My reset button is dysfunctional

My how the time is flying.

It’s been a while since I wrote last, and while things have been moving along quick as can be- not much has really changed. I’m still pretty worn out from the past few months, and the last few weeks have been a mad balance between trying to hit reset, and keeping up with myself. I know, contradicting pattern.

Shortly after I wrote last I took an entire three days off of EVERYTHING school related and headed out to Brandon for the Royal Fair. This annual trip is always something I look forward to, and this year I had a teammate and a client competing and got to see them both excel in their respective classes! It was such a nice feeling to physically drive away from the nagging study notes, exam and work schedules for a weekend- sleeping boyfriend in the passenger seat, and passes for the fair ready to go. A big part of me needed the break, and the rejuvenation of seeing a sport I love at a high level.  Some highlights included the numerous visits to the petting zoo and barns with my RMWF rookie beau, spending some quality time with my teammates and friends Lauren and Megg, dancing at the barn bar (leg for sure did not appreciate this, but my head sure did), and eating some disgustingly classic fair food!

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Go Megg Go!
Go Megg Go!

After that weekend I felt a little less burnt out and a little more motivated to keep up with life in general. I came home from the weekend and had to stop at the barn on the way home to get on my horse for the first ride of the year (and my first ride on him since my accident). I can’t begin to tell you how fun that little hack was! Will felt like he’d never been put out to the snow banks for 6 months, and I felt like a new rider. Fair always does this for me, it revives my passion for the sport and reminds me of how deeply rooted my goals are as an athlete. In the week that followed some of that motivation remained, thankfully- as I needed it!

Monday began with a 5:30am shift at MORfit, followed by my first shift returning to Horse Connection as a instructor, and a job interview right after that- then riding both Will and Felix in the evening. I was full of energy, and ready to pick up my study routine (with two exams at the end of the week) for Tuesday, but the Universe intervened and after waking up Tuesday morning with the worst version of the Keystone Centre Cold I’ve ever had. I made it through marking practical exams that morning for the class I was TA-ing for this term (being on that side of the marking table is super fun!) just fine, but by the time I got to MORfit for my evening shift I had also developed food poisoning and ended up both having to leave work (and experience downtown intersection hurling into a plastic bag) to curl up into a ball of discomfort for the rest of the evening. My personal paramedic came to my rescue once again that night and showed up on my door step (with ambulance and partner in tow) to drop off some ginger ale and gravol for me (which wouldn’t stay down anyway). This left me with a day to study for Thursday’s final, and then part of a day to study for Friday’s. Thankfully I still had some motivation in the tank.

Wednesday was all speed studying (and work), and Thursday morning gave me some time to review before my exam. Although I usually avoid cramming as a strategy, this time it worked out great for me with Thursdays exam going by with no hiccups. Other then being that one student in the room who had constant sniffles and sneezes (sorry everybody…). By this point I was running low on energy and motivation, but kept it together for the remainder of the week and got to end off with a lovely ride outside in the crisp air and chat with teammate Megg, who was fresh off a competition week at fair.

While I was supposed to cover football camps this weekend (5:30am-9am), I called in sick as I was legitimately still pretty ill and wanted to catch up on some sleep. Since then I’ve really lost my motivation again for anything involving school work, and been trying to do my best to revive my brain again- to little success. I took today off of next to everything, except for a quick ride on my horse and my regular evening shift.

My leg progress has not really changed too much in the past weeks. Somedays it feels great, other days it feels not so great. I may have a mild case of recovery blues. It really is a day to day thing, but riding doesn’t seem to bug it too much and for that I am grateful. My fear around riding has began to decrease, and I have to give credit to all those around me supporting me every step of the way with this. My teammates Lauren and Megg are the first to 1) relate to everything I’m going through, 2) listen to my ranting and 3) do everything they can to help me out. I’m sure my horse sensed a little bit of hesitation in me and has yet to throw anything my way that would push me over the edge. Many of the conversations had in the barn with Lauren and Megg have solidified that we’re all working towards a common goal and often feel exactly the same way about where we’re at. The frustrations that come with the sport are not ones that are easy to handle alone, so it’s nice to have that network.

With 4 more exams looming, I seem to have taken a very.. uh.. relaxed (I just don’t care anymore) approach. I have little desire to keep up to my schedule at the moment, and have been attempting to scale back on less important commitments so that I can maintain the more important ones with some energy. It does seem at this point that whatever I do to try and “reset” myself, I only end up right back where I was within a few days. I’m constantly reminding myself that I’m doing all these things because I love what I do, even when I’d much rather be at home sleeping or reading a book that doesn’t involve too much science. I’m very ready for exams to be done, and to enjoy a week of no thinking before my spring semester starts.

The realisation that I am pretty much done the second last year of my undergrad is quite motivating. I’m accomplishing long term goals I set years ago left right a centre, and setting new ones that seemed so distant not that long ago. It’s a cool feeling, but also a little bit scary. There’s days where I feel very grown up and ready to take on new things, and even more days where I’m a little bit intimidated by the chunk of life I’m biting off. For right now my focus is getting through the next couple weeks, and maybe even setting up a jumping lesson to push my riding confidence to the next level- and rewarding myself for finishing up a long semester and year.

Here’s hoping the burn out feeling eases off soon!


Walk before you run, breathe before you freak out, and when in doubt-write it out!

New WCB caseworker: “So, I was only informed of your job with Horse Connection and your job at the U of W.. what else do you do? Are you a student?”

