HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Monday morning and I was really looking forward to having my ankle put into its "hard cast" for the next four to six weeks. Modern casting technology has taken a few steps since last I witnessed a hard cast.

Dr. Brucker's assistant came in and removed the yards and yards of ace bandage and I finally got a look at my damaged appendage, quite colorful actually, with long streaks of dark red, contrasting with faded banana yellow, and here and there some ominous black and blue, verging on purple.

First she once again did some serious wrapping of the entire lower extremity from just below the knee all the way down to just above the stress-fattened black, yellow, and blue toes, only this time with some kind of special guaze that seemed to blend into itself as each new wrap went 'round the ankle.

She proclaimed that step finished and asked me what color I would like the cast to be, pointing to a shelf of smallish boxes on the stock shelf, each with a small swatch of color. My choices were red, pink, black, dark blue, and the ubiquitous off white.

I chose black since I came into the clinic that day dressed in black sweatshirt, black jacket, grey long under wear bottoms and brand new shiny nylon runner's pants that nurse Kim had chosen for me on her last foray down the aisles of Walmart,

Here's the new technology part (I think). She took out a large roll of what looked like black tape, stuck it under a stream of running water in the lab sink, and began to repeat the rolling, rolling, rolling of wet black tape which kept getting warmer and warmer as it dried and hardened in place.

All in all it didn't take her more than ten minutes to have the black hard cast in place, and now every time I put the leg straight down it began to throb in a most uncomfortable way. Throughout the rest of the afternoon while I tried to finish up all my paper work at the office, I noticed an increase in the pain whenever I moved the encased leg whatsoever.

By five PM I was convinced that the damn thing must come off as it was cutting into my leg at its top most edging right below my knee so I called the orthopedic office and the nurse asked me if I had been keeping the leg up -higher than my heart.

Uh, no -- I've been catching up on bills, etc, blah, blah, blah, with my leg down in a normal position. I was told to quit working, get back to the house and into bed with a mountain of pillows under the bad wheel.

Oddly enough, several hours later, with my leg elevated, the pain began to subside to within tolerable levels.

So it looks like I am going to get a lot of reading, napping, TV watching done to stay out of pain. (sigh),

Which reminds me - I have been working away at this for over 45 minutes and the leg is beginning to bark at me. Time to quit and elevate!


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