I didn’t want my blog to only be about my struggles of how I got injured or how I’m dealing with life post-injury, I wanted my blog to be about a bunch of different things that were important to me – traveling, music, sports, poetry, etc. But so far in 2017 I’ve realized that majority of my life is dealing with my injury, coping with it, finding out & trying to discover who the brand new person I’m becoming is. It’s a lot. It’s hard. Every single day, it’s hard.
One thing that has really impacted me in these past few months is weight gain, or more so the way people are reacting to my weight gain. I’m not gonna sugar coat it, I’m not gonna pretend, because I know – I’ve gained weight. Clothes aren’t fitting like they used to, I have no stamina when I work out, I still get tired just walking around & even just standing – but you know what? That’s fine with me. I’m happy with where I am & the progress I’ve made so far this year. But to some people it seems to be unacceptable, like my weight gain & my appearance is crucial to them. So, here. Here is a timeline for those that don’t know:
- January 29, 2017 – Broke leg, dislocated ankle, two torn ligaments.
- February 3, 2017 – 1st Surgery: 3 screws were put into my ankle.
- March 20, 2017 – Switched from cast to walking boot.
- March 30, 2017 – 2nd Surgery: Screw removal surgery. Full weight-bearing.
- April 15 2017 – Move back to Orange County.
- April 27, 2017 – Begin Physical Therapy – Non weight bearing activities.
- May 4, 2017 – Get orthopedic surgeon’s OK to remove walking boot & start walking normally.
- May 9, 2017 – Begin more intense Physical Therapy focusing on range of motion & balance.
- June 19, 2017 – Orthopedic Surgeon confirmed I’m fully healed.
- August 3 2017 – Last day of Physical Therapy.
- August 14, 2017 – Sign up for gym membership to start leg strengthening & overall training.
It’s October now. So if you do the math, I only started walking again about 5months ago, that’s not that long ago. 5 months ago I couldn’t even lift my leg, or move my ankle. I couldn’t walk up or down the stairs, I couldn’t even push myself up in bed with my left leg because of the pain & how weak my leg was. The atrophy in my entire leg was so drastic that my pants fit differently on both legs. I would get winded just walking from my bed to the bathroom, & my bathroom is INSIDE my bedroom. That’s when I started my 3 months of physical therapy.
It has been 2 months since I finished my 2 rounds of physical therapy focusing on regaining my range of motion & balance – since then I’ve signed up for a gym & I try my best to go at least 3x a week or as much as my leg can handle. Rest days are mandatory because of how much pain & soreness I feel the next day. Every morning when I wake up, regardless of if I went to the gym or not, I limp. But I’m trying my best.
I’m not writing any of this for people to feel bad for me. I don’t need anyone’s pity. I’m writing this because even though I can walk now, make jokes about my injury, wear heels, & play it off like everything is ok – it’s not. It’s hard every single day. I struggle with what happened to me every single day. & some people might say that it wasn’t that big of a deal, because I’m better & walking now.. But it’s so much more than the physical healing. The healing stuff was easy. The real difficult part is the mental stuff.
I would be so frustrated because I couldn’t do the things that I needed to do. I would cry because I couldn’t go to certain places that required a lot of walking with my friends. I became more recluse. I stopped hanging out with my friends because I didn’t want to be a burden. I didn’t go out because I didn’t want to slow anyone down or be in the way. I locked myself in my room because it was hard to be around people & not feel like they were babying me.
So I had to relearn everything. I didn’t just have to relearn to walk these past 5 months (currently working on learning to run again). I had to relearn how to hang out with my friends. I had to relearn confidence – confidence in myself but most of all confidence that my body isn’t going to fail me; confidence that my body is strong & beautiful, not weak & fragile. & I’m still relearning all those things. I’m still learning how to not let my injury define my life. Because I refuse to be scared forever.
But for someone that’s struggled with weight my entire life, it’s been hard to see myself gain weight. It’s been hard to look in the mirror & see someone that I’m happy with. Someone that I can be proud of. I own a mirror. I know what I look like. I own a scale. I know that I’ve gained weight. I get so frustrated with my body because I want to work out harder or more often but my leg won’t let me.
— But throughout this whole thing I’ve learned that you can have everything under the sun & still not be happy or satisfied. So I made it a point to stop focusing on the weight that I’ve gained or how I look & focus on the progress that I’ve made over these past 5 months.
So yes, I’ve gained weight but I’m happy & very proud of myself. I can walk & I’m working toward a goal – that’s a bigger deal than anything else. I’m happy & proud of the progress I’ve made in these past 5 months because it’s hard, & I am surviving every day of it.
I can lose the weight that I’ve gained once I have all the strength in my leg & I’m 100% again OR maybe I never will lose the weight, but that doesn’t matter to me at this moment. What matters to me is that I’m walking, I’m progressing. I’m proud of myself. I am happy that God has given me the strength to come this far in my recovery process.
& to all the people that are concerned about my weight gain, please don’t be. This is my body. This is my life. If I gain weight or lose weight it has little to no impact on your life, but mine. So if you see me & it bothers you that I’ve gained weight, then please, look the other way & keep walking. I don’t need any negativity in my life when it comes to my recovery, my appearance, or anything else for that matter. My weight is not an indication of how amazing I am as a person, & if my temporary weight gain bothers you that much, then maybe I am not the problem.
I am a constant work in progress. I am working very hard. & I am doing a damn good job. Cheers. #patience