Category Archives: Injury

My New Home

Happyhappy Friday!! Lots of things to look forward to this weekend in these parts.

Speaking of which, I’m now all moved into my dad’s. I haven’t lived with my dad since I was 12 years old. It’s kind of weird being in the same city as my mom and not living with her! With that said though, I think it’s good for me and I’m starting to settle in nicely.

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Meet Buddy, the family dog. A boxer-bulmastiff mix who looks ferocious but couldn’t be any farther from it. He’s actually scared of people – including me! Working on getting him to warm up to me and used to having me around.

Apart from Buddy, I’m also living with my little sister, her boyfriend, their newborn son, and of course my dad. Living with a baby actually isn’t that bad when you’re not the one responsible for looking after it…

I’m also living in a room that at one point both little sisters have lived in. It’s hot pink.

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After years of living in stark white apartments, I actually don’t mind it much. My furniture is all black so it won’t clash. I just seemed to have lost the box that my IKEA screws were packed in. So pictures of my new bedroom set-up are on hold…

There’s of course my new kitchen:

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Wonder what sort of things I’ll create in here!

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Ceramic stovetop surrounded by brick. It’s a big and bright kitchen great for taking pictures in. But I will say that bigger kitchens equal more walking around while cooking. It’s tiring!

In other news, I went to the gym today for the first time in SEVEN WEEKS. The first time since my accident! I got the okay from my new physiotherapist here in Moncton for light jogging on the treadmill. She also gave me a ton of active exercises to do with my arm. Before I was only allowed to do passive movement, which means it could only be moved by others, not myself.

I toyed with the idea of starting off with a Couch To 5k style workout. But my mom said “no.” And even though I’m a fitness professional, I still listen to my mom. I’m glad I did! Easing into it was waaaay better.

Here’s the deets if you’re curious:

Treadmill:
5 min warm-up walk @ 3.0mph, 1% incline

1 min @ 3.5 mph, 3% incline
1 min@ 3.5 mph, 5% incline
1 min @ 3.5 mph, 7% incline
1 min @ 3.5 mph, 9% incline
–> repeated 5x for a total of 20 minutes

Recumbent bike:
1 min easy @ level 0
1 min hard @ level 5
–> repeated 6x for 12 minutes

3 min cooldown @ level 0

Then a few sets of lying leg raises and side knee drops because I’m terrified of rolling off the ball and effing up my arm more.

Followed by a solid 15 minutes of stretching. I AM SO STIFF. Holymoly. I haven’t spent any time stretching since my accident and it shows. I’m only good at doing it when a workout or yoga class are involved.

Overall, it felt absolutely wonderful to work up a sweat again. Even though it’s considered an easy workout by my old standards, I still got up into my cardio heart rate zone.

A lot of my doctors and physical therapists have told me I’m lucky in terms of arm rehabilitation because I’m a personal trainer. I never really got that because I was so stuck on the idea that my injury is preventing me to work and make money strictly because I am a personal trainer.

I finally got what they meant today though. It’s nice to know exactly what I can, can’t and should do in the gym to keep my body in good healing shape. Having to move halfway across the country right after my accident made life very hectic. I’m happy to finally be at Point B and able to take the time to focus on my healing again.

Oh, and one last thing. Because of the shitty week it’s been, and the need to look nice for a funeral next week, my mom and I treated ourselves to a haircut.

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My “before” picture taken earlier this week. Turning my head to avoid the camera ;)

Of all the things I could be frustrated about, being unable to style my hair with one arm ranks at #1. I haven’t cut my hair since August and it’s turned into this unruly mane I have no means of managing.

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Problem solved! I went in asking for shorter layers. The same thing I ask every single time I get my haircut. Instead I usually walk out with long chunky layers that only ever look good when straightened. This hairdresser finally gave me what I asked for. The above picture is my new hair air-dried with no product. Just scrunched for a little for bounce. SO much better and easier to manage with my one hand! I know I’m no hair expert, but I do also deal with my hair everyday. So I like to think I know a little something when making requests to hair dressers ;)

Alright. That ends my ramblings for a Friday night. We’re getting a snowstorm in New Brunswick right now. I really wish that was an April Fool’s joke, but it’s not.

Things I Learned The Month I Tried To Move

It’s impossible to conquer Toronto. There’s just too much to do, see and eat.

Walking is such an underrated activity. Sure it’s no calorie-burner, but I think it’s as beneficial for mental health as yoga.

