In April 2015, while on a tour of Northern Ireland with my daughter, I slipped while struggling to disembark from a tall jeep, in the driving rain of Belfast. When I fell five feet from the jeep's metal stairs and tumbled to the ground, crooked left foot first, I knew it was bad because my daughter Julia implored me not to look. The angle of my foot was unnatural, the pain was excruciating, and the rain had turned to sleet as I waited for the ambulance to rescue me from the parking lot of the Titanic Experience (foreshadowing?). I spent 11 days in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, undergoing both an ex-fix and an internal fixation surgery for my trimalleolar fracture. A week later, I was flown home on a Medi-Vac plane with a suitcase full of blood thinners, in a cast up to my knee. After the cast, boot, and much PT—along with periodic shots of cortisone—I walked pretty well until last winter, when the cortisone stopped working. I hobbled into Dr. Chris Coetzee's
office in early February 2019, a brace on my left ankle and a cane in my hand, afraid I was facing the mobility-limiting ankle fixation that two other orthopedic surgeons had suggested. To my great relief and delight, Dr. Coetzee offered me instead an ankle replacement surgery a month later. Two days ago (April 23), I tossed aside my scooter, boot, and crutches, and I am now once again walking down the street where I live: Main Street, which runs alongside the Mississippi River. I predict I will be crossing the iconic Stone Arch Bridge by Memorial Day. Thanks to the magical team of Dr. Chris Coetzee, Larry Nilsson
, P.A., and Lisa Long, scheduler extraordinaire.