Last Monday, I injured myself in the most spectacularly unimpressive way possible. I didn’t see the pothole, and rolled my right ankle all the way over. I’ve rolled it a few times, some worse than others, but this was the first time that I heard it happen—CRACK—before I hit the ground. Once I did hit the ground, I thought I was either going to vomit or pass out from the pain. I remember not wanting to look down at my ankle, worried about what I might see. And more than all of that, I remember thinking: ‘we cannot afford an ambulance, let alone a hospital bill!’ Oh, the U.S.A.
Thankfully, I didn’t break anything (at least I don’t think so). Even more thankfully, Jesse was right there, talking me through the pain and working out a way to get me home. He helped me into a Lyft (which had the sweetest, most helpful driver ever) and got me into bed, foot up high, before running to Walgreens for bandages, drugs and an ice pack.
There was a lot of crying and clutching at the bedcovers in pain. The next couple of days are a blur of knockout painkillers and waking up in the middle of the night in agony. Jesse correctly assumed that keeping me doped up and sleepy would keep me off my ankle, and he was right. He even spent the full week working from home, icing my ankle, wrapping it, feeding me painkillers and food, and keeping Netflix running. He’s as good a nurse as my mom, and my mom’s one of the best.
It’s a week and a half since the injury happened now. My cabin fever reached an all-time peak a couple of days ago, so I strapped up my ankle, got on my bike, and went into work for half a day. Even with painkillers, the pain was uncomfortable enough to send me home again. But I got out of the house. It felt wonderful.
In the last month or so, we’ve taken up yoga at a beautiful donation-based studio here in the Mission. I’m hooked—it’s one of the few things that quietens my mind, works up a sweat, builds my strength and makes me feel worthy and strong and in control of my body. Between regular yoga and bike riding, I’d hit a physical, spiritual and emotional sweet spot. I was just working out the perfect routine and balance between yoga, cycling and other leisure activities when the injury happened.
I’ve been largely inactive for a week and a half now, save for daily sit-ups, push-ups and some basic free weights in the living room.
And it’s destroying me. My brain isn’t working like it should. My body feels weak, it feels like it’s an inconvenience, not a vehicle. And if you’re susceptible to anxiety like me, inactivity is pretty damn dangerous.
I feel ugly. I feel like a nuisance. I feel embarrassed, as if somehow this injury is some kind of punishment for being overweight. I have little to no confidence in my abilities or my appearance.
We get married early August. I don’t care about being thin, but I want to feel well. I want to feel healthy and balanced. Luckily I’m able to walk a little further and ride a little further each day.
I am being careful and staying off of my ankle as much as possible, but I’m reaching the bottom of my patience reserves. For a former dancer, I’ve done pretty damn well staying off of my injury for this long. I can almost hear my physiotherapist from my ballet days complaining about dancers and football players and how “they never stay off the injury!”
Well, I’m staying off of this one. But it’s taken its toll.