I did not make it to CrossFit on Saturday. My back was still bugging me, and I thought it best to continue taking time off.
So what better way to rest my back than to go to Turkey Run State Park, meet up and have a cookout with Jason’s family, and go for a really, really muddy hike?
When I say “Jason’s entire family,” that’s no small thing. He’s the oldest of six boys. All of his brothers are married or seriously dating, and all but one have at least one kid. So with parents, brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and one aunt and uncle, there were 21 of us (22 if you count the puppy). We were all gathered because Jason’s third-youngest brother and family are leaving on a 16-month mission trip to South Africa very soon, and the in-laws wanted to get everyone together one more time before they take off.
It was also the oldest niece’s 11th birthday, so we had a good time! Everyone was feeling pretty good, including ready-to-explode Pregnant Sister-in-law, who has had a pretty rough time and is ready for the baby to born, like, yesterday.
My ability to hold it together in such a large group is pretty limited, though (what up, INFJs), so it wasn’t much time at all before I needed to get out for a hike. At first we thought it was just going to be Jason, me, Tegan, one brother, and his wife (they’re the ones we hang out with the most, so they don’t really drain me). Then we realize another brother and wife are following along. And then we realize… the whole.group. is coming with us. I just about had a meltdown before we even got to the trailhead, but I kept it together.
But then… we got out near the trails, and even though I could hear the strains of hundreds of park visitors through the ravines and trees, my blood pressure sloooowly started to dissipate and I began to enjoy the wonder that is an Indiana state park in July.
After that, the trail became a little treacherous. It would have been okay if we didn’t have an excited puppy, an expensive camera, and half the family chattering away while I tried to concentrate on not sliding into a ravine, but… that’s what we had. It had just rained that morning, so everything was slick and wet, and even if it hadn’t rained, most of the trail was narrow, rocky, mossy, and covered with decomposing woodland material. Jason and I always hike in our Vibram Five Fingers and while they grip like crazy, you can’t really expect anything to grip that kind of surface without fail. I was starting to get a little nervous, and when we got boxed into a canyon with some lost-looking strangers, Jason and I decided it was in our best interests to let the family go on without us while we backtracked to an easier trail. They had already gone up the side of the canyon and carried on, so we sent our neice ahead to let everyone know and we turned back.
After we got back to the gravel section of the trail, it was just a smooth, flat, wide path atop the cliffs along the creek. There wasn’t much to look at, but honestly, we didn’t mind–Tegan is still so little, and we want her to like hiking. She was being a really good girl–she happily greeted all the other people we met, she stayed on the path without trying to go diving into the underbrush, and she wasn’t prissy about getting dirty.
By the time we finished our hike/walk, Tegan looked like a homeless guy’s beard. Her belly and feathers were just a mess of black, gritty dreadlocks, and her white bib was gray all the way up to her chin. Thankfully she’s really good about bathtime; she got a good scrubbing when we got home and her white parts shined right up. And she slept really, really well Saturday night. But you know what, she is going to be one awesome hiking buddy when she grows up. I can’t wait to take her camping next summer!
Yesterday. I was still sore. I began to think maybe it wasn’t muscular at all… maybe I was having some kind of weird, symptom-free kidney failure (Jason’s paranoia is rubbing off on me). I’ve never had a pulled muscle hurt for quite this long. So I decided today I’d go to the doctor.
Got up this morning… my Primary Care Physician can’t get me in until THE END OF AUGUST, because I guess when your HMO forces you to choose a doctor off a list and you can only ever go to that doctor unless it’s an emergency or a specific referral, and they put her name on your insurance card, you’re still technically a “new patient” after three years if you never actually schedule an appointment of any sort. THIS IS MY PUNISHMENT FOR BEING HEALTHY. I’m sorry I haven’t needed her services. I guess I should have gone in for a baseline physical, but ugh… paying someone to tell me “Yep, you’re in great shape, keep up the good work”? Grrrrrrrr.
So I went to urgent care. And apparently I have pulled an intercostal muscle, which is between ribs (which is EXACTLY WHAT I ORIGINALLY THOUGHT I had done). The reason it hadn’t gotten any better is because they typically take longer to heal; they never get a break, what with breathing and bending and being a living human being. So the treatment is NSAIDs (they wrote a prescription, but I don’t need prescription-strength), ice, and rest. The doctor also provided a script for muscle relaxers, but that’s completely unnecessary; it’s not interfering with sleep. So I’m not going to have that one filled either.
So I paid someone to tell me to do exactly what I’ve been doing, just wait a little longer, and go back to CrossFit when I feel able.
I hate health care.