February 13, 2012

stall rest

on saturday, I made a blanket fort. (actually, I made it friday night so that I could get out of bed on saturday and crawl into it without having to do a thing).

blanket fort.


pictures don't really do it justice; I couldn't capture all of it from the inside.

bed sheets were pinned to the ceiling; the fort had its own lighting.

all a blanket fort really needs is blankets, which apparently are the thing I own the most of out of anything? like, I have an almost neverending supply of blankets. not all of them are even pictured here. the walls of the fort were constructed with four sheets; the chaise made the back wall of the fort and my two kitchen barstools the supporting walls. and then, of course, a whole heap of them on the floor. plus all my pillows.


from the blanket fort I ate breakfast and drank coffee; I watched the SU/UConn game; I read my book; I made envelopes for letters, sealed everything up, and drafted labels. I emerged to make lunch and to type up letter #11 on my typewriter. in the afternoon I went on a run, did my PT, took a shower. then we closed butterfly; I cried through the whole final scene from the wings.

on sunday I awoke way earlier than any girl should on her day off to go run a 5K I had received a comp entry to in exchange for writing a review. I threw on my pink shirt (it was a valentine run) and for the first time in three years, pulled my hair into a single ponytail. I parked at the opera and ran across the bridge to the start line, donned my race bib, and stood near the front of the pack, hoping to place.

just about two miles into the race, cruising along at 7:10s, something in my left calf gave out with a sickening pop. immediate pain flowered along my leg, and I ground to a halt on the side of the course. I could barely walk; I stopped and held on to a light pole and tried to move my foot, to stretch it, but the pain was too great so instead I just hobbled forward, all plans to finish the race entirely erased. I was near the tram station, on the other side of the river from my car, and nearly two miles away. as I hobbled, no one -- no racers, no volunteers -- asked me if I was okay, even though I was very clearly walking with great difficulty and pain. I felt despondent, cold and miserable. I took off my race bib and crumpled it into my hand, so that nobody would know I had been broken by a 5K. I threw it into the trash at the first opportunity.

I retraced the race course, at first crossing paths with the last cluster of walkers with strollers, and finally alone. a girl out on her own recreational run looked concerned as she approached, and stopped. 'you ok?' she said, and I gulped and tried not to cry. I wasn't, of course, but there wasn't much she could do for me -- no car, no phone -- so I said, "thank you so much, I'm okay," and after looking searchingly at me for a second, she nodded and went on her way. I limped off up the path, crossing the race course at one point, and began the slow walk over the bridge. halfway across the river, a cyclist -- who presumably had already passed me by and then had doubled back -- came up and said, "...do you need a ride? you look like you're freezing and in a lot of pain." he had an old olive green steel framed bike with a full rack on the back. I looked at him, and at the bike, and nodded. yes, I wanted a ride. I pointed down the river. "I'm just there, past the museum. would you really?" so I straddled his rear tire, sitting flat on his bike rack, and tried to center my weight and pray that he was a balanced enough rider to keep us both from crashing. we cruised down the path, passing the occasional runner, and I smiled a little as I thought of what we must look like, this lumberjack-y hipster guy with this little spandex-clad runner on the back of his bike. he dropped me at the parking lot and I thanked him profusely. "I really felt like I would never get here," I said, and then he went on his way.

in the middle of my drive home, a friend called. "were you just at that intersection?" she asked, and yes, I had been. "you just passed me!" she said, and then I burst into tears, explaining what had happened. ten minutes after I walked into my apartment she was behind me, ringing the bell and bringing me a coffee and pastry. when she left, I dragged the chaise into the blanket fort (don't ask me how; I'm not sure) and sunk into it. a friend called to check in on me and on the phone with him I burst into tears a second time, so betrayed by my body, so frustrated at chronic injury, so tired of being broken.

although I had a few movies, my book, and crappy sunday tv, I decided that if I was going to be holed up my house all day, I'd buy myself a get well present. I drove to the store and bought the new zelda game, out since christmas. when I came home and opened it, fresh from its packaging, I was horror-struck to realize there was no game disc inside. they're never going to believe me, I thought, as I got back in the car AGAIN to hobble my way through another parking lot. I had to talk to three different employees, and it was only when I nearly burst into tears -- seriously -- that they decided I really wasn't out to swindle them, and made the exchange.

that was my sunday: my leg on ice, wrapped in a tight ace bandage and propped on four pillows; zelda on the TV. eating as many chocolate-cherry cookies as is humanly possible from the stash given to me by one of our violists, who makes, I'm pretty sure, the best cookies on earth. friends texted and called. I felt very sorry for myself, but it was also okay. on the advice of one close friend I took an obscene number of ibuprofen tablets -- which helped tremendously -- then nearly laughed out loud on the phone with the advice nurse when she said, "take whatever you'd usually take for the pain, but do not exceed the recommended dose." I had already exceeded the recommended dose for the whole day in one long swallow.

it remains to be seen what will happen with my leg. I see the PT on wednesday. for now, I am trying to forget that I am a runner at all, so tired am I of injury, so tired of waiting on the sidelines. all day today, the leg has been wrapped and propped up (on the cases of beer underneath my desk. yes, really). running? what is running? if I can forget it, it no longer has to be a thing that I miss.


  1. Ugh. I'm sorry. That really sucks. Ask for the good drugs!

  2. The pain's not so bad, and I'm mostly ambulatory. So sadly, no drugs, just heaps and heaps of PT. I'm looking forward to being Jess 2.0. I told the PT today I wanted him to rebuild me into the Terminator.