It happened when I was busy saving otters. You probably heard about it, it was in the news.


I am their hero. Trust me.

The number one question I get asked is what did I do to my feet.

Well, actually the number one question I usually get is “could you say that again, slower?” or “what do you mean you can’t find your keys?”  Because I talk fast when I’m excited, and because my husband never misplaces his keys, and even after eleven years of marriage is mystified how I can misplace something I use every day.

But recently the number one question I get is what did I do to myself to end up in a wheelchair.

Because the real answer is boring, I made up a story.  I was saving baby otters from freeway traffic.  You probably heard about it, it was on the news.  Which I realize in print just looks goofy, but trust me, I had excellent delivery, and made several people laugh.

Until… this one very nice guy who was helping me at the store asked, and I gave him my usual answer – and he believed me.  “Oh my God!  Those poor baby otters!  Who put them there?  What freeway?  That is so wrong!”  I thought he was going to cry out of the sadness of living in a world where a heartless person stranded fluffy water mammals in freeway traffic.  After that, my otter rescue story just seemed wrong.  True, it was only one guy, and clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he was sweet and helpful, and I hurt his little brain.

The real story of the two broken feet and the three doctors and three weeks it took for someone to stop telling me to take Alleve, and to realize I’d broken a bone, and spent a month on crutches and (so far) two and a half months in a wheelchair… that is boring and frustrating.

Because the answer is I don’t know.  Which makes it hard to avoid breaking them again.  I have stress fractures in both feet, an over use injury most typical of professional dancers and people training for a marathon.  Of course I’m not a dancer, or a runner.  I was a walker and a biker, and had increased both activities in an effort to reduce my car use.  Because, well climate change and war for oil and air quality.

Unfortunately trying to live my values combined with wicked flat feet, well apparently it mimicked the stress of training to run a 26 mile race, well that adds up to two fractured sesamoid bones and a wheel chair.

Flat feet are so much less adorable than otters…

sea otters swim

Fiction is so fluffy and cute.

Boring reality




About woodenmonkey

Just your average solar powered, hybrid driving, organic eating, happily married, pro-choice, feminist Christian artist and writer from San Francisco.

Posted on October 9, 2011, in ouch, the typing makes me sound busy. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Oh! I had a stress fracture from walking! I have over pronation. Was in physical therapy and they are the ones who noticed the break on the X-ray. The docs missed it. Brilliant.

    • What bone did you fracture? And how long did it take you to recover?
      I find myself obsessing over how long it has taken people to heal their feet, as though that knowledge is going to give me a road map of when I’ll be able to walk again…

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