Long time SBM Army member and huge Andy Potts fan, Monica, shared her recent frustrations with injury. As many of you know, I’ve had my fair share of injuries, including a broken metarsal, sprained ankle, twisted ankle, broken ribs from a bike crash and other assorted curses at the Silver Comet trail, broken ass (sorry, but it’s true), and then the constant hip issues.
So needless to say, I get it. I understand the frustration that is injury. Monica is very honest in her fears and struggles with a serious shoulder injury. Thanks for sharing, Mo. And the words I say, I mean… there is a reason, and you WILL be okay. Hugs.
“The dreaded words I hoped I would never hear again…SURGERY.
Ugh, really?? I’m having a nightmare, right? Nope, its reality and my reality sucks sometimes. Last Monday was one of them.
To make a very long story short, I hurt my shoulder at work (yes, at work and not doing my favorite thing triathlon) 2 months ago (only 2.5 weeks from my last tri of the season).
I’ve been battling a lot of instability and pain. After the first MRI my doc saw an area she didn’t like but radiology shrugged it off. Now, 2 months later, we are repeating the MRI so my surgeon can decide which surgical procedure she will perform, not if I will have surgery.
She says to me “I want to repeat the MRI to be 100% sure about this.”
Ok, I appreciate that….then she says, “Because what I feel is accurate will require an open surgical procedure.” OMG, did she just say OPEN surgical procedure???? On my shoulder????? From a stupid work injury?????
Let me digress for one minute…
I’m an OR nurse and work with this surgeon in the operating room weekly. She is ranked as one of the top 10 shoulder surgeons in the country. I see her do complex crazy repairs all the time thru the scope (arthroscopic surgery). So why open for me??? Well, because the type of injury she thinks I have is called a HAGL lesion. Humeral Avulsion of the Glenohumeral Ligament which means I pulled the ligament off the bone. Its very hard to fix using a scope. So open surgery is the best way to repair it.
Back to my frustration…
“How long of a recovery???”
She says, “6 months, and especially NO swimming for all six months.” I start to hyperventilate…and cry. Not exactly what I wanted to hear. I wanted to walk in and have her say, “Ok you can start your winter workout program, you can get back in the pool.”
Did I mention I already registered for the Nike women’s half marathon in April and the Ironman Timberman 70.3 in august? I ask “can I run and bike after the first 6 weeks?” She says only if I bike with no arms which means a lot of trainer sessions.
“But” she says…”don’t freak out, your swim will not be the same. I have to tighten up your shoulder and I try not to tighten it too much but it’s a fine line. It could change your swim.” Ok, I can handle this right????
How do we deal with frustrating injuries, or even injuries that sideline us for weeks, or months at a time? Triathletes are very competitive, very inpatient, very diligent about training. I am very competitive (back to my college swimming days), very inpatient (just ask my husband) and LOVE training now. We are not pros, we are average moms, with average jobs and all the responsibilities that come with it.
How do I get thru my head that this is not the end of the world? That I need to use this to redirect my training?
I know I needed some rest and a break from training. My coach and I discussed that he wouldn’t even give me my winter strength training plan until I rested for at least 5-6 weeks. I was okay with that. But this is really hard for me. I battled two elbow surgeries last year. The first was only 1 year ago and the second was in March 2013. I came back from that, but it was hard. I was determined. Can I do that all over again? Am I strong enough to get thru this and keep my sanity? Is this a sign that I really need to slow down so I can come back better and stronger? Do things really happen for a reason? If it’s meant to be…blah, blah, blah….
So here I am, just waiting for my second MRI, then waiting to hear what direction we go. The second option is a diagnostic shoulder scope to determine why my shoulder will not stay in the joint and possible instability tightening surgery. Recovery at least 4-6 months.
So, I’m feeling like I’m between a rock and a hard place. I went through the process of yelling and screaming and crying. Now I just can’t believe I’m up against this option of having my shoulder cut open. What happens if I say no, I don’t want it? I asked that and if I want to continue to be active, then I need to have surgery. I’m not ready to give up my activity level. Not yet, I haven’t made it Kona yet! I haven’t done my full Ironman yet. I have so much more I want to do with my kids and family. I need to be healthy.
So until I have definite answers, I will need to stay patient, hope for the best outcome and somehow learn to deal with these setbacks.
I need to take this time to reflect on my accomplishments. My good friend SBM said to me, “… but trust me… reasons for everything. You’ve had a very wonderful year and successes. Might be time to slow down. If God hadn’t broken my foot in 2012, I would have missed out on a bunch of good sitting-down opportunities. Keep perspective when you can. Drink where necessary. And just keep moving forward. HUGS!!!!”
Ok, so this will allow me to work on school (Family Nurse Practitioner), drink new wines and beer (just don’t let me gain back all the weight I’ve lost) and keep moving forward (on my treadmill and bike trainer). I will get thru this and I will come back! I will still be an Ironman someday…just not this day.
Like my good friend Mike always says to me…P.M.A. Always maintain a Positive. Mental. Attitude.”