Thursday, January 12, 2006

Dealing with injury - help!

Six weeks. That’s how long I’ve been in physiotherapy.

The good news is that we started out with both knees messed up and we're down to one. The bad news is that I’m back to being banned from running and my right knee is still messed up.

Messed up but good.

Tim, my physiotherapist, has it all taped up at the moment, and I have to leave it that way for a few days.

I think what gets me is that I followed my training program exactly. I’ve been following Tim’s strengthening program exactly… Doing my exercises with a diligence that is almost religious. I don’t skimp on the exercises… I don’t do more than what’s prescribed. I stay within the boundaries we talk about and I’m dedicated, dammit.

So, WHY am I still injured?

I feel like I take two steps forward and one step backwards.

And to be honest, I’m pretty pissed off about the whole thing. I guess I could understand the lack of progress if I was a lazy ass who expected to get better by sitting on her rear end. But I don’t. I do leg lifts. I do core work. I do the modified leg press. I do one-legged balancing-act, hurt-till-I-almost-cry squats. I stretch. I walk. I do pool work. And yes... I rest, too... That's part of the program... and I follow the program.

It’s one thing for your body to be injured, but now my head is entering the picture. I’m officially down in the dumps (which is rare for me, making it all the more difficult…)

How can you do everything right and still not get anywhere?

I’m sure that it’s quite human and normal to get down about such things. But I need to get back into a positive headspace, or I’ll … start wallowing in ice cream! Not good… not good at all!



Turtle Guy said...
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Turtle Guy said...

"How can you do everything right and still not get anywhere?"

...seems to me I asked a very similar question of you not that long ago. As I recall, I was rather pissed off too. Do you remember what you said to me?

"This is just a speed bump - I believe in you.”

I haven’t forgotten those most encouraging words.

I KNOW how frustrating it can be to seemingly do ALL THE RIGHT THINGS and STILL not meet with the intended expectation. Compounded, it is, by the fact that this is YOUR BODY, not just numbers on a page.

Not being a healthcare professional, I expect any direct advice would be fruitless on my part – except to say perhaps a second opinion - a second set of eyes and perhaps an alternate option for treatment wouldn’t hurt.

I am in touch with much of what you're feeling. It may seem like you've wasted your time and your effort, but believe me - hang in there, don't back down. The reward may even come later rather than sooner, but remember how ecstatic you were when you could run 30 seconds at a time! You're amazingly strong - you can do this!

wthenrest said...

There is that goal thing again, right Sarah? What you forget is that your body has its OWN goals. Sometimes it just won't go by your schedule. Trust me I am an expert in that. Have some patience. You will still get to your goal. Take the scenic route and enjoy the view.

ipodmomma said...

all the running chatter got me to actually give it another try a few days ago... I am just now back to not hurting... :)))

it's hard, when the body doesn't want to cooperate...

I guess the thing is, what do you want out of fitness.... is running something you truly want to pursue, or can something else be found to take its place... my osteo is a big swimming fan, but neither OH or myself are really swimmers, so I walk. but if for some reason that was denied me....

boy, I'd be feeling pretty much the same as you...

these are momentary downfalls that while they feel more than momentary, are still pretty cruddy. how long are you still looking at?

will be keeping you in my thoughts, and will pray for a speedy answer to all of this...

much love...

A. said...

The funny thing about us (myself included) is that we often place complete faith in our medical professionals.
I have no doubt Tim is doing his best and that you're doing your absolute best to follow Tim's guidance.
Having said that, we sometimes forget that Tim isn't actually inside your knee and seeing what's going on. He's just making the best guess possible, from the outside.
Even though he's a professional and he knows a lot more about this stuff than the rest of us, he's not all knowing. And really, who is?

Hang in there, Sarah. Your perseverance and patience will pay off. And don't forget, you've already seen a huge improvement over the past few weeks -- down from two bad knees to one!
I would suggest this is one of those times when you're looking down at the fine line between being "goal oriented" and "being". (I liken it to the difference between leading and following in ballroom dance) Your body will let you know when it's ready to run again.

