Tag Archives: sprained ankle

Memories and Gratitude

Wow, I realized earlier today that it’s been exactly one year since I sprained my ankle – time flew!

It was my left ankle, and it healed good as new.  That was a couple of very sad ballet-free weeks last summer though.  I remember I was extra sad because I had been working on echappe-releves and I was getting the hang of it.  And seeing my foot all swollen and weak, I wondered how long it would be before I could try stuff like that again (answer: a little over a month, to be safe).  I worried about losing overall leg strength, too. Floor barre to the rescue!

Luckily, that fall I met Teacher, who taught us all foot and ankle strengthening exercises with the Theraband.  Now I often forget that I ever even sprained that ankle!

And every day I remember to be grateful for my mobility 🙂

Read about how the sprained ankle happened at:

https://balletandorbust.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/i-fell-down-the-stairs/

Also, I wrote a private post (for anonimity), and could really use some thoughts and/or advice. After all, no one I know in “real life” shares my ballet obsession!  The post can be found at

https://balletandorbust.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/when-opportunity-knocks/

The password is the same as the password of my last private post, for those of you that have emailed me before.  For the rest of you (or if you forgot, lol), you can email me at balletandorbust@inbox.com for the password. Please provide your location; country, or state if in the US, unless you’re a fellow blogger.

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It Almost Felt Like Old Times

Day 10 post-fall. I have been tempted to update for a few days now, but ultimately felt like “what’s the point? I hardly have any changes to report.” But I figure it can’t hurt – and may possibly help – to have a record of my progress, should this kind of thing happen to me again.

The past two days, in the morning, I have felt almost normal. By that I mean that I could walk without a limp. During the whole first week, which I mostly spent on the couch, everytime I would attempt to walk I had a noticeable limp, which would become more noticeable the faster I tried to walk. So I took the hint and stayed off my feet.

But yesterday morning, from the first moment my feet hit the floor and I made my way to the bathroom, I noticed that I actually wasn’t limping. Not only that, that weak feeling that I’d had in my ankle – sort of like it wasn’t stable from side to side – was gone. For some reason my injuries always feel worse in the morning – it was like this after my car accident as well – so the fact that my ankle was feeling better in the morning was a good sign.

I know better than to get overconfident though. I remember back when I was recovering from my car accident reading that a previously injured ankle is likely to be reinjured because the person thinks they are back to 100% and doesn’t take it easy. So it’ll probably be a while before I attempt any jumping, especially the kind that only land on one foot.

I wrote last Saturday that  i miss ballet. I still do, but now add to that that I miss doing anything that involves being on my feet. I miss going on long walks and going on hikes. I miss walking (as opposed to driving) to the store. I miss going to the dog park and playing with the dogs. I don’t miss driving though – apparently that’s the only routine thing that I’m still able to do.

Overall, my recovery is going well. I’ve started doing floor barre exercises. I’d never tried floor barre before – I’d seen the videos but I’d always thought that the real thing looked more like fun. Well, let me tell you – floor barre is hard! The floor goes “ouch!” against my hipbones, even with a makeshift yoga mat consisting of two folded up old bath towels. At the same time, it was great! I love the feeling of using my muscles and making them work hard. Before my fall, when I was doing ballet almost daily, nearly every day my thighs would have this nice soreness – almost like a fullness, an increase in vascularity – and I grew to love that soreness. After my first time trying floor barre, the soreness was there, and it almost felt like old times again. For the first time in over a week I felt relaxed.
I’m planning on continuing with floor barre exercises, as well as very gradually increase the distances that I walk. For now all my walking will be on level ground, so no hiking for a while, which is disappointing. But at least I have my mobility back somewhat and that makes me feel a little bit better.

I Miss Ballet So Much!

It’s been 5 days since I slipped  slipped on the bottom step and sprained my ankle. 5 days may not be a long time, but it’s felt like so much longer. Since my first ballet lesson a year and a half ago, this is the longest I’ve gone without doing ballet in one way or another. There have been times when for months at a time I have been without a ballet class, like when my college was out for summer, but I have had my practice sessions at home. I have taken days off, of course, especially in the beginning when my body was first getting used to it. But I don’t think I’ve been ballet-free for this many days in a row before. I am having major ballet withdrawals!

