trying to focus on being grateful

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been having some knee pain for a while. It hasn’t gotten much better and in fact, in one knee it’s gotten markedly worse. Worse as in if I walk too long I feel a sharp pain and my knee starts to click. Not awesome. I can’t walk around for more than about a half hour without big time fatigue in both legs. I checked in with my doc about it and she said that if the pain is there in another 2-4 weeks, we’ll start physical therapy. I’m frankly not in love with this answer, as it didn’t do two things. One, she didn’t acknowledge that having pain in my knee is, quite frankly, a pain in the god damn ass. She didn’t do this when I first went to her either. I’m not asking for coddling. I’m asking for acknowledgement. And perhaps some docs just aren’t like that – I really don’t know because i haven’t been to that many. And two, she didn’t even speak of the possibility of the pain coming from something other than running and then not running for a while. I know my body, and this feels like something a bit more than “you were running for a while and then you stopped, so now you’re knees are going to hurt for over a month.” I don’t know, I’ve clearly gone over into the frustrated side of the process. And I’m trying so hard to cling onto the gratefulness. Grateful that I can walk, grateful than I have health insurance such that I can just go to the doctor when I want/need to, grateful that I can afford ibuprofen, grateful that I have most of my mobility, grateful that I’ve been healthy as all get out for most of my life.

But right now it’s just fucking hard to do that.

I feel like this is all my fault. I feel like if I wasn’t so fat, this wouldn’t have happened and I wouldn’t have to hobble around and ask people to slow down when we walk together, or take so long to get up the stairs to my house. I feel frustration every day. I do believe that my weight might have something to do with my injury, but it’s tough to remind myself that it may only be a correlation, not causation. If I weighed less, there is a chance that the recovery time wouldn’t be so long, or even a chance that I wouldn’t have gotten injured in the first place. Then again, it may have absolutely nothing to do with my weight. But that certainly isn’t the narrative I choose to tell myself every day. The narrative I choose to tell myself is a bit more harsh: your fat made this happen.

The other weekend I went hunting and 4-wheeling (on a quad or All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) for those of you folks not from the country) with my dad at his step-brothers ranch outside the salinas valley. It. is. gorgeous. And to be clear, when we hunt it’s mostly tootling around on the 4-wheelers, taking in the breathtaking scenery and trying to spot as many different kinds of wildlife as possible (lots of quail, squirrels like they owned the place, a bobcat!, etc). It’s a lot of gorgeous vistas, lots of this:

With the occasional these:

While riding these:

All in all, a positively delightful way to spend a couple days. That is, unless you go down, flip the quad, and have it run over you. Which is what happened to me. The short story is: the front right tire got stuck in a rut while we were going downhill, the quad started rolling, I fell off of it and onto the ground on my back, looked up and saw it coming over me, put my hands up to get it off of me (at this point dad says when he looked back up for me, I was smooshed in half with my legs up near my forehead), sat up with the wind knocked out of me, and watched the quad take about 10 full rotations as it careened down the hill. Needless to say, the thing is totaled. We couldn’t find the seat. It got tangled up in a eucalyptus grove and dad dragged it down to the road.

When it was happening, I wasn’t particularly scared and in fact it felt a teeny bit funny to me (apparently this is how I deal with stressful situations. giggle.) I kept thinking “holy shit, a 4-wheeler is about to RUN over me. this is happening. who does this happen to? what the hell?” But here’s what happened physically: a sore shoulder for a couple of days (turns out quads are heavy!) and couple of bruises that are popping up here and there, but that’s it. This is, to put it bluntly, kind of amazing. People break limbs on quads. They get paralyzed. They die. You get the point. Shit can get gnarly, so to speak. It took me a couple days to be able to process it, but I’ve come away from it with this: damn, my body can handle some stuff. And for that I am incredibly grateful. I am amazed at my body right now.

And I’m trying desperately to hold onto THAT feeling, that feeling of immense gladness for my strong arms and legs, for my flexibility, for my health. I just wish it were easier to do that.

