Some time ago I asked for home remedies regarding a ligament problem in my right ankle. I tried a couple, including DMSO, to no avail. Physical therapy made only a temporary difference. While in Alaska, I quit wearing the brace, as it seemed to make no difference. The discomfort, mild anyway, with or without it was the same. I took to heart the words of the Mayo Clinic website, that eventually, it will heal.
This morning at the gym I did my usual, an elliptical machine that simulates hiking (it says) to warm up the muscles, and then stretching exercises for my lower back, hamstring, together with shoulder stretches, consecutive sets of pushups, situps, and then lastly, three sets of pull ups on the machine pictured below. That’s my Monday routine. I like to be out of there in less than 45 minutes as I am easily bored. (The hamstring stretches involve leaning up against the wall with feet flat, and that does indeed place stress on the ankle, but I felt no strain.)
Can you sense my consternation? This machine places no stress on the ankle, in fact I am on my knees when using it. I do three sets of 15, and after the second set I landed my right foot on the floor, and an incredible sharp pain shot up to my knee from my ankle. I can now place no weight on it. It was not a fall, I did not twist it. I just placed it on the floor, and all hell broke loose.
I drew the orange arrow right at the center of the pain. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning, and probably X-rays, maybe an MRI in store. For now, I am immobilized, and when walking about the house for various needs I am using a hiking pole for support. The ankle is wrapped and iced, and I am elevating it when I am not sitting here pecking away. (I am obviously bored too.)
This is frustrating because in eleven days we leave for an extended journey to France, a place near the Swiss border near Geneva called Ferney Voltaire. There we have waiting for us a small condo and a car. I want to do more than sit around. We planned to hike the nearby Juras. We were going also going to do some serious climbs to mountain high refugios, but not hut-to-hut, just up one day and down the next. While we can (or I could) withstand a 3,000+ elevation gain hike up a mountain, doing that same rigorous hike day in and out, as we did in 2019, right now seems unmanageable, even with good ankles. That’s been three years ago, and we are, doing some quick math here, three years older.
The pain I am experiencing right now from this ankle is sharp enough that I do not see myself doing anything strenuous until I get some healing, possibly more therapy. I am grounded. Our trip to France is written in stone, we will go there. I hope to be somewhat mobile by then. Even a trip to the Louvre sounds too strenuous.
I am extremely frustrated. In Alaska, we did not do anything strenuous, four miles our longest distance. You might say it is just part of the aging process, and I would agree, but this injury initially happened on January 30 of this year. I should be long recovered.
PS: X-rays today reveal that it is not an ankle sprain, but rather arthritis, plain as day, in the instep. This explains everything! And, in early stages, and at least for our European trip, treatable by use of a steroid injection. I know that might raise qualms with some, but these last six months have been, not miserable, but worrisome. Apparently this was missed in my first appointment in March. It was tied to my ski accident, so no one was looking sideways.Humans make mistakes, I know that this 72-year old (who does not look a day over 71) does.