There’s this girl who’s extremely pig-headed and has a tendency to push herself too hard, ignoring the warning signs of her mind and body. Who wants to be strong for others rather than admit that she might need help too.
But then there comes a time when even half a mile feels like crossing a desert, and a friendly workmate who happens to be driving past and offers a ride for the last few hundred yards feels like a life-savior. Perhaps the girl will learn that it’s okay to accept sincere offers for help, and ask for it too.
She is really grateful for all the friendliness, generosity and caring people have given her – not just during the past few weeks, but throughout her life. And she needs to tell that to them, face-to-face, in more words than just a “thank you”. She’s afraid that some people may have taken her stubbornness as ungratefulness, when she’s just wanted to not be a bother.
“I don’t want you to do anything that hurts.”
After two and a half weeks of limping on a hurting foot and generally not giving it enough rest, I finally had to hear it from a doctor to understand that pain is a signal that something’s not right. Good news: no plantar fascitis anymore. Bad news: stress fracture in the heel. At least that’s the current diagnosis, since stress fractures don’t show clearly in x-rays until they start healing. My bone had a certain unhealthy fluffiness in it.
No weight-bearing for the next 2-4 weeks, depending on how eagerly the bone starts to heal once I’m not stomping on it constantly. I’m on crutches the first time in my life. Well, I did want new experiences, right?
I worried about not being able to exercise, but hobbling with crutches is actually quite good upper-body training. I felt pretty exhausted after lugging myself around campus. Just hoping the weather stays pleasant.
My experience is not at all unique, although stress fractures usually happen to real athletes and runners. The pattern is the same: too much exercise, not enough time to rest and adjust. Injury develops gradually and healing takes a long time; pain is the last thing to come and the first thing to go. If exercise continues despite the fracture, the bone may break so badly that it never fully recovers.
Come to think of it, the effects of physical and mental stress are pretty similar. Some amount of stress is good, but chronic stress and insufficient recovery from it lead to trouble. Stubborn overachievers who don’t let themselves rest and take it easy every once in a while may end up in the work disability statistics.