I really hate new injuries - they scare me. If I've never dealt with it before, then the fear of the unknown and how to rehab the injury is just plain scary. Especially when you have no clue how long it will take you to heal. Typically, I'm much less worried about old injuries because: it's not surprising, I know how to deal with it, and am mentally prepared for the recovery time.
A few weeks ago, I suffered a big setback when I threw out my back during a workout. It was silly, I simply lacked the proper form and was not holding my core during a squat lift. It was 2 minutes into the workout and I had to stop. I hate not being able to push through, but this time I knew it was bad. I reminded myself that I wasn't a quitter; I was being smart and listening to my body. There were some tears shed, it took me 3 days to be able to get out of bed on my own (my husband is a very patient guy), and a week to be able to stand up straight. My muscles were M.A.D.
This back business was an injury that I've had before and for this particular "tweak" it took me a month to recover the first time around. It was worth it to take the time off and be kind to my body, but after 1 month of not doing anything active, I started to go a little nuts. I really didn't want to go back to that place.
Not only were my muscles screaming at me, I was just so pissed off at myself. If I had done one little thing differently, then I wouldn't have been in so much pain. How could I have been so stupid? I started to doubt myself as well as my physical abilities. When will this get better? Am I going to have this issue forever? And the fear sets in.
Between three and four days after it happened the second time, I went into a really dark place mentally. Instead of taking the opportunity to rest and be nice to my body, I turned to food and self-pity. I was so worried that I would be out of the game (moving around and having fun outside) for another month that I gained 5 pounds in a week. I tried to medicate with sugar. The crazy thing is that the food and the extra little bit of weight just made me feel worse…not better. I had to snap out of it or else I was going to head into a tailspin. After a week of a full-blown pity party, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that it was going to be okay, that taking time off will not kill me, and most importantly that I am strong and I WILL get through this. Injuries only last forever if you let them.
It's been 3 weeks and I'm feeling much better. I'm still taking it easy in my various activities, but I recovered more quickly than the last time and I truly believe that it's because I chose to be positive about my situation rather than wallow in worry.
What has been your worst injury and what pointers do you have for a speedy recovery?
~ Janet Ehlers