After seven weeks of pain, I finally got an answer today on what exactly was wrong with my left ankle. I injured it on June 6, while dancing to Hava Nagila at my son’s Bar Mitzvah. I was having a blast and thinking about how much fun I was having. Then I kicked my leg out, bent my knee and went to put my foot on the ground and felt something “go.” I quickly extricated myself from the dance and then the dance floor.
We seldom take the time to celebrate in life, and we had paid dearly to have our family and friends with us to celebrate this joyous day, so there was no way that I was letting any injury take away from our celebration. Instead, I hobbled around and did what needed to be done, thinking that I’d feel better the next day. Or perhaps the next day. Or the day after.
I’m ashamed now to admit it, but it took me a full month to finally go to the doctor. As I tried to explain to people who asked (and yes, I do realize how stupid it sounds now), as a former athlete (very former – we’re talking high school and that’s a time not getting any closer as the years go on) I was used to just giving my body time to heal without seeing a doctor for every little injury. I’ve sprained, strained, and jammed countless appendages, though I’ve never broken a bone. I’ve also sprained, strained, and jammed countless appendages of those I played against, I’m both proud and ashamed to say.
I knew I hadn’t broken or sprained my ankle, so I didn’t see the point of going to the doctor. Yeah, I’m like a guy in that respect I suppose. I should have gone sooner, and though I’m admitting it now, there’s a little cynical mini-Me (a redundant phrase, to be sure) in my head, smirking because it knows I’ll likely do the same thing the next time (and it’s waiting to say “I told you so”).
So, the rounds: primary doctor, x-rays, orthopedist, MRIs, orthopedist. Turns out I tore the deltoid ligament in my left ankle and the tendon on the other side. No wonder it’s been hurting worse and not better as the weeks went by. I’ve had to cut short my dog walks and cut out my walks in the morning with my daughter. Obviously, I’m gaining weight because of this and because I haven’t wired my jaw shut in the interim.
I know any older readers are just shaking their heads and thinking, “Just you wait, dearie.”
Yes, I feel old. When I looked up posterior tibial tendonitis, the site mentioned it being more common in women over the age of 40. Just a few months back I had to deal with costochondritis. If you’ve never heard of it, welcome to the club. You only ever hear of it once you’re dealing with it (sort of like those diseases you never heard of until you had kids–Fifth disease? Foot-and-mouth disease? Was somebody making this shit up?).
Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that joins your rib to your sternum. It’s basically harmless, but it feels like you’ve broken a rib. I developed it from coughing too hard during a typical winter cold. Seriously. Guess who typically suffers from costochondritis? Repeat after me: Women over 40!
I had x-rays to make sure I hadn’t fractured a rib first before the doctor ruled that it was what I’ve been referring to as the other “c” word. Then, x-rays again for the ankle. Ted at the imaging place and I are beginning to get real chummy. See? We’re already on a first-name basis.
Last year I had a hysterectomy. And then a breast biopsy. Before all of this, I was pretty damn healthy, save for the fact that I get migraines pretty often and have since my early 20s. I never even had so much as a UTI. I’m a former athlete, dammit! I know any older readers are just shaking their heads and thinking, “Just you wait, dearie.”
And, yes, I know it could always be worse, so I’m thankful that it’s nothing overly serious. For now, I just have to find a physical therapist and get some arch support orthotics, and try hard as hell not to feel old.