Skip to main content

Old Wounds

They say time heals all wounds … But I think they can still haunt you for years. 

The girl with one knee brace ...

I can still vividly recall my first knee injury. It was during our volleyball team warm-ups where we ran around the court then dove head first into a team huddle on the floor. Except one day, for some reason, I didn’t quite dive. My left knee caught and bent inwards, and I instantly started howling and crying. I remember feeling both panicked and embarrassed as people helped me off the floor. My parents took me to the ER and, at the time, I sat in the backseat of the car thinking the pain was the worst thing I’d ever experienced ...  

There were more high school sports injuries after that – to both my right and left knees, during volleyball, basketball and softball. I can’t remember all the details for each, but I still know exactly where I was and how I felt in those moments. 

And, eventually, the girl with TWO knee braces. 

After high school, I stopped playing sports, but I didn’t stop damaging my knees. My weight ballooned through college, early marriage and my first pregnancy. I didn’t start taking my health seriously until Kenlee was nearly 2 years old. 

Battle Scars
When I first started running, I could feel my past in my bones. My knees creaked, crackled and sometimes shouted at me to stop. But I didn’t. And, amazingly, as I lost more weight and took the pressure/force off every step, my knees finally quieted down. 

Actually, aside from the occasional ache after a long run, my knees hadn’t bothered me at all for the last three years. I could still hear a crackling when I walked up the stairs, but it was only painful to my ears. 

The noise was like a battle scar I was proud of. You see, after all those years of visits to doctors, sports chiropractors and physical therapists, I was finally at peace with what they told me: “If you take some weight off those knees, they’ll feel a lot better.” 

As an overweight teenage girl, those words stung to my core. “They’re judging me. They don’t understand. They’re using my weight as an excuse,” I cried. 

And, maybe that was partly true. Fat-shaming and discrimination are real – I won’t deny it. But, after losing more than 100 pounds, the amazing difference I felt in my knees was also very real.  I can’t deny that, either. 

Please understand me here: I'm not saying all knee problems are caused by weight issues, or all knee problems can be solved by losing weight. It's just my personal experience.

Forget sunrises and scenic trails ... this is my normal view these days. 

Denial
With my most recent knee injury, it's clear the physical and mental wounds of my past have come back to bite me. Each health care provider I see comments on the crackling in my knees. “High school injuries,” I say, too embarrassed to explain my weight history, too … I know carrying around 284 pounds probably caused just as much damage as my athletic endeavors, but that story is even more embarrassing and painful. 

“But the crackling doesn’t bother me, I swear! That can’t be the problem. And I know I’m pregnant, but I’m still healthy! I HAVE to run. You just don’t understand …” 

Maybe it’s the raging hormones, maybe it’s deja vu … but I definitely feel like that vulnerable teenage girl all over again. 

Without an MRI or other imaging, we can’t know for sure what happened to my knee when I felt that snap three weeks ago. But, deep down, I know EXACTLY what’s wrong. The problem isn’t my meniscus, my weak hips or my loose joints. The problem is I can’t outrun who I used to be. I can’t keep denying my past. Because while I like to think I left obesity behind, its effects are going to be something I always carry with me. 

Moving On?
For now, recovery is a day-by-day effort. I seem to constantly take one step forward and two steps back. The healing process seems to be complicated by pregnancy (swelling, circulation and weight gain are factors), and it's unclear if I'll be able to get a definitive diagnosis/treatment plan until I give birth. Until then, I'll just keep fighting - my injury and my demons. 

Time heals all wounds, they say. So here's hoping the next 12 weeks of my pregnancy are all the time I need to heal this one. 

Red and swollen knee after a PT session ... It actually looks better than it did the day before. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's Time to Do SOMETHING

Listen, I'm going to get political for a minute. If you don't like it, now's your time to run. Actually, now's your time to buck up and read this because you can't keep running from our country's problems just because you don't like conflict.

This week, after watching the horrific news of yet another mass shooting in our country, I was FED UP. I was no longer shocked by the news, I was just appalled - I couldn't believe we had let this happen again. Yes, WE. You and me. We did this.

Because by standing back and doing nothing about gun violence in America, we definitely aren't solving the problem. By ignoring the tough conversations with our family, friends and government officials, we are contributing to the deaths of more and more innocent people.

Personally, I'm DONE.

I don't know what the answer is, but I do know I'm tired of watching the news and thinking I can't do anything about it. I have a voice. And I am choosing to use it …

Mental Health: Think Before You Blame

Two words are getting tossed around like confetti right now, and I’d like to stop the “celebration.”

Mental health 
Two words I’ve used plenty of times. I’ve been quite open and honest about my mental health in recent years. After overcoming a lot of self-doubt, stigma and fear, and I finally sought treatment. First, for anxiety. Then for postpartum depression (and still anxiety).

I’ve been open about my mental health because I want to help erase the stigma of asking for help. Of just admitting you need help. I want people to know that it’s perfectly normal, and perfectly OK, if you’re not OK. Everyone has their struggles. To be imperfect is to be human. And we’re all in this together. I want to open doors of acceptance and help people understand they are not alone.

But lately, the conversations around mental health seem to be shutting doors and only adding to the stigma. “Mental health” is what a lot of people are blaming for violence. Online, people are saying our nation’s terribl…

Paying for Pixie Dust: 7 Ways You Can Save Money if You Plan Ahead for Disney World

Here’s the thing: Disney World is NOT cheap. I will say that up front. There’s a reason my family can’t afford to go every single year (even though I want to!), and it’s not just the fact that we live a long, long way from Florida. 
There seems to be this misconception that you can find secret Disney “deals.” Not really. Disney does offer discount packages throughout the year, but the discounts just aren’t as good as they used to be. The U.S. economy is good and park attendance is up - they don’t need to entice travelers with deals!
If you’re interested in snagging a package, you need to understand that prices vary by what time of year you’re going to visit. For example, if you’re going at Christmas, you’re going to pay more than if you go in the middle of September. Even with a discount! If you still want to book a package, here’s a handy page of historical discounts and when they’ve been offered. Remember, Disney can change its promotions every year! But it’s a good reference poi…