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no regrets

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

I am in week 6 of my recovery from torn ligaments. I am also dealing with an impinged nerve in my hip that was exacerbated by the walking boot I wore for several weeks. I am faithfully keeping my Physical Therapy appointments and I am doing the exercises they recommend, which consist mainly of using the elliptical and working on my balance (balancing on my bad foot/ankle is pretty pathetic at this point but I am determined to re-build strength) and I am getting back into strength training by starting slowly, with just 15 minutes or so, focusing on upper-body strengthening exercises. I feel so fortunate that one of my dear friends, and a long time work-out partner, attends the gym I have recently joined. I know that long walks and hikes, and short runs, are a ways off. Boot camp is out of the question, of course, because there is a fair amount of jumping and other type movements that are off limits to me. I am not feeling sorry for myself, at this point. I had a major test in that area. This past Sunday, I ventured to the finish line of our town's annual marathon/half marathon. I have history with this race. The inaugural year of the marathon was my inaugural marathon, as well. Turns out I was "one and done" as far as the marathon was concerned. I discovered I was a marathon finisher more so than a marathon runner though, had I not been sick with a respiratory infection the day of the race, and had the weather not been extremely bad (buckets of rain coupled with 50 mile an hour gusts off the bay), who knows....I may have had a better experience and signed on for another. As it is, I switched to half-marathons and did a number of those over a period of five or six years. I did many of those with my best friend. I was at the finish line to cheer her on. I was expecting to feel some sadness when I was standing there as an observer, rather than a participant, but I didn't. I did feel happy for people who were crossing the finish line, triumphant. I was happy for them that their hard work paid off, and they achieved a difficult goal. I was also happy NOT to be running 13.1 miles (or 26.2!) That chapter is over though I won't say "never" but I will state "probably". Right now, my challenge is to rebuild strength and let a fairly serious injury heal. I have a problem with discounting my experiences because, when I was younger, I tended to overstate things. So, I often find myself looking for that line where I am not blowing something out of proportion or using it as an excuse, yet also giving it its due. This injury is not catastrophic, by any means, but it has altered my daily life for the last 6 weeks. The level of discomfort is tolerable but does make me a bit more tired, as pain has a way of doing. It has caused me to reassess my fitness pursuits and allowed me to shift a certain amount of energy away from my daily workouts and towards tackling projects around the house. I embrace the fact that I will feel some sort of discomfort each and every day and I don't need to mask it. I am proud of myself for not taking any pain pills stronger than Ibuprofen, throughout this injury, for two reasons: 1. I am a recovering alcoholic so I have to be very cautious about any type of mind-altering medication and 2. I sort of hate pain medication because I think it can be really destructive and really hard to wean oneself off. I have seen a lot of people be adversely affected by taking pain pills but I also know a few people whose quality of life is improved by having access to pain medication. It is such a personal decision and one I personally have to be cautious with. I was definitely tempted a few times because pain can be SO tiresome but I know, for me, it was the right decision, given my history. I am grateful my injury is not worse, and that I am, according to my physical therapist, healing pretty rapidly given the severity of the tear(s). I try not to be fearful of re-injury as I move through my days but, rather, just more mindful. In my experience, so many injuries occur when the mind is one place, and the body is in another place. I have been injured more than once by being distracted, and this injury is no exception. I appreciate all the well-wishes from Sparklers - thanks for helping me keep my spirits up and helping me maintain a (mostly) positive attitude as I make my way through rehab. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It's so hard not to be bitter in your situation. Good for you, going to cheer on your friend. That's awesome. You should be proud of yourself.
    1715 days ago
    A very thoughtful and helpful blog - thanks!
    1723 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing where you are right now.

    I am so glad to hear you are taking good care of yourself and letting yourself heal.

    I am tremendously proud of your desire not to use/abuse pain pills. I am very happy for you for having that great, great insight.

    Thank you especially for the nugget of wisdom, "In my experience, so many injuries occur when the mind is one place, and the body is in another place." I have the feeling that that statement is going to help me a lot.

    And I agree with another commenter--"This too shall pass."

    1724 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/3/2013 8:21:34 PM
    You do have a really good attitude and that can only help! emoticon
    1725 days ago
    You have such a fantastic attitude about this!! When I tore my meniscus I spent too much time first, pretending it didn't happen and then second, feeling sorry for myself. It is still healing and like you I have to realize my limitations. Thanks for this blog, I needed it!! emoticon
    1725 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Realism & pragmatism are two admirable traits for dealing with your injury. Keep it up.
    1725 days ago
    I love your realistic and positive attitude. Best wishes for continued healing. I am on my 4th week of PT, since having to wait 3 mos since my lumbar fusion. Life changes, but is always doable! emoticon
    1725 days ago
    Cannie-do attitude! Great blog!
    1726 days ago
    Another proof of all the strength and wisdom you carry with you, Carole! And we're so lucky that you share your experience and your thoughts with us.
    I hope your healing process is fast and you feel 100% better soon. Take good care of yourself.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1726 days ago
    I am so impressed with your CAN DO yet realistic attitude. You are such an inspiration. I have my 1st marathon this coming Sunday. It has been a long Summer with all the long runs and I don't feel ready. Maybe you always feel that way before your 1st. It will be interesting to see if this is my "one and done". I enjoy doing the Half's and most likely will stick with those but I guess time will tell. Take care of yourself.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1726 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    I'm sure you'll have something appropriate to replace half marathons with.

    A really good strength-building program can do a lot to support cardiovascular health, as I'm sure you know. And there are lots of other beneficial movements you can do for other parts of your body while you continue to heal.

    Such a trooper!
    1726 days ago
    My dear Carole, you are exhibiting such strength of character doing what you need to do to be whole again. . . and not whining about it! You are doing the right things, for sure! It is so difficult at times to make choices that are really the best for us, because it's not what we want to do, but again, you are doing that. I am proud of you.

    HUGS and prayers that the injury continues to heal quickly and completely. You are surely doing what it takes for that to happen.

    I am not one to jump on the band wagon for using pain meds for myself either. Many reasons, but it just makes me physically ill. That's the #1 reason. So, I'm in your camp . . . using alternative methods of pain relief.

    As always, thank you for sharing this difficult part of your journey. It takes lots of strength and courage! HUGS HUGS HUGS
    1726 days ago
    I always admire your honesty and strength. Pain IS draining!!!!! I'm proud of you for working on getting better. I could never even imagine running that far, even for cookies, my family or my beloved stitchy! I'm always in awe of you...keep fighting and getting strong. I'm with you.
    1726 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    Hang in there, Carole. That which doesn't kill you, will make you stronger -- especially if you are using your time so productively, both around the house with chores that need doing and with seeking out alternate exercise plans. You'll come out stronger on the other side ... there is an end in sight:) Just hang in:)
    Deirdre (Can't believe I ran out of cliches there:))
    1726 days ago
    Heal fast and well. Be patient and good to yourself. This too shall pass.
    1726 days ago
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