Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thrillerfest on Crutches: Mother-Daughter Trip 6

It's that time of year again. . . mother-daughter trip time! I say that with an exclamation point because good or bad, these trips are always an adventure. You can read about some of our past mother-daughter trips here:
Trip 5: Almost Here (which covers a brief recap of trips 1-4 as well)
Mother-Daughter Trip 5: Banff and Lake Louise, Canada
Banff: The Good Stuff

Today I am 48 hours away from Trip 6: New York City. While I chose the destination for trips one through five, mom requested that we tie in Trip 6 with her already-scheduled trip to New York where she will be a speaker at the writing conference Thrillerfest.

Though I have been to New York hundreds of times, and even lived there for three months in the summer of 1996 when I attended NYU's Summer Publishing Institute, I never turn down a trip to the Big Apple. And though I don't write thrillers (or novels at all, for that matter) I'm excited to attend Thrillerfest and learn from some of the best published authors today.

I planned our itinerary (as much as you can plan for the surprises that await you in NYC) to include some touristy things I have never done in all my time in Manhattan like walk the Brooklyn Bridge and Chelsea High Line, and visit landmarks like the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the 911 Memorial, the Chrysler building and the ABC Home store. What I didn't plan, is that I'd do it on crutches.

* * *

Back up two weeks, and you would find me grumbling and bitter about all the things that are "wrong" with my life while on a morning jog with one of my dogs. I'd like to blame PMS, but I'd been grumpy for a couple weeks due to a bouquet of issues that ranged from parenting frustrations (my son currently hates to read and I don't know how to handle this) to work stress to my father being diagnosed with prostate cancer. As I put one healthy leg in front of the other on that gorgeous morning, the five-year-old whiner in me thought, "I wish I had more to be grateful for." As soon as I thought it, I immediately said out loud to the gods, "NO! I didn't mean that. I have so much to be thankful for!" But I knew in my gut that it was too late. The universe had heard my request and would soon deliver.

Four days later, on a fun girls night out, I wore a pair of stilettos with heels like chopsticks.  I knew I had no business wearing these shoes, but my friends insisted they looked too good to trade for a more comfortable pair. Again, I tempted the gods and joked aloud, "I know they look good, but I'm going to break my ankle in these shoes!"

Sure enough, at our third bar as I stood still on a slippery floor and was bumped by a fellow bump-and-grinder, my ankle buckled in those stupid stilettos and I went down. I have never sprained anything before, but instantly my ankle ballooned and I knew I was not going to be able to tough out the rest of the night.

A trip to the ER revealed the ankle was not broken, just badly sprained. Thank gods for small favors! I have spent the past week on crutches, leg up and iced. I feel like I'm a race against time with the voice of the movie trailer guy as my soundtrack. . .

    "In a world, where broken travel plans cost big money and heartbreak, will Heather be able to take a bite out of the Big Apple? Or will she be forced to master subway stairs and crutches in 104 degree heat in a city where people expect you to get the f--- out of the way?"


I hope I don't have to find out. My ankle swelling has gone down significantly in the last eight days, and I'm hoping I will be able to put pressure on it come Tuesday so I don't have to hear my mom freak out about getting to the airport three hours early to book a wheelchair for a domestic flight. Only time will tell.

This much I know:  I will NEVER take two working legs for granted again. I am SO grateful for my health and my fast-healing body. And no matter what relationship discoveries await my mother and I on this trip, I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to know her, for better or for worse.

Stay tuned. . .


  1. Great post!! I tore ligaments in the same ankle twice, its horrible!! Enjoy your trip!!!!

  2. It is indeed a painful painful thing. Don't know how those Olympic gymnasts do it and power on through a routine!

  3. I feel for you, Heather. I sprained my ankle on an adventure in Sligo, Ireland. It was a doozy.... I discovered what is meant by the expression, "It hurt so bad I was seeing stars." For the first 24 hours, my friend (who was also my tour guide & driver) put me on a strict regimen of Tylenol and Pinot Grigio. When we finally got to hospital in London, the doc gave me crutches which were ever so helpful, since I spent the next 8 days in my friend's flat in London, with loo on the second floor. I'm with you: I will NEVER take two working legs for granted - and I'm very aware of how much opening the door or carrying a package is appreciated by anyone trying to cope with crutches.