The Joys Of Chronic Injuries

Sometimes the look on your dog’s face says it all.

IMG_8636
This is the look I get if he is rolled on his back and I say hello to him.

Hi Guys,

     Another Saturday is almost in the books, and I find myself lying on my bed again, trying to recover from the activities of the day. By most standards it wasn’t exactly a strenuous day. I got up, showered, sent the kids to go play at KidsPark, spent an hour trying on pants, had lunch at the food court and then went couch shopping. It hardly amounts to running a marathon, or even deep cleaning the house (Which I desperately need to do, but I’ll get to that.). We did end up creating and purchasing a custom sectional for our living room, but the process took about 2 hours longer than anticipated and my body was well on the way to done about 30 minutes into it.

     So now my husband has taken the kids to the dog park (with Mr. Suspicious Eyes up there) and I am at home trying to get the pain in my pelvic region to clam down. I’m not going to go into great detail here but it’s been a tough week as far that area goes. I had an infection that coupled with a flare of my IC (bladder disorder), which is what is causing the bulk of my pain right now. It’sI kind of like cramps, but they get worse if you sit up too long or stand. I will say that if you have to reach your limit while out of the house, the Lazy Boy Store is a halfway decent place to do it. Once we found the couch style we wanted, I could just keep my butt planted on the floor model while the paperwork was getting done. It would have been better if I’d be able to stay in one place before my symptoms started really ramping up, but as with many chronic pain types, I wasn’t quite sure where that tipping pint was going to be. Plus I was pushing through to a degree because I just wanted to get this task DONE.

    I’m paying for it now though, in spades. My husband and I had thought that the main issue we’d face today would be my plantar fasciitis (foot injury, and the one I’ve referencing in the title), but the IC decided to pull ahead in that race. I hope it’s proud of itself. I’ve barely even seen my kids today, and I won’t see them much tomorrow either because they are going to Monterey and I can’t handle the car ride and all the walking around. The game plan for now is to try and stay off my feet and get some of these issues to heal and subside. In theory it’s relaxing. In reality it gets boring and I get a little nuts seeing all the things around my house that I really need to get to cleaning or organizing but aren’t supposed to tackle right now.

     Most recently, the main cause of my pain has been my right foot. I’ve been battling planter fasciitis for over 6 months now and it’s getting old. I thought I had it taken care of for awhile, but in the last few weeks it has been back with a vengeance. I’ve probably been walking too much and doing too many home related projects that require a lot of time of my feet. I am sick of this pain cropping up again, time after time. I haven’t found the right balance when it comes to how much I can do without exacerbating the injury. In theory it should be able to heal and just be gone. I’ve taken off most of whole weeks at a time trying to rest it enough for it to heal. No dice. It keeps returning. I realize that it falls under the category of chronic injury because it’s easy to re-injure or inflame over and over again. It gets old.

     The biggest frustration comes from not knowing how far is too far. To know when you stop before I cause more problems. It would make it a lot exponentially easier to plan out a day or a trip if I had a clearer knowledge of where the line between “ok” and “Ow, *^#@(!” was. Usually I end up pushing too far. I don’t listen closely enough to warnings my body gives me. It runs in my family. We’re a stubborn bunch when it comes to resting or excepting limitations. The end result is I keep hurting myself and instead of just cutting one day or activity short, I lay myself up for a week. I believe part of my issue is that since my back surgery last year, my limits aren’t defined by my leg straight out refusing to work. That forced me to stop whatever I was doing. Now I have to try to enforce my own limitations.

     I need to learn to be more conservative in the scope of my activities. I say that knowing full well that I’m going to be an idiot and try to scrub the bathroom before I’m back to 100%. (or as close to 100% as I get, probably more like an average persons 75-80%) It’s challenging for me to tell myself to stop doing something, to not push farther if I don’t “that bad.” The key there is acknowledging that the pain or injury was already at some level of bad, even if it’s on the low end. It’s not hard to figure out that something slightly painful, if continued to be used, is only going to get more painful. Yet my brain does everything it can not to acknowledge that.

   My goal is to try and listen to my body more. Heal as much as I can, then give myself permission to stop when my body starts hinting that it’s had enough. Not 3 hours later when I’m completely laid up. It will be a challenge. A challenge to do less, which feels like the total opposite of what a challenge should be. In the end, the more I can figure out my real limits, the better I can plan around them and avoid being in pain all the time. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how I do.

    Any advice how how to find out where your personal limits lie? Aside from just sitting around trying not to do much, I’m lost as to how to start.

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One thought on “The Joys Of Chronic Injuries

  1. For me it’s taken trial and error plus allowing myself to grieve my limitations.

    If you have one of those fit bit type things or a notepad you can take out some of the guesswork. I spent a long time with Google maps and dogwalking to find out that I need to stay under about a mile on most days, that my personal best is now about 2.5 miles, and any thING I do I pay for the next day, and nighttime is the worst. If you spend time and can consistently map symptoms to precipitating actions it can be very helpful.

    Sitting still when you have shit you want to /do/ is really hard though.

    Will try to think of more tools I have used when I am not half asleep. 🙂

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