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Battling Injury

It would be accurate to say I am very annoyed and frustrated. At myself.

I have been participating in the Global Corporate Challenge. It is truly a wonderful event: I love, love, love it. I just forgot to remember two things.

  1. I haven’t been too active for about four years
  2. I am no longer in my twenties. Hell, I’m no longer in my thirties.
Fitzroy Gardens Trees

Fitzroy Gardens Trees

I was probably a little more like the trees, not all young and green.

All gung-ho I leapt from about 3,000 steps a day to 10,000 steps. My body coped OK, at least so it seemed to me. On June 10th, purely by accident, I leapt up to a personal best of nearly 18,000 steps.

A couple of days later my left knee started to be rather grumpy with me. Being sensible, I iced and elevated and applied some anti-inflammatory cream to the knee. No improvement. So I visited the doctor to make sure I hadn’t done something drastic like torn something in my exuberance. Doctor said no major damage, but rest and elevate etc. So I did. But I kept walking. I wanted that Iron Man trophy so I kept riding the bike even though I knew my knee didn’t like it much. Got the trophy, but the knee was grumpier. Off to the physio. She gave me exercises and restricted my walking to 30 minute sessions. On the third treatment I was still not feeling any improvement.

I kept walking. In 30 minute sessions. One was a wander through the Conservatory.

I upped my swimming to compensate for less walking and did 2.1 kilometres on the weekend of the “Beat your Personal Best” mini-challenge. Oh, yes, the trophy addiction was running hot. I decided counting all those laps was a drag, so I had bought myself a new toy.

PoolMate

And I kept walking.

Bridge

My poor pedometer took a swim. I had a paranoid pre-swim routine to protect the little fella, but there was this one time…… Amazing little devices, they survive swimming and washing machine trips with a rice bath treatment. His brother kept me company while he recovered.

Pedometer

By this Sunday I wound up in the emergency department of the hospital. I came out on crutches and a cocktail of anti-inflammatories and painkillers, including synthetic morphine. On Tuesday I got a call from the hospital: they had reviewed my x-ray and would like me to come back in as they suspected I might have an infection in my knee. How on earth does one get an infection in one’s knee? There was talk of needles and blood tests and even being admitted. So back to the hospital I went. Three doctors poking and prodding later, I was let go, still on crutches and with instructions not to bend the knee for two weeks. Housemaid’s Knee was the verdict (otherwise known as bursitis). Great. Just great. Allowed to swim still though! OK, 2 kilometres a day will keep my steps up, I thought.

Thursday back to the physio. Don’t keep the knee straight, but stay on crutches. Only swim every second day.

I’ve been sent to a sports physician now. The appointment is Monday morning. Fingers crossed for a positive outcome. Nagging at the back of my mind is the fact I had arthritic changes removed from my right knee many years ago (wonderful, the right knee is). I don’t want to finish my GCC campaign under the knife!! I have more trophies to win. One is coming up next weekend. I think I’m likely to miss that one and I wanted ALL of the mini-challenges!

Today I noticed quite a few other GCC participants writing about injuries of various levels of severity and asking what they should do: rest or keep walking. Given my experience, I wrote this which I am sharing here as well as I know a few people with fitness objectives in mind.

Maybe my eyes are drawn to them because of my own injury, but it seems this week and today in particular I am reading a lot of injury woes in the Community.

I have no specific advice, but I am suggesting that people, especially those of us in the “more mature” age group, take care of your injuries. As those who have read my tales of woe know, I tried walking/working through mine because, well, I wanted that Iron Man trophy and the mini-challenges, didn’t I? Yes, I got them, but now my chances of getting the next mini-challenge are slim.

My knee started being grumpy about June 14. I went to the doctor to ensure no injury, but I kept going. I upped the swimming to reduce the walking, but I kept going. I iced, I elevated. Eventually I went to the physio (4 times in fact). As many know, last Sunday I endd up in the ED and on crutches. On Monday morning coming I have an appointment with a sports physician because it just keeps getting worse.

I am NOT trying to panic anyone, but I am saying PLEASE be careful and don’t be another me. Walking through lower limb injuries may not be the best option, as much as we want to.

Many of us have gone from doing not a lot to 10,000 steps and up to 12,000 and beyond. Some of us have slightly older joints that spit the dummy at our new passion for health. Our hearts may be loving it: our hips, knees and ankles can be less than enthusiastic.

Be prepared too for the various treatment options you will may be offered. So far:

Don’t bend the knee
Bend the knee
Swim
Don’t swim
Leg press (versus the don’t bend the knee)
Walk for 30 minutes
Don’t walk

etc etc etc

I’ve quit the cocktail of pain medication because I really didn’t feel any less pain. I’m probably grumpy at work and at home. I’m frustrated at not getting my steps. I had plans of a target of 14,000 a day this stage.

Had I been sensible when it first started and rested it properly, maybe I’d be right by now and not worse than when this started.

You may well be able to walk/run/ride through an injury but in many cases these are effectively overuse injuries due to the rapid and sustained increase in activity, so continued stress on the joint is possibly going to exacerbate the issue.

I don’t want to see anyone else in my position, so that’s my warning for the day.

Take care.

More flowers from my walks can be found in the list below:

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12 comments on “Battling Injury

  1. […] recently wrote about Battling Injury. At that time I was off to see a sports physician. The important things first: this is one very […]

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  2. “’I’ve been sent to a sports physician now. The appointment is Monday morning. Fingers crossed for a positive outcome.”
    Yes, Robyn, “fingers crossed”!
    I think you achieved a lot. But maybe now is the time to become a little bit less ambitious? Your post is very, very honest. It is good that you keep a record on everything. It may perhaps help some other very ambitious and not so very young ones to think about being a little bit more careful. But I think it depends on your genes a lot. Robyn, I think many much younger people probably would not be able to keep up with you. Wishing you all the best!
    Uta

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  3. Oh Robyn…poor you. I hope it gets better soon.

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  4. I think we all need to listen to our bodies and heed the warning signs; being imperfect humans, we tend to ignore them and push ourselves as you did – and now look at the outcome. I’m sorry to hear you are having all these problems Robyn, but sometimes the prize isn’t worth it. I hope your knee improves.
    Hopefully, your post will be a reminder to others about the consequences of pushing themselves too hard.
    Look after yourself and rest that knee.

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  5. Moderation in all things is healthier than addiction ;-)

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  6. Oh Robyn, while your body may no longer be in its 20’s, your mind and drive certainly are. With dedication like you have I’m certain your body will heal quickly :) Now I’m not a fitness expert or anything like that, but if you are suffering exercise withdrawal while you can’t do your steps perhaps you could use the time to do some upper body exercise instead :)

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