Me: “I am a full time student, as well as I have another job at MORfit…”
WCB: “What? You have 3 jobs and you’re in school.. full time?”
Me: “Yes..?”
WCB: “Oh.. my god. Sorry.. but how do you do that?”
Me: “Well, it’s safe to say I’m pretty burnt out at the moment..”
WCB: “I can only imagine.. you’re officially the busiest person I’ve ever talked to…”
My week has been filled with classmates, coworkers, and friends telling me I look tired, and asking what’s wrong. So, I guess it’s been a long week? It’s only Wednesday? This post may be a bit of a frustration rant- bear with me.
With the end of term fast approaching, a bum leg, and a million things on the go- I guess this burnt out feeling was inevitable. Today I took a me day, after struggling through the morning rehab/training session and class- and being questioned a billion times as to what was wrong and why I wasn’t my usual motivated self- I went home and crashed into a nap (still in my jacket and shoes..). I’m starting to feel more refreshed now, and am actually accomplishing some school work for once.
This injury is starting to catch up to me, all that optimism I had early on is fading as rehab seems endless and my burnt out brain loses motivation for pretty much everything. Having experienced burn out before, I can at least deal with it somewhat productively- however this time I do have the extra challenge of physical hinderance as well and dealing with fear and anxiety as they come up in relation to the gradual return to my sport. Because my chosen sport is a little less familiar with my ATs and doctors- I am somewhat lonely on that front. I am lucky to have great supports from my teammates Megg and Lauren, as well as from others in my life- but the only person who can really get me over this hump is me.
A few weeks of an average of 14hr days has definitely left me ready for a break. Normally that break for me would come in the form of going for a run on my favourite route, or taking my horse out for a long hack. Two things that I can’t really do. Once because physically I won’t be there for a while yet, and the other because mentally I am far from that point as well- also, the weather sucks. My subconscious is really just doing it’s job; after all- why would my brain want me to step back into a situation that recently damaged significant aspects of my body? I’ve talked to many other athletes who have gone through the same experiences, and it’s nice to know I’m not losing it. Also interesting to learn first hand about yet another aspect of athletic therapy, a side of it we don’t often hear too much about. It’s not easy to deal with fear of something that is a major part of your life. 
In baby step form, I have been on a horse twice this week- with the help of some awesome people. Shakka sported me around on the weekend, and recreated many fearful situations for me as he was a tad fresh (thankfully his fresh is slow motion compared to most horses). I was on for about half an hour, 15 minutes of which I felt great for before anxiety started in, and when M came to watch, leaving the arena door open behind him- I was at the point where I had to stop. That was too much of a recreation of my accident for my head to handle at this point. I got on again Monday night, and Shakka was much less spunky and we had a great hack for another half an hour. This time I was only mildly anxious the entire time. I had to keep reminding myself to breathe, and that the saddle was once a safe place for me. Nervousness is a very unfamiliar feeling for me in the saddle. One that I hope doesn’t become familiar.
While this year has brought many lessons in patience, and prioritising- right now both those things are difficult. I am very frustrated and impatient with my recovery at this point, which isn’t horribly positive. To be in the tack, looking a small jumps set up around the arena and imagining myself schooling over them in the future is terrifying. Yes, I know that won’t last forever- but it certainly makes the next few months seem very daunting. I have never experienced a level of demotivation I’ve felt towards pre-season conditioning and rehab like this before- which in itself is interesting and provides me with a challenge. Often the only thing that gets me to a rehab session is pure obstinance towards the parts of me that are saying “why bother” or “this is going to suck, and be exhausting, and might make you hurt more.. maybe you should just take another day off”. I’m thinking those things all the time- and they are feeding into the fear of riding. Right now, before I get in the tack, and while I”m in the tack- there is a voice telling me that at any moment I could be thrown, be injured longer, be in more pain.  The same voice is telling me to walk away from this danger- wait longer before trying- avoid the risk. Take it easy in rehab, don’t push yourself to stay fit as much as possible, take it easy.
That voice isn’t me, really..  And unfortunately arguing with that voice is only adding to my already hectic schedule.
No wonder I zombie napped for an hour and a half today!
What I do know is that if I listened to that voice’s suggestions and took more time, stopped pushing myself to do things that seem hard or horribly intimidating, is that I honestly don’t know if I could get myself back into it after more time. If after 7 weeks the fear built to this level, what would 14 wks be like to deal with? What about a whole season? Yes, I did consider just taking a season off. However, I quickly realised that in all honesty I couldn’t afford to. Even though I do always stress about being able to financially afford to compete and train like I do.. in this sense I mean afford in a long term sense. My passion within the sport of riding has roots in almost every aspect of my life. Educationally, riding has driven me to pursue extra research, ask deeper questions, and set higher goals. Career wise, it’s given me an arena to voice my ideas and put them into action, building my own client base and giving me a chance to develop long term goals. My involvement, and all the ups and downs I’ve had within riding has given me so many skills and set me up for many opportunities that otherwise I may not have been privy to. To say that after 15 years of hard work, sweat, blood, and so many tears that I’m done because of one scary injury? That isn’t okay with me, and it’s that thought process that is keeping my inner argument going.
Fear is a two sided coin for me right now. There is the fear of returning, but also the fear of never going back. Would my life be easier if I took out the expensive hobby and time commitment riding is? Probably, yes. However, easier is almost never better. I would be taking out a piece of who I am, and losing a piece of who I want to be. Riding may take a back seat in the future due to other life goals, as it has and does already during the school year, that is a decision to make if and when. I’ve always been open to the idea of letting goals evolve and change- but letting a decision like that be made because of fear isn’t okay with me, and it doesn’t represent who I am. I also truly believe that if it was something I truly wanted to take a break from, I wouldn’t be having as much of a inner struggle with it. I am so grateful for that struggle, and for the people in my life who aren’t afraid to push me and question me when they see me working through this.
Today I got on a treadmill for the first time and was told to walk- I was immediately frustrated because all I wanted to do was run. A few days ago I got on a horse and was terrified I would never shake this uneasy feeling in future rides.
I am happy for that frustration, it means that I WANTED to run. I’m thankful for that terror- as it means I was thinking of FUTURE rides. As tired as I am- I’m tired because I’m trying.

“No..Thank You!” …. The results are in!

You know you’re special when your doctor thanks you for having rare and interesting injuries. 

I got my MRI results today, from the MRI I had done a couple weeks ago for the accident I had a month and a half ago. Turns out I do indeed have a fracture, on the lateral plateau of my tibia. Thankfully undisplaced.. I was told by the doc that I was a hair off of a very, very severe injury that would have resulted in surgeries and pins and screws. Ya no thanks! I can’t lie though, I am pretty excited about having my first official broken bone.. #nerdalert

So, what we know now (7wks post trauma): fracture at the lateral tibial plateau, microtrauma to the trabeculae in the superior tib/fib bone (trabeculae = spongy part of the bone), marrow effusion (bone bruise), edema (fluid) surrounding the deep peroneal nerves, sprained superior tib/fib joint, strained long adductors (groin muscles crossing the knee), and rotator cuff strain/impingement to top it all off! What better way to study for my rehab practical then to spend the entire semester going through every stage of recovery!! 

For the most part, recovery has been going very well with consistent progress. Today was the first day I’ve had nerve pain in a couple weeks, and I know I’m not really done with those random symptoms for a while as nerve bruising/edema can take around a year to fully heal. The last couple weeks in the clinic I’ve spent doing more conditioning and strength training work, which sucks- but is also pretty awesome. Considering only 3 weeks ago I was just happy to be walking without severe pain. I’m still a ways off of running, but am getting closer to getting strength back. I’ve been challenging my cardio with bikes, swimming, ellipticals, and dry-land rowing- and challenging my strength more and more each week. It’s very nice to be able to do something in the gym again! Step by step (literally)!

