This time last year I was shivering in a hospital bed begging for more blankets as I came off of general anesthesia. I looked down at the edge of my bed to see my mom tickling my toes and singing "this little piggy went to the market, this little piggy stayed home," and on and on...I find it amazing to reflect on what a journey this ankle injury has been and all of the lessons I have learned from it.
First, here's a quick timeline of the injury to give you some perspective:
April 2010: I relapsed with my eating disorder in a new way and developed a stress fracture from over exercising. All seemed good by May and I never went to physical therapy.
April - August 2014: I went into a walking boot again with the realization that my stress fracture had never actually healed itself, started physical therapy, and had fleeting episodes of relief.
September 2014: I moved across the country and changed physical therapists, found new doctors, and my ankle got progressively worse.
October 2014-March 2015: I continued to new treatments with little success but I finally found a doctor and physical therapy team that worked just as hard as I did to find an answer and cure.
April 1, 2015: I finally started recovery with the help of an incredible doctor! Surgery went amazing and I went back into a walking boot.
August 2015: my tendon wasn't healing properly and I was looking at a second surgery, in the meantime I went into a walking boot for the fourth (and, hopefully, final) time.
September 2015: my tendon reattached itself and all has been swell since! I've continued to surprise myself everyday with all of my new progress.
As you can see over the course of 2 years I have been on a long and windy rollercoaster with many bumps and close calls along the way and I learned some really important lessons about myself:
- My body is resilient: My body never ceases to amaze me with its ability to heal itself even when I abuse it.
- My yoga practice can solve anything: Throughout recovery my yoga mat became my sanctuary where I could face and work through the physical and emotional pain of healing.
- I do NOT accept defeat: For an entire year I heard countless doctors tell me over and over again "this is as good as it gets kid" "it'll stay like this your whole life" "nothing is showing up on the xrays" "I'm stumped" "I'm not sure what to tell you" "It's psychosomatic" "There isn't anything wrong" "It doesn't make any sense" "I think that's just a shadow on the MRI" "It doesn't seem to be that serious." I didn't accept any of these answers knowing that there had to be a way for me to heal, so I kept pushing back and searching for the right answer that would give me my life back.
- I have amazing friends and family: Some of the same people that sat with me in my hospital room 7 years ago as I fought for my life against an eating disorder were the same people curling up in bed with me as I licked my wounds and rehabbed my ankle. I have surrounded myself with powerful, loving, supportive friends and family and am grateful for each one of them.
And finally, the most important lesson that came from all of this is that every upset, injury, illness, bump, bruise, failure, miscommunication, wrong turn, accident, etc. is an opportunity for learning and self-growth. I realized early on in this ordeal that I had the option of wallowing in self-pity and denying my reality or I could take this as an opportunity to evaluate my current circumstances and make changes to better support the life I want to live, one that is thriving free of injury and illness.