Monday, July 21, 2008

Trying to Stay Healthy While Healing....

Well, it's been just over two weeks since I've been ordered to rest my ankle and allow it to heal. It has been extremely difficult to follow doctor's orders. In fact I have cheated a bit; I did go out for a bit of dancing this past weekend. I took it easy, went to a trusted place, and brought my ice pack. Before you jump all over me about not taking care of myself please allow me to explain...

I have been on a quest for two years now to obtain and maintain the best lifestyle I can. I've lost well over 100lbs and found confidence I never knew existed. When I received notice from the doctor that my unexplained injury would keep me from doing the ONE thing in life I truly love I tried to accept it and allow myself to heal. I made a plan for eating light and healthy and started doing the few physical things I can to try to not lose all that I've done. This proved to be extraordinarily difficult.

I did go swimming a few times, in typical Miss Kitty style I couldn't just go and swim for 30 minutes and then rest. No, I had to go full out as hard as I could for as long as I could, tread water for a few minutes to rest, but not stop moving, then go back at it for another try. Yes, I am a good swimmer, but due to my lack in confidence in how I look in swimwear it's been a LONG time since I actually jumped in and went for it. Somewhere in the process of swimming back and forth, I hyper-extended my right knee (same leg the injured ankle is attached to). As we discussed before, my threshold for all pains and pangs leg related is a bit unreasonable and I had to force myself to stop going to the pool. Swimming, by the way, in comparison to dancing is BORING! As with other work outs I have done outside dancing I can’t seem to push myself as hard as when I’m on that dance floor. I will be returning to the pool shortly, but I will be taking it easier. What can I say? I'm as stubborn and hard headed as it comes and I only ever really learn by doing, making mistakes, and then trying again.

So while resting my ENTIRE leg, and trying to get rid of a stress induced neck issue, I was growing depressed, I was putting some un-needed stress on myself with my new job, and I was being completely distracted by the fact that I couldn't dance. Friday rolled around and my ankle and knee were feeling pretty ok. So I headed out to Fred Astaire South Barrington to try and sneak in a little time on the dance floor. I had every intention of getting in a little Fox Trot, maybe a Tango (even though I am terrible at both, they keep my feet pretty level on the ground). I wasn't feeling super social, so I didn't really chat up any of the students, just spent a few minutes catching up with RTS, who reminded me to be careful, and asked me point blank why I wasn't at my home studio for the party there.

I explained that my home studio was doing a BBQ, -I didn't want to be surrounded by food, and they would be reporting on weight loss week, I couldn't participate in that. South Barrington also had a bit of entertainment going on that sounded much more appealing. So there I was. (Not to mention I didn't want to risk the lectures I would receive at my home studio from friends and instructor for risking my ankle so early in the healing process... I just wanted to dance a little!)

Over the course of the evening most of the dancing felt pretty foreign to me. I felt a little ashamed that I couldn’t follow some of the leads and had nearly lost all the finer points completely. It was like I hadn't been on the floor in MONTHS instead of two weeks! Part of it was the lack of practice, part of it was the constant nagging in my head to watch out for my ankle... I tried not to favor it, it wasn't hurting at all, just one muscle twinge because I hadn't used it in so long...but I found myself not fully committing to any step that involved weight on my right foot. Still though the little dancing I did get in was EXACTLY what I needed! As I left FADS SB and headed to meet the girls for our customary after party meet up, I felt tons better about EVERYTHING, work, ankle, health, and not having a dance lesson again for a while.

I waited until the next day before I called my little dancing experiment a success, and it was. My ankle didn’t hurt or feel any different really. I think a lot of what helped was that I did bring an ice pack and iced my ankle for a good 20 minutes during the break at the party. I will continue to do that for any dancing or work out related activities for the next several weeks.

So all in all, the healing is going well, despite my frustrations. My ankle feels ok, but I don’t fully trust it yet, I have received stretching exercises provided by the doctor that I will work on daily. While I can’t say the scale has been moving in a good direction, I can say that with the few things I am allowing myself to do I don’t feel quite as out of shape as I did a week ago.

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