Tag Archives: injured

What I’ve Learned From a Year-Long Injury

yearlong injury

5 diagnoses. 4 x-rays. 3 doctors. 2 MRIs. 1 cortisone shot. That essentially sums up the last year of my life. Since Labor Day weekend 2013, my life has felt as if it has revolved around my left foot. From doctor’s appointments, to exercising, and everything in between, everything has been about my left foot.

I won’t lie. This last year has been trying. I’ve been in a walking boot three times, on crutches once for 4 weeks (but probably should have been on them when I was first diagnosed), and have been forced to put most of normal activities to the back burner on numerous occasions, all because of a foot injury that just wouldn’t heal.  It seemed like just as I was able to get back into a routine of exercise, and more importantly – riding a horse, my foot would start to throb, and I’d be at square one again. Since I was first injured, I’ve gained 20 lbs. And that’s after losing 10 initially. I should have eaten better. And I could have worked out with my upper body more, but I decided I would rather eat my feelings. I’ve always been an emotional eater. This injury completely interrupted my life, as they always do.

But this isn’t about how much my foot injury set me back. This is about how what this injury taught me.

I know. You’re probably wondering how an injury could teach me anything when 99% of the time, I wished it would just go away in my sleep. But reflecting over the last year, I have learned from this.

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I’ve learned that it’s okay to rely on others. You are looking at a person who doesn’t like to ask for help. Who has NEVER liked to ask for help. I’m not sure why, I just never have. But with this injury, I’ve had no choice, especially when I found myself on crutches. And I what I found out was that people are always willing to help. I quickly realized that little things like getting dinner in the kitchen, grocery shopping, and just about carrying anything, wasn’t going to happen without help. Thankfully, I had a lot of people around me who were always happy to assist when I needed them.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to rest. I like to be on the go. Sure, I enjoy taking a break, reading and watching TV, but on my terms. When you’re in a boot and/or on crutches, it’s not on your terms anymore. It’s a forced rest. Accepting that I needed to be off my foot and on my couch was sometimes tough to take, but I stuck it out. But I found a new respect for my couch, and just being able to sit quietly without having to do something.

I’ve learned how necessary, and important, it is to be active. You know the whole phrase ‘You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone’? That pretty much sums up the last year. I never really enjoyed exercising. I rode horses and liked to walk. I was starting to get into running when I got injured. In the last year, my activity has been on and off, depending on how the foot was. I can’t tell you how many times I looked at my fiance and said “I wish I could go for a run right now.” Let’s just say, activity will be incorporated back in my day, almost immediately.

But one thing I already knew, I have the best support system there is. There have been countless tears, rants, angry text messages and swears thrown all over the place since I first was injured, and my fiance, family and friends, have always been there to remind me that this will heal and I will get better. And without them, I probably would have tried to chop my foot off lost my mind.

Most importantly, I’m on the road to recovery. I’m on the mend. I’m out of the boot, and off crutches. I’m slowly getting back to my normal activities. I should be fully cleared by 12/1. But in the meantime, I’m going to keep reflecting on what I’ve learned and continue to focus on healing.

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Crutches Be Gone!

I do promise that soon enough, the blog will become more regular. To be quite honest, as I said in my last post, it’s taken a back seat to the busy-ness that has become my life. I also won’t lie – I just haven’t had the inspiration to blog. Or to write in general. And I don’t like to post on the blog, just to post. That’s not fun for you, or for me. It’s not content I can be proud of, nor is it interesting for you to read.

As soon as I get some motivation, the blog will become more active. Pinky swear.

But for now, the good news of the week?

I’M OFFICIALLY OFF CRUTCHES! Oh, and I get to start transitioning out of the boot.

I know a lot of people chronicle their injuries on their blogs. Part of me wishes I had because I probably would have been able to get a lot of pent up things out. But, again, I didn’t want to post over and over how much it sucks being injured and how sick I am of crutches. So I didn’t. Consider yourself lucky, because my family got to listen to it instead 😉

But that’s all over because I’m off of the crutches and I can officially start getting back to my normal life. Within 2 weeks, he wants my fully out of the boot. So it means I get to start wearing two shoes (sneakers!) again. If I’m going to a lot of strenuous walking, the boot has to stay on for another week or two, but short jaunts means two shoes!

I also got the all clear to start exercising. Boot on at the gym for the next week, but I can do the bike and upper body. And I start personal training with a friend (they are considering it my physical therapy). I go back in 6 weeks for another appointment which is where I should get the all-clear to start doing more cardio. As my foot feels better though, I can do the bike at the gym (with a sneaker within 2 weeks) and start walking again.

