Excruciating Ankle Pain

So on Sunday morning, Chris and I were trying to decide what to do. Somehow we decided we would go check out the Getty Center (it’s been a really long time since I visited). We originally wanted to check out the Getty Villa, but there were no more tickets. The Getty Center didn’t require reservations, so we decided to check that out instead. However, before we even got to the parking lot, there were these long lines trying to enter it. We sat in line for about 10 mins, then decided to give up and try something else.

Cari had suggested a hiking trail to see the Hollywood sign before we decided to go to Solstice Canyon (more details about the rest of my vacation trip later). I’ve only seen the Hollywood sign while driving and thought it be nice if we can get a closer view of it. We called up Cari and got directions from her. We still ended up getting lost because both our memories were bad. Thankfully we had a GPS in our car and it got us to Griffith Park and we drove up to the Griffith Observatory. This place was also packed, but we found parking along the street.

We checked out the Griffith Observatory and found the trail Cari was talking about. The hike was fun. We also got to see the Hollywood sign. It was funny trying to see Chris find a cell signal at the top of the mountain (or is it still called a hill?).

View of Griffith Observatory and Los AngelesHollywood SignChris and Toland

More photos can be found in my Facebook album.

On our way down, we got lost several times, and somehow ended up at a different entrance, which was near the entrance of the park where we drove up. So we followed traffic back up and finally got back to our car. So why is this blog post titled ‘Excruciating Ankle Pain’ and so far I’ve only described about our hiking trip at Griffith Park. I think during the trip, I somehow sprained my ankle or strained muscles around there. I started feeling a small amount of pain near the end of the hike, but I was still able to walk and the pain wasn’t that bad. I blame my shoes. I shouldn’t have worn sneakers to hiking, but I didn’t really have tennis shoes back in LA.

Anyway, my mom noticed I was limping a bit and asked what was wrong. As with all Chinese people with muscle aches and pains, the solution is 鐵打, where you keep rubbing the herbal oil on the sore spot till you literally burst into tears. I mean the Chinese characters literally translate to iron hit. However, my condition didn’t get any better the following day, so another round of rubbing herbal oil. My condition actually got a lot worse afterwards, where I could barely walk. Standing and sitting was fine. However when I walk and by step #4, I was in excruciating pain. Stairs also didn’t help. If you saw me these past few days, you might’ve noticed I was limping, or maybe I was just really good at hiding it.

Anyway I was in so much pain, I started looking up treatments online and there was this PRICE or RICE thing (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). I found it odd that 2 of the steps in that list were to stop swelling, but my ankle did not swell at all. So I didn’t bother with ice nor elevation. I had taken some Tylenol, but it did not help relieve any pain at all. I then tried some ibuprofen, which was suggested not only as a pain reliever but also to help with the swelling. That is when I found out I might be allergic to ibuprofen. I’m not sure if it was because I took ibuprofen 10 minutes after Tylenol or because I had Thai food afterwards, but whatever the combination was, my lips began to swell and feel numb. I checked online and people claim there should be no side effects for taking Tylenol and ibuprofen together. Oh well. As my sister says, now I have something to list when doctors ask if I’m allergic to anything.

After work that day, I was in so much pain, I headed to Target to see if they carried ankle braces. The last time I fractured my ankle and after they took off the cast, they gave me this elastic band which wrapped around my foot and ankle, providing some support. Unfortunately I was unable to find the elastic band at home. Target fortunately did carry something similar and they called it the ankle stabilizer. I tried it on in the parking lot immediately after paying for it and the ankle brace did wonders. Immediately, walking was nowhere as painful.

My mom asked that night if I wanted to rub more herbal oil on my ankle and I respectfully declined. I’m not saying 鐵打 doesn’t work. It has worked most of the time when I’ve had muscle pain. In fact when I had wrist pains from too much typing, 鐵打 fixed my wrist in 3 days when a wrist brace + wrist exercises for 3 weeks did not. However, I’m guessing whatever happened to my ankle can’t be fixed with 鐵打 this time around.

It’s been about 2 days since I got my ankle brace and I’m happy to say I’m recovering quickly. I can now walk without the brace with little to no pain. My ankle still feels a bit weak and running is still a no no. That means no elliptical for me, which leaves only weight training. I miss my TV. It’s so weird to watch TV without me running on the elliptical that I haven’t even watched the 24 finale yet. Hopefully I’ll be fully recovered by this weekend.

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