4 Silver Linings Of My Fracture
Silver Linings When We Face Challenges
Thanks so much to so many of you that have continually reached out during my recovery to provide your support and ask how I am doing. If you read my last blog, you will recall all the things that I have been doing in order to cut my healing time in half. In case you missed it or would like an update, you can access it here:http://kevinbradyhealth.ca/10-ways-i-am-cut…ing-time-in-half/
I have continued to do all the things that I outlined in that blog in order to speed up my treatment.
I have noticed some very profound things that have impacted me during my recovery that I thought I would share. I think whenever we face challenges in life, there are many times “silver linings”. Today I share some of my Silver Linings in the hopes that it will help you in some of your life challenges.
So How Am I Doing?
As I write this I am exactly 6 weeks to the day of fracturing my Fibula. I am pleased to report that a week ago I got rid of my crutches for the most part and started just walking with my Air Cast.
I am pleased that I was able to get rid of my crutches after 5 weeks. I consulted my Orthopaedic Surgeon asking his opinion on whether I should be getting rid of my crutches at 5 weeks and he advised that following the “text book of fractures,” that he advised against it.
Drove To NYC
On Friday, Barb and I drove down to New York City to see Lauren and that was the first time I drove my car since my accident and I drove without my Air Cast. I was a little nervous and jumpy at the start of our journey as I wasn’t sure how my leg and ankle would react. I am pleased to say that my leg/ankle felt good and in fact felt better the longer we were in the car. Once again, prior to my drive, I consulted my surgeon to get his opinion on my driving and once again he advised against it according to “text book” treatment. He did advise that if I had pain then I should definitely stop and I am pleased to say I did not have pain.
My Mental Shift and how to avoid depression when facing challenges
When I first broke my leg, initially I was pleased as based on my fall and potentially going over a cliff, I thought my outcome was a good one. However, after a few days, reality stepped in and I soon realized that my entire life had been thrown upside down. I needed to now depend on others to look after me, wait on me, drive me, get me to work, appointments , etc. (A huge thanks to family, friends and coworkers who helped me in so many ways – especially Barb who has waited on me hand and foot with zero complaints.xo)
One of my biggest setbacks was my potentially inability to workout. For those that read my blog regularly, you know the value I place on my daily workouts for physical and even more importantly emotional health and well being. Fitness is a way of life for me and in fact in many ways how I define myself. In fact I had an Executive Doctor once tell me that he hoped that nothing would happen to me in life to prevent me from working out or competing as he feared that it would lead to depression as he had seen this many times with other active patients.
The first week after my fracture, I was getting depressed when reality set in that I could not have my normal workouts. My first turning point came when I was still in Whistler and went to my favourite gym(The Core) and although I didn’t have my normal workout, I was able to do sets of strength circuit training on the machines. I remember after that first day of working out, I felt so good as I was able to get a sweat going and at least could work out.
When I got home, I was able to get down the basement and use our son Matts Air bike even with my cast. For those that are not familiar with an Air bike, it is a manually propelled bike where you use pedal and use your arms at the same time to propel a fly wheel. Although the normal workout on an Air bike is typically 20-30 mins, I have been doing 60-90 minutes every second day in order to try to strengthen my leg and also keep my cardio up. On alternate days, I have been using our old “Universal Gym” in the basement(had to blow the dust off of it)! and once again it has been a god send. I have been doing a circuit of upper body, leg and ab exercises that I feel have been providing strength in areas that I typically don’t focus on.
So bottom line, I made a “Shift” to my normal workouts and it has actually been a good thing. I feel I am in as good or better shape that normal by adapting to my situation and by doing different exercises.
Healing Power of The Mind
We have all heard of the “Placebo” effect of various prescriptions or treatments. The Placebo effect occurs when you believe you are being positively effected by treatments/prescriptions and when there is no actual treatment being administered. I am a big fan of the Placebo effect as I believe when you feel a treatment or supplements are going to work then I believe you will actually get better.
