Yes, my blog posts have dropped off pretty drastically since August. I’ll be as honest as I can; there are two reasons for that. 1) The accident recovery and all it entails has been complicated. There are details I can’t share at this point. 2) The riding season is coming to a close for Colorado as we move into cooler and more unstable weather. We’ve already had more snow in October than I remember in my 30+ years of living here. It’s shaping up to be a wild ride and it’s still autumn!
This healing process post accident has been frustrating, fascinating and a never ending learning experience for me. Right after the accident well meaning friends started to call to see how I was doing. “Are you healed?” “You’re riding again, right?” “All is well now?” “What do you mean, no? But you didn’t break any bones, so you must be ok now!” I’m sure I have been guilty of saying something equally as unhelpful to someone at some point in my life. But I will try to think at least twice before I say something similar to a person who is dealing with an injury and recovery. I’m sure people mean well, but they don’t realize that those comments sting.
I’ve learned a great deal about how our bodies heal from trauma. Bones and muscles heal differently than ligaments do. I don’t follow sports much but as one person reminded me, we see an athlete go out with an ACL tear for example, and we know it’s months of recovery. They have access to the best doctors and spend their days on recovery; that becomes their primary job. How, then, do we ‘normal’ people expect to heal any faster? That perspective really helped me – it’s nothing I’m doing wrong, it’s just the timetable that it takes.
I’ve also done research into brain injury and concussion and the impact these can have on adults and how the symptoms may appear differently in different people. Would you be surprised to know that screen time may be a trigger for set backs or can cause healing to slow? I was shocked to learn that. Talking to parents of high school kids, this all started to make more sense. Apparently concussion protocol for a high schooler is no screen time and reduced class time. That’s not feasible for adults, at least it’s not for me. I can’t just tell my job hey, I’ll see you in a few months. Keep sending those paychecks, though, ok?
My point in all this is to give yourself a break and try to be patient with the healing journey. It takes time, sometimes months to heal from an accident. Check in on your friends who are dealing with it and simply ask how they are. Give them space to tell you and truly listen to the answer. Please, don’t make assumptions about their recovery. I know you mean well, but what is most appreciated is someone who asks rather than tells me how I should be feeling. Trust me, I put enough “shoulds” on myself.
Some days my patience are pretty high and I feel pretty good. Other days, the slightest pain sends me over the edge into despair and frustration. It has been almost three months and I never thought I’d still be recovering at this point. That’s my reality and I try to hang onto the gratitude that I am still here to heal and enjoy better days ahead. I look forward to resuming my normal posts at some point with more positive news. For now, its one step at a time, hopefully forward more often than backward.