On Not Getting Along with My Body

This may seem a bit lit a whiney post, but I don’t mean it to be. It’s meant to discuss the mental and physical struggles of injury. Blog posts like this helped me through previous injuries to make me feel like I wasn’t alone in my frustrations. I would like to open an honest dialogue about ways to cope with the ups and downs of injury. So, without further ado…

I’ve come to my wit’s end with my body yet again. The first time was last year, for the majority of the year. My body and I been on a decent roll since September, with better communication and more understanding, but then when January hit, we were back in a slump.

Graston and ART for tennis elbow bruises

I feel like I’m in a bad relationship. I want to do things, but my body won’t let me, and I can’t understand why. Sometimes I give it the silent treatment, and sometimes it gets the mad, frustrated version of me. Other times I feel teary-eyed and hopeless. We have just had a year of not getting along.

What’s causing our current rift? After trying six sessions of combined therapeutic modalities (ART, Graston, laser, and ultrasound) for my tennis elbow, not only have I failed to get any better, I feel I’ve actually gotten worse. My chiropractor discharged me from treatment on Monday. He was bummed not only for me, but because I am the first patient with tennis elbow he’s been unable to help.

Tennis elbow bicep bruising

We discussed what my next steps should be. I’ll be getting the MRI that my orthopedist had ordered back in the summer (but didn’t get because I was dealing with my other injury that was much worse than my elbow at the time). The last time I saw my orthopedist in June he offered me MRI, an oral steroid taper (no thanks!), and occupational therapy. My chiropractor mentioned looking into prolotherpy and iontophoresis, so we’ll see what the orthopedist thinks of those. He even suggested taking a week off of work to really rest my arm since I’m at the computer all day (and at night with school and the blog). I’m not quite there yet, since I’d want to save my time in case I need a procedure done. This upcoming 3-day weekend can’t come soon enough, though!

Graston bruising green and purple

I was extra frustrated this past week because my plantar fasciitis started to act up again. Thankfully, I have a more, shall we say, loving approach toward my foot since I understand it a bit better–what helps, what doesn’t, why it might be acting up. I had tried laying off of the KT tape since I didn’t want to become dependent on it and I think that’s what did me in. So I’m easing off the running this week, concentrating on stretching and arch exercises, and putting the tape back on. I’ll start to play with the frequency of the tape once I’m able to run for longer amounts of time. I’m also expecting my new orthotics to come in this week, so I’m hoping that will help, too!

KT tape back on foot for plantar fasciitis

Also adding to my frustration? My other elbow is starting to bother me, possibly because I’ve become so dependent on using my left hand and arm now that my right one (my dominant one!) is out of commission. Even brushing my teeth hurts my injured elbow, so my left arm is getting more than its fair share of work.

I’ve tried changing things up at work to avoid getting an RSI (repetitive stress injury) on my left arm. I’m switching back and forth between my desktop and laptop and that seems to have helped for today. I had done most of my mousing on my left to let my right arm rest, but now I’m switching it back and forth to tolerance. I’m also going to look into getting a trackball mouse. I used one of these a long time ago and really liked it.

I know a big key to getting better is my attitude. The more frustrated I am, the worse the whole process will be. Plus, the more stressed it gets me, the more stress hormones will be coursing through my body, which will only hinder any healing. I need to be more kind to my body, putting out positive vibes and being optimistic about recovery. But it is so, so hard sometimes when you’ve been dealing with pain day after day, from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep.

Okay, I’m done whining for now. Time to have more gratitude for all that I have instead of focusing my energy on things that are wrong. So right now I am thankful that my heal is starting to feel better and that I’ve found ways to cope with (some) of the pain in the interim. Oh, and that Walking Dead is back. 🙂

Questions: Have you ever had an injury that affected your day-to-day life? How did you deal with it? Did you feel like you were in a constant argument with your body? Does pain put you in a sour mood?

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14 thoughts on “On Not Getting Along with My Body

  1. I’ve been dealing with pain on my left ankle and left wrist since a minor car accident last summer. Even though the pain is not too bad, it is definitely an annoyance, especially because it’s there 24 hours a day.

  2. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this! No one should have to deal with chronic pain, so I really hope that your doctors can help you out soon.

    For the mouse issue, I was starting to get signs of carpal tunnel and switched to an ergonomic mouse — it really helped! I’ve since lost it in the move, so I’m going to order a new one. But you feel like you’re playing video games all day, which is fun. The joystick only takes a few days to get used to…http://blogit.realwire.com/?ReleaseID=14662

    • Thanks. 🙂 I really don’t mean to complain about it much, but it just bottles up inside unti you want to scream, “enough!” I mean, even brushing my hair, picking up my coffee mug, opening the door hurts to the point that I need to use my other hand. Hopefully I’ll have some answers and solutions soon…

      In the meantime, thanks for the mouse suggestion!I’ll definitely look into that one. I’ve heard the ones where your hand is in more of a “handshake” position are good because then your arm bones aren’t constantly twisted.

  3. Hi Stephanie, I went through months of frustration with knee / hip / foot, from over training. My podiatrist became my new best friend. He must have adjusted my orthopedics 5 or 6 times but with that and rest, things eventually got better. Haven’t had tennis elbow, so no ideas or thoughts on the subject… Hang in there !

    • Thank you, Karen! It’s always good to hear from people who’ve been there (and that eventually recovered, too!). How are your feet these days?

      • It was my knees & at the moment injury free…. trying to keep it that way. Dynamic warm up + stretching + foam rolling + strengthening my quads / glutes helped. Hoping my run goes well this weekend.

      • Ah! The feet caused the knee pain, but the feet never hurt. Similar thing with my glutes–even though they were weak, my physical therapist pointed out that my pronating foot is probably what started it all. It’s all connected…

        Yes, I am using the same approach and that has really helped! Glad you’re injury free!

  4. This must be so frustrating! I don’t do well when I’m abruptly taken out of my routine, which is what happened to me when I couldn’t run. Finding a different routine helped (after a very rough adjustment period) but it sounds like your injuries affect a lot of types of activities. 😦 I hope you and your body can come to an understanding soon!

    • Thanks, Nora! I hope we come to an understanding soon, as well. MRI and follow-up appointment with my ortho are booked, so hope to have some answers and plan of attack soon. It’s the not having answers and not having a plan that drive me crazy!

  5. […] know I’ve touched on this topic before, but I feel it’s an important one that bears repeating. Of course, I’m say this as I’ve […]

  6. […] followed it to a T. I had a few setbacks, figured out what the problems were, and then moved forward. I’m amazed I didn’t have […]

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