Patch Footography



nasty ankle photo herein.

In the spirit of nearly copying (but not quite) my esteemed professor who has
dangled brightly manicured toes on her internet weblog, I’m showing you what
I’ve been doing all day with my sprained ankle, the (naturally) purple balloon of inexorable
pain that it is.  Cranked it while landing with a rebound (from my own
missed shot) during the usual
Friday afternoon basketball workout.  And we were winning, too: ahead 9-3
in a game to 11 (it matters, this is no loser’s limp).  Was me, Ph., J.
(math education prof) and C., an undergrad we’d just picked up to take on four
other students in the last game of the day. But now I’ve got healing to do. 
Here’s how. 

1. From the yard, gather one plastic storage bin half-full of cold, cold
snow.  Make that cold, clean snow, please.


2. Mash the sprained ankle into the snow for twenty minutes, until numb
(longer will make it swell worse, shorter will be ineffective).  Repeat every two
hours. Wrap, prop and do not disturb during the in-between.


3.  After 48 hours, start the hot/cold/hot/cold contrast baths (wrenched
extremity only). 

4.  Pain killers, college hoops muted on TV, reading for coursework,
relax.  Been through it a zillion times before.  And the snowfall
outside will reduce all the swelling my bum ankle can produce.

[Note to studious-minded self: Is this link-logging or life-logging?]

[Added to clarify | 7:25 p.m.: D. and Ph. harvest the snow, not me. The foot photo is slightly skewed because of the contorted position I was in (from the recliner) to accomplish a photo of the outside of the right ankle. My dogs are not normally so crooked.]


  1. Ouch. Last semester when I sprained my ankle I wrapped it more often, and I was surprised by how much wrapping helped. But, it appears you are an old pro at this. Hope it heals quickly.

  2. Whoo. You know, I reached the place in my early 40s where my doctor said I’d be a fool to ever again walk into a gym as anything but a spectator. Just thought I’d mention that 🙂

  3. Thanks, Marcia. I am–unfortunately–quite skilled at nursing ankle sprains. The wrap has helped me too.

    I hope I can continue to play for a while longer, but I know I’ll be a spectator soon enough. Oddly, I felt like I was playing well just before I got hurt. Always works that way. I’m getting things done, moving well, making shots, then something gives. But the snow, yes, it’s…um…therapeutic.

    Thanks, too, Madeline. I’m working on it. Just saw that Onondaga County issued a no travel advisory, so I aim to take that quite literally and stay right here in this chair.

  4. Hmmm, I’ve had a series of right ankle sprains, the first one of which came playing basketball when I was 17. The last one happened on campus, just before class. I hopped over to the cafeteria, got a bag of ice, and then went to class, lay on the floor with my iced ankle propped on a chair, and I lectured that way for nearly an hour. “Neither snow, nor sleet, nor gloom of sprain…”

  5. If it was less severe, I might have walked it off, maybe even kept on playing. But this twist is worse than others I’ve had; got legitimate pain/bruising/swelling on both sides of my foot and even now, after 36 hours, I can barely put weight on it.

  6. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    I still have a vivid image imbedded in my mind of the time you dislocated your shoulder while playing hoops at Park. Pain must be a familiar old friend. Didn’t someone once write a book titled, “You Gotta Play Hurt”?

    When in high school, I found that swimming in cold water helps a sprain heal faster. The water pressure, cold & activity all aid the healing. This is a great time of the year for going for a swim. If it don’t kill ya, it’ll only make you stronger.

    As I age, that familiar old friend keeps hanging around more and more. I love him! As long as he’s there, I know I’m still alive.

  7. Thanks for the encouragement, Dad. (It is encouragement, right?) I didn’t play hurt today; instead, I sent off a few self-pity emails to get out of a two hour teaching-practicum meeting on campus. But tomorrow, tomorrow I have to attend class, and then hang around all day to teach in the evening. No time for ice swimming in betwee. Plus, the Syracuse city pool converts to a snow gauge this time of year. Nothing but fluffly drifts in there.

    I swear, as much scar tissue as I have in my right ankle, I’m going to need double-wide right shoes pretty soon. That sorry appendage is officially grotesque. And yes, the pain confirms I’m still hanging in there…surviving.

Comments are closed.