In the meantime, I heard a little rumour that there are certain things that would entice an attractive gal like yourself to the pool area...hmmmmm

madcapmum said...

Well, I'm not a runner, to say the least, but I do deal with several built-in physical limitations that I'm trying to find my way around.

This is my opinion, and that's all. Not all bodies are built for the same types of exercise. Some bodies respond well to running, some break down under that particular set of conditions. Not all knees and ankles are created equal.

Elliot said...

Pain, for me, has always been a sign that something is not right. And, as wthenrest said, your body has a mind of its own. I've exercised for years, albiet never on anybody's plan but my own. Consequently, I rarely hurt myself, and I stay in fair shape. I'm no Calvin Klein underwear boy, but I am in decent shape. Taking the long way to your goal is still heading for your goal. Some are tortoises, and some are hares, but it doesn't matter which you are if the race is only against yourself. Strive for overall progress toward the goal, which may allow for diversions, rest, different approaches, whatever. As long as you are underway. And, from what it seems like, you're underway.

Take the long way home!

Elliot said...

And, thanks for the compliment on my post. Like a hot cup o' tea on a cold, dragging day, it was.

zouzou said...

I'm with a. If your knee is trying to tell you something by swelling and hurting, you have to stop. The sooner the better. Your physio guy can't fix it, only you can. Focus on your upper body if you have to, but stop ALL stress on your knee/s.

I ruined the cartilage on my knees by not listening to them (I was in the middle of the West Coast trail so didn't have much choice but to continue walking out) and have suffered the consequences ever since. Don't injure yourself beyond recovery as I did.

That includes, by the way, stopping your training wherever it requires knee action. Do upper body, do your stretching (minus knee activity) - your cardio will recover once you are healthy again. It's always there, and a prudent slowing down now will ensure you can enjoy it for many years to come. Hang in there!

zouzou said...

ps. what's all this talk about lazy asses? remember the being/doing post? Embrace the lazy ass in you. Enjoy it. Wallow in laziness.

If you're getting religious about working out, you're out of balance. REST your knee. Rest your body. It's all very well to be enthusiastic when you're HEALTHY but that is not now. Cut back to 3x week if you're doing more than that. (did I mention the RESTING part?

CM said...

I see a problem with the (paraphrasing) "one legged hurts-so-much-I-want-to-cry" squats. I mean, your knee is trying to heal. If you do stuff that makes you want to cry, how will this help the healing process? Even if it is part of the assigned program, I think stuff that really hurts that is part of the assigned program should be relegated to "later in the program". During my various back strains/sprains/whatevers, I have been prescribed exercises but explicity told not to do any that hurt. Start with the ones that don't hurt. Increase your muscle strength gently. Allow healing. For the exercises that hurt, don't do them for a couple of weeks, then try again. If they still hurt, don't do them for a couple of weeks. Repeat! Or modify the exercise slightly so it hurts less. You may be undoing some of the good you've done by re-injuring freshly healed tissues. Your body sets the pace, not your mind. Patience...(and just "being") is a virtue. And you are such a virtuous gal. (smirk).

M A F said...

Is it possible that you have a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) or MCL (medial collateral ligament)? Is it possible that previous examinations missed something due to inflamation?

It doesn't make sense that you follow through with the therapy and still have the same problem.

oldhall said...

So sorry!

Hope you feel better soon.

robtherunner said...


Since everyone else is giving you encouragement I thought I would comment on, since I remember you saying that you studied languages, and after searching some of your first posts I found this comment from you, "For as long as I can remember, I have loved words and marveled at how language works."

In light of that comment I found it comical that you used "lazy ass" in this post to describe what you are not. Sometimes I think truth is best. Nice job on not being a lazy ass. It will work out, eventually.

Granny said...

I've been away much too long.

I'm sorry you're in pain when you've tried so hard to do everything right.

I agree with everyone who preceded me.

It's your body. Listen to it.

Joyce said...

i feel like i could have written that post myself... so i was glad to read all the advice that you got as well :)

have you ever got a second opinion? (I'm about to go get a first opinion on my knees!) good luck to you!