I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO TELL YOU HOW RELIEVED I AM. I needed to hear all of this yesterday. I’ve been so down about this prolonged injury that hearing that I’m on the mend was amazing.

Now, it’s time to stop comfort eating (and drinking) and start getting back on track. Since the injury re-occured, I’ve gained probably another 10 lbs (NOT GOOD!) so now I’m facing a 60 lb weight loss.

But I know it’s not going to be instant, so I’m focusing on small steps. I know I’ll get there. It may take me a year, but by this time next year, I’ll be at my goal weight, and healthy as can be!

My Must-Haves for Fall

I’m in denial that summer is officially over. Today is the first official day of fall, even though fall has been teasing on and off for a couple of weeks now. Up here in New England, we’ve had a variety of 50-60 degrees, sprinkled in with a few 80-90 degree days, and a lot of 30-40 degree mornings!

While I’m in denial that summer 2014 is behind us, I am looking forward to fall. I love everything about fall. The flavors, the clothing, the colors, the crispness in the air, the lack of allergies (until the leaves start to fall of course…), and the holidays that follow. What I don’t like? Our cold New England winters. Dislike.

As fall approached, I started to think hard about what items I have to have for fall every year, along with what things I really wanted for fall this year. I hope you enjoy!

1. Pumpkin-flavored anything. Pumpkin Coffee. Pumpkin Beer. Pumpkin Bread. Pretty much pumpkin everything. I love pumpkin!

2. Riding Boots. And not the kind I actually ride in. I have a few pairs of these already. I love them. They look cute with jeans, dresses or sweaters. While I probably won’t need to buy any this year… I would LOVE to be able to own a pair of Frye Boots. Or maybe these adorable boots.

3. My camera. Probably a given. I mean… I always have a camera with me. But I love taking fall photos. I feel like the sunsets are always better. The colors are always better. And the lighting in general is just better. At least until daylight savings kicks in. Then I don’t leave my house.

4. My space heater. Okay. Let’s be honest for a quick minute. I need this stupid thing year-round. My office is quite comfortable temperature wise. But I’m ALWAYS cold. Like even on 90 degree days with the AC going. Freezing. But the second the temperature dips below 60 degrees, that bad boy is running overtime. I wish I wasn’t such a cold person (cue mocking jokes here…) but I freeze.

5. Crockpot. I love my crockpot. I don’t use it nearly as much as should. And I always forget that I can dump stuff in it in the AM and go to work, but on weekends it’s a god send. Specifically for Patriots games. When we make pulled pork (which is happened this weekend.) But my goal for fall is to use it much more often.

6. Ugg boots. Part of me doesn’t even want to admit to owning these… but I love them. And I always will. I used to go through at least 2-3 pairs of the bear paw boots every year. I finally sucked it up and bought real Uggs three years ago. And another pair two years ago. And neither pair need to be replaced. I swear, they are indestructible.

 7. Sweaters. I think one of the reasons I love fall is for the adorable sweaters. And I’m always on the lookout for cute new ones. Thankfully, I bought a bunch last winter, and hadn’t worn them yet, so I should be able to get another season out of them.

And my latest addition to my Must-Haves for Fall….

Hot Pink Crutch Covers. Obviously… this isn’t something I intended or normally would suggest for fall. But since I’ll be on crutches for the next 4 weeks, I might as well enjoy the way they look for the time being!

So tell me… what are your fall must-haves?

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A Final Diagnosis… hopefully.

It’s been a long year. But hopefully, after today, I’m finally on the FINAL road to recovery.

The “final”, and it’s in quotes until I’m cleared, is a stress fracture/reaction in my navicular bone (sound familiar?) and a plantar plate ligament injury in my second metatarsal. Essentially, there isn’t an evident fracture in my navicular bone, but they aren’t ruling it out. And since last year when I was first diagnosed, I was non put on non-weight bearing, it didn’t heal. The ligament is essentially stretched out in my plantar plate, so I have to tape it to my big toe to try to repair and shorten the tendon again.

So what does this all mean?

I’m still in a boot. Except now, I have crutches. And a non-weight bearing order for 4 weeks.

I won’t lie. I’m frustrated. And down. And angry. And upset. But, I’m also hopeful. And trying to be optimistic. The new diagnosis with the plantar plate makes sense. The navicular stress reaction makes sense. Especially if they both went undiagnosed or were treated improperly the first time.

