Broken, But Not Beaten

Friends, I have unfortunate news to share today. I can’t even really believe this myself, after a day of letting it sink in, but I had an accident yesterday that has left me with a broken knee cap and in a full leg cast.

Ay Dios Mio.

As the health nut and all around active lifestyle advocate that I am, you can only imagine my shock of suddenly being reliant on crutches, and, not insignificantly, to Mr. 2ChiliBreadBowl himself. I have a very hard head (you can take the girl out of Texas…) and am having to let my do-it-myself attitude rest for a bit.

What happened? Something so fast, I didn’t have time to brace myself. I was leaving the locker room at my Community Center, off to go run on the treadmill early in the morning, when I slipped on some water that I didn’t see on the polished concrete floors. BAM! I hit the deck, and, my kneecap decided to take a detour. Somehow, someway, I managed to summons help in this concrete bunker (it is built out of board formed concrete walls in the locker room) and, was off to have a life-changing experience.cast

You see, I have never broken a bone before, and as 2Chili told the surgeon, rarely even break fingernails (score one for a healthy diet). Thankfully, we live in an area with excellent medical care, and I cannot thank the docs and nurses at both Overlake Hospital and Group Health Medical Center in Bellevue more. They are simply amazing. And, my EMTs from the Bellevue FD were fast, extremely competent and very wonderful themselves. The thing they kept reiterating, which I completely appreciated, is that because I’m in great physical shape, I will have a much easier go at recovery than I would if I wasn’t so fit. That meant so much, they don’t even know it!

Here’s a picture of my current situation – Fiberglass is not really my style. As you know, I prefer technical apparel because I’m always on the move out!

2Chili has decided to do some of his artwork on it later, so, I’ll share pictures if he indeed gets all creative on my gimpy leg. Living with an architect means I will probably end up with house designs and floor plans on  my cast, but, you just never know!

So, now what?

Well, it is very clear to me: Heal as fast as possible. I have been doing some research, and will keep you posted on what works and what doesn’t, as clearly I am not the only one in this world that has ever broken a bone. One of my nurses told me she had the exact same injury, and she is back to good after lots of PT.image

Swimming, biking, running, hiking, and my other outdoor passions are off the table for a while, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to turn into a couch potato. No-siree! I am experiencing what you might call a speed bump, but, this too shall pass. The doc said I may never run again. My mission is to prove him wrong. It may take a year, but, I hope to report back to you next triathlon season that I’m back at it! What he doesn’t know is my “run” is really more like speed walking. Ha!

I really think attitude is everything in these scenarios, so after giving myself a little time to mourn my old self for a while today, I dug right in to figure out exactly what I’m going to do with this new challenge.

Here’s my current planned protocol. Keep in mind I am self medicating here and just sharing for informational purposes – this isn’t advice!

  • I want to get off the major pain meds ASAP (but only when it’s manageable – hopefully in 3 days or so), and will switch to a more natural option called Phenocane, which is also an anti-inflammatory. Strong pain meds are not great for your liver, so I don’t really want to stay on them long. When I’m done with them, I’ll add in some Milk Thistle Extract for a while as a liver detox.
  • Vitamin C. From what I’ve read, loading up with vitamin C can really help with healing in surgery patients. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies, but, reckon a little vit C can help as well.
  • Collagen to help heal the nerves and ligaments. Importantly, this is Type II collagen, which seems to be more effective than Type I. Glucosamine and Chondroitin to support bone and joint healing in addition to the collagen.
  • Fish Oil, which I take already, to help with inflammation. Since we live in the Northwest, I take a fish oil with Vitamin D3. The thing about fish oil is you need to be careful to get it from a quality source (you get what you pay for) because it seems a lot of store-brand fish oil can be worse for you than not taking it at all due to rancidity. I love Nordic Naturals for this. It does not taste fishy!

And, lots and lots of organic fruits and vegetables, especially dark green leafies and berries that are so wonderfully in season, some verified free range organic eggs (I finally found a supplier), beans and legumes in moderation, nuts, seeds and avocados for healthy fats, and coconut oil as a natural anti-viral to help stave off any potential infections. In other words, my normal diet, but kicked up a notch to make sure only good stuff gets in. I’ll be going off gluten again for now, since it can cause inflammation, and avoiding any sugars not found in whole foods.

And, in a few days, I’ll start up some upper body weight training and some gentle yoga moves. I got the all-clear from the doc to do upper body as soon as I wanted, but was rightly informed, “you won’t really want too that soon.”

That’s my story, and, the reason why I may be a little quieter than usual around here. Or, I may be more active. I’m motoring around pretty well on my shiny new crutches, so it may not be long before I’m whipping up all kinds of new “recovery” smoothies.

Thank you all in advance for your support and understanding!

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