As of yesterday, I am 4 weeks into my 6 weeks on crutches…. 4 miles into my 10k. Last week was exceptionally challenging emotionally. I had anticipated it being a great week. Monday marked the halfway “hump” of my crutch time, and to kick things off right, the Boston Marathon was on! I planned to go get coffee, and then be glued to my computer from 8:30 a.m. until the marathon coverage stopped…. As we all know, the marathon coverage didn’t stop. There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said about the events at Boston. What I would rather leave it at, is that the running community has shown once again it’s strength, union, and unshakable ability to support one another and rise above tough times. I am proud and blessed to be part of that. I’m not sure if it was the emotion swirling around after Boston that got me down, or if I finally just wore down in my resolve to be stronger than my frustration in being injured….but I struggled maintain a very upbeat demeanor. Then I went to the doctor for my check up on Friday…
At my first check up one week post op, all I had hoped for was to be told that I could sit with weight on both sides of my butt, rather than propped awkwardly to the one “good” side. That had not been the case and I was really let down. So, I went into the 4 week check up with zero expectation, although I secretly hoped for the same thing again, the freedom to put both cheeks down. Not only was I told that I could indeed sit normally, but the doctor told me I could take off my wretched sling!! I literally shrieked out loud in his office at the news. In case I haven’t painted a good visual of what this torture device looks like, I have attached a photo.
“The sling, the sling, the sling is on FIRE! We don’t need no water, let the mother @!%# BURN!!”
Okay, so I haven’t actually burned the sling yet. When I do I will be sure to take video. I am still supposed to wear it when I go out “walking”, but for every day activity I was cleared to take it off. Being freed from the sling felt like being let out of jail. I would be able to drive myself around again, I could stand up at work and not have to bear 100% of my weight on my good leg, I could get up and down off the damn toilet without having to fasten and unfasten the belt from my waist! I left the doctor’s office and went straight to celebrate the end of the sling era with my friend Annette by having our favorite salads and margaritas at Local Lime.
Though getting around on crutches is still cumbersome and not fun, I feel like I can see the finish line now. Just 2 more weeks until I get to start moving around crutch free and working on rehab. I am done with the fetal position baths, I can sit without anxiety in the shower. I have fully mastered the twist and shove to the point that I don’t even think I realize I am doing it anymore. I am learning day by day what I can do to make getting around on my own easier…. I recently made some important additions to my crutches. My coach teased me that I’m not going to want to get off of them by the time my time is up. “It’s like fixing up a house before you sell it! Then you’re thinking, this is the best this place has ever looked! I don’t want to leave!!”
I will be more than ready to “move out” when it is time, but for now I am appreciating what I can do, and being thankful for that. Probably the best silver lining to this whole process is the quality time I have spent with my friends. When I am healthy and training, my schedule is packed between morning and afternoon workouts, getting proper nutrition and rest, and working my “day job”. It’s easy to get caught up in that whirlwind and forget to take a moment to sit down and breathe, let alone take hours at a time out of your day to visit as you prepare meals, or laugh over coffee. I know that as I am looking down the homestretch of my “10k” on crutches, I am really just lining up for another long haul of rehab and slow progress toward running, but I am doing my best to enjoy the journey. So for now, if you see these crutches motoring down the road or the River Trail, and you don’t mind walkin slow, come and join me! And don’t be afraid to ask…”Hey, whatchu got in that pouch?”