So I rarely visit doctors, I actually consider myself a pretty healthy person and have very few ailments outside of an occasional cold. Honestly, I often avoid doctors because I feel that I come out of their offices with more problems than I had when I went in. But yesterday I succumbed and visited the health clinic closest to my mother’s house in PA where I was visiting. June is after all the month to focus on the body and health, with the ultimate goal of becoming more intentional about how I treat my body, what I put into it and how I take care of it. I find it a bit ironic though, that somehow through this process I ended up in a medical clinic. Besides the horrifying co-payment that my insurance will not cover, at least it was the most efficient and friendly clinic visit that I have ever made.
I knew that beginning any kind of exercise routine would be a new experience for me. After all the whole point of this project is to do something that I would not choose to do on my own, something that would push my boundaries and comfort zone. When my ankle started hurting last week, I just thought in a way that the discomfort was merely pushing a new comfort zone. I thought the soreness was another “new sensation” that came along with all the other aches and pains that arrived with the awakening of muscles that hadn’t been utilized in a while.
So, sore ankle or not, I was committed and continued in my activity routine, running, jumping, hooping, swimming, yoga etc. Throughout the week some of the other aches and pains disappeared, but the ankle got worse. And just over the past few days the jumping got slower and more painful – I realized that my dedication for fulfilling this task was drowning out the goal of the chapter, and the recent wild card suggestion, which is “listen to what feels right – not what looks right”. Yesterday, when I actually started limping and realized that it didn’t feel right or look right, I finally gave in and went to get it checked out.
Before seeing the doctor, a nurse first measured my height, took my blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and weight. She finished this procedure in minutes and said. “You’re perfect!” “Perfect?” I questioned. “Yes, your blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate could not be better. You’re in great shape”
Ah, I felt like I had just gotten an A on a quiz or something. However that feeling didn’t last long, as the doctor who came in was about to flunk me on a simple logic test.
D: What is the reason for your visit?
Me: I have a pain in my ankle. I can’t seem to walk on it.
D: When did the pain start?
Me: About a week ago.
D: Have you been doing anything stressful to the ankle that could have caused this injury?
Me: Ummm … jumping rope?
D: Jumping rope?
D: You’ve been jumping rope this whole week?
D: Why are you jumping rope?
Me: To be more active and feel better?
D: Good idea. But does jumping rope on a sore ankle feel good?
He proceeded to poke and prod at my ankle and foot to prove that it wasn’t broken. Found the sore spots and quickly diagnosed an inflamed tendon that could potentially be a sprain. He then told me to stop jumping rope for a while. (to be specific – he said I could start-up again on July 4th – I felt as if I just received punishment and was grounded ) If I continued to jump on it, he said could cause a sprain or a fracture. He applauded my efforts and enthusiasm but said that anything in excess is not always good for the body, especially when you’re easing into a new routine. He warned, “Don’t be like the runners who think they are going to be able to train for a marathon in a few weeks… and then end up in the emergency room before the finish line.” I think maybe that is what I have been doing metaphorically. (Thank goodness Joe didn’t ask me to train for a marathon!) I have to remember that the finish line is not the important thing, it’s what I learn along the way. I will never make it through these 12 chapters of improvement challenges if I end up hurting myself in the first one.
So doctor’s orders are: Rest the ankle for the next two weeks – ease into these activities, don’t jump into them. This pains me in more ways than one as I was getting quite fond of my jump rope journals. I will just now have to work hard at getting others to keep up the journal for me until my ankle is better. (or attempt jumping rope with one foot?) I will also have to focus the rest of the month on my guitar playing, upper body strengthening, and sharpening the senses. It seems I will still have a lot to keep me busy. But can’t help feeling like I am shirking some of this month’s tasks because of a bum ankle. If you have ideas for ways to stay active without my right ankle – please share them. I still have my hoop, access to a pool, and a desire to keep yoga in my life daily.
Please keep the jump rope journal alive! Buy a rope, start jumping and post your pictures!
Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about.