Progress report on the broken ankle

Tuesday morning.  I already had an overflow of emotions – hope for progress on my surgically repaired broken right ankle; worry that some minute thing I did in the past five weeks might have derailed all the progress; and weariness because I asked for an 8am appointment.

Driving’s still out of the question, so I hailed an Uber.  And thankfully, the Uber driver not only got out of his car when he saw I was on crutches, he helped me get in the car and helped load my crutches into his Nissan Pathfinder.  This is a good sign.

Next stop – the doctor’s office.  And after hobbling around from one end of the doctor’s office to the other – to get an x-ray, to fill out forms, all of that –

The doctor told me that he liked the progress that had been made.  “Your screws and plate are holding up well,” he said, “and I do see some healing.”

So now comes the next level of recovery.

I can put weight on the foot.

Well, not all my weight.

He said I can go with “light weight bearing,” which is about 50 pounds.  I can use the crutches to get around, but I can actually walk WITH the crutches rather than just keeping my right leg tucked up in the air.  I can return to my day job, which I will do next week.  And I can return to broadcasting with the Patroons, which I’m damn sure doing this Friday.

The thing is, though, I’m still not out of the woods.  Because I broke my right ankle, driving is off-limits until mid-April at the earliest.  So any chance of getting snowflake photos are going to have to wait until Winter 2020-2021.  I also haven’t really photographed anything of “competition season” worth since the accident, so I need to work my way back into that.

So bear with me on this.  I have an idea of something I want to try, and maybe all this inactivity could flow into creativity.  Heck, one of my best pictures from a few years ago, Step and Pivot, came from battling a broken foot.

Step and Pivot. AGFA Clipper Special f/6.3 camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

And that photo became my third-ever successful submission to the Capital District Photo Regionals.

Which … if I remember correctly … are coming up this spring.

I’ve got five images I want to enter, and if I whittle it down to three and then enter them …

Yeah, I’m already thinking of Competition Season and Photo Regionals.  I’m doing okay.

That’s the thing I’ve wanted all this time.  I wanted to get back into the fire.  I wanted to bring back all my photographic ideas and wants and creations.  I want to be able to come up with a concept at 8:00 am and take the picture by noon and process it by suppertime.  Film, of course, takes longer, but you understand, right?

Trust me, I have ideas.  I bought a book of railway photography tips so that I could improve my railroad photos.  Heck, the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is only ten months away, and I need practice.  There’s a ton of heritage steam railroads out there – the Adirondack Scenic Railroad in Central New York, or I could do the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania … heck, is the Edaville Railroad in Massachusetts still chugging through the cranberry fields?

And Competition Season, for God’s sakes … Iowa’s coming up, and I have to decide which four photos are going to make the cut.  And I’m this far away from ending the #Syracurse and getting ribbons at the New York State Fair – yes, last year I had an Honorary for After the Rain, but I can’t rest on Honorary …

And I need to go up to the harness track and photograph the harness horses again.  And make some money by betting on Mugshots Bro.  And on Winter Mint.  And on any horse with the last name Hanover.

And the Patroons.  Dear sweet gold and kelly green, I need to get back to the Albany Patroons and call those great basketball games once again.  I’m not letting Shadell Millinghaus get a triple-double without me being there to see it.  That’s a straight up Whitney Houston Aw Hell No, man…

And my freakin’ 35th reunion at Hamilton College is coming up this June.  Thirty-five freakin’ years since they allowed me to walk across the stage and receive a diploma.  Thirty-five years.  And I need to be able to walk across the campus.  This I need.

Do you see what’s happening here?

I’m getting past my previous malaise.

It wasn’t just a broken ankle.  It was also a broken psyche.

And even hearing the words “light weight bearing,” it’s giving me some hope.

It’s not perfect hope – I’m still not cleared for driving, so Dracourage is sitting patiently.  Thankfully we haven’t had any major snow emergencies, so my Chevrolet can remain where it is.

I’m making adjustments in my life.  Without Dracourage, I can’t drive my laundry to the laundromat.  Thankfully I signed up for a wash-and-fold pick-up and drop-off service.  Let’s see how they do with my clothings.

And without Dracourage, I can’t sneak off to the casino.  Which is good, because I need a break from those one-armed bandits and those chip-chewing card tables.  So it’s more of an enforced step back from the gambling world.  Which makes sense.

Trust me.  I’ll get better.  I’m working on it.

And maybe in this recovery process, I’ll find even more creativity and inspiration.

Oh, and one more thing.

Thank you.

Thank you for the kind words on Facebook, for the great comments on this blog.  Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts as I get back to health.  You’ve been there for me.  And I truly appreciate it.

Okay.  Three or four more weeks of crutches …

That time is no longer infinite.

It’s finite.

And I’m good with that.