I keep trying to tell myself that it’s only 4 weeks. And hopefully in 4 weeks, this will all be behind me for good and I can focus on recovery and regaining strength.

But that doesn’t disregard the fact that right now, at this moment, 4 weeks seems like a lifetime away.

On the plus side?

Maybe I’ll develop some insane upper body strength from carrying myself around on crutches….

So I ask all of you – if you’ve had an injury where you’ve had to be non-weight bearing, what kinds of things did you do (exercise related) at home to keep yourself moving and focused?

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My Thoughts (aka Ranting) of today

If I seem to be MIA for the next few days, it’s because I’m prepping for my best friend’s wedding this week.

Yep. My first friend and my longest-known friend (27 years!) is getting married this weekend. Needless to say, there is a lot of prep stuff to do here before I travel to Maryland to see her marry the man of her dreams! So if I disappear… you’ll know why!

Okay. On to my thoughts… currently.

First, how long does a navicular stress fracture take to heal? Does anyone know? Because I’ve been in the boot for 3 weeks and I’m already itching to get out of it. I wasn’t even a runner before I got injured and now, all I want to do is run. Seriously. As much as it sucked that I injured myself exercising, all I want to do now is exercise. Like I can promise the second I get the go ahead from my doctor, I’ll be hitting a running shoe store, getting fitted for new shoes and hitting the pavement. Or the treadmill… depending on what the weather is like when the boot comes off.

I feel like I’m crawling out of my skin to do some serious cardio. It’s driving me INSANE. Literally… I just want to run around. I also want to wear two shoes again. I miss wearing two shoes. I also currently can’t find any of my left shoes, which is strange and totally unexplainable. I mean, I put my shoes on and take them on off in the same place. So not sure how that’s happening.

And the whole boot/one shoe look is totally not stylish.

This boot is seriously cramping my style.
This boot is seriously cramping my style.

I know … positive thinking. But I just needed to rant. I go back to the doctor tomorrow and the first thing I’m asking, well probably the second thing, is what can I be doing for exercise. The first will be ‘So are we any closer to getting this thing off?’

Hopefully, I’ll have an update, but if I disappear until next week, it’s because I’m traveling!

Enjoy!

 

A Diagnosis …. finally!

Happy Monday all! I hope everyone had a great weekend. A little weekend re-cap before the fun begins.

Friday – The fiance and I just relaxed. I knew I had a busy day ahead of me Saturday, and just wanted to sit and read a book.

Saturday – I was up and at ’em early, ready to take on the day. I had my cup of coffee, read some more of my book before it was time to get ready and head off to the city with my oldest and best friend for her final wedding dress fitting! We had a great day (and she looked STUNNING) which also included lunch at Jerry Remy’s Seaport and a shopping pit stop at the local Marshalls. I got two new pairs of shoes, which I despreately needed!

Sunday – Ran errands, found the Fiance a new suit for Shan’s upcoming wedding, spent some time with family and relaxed. A good Sunday in my book!

And now it’s Monday.

I woke up this morning with a lot more pain in my foot than I’ve had. It was probably from walking around a lot more than I have been this weekend, but either way, it hurt. I was able to get a last minute appointment with the podiatrist and bump up my diagnosis appointment from Wednesday to today.

And we FINALLY have a diagnosis. A stress fracture in my navicular bone and some tendonitis. I’m in the boot for at least another 2 weeks until my next appointment, and then we will be going from there. Thankfully, I’ve been prepping myself for the final diagnosis so I wasn’t completely shocked. My first thought – ‘Time to bedazzle the boot!’

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Bedazzled Boot – Jessie J style.

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Okay. I probably won’t decorate it to that extreme…. but a little sparkle would add something to the currently very boring boot. And what girl doesn’t love a little sparkle! :)

At least now, I can head on the road to recovery!

Hope you had a great Monday!

Plans, Diagnosis and Patience

We’re going to cover a few different areas today – mainly because it will probably be the best way to organize my thoughts. I have a lot running through my head and I’m just trying to get them all down in one place.

Plans

For a while now, I’ve really wanted to blog. I started this blog as a means to express myself after graduating from graduate school in 2011. It’s progressed over the last couple of years, but I also neglected it on numerous occasions. It went from being a writing outlet, to a place to showcase my newly developed photography business, to a place to showcase my venture into healthy living. Numerous blogs have inspired me along the way, most have been healthy living bloggers, and I aspired to have a blog like them. But after speaking with a few of them, the number one thing they all told me was, ‘Just Be You’. I realized that I was trying to turn this blog into something it wasn’t. I’m not a healthy living blogger, but a person on a quest to a healthy lifestyle.

