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just another 20-something stumbling through life, one mile at a time.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

when recovery is anything but

it has been four long months since i've posted. i've admitted in the past that i'm not very good at this, at being consistent. oftentimes i will draft amazing and profound posts in my head when i'm running, on BART, waiting at the doctor's office...pretty much anywhere but in front of a computer. all those pearls of wisdom vanish the moment i finally sit down to write.

the last four months have been an emotional roller coaster, both inside and outside of my running life. currently i am recovering from an injury, yet another running injury. i have a fractured tibia and torn meniscus. it's been eight weeks and counting since i've been allowed to walk. the bummer part is that i potentially have another four weeks to go. on crutches. me, a well known klutz and visually impaired. yeah, it's been quite the interesting adventure.

it's also been a wake up call and a period of completely tearing down every aspect of myself. being legally blind has made me fiercely cling to every ounce of independence i can maintain; being blind AND crippled has humbled me beyond words. i have told people in the past how much they take for granted- driving is a privilege not a right! and yet as i have been spouting those cliches i had yet to learn them myself. HEALTH is not a given right, and we must earn it by taking care of ourselves. as a runner this should be obvious. you must train smart in order to continue running, right? well i'm not the best at that either. there's a certain level of recklessness that i embrace due to the fact that i know my sight isn't guaranteed tomorrow or next year. i've adopted a sort of carpe diem attitude since my diagnosis, which has served me well and not so well. i've stepped out of my comfort zone to travel alone, which is a positive thing, but i've also pushed myself too hard to be independent and have gotten physically hurt as a result (getting hit by a car while running in my neighborhood for instance). i suppose God felt it was time for me to learn another hard life lesson, which is that we cannot do it completely alone. ask my friends, my family, and my exes and they will all tell you i'm very independent and possibly that i'm also very stubborn. God must have been laughing at my naivete since here i am, in a full leg brace learning to let others do things for me. learning to ask for help. learning that i am indeed not as self sufficient as i thought.

when i first hurt my knee the initial diagnosis was a torn meniscus, which would mean complete rest for a while but then resuming normal activities after a week or so. but my doctor wanted to get an MRI to be on the safe side, and that's when i found out i had a partial meniscus tear in addition to a fractured tibia and femoral contusion. wooooo. i guess if you're gonna get hurt, do it in a big way! (um, don't. i m not recommending that to anyone.) so when my recovery time went from one week to months, my parents suggested i fly down to socal to stay with them. i did since it seemed like a better alternative to sitting alone in my apartment all day everyday. it is a better alternative, but not necessarily an easier one. i've been out of the house for nine years and this temporary move back in is an adjustment. i usually don't stay in LA for an extended amount of time because i have to rely on others for a ride. it quickly gets frustrating not being able to go wherever whenever you want. and this time around i have to rely on others to carry or get things for me, to help me get around, cook for me, do my laundry...basically take care of me.

it has been emotionally taxing, feeling so physically broken and helpless. not being able to run has been especially hard. i got injured a week after i did the rock n roll sf half marathon (which deserves its own post) and two weeks before the nike women's half marathon in dc. i was on such a high after getting a PR at rock n roll, and super excited for my first out of town race...i felt like i was finally hitting my stride as a runner. and then i had a freak accident while running that left me broken in more ways than one. while my leg has been healing over the past couple of months, i feel like my heart has only been breaking. part of my identity has been stripped away and my life has been put on hold; i left my apartment, my job, my running shoes, and the bay area behind. Things and places and people i love and miss dearly.it is true that i left to return to my hometown and family and friends here, but this is no longer my home. my life is not here anymore and i am reminded of that everyday. i know that this too shall pass, that God doesn't give you more than you can handle, that healing takes time. but for me, this particular recovery time has been a breakdown and constant struggle. i do try to make the best of it, which is why i have a temporary desk while i am here, thanks to a friend. it doesn't pay much and is really just something to do and add to my resume. i am grateful for the learning experience, which is that i need a job i care about or else it will slowly kill my spirit. life is too short to not be happy and do what you love.

so my recovery has been more of a breakdown, leaving me feeling lost and confused. it's been a time that's forced me to think and learn a few things. and, i suppose, grow a little. i have a feeling my real recovery will happen when i get to unpause my life and start moving forward again.

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