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My tobillo is killing me!

SPAIN | Saturday, 23 February 2008 | Views [1029]

I have learnt many Spanish words in the last month, but by far the ones that I use most are 'gracias' and 'tobillo'.  Clearly, I use gracias about a hundred times a day: when the hostel has found a spare bed for me, when the old man at the shop gives me my packet of Jámon-flavoured Ruffles and icy Coke Zero and when a kindly Anadalusian laughs and points to the exact spot where I am standing, after I have asked where the bus stop is. No wonder I use the word so much.

But it is my 'tobillo' or 'ankle' that has really dominated my Spanish discussions this month.  Simply because I can't seem to stop rolling my freakin' ankle!  You could find the flattest surface in all of Spain (and trust me, there aren't that many flat surfaces here, unless you count the tops of bars) and I would still find a way to roll my ankle.  What started out as my old netball injury with a lot of scar tissue, has now become the bane of my travelling existence. I have lost count of the number of times I have rolled it (actually, that is clearly an exaggeration, I know I have rolled it five times now - but still, that is a lot in one month!) 

Here is a short account of what I was doing each time that I rolled my ankle.

1. On my first day in Barcelona, I was in Güell Park and enjoying the sunshine. I got my first glimpse of Gaudí's mosaic turtle and in my haste to get to it I rolled my ankle in the gravel. It was the first time, so incredibly painful.

2. Having iced my ankle for many days and slept with it elevated, I thought I would be fine as long as I was careful. Hm, not so. On my last day in Barcelona I was at Montjuïc (moderately high mountain with Olympic village at the top) and I rolled my ankle when I managed to stumble in the only dip in the ground on a grassy knoll.

3. By now I was in Madrid and spent a week walking around with my ankle strapped and keeping an eye out for any slight dips in the ground. Because a week had gone by, I admit that I had become complacent and so when I got off the train at the wrong Metro stop, realised my mistake and couldn't get back on, I turned around in angry frustration and... you guessed it, rolled my ankle.  That was a really bad one, as my foot went completely over, so that the side of my foot was touching the ground. Just got a full-body shiver as I re-read the last sentence and it took me back to that time.

4. This is probably the only time that I rolled my ankle and found it funny. Yes, I was drunk. Having met some excellent drinking partners in Málaga (that tale can wait for another blog) and gotten drunk on warm, cheap, bottled Sangria and a skulling game that didn't have many rules, I went to the toilet just before we went out on the town for some cervezas. Considering how much I had drunk it really came as no surprise that I rolled my ankle. The surprising bit was that once I had gotten a bag of ice to chill my ankle, I insisted that I was fine and we all went out anyway. (That is also a tale for the future Málaga blog.)

5. This last time occurred in Granada.  It was only a matter of time before I rolled my ankle there, because my hostel was in the old Arabic quarter, where they not only have a lot of shishas but cobblestone paths as well. I had been fine on the cobblestones, as long as I took my time. However, my ability to walk was really challenged when I had to negotiate the cobblestone path and the obstacle course that had been constructed out of dog poo by some lazy dog-owners. It was all too much for me and I rolled my ankle. I didn't really feel the pain that time, as my relief at not having fallen in any shit was so overwhelming, that pain took a back seat.

So that's it so far, but still plenty of my holiday left for me to roll it! Not that I intend to be so pessimistic, but after five rollings, my glass isn't exactly half-full. I'm keeping it bound, I ice it every now and then and I have Jason giving it some long distance reiki, so hopefully it will come good.

Tags: Doctors, hospitals & health

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