To put a positive spin on this whole series of events- it’s given me a great opportunity to rebuild my body. Because I have some super talented ATs behind me, and have basically started from the bottom up when it comes to conditioning- we’ve been working out all the little kinks in my posture and functional movements- which in turn will help me rebuild my riding position too. This would be something difficult to do if I was still in good condition. The fact that my body was broken down by a trauma, and then had to be rested for a few weeks was at first frustrating- but I’ve really come to appreciate the chance to build it back up again on more stable foundations. All this also has given me some great new ideas to put into my own training class- which I’m sure my clients will love/hate! Holla at me silver lining! 

What else is new? 

Uhh both Will and Felix move into M&C’s in a couple weeks- just in time for exam season. The doctor has given me the okay to ride- actually he couldn’t really say no, because he doesn’t know enough about the sport to really know what it would entail for all my injuries. So I’m flying on my own opinion. And that’s just going to be trying it out and seeing how it goes, once I get my brain wrapped around the idea that it’s something I shouldn’t be terrified of. Yes I’ve still be finding excuses to avoid going out to the barn (that and I am honestly just swamped by everything else in my life<– prime example of an excuse). I did go out to a horse show to watch Megg do some rounds this past weekend, and it was actually a good thing for me to do. After getting my very patient boyfriend and I lost (I have excellent navigational skills….), and finally getting there- it was good for me to sit in that atmosphere and watch horses and riders go around courses all morning. It kind of revived some motivation in me, and reminded me that that is something I do want to do still. 

This week is of course packed full of fun times. As classes are coming to an end, the pressure to stop procrastinating has begun. Today I interviewed for a potential summer job, and tomorrow I'll be working at the Rotary Career Fair reppin' the Faculty of Kin AT program. I did this event last year as well and had a blast! Friday will bring the annual AT Games, an event I haven't attended before but am quite excited to attend this year. Trivia and Kin related games with the profs, followed by hanging out after? Nerd fun! I am honestly hoping to get out to the barn this week at least once, and sit on Shakka for a bit to see how it goes. I will not make excuses…most likely…!

I lasted 3 years as a Uni student before becoming addicted to coffee…..

I think the title explains the last 3 weeks of my life. However, I will state that it is roll up the rim season.

This is going to be a monster of a post…..A few things to talk about, so I’m going to start off with a contents list so you can skim if that is your preferred method:

1. Midterms
2. The view of the Manitoba Winter Games as a student therapist (spoiler: it was awesome!!)
3. Leg update
4. General life update
5. The general thought/whining section
6. Summer planning

Okay. So it’s been a while since I’ve written an update. I’ve had my hands full, often literally, and been running (not literally) from place to place the past few weeks!

First up, Midterms:

These went shockingly well. Of the marks I have back, anyway. The first one I got back (Therapeutic Modalities) I completely expected to be around the class average (which was..very low.. talking maybe 50-60 ish), but was pleasantly surprised with a 71, which happened to be in the top five or so of the class. Bonus! Then came Ergonomics, the class I really like but am sometimes lost in. Somehow swung an A here. Awha? Sure. I’ll take it! If you’ll recall from my last post, I had gotten my Ex Phys exam moved to this week due to a mystery virus, and had a super fun crazy day on Thursday where I drove back to the city from the Games (see next section) for a day at school where I wrote 2 exams and 2 tests, with classes/labs and a clinical shift thrown in as well. I am still waiting for Ex Phys back, but am not optimistic it was anything amazing. Meh. I also wrote Rehab on Thursday, which I feel pretty decent about. I don’t really remember most of the day though, so who knows. Lets talk about something more exciting..

How about The MB Games experience from the eyes of a student AT?

First off, thank you past self for volunteering up for this event in the fall. Holy guacamole did I learn!!! I worked full days (and then some) in Morden/Winkler covering different events on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. I seriously never wanted it to end (only a little bit because I’m sick of school (see section 5)).

The week started with getting my volunteer badge and medical team shirt (which made me feel super legit, anyone else?).

Yes I realize how old that picture is...
Yes I realize how old that picture is…

The sports I covered for the first couple days were ringette and gymnastics (both male and female, ages 9-14). Monday was just practice for gymnastics, and I hung out there for most of the night after being shown around and bombarded with an ankle support and shoulder assessment within my first half an hour there. It was pretty crazy watching some of the things these kids did on the uneven bars (terrifying). Surprisingly (to me) there was only one injury that day for me to deal with: a gymnast came down during her floor practice off some sorta intense double round-off thing and landed in full plantar-flexion, inverted, and hit the ground crying. Cue my brain shutting off for 3 milliseconds then realising that everyone was looking at me because I was the one wearing the super cool medical shirt..

First lesson I learned: asking the patient questions doesn’t only make you look like you know what you’re doing (even if you don’t), it prompts your brain to start working again. I managed to go through a half decent assessment after getting her off the middle of the mat, and decided that she most definitely needed to go for x-rays; so after breaking that idea to her, and making her cry more, I headed to find the doctor, ice, and crutches. The doctor promptly confirmed the x-ray, and I had to mcgyver a set of crutches (the supply we had was sketchy- the only pair I could manage for her height was one metal and one wood, the wood taped together as there were screws missing…). Then we sent her off to Boundary for imaging, and the rest of the night was relatively uneventful. I did get to tape another gymnasts ankle, after the coach realised that I could actually do that. I got a little confidence boost as this 11yr old watched me tape with wide eyes, and expressed adorable gratitude.

The next day started out similarly uneventful. I taped a few ankles (including the young gymnast from the previous evening, who swore it was making her better!), wrapped a few groins, ate some great canteen food, and chatted. Then headed over to watch the first of the gymnastics competitions. This age group went smoothly, although I cringed a few times with some close calls on the vault. After this I had another couple hours to chat with the other health care professionals about the place, then me and the other student AT headed back to watch the second gymnastics event. With no other events running, the sport med doctor was hanging around with us too. Thank goodness, as not long after the event started a floor routine went horribly wrong. I was unfortunately watching this girl’s feet as she landed, which resulted in me seeing her ankle dislocate and her go down. I 110% froze, and probably said something not school appropriate out loud- and had that great moment where again we realised everyone (and there was A LOT of people there) was looking at us, and then hearing the doctor tell us to “go!”. Matt and the doc headed out while I stayed by the med kit ready to bring it out if needed, pretty much right away got the signal to call 911. I went out onto the mat to help, only to have the coaches lift the girl and start moving her (seriously…. who does that!?). Thankfully the doctor had a good grip on the ankle and we all headed to the other room to carry on. The ankle was most definitely fractured, with what looked like the fibula pretty close to breaking the skin. Needless to say all we could do was splint and wait for transport. So that’s what we did. The poor kid was understandably freaking out. While the other two stayed with her and her parents, I headed back out to the competition, only to find another athlete had thrown up and was looking pretty faint. Her mom quickly explained that she had had a very similar injury last year, and was reliving some of the experience.

