Beating up my Body

I have spent most of my life beating up on my body. I played softball for several years, I danced from about 3rd grade until 10th, I went skiing with school for 2 winters, I was in track a couple years, and I was in kung fu off and on for about 4 years.

I injured one knee in dance and again on my first honeymoon (skiing in Tahoe). I have always been a bit klutzy, so I twisted/sprained my ankles on more than one occasion.

By far the worst abuse my body has been put through was on Christmas Day, 2007. I was in a terrible car accident that the paramedics said I should not have survived. A truck crossed over the median, and came sliding sideways towards me, until his truck ended up on top of my car. There was nowhere I could go. I remember seeing him coming towards me, and then that his truck was on top of my car. Flames were coming out from under the hood. I remember trying to get out (thinking it was about to explode like in the movies). Because of the angle of his truck, I could not get either of my doors open. I crawled to the backseat (not really sure how after looking at the pics – I think an angel was holding up the roof of my car until I got back there to Michael). Both of those doors were jammed shut too. I didn’t know how we were going to get out until I heard someone shouting to get out. The back window had blown out from the crash. Good Samaritans were outside trying to help us. I unbuckled Michael and handed him through the broken glass, then they pulled me out to safety. It wasn’t until I was sitting in a by-stander’s vehicle waiting for the ambulance, that my knee started to throb. I sat there crying, watching my car burn up with half of our presents in the trunk. I was thankful that Michael seemed to be ok, but I was definitely in shock. I didn’t notice the blood coming from my thumb (where there is still a piece of glass). By the time the ambulance came, I could hardly walk. My husband and his Dad had shown up (we were only a block away from our destination – his Grandma’s house). They helped with Michael while I got checked out. Spending Christmas in the hospital getting x-rays and iced up was not even close to how I planned on spending the day!

As the next couple days went on, the extent of my injuries became more obvious. I had pretty major whiplash and could barely move my neck and shoulders. My knee had a pretty serious sprain and a dislocated knee cap. Over three years later, I am still going to the chiropractor regularly for adjustments and monthly for massage therapy. When I miss more than a couple weeks, my shoulder and neck are pretty stiff and sore. My knee has continued to give me problems, especially with weather changes. I still have a spot about the size of a half dollar that is numb. I wear an Ace bandage “sleeve” on my knee when I go to dance class, drive distances, or walk with the kids and dog.

A couple weeks ago, I went to the knee Dr. for a follow up. After the x-ray was normal, and the MRI was “mostly” normal, the recommendation was made that he could do an exploratory surgery to “clean things up and remove some inflammation.” I am not one who feels comfortable with “exploratory surgery.” How do I know it wouldn’t end up worse? I have a dance recital in May I’m getting ready for, a wedding in July, and a 3-Day walk in August that I start training for next week. I don’t see how I can possibly have surgery… The nurse then suggested the other option, that I meet with a sports trainer.

I met with Brent today. After some examination of my knee, he said he thought with some strength training and stretches that he gave me, I should be able to train and walk with minimal pain. I am trying to be hopeful that it will make a difference, but after 3 years with minimal progress, it’s hard to be too optimistic. I’d love to not have achy knees all the time. I’d love to be able to train for and walk 60 miles and still feel strong.

I’ll keep updating with how the exercise/strength training is going, and how my knee’s feeling…

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