Ailments

The Pregnant Ankle: Part 2

The Pregnant Ankle: Part 2 1

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Not up to speed on my spastic descent down Camelback mountain? Catch up with Part 1.

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I just sat there like an idiot, staring at my rapidly swelling ankle and trying not to cry. Partly because I didn’t want to appear weak, but mostly because there were other people around, and I’m what’s commonly known as an “ugly crier”.

“Are you okay?!” Scott called out while running back to check on me.

“I’m…..fine.” I managed in between my ‘I’m-in-a-lot-of-pain-now-so-I’m-going-to-do-Lamaze’ breathing charades.

“Are you going to be able to make it the rest of the way down?” he asked with legitimate concern.

I was worried about the same thing. We still had over a mile to go. A mile of downhill, uneven, rock-laden ground that demanded a stable ankle.

“I think so,” I winced, “Just give me a minute, okay?”

I continued my over dramatic breathing for an extra thirty seconds, eventually rising to my feet to finish this stupid hike, which ironically, was my idea to begin with.. The first several steps were excruciating, but after four or five minutes, my ankle felt totally fine! I mean, it didn’t look fine, but the hiking wasn’t even bothering it.

“Scott, my ankle feels totally great, now! It must be the swelling that’s keeping it stable or something. If I roll it in a circle it hurts, but walking down all these rocks isn’t even a problem!”

The second this overconfident declaration left my lips, it happened again. Same ankle, same collapse to the ground, same lamaze breathing to prevent an extremely public ugly-cry breakdown.

“Trats, are you sure you’re alright?” Scott asked quietly while examining my ankle.

“I dont’ know…” I spit out between breaths, “I think heard a pop that time. It really hurts.”

“I’m worried you might have broken it.” Scott confessed, while contorting my massive cankle into various unnatural angles, asking me which ones hurt. Scott spent three years working in orthopedics — if he was concerned, I was concerned.

“What do you feel?” I asked, my voice thick with panic. “Did I break it?”

“Possibly. The only way to tell is with an X-ray.”

I let out a frustrated sigh. I was about to return home to an insane work schedule, not to mention a to-do list that’s length rivaled Dante’s Inferno. I didn’t have time for an X-ray! And I surely wasn’t getting one while on vacation.

“Here,” Scott offered, “Let me carry you.”

“No.” I insisted. “I don’t want to be carried.

“C’mon,”he urged, “Let me give you a piggy back ride.”

“No way.”

“Katrina…if it’s broken, walking on it could make it a lot worse.”

“I think a piggy back ride would make it a lot worse.” I countered.

“Come here,” Scott cooed in a baby voice while lowering himself down into squat position, “Get up here.”

That was all the motivation I needed to rise up off my haunches and complete the death march. Let’s face it — the only thing worse than a public ugly cry is a public piggy back ride.

Thankfully, my ankle felt much better after a few minutes of walking. I was able to finish the hike, and spend the rest of the day on my feet without much trouble. By the time we returned to the hotel room eight hours later, it had doubled in size and was causing a ridiculous looking limp…but we were leaving for the airport at noon the next day, so it’s not like it ruined my vacation, or anything.

Come to think of it…it actually made my vacation…better?

Yes, I realize that sounds delusional…but take it from me — my hiking injury came with a lot of perks. Don’t believe me? Read through this list and then tell me you’re not considering spraining your ankle during your next weekend getaway.

How spraining my ankle on a hike made my vacation amazeballs

  • Because I blamed the sprain on my unsupportive New Balance shoes, Scott immediately took me to Nordstrom to buy a new pair of Nike Free 5.0s. No questions asked.
  • It was the perfect excuse to indulge in a post-hike couples massage.
  • It reaffirmed that Scott has a deep, piggy-back offering love for me.
  • My crazy-looking limp got me lots of attention.
  • My crazy-looking limp also got me to the front of every line at the airport. (And In-n-Out Burger.)
  • Upon returning home, my CrossFit coach forbid me from doing box jumps as a result of my injury. No box jumps for an entire week? Darn.

The best part? The swelling is mostly gone, and my ankle feels this close to being back at one-hundred percent. Praise the Lord, as I don’t think I could handle a super long recovery like the one I had with my last sprain.

Long story short, my ankle feels great and I got a new pair of shoes out of the deal. Turns out having a pregnant Kim Kardashian ankle isn’t so bad, after all.

