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.

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Most notably, “The Doll House.”

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Do not adjust your monitors. That is indeed a town house with thousands of dolls crammed into the tiny front yard.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Just beware the stink of Lake Ontario. Certain gusts of wind bring it right to your nostrils.

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There’s also random sculptures. At least, I’m pretty sure it’s art.

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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.

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Posted on March 10, 2011, in Injury and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. That doll house would skeeve the crap out of me, no lie. Best wishes for a quick and complete recovery!

  2. Walking is such a great way to be introspective (and retrospective) that you can’t be when doing all out cardio.

    Can you imagine if it was a leg you broke and couldn’t even walk? Talk about going crazy!

  3. Ha! Crispin Glover?! Seriously?! That’s so perfect! I’m going to have to stalk that house!

    At least you’re doing what you can do given your circumstances and you get a nice way to say good-bye to the city! I hope everything goes well, I’m sure it will!

  4. Sounds like a lovely walk!
    Holy creepy at that doll house. Yikes!
    I think the incline walking and bike sound like great ideas :)

  5. That’s my neighbourhood!! I am a Beaches girl too!!
    I love Steeped and Infused…yummy!!

  6. Susan I can’t believe it’s been a month already…wow! It feels both fast and a lifetime ago. Strange thing, the passage of time.

    Walking is wonderful. It’s not running and it’s not yoga, but it’s something and after having surgery, or a baby, or any kind of physical setback, walking is what I always come back to. It’s free, it works, it’s low impact. I am sorry you can’t do more b/c I know how much you want to be doing more!

  7. I’m so unbelievably impressed with how you’ve been handling this injury. You are such an amazingly strong woman! I love hearing that you can already feel progress in the healing – its definitely due to the way you really listen to your body and treat it so well.

    Keep on healing! You’re in my prayers always =)
    Nicole G

    • Thank you Nicole!! I can’t imagine what an injury like this would have doe to me if I wasn’t already pretty fit and healthy. More motivation to do it I suppose ;)

  8. I understand EXACTLY how you feel. I had surgery to remove a lump from my breast a few years ago. For the first week I could barely get out of bed but once I did I wanted to exercise. I couldn’t swim. I couldn’t lift weights. I tried to jog–I could do it as long as one hand held my injured boob. :)

    Can you jog and just not use that arm? Or hike? Or stairmaster?

    • Hiking will DEFINITELY be on the agenda this summer once it warms up. Right now I can’t move my elbow out of that 90 degree angle, my joint is too stiff, so machines where I have to straighten my arms to hold on to something are out until I learn to move my arm like that again. Running will hopefully happen as soon as I get the strength in my arm to hold it up on its own (currently have to wear a sling when I’m standing) which will probably be more difficult during high impact exercise. Baby steps!

  9. That doll house was made for my nightmares. I hate dolls. And clowns, if there was a clown house too, I would probably cry.
    That running path is pretty, I like the views.

  10. greensandjeans

    Can we have an injured club? Granted, my boot is nothing compared to what you have, but I am FEELING you sister on missing “real” workouts.

    • Yes! We need a support group for “broken bloggers.” When I asked my doc today if it was okay to run again, I swear I saw him roll his eyes a little before answering with a strict “No.” So what if that’s one of my primary concerns? :P

  11. You’ll get back to exercising before you know it, I’m sure of it- hang in there! I hope we can walk next week, having a walking buddy is always fun :)

    Those pictures of your Toronto walks are beautiful- I love all the waterfront trails. And, I love walking- I find is so therapeutic, sounds like you are too!

    xo

  12. I hope your post-cast recovery goes well! I’ve actually been having major time issues lately which have cut into my exercise, and it’s making me more anxious as well. I feel like I should spend all my time writing grad school essays, but I would probably be writing better essays if I was actually hitting the yoga studio!

  13. I imagine it is hard not being able to do a serious workout! Walking is something at least! In fact it’s all a lot of people do! I love walking in a city! My neighborhood is really kind of boring but I like looking at the different houses and trying to figure out what kind of people live there.

  14. Exercise totally keeps my chemicals in check, so I can imagine the restlessness and unease you must feel. Your perspective through your healing process is so admirable!

    Good luck with your next round of x-rays. It’s one step further along in the healing process :)

  15. Walking outside is so good for you! Not only are you moving and getting fresh air, but your absorbing vitamin D which has been shown in some studies to be home! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found something that works for you.

  16. Yay for daily walks and exploring – I feel like you’re definitely making the best out of a TOUGH situation.

    I remember taking photos of those little brick sculptures on the Spit last summer – it’s such a neat place, eh? I love seeing the downtown skyline from that angle.

  17. that doll house is utterly terrifying.

    ps i’m hosting a giveaway over at my blog if you care to swing by : )

  18. hi,
    just found your blog from imanokie.com – its awesome! i completely understand the injury blues…i broke my foot a month ago- i was training for a half marathon and now i just want to walk without crutches. i have been having some setbacks in its healing as well :( but its great you can walk around! i have been doing swimming just using my arms. not the same as running but better than nothing!

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