Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The joy of crutches

Turns out all that inflammation and pain in my ankle was a combination of things - tendonitis and a tear of the peroneal tendon. The tear wasn't visible in the first MRI because there was so much swelling around (and on) my ankle.

I mentioned I'm not the most patient person in the world, right?
Tried the ankle brace...(let's go for a run!)
Tried the big-ass walking boot...(let's bike and then go for a run!)
Tried traumeel injections...(let's run some more!)

"It's a non-weight-bearing cast", the doctor says. "You'll be in it for 3 weeks"
Cool! I think to myself even though I'm secretly already calculating the date when I can go running next.

"You'll want to make sure you buy some crutches and bring them to your next visit", he says.

Jaw. On. Floor.

And then it hits me.

Damn. Like a real cast.

It's purple in case you're wondering...
My doctor knows that whatever he prescribes, I'll probably try it for a couple days but then go out for a run again. Putting a cast on is the only way he's going to keep me off my feet long enough for my injuries to heal. And he's right. I would have continued to run and cause damage to my ankle - possibly creating a longer-term issue.

So here we are...one week into a 3-week stint with crutches. In my mind, I thought it would be a piece of cake. Hobble around a bit, maintain my independence and heal all at the same time.

Boy, was I wrong. If you need a lesson in humility, grab a cast and some crutches folks...here are the Top 5 things they don't tell you about having a cast (and using crutches).
Not a lot of joy sitting on your ass all day long
  1. Crawling up the stairs is faster. Skidding down on your ass is safer.
  2. Without a stool or chair in each room of your house, you'll likely end up on the floor, half naked and wiggling in/out of your clothes.
  3. The traditional white cast is SO out of vogue. Color choices include bright green, purple or pink.
  4. There ARE muscles in your arm pits. They DO get bruised. And it hurts.
  5. Keeping your cast dry while taking a bath is THE most compromising position in the world.
Though I would never compare myself to someone with a permanent disability, having this cast has given me a taste of what it's like to lose your independence and be the focal point of other people's pity. I've tried to continue helping around the house. I even insist on opening doors by myself but no one wants to see me struggle (I know they're just being nice). Unfortunately it's that same courtesy and generosity that can be misconstrued as pity and sympathy...which makes you feel like you're less of a person and more like an obligation.

Whoa. That was deep...

I know this cast is nothing in the grand scheme of things - there are far more people battling worse things in the world. I'm lucky this is only a 3-week blip in my running career. It's about staying positive and making the best of it. Honestly, I'm more bummed that I won't be able to enjoy a run on my birthday this month. Somehow, I'm sure I'll make up for it with mass quantities of craft brew though :)

Oh yeah, this happened today. Amazing what a little mobility can do...I even did the dishes. Score.

Oh the happiness $30 a week can bring...

Be safe out there and happy trails!

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