Friday, October 23, 2009

Getting just a little bit cranky...

So I broke my ankle on the first day of Nationals back in late July. Or, more precisely, I broke the fibula right at the ankle. Clean break, non-displaced. No big deal, as every medical professional I talked to assured me. No way was this going to keep me off the water for more than 6 weeks, at the most. Except that's not quite how it went down.

After five weeks of being completely non-weight bearing, the bone was showing some pretty promising healing, and I got a walking boot. Since then, the fracture has continued to heal, but it's still not done, well over 12 weeks later. Turns out, the fibula doesn't bear a lot of weight, so there's not enough compressive force to really get the bone properly motivated to fuse all the way. Meanwhile, if you do put weight on it, there's all kinds of odd micro-movement and twisting, which then apparently slows down what healing there is.

Not that it matters much, as it turns out that the high ankle sprain I gave myself in the process of breaking the bone was the more pernicious injury anyway. Those apparently take around 16 weeks or so until you can really load up the joint again, and that's if things go really well. In my case, however, there's the unfortunate bit (quite literally) where the ligament that connects the tibia and fibia at the front of the ankle, when getting sprained, managed to tear a few fragments off the bone. One of those is now sitting in the recess of the joint, right next to the ligament, aggravating things in there and keeping the inflammation fresh. That might all go away in the next three to four weeks (that's the working assumption for now), or it might need some surgery to clean things up. The 3 months I haven't sailed since that first day of Nationals is easily the longest single period without windsurfing that I've gone through in 30 years.

Meanwhile, fall in Bellingham has been remarkably mild in temparatures and pretty darn windy. The local kiters have had to pull out their 5 and 7 meter kites a few times already, and I stopped counting the number of days that would have been nicely powered slalom conditions due South, with good swell in the Bay.

To add insult to injury, with the ankle being what it is, I'm pretty limited in the amount and types of exercise with which I can distract myself. It got so bad the other day that I seriously got my low back out of whack doing way too many sets of single leg hopping on the stairs. I'm sure I'm just a real joy to live with right now, which is a cross my loved ones have been bearing with remarkable grace. My wife did, however, helpfully point out that by the time I'll be ready to get back to sailing, the water will be cold enough to have a very beneficial anti-inflammatory effect on my ankle...