When is a Problem Not a Problem? When It’s An Opportunity.

by Erin on February 26, 2009


taped ankle

Reader of the blog Melissa recently sent me this question:

I tore a ligament in my ankle a few months ago and have been sporting white, ever-so-lovely athletic tape on a daily basis since. This hasn't been an issue during winter, the season for multiple layers of opaque tights, but the season for wearing dresses and skirts without attracting weird looks is coming up soon. Not only that, but I have a few occasions coming up very quickly where I need to wear a dress in slightly fancier circumstances (where neither heavy winter tights nor knee-high boots, my winter solutions, are appropriate).

On a daily basis, I have white tape reaching in a semi-spiral half-way up my shin. It wouldn't be as much of an issue, but I'm a 23-year-old student and have to worry about things like making good impressions at job interviews and as I try to get into grad school. Unfortunately, just leaving the tape off isn't one of the available solutions! And, as I mentioned before, there are occasions where I will be expected to wear skirts or dresses.

Do you or your readers have any suggestions about how best to rise to the challenge?

I let this sit in my inbox for a while because I didn't know how to answer it. It's not that I didn't have any suggestions for covering the tape; it's that I didn't have good suggestions for getting Melissa to stop WANTING to cover the tape, and I think that's the real problem. It's totally natural to want to hide anything that might stand out, or call unwanted attention to yourself, or that seems like a flaw. However … NOT covering things up is, long-term, the better solution.

I don't want to be all "Disabilities give you strength!" because, frankly, that is the kind of bullshit able-bodied people tell themselves to feel better. It sucks not to have full use of your body. That's just true. (With the possible exception of being Deaf, which if you are raised in a Deaf community, doesn't seem to be as bad — but then again, I'm not Deaf, so what do I know?)

However, any kind of difference gives you the opportunity to learn how to deal graciously with weird looks and clueless people, and THAT is a life skill whose importance cannot be overestimated. And luckily for Melissa, her White Tape of Difference is purely temporary — she doesn't face the grinding prospect of a lifetime of people asking "How'd you do THAT?" or saying "Wow, that looks like it hurt," and so on. So you practice your "Oh, thanks for asking!" response (the one that doesn't actually answer anyone's question) and remind yourself that just because someone asks you a question, You Don't Actually Owe Anyone An Answer.

It also helps you realize that Really, Honestly, Nobody is Looking That Hard. When you go out of the house with white tape, or a honking big zit, or a birthmark, or so on, you soon realize that for every person giving you the double-take look, there are four, or five, or ten who casually glance your way and never think of you again. Ever.

So, my advice to Melissa is not to worry about how the taped ankle looks. It looks fine. (Remember, you don't owe anyone pretty, either.) And if I were interviewing someone for a job (something I've done a fair bit of) or grad school (something I've never done), I'd be perfectly fine with it, and I'd probably give extra points to someone who dealt with it in a natural and matter-of-fact way, instead of apologizing for it: e.g., "I recently injured my ankle (or use a cane, or have a service animal, or whatever); are there elevators at the interview site? Could you please arrange for me to have extra time between interviews? Thank you for your consideration in this matter."

(Melissa, you can also use this as a way to screen OTHER PEOPLE: anybody who is a jerk or dismissive about your injury or disability is a person you do not want to work for or go be a student of. Believe me. Life's too short.)

So, this may not be the answer you wanted, Melissa, but it's the only one I've got. Good luck!

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Notamermaid February 26, 2009 at 11:49 am

When I broke my arm and had to carry it in a sling, the first thing I did was get ride of the boring hospital sling (which hurt my neck anyhow) and use an assortment of scarves as slings. I coordinated them with all my summer dresses. It was the opposite of inconspicuous, but it made me feel better about it (“If I have to wear a cast, I am going to have the best-accesorized cast out there!”), and friends/dates/coworkers all loved it.I don’t know how to translate that into an ankle wrap – but for non-job interview situations, jazzing it up a bit instead of trying to hide it may make you feel better!

