Sunday, May 26, 2013

Struggles become your identity....One year later!

One year ago today I ran a 5k in the morning, afternoon family get together, that evening playing an intense game of 21 with 2 brothers after going up for a shot I drifted/fade away and landed where drive cement and grass met. Grass was slightly lower and with foot positioning and inertia my ankle rolled, snapping a tendon and the lower fibula.
Had a nice 4 hour hospital visit, think they kept me there doing nothing so they could charge me by the hour.
My brothers were there and we had a good time at my expense though. Her is them taking a picture so they could compare it to the "pain face chart."

I don't recommend breaking a weight barring joint.Took a hook/plate and 5 screws to put back together. Will stay there forever possibly. The road to recovery stinks and is taking longer than I expected.
I thought I would be back to normal and close to 100% by 6 months. At one year I'm maybe still only 70-80%. I still get sore almost everyday, couple hours after running my foot pretty much locks up. It still swells, still don't have full strength for sprints and push offs.
The black beauty!

Getting the cast off after 8 weeks was nice, being able to wash my foot was nice, but then the fun began. The boot just got hot, my skin shed like 20 times and it was heavy and bulky. I was only supposed to take it off for showers. But after a couple nights of torture I took slept without it. Sure I could've damaged it in my sleep but I took my chances. I did OK on the crutches, took some spills and had some set backs because of it.

Bring on PT!!!

At first my OS said not to do physical therapy, he believed they tried to get the foot to move too soon. So I delayed about a week or two of trying to bear weight on my own, then went to therapy.
They were great, never forced me into anything or to do anything I wasn't ready. The first couple weeks were rough, after that I was wanting more, made them give me more, do more. Unfortunately my insurance money ran out before I graduated form PT, then the cold weather, icy surfaces set in. I didn't get the therapy I needed, but I also didn't do as much as I should have on my own. I let just normal work load be my therapy, wasn't enough.
After enough swelling went down I could fit into different shoes. First came crocs, then wide open tennis shoes, then normal shoes. Still needed support though. It wasn't until around 9 months that I could walk bare foot around the house, and still with a limp. Came home, took off work shoes and put on tennis shoes. If I had to go downstairs or outside or even stand in the kitchen I had to put on tennis shoes. It was suffocating!

Then the big family reunion hiking in southern Utah loomed in the future. I had to step it up, work out my foot and get used to walking long distances. It was tough, and honestly I didn't think I'd make it. But I had too. First day was fine. 2nd day hiking up and down the switch backs in sno,ice and mud was very tough. Very sore after that. 3rd day was hard too, alot of pivoting and push offs. I cheated and wore my brace that day, but glad I was able to do everything. Sure I wasn't as crazy as the year before, I was very "dialed back" but still has a blast doing what I love. I've been dubbed "Rock formation Fan Boy". I'll take it.

In the last couple years I've grown very fond of hiking. Especially in Utah. I absolutely love the Moab area. I love rock formations and geology. I love climbing on them and exploring. Angels Landing in Zion was amazing. Very sweet semi technical climb. Very conscious about where I was stepping.
Here is my triumphant foot at the top.

Just starting to run in these last couple weeks its been slow and frustrating. But I am going to get there. I can make it the 3 miles needed for a 5k race, just slow and I hurt for a couple days afterwards. Maybe soon I'll try running in the morning and see how I do the rest of the day at work. Finding time at night to run it tough, but maybe now that school is over for the kids it will be easier?

I got discouraged alot this last year, but I also learned some lessons too. I need my life more than my life needs me. Motivation is a daily thing. I always need something to look forward too, something to inspire me and keep me going. Just the need to be normal isn't enough. The need to explore, the need to run.
I have to remind myself "everyone is different, everyone heals and can do things at a different pace. Look at Derek Jeter, similar injury and around the same time frame, best doctors and facilities money can buy and hasn't played hardly at all and won't either this year. So ha ha!
It's crazy how something so small becomes such a big part of you. I think because its taken so long to get to this point thats all people know. Everytime I see someone they ask, "hows the ankle". It's become who I am I guess. Thats ok its not their fault. Wonder how long that will be me, how long it will take until people I haven't seen in awhile start asking, "hiked anything cool lately".
Here is to this next year full of more healing and getting back to 100% (if there ever will be such a thing).
To hiking and seeing cool places. I have to take the kids back to Goblin Valley this year, that place is awesome!
To more slot canyons and arches needing to be found. But in the fall, this heat isn't for me!

Arch inside Spooky Slot Canyon outside Escalante, UT. One of the coolest hikes ever!

"Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, an hour, a day, a week or even a year. But eventually it will subside, and something else will take its place. If I quit however, it will last forever."

No comments: