Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Life of the Walking Wounded

I am trying not to get frustrated or negative about this, but at the 3 week mark, I still have to remember that I am injured. Not injured like a pulled muscle, stress fracture, sore knee, etc. but really injured. Everyone sympathizes with me, but no one realizes that how I look does not relate to how I feel.

And I really try not to act or look too injured. I don't want to draw attention to my injuries everywhere I go, but there are noticeable things: a limp (getting better) from the broken toe; holding my body in such a way to not use the injured side to open doors (like wth my shoulder), or picking up things mainly with my left arm. And of course there is the 24/7 pain factor, which if it doesn't show on my face (sometimes), it is affecting my attitude.

You're still injured. First time at rehab made that very clear. Unlike other injuries where you take a couple of weeks off but can still do reduced workouts, this isn't one of them, obviously. I was reminded again, if not for the pain alone, that broken ribs do take a couple of months to heal. And every time they do more x-rays, new fractures are showing up. I now know I have two fractures at T-2 and T-7 or 8.

It has become a different life for me right now, working half days, coming home and pretty much resting--sitting, reclining, always with ice or heat on my back. Taking walks, and then sitting and resting again until bed. I am forcing myself to do the resting to heal fully and faster, but I can't help get a little resentful. And I don't expect anyone to stop what they are doing because of me.

I find that I am enjoying posts or blogs about others' races a lot right now, sort of living vicariously through others. It keeps me positive and optimistic. But I can't help hoping this stuff doesn't last more than 2 months. (See how conflicted I am?)

So what am I doing or what can I do to make this better? For one, I am walking at least every day. I'm cleared for that, and with limitation am okay. Don and I have been walking every day together, despite him keeping up his running and other workout schedule. I have signed up to walk Race for the Cure, because I can do this while others can't. I'm only doing the untimed 5k walk, but its something. I can see from my physical therapy that I can safely do some weight training to keep the muscles toned and flexible. I actually feel better after the therapy. I am finding that I want to make this down time restful but productive at the same time. I have to take responsibility for my own recovery and healing.

I think its important that I keep up some sort of activity to make it easier to transition back into full activity when I am able. I don't want to make it harder on the rest of my body later and end up with something else wrong.

I hope to start looking at bikes soon--before nothing is left in stock--but I really haven't been able to get out there for any length of time. And for some reason, I'm really fearful of not being able to get what I want, even though my attorney thinks I should be able to get something much better than I had before. (Did I mention I work for attorneys??)

But at the same time I worry about my ability to get back on a bike next season. The more I learn about the accident, the more fearful I become. I'm bothered by visions of being hit now, when before that did not enter my mind. Maybe it has taken a while to heal mentally so these thoughts are surfacing, I don't know. Considering the speed at which I was hit, and most likely how I was hit, it leaves me shaken, even riding in a car at times. So I have to look for a way to overcome this as well.

So many facets of recovery! That alone takes time and energy, so I know I can't rush this thing, no matter how much I wish for it. My biggest disappointments right now are not being able to participate in the events I had signed up for through the next few months, and the fact that I will be starting from square one when I do get back at it. I really mentally had gotten to the point where I believed I was ready for and could do an IM and planned to sign up for IMFL for 2007. Now I am having doubts about my ability to recover fast enough to really do something that monumental. I will be exactly at the 2 month mark on the day of IM FL this year--and I won't be able to attend as a volunteer for that either now. Again, another factor I have to deal with.

As for the driver of the car? Who knows what she felt, feels, or even thinks at this point. I have to believe she was bothered at least some by this. My attorney has sent her a letter asking that she contact him and also to put her insurance company on notice about the accident, something she may not have let them know about. Everyone I know wants her to pay, and for the reasons stated above--time lost from my life I can't make up plus the altered lifestyle--so do I. I do not want to be or mean to be vindictive. But I also do not want her taking the attitude that she wasn't at fault. She was, 100%, and the accident report states it. Knowing my actions that day, I know it too.

So right now, I have mixed feelings about everything. I am trying to find a focus and keep looking forward. I continue to appreciate everyone's good wishes for continued recovery.


Shelley said...

Keep your chin up Vickie..some day this will just be a blip on the radar of your wonderful training/racing and having fun life!!!! Keep up the walking, that will still give you endurance and plus it's a great exercise..:-)

TriFeist said...

Oh man. The nuts and bolts of recovery are tough. Sorry that I don't have any more race reports for you to read.

Walking every day shows you have the determination to make it back. I just wish there were a way to speed things up for you.

Oh yeah, and you do deserve compensation for your accident. Compensation helps you get back to where you were, it is not vindicitive. But it's also more than getting a new bike.

Hang in there!

Flo said...

I found your blog fairly recently and have been an avid reader. It sounds like you're making good progress. It's only 3 weeks since the accident and you're working and walking and getting a little better everyday. Keep it up, you'll get there.

There is a difference between paying for a mistake and vindictiveness. She should pay for her mistake and you deserve compensation for having to go through what you're going through.

Good luck and keep moving :)

Fe-lady said...

It's easy for us to tell you to "hang in there", but I can't imagine any of us putting up gracefully with what you have had to put up with the last few weeks! Hasn't the person that hit you even contacted you or apologized? I certainly hope she comes around, for your and for her own sake! It will be difficult getting back on your bike, physically and psychologically-hopefully you can start on a trainer, spin class or a bike path come spring. I wish I could help you recover faster, but it sounds as it you are doing everything "right" and as you can.
When can you get back in the water- maybe for pool exercise/walking and not necessarily for the forward crawl....
I know what chornic pain can do to one mentally and personality-wise. It's not pretty....and hope you are able to take meds that take the edge off. (Vicadin is good...if you aren't taking it already...!)
There will be plenty of bikes in stock somewhere...and probably most places will have sales! TriSports offers complete bikes and will ship-the only thing I would recommend is getting a "fit" before you order anything. I am giong with a Scott Plasma (carbon fiber)....and have to order it sometime next week maybe...
Here's to thinking of your complete recovery! (SOON!)