How to Survive Ankle Damage when Working on a Ship

13 Mar

A Step by Step Guide

1st step – Getting Injured:
During the last 10minutes of your duty decide to walk around the outer decks for some fresh air, be sure to wear sensible shoes to avoid any excuses as to how damage occurred. Walk slowly and carefully down stairs that are wet from the rain.
Somehow place your left foot wrong, twist it at a delightful angle outwards and then let it slide under you as you “gracefully” sit down on it, clenching the hand rail at all times.

2nd Step – Medical Center part 1
Swear to yourself in numerous languages as the pool boys try and help you down the rest of the stairs, enthusiastically offering to carry you…
Hobble to the elevator and make your way to the medical center where your favorite doctor has the urge to throttle you over getting injured. (You are on first name basis after numerous chest infections).
After a quick inspection and bandaging convince the doctor to give you a chance for a few hours and see how serious it actually is, thereby avoiding copious amounts of paperwork.

3rd Step – Medical Center part 2
After a couple of hours return to the medical center attempting to look fine… and failing miserably.
Have the nurse remove bandage and then all wince at the same time as you see a very large egg just above the bone turning a wonderful shade of purple… OOPS!

4th Step – Calling Safety
Doctor should sigh at this point and pull out previously mentioned copious amounts of paperwork, while at the same time calling the Safety Officer to evaluate the accident. (All accidents have to be signed off by the Safety Officer). Have the Assistant Safety, the Safety Officer and 2 inspectors all show up and “Safety” look at you horrified saying “it was you?? But you are the leader of assembly station G, and we have drill tomorrow!!!” OOPS again. Smile shyly and apologize.

5th Step – Medical Off
Receive 3 days off as you are unfit to work and have to hobble around on a crutch. All the while have your cruise director lecturing you on how he is an expert on sprained ankles:
“when I was a drummer in a band, I sprained my ankle but had to keep playing, ’cause a band is nothing without the drummer, then I sprained it again 2 weeks later, and yet I kept walking and kept playing.”
Resist the urge to point out that perhaps he constantly re-sprained due to not letting it heal in the first place. Instead, just nod and smile.
Be sure to enjoy plenty of bed rest and watch every movie you and your roommate has available…

6th Step – Responding to Concern
Be tempted to write a large sign to wear around your neck saying “I slipped down the wet stairs… I am fine!” as you are asked repeatedly what happened and how exactly you managed to do such an injury. Prepare statements such as:
“No I was not drunk, it was 11am”
“No I was not wearing heels, I was wearing sensible work shoes” etc…
“No it was not after Crew Party, I didn’t even get there”
Be thrilled that everyone offers to help you, and realize later that most of them are busy when you actually need help, but be determined to do everything as close to normal as you can.
Discover later that there is a rumor stating it was you who fell down drunk after crew party and thereby ensured that the next crew party was cancelled… Be sure to clarify and have all your friends clarify again… you never even made it to the party!!!

7th Step – Discovering a Physiotherapist amongst the Crew
Feeling very sorry for yourself and actually starting to worry about the damage caused, be relieved when you discover one of the dancers is, in fact, also a physiotherapist and she offers to work on your ankle as much as possible.

7.5th Step – 50 Shades of PURPLE
Be impressed as your foot seems to change color every day, from deep purple to a lovely shade of greeny yellow… Show collegues who suddenly have lots of concern when they see the bruising.

8th Step – Slow Recovery
Spend the next next 10 days stuck on board, constantly working as much as possible followed by rest, ice and elevation… Grin and bear it as you walk around or stand during duties, constantly letting fellow crew members know that you are actually improving, slowly slowly.

9th Step – Freedom
Finally after 10 days, in your favorite port of Funchal, grit your teeth and head for the door. The weather will be gloriously sunny, you will manage to join a cab ride and not be charged and then find your favorite coffee shop with your favorite pastry!! Worth every limp!

10th and Final Step – Normality
Eventually a few weeks down the road after the incident your ankle will look less like a cankle, possibly even normal, and with continued exercises you will be back to “normal” just in time to finish your contract and fly off to new adventures, a little wiser and a little more careful when it comes to stairs!!!


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2 responses to “How to Survive Ankle Damage when Working on a Ship

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