Lessons learnt: My 10 day journey through early tbf injury rehabilitation

Day one: Pre op

Patiently waiting for the doctor to come down to give me the verdict which seems like a lifetime. He arrives. So two pins it is, these are to to be inserted into my medial and lateral tibial plateau to help regain a stronger knee joint. Another shock!, not going to lie many tears were shed when they said ill be on crutches for 3 months, 6 months to be weight bearing and a year till I can run. This is my livelihood, my passion, my life!. I found myself talking to myself "lets accept this", I know I'm strong mentally and physically but this will definitely challenge me.

  • The first learnt lesson so far is patience and battle frustration with yourself. This can result in a whirlwind of negative thoughts equalling barriers to progression. Set them aside they are insignificant to what you are able to do. 

Day two: Post op

The day is here, feelings of anxiety and excitability are significant. A thorough check through my health, risks of operation and after care. The most attractive gown on and I'm ready to go, eek!.

I come around feeling that I'm on another planet. An overwhelming rush of emotions making me cry relentless. The pain is incredible nothing I've ever felt before. But returning to my ward I see my Mother Bear which feels me with content and reassurance. That evening I get fed a concoction of pain relief, so still on another planet.

  • Learnt lessons: keep positive. Progression will be with small steps. Train the mind to accept. Frustrated with yourself?. This can result in a whirlwind of negative thoughts equalling barriers to progression. Set them aside they are insignificant to what you are able to do.

Day three: Freedom and Mobility

Im finally free to be discharged from Q and A. Kind of sad but definitely relieved to be away from relentless beeping, coughing, burping and farting. I arrive home. My life has been organised to a 'T' by my mum, so happy days!. 

Today is time for some touch bearing exercises. I'm very cautious to ground my left foot as my knee is restricted due to the dressing and pins so bending it feels unnatural, but eventually I then begin to get my flow. I manage to go up and downstairs but with some balance issues, as my clients well know what I always "It's all in the core!". So, I need to ground myself with using my core strength. Being on crutches will definitely test my stability and core strength, so keeping this in check is essential.

  • Learnt lessons: Keep grounded in the core when travelling and take my time.

Day four: Planning ahead

My sleeps are getting less interrupted, pain is becoming manageable and I'm feeling stronger. Theres nothing I can do now except let time be a healer and plan my comeback!.I've realised in life having a plan makes you work harder and gives you something to look forward to. Today, I am making a plan for business and a plan for new skills to learn. I'm hoping this will make me stronger and more determined. I want to be able to teach others that your mind is powerful, you can test it all all angles and it will work in your favour if you treat/train it right.

  • Lessons learnt: Rev up your ambition and motivation for future plans 

Day five: Nutrition

I finally slept through the whole night, and I feel amazingly energised. Now i have finally conquered the sleeping I need to now get my nutrition right. Having to completely change my workout routine I have to likewise with my calorie intake and nutritional content. I need healing foods. I naturally intake a moderate amount of dairy so my dietary requirements are needing to be full of protein which are rich in amino acids essential for an anabolic and regeneration response, polyunsaturated fats such as Omega 3 that has an anti-inflammatory response and antioxidants such as goji berries and blueberries to aid my immune system. I have made a conscious effort to order fresh greens such as spinach and kale, which go great with most dishes including a nutri-bullet smoothie. Also, on the list is lean white meat including turkey and chicken breasts and pulses to integrate not only high amount of protein by fibre and minerals too.  So I'm being careful with what I eat I hope to make sure I have a balance of the above to aid me through this recovery.

  • Lessons learnt: The body needs healing foods. Carefully consider nutritional content of foods to help stimulate regeneration 

Day six: Functional rehabilitation

After some cries last night I needed to get up today and make the day positive and worthwhile. Being less mobile comes with problems namely becoming less flexible and atrophy. I am already seeing atrophy in my left quadricep, which worries me to see evidence of how this injury has impacted my body. I've worked so hard on these quads!. Anyway, lets get back to being positive. My goal today is to work on full body flexibility and mobility using the resistant bands. These have now become my best friend. The resistant bands are so versatile enabling me to do both stretch and strengthen my abled muscles. I manage to get out in the garden. Fresh air is a god send, I never realised the impact of this its only since I've been limited to these four walls that I reap the benefits. Here, I use the bench as an anchor point and complete a short circuit for my upper body.Finishing with floor stretches aided by foam rolling. I feel great another achievement, every little counts.

