Patience {noun}: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

I’ve never had stitches. I’ve never had surgery. I haven’t had a running injury in years. I’ve never broken a bone. Until now. And let me tell you. It’s tough. You need time and a lot of patience to get through recovery. For those of you that know me, even a little, you know that I’m not the most patient person. Not even close.

I was told, by the doctor, that it would take 6 to 8 weeks for the bone to heal and potentially 6 to 12 months for full recovery. Right now, that feels like an eternity. It’s been 3 weeks and I’m starting to go a little nuts. Last weekend, on the only warmish day we’ve had, I walked 0.75 miles. It was probably slower than my 85-year-old grandmother walks. The walk itself left me utterly exhausted but it felt amazing just to be outside. I’m almost completely pain-killer free, save for a small dose at bedtime, because the nights are still the hardest and most uncomfortable/painful. Although, even without them, I find myself exhausted by even small tasks or trips out of the house. Napping has become a normal part of my day. Last week, I tried to sip a small glass of wine and fell asleep holding it without having taken the first sip. Again, if you know me even a little, that’s HUGELY out of character.

Recovery post Long Branch Half Marathon last year!

Recovery post Long Branch Half Marathon last year!

It’s been frustrating; mentally and physically. I’m extremely limited in what I can do and constantly having to be cared for and ask for help has been beyond humbling. BUT…like I’ve said before, this is just a bump in the road.

On a daily basis, I try to focus on the positive. Everything has become less painful. Each day, I can do something I couldn’t do the day or week before. One morning, I was able to butter my own English muffin and actually craved a piece of fruit. I’m back to eating vegetables and more regular meals than just a piece of toast or half of a bagel. I can pretty much get in and out of the car on my own now and have almost mastered putting the seat belt on myself. Lap belt only. Obviously. More than one day this week I was able to put the sling back on myself. These may all seem like simple tasks we all take for granted (myself, pre-broken wing, included) but to me they are all baby steps leading in the right direction. Recovery.

Showering has become much less painful and no longer requires pain medication. This week, for the first time in 19 days, I was able to shower and get dressed by myself. AND…I did it again yesterday. My left arm may be questionably clean but whatever. I did it! It felt like a major milestone on the road to recovery.

I feel extremely grateful for the incredible people in my life who continue to care for me until I can once again care for myself 100%. I focus on spending time with the amazing little people who make my heart happy and always put a smile on my face.

My adorable niece singing The Little Mermaid with me.

My adorable niece singing The Little Mermaid with me.

My delicious 6-week old nephew.

My delicious 6-week old nephew.

My best little 3-year old buddy playing with his favorite thing in the world...trains!

My best little 3-year old buddy playing with his favorite things in the world…trains!

My best little 5-month old buddy! Snuggles pre-broken wing.

My best little 5-month old buddy! Pre-broken wing snuggles.

I won’t sugar coat it. It’s been undoubtedly hard to go from training, for two half marathons and a 10 mile race, and working out 6 days per week to absolutely nothing. Besides the pain and the inability to do things for myself, that’s probably one of the hardest parts of recovery for me. And, for me, requires the most amount of patience. I ask the doctor questions like when can I run again, will I be able to do a push-up again, will I be able to lift weights above my head again. The answers to all of these questions require time and, you guessed it, patience. One of the other frustrating parts has been not being able to pick up my friend’s children and my niece and newborn nephew. It breaks my heart that it may be six months before that will be possible again and also requires patience.

Jules and Baby John

I’ll just have to be patient and get down and snuggle with them here for now.

Last Saturday, I did have a few moments of overwhelming emotion while reading about everyone’s long runs. In Central Park. Along the East and West Side running paths. In shorts. I had a moment. I felt sad. I felt jealous. I felt left out. I went for a short walk by myself and cried a few tears and then it was over. On Sunday, I tried to go back to my positive attitude (which certainly makes the situation exponentially better). My family came to visit me which I’m sure contributed to my elevated mood.

