Tag Archives: injury

don’t touch it, don’t look at it

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:

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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.

 

 

an attitude of gratitude

I have so much to be grateful for today, not least of which are these guys:

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I’m actually in Toronto right now so I have a lot to be grateful for.  My family are here.  My sister has made a beautiful home away from home for us, literally considering my family’s comfort and wellbeing in building her own family’s house.  We’re grateful to be made to feel so at loved & at home here every time we visit.

I’m also here to visit and cheer up my mother, who has been trapped inside with hew own injury, a broken lower leg, since February.  I’m grateful to have my mother still with us, and grateful to have a strong bond with her.  My sister and I are both close with our mom, another relationship we’re lucky to have.

I’m also grateful for the family I have here to visit: my sister and I have a good relationship as adults, and I adore her daughters, my nieces, who are like little sisters to Ben (grateful for that, too).  They’re beautiful, brilliant, strong, free creatures, each of whom displays emotions and intelligence in equally high amounts.  My brother-in-law is a wonderful guy who is just fun to hang out with, as well as a great husband and father.  My sister has a beautiful family, inside and out, and I’m so grateful to be only two hours away.

I’m listing out all this gratitude right now because it’s just hard to feel grateful for all these blessings when my foot looks like it lost a bar fight to someone a lot meaner:

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From last night: my foot looks like a bloated drunk who got severely beaten up

I’m really trying for gratitude here, in the form of, “I’m grateful I’ve never had an injury worse than this”, but it hurts today after all the activity and exertion yesterday and I can’t go down stairs properly and anything that isn’t being trapped in bed with my foot up causes the fluids to rush back in a very painful way.

Still, the practice of gratitude does make me feel slightly better.  Over the past year, I started using the Best SELF Journal: a daily entry in which I start and finish my day by listing 3 things I’m grateful for.  Sounds like something out of an archived Well and Good article (“The Buzzy Reason These wellness Gurus Start Their Day with Gratitude – And How You Can Too”).  It is, however, a legitimately proven tactic to improve mental wellbeing, so I have added it to my mental toolkit to deal with my depression.

Gratitude may not make up for missing out on physical activity, which is on the list of the Big Things That REALLY Help With Depression.  Walking or running outside are big needle movers for mental wellbeing.  It’s therefore extremely tempting not to be grateful for anything when I’m on Day 5 of hobbling about and don’t know how long this is going to take because I can run again without fear of messing my foot back up.  The challenge is pushing past that self-pity and finding ways to be grateful that are not depending on my physical status.