Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spraining my ankle

When I was 12 or so, I volunteered as a helper in a toddler gymnastics class. I loved gymnastics and thought that teaching it could be super cool, so my coach let me help out with some of the younger kid classes.

I was demonstrating a straight jump off the balance beam to the toddlers when I over rotated my left ankle and landed on the side of my foot. Instead of showing the toddlers how easy a straight jump was, I probably scared them, especially when I cried out loud and didn't get up.

That was the beginning of my odyssey with left ankle sprains. I sprained it running by tripping on the edge of the sidewalk, falling down the front steps of my house, playing basketball, slipping on a wet floor at school, marching backwards in band and stepping on someone else's foot, tripping on nothing while running, and walking and tripping. You could say I wasn't exactly graceful as a teenager.

It was bad enough that an acquaintance of the same height, similar hair color and build told me one day that someone had yelled my name at her and "Where's your crutches?" when she was not facing them. I was on crutches more than I wasn't in middle school. It was the end of my gymnastics career, though I was reluctant to admit it. So I taped my ankle and ran distance track.

Every time you re-sprain an ankle you have to stay off of it longer to let it heal. I was having to stay on crutches for weeks at a time. I was very skilled with crutches, and could out hop people who were walking quickly. I had calluses and great arm strength from using crutches so much. It was bad enough that I did physical therapy to strengthen my ankle.

I did a brief stint as a cheerleader in middle school thinking it would be a fun way to use my gymnastics skills. One football game later I realized 2 things. First, I found cheerleading to be objectifying and embarrassing. Also, being perky for long periods of time is not something I can do well.

I tell you this because Saturday while organizing and working on my spring cleaning, I stepped funky on my ankle and twisted it badly again. For the first time in over 10 years.

After I had recovered from the initial shock I had Dinoguy get me some ice and call Fixitman to come home. Then I lay down on the bed and rested. I quickly became frustrated that I couldn't walk in trying to find an ankle brace. I realized my big project was going to have to be delayed and I was irritated. But I rested my ankle. Fixitman called a friend to get me some crutches to use.

However by Sunday night I was tired of the crutches. They hurt my hands. They were impairing my ability to do anything. I couldn't carry Munchkin and walk, I couldn't really carry anything. My house was getting messy and there was no way I was going to be on crutches for the job interview I had Monday, so I started limping around the house instead.

Monday I put on my heels and smiled thru the pain for the interview. It went well I think, no decisions for another week, thanks for asking. I should have gotten back on the crutches afterwards but I didn't. It was much more convenient to walk around. I could get things done! I could cook dinner and do laundry - you know, the things that I had to get done!

So today, as I took Aleve to cover the pain and hobble around my house while working on my cleaning project from Saturday, I thought of my mom. See, she sprained her ankle on a run with me once in high school and never really rested it, and it was hurting her for weeks. In my sage adolescent wisdom, I lectured her about how she should have taken care of it to begin with and then she'd be fine by now. She sighed and agreed.

Mom, I understand now.


Stephanie said...

I"m sorry!
How very annoying. :)

mariann and Tory said...

I am so sorry to hear that you sprained your ankle! You were just telling Makayla about your ankle while you were here. What job are you going for? That is exciting!!! Keep us in the loop!

Chrispy said...

I'm so sorry about your ankle, but hope it's a bit better now. I too have a repeated-sprain that I feel like I have to be constantly conscious of, but my tales are nowhere near as dramatic as yours (crutches more often than not?!). So, I comment to you in solidarity and sympathy!

I loved how you tied your post in to seeing things from your mother's perspective. Funny how everything makes more sense now that we have our own kids!


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