  • Lessons learnt: Keep your body moving. Mobilise and stretch to your limits.

Day seven: Remember in recovery mode

After a crap nights sleep I'm feeling exhausted. I get woken up by my niece (can never get tired of that) who is being the best nurse I could wish for at the moment, and asked to come down for breakfast. But my body is saying no, I stay in bed for longer. I try to be productive but the body is still saying no. I end up staying in bed for most of the day, which makes me feel frustrated, all behaviours of which I'm not use to. Did I push my body too far yesterday?. I end up agreeing with myself to sign this day off. Rest and heal.

  • Lessons learnt: Take it easy and remember your body needs time to heal.

Day eight: Make life easier

First thing this morning I got picked up by my nan, we were off to the British Red Cross. I am ordering my mobility aids. Never thought I'd see the day this was to happen. So, I've ordered a hostess trolley to help me move objects around the house namely food!, and a wheelchair for obvious reasons. I get to pick these up on Friday, quite excited.

Feeling energised and motivated, I focus on firstly making a great nutritious lunch (of course!), then down to business. 

  • Lessons learnt: Don't be scared to ask for help and play to your strengths.

Day nine: Treat yourself

Today I'm having my hair done, and I'm so excited I haven't been able to wash it in weeks. Just one issue transport. Im having to consider logistics of getting round a lot more carefully, and feeling a little anxious about going to the hairdressers. Whilst writing the latter sentence I'm slightly in shock, I never get anxious!. I guess what I'm anxious about are peoples reaction and potentially getting stuck in a situation that I would otherwise not think twice about. I keep talking myself through the plan so ill become more relaxed about it, 'Chill out Shell!'. I order a taxi for 2pm, here I go.

The salon is so accommodating which definitely helped my with my nerves and enjoy the experience. Im only having my hair cut which seems so average, but for some reason it is quite a big deal to me today. This is first encounter on my own with crutches, and I hate people fusing as I feel that I'm capable but I'm learning to allow others to help me out more. The stylist works her magic and I feel like a new woman.

  • Lessons learnt: Be true and good to yourself. Your body is your machine, fuel it, support it and see its longevity.

Day ten: Time to reflect

Day ten, I can't believe it already. I've completed three laps of the Close so far in my new wheels (wheelchair) it's a great endurance workout for the upper body. However, lets not overestimate my ability look what happen last time. It's given me a new lease of freedom but still quite anxious to go out on my own, mainly due to drop curbs. But it will be interesting to see the response of others

 I feel things have changed since my operation both physiologically and psychological with challenges that's for sure. Over this time I have found myself battling with positives and negatives as anyone would, almost like having an angel and devil on each shoulder in any decision making or testing situation. 'Give up!', or 'keep going'. But I'm proud of how I have managed to turn around situation's to become more positive. I'm not sure where my inner strength comes from but its there and I've learnt I can rely on it, which is comforting. I still cant come to terms with the duration of this recovery (at least 3 months) you may say I'm in denial. Nothing this traumatic has ever happened to me before and I guess my body is a machine, following the orders and I'l heal in no time. but taking it day by day certainly helps. And of course with support and encouragement around keeps me strong and motivated, Thank you!. 

Believing and loving yourself can be hard, but the more and more I go through this journey I ask why?, your body has never done anything to deserve this surely, work together, team work, become stronger and wiser, body and mind.

From here I'm setting myself milestones to achieve, but all short term to keep momentum and not get lost in the whirlwind of negativity. This has given me a whole new outlook on how disabled individuals deal with accessibility and exercise. I would love to explore this more, helping to educate and hopefully inspire how these barriers can be diminished.

  • Lessons learnt: Don't get lost in the drawbacks. Draw on your achievements, use these as your driving force. Live your life!. What's next.....?.