I was looking forward to walking the track this year, I was as fit as I have ever been and knowing what was ahead of me put me in good mental stead to enjoy every step of the way. Of course that would be WAY too easy so I injured myself.
If you can see on the map above, at about hour 4.5 right over on the left side, as it was pouring down rain and visibility was reduced, I rolled my ankle. I managed to not hit the ground and keep on hobbling but it hurt, it hurt a lot. I was too angry to stop straight away to see what damage was done, instead kept walking hoping that I would walk through the pain. After about half an hour of limping, I realised that I couldn’t walk through it. By that stage another group of trekkers (from our group) had caught up to us and one of them strapped my ankle for a bit of support. I really couldn’t just stop, there was still another few hours of walking ahead of me for the day, we had to make it to Isurava for the night.
When we made it in to camp it was a case of sit around and let everyone else do things for me, I was under strict instructions to rest as best I could. When the paramedic arrived into camp he re-strapped my ankle and dished out the painkillers.
First visit to the paramedic - before the bruising set in!
There began my daily routine; ankle strapping first thing in the morning, voltaren chaser with breakfast, ibuprofen for morning tea and panadol for lunch to keep the pain at bay. I very quickly earned the most frequent flyer miles with the paramedic!
Eventually after a few more days of trekking and a few twangs of ligaments in my ankle, it stopped hurting and just started to go clunk as it slipped in and out of alignment. I was very thankful that I had a hiking pole with me to use as a crutch to take my weight as I walked.
Most days I would take photos of the multicolours of my foot as the bruising developed and to show the swelling and just keep on walking.
Pretty Colours for a Cankle!
With the reduced stability in my ankle, even when strapped, I would somehow manage to continue to roll my ankle and rip the tape, requiring it to be restrapped most days!
Ready for restrapping so I can keep on walking
Taking so many foot photos made me thankful that I bothered to paint my toenails before we left!
Purple toenails and purple toes!
I kept the paramedic very busy (poor bloke!). I think that he used a dozen rolls of tape to hold my ankle (somewhat) together over the 100km that I walked with it strapped.
One final visit to the paramedic on the last day!
Now that I am home, I am trying to rest and take it easy. One of the first things I did upon returning was to have the damage assessed. The doctor, not my regular doctor, looked at me like I was a freak when I explained that I had walked 100km on a damaged ankle. He was of the opinion that I shouldn’t be walking at all.
I am happy to report that there are no broken bones but I do have a torn anterior talofibular ligament that is allowing my ankle to slip out of joint. It is still swollen but the bruising is all but gone. I am off to the physio again tomorrow to see if he can work some more magic so I can get back to exercise and try to strengthen the joint. Until I get the all clear though, it is a very sedentary life for me.
**Edited to add** The ankle isn’t healing as well as hoped and somehow even whilst my ankle has been strapped, I have been taking it easy AND doing the strengthening exercises required of me, my fibia has slipped out of place. The physio relocated it yesterday and it hurts like hell now. More resting, more waiting, more frustration and no exercise. Grrrr, I miss getting up and going for a jog.