Amblings Of An Injured
Hello friends! A few people have been asking me for an arm update, but at this point there’s still not much to tell. Tomorrow not only marks one month since the skating accident that shattered my elbow, but I’ll also be getting another round of x-rays in Ottawa. My orthopaedic surgeon in Ottawa is keeping a close eye on it to ensure the surgery took.
I may also be getting my thin fibreglass splint off. It runs from my armpit to my wrist on the left side and keeps my elbow at 90 degrees. I’ve gotten pretty good at managing it. The pain has decreased significantly since my last round of x-rays two weeks ago. The swelling is virtually gone, and I’m getting more functionality and strength back in my left hand every day. It will be a looooong time before I can do normal things like carry grocery bags or do a push-up (6 months to a year). Driving a car may still be a few months off. But it’s at least really comforting to notice progress with each passing day.
There is however one thing that I am really struggling with – not being able to exercise. I hate for this to sound trite. And at first, my body was so traumatized the idea of exercise was virtually impossible.
But I’ve been sitting on my butt for a month now. Mostly alone, while the rest of the world does productive things at their respective jobs all day. I’ve been very candid about my struggle with anxiety, a condition I’m able to control partially with the help of vigorous exercise. I’m an endorphin junkie. Sweat and high heart rates make me happy and ready to face the world. Without it, I’ve noticed some of my difficulties with speech are returning (I mumble and stutter when anxious). I’m antsy. My mind is racing, I’m worrying and obsessing over things, and I’m having difficulty concentrating.
Friends, this girl needs to work out. For the sake of my mental sanity!
Unfortunately, since I no longer work at a gym, I also no longer have access to one. Even with my arm in a cast, some incline walking or recumbent cycling on the machines would be fabulous right about now. There are a million reasons why I can’t wait to move back home in a couple weeks. Going to my hometown gym is one of them.
With that said, I have been getting out walking every day. Rain, snow, sleet or shine. Walking is nothing compared to the high intensity exercise I used to do and loved. But it’s at least getting me out in the fresh air more and an opportunity to explore my neighbourhood.
Most notably, “The Doll House.”
Do not adjust your monitors. That is indeed a town house with thousands of dolls crammed into the tiny front yard.
And yes, this is located right in my Toronto neighbourhood. The first time I saw this was at night and the owner of the house came out. He looked just like Crispin Glover and started talking to us. So. Creepy.
When the city streets become too much, I can always wander down to the Leslie Spit.
The Spit is a piece of land that juts out into Lake Ontario. It’s where they put the dirt they dug up while building the subways.
It also happens to be the my most used running trail while living in Toronto.
Never run on when snow covered of course. This little slice of nature is what kept me sane while living in my concrete jungle of a city.
Of course, the view of the Toronto skyline always served as a reminder of where I was.
Just beware the stink of Lake Ontario. Certain gusts of wind bring it right to your nostrils.
There’s also random sculptures. At least, I’m pretty sure it’s art.
Even though it will be some time before I can lift weights, do yoga, swim, or even bicycle, the one thing keeping me going is knowing I’ll soon be able to run. Just as the weather warms up for the running season. It’s hard to get bummed about my injury when I still have two working legs.
Honestly though, I am completely terrified to get my cast off. Moving my elbow is excruciating, and not having it locked in place with the splint gives me a lot of apprehension. Last time I moved my left arm even the slightest, my hand swelled like a balloon for two days.
Knowing the recovery process it going to be long, I have decidedly taken a very short-term view with it. I will start physio immediately and do those exercises every day. I will dedicate time each day to stretching, something I embarrassingly haven’t done since the accident. My new short-term goal is to be pain-free enough to hold my left arm up on its own to go for a run. It’s something I am desperately looking forward to.
Until then, you can find me aimlessly wandering the streets of Toronto over the next two weeks in efforts to boost my mood. And possibly looking for croissants.