The Countdown: The Adventures of Stubby McGrew


My husband is the master of funny nicknames, yesterday dubbing me ‘Stubby McGrew’ as I clomped my way into the elevator at the Downtown YMCA. This is in addition to singing ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz!’ in Young Frankenstein fashion when I walk in the room. The dogs are ‘Stinky McDougal’ (Sophie) and ‘Scrubby McGoo’ (Coops), and sometimes just ‘Delray’ when they are being goofy. I love that he can make me laugh even when I’m dealing with the frustrations of impaired mobility. 

Wearing the giant boot has been quite the experience, as well as  a six-year check-in for me about remembering to slow down. There’s really no choice when walking with this monstrosity on my leg. I learned the lesson all too well a couple of days ago when in the middle of practicing I realized I’d forgotten to do something important. In my ridiculous haste, I almost tumbled down the stairs, twisting my less-than-a-week-surgeried-upon ankle. In my defense, there was pizza dough involved. Pizza. God bless the strong bannister. My heart still pounds when I think of the ‘what if’s’. Dan, frustrated that I had even tried hurrying on the stairs, reminded me of how ironic the conversation with the doctors at the ER would have been…

And you re-broke your ankle that you just had surgery on how?

Ummm…hurrying. 

And how did you break it six years ago?

Ummm…hurrying. 

I shudder even to think of it. My mom always said that I ran around like my hair was on fire all the time. Maybe someday I’ll figure it out. I like the idea of being a constant work in progress, though. Maybe I’ll start wearing a sign that says ‘Under Construction’. One of my friends has threatened to wrap me in bubble wrap. 

I am doing my best to keep moving and stay strong during my recovery period. I do one-legged rowing at the Y and will attempt some stationary bike soon. I miss yoga and kickboxing so much, but I’ve got to be patient and wait until the holes in my ankle bones from where the screws were have filled in (about six weeks). I’ve been going in to the office each morning to work, having to depend on Dan to ferry me around, as the boot is on my right side. All minor frustrations – there are so many people with things much worse than this to deal with. My intent is to keep focusing on the positives of this slower pace.  And there are many. 

I think my body needed this time to rest and restore from my normally frantic pace. I’m being very focused and productive- I have to, as I now only have a few set hours at the office before Dan comes to collect me. It’s actually an introvert’s dream; I have quiet time at home to bond with the animals, read, write, and just enjoy the solitude. 

Dr. Frankenstein meets a fuzzy caterpillar….

The countdown has begun on many levels. I see my doctor for a post-op check-up next week and will (hopefully) move to a smaller boot, along with having the stitches removed. With the less-obtrusive boot, I should be able to return to driving and, hopefully, to normal walking. The big boot takes it toll, something I know well from wearing it for so long when I broke my ankle. It throws your body off-kilter, causing stress issues in your hips and back. Nothing that yoga and massage can’t help me repair when this is over. In the meantime I’ll keep on sipping from that ‘glass is half full’ cup. 

That’s just how Stubby McGrew rolls. 


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