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14 responses to “trying to focus on being grateful

  1. sweet jesus, woman! i am sooooooooooooo glad you are ok. whew. sigh of relief. that’s insane. but i can so picture you giggling as it’s happening to you, and i love that about you. 🙂

    • thanks peach! yeah, totally WTF?! my dad was soooo angry at himself for taking us down that hill. I took a couple pics of the ruined ATV (b/c, again, i thought it was unbelievable and kind of funny) but he was all “you’re not going to post this on FB, are you?” and it was pretty clear he didn’t want it to get out too much 😦 poor dude.

  2. I think I would have been screaming like a baby if that thing had been coming at me. Woah!

    I have bad knees. In fact, everyone in my family has bad knees- thin and not thin folks. I know that my weight contributes to the pain I have (it’s fairly constant, especially on stairs) but I also know I have my genes to battle (losing battle). It’s hard to find a doctor who listens, supports and helps which is why I keep putting off going to one who might be able to help me not feel pain. I also don’t want surgery. How silly is that? But it’s true.

  3. I’m really glad that you weren’t hurt more severely on the ATV.

    I wanted to acknowledge your frustration and pain. I understand, I’ve been there and am there, and I do know that place very well. It really is important for us to get validation with respect to the physical pain we’re in, but also for the mental and emotional pain that pain can bring on. It’s incredibly challenging to deal with the physical part and what it might mean, the decreased mobility, the impact it has on us doing the things we want to do, and then when we start layering on the shame of weight, slowing our friends down, bothering a doctor, wanting validation, etc. it’s so painful.

    Being grateful for all the things you can do is awesome, but I’ve also found it particularly helpful to just acknowledge and be with all the scared, angry, ungrateful thoughts when they come up and not punish or judge myself for them.

    It’s a difficult thing for sure. I hope you’re feeling better in no time and back to all your old stuff.

    • “but I’ve also found it particularly helpful to just acknowledge and be with all the scared, angry, ungrateful thoughts when they come up and not punish or judge myself for them.”

      this. this times a thousand. I’m really trying to work on this.

  4. Good gravy! That was quite the fall. ATVs are fun but sooo dangerous in some situations. Glad you are okay.

    I hope you will go see a chiropractor as soon as possible, even if you feel “okay.” There are a lot of subtle problems that can happen as a result of accidents like these and they can cause a lot of problems down the road later (trust the voice of experience). It might help your knee too.

  5. Holy suffering catfish! You walked away from a Quad running over you??? Damn, but that’s kind of awesomely hardcore.

    You know knee problems can happen at any size. My not-fat brother has had crap knees most of his life. They started going south on him not when he was a fat kid, but when he was a skinny teenager. He’s now a pretty average-sized middle-aged man and his knees are still in lousy shape.

    And you know what else? Being in constant pain SUCKS. Doesn’t matter why you’re in pain or where, it’s no damn fun.

  6. god, those pictures are stunning, btw.

  7. I’m glad you came out okay from your quad accident. Just thought I would mention to anybody who suffers from painful knees, I used to suffer terribly with both of mine. Couldn’t climb up my stairs at home or walk down them without looking like I was 110 years old! I used to work in the city then, my knees were so bad and had no power in the muscles around them, I had to pull myself up into the tram every day and people would get up for me and give me a seat, they thought I was seriously injured! Then I read about Bowen therapy and found a wonderful guy who practised it near my home. I had three sessions with him (that’s usually all it takes, 2 or 3 sessions) and found my hips and knees felt alot looser and not nearly as tight. I’m happy to say that as time progressed, my knees just kept on getting less and less pain free and more and more usable. I also went to a specialist and had my Atlas subluxation corrected and did some very very easy back and neck exercises to strengthen my lower back, which had always been very sensitive and ached alot.

    I can now say, after the Bowen and having the Atlas fixed, I don’t get any aches and pains now. I can walk up and down the stairs alot better, I still hang on to the railings, but not for dear life like I used to.

    So it pays to try alternatives to cutting and stitches. Bowtech and the Atlas subluxation being fixed changed my body for the better. I feel very blessed.

    Just thought I’d mention it to anybody who might be looking for relief from body aches and pains. Hope it helps.

  8. Yes, Bowtech is so simple and so relaxing. Hope it can be helpful to you or anybody who has crook knees or aches and pains. Plus its not too expensive. Can help with anything from menstrual miseries to headaches, stiff necks, all sorts of things.

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