Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Recovery - Crying. Over. EVERYTHING.

Let's just get this straight... when you're hurt it feels like the END OF THE FUCKING WORLD! You mind slips into this state where you're not really sure if things will ever be right with your body again. There is a distinct disconnect between what you WANT to happen and what physically is possible TO happen with your body.

This feeling lasts what feels like an eternity and you miss so many basic human things that you took for granted just months, weeks, days, or even hours previously. I won't go into the specifics of each of these things but I realized that when I was recovering every little step towards what I felt was normalcy was some huge thing to be conquered or celebrated. This usually meant crying. A LOT.
I'm a crying kind-of-guy. I don't think it's unmanly or something people shouldn't do. Keeping all that bottled up is impossible... and it's DEFINITELY impossible when you can't express emotions by running and jumping for joy, or work out your frustrations by hitting someone on the derby track, biking through the woods, or any other physical thing that is your release. So when I need to shed some tears, I just let it fly. I try not to make people uncomfortable with it but I'm not ashamed to cry at sad movies or particularly touching youtube videos... And now I'm crying again after finding those links. Thanks internet. =/

Surprisingly WHEN I actually broke my leg I didn't shed any tears (just a nice loud "FUCK!"). Also amazingly the pain in the ER when they tried to set my leg for over an hour didn't bring me to tears (though I did almost pass out a few times). Now I'm going to give you the list of all the times I cried after I broke my leg (these are in approximately chronological order):

  • The first time I had a dream where I could still walk
  • The first time I had a dream where I was skating
  • The first time I sat on a stool and was able to wash my hair/body again
  • The first time I fell while crutching (see Slippery When Wet post)
  • The first time I dropped food I'd cooked and realized there was no way to pick it up
  • The first time I was able to get outside on my own to feel sunshine on my skin (which required dragging a wheelchair up several stairs and hopping with no crutches for about 30ft)
  • The first time there was a "pop" in my ankle after it essentially being numb for over a month
  • Subsequently almost every serious "pop" after that =/
  • The first time I put my skate on my good foot and rolled it around while still in my wheelchair
  • The first time I rode my bike again after surgery and felt the wind on my face again
  • The first time I watched my teammates skate without me in a bout
  • The first time I stood up in the shower after recovering from surgery (my birthday) 
  • When I could walk again without a boot on
  • The first time I put my skates on and rolled around the apt listening to disco after I recovered
  • Several times after practice when I would think that the pain/swelling was too much and maybe I should stop
  • The first couple of times I had to do knee-taps on skates because I was so scared of my skate being stretched out and not being able to bend my ankle
  • One or two serious falls during practice that scared me during my recovery
  • The time I hit a skater on another team and he ended up breaking his leg (see blog about that here)
  • NUMEROUS times involving wanting to quit playing derby due to injuring someone else the way I was injured
  • A few times while I was asleep when my ankle would ache
  • When I was walking again and I would have a dream of being back in the wheelchair or being back on crutches (anxiety dreams about not being able to find crutches or missing the bus, etc)
I'm not going to claim this is an exhaustive list... but these were the times I could think of off the top of my head. If you're reading this and you're injured, or even if you're not. Remember it's OK to cry... sometimes the world scares the shit out of you and you have to be upset about it. That's OK! Just remember that you'll recover one day. It may not be the same, your life may be significantly different, but you'll recover. Keep your heads up out there gang!

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