Definitely the worst injury I’ve dealt with so far, and once the adrenaline worse off I had a seriously hard time watching floor routines for the rest of the day. I couldn’t watch the feet anyway. Who woulda thought floor over bar and beam would cause the most anxiety! After that gymnastics ran smoothly, and I spent most of the rest of my time handing out ice bags (snow bags). The next day was much slower, as it was a transition day for the games- so after watching the boys gymnastics, and still cringing during floor routines, I used the rest of my time there to study for rehab and ex phys. My last day at the games I got to cover hockey (female) for the first time, and thankfully nothing major happened. I did get an insight as to how intense the sport of table tennis is- especially when we had one athlete come to us with stomach flu symptoms (which 50/50 could have been caused by the stress being placed on him by his mother and coaches… oh, and the large plate of meatballs, fish, and rice he had eaten.. oh and the dehydration…)- and saw his coach sprint out to get ginger tablets so he could play in the next 15minutes. Between the coach freaking out about her athlete (who was like 10) maybe being down for the count, and his mom wanting to take him to the hospital (for mild stomach flu symptoms..?..)- it was understandable that the kid was a little uneasy about his life.

What did I notice this week? I really noticed myself gaining confidence in acute assessment, and even just standing rink side or event side. As terrifying as the gymnastics ankle was- it solidified that I do have a solid education behind me and I am trained to handle things- even if my brain shuts off. It was sorta neat seeing how people looked to you as you had the most training. Another very cool side to this event was getting the chance to network with athletes, coaches, parents, doctors, nurses, other ATs and fellow students. I was asked so many questions about what athletic therapists do this week, and was able to provide semi-educated answers. People were able to see how competent we are in a variety of areas, and doctors were often looking to us to deal with assessments, taping, and return to play protocols. After injuries, I was able to hang out with the sport med doc on sight and discuss possibilities for what the images would show, recovery, and mechanisms as well as got to watch her do some kick ass assessments. Just watching her interact with patients was a learning experience! So yeah, it’s been a pretty athletic therapy filled week! I got to practice many skills at the Games, that I didn’t even know I needed to practice. Talking to young athletes, for example. Or talking to parents with heavy accents. Or talking to a sobbing kid with a near broken ankle. Not things you get to do or see everyday, that’s for sure. It was such a great week, and I really look forward to continuing to grow as a AT working in the field. Multi-sport events are a fantastic place to learn skills and gain confidence, even if it takes being absolutely terrified half the time. Faking it til you make it is definitely the way to go! People eat up confidence, and acting confident inspires real confidence. It was such a good feeling realising that I know what I’m doing, once my brain caught up with the moment I was in. The week at the Games ended off with a nice compliment from the head therapist, after finding out I was only in P1 she was very surprised and said “You have an amazing skill set for your level! Seriously, keep it up!”. Overall everyone was very impressed with the UW students, so I guess our education is actually getting us somewhere!

Now that we’ve discussed all the injuries I’ve dealt with, how’s my own Injury Progress?

It’s definitely improving. Not a whiff of pain with every day stuff now, I’ve been able to kick in the pool and other then feeling like I’ve never worked out a day in my life- I have no pain. Yay! I’ve been able to up my strength work again too (to.. more bodyweight.. haaa high five for atrophy), and today did a full hour of cardio training (on a bike and elliptical). I’m anxious to get running again, but doing my best to not push it. Because that would likely hurt. I did have an MRI this weekend, so pretty pumped to see what that shows!

I faced a fear this week! I must confess I’ve been absolutely terrified about getting back on a horse. The idea of getting right back on after you fall all riders are taught from day one has legit meaning- the more time that has been passing while I recover, the bigger the fear gets. Stupid, for someone who’s been riding for more then half her life. With my horse being moved back to M&C’s in a few weeks (eeeee!), and me getting the okay from my AT to try riding in a few weeks- the nervousness around the idea only doubled.. So, yesterday, since the weather was finally spring like- I decided to go out to the barn to just reintroduce myself to the environment. I didn’t plan on riding, as frankly it was hard enough to get myself out to the barn. But I did it. I got myself there, and spent some time with Lauren and Megg while they rode. I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous in a familiar environment. Whyyy! I decided then to follow my personal rule of “If it terrifies you, it’s probably a good thing to try.”. And Megg let me sit on her horse for a few minutes. More then enough for my body, and my head. Funnily enough, as nervous as I was before getting on AND after getting off- while I was in the saddle on Justinian, I felt nothing but calm. Thank goodness that learned instinct of focus in the tack is still there. Shoulda just stayed on I think because as soon as I got back off I was apprehensive again. And sore. Very sore. Oh the joys of coming back from an injury.


The general life update/general thoughts/summer planning sections: School and Work have been good. School is getting old. It’s that time of year where pretty much every student is done with it. My class has continued to keep my spirits up, every week I’ve seen my students greatly improve and am always getting good feedback. Next week is the beginning of another 8-week block, and I’m excited to continue with it! I’ve begun my search for another summer job (keeping MORfit, teaching, Horse Connection), as I recently found out that I was not accepted for the internship at Mayo Clinic this summer. I was somewhat disappointed by that news, but then realized it only meant I can hopefully save some money and ride my horse this summer- which is a plus. As great as Mayo Clinic would look on my resume, I can always apply again and I’m sure I’ll find some other sweet experiences.. it seems to be a thing I do anyway. What does my summer look like so far? About 3 spring courses, work work work, teach teach teach, and, oh yeah! Almost forgot! I got asked to work (volunteer) with another football team! Until a few days ago I was planning on going back to the team I worked with last fall. But on of my supervising AT’s senior students approached me and stated that she thought I would be really good with their team, a team that happens to be a heck of a lot closer to my location then Transcona is (as much as I love them), and a team with a schedule a little more conducive to mine. It was quite flattering to be approached by a senior student (again) and asked to come to their program. Doesn’t always happen that way! That combined with the blush worthy feedback I got from the head therapist at the games, I am quite happy with where I’m at as a AT student! This May brings the CATA conference to Winnipeg, and I’m looking forward to attending that. Of course I’m planning on training and competing as much as I can afford to.