At this point, I’m three weeks of recovery down. Five weeks to go. That means in one more week, I’m halfway there. I continue to try to be as patient as possible; asking for help even when I want to do things myself because I know that’s what best for recovery.

My mother always taught me that everything happens for a reason.

Mother knows best!

Thanks for the invaluable life lesson, Mommy!

Maybe all of this happened to teach me how to be more patient. Maybe it happened to teach me how to slow down a bit. Or maybe it just happened because I tripped and fell while running. Regardless, it’s certainly teaching me to be more patient and ask for help when I need it. Everything’s a learning experience, right?

And until I can wear of all my new Oiselle clothes to run again, I will continue to recover in #flystyle.

Recovery #FlyStyle

Recovery #FlyStyle

Tell Me.

Have you ever dealt with a major injury and had to be patient?

How did you entertain yourself when you couldn’t do much?


11 thoughts on “Patience

  1. Aw man. Just keep that positive attitude. I had a stress fracture in my 5th metatarsal last year but I was only out for 8 weeks. I volunteered at races just to stay in that mode. I highly recommend volunteering. It feels great to give back!

  2. You know I’m a broken bone expert! As a child, I entertained myself by itching my arm or leg with a ruler. As a grown up, I watched Sex and the City. Both viable options for you. XOXOXO and babies are a great distraction!!!

  3. Hi Beth We’ve spoken before via Twitter , four years ago I was hit by a car on the sidewalk and after being cut out from under the car by the Fire Guys after an hour, was rushed to hospital with severe damage to my legs, after a week of possibly losing my left leg they gave me a 14 hour operation and rebuilt my lower left leg with my right thigh muscle and skin grafts from other parts of my body…I was bedridden with no movement allowed for 5 weeks and then learnt to walk again over a six month period …boy could I get bored I read loads on stuff that interested me Psychology mainly becoming an expert on Micro Expression recognition and emotional psychology ..I also chatted to people via blogs who were in similar situations or even worse off following accidents ( Matt Long the NY Firefighter was a great inspiration book The Long Run ) having been told I was lucky to be able to walk again and would be unlikely to run again ever ..I also sought out ways to inspire and motivate me to return stronger and hopefully be a kinder and happier person …it’s taken a time but I’ve only been running since the end of last year and managed to run 25+ miles in total last week …. I don’t personally know you but having read your blog and tweets I get the feeling that you are a great person to know with an amazing outlook and brilliant friends …it won’t be long till ‘Broken Wing ‘ is flying higher and stronger than ever before … I wish you as always my warmest wishes I hope this helps a little and I’ve not imposed on you ..we are fragile but we have enormous hidden reserves by helping others we can only help ourselves .from a fellow runner much love and a speedy recovery

    • I can’t thank you enough for sharing this with me. Congratulations on YOUR comeback! Thank you SO MUCH for your thoughtful comment, kind words and best wishes for a speedy recovery. It was very much appreciated. Keep up the great work! You’re an inspiration.

      • Thanks Beth ..keep up the great work and enjoy the journey in that great City of yours …you’ll soon be back stronger and fitter than ever before !

  4. You’re doing so well, friend. It’s not easy to be injured and “left out” and practicing patience is hard. But you’ll get better and be out there running with us in no time. Maybe go read your comments to me during my injury?! They helped me big time!! I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to see you soon!

  5. Hi Beth! I think I followed you on Twitter just recently, but today I was brought to your blog after seeing Melissa favorite your tweet. I wanted to send a big HELLO because I too went from constant training and activity, to tripping on a trail run and tearing my ACL Christmas Eve, to surgery and now weeks/months of recovery. I never had so much as a splinter till this 😉 So I can’t offer huge fireworks of smiles or anything (yet), but I’m happy to be sharing the journey with you! The ups and downs are certainly crazy… But you’ll rock this!!

  6. Pingback: Halfway There (Sort of) and An Update | Once in a Mile

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