#24: Happy Fall! (in more ways than one!)
Happy Sunday, and Happy second day of fall!
I wasn’t sure what to write about this week, and then it happened: I fell. Yesterday, on the first day of fall… I fell. Well done!
I mean, I work out six days a week, I dance, I’m a nurse… I am on my feet all the time, and I did learn how to walk many years ago. I dance in heels, I wear heels on my days off because I am super girly… but I fell wearing gym shoes! HAHAHA! I had just finished work and was walking to my car, marveling at the beautiful day it was and how I was super excited for my outdoor workout instead of being cooped up in the gym… and then the curb jumped out in front of me! It was serendipitous: not only did I trip on the curb, but having quick reflexes, I was going to gracefully save myself, except that it happened to be the corner of the curb… so, when I thought I was going to land, I tripped on the OTHER SIDE of the curb too! What are the odds?! So, there went my ankle, a nice roll of the lateral malleolous, and a POP! I landed on my tail and jumped up immediately, in total denial. It was amazing; I was like a cartoon character! Mildly able to bear weight and with significant pain, I limped to my car. My first thought was, “Please don’t let it be broken; please don’t let it be broken. I don’t have time for that.” Then, I changed it to, “I’m just nervous. It’s fine; it’s just a little sprain, it’s good. I’m good.” I took off my shoe and sock to find my left ankle (here come my RN notes!) negative for obvious deformity and discoloration, mild swelling noted to the lateral aspect, full ROM intact, CMS intact, cap refill <2seconds, and… NO PAIN?! WHAT?! I was so excited, I jumped up and could walk! (Thank you, adrenaline!) I actually thought about working out, ha! Of course I did; have we met?!
Then, RN Shannyn reminded Stubborn Shannyn that her ankle just popped about three minutes ago and to rest it regardless. I grabbed an ice pack and iced it for 20 minutes while listening to a guided meditation (good use of time!) I committed to taking two days off from exercise and to cancel my dance lesson this week. The pain returned while icing, but I chose to breathe positive energy and thoughts to my ankle, acknowledging the pain and appreciating what it meant: it meant that all my little white blood cells were rushing to the injury for repair! After 20 minutes of icing, I removed the pack to find some lovely swelling setting in. I stood up and admitted that, yes, it hurt. I could bear weight with a limp and had limited ROM related to pain, but no deformity had me pretty happy! I wrapped it with an ace wrap, put my shoe back on, and headed to Target to buy a fancy brace.
That morning, I had planned on going to Trader Joe’s after work to grab a few things, which I did after Target. I have to tell you, it is EXHAUSTING being in pain! I tend to move pretty quickly, but every time I came even close to half my normal gait, my ankle reminded me that it needed attention… so, I acknowledged it and slowed down. This might not seem like a big deal, but it is REALLY hard for me to slow down… and for me to admit that I can’t workout, and to CANCEL DANCE?! I knew it was a pretty good sprain… but, I chose to appreciate it. I have been needing to slow down lately and to be more present, as I have a million things going on at the moment. I've tried everything: spa day, reading before bed at night, meditation, massage, spending time with friends. While all enjoyable and healthy, it just was not helping me slow my mind.
Well, this has officially done the trick. In recognizing the lesson in this situation, I carefully sauntered through two stores, sending positive thoughts to my ankle for healing. I had a great conversation with the cashier at Trader Joe’s, and I explained to him that I refused to call it an injury, but that my ankle was simply “having a moment.” Everyone and everything needs to have a moment once in a while, and this time it was my ankle’s turn. It’s only fair to give each their turn. I often tell my patients and clients (relating to pain, blood pressure, stress, etc.) that “it’s just a moment in time.” This too shall pass. Truly. Perspective shift is an amazing thing, and very calming. I wandered out to my car, leaning on the cart for support, glad to wait for aggressive cars to pass and carts to be pushed by. Normally, these delays would be a bit annoying, but yesterday I chose to appreciate the break in walking. It occurred to me that I could appreciate those things on other days as well, even when in a hurry. I got home and smartly took the elevator (I’m on the 4th floor). I was very proud of this moment. I almost never take the elevator. I think elevators are for four types of people: elderly people who prefer not to or cannot take stairs, parents with small children, injured people, and people who accidentally bought half of Target in one shopping trip. Though not using the word, I technically fell into the third category (no pun intended!). I made my way slowly through my apartment, putting things away, completely exhausted… and then I started laughing. This really was a lesson! I HEAR YOU! I suppose it is exactly what I needed. While I practice gratitude daily, it can sometimes be a challenge… yesterday, though, it was SO EASY! I was grateful for EVERYTHING! I’m going to list some of them for you (feel free to laugh! a few may seem trivial or obscure, but that’s the point… it ALL counts!). I was grateful for:
not having a broken ankle!
my ankle taking the hit instead of my ribs, face, or head!
my cats who helped take care of me;
my warm shower;
the smell of my shampoo;
taking the time to condition my hair;
the new fall-scented body wash I grabbed from my cabinet;
buying the more expensive (but necessary) ankle brace;
the dinner I was making (despite being tired of standing);
the conversations I had with people at Target, Trader Joe’s, and in the elevator;
the frozen blueberries I used to ice my ankle;
my friends who checked in on me;
the complimentary flavors of my tea and organic 72% dark chocolate to which I treated myself;
choosing to be single rather than with the wrong man;
the commitment I made to allowing my body to heal instead of pushing through and potentially causing more damage;
my ability to find all of this gratitude in the midst of a not-so-ideal situation;
the lesson that I was granted in order to knock me out of my overly-fast pace as of late.
The list goes on.
Today, my ankle is swollen and discolored, and it feels a little unstable… expected. Pain is 8/10 with lateral movement and weight bearing… also expected. I continue RICE (Rest, Ice, Elevation, Compression)… no NSAIDs for me just now. I want to see what it does (I don’t necessarily recommend this; but, as we’ve established… I’m stubborn!). The swelling is moderate and blood flow is good, so I’m happy without NSAIDs. Pain just means it’s healing and needs some attention. I will re-visit the NSAID option if swelling worsens. Other than client calls, I have today off: no make-up, laying down with my leg up, sending positive healing energy to my ankle. I’ve doubled my protein intake (for repair!), and I made a large batch of pumpkin spice Nice-cream with protein powder and collagen peptides. Later, I get to fall asleep on my couch reading (one of my favorite things to do!). See? Not so bad.
I’ll update you later in the week on IG!