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Hobbling Around

I made a decision to try to get back to the gym. I hate the gym, really not a fan at all, but I was giving it a shot anyway. I enrolled at Vida and the membership started August 1.

Monday I started my new routine by going to Spinning Class which was hard, but it was day one and I know it gets better with practice and routine. I still managed to strain my right knee and for the rest of the day and half of Tuesday I was kind of limping around.

Wednesday morning I thought I would try Step class as I really don’t mind that or spinning so much. The class attendance was small – just three of us, I guess maybe people don’t like Step anymore or like other things more. We had just gotten started, I stepped up and down numerous times and had my knee up a repetitively here and there.

As I stepped down from a step to the left I knew I had stepped wrong and I heard/felt a “pop/snap” and knew that was going to hurt. I tried to stretch it out but I couldn’t and hobbled my way home. At home I called in sick, iced and raised my leg and just sat there mostly. It’s hard to do much of anything hopping around on one leg.

Thursday came and it was still pretty painful to walk on it, but I took a cab to work anyway. At the office the boss and other folks convinced me to see a doctor – I’m stubborn and hate going to the doc. I saw a doctor at around 3:30 and he said I’d likely strained my gastrocnemius muscle. Yes, it sounds like a stomach thing but it’s really a leg thing.

From Wiki:

In humans, the gastrocnemius (pronounced /ˌɡæstrɒkˈniːmiəs/ or /ˌɡæstrəˈniːmiəs/) muscle, meaning ‘stomach of leg’ (modernLatin, from Greekγαστήρ (gaster) ‘stomach’ and knēmē ‘leg’, referring to the bulging shape of the calf), is a very powerful superficial pennate muscle that is in the back part of the lower leg. It runs from its two heads just above the knee to the heel, and is involved in standing, walking, running and jumping. Along with the soleus muscle it forms the calf muscle. Its function is plantar flexing the foot at the ankle joint and flexing the leg at the knee joint. In a 1967 EMG study, Herman and Bragin concluded that its most important role was plantar flexing in large contractions and in rapid development of tension.

The gastrocnemius is located with the soleus in the posterior (back) compartment of the leg. The Lateral Head originates from the Lateral Condyle of the femur, while the Medial Head originates from the Medial Condyle of the femur. Its other end forms a common tendon with the soleus muscle; this tendon is known as the calcaneal tendon or Achilles Tendon and inserts onto the posterior surface of the calcaneus, or mountain bone.

Deep to the gastrocnemius (farther from the skin) is the soleus muscle. Some anatomists consider both to be a single muscle, thetriceps surae. The plantaris muscle and a portion of its tendon run between the two muscles, which is involved in “locking” the knee from the standing and posterior tibial vein and the tibial nerve. Since the anterior compartment of the leg is lateral to the tibia, the bulge of muscle medial to the tibia on the anterior side is actually the posterior compartment. The soleus is superficial midshaft of the tibia. Frequently there is a sesamoid bone called the “fabella” in the lateral head of gastrocnemius muscle.

So they gave me crutches and I was wheeled out in a wheelchair to the taxi stand where I took one of those home.

Friday I had a pre-scheduled eye exam as I had broken my glasses during a recent trip to Wisconsin. Gary was kind enough to drive me there and after my appointment I was wheeled to the Metro. I applaud Kaiser for having people available to wheel the mobility challenged to and from public transportation.

What I found once I got on the Metro to work was that Metro didn’t plan ahead for people who are mobility challenged. The accessible entrance (elevator) for Union Station was at the very end of the platform and the one at Takoma was in the middle of the platform. As I thought about the different stations that I usually use I can recall some that are at the complete opposite end and some staggered along. This makes hobbling along on crutches or rolling along in your wheelchair harder than it has to be. Fortunately for me I wont have to go to the office on until Thursday and can avoid the pitfalls of Metro’s broken escalators, elevators and long distances between elevators.

I also thought about my meetings and the long staircases that I would have to climb to go to my regular meetings and I just don’t see it happening. I’m going to pop in a few AA speaker CD’s and soak in what I can and make other arrangements with my sponsee so I can avoid his stairway too.

Anyway, I should only be hobbling around for a week or so and I hope to be traversing DC’s sidewalks like the streetwalker I am before you know it. 😉

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