Injuries and Instagram
Good morning! So, I know you guys have had to listen to me whine about my injury for 3 solid weeks now but I realized I never actually really explained what's going on with it...mostly because it's a long story and I was hoping it would resolve itself by now. But, because it's become a larger problem and because sharing about it on insta may actually be leading to a solution for me I've decided I should share the whole long drawn out story. Prepare yourselves!
When I was 17 I was snowboarding with a friend in April or May. If you've been on the mountain during that time of year you're aware that the weather is incredible but the snow is garbage. It gets really icey and you get really slick areas and areas that are just big crystally ice. We were on a steep run that gets full sun in the morning but cools down in the afternoon which makes the whole ice situation even better. At one point I was on a pretty steep area going uncomfortably fast and as I tried to slow down a bit I caught my edge in that horrible icy snow and started to flip and tumble and basically get tossed around like a rag doll until I slid to a stop. I had the breath knocked out of me and because I was only in a t-shirt and snowboarding pants my stomach and hip got ripped apart by the crusty snow. Initially I was so focused on my bleeding hip and getting my breath back that I didn't notice I'd injured anything else. I picked myself up and, very slowly, made my way down the mountain and eventually back to the lodge.
Everything was sore and hurt, but the next day I really noticed I'd done something pretty bad. I couldn't pick up anything heavier than a small glass of water without a lot of pain. I had bruising through my upper ribs. I was talking to my dad about the whole thing and that's when he noticed my collarbone, it was sitting higher than the other side and sticking out a bit on the sternum side. At this point he thought maybe I tweaked my back or hips and something was just out of alignment so I went to our chiropractor. He took one look at it and said he didn't dare touch it. I went to a doctor from there who gave it a nice painful tug and let me know I tore most of the tendons and ligaments that hold the inner side of my clavicle down. While fully attached at the shoulder, it was not fully attached on the sternum side. This is not something surgeries are done for, since you remain functional, but it does take quite a bit of recovery time and movement continues to cause inflammation as it's healing. In addition to the collarbone issue I had shifted a few of my upper ribs but they said the pain there was mostly associated with inflammation of the cartilage between my ribs and sternum (costochondritis). So...we went through rounds of various anti-inflammatory meds for a few months before they ended up putting me on a steroidal anti-inflammatory for a month.
If you're wondering if it looks weird, it does, but no one notices. If you scroll back up to the photo at the top you can see the displaced collarbone. My right (the left in the photo) collarbone sits higher on that side, and sticks out a bit. You'd only notice if you know what to look for though!
It took about a year and a half before I felt like the pain had mostly subsided and I could function normally. That shoulder was always weaker and any motion that caused rotation of the collarbone was tricky for me. Even years after I was healed I'd periodically have "flare ups" where I'd deal with that inflammation and pain again. It always took quite a bit of time and rest to heal and was so frustrating. When I started doing yoga more consistently I really started focusing on strengthening the muscles around that shoulder and found that it helped so so much! My shoulder was much more functional and the costochodritis flare ups were much less frequent.
Since starting Kayla's program I've had a significant increase in strength and have actually not dealt with any costochondritis...until a few weeks ago. I was doing decline pushups and just moved a little weird and felt that familiar pain and weakness. I took a week off of anything arm related and tried again the following week, things felt worse. I tried to power through it, things got worse. I took two weeks off and suddenly the pain was so bad I couldn't even complete ab day. Just the flexing of muscles to move through a sit up causes sharp pain through my upper ribs. I'm going into my 4th week of just focusing on legs and cardio and still things are not getting better. It's been very frustrating and quite discouraging.
Last week an e-mail popped into my inbox from a girl named Ashleigh. This sweetheart had read my posts about being injured on my instagram and reached out to me. She lives fairly close and shared some information about her PT who helped save her dancing career and wanted to refer me if I hadn't seen anyone. Over the years I have seen quite a few people and each time they have said I'm going to just have to live with it and use anti-inflammatories as necessary any time I re-injure it and cause additional inflammation. Based on this history, I explained to Ashleigh how my injury was not something that could be helped. Having this recommendation got me really curious though. Maybe it could be fixed, or at least helped. I'd never had anyone willing to try to manipulate it.
So, after thinking about it for a week I called. This PT is retired and it seems he only takes patients by referral but he gave Ashleigh his personal number to give to me once he heard my story from her. He talked with me for 15 minutes and took time to ask questions about my injury and his plan for possibly treatment. He said he should know after the first treatment if he can actually help me. So with that, I'm going to see him next week and Ashleigh and I are going to meetup after and get some FOOD! My appointment finishes at 10 so I suggested an early lunch ha ha. I suppose most places aren't serving lunch at 10, even though it's NEVER too early for lunch, so it sounds like we'll be getting smoothie bowls instead!
I just want to say I'm incredibly thankful for the connections I've made via instagram. This community is truly amazing and I love that we all look out for and support each other. I get e-mails from girls with questions sometimes and they say things like "you may not even read this but..." or "you probably wont respond but I wanted to ask..." . I want you to know I read every comment on my insta. I make an effort to respond to every single question and I know I respond to every single e-mail. Do not hesitate to reach out for any reason. We're all real people going through real things and we need to be there for each other. We all need friendship and support and you have that in me.
Thank you Ash for taking the time to contact me. You've brought me some hope! I'm really excited to see how things go! I'll be sure to keep you all updated on my appointment and whether or not it might be fixable! Wish me luck!