I feel that with everything I am doing to heal myself quickly, that it will all work and I will get better quicker. In fact, my sports Chiro made a comment to me after my last blog and said that “I am willing myself back to a quicker recovery”. To take it one step further, when I go to bed, I actually envision my white blood cells(which are our healing cells) traveling down to my broken fibula which I feel is helping me heal every day.
Bottom line, never underestimate the power of the mind in my or your own healing.
The Value of Being Fit
I have always taken fitness for granted. When I injured my leg and had to rely on crutches, I could not believe how physically tough it was to use crutches and to get around. I have commented to many, that I have no idea how people that are not in decent physical shape are able to get around and do simple things. Once again, a silver lining for my injury was that I was in decent shape and had a pretty good balance.
The first real test was just getting around and up and down stairs on crutches. Next was how to shower on one leg as I couldn’t put any weight on my broken fibula whatsoever. It was tough to stand on one leg in the shower and just simple things like bending over to get soap or shampoo or a towel on one leg was really tough. Then to get in and out of the shower using crutches was another accomplishment.
Simple things like just trying to get a tea and carry it was almost impossible with crutches. Getting in and out of cars where you put the crutches in the back seat and have to hop on one leg up to the front was also difficult.
With the snow we have had this winter, getting over curbs, ice and snow banks was a challenge. Once again being in shape and having good balance was a huge asset. In fact, when we had a huge storm a few weeks ago, my crutches slipped on the driveway and I went down hard. I thought that I could have easily broken something else if I wasn’t in decent shape.
I have blogged in the past about the importance of fitness for physical and emotional well being, however, I believe it is even more important when you have an injury. Not only will good fitness help you recover and heal quicker, but it will also ensure that you are able to get around and function in a somewhat normal way. Lastly, being in decent shape will help prevent other injuries from occurring from falls or loss of balance.
I have always prided myself in being very productive when I work. I always say that when I am working, it is “full blast” day and night typically on appointments all day and catching up on emails during the evening.
What has been interesting since breaking my leg, is that I had to rely on drivers and or taxi’s in order to get to meetings and appointments. As well, I have spent a great deal of time at home when not on office or client meetings.
It has been an eye-opener for me as I feel my productivity has been”supercharged” since my injury which is counterintuitive to what one would think with a broken leg. My office staff pitched in and covered for me on appointments that I could not make. I also found that all the meetings I attended were super productive. I feel that I was able to prioritize the meetings that I needed to be on and the staff handled the others. I also found that my time at home was super-productive as it was uninterrupted time where I could focus on the task at hand.
This has resulted in amazing first quarter business results and I feel we are set up to have one of our best years ever.
It has been a real eye opener for me as I always felt I was very productive but my injury has taught me that I can even be more productive. I will ensure that I take all this to heart and learn from my”supercharged” productivity moving forward.
So my conclusion is that when “bad things happen” often there are silver linings that we aren’t aware of. My Silver linings from my injury are as follows”
1.Mentally Shift when facing challenges
2.The Power of the Mind in Healing
3.The Value of Being Fit
As I mentioned, I am crutch free and now just walking on Air Cast. This morning I had my first cycling workout without the Air Cast and my leg felt relatively well. So my plan is to now move my cardio workouts to cycling as I have my 6-day cycling race in Sardegna(Giro Sardegna) in less that 2 months. I hope to fully get out of my Air cast next week and keep trying to strengthen my fibula. I am supposed to go on a ski trip in 3 weeks and at this point, I am not sure if I will be able to go as I don’t want to mess up my cycling and triathlon season by stressing it or breaking it again. However, I am very pleased with my progress to date as I am 6 weeks and off crutches, plan to get off my air cast next week and continue to work out and get stronger.
Thanks again to each and every one of you for your continued support and help. Again huge thanks to family, friends, and coworkers that have helped and picked up the slack to assist me so much in my recovery.