So my new journey, is to bring this blog back to it’s roots. Back to being a place where I write, I post a few photos here and there and just be me. What you won’t see here: Pictures of every meal I eat, discussion about my day job other than that I am a Marketing professional, and healthy living advice. It’s not me. What you will see and read is truly me. I’m a quirky, life-loving twenty-something trying to make the most out of my life with my wonderful fiance, family and friends.

Would I love for this blog to be the next big thing? Sure. It would be a dream come true. I would love to be Jen Lancaster and become a best-selling author from my blogs. Am I okay if this doesn’t happen? Of course I am. I just want this to be my creative outlet and a place where I can write.

Diagnosis

Switching to my quest for a healthy lifestyle for a moment. I’ve chronicled, albeit a bit slowly here, my journey for a healthy lifestyle. I had started another blog and quickly stopped using it when I remembered ‘I’m not a healthy living blogger’. This blog once again became my place to write. About three months ago, the fiance and I started ‘Insanity‘. It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done workout wise, but a great experience. By week 6, I was down 10 lbs and several inches and feeling great. Then I started with a pretty nasty pain in my left foot. By Labor Day weekend, I could barely walk. After a trip to my primary care and an x-ray (which came up negative), I was on a week of rest and off to the podiatrist. The next week, he diagnosed me with metatarsalgia, prescribed me some pads for my f00t and an anti-inflammatory and told me to rest for a week. Less than a week later, I was back at the podiatrist because the pain moved from the bottom of my foot, to the top and it was swollen and discolored. I was ordered home with an aircast and an MRI for a stress fracture.

It’s been just over a week in the boot, and with two x-rays and an MRI under my belt, it looks like the diagnosis is bone edema/stress reaction (swelling of the bone) in my navicular bone. I find out next Wednesday what the course of treatment will be and how long I can expect to be in the boot for, but let’s just say, I’m not looking forward to any long term boot action. I’m ready to get back out and start training to run again, ride horses and take long walks. But instead, I’m resting, icing and trying to determine a workout plan that means no pressure on my foot.

Patience

I am SO FAR from a patient person. I’m a go-go-go person and thrive off my busy lifestyle. I’ve been forced to sit and relax with this injury and it’s testing my patience. I want to be enjoying the beautiful fall weather not forced to be icing my foot whenever I’m home.

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And yes, that’s an ace bandage wrapping my foot. There is ice underneath it and it is so much easier to do it this way.

It’s been just about 3 weeks since I’ve been able to exercise. I went through the total depressed and angry stage where I stuffed my face and ate my feelings. But now, I’m back to eating healthy and trying to look at the positive side. I’m still trying to focus on the long-term and what I can’t wait to do when the boot is off, but for now, I’m being patient and listening to my body. My foot will tell me when it’s ready to exercise again and that I’m confident of.

What’s the worst sports-related injury you’ve had? How did you overcome it?

Sweating Pink

Hi all – sorry for the long hiatus. It’s been a busy summer and I’m pretty shocked that it’s already September again. This time of year I always find myself reminiscing on going back to school. Maybe it’s the cooler air, the pumpkin flavors and the leaves changing, but I start to miss that rush of purchasing all the new items for school; especially the clothes! This morning was one of the moments of realization – I have plenty of summer items, but almost no fall items! Looks like a shopping trip is in my future – need some new sweaters, pants and shoes.

Now, onto the title of the post. I found out today that I have become a Sweat Pink ambassador!

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I’m SO excited about this. While I’m not in the best shape, I’m definitely working towards a healthier life and this is just the kind of motivation I need. Needless to say, the blog will hopefully be a regular part of my routine again!

Just a quick update on my progress. Since the start of Insanity, I have lost 10 lbs and several inches. A huge success in my book! Currently, I am sidelined with a foot injury (Metatarsalgia) and am being checked for a stress fracture. Unfortunately, this means no high impact exercise until it starts to ‘feel better’. Let’s just say I’m DYING to get moving. Just when I was finally feeling great, I get sidelined. It’s been about 2 weeks since I’ve been able to do my heavy exercising and I’m hoping this will heal fast! I’m chomping at the bit to start Insanity again and to start my running program. My goal is to run a 5K by the spring (Yes. Finally.)

Needless to say, in the meantime, I’ll be pushing myself with push-ups, sit ups and ab work. Potentially some yoga (as long as it doesn’t put too much pressure on my foot!) and keeping my fingers crossed that this heals and stress fracture is not in my diagnosis!

Until next time!