Support

When I was ten years old, I broke my pinky finger. I was sitting at the bottom of a slide with my arm out behind me trying to hoist myself out when my sister came careening down. Crack. That was it; I screamed out in pain, ate a piece of pizza, and went to sleep. When I woke up, my finger was black and blue, and without a doubt, broken. I had never contemplated breaking a bone up until that point, and after the cast was removed from my hand six weeks later, I never thought about it again.

It was not until this past Friday that I had any need to recall the feeling of breaking a bone, because I broke another. Breaking bones feels like a childhood pastime; you fall out of a tree and break your arm, or you break a leg playing soccer or roughhousing. By no means do you break an ankle tripping over a chair, but that is exactly what I did on Friday evening, much to my dismay.

Immediately after my lab class, I hustled over to Bloomberg — a building in the farthest corner of campus — for my a cappella show. I got there just in time to help unloading sound equipment and then quickly went back to the room where the group was hanging out. The door was propped open with a chair and I went to step over it (in platform shoes) to no avail. My ankle twisted and buckled, and with a singular but very crunchy pop, I went down.

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Trying to laugh in a very unfortunate situation

You may be wondering what this unfortunate event could have anything to do with Hopkins and the experience of going here, and that’s where this part comes in. From the moment I went down, right up until now, I have received nothing but support.

My friend Mellissa, who was with me at the time, quickly ran out of the room to get anyone who could be remotely helpful. She arrived back with our friend and fellow group member, Isabel, who also happens to be a wilderness first responder (WFR). She assessed my foot, told me that she thought it was sprained, and helped me to keep it elevated and iced. Mellissa let me borrow her significantly lower-heeled shoes for the concert, and my friend Ben let me hold on to him when I couldn’t support myself on my own ankles during the show.

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Post-standing on my broken ankle for over an hour in our concert

When we all met up afterward, my friend Ramya made sure not to forget an ankle brace, and I thought my ankle was sitting pretty until the next morning when I woke up and couldn’t move. Past just my friends, Hopkins’ resources have been extremely supportive. I took an Uber to the hospital (in my frenzy, forgetting that security could have gotten me there for free) and the hospital took me right away. After two surveys of my x-rays, my doctors told me that I had suffered an avulsion fracture, meaning that a ligament in my ankle pulled a piece of bone from my ankle, causing a fracture.

Security drove me back to my room, and has been extremely accommodating whenever I’m in a little bit of extra pain and feel like I need a ride. I’ve had lots of friends offer to carry my stuff for me, my friend Paige rides the elevator with me whenever I’m feeling lonely, and the AD I work with in Residential Life has offered to come up with some alternatives to my rounds when I’m on call for the night. I’ve even been contacted my Case Management, which means that I am not only being supported by my friends, but I also have backing from the school administration if I need help.

A broken ankle may seem run-of-the-mill, but in the middle of my last round of midterms as a junior, right before Homecoming and Spring Fair, and on a campus where the ramps are surprisingly out of the way, all of these things combined go a long way. No matter where I turn, I am supported, and that’s pretty stellar, even though the boot I’m wearing on my foot is not.

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Boot.

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