Health Report

Pictured: A front view of my Screwed-up Right Ankle

Back at the beginning of January, I temporarily halted my weekly updates of this blog with an unceremonious two sentence entry that cited “extenuating circumstances” as the reason for the suspension. When I resumed weekly updates five weeks later, I made no explanation as to why the blog went on hiatus.

Now, I figure most people that would really care about the “extenuating circumstances” probably know me personally, and therefore have already been informed privately about what happened to me. But just in case there’s anyone else out there that’s curious, here’s what happened.

On January third, I slipped on some ice and broke my right leg in three places. Two of the breaks were in the ankle area, and the other higher up on the leg (caused, apparently, by the stress put on the bone by the unnatural angle of the ankle).

The ankle break required surgery to properly align the bones with screws. The pain just before and just after the surgery was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. The first half of January was a blur, as I was doped up on pain meds. I couldn’t concentrate on anything for longer than five minutes, and never could get my leg into a comfortable position.

As time went on things got better, but even after several weeks  I was surprised by how much it still affected my life. I mean, as a cartoonist, I figured I’d be able to get back in to drawing fairly quickly, since it was my ankle that was injured, not my wrist. But no; due to swelling the ankle had to stay elevated, and because of that, and because of the general, relentless discomfort in the leg, I had a hard time getting back into drawing. It wasn’t until the second week of March  that I finally was able to get back into a work schedule that approached my pre-injury days. And then I had to try to make up for lost time for book marketing and the like. Ah well…

But things are much better now. These days the only thing I take for pain is the very occasional ibuprofen, so at least I’m lucid again. As for the ankle itself, the worse part of the healing process is behind me. It’ll probably be another couple months before I’m “completely” recovered, but I’m going okay now. I can bear weight on the ankle again, and get around with a cane. It gets a little better everyday.

 So why did I keep all this hush-hush for all these weeks? Looking back on it, my reasons seem a little paranoid, but here they are. At the time of my injury I was still awaiting work from the Japanese Government about the status of my bid for a Monbusho Scholarship. I figured by April I’d be in good enough shape to make the trip to Japan (and I was), but I didn’t want to give them an excuse to throw out my application. So I kept my injury under wraps, on the off chance that some high-ranking Japanese official would come to my site, read about my injury, and opt not to select me for a scholarship. Like I said, paranoid. But I really really wanted it, and had devoted months and months to the application process, so I didn’t want to take any chances.

And like I said, I’m in good enough shape to do the trip to Japan now, so it all turned out okay anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry to hear about your injury and surgery. Having to deal with joint and surgery pain can be very intense and painful. Not fun. Glad you can still go to Japan.

  • Jordan

    Dude I havent checked in an long time and was sorry to see this BUT…

    A cane.

    Using a cane is the best part.

  • Lars Martinson

    Actually for the first couple months I got around on a walker, which meant I couldn’t do the simplest things, like carry a glass of water from one room to another. Oh god, it was horrible…