the best laid plans…

Yesterday morning, I was feeling really good about my progress this week. Here’s how I did on my goals:

  • Identify and outline topics for GLS (and possibly AoIR) papers. Decided to outline a games and tourism literature review, instead, and made some real progress on that.
  • Work out at the gym at least three times. Ended up doing yoga at home instead of workouts in the gym; tried several different lessons, finally settled on one I liked and did it four times this week.
  • Complete the first disk (intro, lessons 1 & 2) of the Pimsleur Croatian course Done!
  • Minimum of one coffee and one meal (lunch or dinner) date with friends Not done, but by choice, because I was really enjoying my solitude this week.
  • Follow up with on study abroad partnership agreements with other universities. Partially done.
  • Contact my US accountant about my taxes Done.
  • Finish Gamification in Tourism, re-read For the Win.Had both books with me in my bag when I headed down to the Old Town yesterday, with firm plans to sit in a cafe and sip coffee until I’d finished.

It was that last one that tripped me up, however. Literally.

At around 2pm yesterday, I was walking down to the old town to finish the reading goals for the week. However, 3/4 of the way down (300 of 400 steps), my right foot twisted on a slick stone and I heard a worrisome cracking noise. It was painful, but I was still able to make it gingerly down the last 100 steps to the Pile Gate area, where I decided my best option was to take a cab to the hospital

Once I got there, they x-rayed it and confirmed a fracture in my fifth metatarsal (not dislocated, however). They wouldn’t give me painkillers or an ice pack, so the ~2 hours wait there was very unpleasant. Then they put it in a plaster cast because the hospital doesn’t have walking boots. Hoping that a pharmacy here or Zagreb has one, because bathing with a cast will be difficult or impossible.
Cab took me back to the top of my street where I combined hopping and scooting down on my butt to traverse the 75 steps down to the apartment. That was probably the worst part of the whole day, but on the plus side once I’d done it I felt pretty damn proud of myself!

Throughout the whole thing I’d been posting updates to Facebook (which seemed like a better option than crying alone in the hospital hallway). By the time I got home, my local friends had seen my updates, and I had no sooner downed three much-needed ibuprofen when my friend and colleague Zrinka swooped in, bearing hugs and reassurance (and cookies!). She washed my dishes, took out my trash, and and then went out and bought some groceries for me. After that, Gordana, my landlady, came up offered to do any shopping I need while I’m laid up. Not longer after that, she sent her husband up with a walker that he’d borrowed from friends, which has helped tremendously in allowing me to get around the apartment. (But I’m already feeling the muscle strain in my shoulders and arms…)

I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to sleep, but apparently the day was exhausting enough that (with a little help from a clonazepam) I was able to get a solid 9-10 hours of sleep.

Today Zrinka returned, bearing homemade soup and rice and meatballs for lunch, and a lovely golden heart full of dried rosepetals that’s now hanging in my living room where I can see it from my nest on the couch.

A photo posted by Liz Lawley (@mamamusings) on

I’m not sure yet what this means for my time here. My apartment, as wonderful as it is, is in about the worst location ever for someone with mobility issues (right in the middle of a staircase of 150 steps, so no way to leave or return without traversing 75 of them). My friends here are going to call a respected private orthopedist here, so I can find out if (a) a walking boot would work for this injury (everything I’ve read so far tells me yes, but I’d prefer an expert opinion), and (b) if I can even *find* the right kind of boot here, or if I’d need to get it sent to me from the US.

If a boot or some kind of walking cast (as opposed to the flimsy plaster thing I have now) is feasible, then I’d like to stay here and continue to work while I heal. If not, I’ll need to look into changing my visit home in March to start
ASAP, and then return in late March when I should be in better condition to navigate the city.

I will say that I’m very glad indeed that I brought with me jumbo-sized bottles of every OTC painkiller, along with an emergency stash of clonazepam.

As for this week’s goals? I don’t think so. I have no idea what the week holds physically or emotionally, so I’m not going to set goals I don’t know if I can keep.

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