6 weeks since FurCon 2017, and I’m still nursing the most persistent ankle-sprain I’ve ever had. Okay, I’ve only had one before this. But unfortunately, it was different enough from this one that I didn’t realize it was a sprain before causing extra damage.
Stepping back to a few weeks before FC; I’d been working on my dance routine, complaining of back and knee pains. I have exercises for back and knee maintenance, and they work. I was under the impression that while doing other intense activity, like dance practice, I should put them on hold to avoid over-straining myself. Wrong. Though luckily, that one is an easy fix.
Of course, I had to hurt my foot during FC. During the night dances Thursday, and again Saturday, my foot suddenly started hurting. Sunday, it seemed better, but quickly degraded as I walked from one end of the convention center to the other. I called the day early and went home to rest it up.
I saw a podiatrist who said I was probably on the way to a stress-fracture, but there was no bone damage, so taking it easy, then gradually picking up exercise should be enough. He also noted that I had hyper-flexibility, which is probably why I needed maintenance exercises in the first place. In addition, he confirmed for me that I should absolutely continue my maintenance exercises even when working on routines. It was really motivating! This was a very important learning for myself that seemed like it’d take care of my last few issues. I was motivated to rest up, and focus only on exercise and muscle-support so I could continue to dance after my body was properly prepared. Too bad that despite me citing pain in my ankle, the doc completely missed the fact that my ankle was sprained.
I gave it a week and a half of rest, then tried walking around the block for much-needed exercise. It hurt a ton that night, so back to another week and a half of rest. Tried walking again… hurt a ton again. By this point I was looking around online for answers, and it seems like what I really had was somewhere between a grade 1 and 2 sprain, which is not so painful that you can’t walk (my only past experience with a sprain), but enough that you’ll still hurt from using it and can re-injure yourself extremely easily. So… plenty of additional damage I did to myself there without realizing it.
Got myself crutches and a support brace. Two more weeks of rest. I’d used my foot as little as possible. Rest, ice, elevation, compression, all the good stuff. Eventually I needed to flex my ankle a bit because I was stiff. Simply rotating my foot in a few circles was enough to trigger it AGAIN, and back to the doc (a new one) I went. Doc confirmed it’s a sprain, but there’s no bone damage. Now I’m back on crutches and have upgraded from a brace to a splint as per doc’s orders.
I can’t really sugar-coat this. It sucks. For the last few days, my foot has stayed at a constant 2 or 3 (out of 10) level of pain, even resting it as much as I can. I’m worried that I’ve caused long-term damage. The initial injury isn’t terrible, but re-injuring one spot so many times in such a short period can result in permanent damage. I’m worried my body will degrade heavily with so little exercise and activity. I’m antsy and frustrated. I’m sick of doctors who are so overconfident that they miss critical things. I’m sick of using crutches. I’m sick of not being able to walk. I’m sick of being stuck in my room, and losing much of my independence. Frankly, I’m just doing my best to stay positive and sane. I *NEED* exercise. And on top of all this, I can’t even properly start on the exercises I want to do to build my body up for dance, until the ankle is fixed. Hell, I don’t know if I’ll be in walking and suiting condition for FWA and my birthday… which I just realized while writing this, and is incredibly upsetting. I had a routine I wanted to do for BLFC… which I may not be able to do either, given how early prep often starts for that.
I have some exercises I can do in my room, and when I can at least walk around the house without problems, I’m gonna get myself access to a pool so I can get exercise that way. I can say that I’ve been through worse with my knees in the past. At least I have a diagnosis and this isn’t anything mysterious or uncommon. I’m anxiously waiting and hoping that there’s no permanent damage. Till then I really just need to hang in there.