Sunday, September 08, 2013

The Pony, RICE and frozen peas

I injured myself while doing the pony in dance class last week.

If you have never done the pony, let me offer a couple of video examples:

Teenagers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVwQDbB3Uns

This woman is going for it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_W4TMkG6fI

While doing the pony, I felt a massive cramp in my left calf, a pop to the right, and unspeakable pain.  I had to stop and took a cab home.  The cabbie took the longest way and charged me as much as he could.  He even tried to short me on the change.  I asked him for $3 and he tried to give me just $2.  But I was in no position to argue.  Illustrating why I loathe riding in cabs.

I limped and shambled like a zombie that night, in much, much pain.  God bless frozen peas and Advil.  I had no ice but I had a bag of frozen peas.  CK and I spent a good amount of time on the phone running through the worst case scenarios.  The worst of which involved surgery and a recovery time of 3-4 months.  Or a muscle that never recovers.

Being sufficiently freaked out by then we moved on to the advised treatment.  The recommendation is RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

Unfortunately, all of my close friends live in Manhattan and all of my doctors have their offices there as well.  I barely know anyone in my neighborhood.  Fortunately, despite my alienation from it, my neighborhood rocks - I have access to the greatest car service in Brooklyn and the internet (grubhub.com!).  I live 2 blocks from a walk-in clinic, 3 blocks from a CVS and 2 blocks from a grocery store.

The Dr. at the clinic was underwhelmed by my injury.  I was not bleeding, screaming in pain, nor did I have a broken bones.  He sent me to get an ultrasound of my leg to be sure there were no blood clots.  He said that if I were not improved in a week, that I should see a specialist and get an MRI and shooed me on my way.  Unimpressed.

CK came to visit yesterday.  She was looking forward to seeing me do my limpy zombie shamble and was a little disappointed by my little ambulatory dance.  She bought and brought me crutches.  A lot of people set store by bringing balloons and flowers, perhaps candy.  But I've got to tell you, crutches are a fantastic thing to bring.  We got burritos at a taco joint literally kitty-corner to my place - another reason that my neighborhood rocks.

It hurts less when I move with my knees bent and so I have been doing a pseudo salsa step as a means of transit.  The overall hurt has lessened.  But now the pain comes when I put weight on my left calf at certain angles.  Mystery angles.  I have not quite figured out all the angles.  So there is uncertainty and surprise jolts of pain.

I envy every old person with a walking cane that I spy.  I have had to rethink my impatience when walking behind people who are very slow.  I have had to rethink how I perceive people who have difficulty walking as I wonder how people are perceiving me as I limp along.

There is so much taken for granted in life.  The body is fragile.  But it finds a way to keep going.  And I do too.

Shuffling about uncertainly in salsa fashion, I feel grateful that I can move at all.  Here's hoping that RICE works for me and that I can get back to that pony.  That's what you do when thrown off a horse, even one so small as a pony.

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