Progress and then Setback

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on September 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

I have recently enjoyed great progress in recovery from my patella fracture.  With delight and joy, I have been walking an average of 4 miles daily with ease and even occasional speed.  Exploration of more vigorous activity in Gyrokinesis and Gyrotonic exercise has been great fun and has involved many fewer limitations than I had expected.  I was becoming quite confident that recovery was proceeding easily and well.  Then…

Several expert people had suggested that I seek further inflammation reduction through massage techniques.  Since I have every interest in and full commitment to full recovery, I followed this suggestion, and received a lovely, subtle massage specifically aimed at reducing the lingering inflammation in my injured knee.  My massage therapist warned that I might be a bit sore after the massage, as the tissues would interpret intervention as renewed injury.  At her suggestion, I iced and elevated post-massage to calm any tissue reaction.

Extreme pain and huge inflammation ensued despite all the best intentions otherwise.  For the past 5 days, pain and swelling have increased so that I am unable to walk with any ease, sleep without disruption, or even sit for longer than about 5 minutes.  In other words, I am back to early post-injury levels of pain, inflammation, immobility and insomnia.  My use of my entire self is challenged all over again.

Despair, discouragement and an overall sense of helplessness have begun to overwhelm me.  A week ago, I could walk easily to work and to all desired locations.  Now, I hobble to the bathroom and must think my Alexander directions with vigor to manage even simple activities like getting dressed or climbing stairs.  I have to find daily reasons to remain optimistic, such as the sightings of scrub jays near my office, and the fact that I can still teach with some ease.

I know this stage will resolve and shift with my continued determination to not end-gain, to ask for quiet and for the bigger picture, to not pull down to the pain, but after 7 months of recovery, and with the joy of being more mobile suddenly removed, I am weary.  I want so very much to progress, and struggle not to collapse or to end-gain with this temporary return of disturbing limitations.