This morning was great. The week was tough, but this morning was great. This week I struggled to catch up on school work I had neglected while sick the previous week. I rushed preparations for an exam on Thursday, completed my homemade MacGyver battery project, and even had time to speak for several hours with my best friend (who unfortunately lives about 2,000 miles away from me).

After finding out from my doctor’s office that my ankle MRI appeared perfectly normal, I just went back to my mental drawing board. When I had first had pain in my ankle, I thought it was the usual sort of pain that comes from either new or increased activity. When I figured out that it was something more, I rested, took naproxen, etc. Time passed. I tried the usual things that people do (and are instructed to do by doctors) when they suffer a minor injury. But my ankle still being wonky six months later, I saw a doctor and got all the expensive diagnostics. So here I am, waiting for my insurance company to, I hope, send me a letter saying they’ll pay for physical therapy; and at the same time, once again trying to do my own thing to recover. I’m sure it sounds foolish to some people, but to me it seems no less logical than a physician’s assistant telling me to keep doing the same thing and expect different results. I can’t say with certainty that what I’m doing or what a physical therapist will do will get everything working as well as it once did, but if rest and anti-inflammatory medication were going to work alone, I think they would have done so by now.

So yesterday I went to a park I know that has fairly level paths, and usually not too many people. I walked some. I stretched some. I ran some. Only a year ago, or not much more, I was trail running, mountain biking, and running hilly half-marathons and 10K’s pretty regularly. I loved it, but until yesterday and this morning, I didn’t appreciate how great what I was doing then had been. Yesterday was okay. I’m not even sure what to think about the sensations in my ankle anymore. Normal discomfort? Injury? Shit-call-an-ambulance? It’s hard to tell when you’re just kind of scared because you’ve had a mysterious injury for so long. But even though I have some stiffness in my Achilles tendon, I’m not in any pain today. Certainly no swelling or limping, which is always good.

This morning, my husband and I went for a decent hike. Last weekend we went for a pretty weak one, both feeling unsure about our ability, because he is also recovering from an ankle injury. We felt more confident today, and trekked out, despite his allergies. We even remembered a pair of binoculars, for once! Lots of birds, dogs, fresh air. We saw the woman with an Akita that we seem to always see no matter what day we go to that particular park. Parts of the river were actually flowing. There was a lot of green grass. Other than physically just feeling good being back outdoors again, today’s hike was nice because things are unusually green. It’s usually various shades of brown, maybe a little red, out here, but recent rains have gotten things living and blooming again. I love hiking in the same place during different seasons, in dry versus wet times (which don’t occur in any regularity here that I am aware of), and before and after fires. There was an area of MTRP that my husband and I watched burning one day a year or two ago, from our old apartment. I remember hiking there before the fire. Then of course I saw it shortly after the fire, as soon as the area was reopened. Black, black, black, and smelling quite charred. I then hiked many times over subsequent months, and I really don’t know how to express how fascinating it was so see things renew, regrow, normalize.

Several months ago, I had volunteered to help with some water monitoring out here in East County. I had to bale because my ankle got worse before it got better (not 100%, but yes, better). The woman I had been speaking to told me that I’d be welcome later on though, so I think I’ll shoot her an email. It may be quite a while yet until I can get some serious miles in running, but hiking seems to be alright, and that’s what the volunteer opp calls for. I miss running, and I feel a little sad when I see people running in places I know I’d like to… but if I can at least do regular, moderately challenging hikes, then I’ll be very grateful to do so.

Finally, as great as it is to spend time among the local flora and fauna… I’m getting very excited about visiting Mt. Palomar next week! I have only a few more classes, and then my dear and I will be driving out to the mountain! The house we’re renting apparently has a resident horse (yay for me) and a resident cat (yay for my husband), and plenty of places to go walking and birdwatching. The dark skies are the main attraction of course, although I must admit that I really didn’t plan ahead and check the lunar calendar (which is really lame of me because I do subscribe to Astronomy magazine, so I wouldn’t even have to look it up — but we’re all stupid and thoughtless sometimes) before booking our stay. Anyway, we’ll check out the observatory up there, and I’ll likely change my mind again, for about five minutes at least, and decide to major in astrophysics! No, no, just joking on that. It’s just going to be great though. We haven’t really gone on a holiday for a while, largely because of our ankles, so I’m looking forward to getting away from SD for a few days.

Until next time, as my father-in-law says, “HPYTRLZ.”


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