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The Pregnant Ankle: Part 1

The Pregnant Ankle: Part 1 10

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One of the highlights of last weekend’s trip to beautiful Scottsdale was a lovely hike Scott and I took to the top of Camelback Mountain.

camelback

(Well…it was mostly lovely.)

Camelback Mountain is the highest point in all of Phoenix. This means once you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning 360 degree vista of the city. It also means you’ll be enjoying sed view while breathless, drenched with sweat,  and possibly injured.

Scott and I opted to hike the Cholla Trail, as it was the only one open.  Little did I know, the route we selected had a difficulty ranking of “Black Diamond”. This meant the following things:

  • Long rocky segments and possible drops with exposure
  • Dirt and loose rocks with continual unevenness
  • 12′ or taller, loose rocks, exposure to drops

For added context, here’s a description of the hike, straight from the Cholla trail website.

The Cholla Trail is less known than its counterpart, the Echo Canyon Trail, gaining the summit from Camelback’s eastern side. The last 1/8 mile before the summit requires rock scrambling.

Be conservative in planning your hike! In addition to a gruelling climb, warm weather months can bring hot, dry desert conditions. Everyone who hikes Camelback for the first time reports that it was more difficult than they expected.

I wasn’t aware of any of this until I was already halfway up the mountain. I suppose it was better that way.

While the above description sounds totally miserable, I legitimately enjoyed the challenge of this hike. Sure, it was hot as Hades and more intense than three back-to-back Turbo Kick classes, but it felt good to get my sweat on. The scenery was breathtaking, and it was a heck of a lot better than being holed up in frigid old Minnesota!

The last part of the hike was definitely the scariest, large in part due to the previously mentioned “rock scrambling”. I’d never heard this term before, but can only describe it as hiking on all fours while fearing for your life. There were large, pointy rocks that were completely exposed. Scott had zoomed ahead of me at this point, which meant I was not only concerned I might fall 1.8 miles to my death, I also wasn’t quite sure I was still on the trail. Surely, climbing up over a ten foot high rock that comes to a point at the top and is totally open to thin air on all sides couldn’t be part of the trail?

(Apparently, it’s totally a part of the trail.)

I took a deep breath, summoned my inner Jon Krakauer, and vowed made that rock my biznatch.  Miraculously, I didn’t slip or lose my footing once! Within five minutes, I had reached the summit.

summit

After a few photos, lots of water, and insisting Scott congratulate my rock scrambling prowess at least six times, we began our descent.

Let me say this: If climbing up long rocky segments and possible drops with exposures is a challenge, then making it down them in one piece is about as easy as scoring a perfect score on the SAT while simultaneously running a marathon.

There was whimpering, butt sliding (luckily my floral mania leggings remained in tact), and a few prayers, but I survived. After making it down the technical top third of the mountain, the bottom two-thirds would be a total cake walk hike!

(Or so I thought.)

Remember that part about the trail boasting dirt and loose rocks with continual unevenness? Turns out walking down that is easier said than done. Particularly when you are A: so incredibly relieved to have made it past the backwards rock scrambling that you’ve foolishly let your guard down, and B: are wearing minimalist CrossFit shoes that provide little to no ankle support.

Just as I was mentally applauding myself for deserving some sort of medal of honor from REI, it happened. My minimalist shoe-wearing left foot landed on a rock the wrong way. I heard a popping noise, felt my ankle roll to the side, and immediately tumbled to the ground. Gazing down to assess the damage, my eyes were stunned to see an ankle that appeared to be well into its third trimester.

ankle

To be continued…

Psst! Part 2 is up! Check it out here…

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The monster under the bed

The monster under the bed 2

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Apologies for neglecting to post yesterday. I was holed up in bed battling a stupid head cold with every last fiber of my being.

But I’m back. And I’ve got the injuries to prove it.

(Yes, injuries.)

It all began when Jolie and Penny’s Bark Box arrived in the mail this week. What’s a Bark Box you ask? It’s official description is “a monthly goody box that comes in the mail with four or more carefully selected products and presents for your dog – anything from toys, bones and all-natural treats to hygiene products and innovative new gadgets!”

Or as I like to describe it, “The canine version of Stitch Fix that middle class women who don’t have children purchase out of boredom around the holidays.”

I mean…at least that’s how I got suckered into it.

Don’t get me wrong–Bark Box is great! They even donate a percentage of the proceeds to doggies-in-need. Plus, by going with the six-month, pre-paid subscription I ended up saving 34%!

But back to the box. It arrived this week, and the girls were thrilled!

Bark Box

Translation: I was thrilled. The dogs were too busy barking ferociously at the poor mail man.

