Temporarily Sidelined and Trying to Cope

February 10, 2011 | By | Comments (0)

Let me start by saying this: I am not a weekend warrior. I am not a marathon runner. I am fit, but I have never used the word “athletic” to describe myself even in my most active of years. A few months ago I started training for my first 5K. I was running in the snow at least three times a week and skiing with my husband and two boys every weekend. I was pushing beyond my comfort zone and challenging myself physically. At 41 it felt really good.

Until the accident.

IStock_000010342163XSmall I blogged here about my ski accident the week after it happened. At the time, I had no real understanding of the extent of my injuries and I was optimistic this would be a minor and temporary setback. What I have since learned is that my left knee is a mess: Torn ACL, torn meniuscus cartilage, sprained MCL and fractures in the tibia and fibula. I have only just begun the recovery process which will include surgery and several months of rehabilitation. I’ve been on crutches for almost four weeks already and logging a lot of time on the couch “resting” both knees. Even the so-called “good one” is feeling the stress from overcompensation.

And yet work and life must go on. It’s hard to stay positive when you are stuck in the house 24/7. When I do go out, I worry about falling on ice and snow. I have a whole new appreciation for the physically disabled and find most public spaces are stretching the definition of “handicap accessible.” Because I am self-employed I don’t get the benefit of any paid sick leave or short term disability. I do, fortunately, get to work and write from my couch.

Being sidelined like this has taught me a few things:

  • –I spent a lot of time running unnecessary errands and shopping for fun. It’s amazing the money I have saved by just staying home.
  • –Our family ate out more than we needed to. I never considered us a family that ate out a lot, but I see now that we did grab food on the fly more than I realized. The trips for burgers and fries or ice cream with the boys have pretty much halted. My waistline is grateful for that! The boys, not so happy.
  • –You can reclaim some precious time by ordering everyday items on the internet. Drugstore.com has become my new favorite online destination. If you’ve ever had to ask your husband to pick up pantiliners for you, you will understand where I am coming from on this.
  • –Grocery delivery simply should be available in every city. In the Boston suburbs I relied on my grocery delivery at least one week per month. I also had my hormone-free milk delivered from a local dairy. As far as I can tell there is no local grocery delivery service in Rochester, NY. I’ve been hesitant to try sites like NetGrocer.com but after my husband’s three-hour trip to our local Wegmans the other night, I am reconsidering.
  •  –An iPad is a bed-ridden gal’s best friend. Prior to my accident, I used my iPad on trips. Now I snuggle up with her on the couch and in my bed. The battery life is amazing and she doesn’t burn up like a laptop. I predict she and I will be spending a lot of quality time together after surgery watching movies together and reading e-books.
  • –Finally, don’t be afraid to seek the company of friends. This week I got out for drinks and conversation with two of my new friends and it did so much for my soul. I also called some friends and family in Boston and asked if they’d like to come visit after my surgery. I knew they’d be happy to come but they would never have invited themselves. Now I’m eagerly anticipating their arrivals.

Have you ever been sidelined by an injury or illness? What are your secrets for surviving cabin fever?