An Unusual Case

Jorge Milanes Despaigne 

Photo: Caridad

“Run, Esperancita!” yelled the man who lives two houses down from where I live, after the thunderous crash in his kitchen.

He had climbed up the ladder to paint the ceiling, and while working in that position he lost his balance and went flying down onto the floor.

It goes without saying that this scared Esperanza half out of her wits, though she ran over quickly to help her husband out.

He had fallen with his legs straight, without even bending his knees – a very dangerous way to land.  With a lot of effort, his wife was able to get him to the closest polyclinic as he was hit with agonizing pain.

The doctor on call examined him, giving special attention to his legs, the body parts that had absorbed most of the impact.

The physician sent the man to have his feet x-rayed after making sure that his knees were alright.  They only had to wait a half hour to get the x-ray from the technician and get it to the attending doctor, who was waiting for the results in his office.

Once he saw it, he continued looking at it in the light.   Then, standing there with a look of surprise on his face, he exclaimed:

“This can’t be.  Oh my God, it’s incredible.” Esperanza became as anxious as her husband when several medical students began forming around them to see what the doctor himself had described as “this very unusual case.”

“But tell me doctor, is what my husband has serious?” she asked apprehensively.

The doctor, who had been reticent up until that moment, said:

“No ma’am, it’s not that it’s serious…he’ll only have to wear a cast for a couple months.  What’s hurting your husband in the ankle is a spur that was fractured by the fall.  It’s the same thing we orthopedic surgeons do when we operate on these cases, only that with the fall, he seems to have operated on himself.”