A little over a week ago, I started going to the gym. I’ve never gone to a gym in my life, but I decided it was time — because I really don’t want to die young. So we joined up and we got some new sneaks and I decided to go. The first day I went swimming and it was hard — really hard — because I haven’t swam consistently in oh, about 17 years.
I decided that I should maybe do something that I was a little more acustomed to and just walk vigorously on the treadmill and maybe through in a little biking. Seemed reasonable. The first time I hit the treadmill I was an idiot and cranked it up really fast and put it on a STUPID incline…but I came away from that unscathed.
The next day I went and did 30 minutes on the mill and 30 minutes on a recumbent bike. After I got off the bike, my right ankle seemed a little wonky, so I decided that I shouldn’t do the recumbent bike again. Now, keep in mind, I’ve been walking for 30-40 minutes a few times a week in the neighborhood, and while I’ve not been on my bike much lately, I have been able to get on and give it a good ride for an hour or more over here and there over the past few years — neither of these things should have been too much for me.
So the next few times, I went in and just did 30 minutes on the mill at varrying levels from no incline to level 3 incline to get the heart rate up. I felt good. Late last week, though the area above my right ankle was bothering me again. It would hurt, but once I got warmed up, it was fine. I figured I just had some tightness in my lower calf. Nevertheless, I didn’t go back to the gym after Thursday.
However, I worked my butt off in the yard over the weekend.
So, yesterday, I get up and the area above my ankle is killing me…I don’t go to the gym. It does not improve with normal daily activities — going to get a cup of coffee, etc… Around 10:30 I decide I need to make an appointment with the doctor.
We have an on-site wellness center at work and they are phenomenal. Much better care than at my GP’s office. So I made the appointment with them for today. The pain did not improve all day yesterday, in fact it got worse.
In the middle of the afternoon, I noticed a noise coming from my ankle when I flexed my foot. It sounded vaguely like someone running a steel rod down a corrugated plastic tube, or a metal joint with sand in the grease… Not a good sound. I noticed that when I touched the area that hurt and flexed my foot, I felt something akin to a tremor — kind of a rubbing/scratching thing or wood splintering.
Fast forward to today. I go to work and the pain is pretty bad, but I’m still thinking that this is just a minor injury that a little high powered anti-inflamatory drugs will fix. The nurse practitioner takes one look at it, feels the weird sensation when I move my foot and says, “I’m going to make you an appointment with a podiatrist. You need to see one today.” I’m stunned, but still thinking, this isn’t that big a deal. She wraps it up and makes me an appointment. I go to it at 1:30.
The doc listens to my story — very attentively I might add — and says, “we’ll do x-rays and an ultrasound then decide if we need an MRI.” At this point, I’m beginning to get the picture that this might be serious.
So we do the x-rays and ultra sound, and he shows me on the ultrasound where I’ve TORN my Achilles tendon lengthwise — he says this is a partial tear (as opposed to a cut across the thing laterally, which would have rendered me unable to walk.) He then says, “you’re not going to like the next part,” I nod knowingly, “we need to immobilize it.” I’m thinking mid calf height air cast; he says, “its going to take a knee high walking boot. And you’ll be in it at least 2 weeks, probably 4 and maybe 6.” I’ve got the MRI tomorrow.
No exercise that will impact my right leg. Not even swimming.
It’s hard to accept that I’ve injured myself doing something as simple as walking. It’s even harder to accept the fact that in an effort to improve my health, I’ve injured myself. Okay, here’s the real truth — It’s hard to accept that I’m not 25 anymore and that I could injure myself so badly with such minimal effort.
But as soon as I get it fixed up, I’m going to get back on the horse and start swimming again. At least that way, I might not injure myself as quickly.