Out of Action For a While with a Ripped Calf Muscle )-:
Pain ( actually one of those “ plasma orb light ” toys ) -- Grandma and Grandpa's -- Rootstown, Ohio, United States -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 60mm — 1/20 sec, f/4.5, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Pain
( actually one of those plasma orb light toys )

I guess this gets chalked up in the it sucks getting old column. Last night while playing some light livingroom soccer with Anthony, during a minor little sideways move I heard a loud pop and sensed what felt like a slap to my left calf. Then pain.

息子一緒室内サッカーを遊ぶ途中にふくらはぎが肉離れを起こしました。あんまり激し運動の時ではないので、一寸不思議。年齢の事かな?嫌です。 しばらく自転車無し。

It seems that the soleus ripped. It's a big muscle in the calf next to the bone, under the bigger muscle that gives the calf its shape. It's sort of useful for tangential physical activities like standing, walking, and bicycle riding.

None of This for Me for a few weeks -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
None of This for Me
for a few weeks

The sound was eerily light and airy, just like the pop sound you'd make with your mouth when trying to imitate the sound of a champagne cork. The thought sends shivers up my spine.

The various calf muscles are generally used to extend the foot (e.g. to stand up on your tippy toes) and keep balance as you stand, but I don't feel pain in those situations. Rather, when returning back down after getting up on my toes, I get a sharp mother-of-all-muscle-cramp pains just before my heel hits the ground again. So, whatever muscle ripped seems to be involved in stabilizing the foot in that situation.

Business End of a Drill Bit somehow this image seems appropriate -- Grandma and Grandpa's -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/8, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Business End of a Drill Bit
somehow this image seems appropriate

I'm really at a loss to understand how this happened... my movement at the time was mild compared to any number of movements encountered throughout any normal day, much less the intense stuff I often do at the gym or on the bicycle. It reminds me of the time decades ago when one of my teeth cracked in half while eating french fries. The doc said that when the tooth has a crack and is ready to go, it goes, and you could be eating pudding at the time.

I don't know whether this is a symptom of whatever caused the tear, or a result of the tear, but since the incident, all the muscles in the calf seem a bit unstable, with lots of involuntary twitching and the occasional sudden full-calf cramp that very much gets my full and immediate attention.

Very oddly (to me), the whole calf is swollen to 1½ times its normal size, which is large to begin with since I do a lot of cycling. There's no discoloration or general pain, but it's puffy like a balloon filled with water. Strange.

I just wish there were something I could learn from this (besides it sucks getting old) so that I could take steps so that it doesn't happen in the future, but at this point it feels totally random and unrelated to any action I have taken or should have taken.

This Gets a Few Week's Rest -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 4000 — image data
This Gets a Few Week's Rest

The tear is high up, almost right behind the knee, but it's unrelated to the knee, so that's good. I've heard of too many folks my age hurting their ACL or have other knee issues. This injury doesn't preclude me from actually hurting my knee, but lowers the chance of it happening any time soon because I'm out of action for the next few weeks. Sigh.

I consulted with therapist Kentaro Kataoka (seen on my blog various times, most recently here), who kindly came over at 11pm(!) to check me out. He said it's a mild tear, and that if I were a college rugby player with an important game the next day, I'd play. Not being a rugby player, nor college aged, I'll rest. But hey, Anthony and I called off our livingroom soccer game with me leading 2-1, so I've got that going for me.

The Future always seems to be somewhere ahead -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/30 sec, f/1.7, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Future
always seems to be somewhere ahead

All 9 comments so far, oldest first...

Sorry to hear of your injury. I’m 57, active, and understand the frustration. Thank you so much for sharing on your wonderful blog . It always makes my day when you post.

— comment by Kevin, Maryland USA on September 15th, 2016 at 7:40pm JST (4 months, 2 days ago) comment permalink

Hope you are able to fully recover soon! Thank you for all your thoughtful and informative posts and beautiful photography. Greenville, SC, USA

— comment by Mike on September 15th, 2016 at 10:41pm JST (4 months, 2 days ago) comment permalink

Thanks for taking the time to post this. It’s obviously not related to photography (although you illustrated it very creatively), but given my age (66) it’s interesting to read about these types of injuries and how they happen. I started Bikram yoga 10 years ago and I think it has helped.

— comment by Colin on September 15th, 2016 at 11:55pm JST (4 months, 2 days ago) comment permalink

Hope you have it up, lightly wrapped and iced. Ibuprofen will help with the inflammation. Looks like you’ve got the rest part already. Oh, and if your ankle feels really unstable, Alan will have a few orthopedic bone pins he wont be using after today – maybe you could ask to borrow them!

And FYI – I had a molar shatter while I was eating frozen yogurt. Soft serve, even.

Hope you feel better soon.

— comment by Marcina on September 16th, 2016 at 5:26am JST (4 months, 2 days ago) comment permalink

Aouch. Take a good rest, we’ll have to go cycling together at some point! 🙂

— comment by Damien on September 16th, 2016 at 11:19am JST (4 months, 2 days ago) comment permalink

The pop sound (and rest of description) sounds strikingly like a tendon tear rather than a muscle tear. I would recommend visiting a doctor – ideally a sports doctor – as tendons do not repair themselves the same way as muscle and sometimes surgery is necessary to regain full strength. Obviously you’ve had someone look at it already, but your description sounds like you actually tore the Achilles tendon and part of your muscle is now shortened to the point where it has increased the size of the muscle. If this is the case (hopefully not) then it will not repair itself and surgery is required. Hopefully I am wrong but your post is almost a textbook description of the tendon tear.

It certainly does sound (figuratively and literally) like a tendon, but it’s the muscle. I don’t think there are any tendons in the area of the injury. (The Muscle Systems Pro app I’ve had for years finally came to good use!) —Jeffrey

— comment by David on September 16th, 2016 at 7:09pm JST (4 months, 1 day ago) comment permalink

Wow, sorry to hear about this. I feel your pain. Had a Jeffreyesque ride in the mountains yesterday. When I got home and stepped out of the car a major calf cramp happened. Stood for five minutes hanging onto the car in pain unable to walk. Not a good ending to a great day.

On a positive notes, the rest of us might get to see more blog posts for awhile.

Heal quickly.

— comment by Rick H. on September 17th, 2016 at 12:56am JST (4 months, 1 day ago) comment permalink

Really sorry to hear about your injury, and hope very much that it is one that will heal itself fully. I am sure you will monitor it very closely — I suppose you’ve no choice really! But, as Rick H. hinted, ‘it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good’ and it will be great for the rest of us if you are up to more blogging, and photography catch-up in general. Take good care of yourself!

— comment by Peter in Wales on September 17th, 2016 at 9:05pm JST (4 months ago) comment permalink

Yikes! That sounds very painful and frustrating. It’s amazing–and a little frightening–how such simple movements easy can wreck the body for no apparent reason. Hope you’re back on your feet soon. Still loving the pictures!

— comment by Robyn on September 18th, 2016 at 4:28am JST (4 months ago) comment permalink
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