Ouch was all I could say and what I seem to be saying often. That’s what happens when you are injured right? Especially when you are someone like me and the injury is your knee. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m one of those people who give other people anxiety because I have a hard time sitting still and always want to be doing stuff. We have one life to live, and I want to make sure when I cross over that I lived every minute to the fullest. I’m an avid hiker and love doing things that others can’t or won’t, so a knee injury is more than just a knee injury for me.
I was watching TV last night, feeling sorry for myself, and realized that I’ve basically disappeared from my followers and letting down the people who have supported me. That in itself is depressing. Why have I fallen off the planet when it comes to showing people what’s out there, where to go and offering advice? Why has the piece of me that I love to share with everyone come to a complete standstill?
I’ll tell you why, and I’m sure many of you can relate. An injury isn’t just an ouch if it debilitates your lifestyle. It injures your soul, your being, you. I remember not that long ago telling a friend of mine who injured her foot and was in a cast that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. She was told that she couldn’t be active for at least six months. I told her that I think I would rather die. Sadly, I was being honest. And before you start to judge, I know there is more to life and you can always find other things that fill your heart and find purpose other ways. I know that, but I didn’t think about that then.
The reason I think about it now is because of my injury. On my birthday trip in the majestic Yosemite National Park I had a flare up. I hyperextended my knee and had a hard time coming down Upper Yosemite Falls Trail. To be fair, a lot of people have problems going up and coming down that hike, even without hyperextended issues. The next two days we took it fairly easy and there didn’t seem to be any other real issues that I had with it. “Ok, it was just another time I had a close one.” Upon returning home and to work I was blessed with the news that the insurance came through and I could start driving people out to the canyons and hiking with them. Talk about this girls DREAM job. I got to drive big old suburbans out to places people couldn’t make or see on their own. And I got to hike with them, tell them things about the area, be a photographer and get to hear about their stories. To say I was elated would be an understatement. In addition to being able to do that, I was still doing housekeeping on the side. To say life was good wouldn’t even come close to describing it.
Each night when I got home, I was a hurting unit. My knee still was not tip top and I felt it every night. But, if you know me, that didn’t stop me from getting up at 6am the next morning and doing it all over again. That didn’t stop me from taking a call from the bosses that I knew would be asking me to do another tour and graciously accepting it. So much so that I just started living on Tylenol and keeping it to myself. I was beyond happy with my life and felt blessed to a point that I couldn’t even put it in to words. Well, the call came and told me I was doing a tour of The Wave. The emotions I had can’t even be put into words. Not only did I try to get out of it (I had never even been to the wave let alone tour someone else (a paying customer) through it was mind blowing) I was a little worried about a 7 mile hike with deep sand knowing how my knee had been feeling. You guessed it. I did it and it was AMAZING! Except the way back. Coming down the sand dunes in the deep sand, bam, hyperextension happened, and I’ve been out since. Yeah, that was over a month ago. I went from hiking Yosemite, Canyons, The Wave to being down for the count.
Now, I limp around with a knee brace and finally gave in and had an MRI. I get the results tomorrow and I’m scared. I need to know what I can do to get back to my life, but I’m scared to death to hear that I might have a big issue or that I need to slow it down. I don’t know how to slow it down.
So, we all know what it’s like to have an injury and how much it sucks, but the one thing people don’t talk about is what it does to your mind, especially when it’s a change that greatly impacts what makes you tick. When it comes to being out and about, I just don’t. The places I want to visit and see, take some hiking or stepping, which is a no go for me. They also involve a drive, and after 1.5 hours in a vehicle my knee is throbbing so badly I can barely walk and I’m definitely not sleeping that night. Before this injury, I started to get into photography. Taking a course and Photoshop course too, and now I can’t get myself to take pictures. My passion is taking pictures of things people don’t get to see every day. Places that people don’t get to go to. Places people should put on their bucket list. Well, that’s kind of hard when you can’t get to them. Needless to say, I have not even pulled out my camera from the Yosemite trip, and let’s be honest, I have enough free time. I have not opened Photoshop or even really taken a picture since The Wave.
I’m not writing this for a pity party by any means, but I felt I owed my followers an explanation. I felt that some people needed to hear that an owie isn’t just an injury, it does more than that and if you see someone slowly start to drift away or change, that maybe it isn’t just their knee or their foot, or their rotator cuff. It’s probably a piece of them slowly being chipped away. I know now, when my friend told me about her injury, the way I should have handled it was asking her how she was really doing. Not how her foot was doing. Asking her if there was anything I could do for her to help her through the next six months. People don’t usually realize that an injury is more than just the injury and I realize that now. I have been blessed to have amazing people in my life who have been supportive and consistently asking me how I’m doing and if there is anything I need, and I truly appreciate all of that. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You.
The takeaways from this post are key. I will make them very clear, so you know how to handle someone in the future with an injury that hurts their soul, their being, who they truly are.
- Don’t just ask how their knee, elbow, foot is. Ask them how THEY are doing.
- When you notice them not doing things they normally do, ie-posting pics, taking pictures, going outdoors, hanging with friends, whatever their passion usually is, it’s time to check on them and try to get them back into those things.
- An injury isn’t just the owie. It can be much more.
- Support is important. To you it may just be a small injury that will get better, but to them it might be something much more.
- Take care of your body. It’s the only one you have and you will realize how important it is when something doesn’t work right.
- I’m sorry. I’m sorry I haven’t been sharing. I’m sorry I haven’t been as observant. I’m sorry I haven’t been available as much as usual. I’m sorry I took so long to fill you all in.