Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Coping with this Injury

This post has been on my mind for a while now. For those of you new to the blog, I've been dealing with a broken foot for the past 2 months, which you can learn about here and here.

8, yes 8, weeks later, I am still in my lovely little aircast, praying for the day that it comes off. I still remember the first day I wore "the boot" and being amused by my situation. Now, I've logged some good mileage in it, have become a pro at putting it on, and am waiting for the day to put on a real left shoe! It's the little things, right?

There were so many fears I had to face in those first couple of days in the boot and in adjusting to my injury - fear of not going to the gym, fear of not fitting into my clothes, fear of undoing all that I had done to feel healthy, inside and out, and fear of being immobile.

While at times it hasn't been easy, and in fact, I spent a week on bed rest because I aggravated the injury, I have learned a few things about myself:

1. Eating healthy, gluten free, clean foods is not just important because I want to exercise. I am the weirdo that craves broccoli, brussel sprouts, pears, and more! For the most part, my diet consists of all the foods that experts tell the public they should eat and I LOVE it. Luckily, many of these foods are gluten free and I reach for them without a second thought. Even when I crave something less nutritious, I opt for the healthier version because I know that I'll enjoy it more and the ingredient list is often shorter. Of course, there's also times to simply enjoy :-)

2. It's ok to stop and smell the roses every once and a while. Prior to my injury, a rest day or two was enough and I did some form of exercise every other day of the week. I love the way exercise makes me feel and the endorphins it releases. Yet, I was also the girl that walked a ton of mileage everyday around DC (in part because that's how I commute to work, the gym, grocery store, etc.) and could be found walking the stairs of the Metro at all times. Just for the record, you can't do all of that in a walking cast. I literally had to stop taking stairs, cab home with groceries a few times, and you know what? I survived. During weeks when I still couldn't walk easily in the boot, I had to take breaks. Those let me stop and smell the tulips that are currently filling flower beds across the city. That's not something I've done in years past - it was always go-go-go and schedule time to appreciate the return of spring, sunshine, etc.

3. I still lead a relatively active lifestyle. When I was little, I could often be found doing handstands and cartwheels. In the airport, at the shopping mall, around my house, anywhere. My obsession with The Little Mermaid prompted my dad to frequently repeat the quote "Somebody's gotta nail that girls fins to da floor." I just don't sit still well. Now, I get up and stretch my legs throughout the work day, walk at minimum 2 miles (to and from work) and oftentimes more, and am not happy just to be a blob on the couch. All of these have helped to reinforce the next lesson I've learned.

4. The body does incredible things. Despite the fact that on most days, I get dressed with the fear that my clothes aren't going to fit, they do and I can even say that slowly but surely, my bone is healing. I think part of it is what I eat. It also helps that I'm doing a lot of resting to try to heal this bone properly. And, I can honestly say that I haven't been as dedicated to taking my iron supplements (for anemia) and calcium as I have in the past few weeks. I want this injury to heal properly so that it won't impact me for the rest of my life. Last year, my body proved that I am capable of walking 39.3 miles in 2 days. This is, it's proving that with the right fuel, love, and care, it can heal a broken bone.

I still have a ways to go - my foot is definitely not healed. Yet, I do take time on most days to notice how my mind, attitude, habits, and more have been impacted by this injury. These lessons are good ones to learn - if only I didn't have to break a bone to figure them out!!

Here's to hoping these are my last few weeks in the boot!


  1. I love your positive attitude about your injury. Reading your posts has helped me feel less down about my own injury. I'm optimistic you will heal very soon - you take such great care of yourself (food and activity-wise) even with a broken foot.

  2. Thanks Liz! I really appreciate your encouraging words!! We can always commiserate over our injuries together :-) I hope you're recovery is going smoothly as well!

  3. This is super late- but it was great meeting you a couple weeks ago at the blogger lunch! It's good to hear you're coping well with your injury. Your positivity is definitely inspiring. Good luck!