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Ginger February 26, 2009 at 11:52 am

I totally agree with you – nobody’s looking, and if they were, why would a sprained ankle be a big deal? If Melissa is in the habit of wearing bright colors, she might even consider matching her ankle wrap to her outfit! Vet Wrap is cool stuff, and comes in a number of bright colors. It sticks to itself without being sticky, and is generally used to hold bandages on dogs and horses and other uncooperative patients…http://www.amazon.com/Gifted-Horse-Tack-Vet-Wrap/dp/B0002V47L0

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Lydia February 26, 2009 at 11:54 am

Melissa,I’m the graduate secretary at a state university. It’s my *job* to arrange student visits and such. I can tell you that any school that treats you poorly because of an ankle injury before you’re even a student is *not* a school you want to bother attending.I agree with Erin 100% on this.

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Jennifer and Jason Young February 26, 2009 at 12:08 pm

leg warmers are totally in at urban outfitters and I love leggings under dresses. Good luck. I like to handle awkward situations with humor and make up outrageous lies about what happened. If you can make people laugh they instantly love you! I agree with everyone that if people are dumb about it, you for sure don’t want to spend your education or working days hanging out with them! p.s. our vintage hem slips are new! they pay hommage to petticoat days!

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Rachelle February 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm

I’m not sure I’d go the hide-the-tape route, either. Maybe it’s my inner yearning for attention, but when I was on crutches after falling off my deck and messing up my ankle last summer, I made myself a wrap-cover of bright red denim with butterflies and flowers all over it. I kind of cut it out like a Christmas stocking, put a zipper up the back so that I could just slide my bandaged foot right into it and zip it up, and left it at that.When I wasn’t actually using my crutches, it made me look like a slightly crazy person wearing two different shoes, but other than that, it kept the bandages clean, which is all I was really after.

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Sareberry February 26, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Hoo! I had an interview with a black eye once. I was worried about it because it looked like I’d been in a brawl or something, but any make up I put on just made me look like I had something to hide or thought I was auditioning for a play. So I finally gave up and let it shine (hehe). When the interviewer asked me about it, I told him Mom was right, don’t play soccer in the house. When he stopped laughing he gave me the job. Relax, they’re not interviewing your ankle!

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Jenny February 26, 2009 at 12:47 pm

My last job interview (on-campus, for a professor’s position) was with a 4-week-old baby I was breastfeeding. Talk about NOT the fashion accessory most people advise taking along. I played the matter-of-fact card (“I’ll need breaks at X and X times, and a private room so I can take care of my family, thanks so much,”) and the university was completely helpful and kind and matter-of-fact in return. Which helped me see that it would be a good place for me to work. Don’t cover up! The tape is (temporarily) part of you, and it’ll also clue you in to how they treat other people with injuries or disabilities, temporary or not.

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harthad February 26, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I completely agree with Erin. I have interviewed plenty of people, and trust me, tape on your ankle is not something (good) interviewers care about. Your good humor in dealing with it will count for a lot more!

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Dr. Julie-Ann February 26, 2009 at 1:00 pm

I LOVE the vet-wrap idea! Melissa, please choose that option and share photos with us. I think it will be fabulous!

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Anonymous February 26, 2009 at 1:06 pm

You tore the ligament “a few months ago” and it’s sill not healed? Hmmm.

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Lisa Simeone February 26, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Count me as another one who completely agrees with Erin.I tore my ankle ligament 20 years ago, and it took 5-1/2 months to heal. I mean I really ripped the hell out of it. I didn’t wear athletic tape for that long, only for the first month or two, but I still wear an ankle brace now and then when the injury flares up, which, yes, it still does.But there are also black ankle braces out there — they are the same strength as the Ace bandage you’re currently using — so if you wanted to wear black opaque tights, the thing would hardly be noticeable. Just do a Google search and you’ll find all different kinds of ankle braces.But again, as Erin and several people here have already said, it’s just an injury. Nobody with any sense is going to hold that against you. (And hey, you can even play it for sympathy — you’d be surprised at all the nice people who suddenly appear to hold doors for you, help you onto a bus, etc.!)

