marcel barang

Crippled

In English on 06/07/2011 at 1:28 pm

I’ve just discovered an existential truth: a man on crutches can’t hold a tray – or a glass of water, for that matter. And only a few items in a plastic bag held between clenched teeth.
On Monday night, I had the ill-fated idea to go out for dinner with friends at Hemlock, that long-established arty eatery on Phra Arthit Rd. Hemlock I didn’t drink, only plain water, but befittingly the trip proved almost fatal.
Going down the dim stairs after dinner, I never saw the final, inch-high step and, as I was veering sharply right, my whole body weight suddenly bore on my slanted left foot, there was a snap, I almost collapsed in surprise and pain … and I’ve been hobbling ever since.
I bravely took a taxi back home, and slept on it. The next morning nothing much had happened but in early afternoon, after a sitting session at the computer, my foot had swollen and sort of hurt. My good neighbour Garoon left his job to drive me to Siriraj Hospital.
Two hours later, x-rays had shown that indeed a small bone was broken down there, my left foot was encased in an enormous ‘soft’ plaster cast and I was provided with wooden crutches (returnable within three months; deposit: 200 baht) it took me quite a few steps to master – they can be fun, too.
Stupid doctors! This damn cast is so big I can’t slough off my trousers unless I rip the left leg open. As the cast won’t be taken out before Friday morning, how am I going to keep clean?
To compound the matter, I have a dentist appointment on Thursday it’d be unwise to postpone.
In such a predicament, the gestures of everyday life become challenges; the least move, from lounge chair to desk, from fridge to coffee machine, from bathroom to cupboard, becomes a battle requiring planning and fraught with frustration.
But let’s keep this posting short: sitting at the desk is no good; I’m told to prop up that elephant foot, so I’ll repair to the rocking chair on the porch and switch from writing to reading – a timely move actually, given the backlog of Thai stories I have yet to assess.
And please, don’t call for a while.

  1. Ouch! Get well soon.

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