October 9, 2010.
It is hard to imagine that just over a month ago I was unable to walk. Now, my life is seemingly back to normal. I still feel pain and restriction in the ankle on my affected foot, but I am able to do 99% of my ordinary tasks with no issues at all. It is mostly when I am doing unnecessary things (like climbing, for example) that my ankle difficulties become a hindrance. I am able to walk up and down stairs, move about at a normal speed, ride my bike, spend the day on my feet, and do yoga with minimal problems. I am looking and feeling healthy again. Interestingly enough, it is not the bone in my foot that is in pain, but the soft tissue comprising my ankle. I think that spending all summer on crutches, unable to bear weight on the injured foot, caused major damage to my ankle. And it is my ankle, now, that hurts, prevents me from making certain climbing moves, gets stiff, and makes me feel like I have a deficiency compared to other people. Not moving is really bad for the body.
Last weekend was a major test for me. I hiked up and down South Sister, Oregon’s third-tallest mountain. The nearly 5,000 feet of elevation gain didn’t cause problems. Even the long scree climb near the top was a piece of cake. It was the last two miles out that felt like murder. My ankle was in so much pain that I had to lean on my poles heavily to take the weight off that foot. I had to slow my pace way down and try not to think too hard about being finished. It was incredibly hot that day as well, which just made me feel more tired, but when we reached the trailhead at last I felt like I truly accomplished something.
This week I have been limping more than usual, and I think it is directly related to the abuse I put it through on South Sister. It was totally worth it. Tomorrow I am going on a short, mellow hike in the rain. Hopefully my ankle will appreciate the treatment and get back to feeling good again.