I can’t remember which of my childhood stories that’s from, but it’s from something my mother found hilarious enough to quote whenever she was trying to get me to allow her to apply an aloe vera leaf to a scraped appendage. It’s how I feel now when I massage in the various ointments I’m applying to my foot. I started applying a CBD oil based pain relief cream as well as an arnica ointment for bruising and swelling three times daily. It’s getting easier, but I’m still unable to walk more than a few blocks without setting myself back days of recovery:
May 1st, May 2nd, Mayy 7th. Swelling down overall but still present at ankle. No amount of hippie remedies will fix that overnight.
This has been insanely frustrating because spring showed up in NYC literally overnight last week…and then jumped straight to summer. And then bounced back to spring. It’s pleasant outside, the trees are in that beautiful light green early leaf, and all the blossoms are out everywhere:
Prospect Avenue between 8th and Prospect Park West, May 7th
I did get out for almost a “normal” Sunday yesterday: Paul and I went to visit a home that had a bathroom reno completed by contractors we are hiring for our own bathroom renovation project. We re-did the kitchen in 2016, now we’re re-doing the bathroom. We’re adulting! However, this required walking an extra half-mile around Windsor Terrace to get to and from the visited home – even with car service, a “suspicious package” related street closure (read: very likely a burrito wrapped in tinfoil) meant walking an extra quarter-mile on either side of the town-home we were visiting. By the time we got home, my foot was swelling and the pain in my ankle was reaching a very insistent whining pitch, so I went back to sitting on the couch with my foot on a chair, which seems to be a position from which I can still do things while placating my ankle.
I also biked around Prospect Park later in the afternoon, which was glorious: after two weeks of barely being able to walk, it was like being given wings. I had arranged to spend some time working out the 2018-2019 Brooklyn Scout planning with the Group Scoutmaster from the former 5th Brooklyn group (now known as 5th Prospect Park), while our sons played baseball at their team’s weekly game. We got a ton of planning done, our kids’ team tied, and now we have a roadmap for our projected five groups and 200+ Scouts in the borough for the fall (This is a whole separate entry, because Scouting never stops when you are district commissioner for NYC). To get to said “meeting”, however, I had to bike down to the baseball diamonds in the south end of the Park, and then I figured, why not just finish the loop around the Park instead of taking the bike path back up Prospect Park West. Why not just cap off a productive afternoon by riding four miles? So I did, and it reminded me I need to start bike training again for the Epic Ride, and also that while my ankle isn’t as strained by cycling, four miles is plenty.
However, all this activity and normalcy did not come without a price: I ended up having to flat-out lie down to reduce the swelling in my foot by the time I got home. The swelling is the most painful thing aside from the ankle tendon itself, and having my foot swell up after days of less swelling is extremely painful. So that was it for productivity for the day: I literally put my foot up, with an ice pack, read a true crime book, and went to bed early. Today, it’s still painful and prone to swelling, so I’m benched again for the day. There isn’t much else to be done, right now, until I can heal up enough that a day of light activity doesn’t set me back.
I was also worried that all this activity would add up to be worse in the long run for healing, but based on Internet reading (because we all know the Internet is the best for non-professionals to do their own health research) I think it may actually be OK. I have setbacks in pain and swelling but that also means I’m exercising the ankle as it heals. I also do the rehab exercises I was assigned in the hospital: drawing the alphabet twice daily with my foot, stretching it back with a towel, and balancing on my bad leg. It may take longer to heal, but I’m hoping that it will heal with more usability, and, hopefully, without being too prone to future sprains. This may, however, be purely wishful thinking because I don’t want to have to stay inside with my foot up through a beautiful May weekend. I could stay home, but then I’d really be missing out on life in general – and I love my life so much and have so much going on in it that psychologically, that’s not helpful.
Thankfully, I can work from home, so now it’s 9am on Monday and I’m in my “office”, without having to walk the half mile to the subway. This is one of the things I have gratitude for, every day: that I have a job flexible enough that I can stay home and work. I can spend a Sunday in “normal” activity and then, since that was too much, take Monday to recover from it. I’m thankful to have the privilege of being a knowledge worker who isn’t tied to a physical location right now. That’s been a huge help in healing. It may make me miserable to be inside all the time during all this spring weather, but at least I’m inside and healing, which is a privilege in itself. Just a few more days, and hopefully, my ankle and foot will be back to normal.