Finishing up this semester is exhausting, between job searching, studying as much as humanly possible, working, and planning end of the year events for Kin and AT student groups- oh and running for student group exec positions for next year (my last year? What?)- my schedule has been nuts as usual. The last two weeks I’ve felt like I’m running on fumes (coffee fumes), but have been surrounded by an amazing group of people, new and old, who keep me going. Whether it’s students in any of my classes, fellow classmates and ATs, friends, family- there always seems to be someone there to study with, rant to, or cook for me after a long day at work/school. I’m very blessed!

I think that’s all I’ll burden you with for now, dear readers. I promise I’ll get back to a regular post schedule now that I’ve gotten back to a semi-normal schedule! End of term and finals are fast approaching, which means so is riding and training- recovery permitting! I can’t wait to see what the 2014 season has in store for me!


Chill with what my body tells me: another lesson in maturity

So I’ve been trying this new thing lately. Something I have maybe not done as much as I should’ve in the past.. and I’ve learned the hard way that doing it every once in a while is a good thing. It’s that whole “listening to and respecting what your body is telling you” thing.

Turns out mine has a lot to say.


We’ve had our differences in opinion, my body and I. Whether it be through injuries, spontaneous tailbone cysts, impromptu illness and food intolerances, or just reacting to the stress of what I try to pass as a sane schedule- we’ve had to learn how to learn to listen to and tolerate each other in some interesting situations. Almost a year ago now I started the journey of modifying my eating habits to better serve my body, and while there have been some ups and downs with that- I’ve been rewarded in more ways then one for my choices.

Any athlete, at one point, has to learn to deal with injuries in a more productive way then letting the injury control who they are/want to be, and I am very thankful I learned that lesson before this most recent injury. Being one of the first injuries directly related to sport that has knocked me out of commission for a long recovery, I’ve managed to not let it get into my head too much. Whether it’s maturity, or years spent figuring out coping mechanisms (are those things the same thing?).. I’ve treated myself with moderate patience so far through the rehab process, and because of that made pretty significant gains in month following my accident.

Last summer and into the fall when I was recovering from a concussion, I struggled with listening to what I needed. Anyone who has had a concussion will likely have gone through the same experiences. Tasks that were once no big deal become Mt. Everest, yet you are the only one who can see that mountain. There is no cast on your leg telling those around you that you can’t climb.. all there is is symptoms within your head that only you experience. It’s lonely, it’s depressing, and it’s scary. It is an impossible task for those go-getters among us to not try to push through those signs telling us to stop.

Going to a prof (especially one who may not know your regular personality), or a classmate, or a friend- and saying things like “studying for this exam makes me dizzy and nauseous, and I can’t follow even the simplest material…I don’t think I can do this right now” can be absolutely terrifying.  What will people think of you? Will they see me as a flake? Am I not trying hard enough? The conversations I had during this period were some of the scariest of my life. Symptoms of this injury can seem so ridiculous.. until you experience them first hand. Those experiences are partly responsible for giving me some respect for what my body tells me.

Being a student in a health field brings a whole new side into things. Talk about overthinking, try knowing every possible outcome to injuries- and then having said injury, or having someone close to you have that injury. Then you will really understand overthinking. However, again maybe it’s maturity coming into play, there comes a point where you recognise that all you can do is what you can do- that’s it. Control is relative, and intuition is a fantastic thing to utilise. Being honest with yourself about how you’re doing is a really healthy skill. Not trying to micromanage yourself is another beauty of a talent.

I spent most of last week studying for the exam I wrote on Monday: Ergonomics. This is a challenging applied biomechanics course I quite enjoy, and it’s a subject I’ve chosen to do a directed study on next year with a focus on rider mechanics and fitness. That being said, I put a lot of weight into doing well on this exam- because it would be a tad awkward if I didn’t get a good mark in this course- yet wanted to pursue research in the area. I planned it so that I could spend my study time during reading week on this course, and then use the remainder of this week to study for my other heavy exam on Thursday (Exercise Physiology- not a course I particularly enjoy).

The first half of my plan worked quite well. I walked away from my Ergo exam feeling like I managed a half decent mark (for me that’s a B ish), and ended up with an A (!!!). The second half of my plan.. not so much. Over the weekend I started getting sick (viral like symptoms)- and then got better for Monday. After my exam Monday, it all came back (damn you reading week for slowing down my immune system!!!!). My whole body felt weak, headaches, dizziness, faintness, all of which got worse when I tried to study..or move.

After day two of trying to study and only making myself sicker- and then stressing myself out thinking about how writing this exam on no preparation could only mean I was a failure….I decided to listen to my body and see a doctor (What? Me? See a doctor voluntarily?). When rolling over in bed causes me to feel like I had recently run a marathon- I reach my limit. Lets not talk about how stairs make me feel right now, and that’s not even from a busted leg perspective.

Thankfully the doctor confirmed my suspicion of just a frustrating virus being the culprit (although a blood panel is being run to rule anything else out, of course).. and decided for me that anything involving school tomorrow (including the monster exam) is out of the question. Sometimes me listening to me is really just me finding someone who will indirectly push me to make the right decision for me. This is why I surround myself with wise people. They indirectly make me smart… occasionally.

Pretty much as soon as I emailed my profs explaining what the doctor had told me, and acquiring the note to back all that up if need be- I felt so much more relaxed. The monster exam seems less big and scary now that I will have a chance to prepare for it. Sometimes being a dedicated student (or athlete) means knowing when to slow down and take the time to recover so you can perform your best.

Why did it take me so long to learn this??

Photo cred to Jenaya MacKinnon of Out of Focus Photography (click pic for link)

165 minutes in the pool, and a neuropraxia (a week in the life…)

I chose to give the amount of time in the pool instead of distance, because time makes me feel way better about myself..

I’ve been in the pool as much as I planned to be this past week, and very glad I’ve found something I can do to stay active! I’m able to do more and more on the land as the days pass as well, and with plans for my horse to be moved back into training come April- I’m hoping that I’ll be fully back into some sort of training by then as well. I’m amazed at how busy I’ve managed to keep myself even while being limited in the amount of things I can do.

Swimming in the early morning before classes has been a welcome addition to my schedule, and I’ve managed to get my nutrition back on track just time time for midterm season (thank goodness). Work and clinic shifts have been added back into the schedule, and finally getting around to more of an ad for my class got done as well. That plus classes and being a patient filled up my week pretty quick!

We noticed while doing exercises with the leg on Friday that my fibula was moving a little bit too much for logical anatomical function… and decided that it might be time to get a doc’s opinion on the neural and ligament damage happening. Pain has greatly decreased, thankfully- but I’m still not quite up to full function (far from it, actually). The weekend passed too quickly, spending it with friends and teaching my FTC class at MORfit.  Teaching with only being able to half demo exercises is getting super hilarious….

