Day 50: Brace Yourself

So back in the doctor’s office after a week of the leg brace, I’m a mix of anxious and eager as the nurse steadies into the doctor’s office. Before I can sit down and he launches in to how I feel. “Much better though the leg brace has left me a bit stiff, but otherwise okay.”

He takes the brace off and pushes on my knee where the swelling has gone down significantly. “Does this hurt?” he asks. “Not at all,” I say. He smiles as he mumbles “very good, this is very good”.

He moves my leg around testing the joint and flexibility before asking me again how I feel and each time I meet him with “feels fine.” I catch his eye and before I ask he says, “when are you supposed to climb the mountain?”

“The hike starts next Sunday,” I say.

He shakes his head and says, “No, no no. You have improved very much, but that will be too stressful on the knee so soon. If you don’t want to risk a lifetime of knee issues, I cannot recommend you do that.”

Tears swell up in my eyes and he pats me on the shoulder. “I’ve been planning to go for so long,” I plead as if that would change his answer, but he just shakes his head.

“You must stay in the brace for another two to three weeks at least to be sure that the knee is stable and fully healed before you do anything that strenuous. I’m sorry, but the mountain will be there assuming global warming doesn’t change that,” he said with a smirk that both irritated and humored me, “and you will be able to climb it once you’re back to normal.”

Tears rolled down my face and I swallowed hard. “I can’t believe this,” I whispered to myself as I struck up the orchestra of negative self talk in my head. Loser, I told myself. Failure, I thought. As if my injury was any indication of my actual abilities (which I recognize with a bit of time that it is not).

While Josh and I will still be meeting up in Tanzania and on to lounge on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro will have to happen another time.