I’m the queen of embarrassing injuries. Four of them hit me in a row last year, defying the bad luck comes in threes superstition. Calf tears, hamstring pulls, and several ankle sprains as a tennis player should have taught me what to do when injured. Yep, but I can be the queen of major mistakes too.
Talk about stupid and I haven’t even gotten to my latest story. One time, I hurt the tops of both feet when running for a short ball returned while playing tennis over Memorial Day weekend. I took Ibuprophen and Tylenol before playing matches that summer. Endorphins did the rest to mask the pain. When one foot still hurt in October, I had it x-rayed. It was broken. Ten days of wearing a flat shoe healed it. Sheesh.
In my defense, my latest ridiculous injury originated from heli-skiing. (That sounds so much cooler than what happened over the holidays.) Temperatures soared the last day of our trip. Skiing in heavy snow while on skis waaaay too long for me (do I sound defensive?) proved hard to turn. To prevent avalanches, our group turned alongside tracks made by our group.
A shot from on top of the world in Canada –
One time, my shoulders and upper body turned, but my right knee didn’t. My medial collateral yanked my knee as the joint bent in a strange and painful way. Youch. Good thing I didn’t trash it on the first day.
A couple of years later, again in heavy snow, I twisted that same ligament. After healing it a second time, my MCL would occasionally flare up but never gave me that much trouble.
I forgot about it until this summer. Yes. Summer. While vacationing in London, we slept in the hardest beds ever. I tossed and turned. During one of those tosses, I twisted my upper body, but my leg didn’t move since the sheets and comforter were tucked in tight.
That dang medial collateral ligament fired up like a bee sting! I was up for hours. The next day, I limped around the city. Eventually, the pain subsided and I forgot about it.
Insomnia struck. I had thousands of things to do the next day including shopping, preparing for family to arrive, wrapping presents, and baking, yada, yada, yada. I needed a good night’s sleep.
The first time I looked at the clock it read midnight. Then 1:00, then 2:00. When it was 3:00, I turned over and ZING! I twisted my knee. Oh, how it hurt. It took until 5:00 AM to finally doze off.
Have you ever noticed how you can’t sleep when you’re the most exhausted and really need it?
The next night, I tried Melatonin. It kept me up ALL night. I seem to have the opposite reaction to drugs. Hyperactive on Valium before eye surgery. Lots of pain with oxycotin. You get my drift.
I discovered the culprit of my insomnia and unplugged my clock. Yay!
Now when I wake up, I roll over and go back to sleep without thinking about it. I also make sure the bedding is loose. Slept like a baby the rest of the holiday.
We skied after Christmas. My MCL was still sore but I took Tylenol. The ligament warmed up with endorphins and blood flow. I also wore elastic knee braces. Plural since I had a partial knee replacement four years ago and like to keep it warm. The second day, I forgot my braces. When I arrived home, it stiffened up.
More mistakes were made.
I went online and Googled: Exercises for a medial collateral.
Then, I lay on the floor and did the painful leg lifts. I assumed it was in some sort of spasm and stretching the tight ligament would release it.
The next day, I limped into the kitchen more sore than ever. Since it was five degrees outside, I didn’t feel bad about staying home and not skiing. Like most injuries, it got worse over the next two days.
It took me a while to realize how stupid I had been.
I should have Googled: How to heal a medial collateral:
Google replied with loads of the exact same advice:
Ice and elevate it, and use compression. DUH!
I’ve had so many injuries, I should have known better. Whether I twisted it on some super steep mountain or in the sheets of my bed, bodies need time to heal. So here I am, up in the mountains the following weekend and it’s still sore. I’m icing and elevating instead of skiing today. It would have been healed by now had I used a little self care.
All because of exercising my knee too early. GAH! Hence, this is my first life hack of 2019. Seems like I’m always learning something.
A snowstorm is predicted tonight but it’s already snowing and it’s early afternoon. I’m sure my knee will be fine enough to ski tomorrow. I will have all week to compress, ice, and elevate it. Let’s go skiing!
Do you have any recurring injuries? Do you tough it out or baby them?