This post is inspired by a friend who has just moved to New York City from California, after living in California for most of his life. Talking to him reminded me of my first thoughts when I moved from the temperate climate of California to a place with true seasons,
Oh. My. Goodness. What is this disgusting humidity and why won't my sweat evaporate? No, please no, the subway is 4 minutes away and I need to wait in this sticky and odd smelling subway station as I wait. What is that smell? Is it trash? Is it body odor? Is it the subway rat's leftover pizza that is growing mold?
Ahhh, I dig this weather. Sunny and mild weather. Wow! The trees change color here and it's not because of a drought. What a beautiful sight! Can it be this season forever? This is what I'm used to. Time for apple cider donuts? What?!
Winter is coming, they said. Buy long underwear, they said. Why did you move here, they asked. I don't know, I replied.
Snow is so beautiful...let's go outside! *cue the regrets*
20 minutes later... WTF. I cannot feel my face or my toes. My beautiful leather boots are destroyed! My ears hurt. My nose is running. Time to go inside...
Okay, this is not bad. It's a little rainy and slushy on the streets but you know what, it's not bad. There are no more snowstorms ahead and think of all of the Central Park picnics and rooftop bars! Summer is coming...
New York City, particularly Manhattan, is a public transportation and walker's haven and because of this, it is probably one of the worst places to have deal with a broken ankle and crutches. Granted, the doctors and hospitals are great but the public transportation is ill-fitting for those with handicaps or disabilities related to walking. Here are some things i learned while roaming (slowly) around the city on crutches to and from work.
Not all subway stops have elevators or escalators
And even if they do have elevators or escalators, there is a high chance that they are going to be 1) out of order or 2) filthy or 3) both. I had to do my research (http://web.mta.info/accessibility/stations.htm) prior to going anywhere to determine whether it would be worthwhile for me to attempt stairs while PWB (partial weight bearing) on crutches.
Women are more likely to offer you their seat on the subway
When I get on the subway car, it's usually a 50/50 toss up of whether there will be readily available seats and these chances are especially slim when commuting to work during rush hour. I've noticed that about 80% of the time, other women are more willing to offer me their seat whereas many men tend to avoid my gaze. I definitely try not to pressure anyone or ask anyone if I could take their seat as I am getting better bearing weight on my broken foot and feel like I need to practice. But it is a nice gesture when someone does offer and I appreciate it immensely.
Service like Uber and Lyft far surpass their yellow cab competitors
Since I live on a more residential street in the city, it is not so easy to flag down a yellow cab and so I find car sharing services such as Lyft and Uber to be much more convenient as they pick me up directly in front of my building. For some reason, Lyft drivers are the most accommodating and helpful, some even going out of their way to help me into their cars when I was in the earlier stages of recovery. (You don't know how hard it is to close and open a car door when NWB (non-weight bearing) until you have to do it.) Uber drivers generally try to get you as close to your destination's door as possible as well. Yellow cab drivers could not care less about your predicament and live up their reputation of being rude and offensive. I'm constantly rushed out of yellow cabs by the cab drivers who do not care that you are handicapped even if you explain or apologize.
Seamless and food delivery apps are blessings
Having no energy to cook or strength to purchase groceries, falling back on food delivery services was an incredible option to have and one of the greatest benefits of living in a place like NYC. I'm thankful that variety in my neighborhood is pretty good, however, the healthy options could have been better. I've used more than my fair share of Seamless, UberEats, GrubHub, and my favorite Vietnamese shop.
October 15, 2016
I went out for the first time on my own today! Took an Uber down to brunch on the UWS to meet a visiting friend from California. This helped cure some post-op blues and remind myself that life will continue past this injury.
October 28, 2016 - Post Op Followup #2
6 weeks post surgery and I have been cleared to bear weight! The doctor did not give me a detailed protocol but essentially said to bear weight as tolerated and to begin physical therapy as soon as possible. My dorsiflexion is currently terrible which gives me quite a limp as I walk around.
October 29, 2016 - Physical Therapy Session #1
November 1, 2016
This is my first day back in the office in the Financial District in Manhattan. I had forgotten how crazy the subways were during rush hour and unfortunately had someone step on on my foot while on the train. NYC subways are not the most ADA-accessible. Very few have working and clean elevators so I was forced to use the stairs climbing in and out of the subways.
November 5, 2016
I walked outside with just one crutch today to go to physical therapy! Managed to take the subway back just fine. 7 weeks post op and I'm feeling stronger every day. I have to be careful about over-exerting myself as a long day can lead to extreme swelling in my ankle. I find myself coming home after work and laying down straightaway for at least an hour. It will only get better in time. Stay positive folks!
I've had these burning questions on my mind since breaking my ankle -
Hi all, here is a photo progression of my post-surgery ankle, from the time I had my stitches in through several dressing changes and until now, where I can shower comfortably with both legs in the tub. These photos are not for the fainthearted who do not have the stomach for open wounds or anything resembling that nature. I personally find the images fascinating and wish I had become a dermatologist (maybe it's not too late?)
Proceed with caution!
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