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susan February 26, 2009 at 1:41 pm

I’m with anonymous – your ligament should be doing better by now (enough at least to be bandage free for a short time if you feel you want that). Have you had it looked at recently?Are you sure you are not just hiding your ‘Brad and Jen 4 Ever’ tattoo? A wee joke!I’d cover as white bandages = BLOOD in many people’s minds and then not worry a bit (except about the ligament, which does need a review’

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Noile February 26, 2009 at 1:47 pm

Erin is absolutely right; this isn’t a big deal unless it’s made into one by interviewer or interviewee. People get colds, sprain ankles, tear ligaments and often have even worse or more serious/permanent disabilities. It’s part of being human!However, if you feel the white bandage screams for attention, or will look grubby as the day wears on, what about making a lycra sleeve to go over it (kind of like a spat)? Otherwise, I agree with so many others — humor is your best weapon!

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Theresa February 26, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I have a friend with Cerebral Palsy and has had to wear at various times in her life – full body casts, leg casts, braces, wear ugly shoes, and never once, not ever has she said to me — What can I do /wear to make my Cerebral Palsy less noticable? Recently I saw a make over show where the girl getting a makeover had cerebral palsy. She was crying about how she had a noticiable oddity in her gait. Please! I didn’t even notice it and she COULD wear high heels! My friend has never been able to wear heels or pretty shoes and has she ever cried about it? No, Not once. Has she ever let people’s stares or questions bother her… Nope. And trust me, her condition is noticiable. I have known her for nearly 12 years and I have to say, I notice her blue eyes, her resilient spirit, her big smile and warm bubbly personality. Most of the time I simply forget she has CP…and then something happens like when I walk too fast or forget to give her my arm to get up the stairs. Then we laugh…becaue she knows I see more than her disablity. And once I did ask her to run for help (she also had a cast on) when my car was rolling down a hill and I was trying to stop it.

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Little Hunting Creek February 26, 2009 at 2:26 pm

I agree with Erin. I once did a job interview on crutches and it told me volumes about working at that office. They were kind, generous, helpful and considerate and I’m not sure I would have learned all that about then in that short a time if I had walked in without the crutches.

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Katie February 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm

My mother is missing her entire right arm, and people almost never notice that – they usually think I’m joking when I mention it! If a missing arm can go unnoticed, I don’t think anyone will be paying attention to your bandage!

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Chantelle February 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm

I feel for you, Melissa, because I’ve had similar problems before. I’ve heard that it’s human nature for people to look at others who are different. A very wise person I know once said that if you don’t want people to look at your injury/disability/whatever, then give them some other reason to look at you. That way, both you and they will be more comfortable. So minimize the appearance of the bandage with a flesh-coloured elastic bandages, if you want to. But, as others have said, why not wrap your bandage in something that coordinates with your dressy outfits? Or you could draw attention away from that area and wear a fabulous hat, headband, or glasses! Don’t just try to hide the injury because you’ll just feel uncomfortable and that, in turn, will make others uncomfortable. As for your interviews, the interviewers aren’t going to care one whit that your ankle is injured. Heck, they wouldn’t care if you were walking with a cane or in a wheelchair, say, for the rest of your life. They care mostly about what you can do and whether you’ll fit in to their research departments; a thesis advisor and student work together very closely and it’s important that they get along. That said, they might care a little bit about how you handle the injury because that speaks to the kind of person you are in times of distress.So walk with your head held high as though your ankle were perfectly normal. Pretend you’re starting a new trend where everyone who’s anyone is wearing bandages on one foot. If someone asks about it, smile and either tell an outrageous lie (if you’ve got the personality for it – I don’t, unfortunately), or matter-of-factly state that you’ve got a healing injury. Accepting the injury and treatment is much less stressful and requires much less effort than trying to hide it. So take a deep breath, smile, and show off your gorgeous self!

