OK. I’m back in physical therapy and have the nifty red stretchy band to prove it.
Rehabbing my right ankle was definitely on my “to do” list. I’ve done the MRIs, adjusted and readjusted my “foot plant” when running, cross-trained like crazy, and seen actual doctors (not just watched ones who play one on TV), but it took Zach’s recent injury to get me through the rehab door again.
The bad “sprain” he suffered in his last soccer game turned out to be a couple of torn ligaments in his left ankle.
The doctor pronounced it similar to a torn ACL injury of the knee in severity. Yikes. A Grade 3 tear of his ATF (which I promptly called a “third-grade tear” to our shared amusement)… The doctor also remarked that the tendency to sprain was “genetic” which garnered me an ironic “thank you” from my son (Last night, he expanded the sentiment, promising to write a blog titled “Chronicles of a Genetically Disadvantaged Child.” Funny guy… He gets that great sense of humor from me too, you know).
As the doctor spoke to Zach about the long-term ramifications of not properly treating his injury, I cringed and found myself newly motivated to dust off my own physical therapy prescription from about six months ago…
I run all the time. My right ankle also hurts most of the time. I don’t usually mention that, because I figure people will simply notice the apparent correlation and tell me to stop running, and it’s just not that simple. I think and “write in my head” when I run. I become a better person when pushing myself along wooded trails and can then give the world at large, and my household specifically, the best possible version of myself. So, I’ve learned to manage the pain and cross-train.
But, I’m ready to try for something better again.
Once, I dreamed of marathons and triathlons. When in Hawaii years ago, a Canadian police officer and “Iron-man” competitor encouraged me to seriously train for Hawaii’s version of the event. I put it on my “REALLY do this!” list for the years when my kids might require a little less of my time. But life never slowed down and my ankle began protesting on a more regular basis.
I’ve enlisted Matt to be my enforcer. “No dinner until you do your exercises Mom.” His smile and eagerness to climb down on the floor and do the tedious routine with me takes the “sting” out of his discipline. And I’m really trying to fit it in three times a day as prescribed, leaving my red therapy band hanging on door knobs where I can’t possibly miss it.
Hannah commented the other day that her friends tease her for always running on the left side during track work-outs, a habit formed from running with a mom who channels everyone to her left. It seems that my instinctive protection of my unstable ankle is creating odd instincts in my children. Yes, my ongoing ankle problem has affected us all.
I’m not ready for another surgery. And I know all too well what’s at stake for Zach… So, we’ll all be pushing one another to stretch, strengthen, and hopefully repair these muscles and ligaments we rely upon. Zach’s great-grandmas are in their nineties. Those genetics are quite the encouragement to make our bodies a good place to live in for a very long time.