Bouncing back from set backs…
Healing My Distal Bicep Tear
Everyone’s world has changed in the last few weeks. It is super scary being in the unknown. We’ve ALL been thrown into surrendering, being uncomfortable, being scared and not knowing what’s next.
I had a very small jump start on this two weeks prior to everyone’s world changing because of my injury (I tore my Bicep at the Distal and found myself in emergency surgery). I went through all the emotions with change, discomfort, anger, and loss.
First the background about the Distal Bicep Tear:
Four weeks ago I was in Costa Rica on vacation with my husband. It was the first full non work related vacation we had taken in YEARS! Two weeks to unplug, enjoy each-other and nature. I was on a hike by the waterfalls feeling grateful and decided I was doing a super brave thing for ME- I was confronting my fear of being under deep water by jumping in a hole near some waterfalls and Mayan ruins. I was super super crazy scared (yes I get this is not a fear for many of you) but for me it was a huge fear. Soooo I was holding on to the ledge super tight with my right arm before jumping.
Apparently TOO tight because when I emerged on the other side my right arm (bicep) was in crazy pain and all twisted. Talk about the ultimate lesson in surrender VS control! I was trying to surrender while controlling and that doesn’t work!I ASSUMED it couldn’t be THAT bad and that it was just in a spasm…
Two weeks later , my Bicep Tear looked like this
A conversation with my surgeon friend and a quick google search didn’t take long to figure out it is likely a Distal Bicep Tear. I assumed it was a complete tear because the pain stopped and my bicep coiled up. It was a little sore but not crazy painful like it was the first few days. It just looked funky and my hand and arm were both getting weaker. An MRI and an appointment with the Orthopeadic surgeon confirmed it was a complete tear and I ended up in emergency surgery to re attach it the next evening.
I was SUPER scared going into surgery because of what I learned. With a complete tear, the tendon coils up and your body starts to absorb it. The surgery must be done within two weeks (before this happens) to assure it can be reattached. I was going in to surgery THREE weeks after the injury . This was really pushing the envelope and I was told by my surgeon that with that amount of time I had a 50% chance of it NOT being able to be repaired! That would mean that if it did not work, I would have my arm sliced for nothing. I was also told that if he COULD repair it, he would have to move a lot of nerves to find the tendon and that nerve damage and pain was likely.
So my choices were, skip the surgery and continue to lose strength in my dominant arm or , HAVE the surgery, take the chance, and deal with the pain later. I opted for the surgery. I was VERY fortunate as the surgery was a success. He reattached it. My bicep IS now reattached! I was put in a robotic arm cast situation (super sexy lol) and was told I would be wearing this for 10 weeks.
The first day after surgery there was NO PAIN. He did a nerve block so I felt nothing.
By day three after surgery the soreness kicked in. It felt like my arm went through a meat grinder. I spent a lot of time sleeping to not think about the pain. Scarier then the pain was that I was not able to use my right (dominant hand) at all.The reality started kicking in that I would not be writing, typing, driving or really anything for quite some time.Eating, brushing my hair, brushing my teeth… all challenging and comical to watch. All of this was before the world was on lock down with the corona virus, so I was processing alone my life changing as I knew it.
Nerves do grow back
Nerves grow back about a millimeter a day. I was assured that the majority of the movement would come back within 6 months to a year.
I do really look for the positive in things and I do take challenges well. I KNOW there are so many lessons in all of this so I started to embrace the challenge right away.
- Could I teach my left hand to write?
- Could I work on self hypnosis to get movement back in my hand? (hint this WORKS as I am three weeks post surgery and I am TYPING THIS right now! I am going SLOW but I am doing it!
- What could I learn from all of this?
Three weeks later
The worst part now three weeks later? The nerve pain. As nerve starts to regenerate it is a special kind of pain. OMG it is no joke. My hand burns and stings all day long. I find relief by icing It a LOT (when the ice is on it I do not feel the pain) and I am doing two homeopathic supplements every hour (Hypericum and Arnica) I am also taking fish oil and Turmeric. I would need a LOT of prescription pain pills to fully stop the pain and I do not like the way I feel on those. I am taking a very low dose of the prescriptions as I need them… Sometimes the pain is too unbearable for me not to.
What I know about change and set backs is that it’s our BELIEFs about the setbacks, and our perception about them that makes them EXTRA scary.
The ATTACHMENT to certainty and comfort is what makes injuries and set backs so challenging for many. We do not like change.
As I type this, the Corona virus and the threats around it are very real. They suck. They are are scary. Precautions are critical. BUT our reaction, fears, worries and where we put our minds focus is what creates more problems like anxiety and depression.
When we surrender to what IS (the facts) and then look for blessings (there are ALWAYS blessings) That is when breakthroughs, new ideas, and new connections, perspective shifts and growth happens.
- I’m watching new connections form
- I’m watching leaders rise. True leaders.
- Im witnessing new compassion with people
- I’m witnessing people slowing down
- I’m watching families get reconnected
- I’m watching neighbors help one another
- I’m seeing people slowing down and being more loving towards others.
I choose to focus my attention on these things and how I can be of service to others right now.
What’s kept me going every day is four things… I hope you find them helpful for you too.
1. Looking for the gratitude (there is always gratitude)
2. Focussing on what I can do or say to help someone ELSE- someone else always needs our help and support.
3. Enjoying being PRESENT (we have all been gifted more time with this)
4. And reminding myself to do WHAT I CAN with WHAT I HAVE with what I know right now
Regardless of what you are facing right now… an injury, the effects of the economy, an illness, we have two choices… We can get stuck and stay attached to why it SUCKS OR we can decide to focus on the lessons and the gratitude in it all. Whatever we decide to focus on does not change the CIRCUMSTANCE but it will change our reality.
PS many of you have messaged me asking for home workouts while your gyms are closed. I clearly can’t create anything new right now with one arm lol but I DO have some options for you.
Four Body Weight do at home workout DVDs (you can get them digital download and start right away) HERE
My most intense get shredded STRONGER program here
And a full YouTube channel with many body weight workouts HERE
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