To start this week off I enjoyed a low-key holiday Monday, spending a good portion of it with Lauren and Megg at the pool, and then having lunch discussing some plans for our future as pentathletes. I was able to kick for a full 25m in the pool (up until yesterday I haven’t been able to use my legs at all).  Today I got into see a sport med doctor, who confirmed my AT and I’s belief of destroying pretty much all the ligaments connecting my fibula to my tibia, and a neuropraxia to my peroneal nerve.

English translation: a nerve in my leg is a little bit angry/temporarily dysfunctional because of the trauma of the original accident. This would explain the loss of sensation in my lower leg and parts of my foot, and the initial difficulty controlling certain movements. Positive to this? It’s temporary, and although I’m having an MRI done anyway, he predicts it will clear up.. eventually.

The rest of my day was spent working on a poster for my class, and working. Didn’t get as much studying done as I’d hoped..but that’s what tomorrow and the rest of reading week is for I suppose! Which is unfortunately already half over… Sad face.


An early morning at the pool awaits me, so I will leave it short and sweet!


Agility for the rider: mind and body

Defined as the ability to control direct of the body, or body segment during rapid movement, agility is a commonly used training method in many sports.  Agility has also become common in the equestrian world as a way to work with horses, training obedience and giving riders a fun way to work with their partners. Unfortunately, it isn’t as common to see riders doing agility training for themselves. Agility is related closely to reactivity, and any rider can appreciate the potential of being reactive in the saddle. Reaction time is the time between the onset of a stimulus and completion of the action, the stimulus could be your horse falling to the outside and your resultant action of using correction aids to re-balance around a corner.

Athletes of all sports, riding included, rely on complex neural pathways and biofeedback to keep them performing at their best. It could be argued that as agility training is meant to improve quickness and reactivity in sports where athletes are asked to do a variety of quick movements with their bodies and riders are sitting on another animal doing majority of the movement that agility isn’t a key aspect of our sport. However, while riders do have four extra legs moving us through space- riders are required to react to a variety of things throughout the course of a ride. The decision making process involved with the sport can only be enhanced by training the body to speed up the neuromuscular response.
Recent research has shown that agility like training can help improve concentration and focus in athletes (and general population). Moving your body in quick sequence in reaction to any given stimulus takes brain power-  it’s something I do a lot of with my older adults class. Working on the agility ladder every week, giving them new patterns to do- they always tell me they can feel their brain working just as much as their body is- trying to coordinate their movements and focus their mind on the task.
Still 10
I talk a lot about confidence and how improving fitness can lead to increased confidence. One of my favourite quotes related to this comes from Harvey Penick:
 “If there is doubt in your mind…how can your muscles know what their supposed to do?”.
A rider’s reaction to any given thing while in the saddle (or on the ground or that matter) can mean the difference between a clear round and knocking a rail, or a perfect transition and a sloppy one. The horse’s performance is a mirror of our own, how can we expect them to be sure-footed and agile, if we are slow and uncoordinated with our cues. From another point of view, reaction and agility can make a big difference when it comes down to staying the tack during unpredictable incidents. Yes, there is only so much a rider can do if a horse decides to bolt, stop, rear, etc. They are large animals with their own thought processes. But a rider who has trained their body to react quickly and efficiently no matter the situation is much better prepared to make a good recovery then one who is a few milliseconds off of the movement. You find a long spot to a big oxen half way through a course- wouldn’t you rather be able to react appropriately and not be left behind, compared to the sketchy alternative?
Much of athleticism is thoughtlessly performing complex movements and making split second decisions. Often the difference between good riders and great riders is in the subtle decisions. Finding that perfect distance every time doesn’t just take an ability to see the distance, it takes appropriate timing of cues, and following through with each decision before, during, and after each jump. The same can be said for riding a dressage test, performing a reining pattern, on the endurance trail, or any other sub-division of the sport. Each has its own set of decisions to be made. Decisions are much easier to make when there is efficacy behind them.
While riders aren’t required to directly move quickly, change direction, and transition through movements- they are indirectly responsible for coordinating all those things through appropriate use of their body weight, fluidity of their joints (requiring stability), effective use of aids, and good timing. We’ve all seen riders who are lacking in any of the above qualities, and it’s not always nice to watch.  Agility incorporates many factors from the body: balance, coordination, joint stability, strength, power, and flexibility. It asks the mind to focus and builds reactivity throughout the entire body as a result.  If we expect it from our horses, we have to expect it from ourselves. Why wouldn’t you want it in a training program!

Oh my fibula!

Are you getting sick of my leg-injury related titles yet? That makes two of us. Well, I’m sick of my leg- not the titles. I think those are witty.

So I’m walking. The debate is out on whether I should be or not. What I should be doing is studying.. while sitting, and not moving. Instead I’ve taken up a new sport, put minimal effort into studying, and eaten more pizza in the last 4 days then I have in the last 2 years. Close enough?