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Marjie February 26, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Flesh colored ace bandages will disguise the wrap. It’s better than nothing, and I understand Melissa’s reluctance to feel that the glaring, white, obvious leg wrap took over the room before she even said “Hello!” People aren’t supposed to notice those things, but they do. It’s a fact of life. And Melissa wants to make a good first impression before her ankle does. Flesh colored ace bandage and taupe panty hose are the best suggestion I have.And after that, if someone remembers you as the girl with the bum ankle who worked to make it unobtrusive, that works in your favor!

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Vireya February 26, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Most people will not even notice! I interviewed a guy once who was perfect for the job. I vaguely noticed he was on crutches when he came in, but completely forgot about it while we were sitting and talking.When I told the HR manager that this was the guy I wanted to employ, the conversation went like this:HR: “What about his disability? Do you think he will really be able to do the job?”Me: “What disability?”HR: “Didn’t you notice his crutches?”Me: “So what? I suppose he’s got a sprained ankle or something, it’s not relevant.”HR: “It’s more than just a sprained ankle! It looked like some sort of spinal injury to me. Those crutches look permanent. He probably can’t carry stuff around.”Me: “Really? I didn’t notice.” I hired the guy. He was great. I found out he’d had polio as a baby, so his disability was a little more serious than a sprained ankle. His legs really didn’t contribute a lot to his mobility – his arms did most of the work. But it wasn’t relevant to his work – he was very intelligent, had a great personality and sense of humour, and did the job brilliantly.Melissa, don’t let a bandage worry you – if an interviewer even notices it (and I didn’t notice a far worse injury), it will not influence their decisions because your ankle is not relevant to your ability to do a job, or to complete grad school study. All the best with your interviews!

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Nancy (nanflan) February 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I’m a sales officer for a bank, working with business clients. I sprained my ankle a couple of years ago and had to wear an air cast for about 6 weeks. People noticed, but I think they actually appreciated that I was soldiering on and taking care of their business while injured. You can’t really hide it, so why not treat it as no big deal that doesn’t affect your abilities in any way. People injure themselves all the time, usually when it’s inconvenient. Just deal with it, most people don’t pay that much attention.

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Nadine February 26, 2009 at 4:55 pm

I went for a (successful) job interview on crutches, with one shin all scraped up and the other knee bandaged. But if you want to wear legwarmers, I say go right ahead.

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Anonymous February 26, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Add some pizzaz to that pedicure and some scrapbook stickers to the bandage. They are interviewing lots of people and you can use this to your advantage. You will be remembered for something that no one else has :-) If you are concerned about walking around with the bare foot and bandage, then ask the doctor for a surgery boot. This will protect your little foot in case some one accidentally kicks you under the table.

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oracle February 26, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Erin:”I don’t want to be all “Disabilities give you strength!” because, frankly, that is the kind of bullshit able-bodied people tell themselves to feel better. It sucks not to have full use of your body. That’s just true.”That’s just TRUE! It really is! I’ve been around lots of people who have serious disabilities. It’s different for everyone, everyone’s different, but not having the full use of your body truly does suck and it’s a hard truth. My sister is severely brain damaged and it’s NOT OKAY. It never has been okay. When I run into folks who want to try to make it okay through the way they talk about it I really react inside myself.Gotta run love the post

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Shaina February 26, 2009 at 6:42 pm

I agree with you, but, just maybe, knee socks?

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TheAnchorBend February 26, 2009 at 7:32 pm

I know this is anathema on this blog, but . . . pants? ;) I agree with Erin–there’s no reason Melissa should feel she has to cover up her ankle. But, she should also decide what makes her feel most comfortable. I also say this as a graduate student who has been told that, as a woman, I have to interview in a skirt if I want to be seriously considered for a job! Good luck! Just remember–you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you!

