A week and a half ago, on Monday night, I was playing a mean game of capture the flag. Lest you think I’m a great athlete, understand I was playing with a bunch of kids, mostly around 8 years old.
About 10 minutes into the game I was in jail… someone had just set me free and I started sprinting. There was a kid behind me who started chasing me and I immediately felt like he hit my calf with a baseball bat. It was one of the most painful things I have ever felt. I really thought he hit me, intentionally.
That night I needed 100% help getting back to my van, and then help getting to my bed. My wife couldn’t help as she had just had a baby (and I was supposed to be the one taking care of her!). The entire week I “rested” my leg by not doing too much (compared to what I wanted to do), but I spent the week running errands, doing dishes and laundry, picking up the house etc. Remember, I was the caregiver.
Then, this last Monday my 2 year old decided to get a bowl of chili out of the microwave by herself. The lid looked like it was secured to the bowl, but it wasn’t, and i was afraid she was going to burn herself. So I lept-hobbled to her rescue, only to RIP my calf again. This time the pain was worse… much worse. Bad enough to encourage me to actually visit a doctor.
As I’ve thought about this, here’s what I’ve come up with:
I neglect my physical health. I am in okay shape… not too bad. Nothing like in high school, but hey, I have a different lifestyle than back then :p I didn’t think I’d have this type of muscle problem, though, because I work out almost regularly.
I had neglected my career health. I had a good job, and did my job good enough. I was a nice, personable person who trusted the company would take care of me – but the pressure came, my career blew out just like my calf did.
With my injury, I didn’t know what to do. Seriously – who reads about muscle tears, unless it happens to them? I had no idea what to do… RICE (rest, Ice, compression, elevation) seems to ridiculously easy… it can’t really be the solution, can it? A neighbor gave me two bits of misguided advice: take a hot bath with epson salt (bad move), and move it around the next day – don’t let it get stale (bad advice). I followed both bits of advice, because he seemed to be someone who would know.
In my job search, I had no idea what to do. I assumed I knew… so I did what every job seeker does – spend a week to create a resume (that did me no good), and spend hours and hours and hours on job boards and looking online for jobs. It was a completely misguided strategy.
My injury hurt, a lot (still does). During last week, before the second tear, my calf felt like there was a fire ball in it. Medicine wasn’t helping, even the really, really good stuff :p The pain of sitting, hobbling, hopping… it was really quite intense. And then, with the second tear, OMG it was really amazing. I answered the question “on a scale of one to ten, how much does it hurt?” with “9 or 10.” I hope I never really feel pain beyond this. Who’da thunk.
My job search hurt, a lot. The ego was crushed. Pride was a thing of the past. I was glad we didn’t have a family dog, or else even the dog would look down on me. And that was just the beginning… as time went on and I didn’t find a job, it got worse. Again, this type of pain is something i don’t ever want to feel again, and wish it upon no one (friend or foe).
I’m sure you have had similiar experiences – any other correlations?