, but I can't wait to get my life back to normal.


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