My left inner ankle has been hurting for a while. About 2.5 months to be exact. I was going for a walk almost daily as my exercise and one day I had to stop because my ankle hurt too much. I had been putting off seeing a doctor thinking that the pain would heal on its own after I stopped going for a walk for a while. That didn’t happen. Instead, the pain comes and goes. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt at all. Sometimes the pain just comes out of the blue and I almost can’t walk for a couple of hours. But in general it hurts when I get up in the morning putting my foot on the floor or after my nap. The pain usually goes away in a few minutes. This is the same ankle/area that I sprained twice in my life, once in my 20s and once in my 30s. Both times the sprains gave me a lot of trouble and took a while to heal. But this particular time I hadn’t sprained it, so I don’t understand where the pain would come from. I finally contacted my primary care physician for a referral to a podiatrist. The nurse practitioner who read the message asked me to go in for a consultation with the primary care physician first to determine the nature of the problem before they refer me out. I was thinking, what odd recommendation that was, just to make money off of me? I can self refer to a podiatrist. Why would I have to go see a physician who is not specialized in foot pain first for him to tell me that I need to go see the specialist? That doesn’t make sense. I went ahead and looked up the podiatry group in my network and scheduled an appointment myself. Last Friday I had my appointment. I looked at the podiatrist’s name and it looked familiar. Then I remembered that I had seen a podiatrist with the same last name about 10 years ago. It turned out that this new podiatrist is the son of the podiatrist I previously visited. What a small world. The current podiatrist asked me a bunch of questions and told me to stand on my tiptoes. He touched my ankle and asked where the pain was. He suspects that the tendon on my ankle is the culprit. He doesn’t think that it is torn but it could be inflamed. He had ordered an MRI for me to see what is going on inside. In the mean time, he gave me an ankle stabilizer to walk in. I am to wear it whenever I do weight bearing activities which is basically all my waking hours. After the MRI, he will determine if I need this particular injection or not in order to alleviate the pain. So now I wear this very fashionable (not) brace daily.
It has been helping a bit. I am still waiting for the phone call from the imaging department to schedule the MRI with me. Being in the 40s is not fun it seems as so many parts of the body seem to take turns to be in pain. I hope and pray that the podiatrist has a way to fix this pain because I really want to go back to my exercise one day soon.
Therapy has been going well. The physical symptoms that I had a few months ago haven’t come back at all. All the goals that I had set with my therapist (e.g. No more panic attacks, no more worrying about having panic attacks, etc.) have all been met. I really have made a lot of progress in those short almost four months. I have chosen to continue seeing my therapist every other week to work on a few residual things. She has given me one assignment that is quite interesting. Since I love drawing, she wants me to draw a moment, a win, or a victory that happened in the previous week or two that is a result of a choice that I made myself. She wants me to document it with the activity that I like the most, which is drawing. I can choose anything and the frequency of this assignment. I decided to do a drawing every other week. So far I have done two.
The first one is a depiction of me at Costco. I went one morning leaving the kids in my mom’s care. My mom called me while I was shopping to tell me that Okra was mean and misbehaving. The usual me would be really worry about the situation at home and would want to rush through shopping and hurry home. I would feel guilty for leaving the mess to my mom, feeling like I should rush there to take over so nobody had to be subjected to my son’s behaviors. The new me was able to talk to my inner critic Ursula, telling her that there was nothing I could do at that point because things were out of my control since I wasn’t physically at home. I had already entrusted the kids to my mom so they were under her care, and fretting over it at Costco would not do anyone any good. I was able to be in the moment, focus on finishing up my shopping, and was not distracted by the things that might or might not be happening at home.
The second picture depicts the kids climbing up a very high structure at a park. The first two times we went to that particular park, I did not allow them to climb up this particular part. I was able to let go the third time and let them climb high. The picture does not show, but this structure was probably 8.5 ft high, way higher than the top of my husband’s head which measured 6’4″. It was quite scary for me but I was able to let go of my fear and let the kids climb. My therapist often asks me why I chose to draw this particular moment and what else I could tell her. This time she noted that I chose to draw the kids walk away from me. This signifies the more and more I am letting go of my control.
I thoroughly enjoy this exercise. In the one hour to one hour 15 minutes that it takes me to finish the whole drawing, I am able to focus on the progress that I have made and the choices that I have been making to help myself be more whole. I am truly grateful that I have found a great therapist who opens my mind to seeing things in a different way than before.
Recently we are considering sending the kids to preschool. They were supposed to go last September but the pandemic hit and we opted for staying on the waitlist for another year. The school contacted us and I was still reluctant to make a commitment, partly because of COVID but also because it is hard for me to let go of the routines that we have established. Watching the kids interact with friends and with others at the playground, I think Okra can really benefit from socializing regularly with someone other than his parents, grandma, and sister. Bunny on the other hand does well socially and will definitely thrive in group situations. I finally contacted the school and learned that we would still be able to enroll them three days a week starting in August if we turn in the enrollment packets by the end of the month. I have been reading the packets and am feeling quite confident that the school knows exactly what it is doing. After having the last year to figure things out, their COVID protocol is solid. There are processes for what to do about everything health and safety related. The night I received the packets, I had a dream about the kids having a really hard time at school. I woke up feeling anxious about it. I guess it is part of the life as a parent who has been with the kids every single day since they were born 3.5 years ago. It is hard to let go and to entrust them in the hands of those who are not part of our family. But I do feel that it is time. I know that it is going to be a big adjustment for us and the kids. I asked the kids the other day what if they get to go to school like their friends. They asked me, “What about you mama? Are you going to be there?” When they realized that I wouldn’t be going with them, they said they didn’t want to go to school. I think the next few months we will have some convincing to do.
Thanks to a dear friend’s tip, I am newly qualified for vaccination for COVID-19 under a new set of criteria. When I called to schedule, the person looked all over and could only find one appointment at a location 35 minutes away about two weeks out. I may call again to see if I can reschedule for sooner and a closer location. If not, I am still thankful for the chance to get vaccinated sooner rather than having to wait for my age group to be eligible. When both Bob and I are vaccinated, we are hopeful that we can start hanging out with family again.