Listen. If I’m going to be out of commission for several weeks with an injury, I need to set some ground rules. Things to keep me sane. Things to get me through.
I’ve been off the pain meds now for three days and am suddenly seeing my situation with a new set of eyes. My mind is saying “go go go.” But my body just isn’t there yet. So here is my swift kick in the behind. I can’t promise to follow them all. But I know I’ll need the reminder.
1. Don’t get depressed
My mom says depression is common in people recovering from injuries preventing the use of a limb. I can totally see why. It’s a fine line between frustration of not being able to do the things I want to do, and totally giving up. I am not a recluse. I have people to talk to who love me. My life can still be awesome. Just with a minor inconvenience. Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da.
2. Take it easy
Guilt is a deeply embedded emotion. I feel a lot of guilt about not being able to do certain things now. Especially because I can still do them mentally, just not physically. I am healing. My body is working overtime to heal itself. I’m not crazy for not working, turning down party invites or not even walking to the corner store.
3. Do my exercises
With that said, I can’t let my health get away from me. I still need to get up and move around, even if only puttering around the house. I need to keep stretching everyday, my flexibility is something I can maintain in a cast and don’t want to lose. But this is especially for when I start physiotherapy. I MUST DO THE EXERCISES. As a personal trainer I know how important the “lame” physio exercises are to recovery.
4. Fend for myself
I am my own best advocate. My sister has done an amazing job taking care of me, but I need to take a little more responsibility. I need to learn how to operate on my own with this injury. But I also need to learn to ask for help when I need it. I especially need to learn how to tell people on the crowded Toronto subway to back the fuck off from my casted arm. (I’ll drop an f-bomb if I need to!)
5. Don’t use food for comfort
I’m lonely. I’m by myself all day. I’m bored. Food can’t, and shouldn’t, be used to cure all these emotions. I’m not exercising, I can’t use one arm, I don’t need to gain an extra 10 lbs too. But I also can’t obsess about this!! Eat nutritious food, only when hungry. It’s amazing how often I eat when not hungry.
6. Challenge myself
Okayokay. I am definitely not skating again anytime soon after my accident. But I also don’t want to let this be an excuse to let fear hold me back. Even on a smaller day-to-day basis, I need to challenge myself to do things I haven’t done since my surgery. Like go out or make a new dish. I cut a bagel with one hand the other day. That was amazing.
7. Remember the big picture
In the grand scheme of life, this is but a minor blip. Not being able to use my arm for 3-6 months won’t mean much 40 years from now (unless it gives me arthritis). It just seems like a lot because my life currently revolves around my being able to be physical. But it doesn’t have to. Maybe it’s not supposed to!
I must say the timing of this accident has turned out to be rather serendipitous. I had big plans for the end of March that are now being accelerated. I have mixed emotions about this and still have a lot of logistics to figure out on my end. Mostly “What am I going to do?? When?? HOW!??”
I think this is why this injury has had such a big impact on me. It didn’t just screw up my arm. But it screwed up plans that were months in the making. But like I said before, who am I to argue with the path the universe has laid out for me? So these are my rules to get me through healthy and with my head on straight :)