Dealing with Setbacks

About four weeks ago I tore my ACL in a skiing accident. I suppose the term "accident" is a bit melodramatic; the truth is I fell down. I was skiing down a blue/black run, challenging, but certainly not beyond my capabilities. I was practicing carving and I got to going a bit too fast. I'm not sure what happened next but I lost control and fell with my left knee in an awkward position. I knew from the pain and my subsequent inability to put weight on it I'd done some significant damage.

After an MRI and a couple of visits to an orthopedic surgeon, it was determined the ACL is fully torn and I will need surgery in about four weeks to repair it because apparently, ACLs don't heal on their own (sneaky bastards). The surgery is fairly routine, not too invasive, and recovery is generally quick, so I haven't been that concerned. In the next four weeks, it's up to me to rehab the knee by swimming, using the stationary bike, and a little bit of eliptical.

If you're interested in learning more about the surgery, visit this link.

I'd been healing well. Most of my range of motion had returned, I had almost no pain and no swelling. But yesterday I had a bit of a setback and I re-injured the knee simply getting into the back seat of a car. 

I have no adequate way to describe the level of pain I experienced; suffice to say I nearly passed out from the intensity of it. Now my knee is worse that it was before and I'm feeling a lot more nervous in general about the surgery, the recovery, all of it.

I'm just not that good at dealing with setbacks.

This is where I pick myself up by my bootstraps and keep limping forward until I get to the finish line. I keep telling myself nothing's changed. But the truth is I'm tired of being a gimp. I'm tired of not being able to exercise properly. I'm even tired of being waited on, if you an believe that. I just want to get this done with.

But enough of my complaining. How do you deal with setbacks?

Holly West

4 Comments

  1. Do you still have the brace on? Think of it as a pill you need to take every day. You don’t stop taking the pill just because you feel better.
    As someone who was in your shoes for 3 years, I can relate. All I can say is, it does get better. Rather than focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you can! Write, paint, read… whatever brings you joy right now.
    There’s also always Target! They have great scooters there for shopping in.

  2. LOL Thanks Antoinette! They did offer me a scooter at Costco last week but I refused it. I think today I’d need it though. Bah!
    I’m wearing a small knee brace. The surgeon said he doesn’t like the big ones because they hamper your range of motion. Honestly, the small one offers almost the same support. The problem is that because I was feeling so much better I wasn’t wearing it at all. Lulled into a false sense of security, I guess. If nothing else, the brace is a reminder I need to be careful (although it is much more than that at the moment).
    I have been writing and reading. And I’m basically a lazy person, so lying around on the couch isn’t that far out of my comfort zone. But I think about how great of shape I was in only a couple of years ago, running every day, being healthier in general, and I get a little down. Like you said, I need to focus on what I *can* do. It’s not much at this point since I hurt myself again yesterday, but I know from past experience it will get better fairly quickly.

  3. I understand. Just follow R.I.C.E and you’ll feel better soon. For now, take the dang scooter and keep the brace ON!

  4. I wanted to stop in and say more than, “at least you can write.” 🙂 Actually, from what I’ve heard, the recover after the surgery is much faster and more sure than getting over the original injury. So hang on, KEEP WRITING, and you’ll get there. 🙂

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