Before you all panic about the whole “taking up a new sport” thing, I’ll clarify that I am not using my legs or weight bearing while participating (yet). Right now the extent of this new sport is swimming laps in the mornings, not kicking- getting a solid arm and core workout. Why have I started this?
A) I’m going a bit stir-crazy not being able to do much training, and
B) I am actually taking up a new sport: pentathlon. Yes, the one that has swimming, fencing, show jumping, running, and shooting. That one. Doesn’t it sound fun?! Long story short, Lauren, Megg, and I decided that Manitoba needs a pentathlon team, and are seriously in the process of organizing ourselves to begin training. As Lauren put it today, “it’s not if, but when..”. We will need all the help and connections we can get, so if you or someone you know knows people in any of the above mentioned sports or the pentathlon community- hook us up!
I’ve been able to go back to work this past week at MORfit, and kept up with teaching at the University. Obviously HC is still out for a while. My older adults class is very concerned about me, one knitted me get well socks last week, and this week I was cornered by a couple of them and interrogated as to why I wasn’t on my crutches, and as to whether or not I was okay. The past two weeks I’ve also been able to run my Functional Equestrian Training class, last week being a class where I demoed absolutely nothing, and this week I demoed a bit more (and immediately regretted it). It’s very cool to see those coming regularly to the class progressing as I had envisioned. I’ve noticed big improvements already in postural positioning, and absolutely love the enthusiasm I receive every time I come out with some new things to try.  It’s actually getting very difficult for me to not get distracted during lectures by all the ideas I have for this class! Perfect timing for midterm season!
The past week and a bit has been fairly busy, as mentioned above I’ve started back a work and kept up with my classes. I wasn’t able to do any clinic work, although I am in the clinic every day as a patient pretty much. Either icing myself, or at one of my actual appointments. I started out the week with crutches, and then was able to progress to no crutches later in the week. By Friday I was walking pretty good, and able to start doing some balance work (and it is needed) on the bad side (after my spending 3+hrs in the clinic being worked on… all 4 injury sites got some attention). Friday night I managed to accidentally put too much pressure on the leg, and got a nice pop/mobilization at my prox. tib/fib joint, which ticked off a few things… which lead to weight bearing being  problem again for the early parts of this week. Then there was yesterday when I walked into a low table in my apartment, stubbing my toe and hitting my leg on the corner…..
It has been getting slightly better though, each day has it’s ups and downs and new feelings, but the inflammation has stopped- all the pain now is stemming from the actual damage.. and I’m learning what bone bruising feels like… It’s not a good feel, just fyi. However, less parts of me hurt now… which I suppose is an improvement. There has been many moments where I’ve almost thought someone should stick me in a cast, or semi-permanently attached crutches to me so I don’t keep trying things above my current ability, or accidentally hurting myself.. It could very possibly make my recovery process go a lot smoother.
I’ve discovered that when I’m injured, and it’s exceptionally cold outside… All my body wants to eat is junk. I definitely ate pretty much a whole pizza last friday, the next morning survived off coffee (and I am not a coffee drinker usually..) until later afternoon where I ate BP’s pizza burger (bacon burger wrapped in pepperoni pizza…), Sunday I ate up to my usual standard, but then Monday I ate a individual sized pizza (with a large kale salad..) from the University. Seriously.. more pizza then I’ve eaten in the last year probably. No regrets though. Since Monday I’ve been eating quite well again, trying to get myself back onto the program (midterms are here…). I also finally had time and the ability to do a serious grocery shop, up until this week I was living off the bare minimum as I didn’t have the energy, time, or pain tolerance to do a good shopping trip.
Sooo what’s up for this week? Shuffling between the pool, classes, work, therapy appointments, and repeat. Oh and trying to concentrate long enough to study for my one pre-reading week midterm. Reading week…So close, but so far. Once that is over (Thursday), it’s a full week of time to do nothing! LOL JUST KIDDING, I already have my reading week full. I even have something to do and someone to see on Valentine’s day, that doesn’t involve the traditional eating Ben & Jerry’s and brownies while watching chick-flicks with Emily. Exciting! For now I’m just about to get on the bike for my 4:30min allowance… and then I have a 6AM date with the pool, my arms, and my core muscles. Yay physical activity! One slow day at a time!


Learning to walk again.. slowly but surely.

Today is the first day I’ve been able to walk almost… mostly… normal. Me being me I’ve been pushing it a bit. And regretting that. However, I have next to no limp today and that has lasted longer then it has previously (Friday was max 5 minutes before I couldn’t move again, today is close to 2hrs of limp free ambulation!).

I’ve been able to start doing some isometric work with the injured side, to try and maintain the muscles I haven’t used at all in the past week or so. Awesome how fast strength disappears, isn’t it!  My strength in my ankle went from a 2/5 earlier in week to a 3-4/5 by Friday. The rest of my leg is a slightly different story. I can’t really maintain any position against gravity from my knee up right now. I tried this morning to hold my leg up (while laying in bed) and resist gravity’s pull, that idea lasted for about 5s until I watched my leg slowly but surely lose the battle and sink back to the bed. Meh, gives me something to strive for I guess.
It’s slightly weird to have gone from leading such an active life, and getting excited about things like running hill intervals, or getting a pb on my Oly lifts in between work and classes to getting excited about being able to straighten my leg while standing on it, or move my ankle pain free. This has definitely been a lesson in patience, and seeing how much most people take for granted those basic human abilities (like being able to walk, run, drive, move…). I had a similar experience when recovering from my concussion, although that was more just plain frustrating to go through as it wasn’t an obvious injury to anybody else. This, at least, people can see the disability. And I’m very thankful it is a temporary disability and that I’m surrounded by many people who are more then willing to help me with things in the meantime.
Other then leading an extraordinary gimp life, school has been going well the past few weeks. I’m starting to fall back into the routine of studying and immersing myself in my course load. While the first few weeks were full of anxiety about falling behind, I’ve found my tempo again and my classes are all covering very inter-relatable material which makes studying much more time-efficient in many ways. Right now, I think my favourite course is rehab- mainly because it involves many ideas that I’ve always been keen about in this profession. Specifically, a key focus of the course is being creative and designing rehab programs suited to a specific client’s goals and sport. It’s a course where there are many right answers to one question, and is very much about being creative with programming.
A close second favourite is Ergonomics/Applied Biomechanics. The course content is pretty heavy, but the ideas the course has inspired is what I love. The prof has also taken an interest in some of my ideas relating to my Equestrian Training programs, and suggested we pursue some research ideas I’ve had. These ideas all focus around the forces a rider’s body experiences while in the saddle (most of the current research is focused on the force a horse’s body goes through). I love that I have people within the Faculty that I can bounce ideas for my class off of and get great feedback.
Speaking of my class, it is also going really well. Tonight we did a HIIT style work out, one that I didn’t have to demo anything for. 20 minute sets of 15 squats, 10 TRX body rows, 5 TRX push-ups, and 5 burpees. It’s great to see the participants improving already even after just 3 weeks, and get good feedback on the home program I designed. They are always full of great questions to ask me, and thankfully my education has backed me up with some good answers to give.
 I’m very excited for when I am back in action so I can start teaching some of the more specific exercises I have come up with. One specifically targeting stability for the rider when taking off/landing from jumps. I know I’ve had issues in the past (and still do) of getting ahead of the horse, or falling forward upon landing. The stability needed in the rider’s body to resist the pull of gravity is something often talked about, but not often addressed in training. I’ve come up with a couple exercises (integrating plyometrics and stability) to combat this habit many riders face, and am really excited to see how they work out when put to action!

