80-Year-Old Ankle Blues.
by Jennifer Sey
I had surgery on my mangled ankle about three weeks ago. The doctor went in and removed some trouble-causing bone chips and a boatload of scar tissue in the hopes that injections of magic (into a clean joint) would ease my discomfort enough to get me through a decade without an ankle replacement. I wasn't nervous about the surgery. I'm pretty darned good with pain as evidenced by my ability to walk around and even exercise with grade 4 arthritis for the last ten years.
So it's not the pain of the surgery – the two incisions, the lack of range of motion, the inability to put weight on it – that has me off my game. Somehow I just can't seem to get my mojo back. And by mojo I mean desire to work. To put in the effort. To try really hard to improve at the things I care about.
It's not that I haven't been working in the traditional sense. In fact, I was insistent on getting right back to my day job. I came home after the surgery, slept most of the afternoon and then went into the office the next day. I hobbled in on crutches and tried not to drink too much water because the bathroom is pretty far from my office. It took me a good 10 minutes to get there and boy were my arms tired by the time I did. I had crutches several times as a kid and I don't remember it being so exhausting. But then again, I was a teenager and I weighed about thirty five pounds less than I do now. And I could do 40 pull-ups without blinking so you could say I was pretty strong. Swinging around on crutches was relatively easy compared to hurling myself around the uneven parallel bars. I was often training a day or so after a broken bone, doing what I could do – conditioning exercises and even simple moves with a spotter on the bars. I generally had my cast removed in about half the recommended time so that I could get back to business. But that's why I'm in the situation I'm in now. I have the left ankle joint of an 80 year old. So patience, perhaps, is in order.
This is something I'm not terribly good at.