Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Tale with a Twist(ed Ankle)


I'll spare the morbid details (and pictures) of my previously discussed ankle injury, and will instead acknowledge what affects injuries and illnesses can have on a person who is living in a place he or she is unfamiliar with.

I managed to twist my ankle stepping off of a curb while on my way to complete a group project that involved touring through the city of Caen. It was at a completely inconvenient time, but I do not think injuries or illnesses care enough to come about when the time is convenient for anyone, that is to say if there is ever such a time.

It took a solid four days of hopping around and cringing with each painful step before the swelling managed to go down and the bruising became minimal. I was recommended to visit the doctor, but being in an unfamiliar place with only basic communication skills, I was unwilling to seek out help from a professional
. Even with my injury, I tried my best to complete the group project, though sadly, the lack of time and endurance to walk though the entire city on a sore ankle made my work sub-par.

My injury affected many things: my performance in the group project, my mobility when undergoing daily tasks, and especially, my spirit. I was forced to ask for help from friends. This is especially difficult for me because I like to remain independent. When I feel as though I do not have control, I grow anxious and easily annoyed at myself.

My injury served as a reminder to slow down and swallow my pride just a bit, and the entire time, I was thanking God that my ankle was only twisted and not broken. I could not imagine enduring the rest of my time in France with a broken ankle! Metros would not be easily navigated on crutches!

I am blessed to say that I have not had to deal with any long-lasting sickness while here, though my neighbor and friend has. She is a study abroad student like myself, and for almost six weeks she was fighting multiple illnesses. I witnessed her painful coughs and listened to her sad tales, all the while almost positive that, had I been in her place, I'd be dreaming to be back home in my big bed with family tending to my needs.

It is scary to think of having to rely on strangers when one is in a foreign place, but while traveling allows a person to be independent, it also forces one to be dependent as well. In a vulnerable state as injury or illness puts us, it is nice to be reminded that help is available if one is willing to ask. Through the past week, I've reminded myself that everything I experience here, good or bad, is a part of my grand adventure abroad.

A bientot! -Albrianna