“you have a pulled (torn) muscle. a pulled muscle, or muscle strain, occurs when a muscle is over-stretched and some muscle fibers are torn.”

it took me a few days to even read the diagnosis i was given by the er physician. i didn’t believe her. i thought my injury was worse. for about a week and a half before it happened, my left achilles tendon had been aching, presumably from running or lifting in the fitness center. so when i was playing basketball on monday, and someone landed foot first on that very achilles, applying their full body weight to induce a ripping sensation in the back of my leg, i naturally thought my achilles had ruptured. i couldn’t apply any weight to the leg, so i hopped on one foot to the bleachers, where i sat until i felt like hopping to my car.

everyone in the gym assumed it was an ankle sprain, because that’s the most common basketball injury. but when i insisted it wasn’t my ankle, and that i thought it was my achilles, all anyone could offer was, “you should probably get that checked out.” (because how many people do you know have ever injured an achilles.) i didn’t know what to do. the pain subsided slowly, but enough for me to decide i was good to go home. the decision was made easier by the fact that i hadn’t elected my work benefits yet, so i had no clue what a visit to the emergency room would cost. i took a one-legged shower, packaged some ice, and propped my leg up while i laid on the couch and googled achilles injuries. it was all grim.

while i laid there, my leg and foot area stiffened and swelled up immensely, and not knowing what to do i called a few people, including my mom. ignoring the fact that i wasn’t going to get any other answer from my mom, i allowed her to talk me into going to the er. it hurt like hell to limp my way to the car – and out of the car once i got to the hospital. but if my achilles was in fact torn, it would be worth it. any answer other than “you have a ruptured achilles,” would be a relief, however disappointing. so a pulled “torn” muscle, in my opinion, was not what i was expecting to hear. i opted not to get crutches or even the pain meds the doctor prescribed me.

today is saturday, and i didn’t even read my diagnosis until yesterday. once the doctor said “pulled muscle,” i was disgusted and ready to leave. i probably should’ve taken it more serious. i’ve been limping around the espn campus for the last three days, looking more ridiculous than i felt going to the er on monday. my ankle area is still very swollen and while my leg is slowly healing, i still can’t walk without a significant hitch in my step. it’s actually easier for me to walk sideways. it takes almost half my lunch break just to walk to the cafeteria and back. i’m always a few minutes late into the office even though i pull into the parking lot in good time. i didn’t fully understand or respect the severity of a pulled muscle until now. i still kind of regret going to the er, but at least it provided me the peace of mind to know i wasn’t dealing something even more serious.