Now How the Heck Did I Do That??
Bette Davis famously said that aging wasn’t for sissies. At age 62 I quote her often. Recently I added injury to the insults of age related aches and pains by injuring the muscles along my left tibia. A search of the Internet reveals that this irritation and resulting pain is caused by "strenuous activity." I would not have said that I engaged in that.
There is no denying that I do a lot of walking. As an aide to a special needs high school student I hike all over campus while he zooms along in a power wheelchair. When I am home I am busy with work around our houses and I cannot deny that having my husband Dave working 1,500 miles away oft times leaves me exhausted, frustrated and resentful but I would not have said that I was engaging in strenuous activity.
When the pain first began I thought, “My goodness, I’ve pulled something. How inconvenient.” I did what I usually do with pain. I ignored it. It began the Thursday before Easter. On Friday my own Special Needs daughter and I drove to the coast where our “someday retirement” home is. My other children were unavailable for various reasons, but we’d come to celebrate Easter with my mother who lives six blocks from our house. Saturday was a perfect day to give our two lots large lawn its first mow of the year. It took two and a half hours to plow through the thick and somewhat damp “back forty,” as I call the back yard which stretches from our barn and cottage on one lot to our main house on the other, with our electric mower. I decided that the front, smaller but more complicated due to flower beds and walkways, would have to wait until Sunday as we had guests coming for dinner.
My leg had hurt during the whole process, but I’d trudged along as I always do, drinking lots of water and breaking to scrape the grass off the underside of the mower. Our company was Kathleen Arseneaux and her daughter Stacey came to dinner which I’d largely prepped while waiting for the grass to dry (which it never entirely did). Toward the end of last summer I’d engaged Stacey to help me with the gardening. Stacey doesn’t mind weeding whilst I loathe it, mostly because I can’t get on my knees with any reasonable expectation of getting up again without calling the Ilwaco FD. Over dinner Stacey offered to mow the front the next day and I gratefully accepted.
So I went literally limping along in pain, doing all the things that I’d got used to having help with before Dave went away ten months ago. The pain finally began to take a toll on me. Sometimes it left me nauseous and by the end of my work day it was leaving me wanting to cry. If I’d had time. There were still chores at home to accomplish before I gratefully put my leg to bed, only to begin the process again the next day. Finally, I emailed our doctor and received a reply from her PA as the doctor was out for the week. She encouraged me to go to Urgent Care which I finally did next day, a week to the day from when I’d first noticed the pain.
Shin splints the Urgent Care doctor said after reviewing X-rays that revealed no hairline fractures. To immobilize my foot and give the tissue a chance to heal she had me put in an ortho boot making me think of astronauts walking on the moon. I hobbled to garage, got into the car and tried out my new footwear on the clutch of my Neon. No, if I tried to drive from Tacoma Group Health to our home in Gig Harbor I’d likely get into a wreck along the way so I peeled off all the Velcro straps the nurse had spent so much time adjusting and used the clutch with my bum leg. It already hurt and while it was getting no better, it seemed to be getting no worse. The Neon is in the garage and I'm driving our truck, which is an automatic.
So now, until it is healed, I am hobbling around on my new boot, petrified I’ll fall down our stairs and actually break something this time. And there are still things to do. Dave is coming home for a visit a week from today so there’s cleaning and dusting I want to do and a birthday cake to order for my father-in-law and daughter. To quote another old lady, my mother, “There’s no rest for the wicked.”