Friday, January 24, 2014

Feeling Broken Inside

This post is going to be a little of the past and a little of the present.  I feel this is a story I need to share because it's something I struggle with every day.

Way back when, around 2002, when I was a freshmen....

(not my freshman year, but close to that age)

I was taking a Weights class to avoid normal P.E.  One fateful day I was doing lunges across the room holding a medicine ball.  All of a sudden, mid-lunge, my knee just gave out.  No reason, no explanation, no warning.  It hurt but it was a "pop some advil" hurt for the rest of my school day.  I got home and told my parents what happened and did the normal thing.  Iced it, took that advil, and went to bed.  By the next morning my knee was swollen and I could barely bend it.  Lets not focus on the part where I liked to exaggerate injuries as a younger kid for attention.  This was a legit injury but I still couldn't pinpoint what actually happened the day before.  That day was just the first in a long line of days filled with pain, confusion, and trials I didn't know I could handle.

Fast forward 4 months.  After relentless complaints, a doctors appointment was finally made to see what might have happened.  After a few normal doctor appointments, poking, prodding, and everything else, the tests started piling up.  I had x-rays, an MRI, and a few other tests done.  Still, nothing was coming of all the time and money spent.  I was finally sent to a knee specialist to look at my tests and to poke and prod even more.  This particular doctor was the man who had done my dad's first knee replacement so I had high hopes!

How to explain the emotions of a 14 year old who was told "I'm sorry but I just can't figure out what's wrong with you."  I'm still very young at this point in time.  I didn't know that a doctor could say such an awful thing.  I was hurt and horribly confused.  I didn't really handle the situation very well but I kept it bottled up more than people think.

From there, we tried all kinds of alternative medicine.  Pain clinics, to chiropractors, to acupuncture, to all kinds of weird stuff.  I can appreciate that some stuff works for some people but it started to get WAY too far out there for me and nothing was coming from it.  Just pain meds and more heads shaking at the conundrum that is my knee.

In 2004 we finally went to another knee specialist that came highly recommended.  To this day that man will always be my hero in my knee journey.  We sat down, he looked at all my records I brought with me, my tests, and pictures....  He looked up and said, "you've done everything else, let's open you up!" I had never heard such sweet words.  I was tired of being awake for the poking and prodding!  My parents asked me to think about it before I chose to go that route.  Surgery is a permanent alteration to your body and if it's not absolutely necessary then I needed to think long and hard.  For me, it was an easy decision.  I was tired of no answers.  Tired of constantly hitting walls.

Surgery went well, I woke up in all sorts of expected pain.  BAD NEWS.  There was nothing inside my knee to indicate the pain and issues I had now dealt with for 2 years.  I had to learn to deal with it.  Physical therapy combined with a summer working for a Boy Scouts of America camp gave me my full range of motion back which was a surprise to my therapist.  From this point, I learned pain management rather than healing.  This issue is undiagnosed.

I had to give up ballet, I forced my way through marching band but gave it up after high school instead of pursuing through college.  I was broken.  My loves were taken from me in an unfair situation and I was not a terribly understanding person about it.

YEARS later (give or take 2007ish) I check in with the replacement knee guy *for my dad's knee guy* to start checking it out yet again.  Dead ends left and right.  I accepted my fate.  I would live with this forever, undiagnosed.  More pain management for the few months here and there when I had health insurance.


 Susan G Komen 5k
Ugly Sweater 5k

Last year I decided I was tired of my pain.  Tired of the restrictions in my life.  I wanted to prove to myself that I could fight this.  (WAY too many years too late)  I started to become active from a completely lazy lifestyle.  I was feeling good!  I started the c25k program but had to stop because of a hip issue.  BUT!  I've been walking like crazy!  Miles upon miles logged, weekdays, weekends, at work, at home, 5ks, etc!  I am loving it! (but I'm still dealing with pain every day)

Jan 1st.  SO excited about the newest Shrinking Jeans challenges happening.  And I've been doing AMAZING if I do say so myself.  I'm currently down 9.8lbs in 3 weeks and until today, I've been doing all the different parts of the challenge.

Here's where it all ties in.  **sorry it took so long to get here!!!**  I have injured my knee in the last few days.  It's a combination of my old (never diagnosed, never healed) injury as well as this new injury.  My world came crumbling down this morning when I woke up and could barely move my knee.  I've been in tears all day.

I am absolutely terrified that it's going to be high school all over again.  Doctor after doctor, people telling me that I have to stop what I love.  I don't want to give up my new love for working out.  I am broken inside and out.  After all these years, I never learned real strength from the injury, I only learned to live with it.  I may be overreacting, but I don't think I am.  I'm in for a bumpy road ahead and I am hoping that I am able to at least continue to walk even if I have to give everything else up.


  1. Sorry to hear that you have re-injured your knee. I remember when I had some knee issues about 6 months ago and had to force myself to take some time many thoughts, so many emotions. Hope things get better, you can get some answers. In the meantime, while limited, focus on the healthy eating, and do things that are giving your knee a rest. Keep up the great work, keep your head up, and keep smiling. You rock girl!!!

  2. Thanks Lisa <3 I'm not going to let this drag me down. I can't. I won't let my injuries define me but I will learn from them... again... baby steps will get me through this.

  3. It's good to see that you aren't letting your injury get you down! Hopefully they will have more answers for you, and can help you get to where you need to be. It sucks giving up the things you love because of an injury. I personally have shoulder problems, and push ups kill me. Just tonight I was doing jumping jacks and my shoulder starting crying... not a good thing. I feel for ya.

  4. Injuries are the worst and it's all about finding a balance until they heal. Don't overdo it!! It's all about listening to your body!!!