Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Achilles Tendon

I had a weekend of complete RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) making the healing of my left lower limb a priority. I used the anti-inflammatory lotion as directed; a kind soul, another RTC resident, dropped me off and picked me up from the library on campus, minimizing painful walking. But it did not help: this morning I woke up with mild pain and the usual swelling in the ankle. The pain, which has extended to the Achilles tendon, increased throughout the following hours, probably due to walking for the routine activities. Walking 1 km to the shuttle bus stop made the pain severe. I was in tears when I got on the bus.
I spent some time trying to investigate what is the economic of a medical treatment, which would involve MRI for diagnostics and physical therapy. As international student I am covered by the private insurance BUPA and I have just learned that none of the above is in their coverage. Good news for USA expats! After all, our health care and insurance system is not so bad. It could be worse in Australia, where to get prompt medical attention you cannot rely on medical insurances.
After this morning meeting I also realized that my PhD is not going very far, unless is transformed into something quite different from the initial research proposal, which made leave a design practice, family, friends and comfortable lifestyle in New York, to relocate to a place, where I don't have any support system even in case of injury.
Often I feel like a character in a "twilight zone" episode, my stress level, aggravated by the extremely limited mobility due to the leg injury, has become almost intolerable. It is quite a scary coincidence how the injury relates to the Achilles tendon, amplifying my vulnerability. My next step: start searching for flights home, facing the holidays blues and third winter in a row. Endurance has lost any sense of challenge, becoming just a synonymous of masochism.