The box contained a variety of treats, toys, and even a tasty raw-hide bone that Jolie selfishly demolished in the first six hours. But most notably, it included Monster.

monster dog chew toy

There was something about this neon gentleman that plucked ever so delicately at Jolie’s heartstrings. Was it the unique crunchy texture of his antlers? Perhaps his state-of-the-art “chomp tech” construction? Or maybe it was simply the flirtatious glimmer that subtly radiates from his cyclops eye. Whatever her reasons may be, it was love a first sight.

jolie and monster

Personally, I think he wooed her with his squeaking.

As soon as monster was removed from the box, Jolie unleashed a territorial growl before trotting upstairs with her one-eyed beau clutched firmly between her tiny teeth.

Here’s the thing about Jolie — playing with toys didn’t come naturally to her. We adopted her at age three, at which point it took an additional three years for us to teach her how to play with toys. Yes, we physically had to train her to chew on things. Even after she learned the ins and outs of dog toys, she never really showed interest in playing with things until recently. Needless to say, when Jolie actually does engage with a toy, I get a great deal of joy out of watching her. Each snarl and bite represents hours of blood, sweat and tears on my part.

Clearly, this meant I was following Jolie upstairs. I wasn’t about to pay for that stupid monster and not even get to watch her play with it!

The snuggle pooch has several hiding spots throughout the house, her favorite being the area underneath the queen sized bed in our guest room. Covered by mattress and surrounded by bedskirt, she feels safe and enclosed. The crawl space is also short enough so that sister Penny can’t follow her in. But most importantly, if she sits underneath the center of the bed, she’s so deep that neither Scott or I can reach her. If she’s got a bone, snack or toy in tow, it’s her number one hiding destination.

{FYI: That last paragraph sounds way better if you read it with a Steve Irwin nature documentary accent.}

This is how I found myself laying sideways on the purple shag carpet in our guest room, literally searching for a monster under the bed. As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I saw neon green fuzz just inches away. I also heard Jolie’s tell-tale “mine” snarl. Penny sat beside me, whimpering with jealousy, as I reached in to snatch Jolie’s monster boyfriend. But my little troll was too quick. She unleashed a vicious sounding gurgle as she dragged her monster just out of reach. One at a safe distance, she perched her angry little body on top of his while possessively licking his antlers.

It was a lost cause. Slowly, I pried myself off the floor to standing position. And that’s when I heard it. Ripping. I also felt a strong tugging sensation against my left ear. Particularly where the diamond earring I tricked Scott in to buying me for our fifth wedding anniversary was securely fastened. I lifted my hand to my ear, fearing the worst. My fingertips felt damp and warm as they grazed the earlobe. Cautiously moving my hand back into sight, I saw it was covered in blood.

So, remember that stupid purple shag carpet our house came with that I absolutely hate? Turns out it hates me right back. Like, really hates me. So much so that it managed to entwine itself in one of my earrings, holding on for dear life when I attempted to stand up and leave my chihuahua to snuggle with her monster boyfriend under the bed in peace.

Yes, I realize that might be the most ridiculous sentence I’ve ever typed, but brace yourself, as it’s about to get even more ridiculous.

That godforsaken carpet managed to rip my precious earlobe open. From end to end.

If that’s not a sign we need to upgrade to hardwoods, I don’t know what is.

I’ve posted my fair share of questionable photos on this blog, but an image depicting my ear injury will not be one of them. Trust me…that’s one picture you really don’t want to see. I will, on the other hand, show you my uber stylish ear bandage, and what’s left of my diamond earring.

Exhibit A:

I mean...what's the point in showering when your ear looks like this??

I mean…what’s the point in showering when your ear looks like this??

Exhibit B:

What’s left of the earring. That post–which is solid 14K gold—used to be perfectly straight. TOLD you the carpet hates me.

Scott assured me the gaping wound will heal just fine in a week or so. He’s even promised to re-pierce my left ear himself, if need be. I’ve got to say, it takes a lot for that man to feel sorry for me, and I experienced a deep sense of satisfaction when he exclaimed, “Ouch! That looks really painful!”.

The funny thing? It actually wasn’t painful at all. I heard the ripping way more than I felt it…and even in the midst of the healing process, I kind of forget the wound is there until I see my oh-so-sexy bandage in the mirror.

sexy-bandaid

Rawr.

In conclusion, I ripped my earlobe open on our purple shag carpet, and I’m blaming it on the monster who lives under my guest bed. (And just so happens to be dating my chihuahua.)