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Altissima February 26, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Sports tape comes in many different colors and can be used to coordinate with your outfit. (Follow links to amazon.com)

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Sue in MN February 26, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Melissa – This is not about minimizing the appearance of the wrap, but rather a different way to tape that is much less conspicuous, but provides great support (which you may need for a long time if the tendons are messed up). Find an athletic trainer or therapist who knows how to use Kinesio Tape on your ankle to show you how to apply it, and instructs you in its use. This tape, is available in flesh tone colors, can stay on for one to several days, is thin so it hides well under hose, and will provide the support you need. I used it for over a year on my Moms ankle after she broke it, and on my own hand wrist while I was awaiting reconstructive surgery.

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sewducky February 26, 2009 at 10:35 pm

I’m a klutz. I sport, at all times, some kind of band aid, cast, brace, tape, bruise or other something.I’m also single.I have a bruise on my right arm that looks like a smiley face sans eyes. I draw them in. I also have on my knee a cut that requires a band aid, but not ANY band aid will do, I have a Transformer band aid. I just took the Hello Kitty one off my forehead. It’s a great conversation starter, great way to meet new people (“Oh my-is that Optimus Prime?! How awesome! They make those?”) and I have fun with my lack of gracefulness.It’s there, might as well have fun with it, or deal with it. Everyone else will too.

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Katy February 27, 2009 at 3:03 am

I had to wear a neck brace for a few weeks in high school (which coincided with the week before Spring Break). I was a bit fed up with the beige brace, so I made a few slip covers for it out of old tights and bits of fabric I had about the place. One of them was burnt orange cruched velvet. I wasn’t subtle.When I got back from Spring Break, I commented to a friend that I was glad I didn’t have to wear the neck brace, and he said ‘What neck brace?”You know, the bright orange thing I had on?”Oh, I thought you’d taken to wearing scarves a bit more than usual.’So chances are no one’s looking at it as much as you think, and if you want to cover it, there have been some good suggestions. But I’ll bet you find that it’s a non-issue in the end.

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Allie February 27, 2009 at 5:21 am

Excellent, EXCELLENT advice, Erin. Just to commiserate with Melissa, I’m 26, and I recently did a round of job interviews with a cold and a big nasty burn on my right hand– yes, the hand I have to shake with. No one made any comments, and I didn’t mention anything, and I did get hired (although it was a temp job). So just rock the tape! Maybe she should change it to hot pink for good measure.

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AmandaMay February 27, 2009 at 6:48 am

My boyfriend’s mom had her leg in an aircast for several months. She always stuck a plastic flower in the cast so when people looked at it their first reaction was to smile – she said it helped any awkwardness they might feel and lightened the whole situation.

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elizabeth February 27, 2009 at 9:26 am

dear Melissa,I interview people at work and i also conduct alumni interviews for my college, and I, too, completely agree with Erin’s advice. Wear whatever you would normally wear if you had no injuries (except for the shoes, of course!).If you don’t normally display the kind of humor people are suggesting in the comments, then don’t worry about it — just be as much yourself as you can, and try to ignore the injury. (I have had to wear eye patches, so I am not trying to make light of feeling self-conscious.)It’s a good opportunity to show off your mettle!good luck, Melissa, and I bet everyone will want to know how you do. I hope you let Erin (and her readers) know.

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I have an idea... February 27, 2009 at 10:08 am

The Southern women in my life have always said “pretty is as pretty does.” That’s all I have to say about that.

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wundermary February 27, 2009 at 11:34 am

Spats. Spats are freakin awsome, are meant to be worn with low heeled shoes and look nothing short of fabulous with a skirt. People will think you are dapper and unique and never guess that you are hiding a white bandage.I agree with Erin that this is an opportunity; an opportunity to wear spats.

