sprained ankle

Healing Takes Time; Who Wants to Wait?

I can play soccer again. It makes me happy. Even when my team loses, I’m still pretty happy because I can play. Soccer is my drug of choice.

Just over two months ago, though, I sprained my ankle. It was a bad sprain, too, where it swelled up like a softball immediately, I couldn’t move my toes for several hours, I couldn’t bear weight, etc. It was a grade III sprain with complete tears of ligaments. The six weeks it took to attempt running on it again felt like six months. I still tape it AND wear a brace for soccer games. I even tape it up for softball, that sport where I have yet to break a sweat. Even still, I can’t point my foot, kneel, or sit cross-legged without pain. So I’m still healing and still doing exercises to regain range of motion, gain strength again and retrain proprioception*.

What I’m trying to get at is the TIME it takes to heal. I’m back to the point where I can do what I love again, but I’m definitely not 100% nor is it without pain yet. Eventually, I will get there, although I will always have a faint memory of how bad it hurt and how long it took to heal. But with time, memories become sweeter and more forgiving.

I’ve thought off and on lately about a friend of mine who is going through the healing process. But she’s not trying to heal a sprained ankle. Her pain isn’t physical. Her pain comes from the death of a loved one. There isn’t a doctor who can give her a timeline of when she will be healed. He can’t tell her, “don’t run for several weeks, then just wrap it up or wear a brace for another three months and eventually, if you do these exercises, you’ll feel great again.” My injury took time. Hers will take time. I knew how long mine would take. She doesn’t know. But her kind of pain won’t go away in 6-8 weeks. That doesn’t make it any easier to get up each day and remember there’s somebody missing in her life. But just like I’ll always have a memory of my injury, she’ll always have a memory of her family member and that memory will become sweeter with time.**

Sometimes I can pause this life. Mostly, though, it’s in fast forward.

*That’s my ankle’s ability to sense the position, location and orientation of itself, tell the brain and keep me from easily twisting or spraining my ankle again.

**Not sure why I got so serious on you there, internet, but I guess that just goes to show, sometimes, I have deeper thoughts than just whether or not something my coworker said was funny enough to blog about.

I’m Healed… Kind Of

It’s been six weeks.

That’s a long time to baby an ankle.

Let me give you some really good advice: do NOT sprain your ankle.

I’m not talking about just rolling it, or twisting it so it hurts a little. I’m talking about the type of sprain where you can’t even put weight on it for hours, where it swells up like a golf ball instantly and where the bruising drains into your toes and runs up your shin, where you can’t balance on it even with a brace AND shoe on, and where you cut your other leg shaving because you foolishly tried to balance on the bad leg in the shower. Don’t do that.

It’s frustrating that after six LONG weeks (they’re never short weeks when you can’t do what you love), my ankle still hurts. It’s also still swollen. But it’s been SIX weeks and do you know what that means?

I can play soccer again.

The doctor said so.

So I will wrap it, put on a brace and go running tonight because if I’m REALLY out of shape (instead of just sort of), I will be worthless in my game this Saturday morning.

Aren’t you excited for me?

I AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So much so, I just used THIRTEEN exclamation points. That’s a lot for a girl that hardly uses any because excessive exclamation points are the bane of my existence (as are LOLs).*

*Did you know that there’s a Greasemonkey script that dumps extra exclamation points that might appear on websites? Yeah, I know, it’s totally nerdy that I know that, but also grammatically COOL that I do.