one year later

A year ago this time, I was housebound and walking on crutches, dependent on friends and co-workers for rides everywhere after the great ankle breakage of ’07.  But now I can walk, run, swim, and even swing dance on occasion.  No, I don’t play kickball anymore, but I do go and watch the games, even in the bitter cold of last night, when I froze my little toes off while watching my former team, The 21st Amendments, win a game to enter the playoffs, and then lose that playoff game.  In that cold November night, there was never a moment when I regretted being on the sidelines instead of on the field.

I did a lot of that walking on Wednesday,  when I took the day off work.  Our local business improvement district is holding a contest for $1,000.  In order to enter, you pick up a little passport book at the bank and bring it to every business in the area to have it stamped.  People who collect all of the stamps are then eligible for the contest.  It’s a great way to get people to walk around and go into new stores, and I for one discovered that we have two great local coffee shops, a Russian restaurant, a very friendly art gallery owner, and a place to buy Textured Vegetable Protein.  (Not that I want to buy it after seeing the picture on the Wikipedia link that looks like something I scooped out of the cat box.)

One of the stores I stopped into was the tattoo parlor.  I was told by the slightly intimidating bearded man with the stretched earlobes that despite being on the list, the tattoo parlor was not participating in the passport contest.  Since it’s already embarrassing for me to go into stores just to ask for stamps, I decided to make a little conversation and ask the guy about tattooing over scar tissue.

In all my life, I’ve never wanted a tattoo because I don’t think I can commit to something for the rest of my life.  (Sorry Birmingham, stop asking already.)  🙂 But when I got the surgical scar on my ankle for the pins that are holding the bones together, I started thinking about how nice it might look to have something to decorate that scar.  Sister Alyson suggested getting a dragonfly, because it fits the shape, and because it has meaning since I played The Dragonfly in my acclaimed first grade production of “Goin’ Buggy.”

But I’m not terribly keen on that, since most of my memories of “Goin’ Buggy” involve trying to find yellow pants to fit the character (based on much background research into the character) and my role as Kelley Leigh’s* caterpillar-shell remover as she became a beautiful, straight-A getting, teacher’s pet butterfly.

*name slightly changed to protect me from the girl who one-upped me in EVERYTHING in elementary school, and beyond.

Am I totally digressing here? I’m still interested in the idea of getting inked, but I need to wait until after I get the pins out in January, and for that scar to heal for a year.  That gives me a lot of time to come up with something good.  The parlor guy suggested getting gears or mechanics to show that I was once the bionic woman.  I think that’s kind of cool.  I know that I want to work with the scar, I don’t want to hide it.  So if you have any good ideas, let me know.

And now, this is where I was going.  This is what my ankle looks like today:


I kinda wish I hadn't just read a story in the book I'm reading about a pathological foot fetishist before posting this.

As you can see, the scar is pretty faded after a year, but the ankle is still swollen, evidenced in this comparison photo:


Yes, I did paint my toenails for this picture.

And, for those of you who are curious, I have a photo of the scar right after the bandages came off. But I put it after the jump, just in case you’re still eating your Wheaties. It’s not that bad, but I understand that the combination of feet + scabbiness + photography under the influence of Vicodin might turn off some people.


You've come a long way, baby


25 responses to this post.

  1. That’s a really nice scar and totally worth celebrating. I have an appendix scar, which actually totally quelled my desire to get a tattoo. I love it, and it’s a good enough permanent marker for me. It actually reminds me of some hard times that I got past in part because my appendix said, “Okay, you need to stop everything for awhile.” Battle scars rock. So does Battlestar. Okay. I’m done. I promise.

  2. I can’t even notice the difference in the picture of both ankles, as far as swelling goes…Of course we established on your post about the weight loss lady who looked “fab” that I may not be the most observant person…

  3. Posted by nancypearlwannabe on November 21, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I like the idea of a tattoo over the scar. Something that says you’re totally bad ass… like a dagger!

  4. I guess the old adage that “chicks dig scars” can be appended with “but, not on them”.

    It’s not an unattractive scar though. 🙂

    Since I only “know” you from this blog I can’t suggest a tattoo for you. If you do get one it should be special and have meaning for you.

  5. Posted by lizgwiz on November 21, 2008 at 10:39 am

    It took a couple of years for the swelling in my broken wrist to go away, but it finally did. I like the idea of tattooing on top of my scar, but since there’s a metal plate just underneath, I think maybe I won’t.

  6. You could always do the super cool tiger ripping open your flesh tattoo.

  7. i wonder if there’s any difference in the way a tattoo looks on scarred-skin vs. regular. if so, you might have to take that into consideration when deciding on a design.

    i don’t think i like anything enough to put it permanently on my body, but if i were forced to at needlepoint, i’d probably get a meaningful word written in Hindi script.

