On Wednesday Jan. 22, I decided to go to my kickboxing class, the day after a blizzard. My sneakers were wet and so was the gym floor. This was not a good combo. The instructor was taking us through side ski jumps for warm-ups. Well my left foot never hit the floor. The slide was so bad that I went twenty-five feet into the mirror with somehow my knee and my left leg was totally underneath me twisted. I was screaming. The pain was so bad that I was afraid that I could lose my left leg. Two of the girls came over and asked if I was okay. All I could do was scream. The next thing that became apparent was that I couldn't move. It was obviously was a combination spinal and leg injury. The instructor came over and asked whether I was hurt. I screamed out to her, "Yes!" My left knee was a size of a basketball.
The instructor got the gym manager. He introduced himself and asked me if I want to go to the hospital. At that point I decided it was really time to get up. It took me thirty whole minutes of agonizing pain and swelling to pull myself up. I thought that as long as I was still conscious, I could just roll out of there on my right side and drive home, since my cat couldn't be alone over night without me. The gym manager asked me if I wanted to file an incident report and I declined, only because they are all so good to me over there. He asked me to do the recumbent before I left. Remembering that it's an indicated exercise machine for knee injuries, I hobbled around and went on it for twenty minutes, literally learning how to walk again. I was thinking to myself that this is not supposed to be happening to personal trainers, as we are teaching clients how to not get injured. Thinking back on it again, these injuries still happen to the best of us, personal trainers too. Taking everyday chances to improve your health does not make you invincible from injury. The best you can do, is try better next time to be safer, but nothing is 100% safe. Looking back, not having a change of sneakers that night for the gym, was not good thinking on my part.
The day after the injury, I went to my doctors who are a combination team for alternative healing. The business is owned by my chiropractor and run by medical doctors. All of the patients here, get full care. We receive treatment from medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, and pain doctors. They took X-rays of my leg, and thankfully there were no fractures. That part was good, but that wasn't the hard part. The hard part was that the left side of my body had a sprain, coupled with a knee injury and now a spinal injury. So they put me on Muscle Stim and Ultrasouns three days a week, while I had to do RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) several times a day and evening, at home.
I spent two weeks on crutches and was happy to put them away the third week That in itself, was an unforgettable education about how people treated me differently. Most of the time, they would look at me, not knowing what to do. So I had to ask them. Those who knew what to do were the ones who have been there themselves. Another interesting and surprising lesson? Toilet bowl seats. When you're suddenly dealing with mobility issues, they just seem too low! They are very difficult to handle with these sorts of injuries. I learned to hold the crutch with my left hand while I pulled with my right arm, to get up from the seat. I am currently looking for a raised toilet seat.
Of course, I don't like the fact that I gained twenty pounds during these immobile three weeks. But I am thankful for the fact that I still have my left leg, and that I'm still walking, even though my range of motion is not at 100%.. My doctors returned me to my full workouts on Monday. I'm keeping the instructors in the loop about my limitations. On Thursday, I'm getting an MRI done, to find out if I have Meniscus or ACL issues. If I do, that will be another disability to deal with.
I'm still hoping to get my other 3% range of motion back. Naturally, I would like full healing in my left side.. Right now, low seats, the toilet issue, and having people walk around me, is pretty annoying. For the time being, my leg is weak, pulling, and twitching.
I welcome comments.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.