I broke my left ankle on October 30, 2006, at around 6:30 pm. I remember it so clearly because I was wearing my pink panther dress and practicing for the upcoming Halloween Classic, doing a partial run through with my coach. He was not far from me, kind of blocking the crowds. I was just doing some simple footwork, turning from forwards to backwards to forwards, and I stepped forward to do a bunny hop and I lost my balance and fell backwards towards my left. My blade caught in the ice, so I fell on my foot. My rockstar coach came with me to the hospital and stayed with me for hours, and then went to my house and took care of my cats. I had surgery, had 3 screws in the ankle, started PT about 10 days later but was non weight-bearing for about 7 weeks. Six and a half weeks in, I threw 2 clots to my lungs, so I was in the hospital 5 days for that. But, eventually things got better. I had the screws removed the following April because the syndesmotic screw, which pinned the fibula to the tibia, hurt me, and my surgeon just took them all out.
I had about 4 months of PT altogether, and I know it helped a lot. I did not get back on the ice until around August or so. The first time I skated with my coach at the same rink I was injured at, and that was a little freaky. Skated with him a few times, went and braved some public sessions and some freestyle sessions. For awhile, my ankle did not want to flex enough, and crossovers were great therapy. I would say I have about 95% or so of my former range of motion, and it never bothers me while skating. I had pain due to the soft tissue injury sporadically for several years but it is totally fine now. I do notice that if I am not vigilent about stretching it, it does stiffen up a bit.
I still skate, but just once a week or so with my coach. I could skate more, but I developed a lot of other interests in the time I was recovering, and so I am content with what I'm doing. My coach stays with me, encourages me, and lets me do what I want, teaches me new things or helps me improve what I can do. After all, I'm not going to the Olympics or even adult nationals, and I'm okay with that. It is just fun. My coach and I have been together since January of 1999! He and I were laughing about that today, as we are clearly the longest running partnership at the rink.