Rehab officially begins

Not the Amy Winehouse kind but getting my injured leg back in shape. According to my good friend K at work and my longtime doctor, I tore muscle fibers in my left calf. I’m midway through week 3 of recovery and am ready to officially work out(I have to admit I have danced at least once a week since this injury despite prohibitions.) After all, I have plans for new half-marathon medals in 08 but really hope to perform in Carnaval.

I use a warm compress every morning and ice after exercise and before bedtime. I have weaned myself off daily doses of Tylenol and bandaging my leg(unless I take part in the forbidden activity of dancing). I still sleep with my leg elevated. I’ve only worn heels once, when I lectored Christmas morning, and it felt awful. But I know I have to exercise or I’ll lose muscle. I can’t try running until 4 full weeks have passed. I can rely on low impact exercise like my other fave, Pilates, or go back to swimming(but why are temps in the very low 40s?!?) in any case, it’s time to move.

Flashback: the snap

See what had happened was I never really warmed up that day. Lifted weights that morning and walked a few blocks to get there. But no calf stretches or squats or I-ran- 9-miles-in-Vegas-last-week movement. Just changed into ballet slippers and started twirling around. Never mind I was still feeling stiff and sore. This is the Nutcracker and I’m in it, damnit!
A dad and his daughter approached me. He extended his hand because he wanted me to lead another line of dancers around the auditorium. I took a step and then rose up on my toes for another two.
Snap! I heard and felt a distinct “pop” in my left calf. My foot gave out so I dragged myself and the other dancers as my leg burned and my head spun. Could it be bone? But I could still move, even if it hurt like a mother.
I danced the entire show, favoring the good foot.

Never said I listen to my pain at all times.

Flashback: Epiphany while on the hard pavement

See what had happened was that I had no patience. Head swimming with a long to-do list, little bird heartbeat, little feet taking me to and fro. Sometimes it’s no fun to be this short, cute as it may be, I gots stuff to do, let me hang this poster myself, can’t wait for help. Blue painter’s tape on the corners, giant question mark on butcher paper. Not high enough. not wearing heels and arms are too short even as I reach and reach. Quick, grab the chair. The mama in me says hell no, chairs are dangerous, you’ll fall and get hurt. Don’t like pain. Why do you think I don’t ski or snowboard? No bones of mine have ever broken. Don’t want to hear the crunch. Don’t want the plaster or the pills. But this poster has to be higher. Lean the chair against the wall. Step up. Who says folding chairs are the worst? Poster moves up a foot or two. I’m about to pat down the last corner when the chair gives way.
You don’t see stars when you hit the ground. No I saw the spinning of the earth on its axis. I saw planets in orbit, asteroids, Saturn and its rings.
I fall backwards, land on the ground. Chair topples and clamps around my left leg like a bear trap. Grit teeth. No cry of pain, not even tears that usually flow so easily. Try to get to my feet too quick, right foot twists as I try to rise.
Custodian comes around the corner. “Why are you on the ground?” I shake free of the trap. Both legs throb. Cheeks burn. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. I’ll walk it off.”
Limp to the office. Don’t take the ice that is offered. Left leg is purple and has an imprint of a toothless jaw. Right foot aches but I didn’t hear the snap.
Six hours later, can’t walk.
Two hours later, leave the ER with my right foot in a bandage and orthopedic shoe and my left leg on fire.
Gotta listen to that mama voice.