  8. TVP makes me gassy but I love it. That is all.

    No wait! Yves makes a great veggie ground beef. It’s awesome for pasta sauce, chilli and mexican dishes.

    There. That’s all.

  9. You have pretty feet.

    I can’t believe how swollen that ankle still is. After a whole year!

    I have no tattoos because I’m also afraid of the commitment, but my advice to you is this: picture a tattoo around your scar every single day until the scar is healed enough to work with. If you still want one then, go for it.

  10. do try TVP! it is very tasty.

  11. Oooh, tattoo talk… what about a phoenix? Or a vine that kind of snakes around your leg? I love tattoos that have kind of an Asian took to them, even though none of mine do.

    As far as commitment goes, I currently have 7 and am planning on an eighth. And we’re not talking easy-to-hide butterflies and stars, either. The one on the back of my neck is downright gnarly. The only one I regret is the one on my ass that reads “One Bad Motherfucker”. Yeah, that shouldn’t have happened… meh.

  12. Have you thought about a series of temporary tattoos or henna tattoos, to help you decide? If you get a tattoo before the swelling goes away completely, how will that affect the tat? Shrinkage….

  13. I like that the scary tattoo parlor guy had good advice. Creative, too. I guess that’s why he’s an artist. I like his idea, but you have plenty of time to think about it.

    You could always get the words “My scar kicks your scar’s ass” inked above it. It’s bound to be true most of the time.

  14. I have one tattoo. It is the Sun Devil mascot, Sparky, from my alma mater, Arizona State. When I got it everyone was all “you’re going to want more” or “you’ll regret it!”

    I do not want any more and it just celebrated its 10-year anniversary on my ankle and I haven’t regretted it once, thank you very much!

    Also, I like the gears idea!

  15. I know this is not what this whole post was about, but hey, leave it to me to pick up on one minute detail…anywho- don’t be afraid of textured veggie protein, I know it looks like cat…something…but I’ve eaten it. My mom is a vegetarian nurse abroad and she relies on it often as a good protein source. She admits that it looks like cat food but she’s made things with it that I’ve eaten and I liked it. In fact, she was looking for somewhere to get it when staying with me…but unfortunately the Hudson Valley would be a bit if a hike for a protein source. 🙂

    So don’t be afraid to try it!!!

    Oh and about tattoos…I got my third right before I got married and I’m definitely addicted… so I totally support your tattoo idea (but only if you’re TOTALLY certain that you have found something you’ll like forever…cause if you started not liking it…that would suck.) I like the gears or ‘something bionic-like’ idea!

  16. Mickey’s right, the tattoo parlor guy’s on the right track. If you can somehow suggest to the world that you are part Terminator or something, how cool would you be? (rhetorical)

    Hey, congrats on the functioning ankle, though!

  17. Posted by shane on November 21, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    It looks like the outline of a tree, in fact a Christmas tree……tannenbaum, if you will. Seems like a no=brainer to me!

  18. Well done! Looks like it healed well and the scar is pretty faint. I understand how it is though when it’s your own body, you notice everything. The scar tissue can often be broken up by fairly deep, regular frictioning of the tissue. If you want the tattoo, I’d say maybe the Christmas tree, seems fitting!

  19. It healed up really well!

    I like the idea of getting a tattoo for that reason – you take control over the scar and can make it into something else. I hope you go through with it!

  20. I’ve a friend who broke her upper arm bone and a year after it hadn’t healed properly, she had to have surgery to reset it and pin it. She has a very long scar all the way down the one arm and has joked about getting a tattoo of the Eiffel Tower over it.

    Your scar looks pretty good. Peter has scars on each side of his formerly broken ankle.

  21. I think a tattoo over the scar is a great idea. Um, maybe a tattoo of a big cut with stitches? (I’m kidding. And that wasn’t even a good joke. Sorry.)

    Also, I think it is lame that the tattoo place didn’t give you a stamp. But I love that you went door to door collecting those.

  22. Posted by Sarah on November 23, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Lightning bolt. Definitely a lightning bolt, because you’re fierce, like lightning!

  23. i think a tattoo could be a fun way to celebrate the anniversary. obviously take pics if you decide to go with something.

    congrats on the year!

  24. I could see a dragonfly there! It would look pretty. Or better yet, it does look sort of like the skeleton of a Christmas tree… eh? See it? Maybe a blog related tatoo? A Charlie Brown Christmas tree?

    And I do wonder, does it hurt less when being tattooed over a scar? I have an aversion to OUCH.

  25. Wow, it does look like a dragonfly!

    The before picture is pretty cool.

    I really have no good ideas for a tattoo because I’m like you, I wouldn’t be able to commit. But I do like the idea of a Christmas Tree 🙂

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