I had not given it much thought how much I would miss it. Neither had I given it much though to how much ballet had become a part of my life. I keep getting the urge to get up and do some plies and tendus or at least work on my port de bras. These urges aren’t new, but I keep forgetting that I physically can’t act on them. It’s strange, because all sorts of everyday tasks seem to have something ballet-y that I had added on to them, and I had never really noticed. I hadn’t noticed that part of me walking across the living room on the way to the kitchen involved stopping in front of my practice mirror and seeing how my posture was looking or if everything was in the alignment. I would then do a few plies, still checking my alignment. Or how I would rise up on demi point while holding on to the kitchen counter – and as I improved in my balance increasingly without holding on- waiting for water to boil or for dinner to be cooked. Or just in general how I would always see how long I could balance or practise rising up at random just anywhere when bored.

I guess I had taken these things for granted, and probably lots more that I can’t recall off the top of my head. This is also a wake-up call for me: I need to slow down and watch where I’m going! This is not the first time this year that I’ve had a preventable accident. This past spring, possibly the last wednesday of March, I was heading to ballet class and one second I was stepping down with my right foot and the next I was flying through the air. I landed on both knees but must have taken most of the impact on the left knee – it tore a hole right through my jeans. After dusting myself off I had gone to class anyway. That was the only day I wore my black tights instead of pink.

I should have taken that fall- seriously, I tripped over nothing – as a sign that I need to slow down and be careful, but since it didn’t get in the way of my mobility I just hurried on along. But now this new fall- again caused by nothing but my carelessness- has kept me off my feet and many of my favorite activities. I’m sure this time I will remember. I had never realized how accident-prone I am!

In the meantime, I’ve been trying my hardest to make the most of my time on the couch, doing non-ballet-related things like practicing guitar, writing and a lot of reading. But I’ll be honest: at times I’ve been unable to resist practicing my port de bras from the couch, making sure to keep my back straight and my core tight. I can’t wait to be back to normal!

Ankle Update and Do-it-yourself Arnica Massage Oil

My ankle is doing better everyday, which is a good thing. I can’t wait to get back to normal activities, but I know it’s important to take it easy. Don’t want to reinjure it or make it worse, after all. For now, I’m pleased that the swelling has gone down, it’s not sore or tender to the touch, and I’m getting extra help and attention from Boyfriend now that he’s back in town. Always nice to have an excuse to not help with the chores, lol. At the same time, I miss practicing my plies and releves while waiting for water to boil for cooking!
After PoetsandPirouettes   mentioned arnica, I remembered that I had picked up a bag of dried arnica leaves awhile back. I’d heard that arnica was good for inflammation. Since I love do-it-yourself projects – and I have all this extra time since I’m not practicing ballet – I made an arnica-infused massage oil for my ankle. It worked! I will probably also continue using it for sore muscles as well.
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Anyway, instructions are below in case anyone is interested:
1)   Double boil some water. I used a medium (small?) pot of water and put a heat-safe glass bowl inside of it. I brought the water to a boil, then lowered the heat to medium.

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2)    Place the dried arnica leaves inside a small glass jar. Cover the leaves completely with oil. I used coconut oil, but grapeseed, olive, sesame, etc. would probably work as well. Mostly I used coconut because it hardens in low temperatures, in case I decided to later add in beeswax and make it into ointment.
3)    Place the jar (with contents) into the glass bowl in the pot. Stir the contents periodically, making sure the leaves remain covered in oil. Replenish the water periodically as well, since quite a bit will evaporate eventually. I let the leaves infuse into the oil for about 4 hours.
4)    Carefully (pot holders!) remove the jar from the hot water.
5)      Strain through cheesecloth. I put the cheesecloth on the mouth of the jar and secured it with rubber bands. Then I flipped the jar upside down and let the oil drip through into a different jar. Once most of the oil had gone through, I took the remaining oil-drenched leaves, wrapped them in cheesecloth, and squeezed more oil out from them.
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6)   Finish, store, and use. Optionally, add a couple drops of lavender essential oil. Store in a glass container since oil can possible dissolve plastic.

I’ve been massaging this oil into my ankle as often as I remember, and I think it’s been helping out quite a bit. Aren’t little do-it-yourself projects fun?!