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I have to stop automatically giving a positive response when people ask “How are you?” It causes others think I’m “okay” when I’m actually not.

Bad things happen to good people all. the. time.

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If you’re going to add Greek yogurt to cooked oatmeal, add it after cooking and not to the pot while oatmeal is being cooked. The latter results in a soupy batch.

I need to relax. Which can be hard to do when you’re not allowed to exercise and it’s your best form of stress relief.

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Getting the cast off a broken limb does not mean it’s all better. It can mean the hard and painful work is about to begin.

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Adding pesto to hummus is a good idea.

Sometimes the best way to get out of an exercise slump is to take a break. Not a few days, but a few weeks or even months.

I don’t want my parents to ever leave me.

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Doctor says at least two years until my arm is back to its new “normal.” Two. Years. I fucked it up bigtime.

Move It Monday: Stretches For Your Pipes

Welcome to Week #2 of the Pipes Challenge! During the six weeks of the challenge, I’m hoping to rehab my broken elbow into flexion/extension again and working on my wrist rotation. In case you’re catching up, I shattered my elbow six weeks ago in a skating accident and had reconstructive surgery on it.

I have progress pictures!! It’s been two weeks since getting my cast off and four physiotherapy sessions. I’ve also been sitting down and working on moving it at least twice a day.

Here’s what the flexion looked like two weeks ago:

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Here’s what it looks like today:

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Not that much progress, just a few degrees. The photos are taken “cold,” meaning I didn’t work on my arm beforehand. I can get it to go a little further in a physiotherapy session.

Extension two weeks ago:

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Extension today:

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I feel like I’ve made more progress with this movement. Extension is far less painful than flexion. My biggest problem right now is that my bicep is “on.” Meaning it’s almost always contracted. You can see it a little in the above photos. It’s why a lot of my movement is limited and why moving is so painful. Hoping it eases off soon!!

Wrist rotating to supinated (palm up) two weeks ago:

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Supination today:

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For the record, this is what supination looks like on a normal arm:

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I’ve made a little bit of progress with this too. My physio worked hard at it, which meant a sore forearm for days. But I can get my hand into “neutral” now with just a little coaxing, which is having your palm face your stomach.

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So overall, not an amazing amount of progress over the last two weeks. But at the same time there has been some progress, which is way better than nothing. I will say that being able to straighten my arm with the palm facing the ceiling feels like a million years away. Right now the inability to rotate my wrist is what frustrates me the most. I still can’t hold a book with two hands. Or read a newspaper comfortably. Or drive a car!!

As mentioned above, one of the biggest things holding me back is that the muscles in my left arm have completely seized up. Because they’re contracted, tight, and stiff, it makes moving my arm hard and painful. One of the things I’m most focused on now is learning to relax. Always checking in with myself and making sure I’m not tensed up along my arm. I’ve also started taking muscle relaxers before I move my arm and I find it helps noticeably.

As a way to help us relax those upper body muscles we’re working so hard during this pipes challenge, here’s a list of some of my favourite stretches!

Shoulder Stretch

Every person I know does this stretch wrong. It’s supposed to stretch out the back of your shoulder, but only works if your shoulder is DOWN. Try locking your scapula down, then bringing your arm out front. Don’t let your shoulder raise an inch when going into the stretch.

Chest Stretch

KEEP YOUR SHOULDERS DOWN!!

If your flexibility isn’t quite there yet, you can always do this one:

Just put your hand up on a wall, then rotate your body in the opposite direction. Your shoulders need to be down for this one too (noticing a trend here?)

Triceps Stretch

The best way to ease into this is start by bringing your arm back to reach between your shoulder blades. Then grab on to the elbow with the other hand and push it in & down towards your head.

Biceps Stretch

A lot like the above chest stretch, but you don’t need to be so vigilant to keep your shoulder down. I find I always have to play around and readjust this one to find that sweet spot where I start to feel it in my bicep.

Just because…

I finish every workout with this stretch. It hits the hamstrings, back, loosens the shoulders and neck. This is also one I’ve been doing a lot of with my bad arm to loosen up and stretch out my stiff left shoulder. Really have to relax and learn to haaaaang. Take deep breaths and enjoy being upside down for a while.

Well, that’s all she wrote! I’m meeting with my new physiotherapist tomorrow and going to see my family doctor for a referral with an orthopaedic surgeon. I still need bi-weekly x-rays and check ups, and will need more surgery to get a screw removed in six months.

Even more exciting news, is that I’m getting a gym membership this week!! Recumbent bike here I come…

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