#25: A Place for All Healing
Good afternoon, and happy Sunday!
Before we get started, please keep in mind that this information should not be construed in any way as medical or nursing advice. This is a story of MY healing journey. If you are ill or injured, you should consult with your medical provider and find YOUR path.
That said, here is my ankle update! After a few days of limping last week, I remain in my sturdy ankle brace, but with a steady gait as long as I take it slow. It does still hurt, particularly upon palp and with lateral movement, but I’m healing quite well all-around. Why, you ask? Because I take care of my body, and I have learned to listen to it when it needs help, attention, and/or care. I also send positive thoughts and energy to it, and I keep a positive attitude :)
Now, the typical healing time for a sprain like mine is 6-8 weeks. People are usually prescribed a narcotic (pain killer) and/or an extra-strength NSAID (think ibuprofen 800mg three times/day, yikes!), and sometimes they are instructed to use crutches for at least a couple of weeks. I am a nurse with ER background, and a stubborn one at that. I assessed and treated myself initially, and I came up with a plan; however, not wanting to be so stubborn that I made my injury worse, I had my friend Natalie look at my ankle (she’s our awesome PA at work!), and we decided together what the best treatment would be. She and I operate on the same page when it comes to finding a great balance between physical therapies and meds (which she knows I don’t like!). I really encourage finding a provider like her - one who listens and is knowledgeable, caring, and understanding - as each person is unique in and of themselves, and on their own unique paths to wellness.
So, I started on ibuprofen Sunday night when the swelling got really bad, and I have been taking a mere 200-400mg daily. Of course, I don’t like taking medication at all, but I am aware of the benefits of good ol’ NSAIDS when used appropriately and as necessary for acute injuries. See, the initial swelling of an injury is an important step in the healing process, but then you want to get that swelling down pretty quick to help with pain and speed the healing. The trick for me was finding the minimum dosage necessary to get the job done, and to continue with doubling my protein and being diligent with my multi-vitamins and vegetable/water/omega-3 intake. I changed nothing about the overall quantity of what I eat, but shifted the ratios to assist my healing. (Healing takes energy, by the way, so you don’t want to cut back on your intake, but rather focus on high-quality nutrient-dense foods… sound familiar?! It’s called living, haha!) The fact that I could walk without a limp just four days after the injury is impressive, granted I am walking at about half the pace of my normal gait. Either way, though, it’s notable progress.
I also haven’t sat around whining and crying (not my style!). I went to the gym. I am off cardio for two weeks (with a gradual and low-intensity re-introduction planned), but I have been hitting the free weights and working my upper body and abs. I won’t dance for several weeks, as I am still unable to walk at my baseline, and I cannot yet stand on my toes… so, dancing in heels is off the list until I am back at 100%. This is hard for me, but I KNOW that if I go back too soon or push myself too hard (my tendency, folks!!!), I will only prolong the healing process, if not re-injure the joint. No thank you. Dance is too important to me. I will be patient. (GASP!)
For now, it’s RICHE for me (ooh, that’s new!): Rest, Ice, Compression, Heat, Elevation. See, after the first 24-72 hours (-ish) post-injury, heat is good for promoting blood flow and healing… so you would alternate the heat and ice… and use this new acronym I made up!
Maybe I will post an after photo to IG when the swelling goes down a bit more and the blue/green hue subsides, haha! Until then, more Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Smoothies for me!!!