This morning I woke up with excruciating pain in my right foot. I could not put any weight on it; if I tried to set my foot flat on the ground, I felt burning shots of fire run up my heel. After texting my best friends about it and changing into short shorts, I hopped on my left foot to the elevator of my apartment and then into an Uber that took me to a local hospital.
The doctor and nurse informed me that luckily, I did not rupture my Achilles tendon – I had just inflamed it. They gave me a Motrin, crutches, and an order not to jog or run for a week or more. “Thanks so much,” I said to all the hospital staff who wished me a smooth recovery as I hobbled on my crutches out the door. I can’t believe I’m attracted to men *and* I have to suffer physical pain, like wtf, I thought to myself as I lifted my entire weight on the crutches, sweat gliding down my neck, the consequence of me literally never working out my arms for 27 years.
I already miss jogging. I had planned from 11am to 1pm today to jog to “Shut Down” by BlackPink and then cool down by walking to a podcast. Instead, I clumsily trapesed across Cambridge on my crutches, back to my apartment, while wondering if this injury is my karma for over relying on paper plates (sorry @ the environment I know I’m trash). When I saw people jogging – even walking, even standing still on both of their feet without a foot brace thingy – I felt a sense of sadness and nostalgia. Just yesterday I had run up and down the Charles River to “Shut Down” while poorly executing the choreo mid-stride.
I think honoring my feelings of grief and sadness have been instrumental during my time in Cambridge so far. Every time I do anything, whether that’s randomly shriek while playing tennis in my gay tennis league or roast a mediocre memoir at my Asian book club, I think to myself “wow, depending on where/if I land an academic job, I could have to say bye to this by the middle of next year.” When I first let the grief emotion in, it sometimes feels overwhelming, like a cool sensation that runs across my whole chest until slowly, at a pace of its own will, it fades. At this stage of my life, when I feel like I’ve grieved many great losses – my grandmother, the end of my relationship with my first long-term therapist L – I know that the grief means that I cared about something enough to matter, which is a beautiful feat even if it hurts.
One of many reassuring constants despite this period of uncertainty in my life: my best friends. One visited me a couple of weeks ago and the other is visiting this upcoming weekend. I texted both of them throughout this ordeal – “Ugh not my potential amputation era” I messaged one of them dramatically as a doctor wheeled me into the X-ray room. “How’s your pain?” the other best friend texted me while I wrote this post. It’s great to know that if I do end up moving again next year, they’ll come to visit. And, wherever I move, I’ll still have the characteristics that make me, me: my values, this blog, the music I enjoy bopping along to, and more.
Okay it has been awhile! How have you coped when you’ve sustained physical injuries? What strategies do you use to care for yourself in the face of grief and uncertainty? On a scale of 1 (not unfair at all) to 10 (so so unfair like horribly unfair) how unfair is it that I am both attracted to men *and* have an inflamed Achilles tendon? Anyway, I’ve been doing clinical stuff, research, applying to so many jobs, etc. so it’s been busy though not too stressful. Until next post!
6 responses to “How’s Your Pain?”
Oh geez, I’m sorry to hear about your injury. Don’t try to be impatient as you recover. The hospital might not have shown you how to use the crutches. One common mistake is that it should go up to your armpits but that’s not the right way. You might want to get some physiotherapy (with a hot Asian guy) to help with your recovery.
And be careful in the shower and walking around your apartment too. Look for potential tripping hazards. Cooking and cleaning can be a challenge so plan ahead. It’ll be tricky carrying a plate from the kitchen to the table. My sister used a walker to carry things from room to room. There are also pouches you can buy that attach to your crutches so you can carry your phone and other things.
Hmm… those shoes. I know if you run regularly, you’ll need to change your shoes sooner than you think even if the shoes still look good. The support might be compromised.
I feel awful that you’ve got this injury. Read up as much on it and how to move around with crutches. https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-use-crutches-2549326
The only other thing I can suggest is don’t feel sorry for yourself – sometimes that just makes it worse.
Sending you lots of love and healing energy!
Haha I love this idea of physiotherapy with the attractive Asian man! I will broaden my search criteria to any attractive man of color (: Grateful for all your warmth and ideas for recovery in this comment. Thankfully I’m pretty much back to normal functioning now with no foot pain or crutches which, whew, because that brief stint with crutches was uh, kind of unbearable. I also learned that the crutches go to more of your waist/upper chest area than armpits. I hope you are well Matt!
I feel like your attraction to men might not have led to this injury (unless you were doing your attraction to men in a slightly odd way) but it is indeed unfair you should have both plaguing you. Let me tell you my damned cis straightt heteronormativity had me playing mum to my FIFTY YEAR OLD straight white male husband when he had a stomach upset then ate something unwise that made it worse … I think I wish I’d just been aromantic and asexual and done away with all of it (I did have a good night’s sleep in the spare room with the cats, however: small mercies).
I am not good when exercise is taken away as turns out that’s my main source of mental wellbeing (yes, I like to colour in things, NO I DO NOT WANT TO EFFING COLOUR IN SHEET thank you). I have had bits after a fall and an operation where I couldn’t exercise and it wasn’t marvellous. I did keep up my routines, so went to yoga and did the breathing, went to running club and walked while the beginners ran round. Maybe you could go to tennis and do the scoring or something?
Get better soon!
Hahahahaha the “doing your attraction to men in a slightly odd way” comment made me smile, thank you. Ugh at this straight heteronormativity! I’m glad you did get a good night’s sleep in the spare room, yay for a spare room.
Ooooh thank you for this empathy and sympathy in regard to temporary removal from exercise. I like the ideas you have for doing light exercise and exercise-adjacent things. Luckily the injury cleared up relatively quickly so I’m back doing the things I enjoy now. I hope you are well! (:
Hey, Thomas! Sorry to know about the injury, and hope it is not as painful as before. You seem well-adjusted to the new location (already so popular at your tennis club, quite an accomplishment!), and reading about your feelings over potentially leaving the place sometime in the future makes me feel, exactly as you describe here, sad but in a good way.
I am wishing you good time there and many memories to cherish. Hope you’re taking care. 🙂
Lolol I would not say that I am popular at my tennis club though that comment made me smile, thank you! Yes, sad and in a good way (just a mixture of feelings coexisting at the same time) is an accurate way to put it. I hope you are doing well in this autumn season! Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.