Monthly Archives: August 2016

Injury time

ts_cfHow I wish my latest reason for actually writing something in this blog wasn’t so painfully personal.  I’d much rather be slagging off Donald Trump, or raving about a new Gwar album, or chronicling my successes and failures with women… but no, instead I must report an injury that, at least for a short time, might make it hard for me to do the things that I enjoy.

I didn’t report it here, and indeed I’m not sure of the exact date, but back in January 2013 I managed to stumble while running down the stairs at Mornington Crescent station after work, and rolled on my left ankle; although it ached for a long time afterwards (especially while sitting down in that crowded minibus during my American odyssey — many times I staggered out at a rest stop!), it didn’t stop me going climbing, I was able to take up personal training a couple of months later, and above all I didn’t need to take any time off work.

Compare and contrast with yesterday, when a stupid misstep coming down the stairs at work (somehow I forgot the mezzanine bit of the staircase has steps as well) meant I came down heavily on my right ankle, although it only really began to hurt after I’d returned home — and then to the point that I couldn’t even walk across my room, and instead had to either hop or crawl.  I was in pain, without any painkillers to hand, and I could barely flex my toes or move my foot around… yet somehow I still had to put my washing out!

Fortunately, after a good adequate barely tolerable night’s sleep (no, not the pain so much as the heat combined with nearby emergency roadworks), my ankle’s been feeling somewhat better; I was thus able to hobble up the street to the doctor’s and get it examined by a professional.  She reckoned it’s a torn ligament, which should heal on its own as long as I don’t overburden it, but she sent me for an X-ray just in case I fractured a bone as well.  My old enemy from last year, ibuprofen, has helped me so far as well (I’ve not felt that same level of depression as before, which is a relief).  I should be able to go to work tomorrow, and maybe even see my personal trainer on Friday (as long as he focuses on my arms)… but I had to miss out on climbing tonight, and it’s weeks since I last went to the Castle to climb.

It really struck me that if I have to hobble everywhere, or even stay off my feet completely in the short or long term, I won’t be able to do a lot of things I enjoy — not just climbing and personal training, but running up and down the stairs enthusiastically at work as I rush around trying to fix everyone’s computers.  Hell, even my daily walks to and from work (currently accompanied by a medley of Gwar and Iron Maiden songs) make me happy, rain notwithstanding — and the only way to shorten my walk would be to travel to Oxford Circus, which would mean squeezing onto the ever-crowded Victoria Line, and this would hardly be any better for my ankle (and definitely worse for my sanity).

When I hurt my left ankle in 2013, I probably should have stayed off it a bit longer, as many times I’d feel serious pain (almost like an electric shock) coming down too hard on it while climbing; memories of that experience convince me to be extra-careful with this one now, and not put it through too much too soon, as I can’t bounce back as well as I could when I was 35 (ahem).  As it happens, I need to take a holiday from work anyway, in order to use up some annual leave (and hey, my backlog of video games won’t play themselves!), so this might be an opportunity to rest and recuperate.

My mother had to do just that two years ago after twisting her ankle (much worse than I did) in an endurance race, and she hated it; I may not be as active as her, and sitting down playing games and watching TV certainly appeal to me, but it’s not the only stuff I want to do with my life, at least not any more. However, one extra step and I might have been in a cast, or worse, a wheelchair, so I’d better take care of my ankles, otherwise I won’t have a leg to stand on…

(Ha ha ha… no?  Oh, please yourselves!)

Cold days in summer

beavbuttsickSummer colds suck, and even though I’ve had a better run this year than most, I came down with something at the end of July after making it unscathed through May and June; it seems “best mate” brought me back a biological souvenir from his three-week holiday in Japan.  Hopefully I didn’t spread it to my mother or grandmother when I went to keep the latter company (yes, I actually had time off work!) while the former went abroad for her job; the main consolation is that it’s been a very weak cold, mostly consisting of a sore throat and mild cough, mutating into a runny nose and occasional bouts of sneezing (which could just as easily be hay fever), but not slowing me down or requiring endless drinks of Lemsip (or shop’s own-brand equivalent).

However, this combined with surprisingly unhot temperatures at the start of August gave me a strange, unearthly chill on Monday.  Normally I’d only feel this way in September, as another school year starts, and the autumnal slide to winter gets underway; yet here I am feeling it a whole month early!  I think only 2000 had a worse, more pointless non-summer than this year, but I have to hold out hope that we’ll have some decent weather for the rest of August, as I’m not ready to have cold feet yet, or wear a jumper indoors*, and I really, really don’t want to be the one to turn the heating back on.

(* Aside from in the office when the aircon’s too high, as is traditional in this country!)

While it’s great that this cold is barely affecting me at all, and hasn’t been preceded or followed by a bout of depression, I had an unfortunate scare last week: possibly due to sitting awkwardly in my room in Worthing (while playing classic game System Shock on the Frankencomputer, with my mouse on a TV dinner table), I developed a nasty cramp in my right thigh, which intermittently hurt like hell.  Simply walking could suddenly become painful (most of my aches and pains are like that these days), and although it didn’t stop me weight training (though it gave me a twinge when I was trying to lift 17.5kg dumbbells!), it made me worry that I’m… ugh… getting old, and that I’ll have to slow down my (ahem) crazy and exciting lifestyle.


“Cramp, huh? You need to get a banana in you!”

Fortunately, memories of that American Dad! episode where Stan recruits those strippers to run a dry-cleaner’s showed me the way: I clearly had low potassium levels (possibly due to eating so many liquorice-flavoured throat sweets), and eating a banana every day has healed me.  I guess I was a bit indulgent in processed food during those days I kept my grandmother company, and wasn’t eating anywhere near as much fresh fruit & veg (or even dried fruit in breakfast) as before; this may also have resulted in my weight rising again (I’ve been in danger of recrossing the 13-stone threshold!).  Thus, switching back to having bananas for dessert seems to have been the best decision I’ve made all summer.

(Hey, as long as don’t go back to having a Greek yoghurt with a big teaspoonful of Nutella, like I did in the early days of this blog!)

Do you know the funny thing?  I used to think I hated bananas, possibly because they’re yellow (a colour I for some reason hated as a child, and then grew to tolerate thanks to The Simpsons), and so never gave them a chance — right up until that camping holiday in America back in 2013, when I discovered the simple joy of the tropical fruit!  There you go, another positive change that trip effected in me, along with a desire to get out and have more adventures, and socialise more instead of sitting at home — three ways, you might say, that I became just a bit more normal.

On the subject of holidays, since this summer has been such a debacle, I find I desire another exciting holiday to rejuvenate my joie de vivre — but where can I go?  I can’t revisit Turkey (where I had a good time with my friends in 2008) with all the recent troubles, and no way can I afford another Trek America trip, so should I go back to my childhood in Lanzarote?  As long as it’s somewhere hotter than here in England, that’s the most important thing — but first, I’ve got to get over this tedious and unremarkable cold…