During my clinic shift a couple weeks ago with Claude, I got the opportunity to do a assessment on a client coming in with knee pain. This is the second full assessment I’ve done this year, and I already had a pre-existing phobia of knees.. plus this is the first assessment I’ve done where Claude chose to pull up a chair and ask me all the questions (examples: “what muscle is that you’re palpating? Why did you do that test? Etc.).
Fantastically nerve wracking.
Anyway. I stumbled my way through my history, and ROM testing. Client was having pain around the patella, and described it as sometimes feeling stuck or blocked if she sat for too long. This all started a few weeks after she had been in a car accident. There was noticeable bruising around the knee, and minimal swelling. During the postural assessment I ran a full squat test (after standing there for a few moments being confused as to what to do next) and noticed that her entire upper body fell forward going into the squat and her heels wanted to lift off. Cue Claude asking “Ooooo so what could be causing this?” and me feeling stupid for the next few minutes. Right, tight hip flexors and calves. Here is where I really started to lose my mind. For special tests I decided to run a Clark’s and a Apley’s, after ligament testing of course. Claude had stepped out for a minute at this point, and I completed the tests once only to realise that I had done them on the wrong side (I had flipped the client over for Apley’s and gone brain dead apparently), #awkward. However, when Claude came back he didn’t realise either- or possibly he was just playing dumb to give me a chance to save myself….Clark’s was okay, as was Apley’s. Sweet.
From here I went into palpation, with a complementary anatomy quiz from the peanut gallery (thankful I aced this). Tender through the calves (achilles on the injured side was a little puffy- something I probably should have noticed during postural observation, quad and IT also were tight. A case of tight muscles pulling the patella out of whack, me thinks. Claude agreed (yayayay) and I got to do the rest of the treatment (quick massage for IT/quads and teaching stretches for the lower body) before she had to run to a vball practice. This was the same client who had come to us for a concussion initially- an assessment I also did- happy to report that she has been symptom free from that over the following weeks and has been able to progress back into her sport. Kinda cool to be able to follow a clients progress over the weeks consistently!
Anywho. Another week starts tomorrow, I am hoping to be back at MORfit working the desk for sure as the resident gimp this week, as well as the Older Adults class and lab demo-ing for P&C. And of course spending many a hour with my favourite AT working out the kinks and bruises in my leg. Ciao!




Well, my busy weekend was a bust.

Since Saturday’s super fun physics experiment, and resultant hilarious evening spent in Seven Oaks triage surrounded by paramedics- I have been waging a war with gravity and inflammation. Oh, and crutches. Those things are the worst. I thought I was in shape, until using them for 5 minutes.


Needless to say, the horse I was showing probably won’t be bought by those particular viewers.

This was definitely one of those things in the sport that could have happened on any day to any rider and any horse. While there was somewhat of a “perfect storm” on Saturday (horse hadn’t been worked in a while due to weather, weather was changing, lights in arena weren’t working, the arena was creaky due to weather changes)- there really isn’t anyone at fault. And thinking back, I probably was thrown in the best way possible. If I had stayed on any longer, it would have been my head/neck hitting the top of the door at full speed, and if the horse had stopped at the wall instead of turning and running out the door I would have A)gone head first into the wall or B)stayed on (this probably would have been best case, but you get the point). Physics is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

Funnily enough, the scariest part of all of it for me was not the actual flying through the air towards a solid wall. All that was going through my mind when the horse took off was a nonchalant “this is going to be a bad fall. I hope I don’t hit my head..”. You can always tell before they happen which ones are going to be nothing, and which ones are going to be bad. That mid air realisation was confirmed when I recognised from where I landed that there was no way I was moving my leg, and that something was wrong.

Fear didn’t really kick in until much later, just before Lauren showed up and I had sent the girls who were there viewing the horse to find him and untack him; I was completely alone supporting my leg and I felt shock starting to set in (ignorance might have been bliss in this situation). My face went numb, nausea set in, my ears began to tingle, and my vision started to go. Thankfully I was able to reverse all those really nice feelings with recognising what was happening and focusing on my breathing. It maybe lasted for a minute, but it was one of the scariest minutes of my life. After that, besides pain, I was fine.

Slowly, but surely, the icing every hour and elevating as much as humanly possible during the day (while still attending classes) is starting to make gains against the swelling in my leg. I have some pretty nice bruises scattered, and some even nicer strained muscles in my thigh and shoulder. I haven’t gotten much farther on assessing the actual damage yet, other then the hospital’s “it’s not broken, you can leave now”, as currently every single movement is an issue due to inflammation in the confined spaces of my lower leg. The past couple days have been more about preventing compartment syndrome from cutting off circulation to my lower leg while inflammation runs it’s course. Thursday, now that my WCB claim is in place, I will be for real assessed to see what the damage is. Yay more poking and prodding.


I’ve been attending school for two reasons, 1- no way am I falling behind, and 2- I feel the safest there, surrounded by numerous ATs 8hrs a day and having full access to ice and someone to check my foot’s circulation in the clinic whenever I need. Work is another story, obviously HC is put on hold and I definitely wasn’t able to work at MORfit Sunday or tonight (wasn’t able to teach either :() due to being horribly intimidated by stairs and 110% useless. Which means I’ve also been staying outside of the city, as my place as three terrifying flights (thank you to the Korstrom family, and my dad/Tesia for putting up with me!)

I am definitely glad that last week I felt the need to get as caught up with everything as I could (premonition much?), because this week not much catching up is possible.

Today I have been able to weight bear, a little. I have been able to make it around the house at a awkward shuffle- I can’t really move my leg out from directly under my hip (so heck no to any extension or flexion while moving) unless I want to experience full on muscle spasms. But this is leaps and bounds compared to Saturday night/sunday when I couldn’t move from the hip down, let alone even consider putting weight on the leg. Woooo progress. Even since yesterday, when we discovered that my right (injured) foot was quite a few degrees colder then my left, a few shades paler as well, and my ability to control movement at my ankle was next to zero (holla at me compartment syndrome)- I’ve regained decent circulation and can make movement happen when I want it to. Thank goodness for compression socks.

I’ve quickly discovered that most of the handicap doors throughout UW are dysfunctional, and pretty much everyone outside of the Duckworth seems to enjoy watching the girl with crutches struggle to open, hold, and go through doors herself.

One of the things that’s surprised me the most about this whole ordeal is how I’ve been handling it. In the past, injuries that withhold my ability to continue living my life at high speed tend to put me in a bad place. Maybe it was the overwhelmingly hilarious experience Lauren and I had with some pretty great paramedics on Saturday, but as much as it sucks that everything is being put on hold (again)- it’s not really phasing me like it used to. I guess maybe I’m finally learning to not fight what the Universe throws my way as much, especially when I can’t change the situation anyway. I do think I should start getting bonus marks for going above and beyond in understanding injuries, the healing process, and all that. Because, c’mon… It’s obvious I take my education quite seriously.  So far this idea has just gotten me the esteemed position of class example for lectures this week.

I’m truly hoping that in the next few days I can master a decent walking ability so I can ditch the crutches. I truly am a complete circus on those things, and my arms are so dang tired! Wish me luck, and I will keep you updated!


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