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried, people.

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This is what you did last “inight”

This is what you did last “inight” 4

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Over the weekend, I acquired a bottle of prescription sleeping pills. Thirty 10 milligram capsules of generic Ambien, to be exact.

My need for sleeping pills might come across as confusing to those who know me well. I’ve never had trouble sleeping, or falling asleep for that matter. According to my FitBit Wireless Activity Tracker, it takes me an average of 2.5 minutes to fall asleep each night–I’m typically out cold for 8-9 hours straight, and sleep with 99 percent efficiency. I’ve also never had issues finding places to sleep. Whether I’m in my bed, on a plane, lounging on a friend’s couch or sitting in the exam chair at the dentist’ office (oops), slipping away into dreamland has never been a challenge.

So why the Ambien?

Simply put, my flight from Los Angeles to Sydney this Thursday is nearly fifteen hours, and I don’t want to chance it.

My general practitioner was beyond understanding when I explained my situation to him. The only caveat?

“I want you to take a pill at home before you leave, just to see how your body handles it. Some people can get a little wonky on this stuff.”

A practice Ambien session? Oh believe me, Doctor…that won’t be a problem.

I immediately reserved my Saturday night for a hot date with Mr. Sleeping Pill. I was somewhat anxious as I’ve never taken a sleep aid before, yet after hours of stressing about sleepwalking across the street and into the lake, I eventually worked up the courage to swallow some Ambien.

“Scott!” I called downstairs, “I’m just letting you know that I just took my sleeping pill!”

“Okay…?” he responded nonchalantly.

“Just keep an eye on me…don’t let me get up in the middle of the night and roll around in the fireplace or anything, okay?”

“Relax,” he sighed, “You only took five milligrams, right?”

Uh oh.

“No…” I hesitantly explained, “The prescription he gave me was for ten milligrams.”

“What??” Scott squealed. “Ten? Ten is way too much. I never prescribe more than five. You’re gonna be out cold…I’m talking horse tranquilizer status.”

“Scott…are you messing with me?”

“No. Ten is way more than you needed. You better hurry up and get into bed before you fall asleep standing.” he urged.

Still unable to tell whether he was serious or not, I climbed into bed and waited to pass out. Surprise, surprise —  I didn’t have to wait long.

The following morning, Scott inquired about my adventures with Ambien.

“Honestly…” I explained, “I feel like it didn’t actually do anything. I mean, yeah, I feel asleep quickly.–but I always fall asleep quickly. Plus, I woke up a few times in the middle of the night, which never happens normally. I guess I’m immune to Ambien or something.”

Scott shrugged, and headed downstairs to make toast. We went about our day as usual — Scott organized the garage and listened to podcasts while I packed for Australia and experimented with violet colored lipgloss. (Spoiler alert: violet is not my color.) Yet several hours later, like a moth to a flame, I was back in the medicine cabinet, digging for more Ambien.

“I thought that stuff didn’t work for you.” Scott mentioned.

“Yeah,” I muttered, “but I accidentally fell asleep for three hours while I was packing , and now I’m afraid I won’t be able to got to bed tonight.”

I did my best to ignore Scott’s eye rolling as I popped my second sleeping pill of the weekend.

Let’s just say my second experience with generic sleep meds was a whole new ballgame. The difference? This time I attempted to remain conscious after ingesting them.

(Clearly, this was a mistake.)

I was in the middle of emailing our photographer about Christmas card photos when it hit me. Suddenly, my vision was blurry. The computer screen felt as if it was swimming towards me, and typing without spelling errors became practically impossible. My motor skills had officially gone out the window.

Naturally, I decided this would be an excellent time to send myself an email. I think deep down, I knew I might not remember the events of the evening, and wanted some sort of grammatically incorrect journal entry to document it. I’m just thankful I was successfully in sending the email to my inbox, and my inbox only.

email2

I’m happy to report I didn’t fish those chocolate chips out of the trash can–but only because I fell asleep before I could get to them. Needless to say, Sons of Anarchy didn’t happen, either.

I awoke this morning at 6:00am feeling refreshed, bright, and ready to seize the day. Yet my early bird surge of energy was tainted. As I rolled over to see my still cracked iPhone resting deviously on the pillowcase, I couldn’t shake the sneaking suspicion that I may have engaged in some Ambien-fueled texting.

Turns out, my instincts were spot on.

ambientext

 

For the record, I have no idea who Judy Rollin is, but I suspect she’s got my “peanut menmmems” somewhere.

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