Sunday, September 3, 2006

Before Beginning Any Exercise Program, Consult Your Physician

I am so annoyed.

OK, in case you aren't as caught up in my life as I am, here's the background.  About three years ago, I pulled a ligament in my foot.  I was ice skating regularly at the time, but I didn't hurt myself skating.  It was, instead, a freak theatre-going injury.  (Wore high boots, twisted ankle off of them.  Repeated about 6 times during the course of the same day.)  Anyway, I'd thought it was a strain or a sprain or something, but it didn't stop hurting, so I went to a Podiatrist, who said I'd pulled my ligament.  He told me to stop skating and wear a sports brace for six weeks.  At the end of the six weeks, he pronounced me "as cured as you're going to be" -- said my ligament was back at about 90% of what it had been before.  He said I could skate again, but warned me if I hurt it again, it probably wouldn't heal back to its then 90% status.

I tried skating, but I was so worried about re-injuring the ligament, I was really tentative and cautious -- and, as a result, skating was no fun.

Fast forward a couple years.  When I went with friends to Park City, I went skating for the first time in a very long time.  And it was great.  Ankle didn't hurt at all.  Thought I might look into skating again regularly.  In the meantime, I walk a lot with my neighbors, and always take the stairs and stuff for fitness.

Fast forward to my weekend away with dad at the healthy fitness resorty place.  When I met with the exercise physiologist, she told me to keep walking with the neighbors.  I'd mentioned the ligament injury and how that had kept me from skating, so she recommended the purchase of a "rock board" -- she said using it would strengthen the muscles in my ankle to compensate for the weak ligament, making it even safer for me to return to skating.  Sounded great.  I bought the rock board. 

Their shoe guy also recommended I buy them nice (expensive) new shoes with good arch support, because I pronate when I walk and this is likely negatively affecting my knees.  So, I bought the shoes. 

Every day, I either walk with my neighbors (wearing my new shoes) or do my ankle exercises on the rock board.

Until last week.  Last week, I went for a nice long walk with my neighbor, wearing my nice new arch-supporty shoes.  I even kept the shoes on for the next couple hours.  Got home and my ligament was killing me.  Ow.  Ow.  Ow.

And it hasn't stopped.  I don't know whether to blame the rock board or the new shoes or something else entirely.  All I know is that my stupid ligament is stupid reinjured stupid worse than it stupid was the stupid first time.  I've started wearing the brace again, and I hope it's helping (but it hasn't been that long so it's kinda hard to tell).  I think it would probably be a good idea to give up on the rock board ankle exercises until such time as someone other than an Exercise Physiologist with whom I've spoken for all of 20 minutes tells me that it's medically okay to use.  But what really roasts my cookies about the whole thing is that I can't even walk with my neighbors anymore, because I'm wearing the brace all the time, and that isn't particularly conducive to long walks.  Or stairs.  (Or going to Disneyland.) 

So, in my attempt to "strengthen the ankle muscles to compensate for the weak ligament" -- which, I hasten to add, wasn't even particularly weak at the time -- I've now killed my entire exercise program one measly month after it started.  Freakin' great.

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