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Sara February 27, 2009 at 12:40 pm

I agree with Erin’s response…but if you are concerned about it showing, get some of that flesh-colored tape, Ace bandage style. It holds just as tight and some people may not even notice.Much luck with the interviews!! :D

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La BellaDonna February 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm

I’m not in the least surprised that Melissa is uncomfortable; right at the moment, she doesn’t fit the picture of “Melissa” that she has in her head, and she feels as she feels; there’s no right or wrong about it.There’s no need for you to be selfconscious, Melissa, but it is what it is – for you and for everyone else. I have spent a LOT of time with some very colourful damage – black eyes, bruises (including on my nose), a broken arm, broken fingers, toes … When I had my wrist taped up once and couldn’t find a safety pin, I just pined it in place with a brooch. The people I was with thought it was totally me. When I started breaking my toes, that’s when I started wearing boots in the summer as well as winter. You see it here – I’m the one who started wearing dark tights and boots in the summer, at least in Philadelphia. And I haven’t stopped, either, even though I work in a very conservative profession. Thanks to the breakage and sprainage, I’ve found that flat boots come in a multitude of fabrics and colours (including light-coloured cloth ones, suitable for summer, and dressy ones for dress-up occasions), and they cover bandages on the ankle – as do dark tights. In fact, I have to really really REALLY give props to flat (or very low-heeled) boots for being kind to a number of foot/leg/back problems.So it seems to me that if you want to cover or conceal, rather than discuss the damage with people, your most conservative bets are:BootsDark tights, with or without boots, especially with the black ankle brace (although your shoes may not accommodate braces easily, in which case: back to boots over the brace)Flesh-coloured wrap under “flesh-coloured” pantyhose. This is a little trickier, because it’s a little harder to match flesh. I would actually recommend dance tights in their “flesh” tone, or support pantyhose; it’s a little more supportive, and it’s definitely more opaque. Opaque, in this instance, is good.Remember, if you’re determined to wear regular shoes while you’re braced up, you should probably get a new pair which will definitely accommodate the brace. I would strongly suggest that you consider shoes that lace up, or tie, or at the very least, have a strap. You do not want to wear shoes which can slip off your feet, or which let your foot turn inside. It would do even more damage to your ankle. I’m guessing that pants aren’t appropriate, either because of your preference, or that of the places at which you’re interviewing, so … no pants suggestions here.Your more what-the-heck alternatives would appear to be:SpatsLeg warmersBrightly coloured sports tapeI do think the spats are pretty cool; they’d work, I think, with almost any kind of shoe. Good healing, and congratulations; you have now joined the ranks of people who can predict the weather. You will, you know; that little dickens is going to give it away for the rest of your life. Do consider reviewing your shoe wardrobe. If you normally wear a lot of 5″ spike heels, you’ll probably want to make some permanent changes in your shoe choices, because it’s highly likely that that ankle will be a little weaker than expected for the rest of your life.I’m sorry to say it, and I really hope for your sake that I’m wrong; but I’d rather give you a heads-up, in case the doctors mislead you into thinking that “heal” will mean “just like it always was!” That said, it certainly shouldn’t keep you from future adventures. Good luck with your interviews!Oh, and people CAN be totally clueless and unobservant. Like the brisk healthy young men who tried to barge through the doors I was trying to hold open for myself, while on crutches.

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Kiera-Oona February 27, 2009 at 7:12 pm

I suffer from a similar problem. I fell down the stairs about 5 years ago…twisted it badly, but because my job at the time was ‘show up or you’re fired’ i showed up without going to the doctors. I find my ankle cramps up something chronic when it gets cold…and living in canada its cold 6 out of 12 months a year. my other half used to be a gymnast, and the best thing you can do is stretch it and try to strenghen it. im sure there are exercises you can do that are available on the internet or on youtube. Ive been trying to walk more lately since its warming up. (with the exception of the past week or two cause i also have sort of the same problem in my hip, and sliding down icy hills made my injuries a bit harder to stand on than usual as of late)I would suggest, if you have to cover it up, wear knee high socks with something along the lines of docs or some sort of flat footed dress shoe. Dont do what my manager does and wear stilleto winter boots when she has a weak knee from having broken it a few years ago.

