Ensconced in a comfortable chair, foot nicely elevated, a cup of tea at hand, I methodically ticked off boxes and pulled down dates from menus. One set of forms, specifically for new patients complaining of ankle and foot problems, were clearly a one-size fits all solution. Questions about chronic problems were mixed willy-nilly with questions about recent injuries.
So how much trouble had I had in the last four weeks with stairs? Well, none, until I slipped on a flight of them. It was all very quantized. One moment stairs were no trouble at all, the next, they were a (literally) unsurmountable (or descendable) obstacle. Should I report this as "some trouble with stairs" or "cannot traverse a single step"? And ladders? What should I say about my current relationship with ladders? Just the thought of dragging my booted foot up a ladder makes me quiver. That would be "no" to ladders.
The funniest question was on the social history: "Choose the best answer to complete the following sentence: In the last four weeks, I have felt calm and peaceful...."
All the timeI note that there was no box for "These are the last two weeks of the semester, which are not characterized by 'calm' in my life." And I couldn't skip the question. I did have to admit that while my office has looked more like a hurricane hit it, and many of my visitors could hardly be described as calm, I have at least managed to be calmly centered, if not precisely placid.
Most of the time
Some of the time
None of the time.
Even on those suddenly unsurmountable steps....
The news from the ankle guy is, however, good. I don't need surgery (cue the angelic chorus); recovery expected to be 100% as long as I work hard at physical therapy (enter cherubim), abraded ankles are healing cleanly. I will spend some weeks in the boot, then graduate to a brace and PT. All told, I was lucky. (Roll the credits, Holy Spirit, for protecting my wrists so that I can continue to write for you; Guardian angel, who sent the delightful graduate students to my rescue)