Ankle: Broken or Sprained? Uninsured, either way.

//Ankle: Broken or Sprained? Uninsured, either way.

Accidents happen. And in America, they bankrupt you.

I had an accident on Sunday. Totally predictable, run of the mill accident. Running at top speed, in a padded gymnastics facility, I pulled off a long kong (diving jump with my feet behind me) over a 5-foot tall vault. The landing was not glamorous; I turned my ankle, whimpered in pain, and went into a 48 hour process of elevation and icing.

Now I lay here trying to determine, in the most non-technologically way possible, whether my ankle is broken or sprained. Here’s the difference:

Broken Ankle

You cannot put any pressure on it. It is completely immobile and any attempts to move it are met with great pain. Not as painful, because numbness occurs. Often a surgery and a pin is required to set it in place properly and maintain good function of the foot through the rest of your life.

Medical bills: up to $30,000.

Sprained Ankle

More painful than a break. A ligament is torn, and takes 6 weeks to fully heal. weight can be applied to the foot, although it is painful, and it can be moved, although with discomfort due to the swelling.

Medical bills: up to $2500.

By these symptomatic definitions, I have a sprained ankle. Thats what I’m really hoping for. But bruises and sensitivities on the other side of my foot, as well as an odd crunch sound sixty seconds after the accident, leave me wondering which injury it is.

Ideally, I would go into a medical facility, have a quick X-ray taken of my foot, and find out, one way or the other. Then I could plan. Then I would know. But that sort of foreknowledge costs a lot of money, which I don’t have.

So I am lying at home, and hoping for the best.

I went bankrupt years ago because my wife had a baby in a hospital, and I couldn’t pay for the medical bills. Now, I’ve fallen into what has become a cliche American trap, yet again: do I wipe myself out financially, to take care of my injury? Or do I compromise my body’s health on the hope that I’ll really be okay?

America was founded on a sense of optimism and belief in the rights of capital. But these have been taken to extremes, so that now I am excessively optimistic in order to preserve the meager capital that I have. If my optimism proves to be unfounded, then I could suffer a lifelong debilitation in my ankle, the joint that allows for slow, easy movement; the difference, indeed, between a hobble and a stroll.

Why are so many of my countrymen faced with this dastardly choice? Why are our medical costs double and triple what citizens of other countries pay, yet so many of us still find ourselves straddling the line between poverty and optimism, in order to keep breathing the foreclosure-saturated air of America?

I tire of making these choices.

By | 2011-03-29T15:09:13+00:00 March 29th, 2011|Introspection|

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Father of 3. WordPress website designer. Creative director @ Stellar Platforms. Writer, multimedia producer, digital marketer, and retired superhero.

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  1. Mikaela March 30, 2011 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Caelan, man I’m so sorry … this sucks. I pray it’s a sprain… and I agree, it’s complete bullshit that you have to wait around and ‘think positive’.

    I too went bankrupt a couple years ago because of a severe neck injury… and while it was a miracle that I healed myself holistically when all the doctors were saying I needed neck fusion surgery, I doubt I’ll ever be able to get insurance because it is now a pre-existing condition.

    Yesterday I accidentally took 25x the recommended dosage of iodine when I mistakenly took a dropper-full of (iodine with kelp) rather than a drop.

    I’d go to the doctor’s if I could to prevent anything really bad from happening, but since I don’t have health insurance, all I can really do is think positive and pray that I don’t have some sort of hyper-thyroidism condition develop in the future. The only thing that I’ve got that empowers me and makes me feel better is that I believe if I keep my predominant emotional vibration high, nothing too serious will manifest.

    I find it ironic that in this day (not to mention the taxes that I pay), that I’m relying on my spiritual beliefs & practices as my primary health insurance coverage rather than what is actually available, but not, in this physical world.

    Hopefully, this situation will change for us all soon. In the meantime, I’ll hold the positive vibes of healing and well-being for both of us …and the world.

    Blessings to you Warrior,

  2. CAELAN HUNTRESS March 30, 2011 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Mikaela, you are absolutely right; we have to resort to spiritual techniques and affirmations if we can’t buy our way into the system.

    And you know what? That might actually be better for us in the end.

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