Last week I was having a really great ballet class and a great rehearsal. Then, in the very last minutes of rehearsal, I slipped on a slick spot on the floor and strained my ankle… I will be honest: It is beyond frustrating to be finally returning to a portion of my former strength only to have a fresh setback. But instead of dwelling on that I need to focus my thoughts forward. Recovery time.
I also need to count my blessings that the injury is not nearly as bad as I originally thought!
A dancer’s greatest fear is injury… Any injury is scary, but whenever something happens we automatically worry it will be The Injury that will knock us out of performing professionally for the rest of our career. I think all dancers (and athletes) can relate to that feeling of watching your career flash before your eyes whenever experiencing a big fall or something of that nature. As I lost my footing it was that horrible moment where time slowed down and my mind was racing back and forth between “oh it’s fine, I’ll just look silly having slipped while running” and “I’m breaking my ankle. Oh, and probably my knee too. My career is over.” Fortunately, it seems to have been much closer to the first thought. Of course, I’m not quite fine though. Luckily nothing is broken, but this will absolutely take a little time to heal. Once I landed on the ground, and time returned to normal, I was in shock for a second where again I thought “oh it’s fine,” but then the pain hit me all at once. I could hear people gasping and running and talking about grabbing ice and ibuprofen, but all I could do was writhe around on the ground for a few minutes. A little later I had my foot elevated on a chair with ice and I was taking some pain killers and then all of a sudden the drama was over. Suddenly it didn’t seem like that big of a deal. I do believe I have avoided The Injury again.
So here’s the situation: I was able to stand and walk pretty much right away with only a little pain. There was a lot of swelling, but that is already beginning to go away. My range of motion isn’t so great at the moment due to the swelling and if I try to point the foot it qualifies as a “biscuit” foot… Immediate treatment on the first night included a series of ice baths for the ankle. I filled a tub of water with ice and put the injured ankle in for 15 minutes at a time. I wrapped it in a brace during the night for stability and compression. I’ve been taking ibuprofen in the morning and at night. I have also been doing gentle massage for circulation.
My recovery plan moving forward:
- Continue to regularly ice the ankle until swelling is gone.
- Make sure to keep off the ankle when possible to let it rest and heal.
- Epsom salt soaks. (check out these uses for Epsom Salts)
- Massages for circulation.
- Mobility exercises.
- Strengthening exercises once the mobility improves again.
I will be sharing my mobility exercises and strengthening exercises soon.
For now my arm challenge is on hold (again, *sigh*) so I can focus my attention on my ankle, but I hope it won’t be long until I can pick it back up and finally finish it.
Check back soon! I will be posting updates as they come. I also have a ballet bun tutorial in the works!