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Kiera-Oona February 27, 2009 at 7:14 pm

i also forgot to mention…im only 30….believe me i feel your pain….I actually have a leather covered walking stick I use for long treks around town

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What-I-Found February 28, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I just have to add my story. Right after nursing school I had some needed foot surgery, but before I was fully healed my dream job came up. So I dressed up and left the crutches in the car. I was walking so poorly that when I asked the way to the human resources the nice volunteer lady said “Oh no, you want the Emergency Room!”. But I did the job interview and got the job (I did pass on the tour of the ward!)

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annie March 1, 2009 at 7:06 am

I think covering it up and not mentioning it is just going to make it look odd and the interviewer will wonder why you made that choice, but if she/he thinks its a fashion statement, she won’t ask and you’ll just seem odd to her. Walk right into your interview with the tape right out in the open and say, “I hope you’ll excuse me if I shift positions, I recently injured my ankle and it gets a little uncomfortable, I wouldn’t want you to think I was itching to leave, I’m so happy for this opportunity” As an interviewer I would take that as a direct, no-nonsense stare-a-problem-down kind of response and you’d get more points for it than if I had to figure out why you had legwarmers on.As for social events, play it up, bring a crutch! Its a great icebreaker, everyone wants to talk about the time they sprained their ankle, and you’ll have people running to the bar for your drinks. I think its a win-win. (I know, having had pins and screws installed in my foot just before a good friend’s wedding!)Its not that something has happened to you that people will judge you on, its how you deal with it

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Anonymous March 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Don’t worry about the ankle, it’s temporary and won’t affect your ability to do the job. And even if it DID, there is disability discrimination laws to prevent them making decisions without fully examining your case.Just one worry – if you’re so worried about being judged for a sprained ankle does this mean you’d judge others for the same thing??!

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Anonymous March 8, 2009 at 5:53 pm

In what kind of Dark Age do you have to wear a skirt to an interview, probably heels too ? Now I am in a technical profession, not services. But nobody gets me to wear a skirt on interviews, if I don’t feel like it. I actually like to be hired because I can do the job, not because I can wear a skirt. Models are hired for the ability to wear clothes, I a not. Yes I get hired (in jeans), yes I am spoiled and if we all tell the HR people to go to hell, they will find nobody they can press into a skirt. If you want to wear one, do, else don’t. Not if you actually got into debt to get a university degree. The courage to tell people no, I will not do whatever you want, helps enormously in your career. That kind of courage will get you much further than skirts or hiding bandages.

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Cathy March 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm

I jumped right to the comment form, so please excuse if this has already been suggested.Any veterinary clinic will put Melissa on to vetrap which comes in all colors, as she could then match her shoes, or her dress, or her skin, or wear some wild color combo

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Melissa March 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I’m not sure where the asker is, climate-wise, but here in New York you see black tights up to mid-April.

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La BellaDonna March 18, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Anonymous-the-technical-professional, there absolutely are professions where the interviewee should wear a skirted suit. I can’t speak for all of them, but law is definitely one of them, and I know one writer who interviewed at a magazine who didn’ get the job because she wore a dress and jacket, instead of a skirt suit!The courage to tell people no, I will not do whatever you want, can also shoot your career in the foot before you even get started. It’s great that you personally can interview in jeans and get hired, but it isn’t the norm, and it isn’t something I would recommend, on average. In general, even at places that are fairly casual, interviewers who may not be wearing suits themselves expect to be interviewing people who are. The interviewees may seldom or never need those suits once they’ve been hired, but I would be doing people a disservice by recommending that they wear what they want (even jeans!) to interviews, especially if they’re just starting the job-hunting process, or returning to it after a hiatus.

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