Torn Ligaments and Motherhood: Handling Injuries

woman on crutches sitting on the couch

There I was. First night of basketball season. I love playing basketball. I am no professional, but I love to play. It is my favorite sport to play. I love January-March when I get to get out once a week and go play basketball with other moms in my town. We have so much fun and get a good workout in.

My whole life, I have played basketball in my basketball shoes. That is what my dad taught me to do so I have done it. This night, however, I decided to go in my running shoes. My running shoes are significantly more comfortable and broken in than my basketball shoes and I have noticed many of the moms go in their running shoes. No biggie.

Until I went up for a shot and in the scuffle got knocked so I came down wrong on my foot.

Very wrong.

And I didn’t even make my shot.

I felt a pop and then shooting pain and a rushing sound in my ears. My first thought was “oh great. Nate (my husband) is going out of town (for business) in a couple of days. This will make things harder.” My friends helped me off the court (including my 9 month pregnant friend–she was just watching–yes we are that fun). They got some snow from outside in a garbage back and I left my shoe on and put my foot on a chair and continued watching.

Things weren’t getting any more painful and I could hobble along out to my car pretty much unassisted, so I assured everyone I would be back next week. Give me a couple of days to heal.

Then I got home and checked things out.

Not looking so good. But I was sure I would be fine in a couple of days. I decided I had better take the next week off of basketball. I ended up being in so much pain I only got a couple of interrupted hours of sleep that night.

The next morning, I couldn’t walk on it. My mom came over to help out and declared I was going to the doctor. Since my husband was going out of town, she slept over to help with kids. I couldn’t pick Brinley up–I couldn’t handle her weight. My mom once did something similar and did not go to the doctor and after years, she ended up with surgery.

I got in to the doctor quickly. I apparently tore some ligaments. They put a temporary cast on and I am not supposed to move it for several weeks. I need to stay off of it. Oh, and no more basketball for the season (seriously?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?).

So people, this is me. For the last two weeks, I have not cooked nor cleaned a single thing in my house. I do my best to sit on my bed with my foot up (though that is hard to do with a 17 month old). Am I going crazy? You bet! But not as crazy as I should be. I am doing my best to be looking through rose-colored glasses. Big ones that even cover my peripheral vision. I am trying to do what I can from my bed. I am writing this post from my bed. Being confined to your bed is fun for a couple of hours–some might even like it for a day–but then it just plain sucks.

There are some things I have been so glad for having established in our home and in my life. I have always been one who likes to be prepared and I believe fully in putting work in on the front end to avoid more work on the back end. Here are some things I am so glad for:

  1. Glad I exercise regularly. This is hard for me–I can’t exercise my lower body until the end of January. But I am so glad for the exercise I have done before now. I do Jillian Michaels workouts, and you might be suprised how many of her moves have come in useful as I try to get around the house. Tricep dips as I slide down the stairs. One legged squats as I pick things up. Walkout pushups as I need to get down on the floor for something…it all comes in handy. My legs were burning the first couple of days from the weird ways I have had to move, but they quickly adapted. I am glad I have some upper body strength because I am using a lot of it right now!
  2. Glad my kids have a regular routine. For my three older kids, I can completely run the house from sitting on my bed with no problem. My kids have a normal routine and they know what to do next. When they need instruction, I can give it from my bed.
  3. Glad I had things clean. I often each week as I cleaned bathrooms would think, “I should just skip the kids bathroom this week.” But I always ended up cleaning all of them. And I was glad. That way, things could go a little longer because they had been cleaned regularly.
  4. Glad my kids do chores. Did I mention I haven’t cleaned for two weeks? Some how the house is still standing and in pretty good shape. Things aren’t perfect–I have more attention to detail than the kids–but the laundry is folded and put away, things are vacuumed, bathrooms are cleaned as best they can, things are dusted…and my kids do it! My husband does a ton–I don’t want to take away from him, but he does significantly less than he would need to if the kids weren’t chore-doers.
  5. Glad for Independent Playtime. I am SO glad Brinley has independent playtime each day. It gives me some time to be able to just sit with my foot up each morning. It makes a huge difference in my healing.
  6. Glad for naps. Oh yes! Even better–I have all afternoon without a 17 month old running around.
  7. Glad for obedience training. I am so very glad I have worked with Brinley to obey and even to help out as she can. I can have her put things away, throw things in the garbage…she listens pretty well. I can sit on my bed and tell her what to do and most of the time she listens. She has her moments of running off laughing, but most of the time she listens well. There is no way I could ever catch up to her, so I am so glad for it.
  8. Glad we have food storage. We have been scrounging what meals we can from what we have and just sending my husband for the bare necessities.
  9. Glad for help. I am so thankful for the people who have helped us out. We have had meals (which helps with the grocery shopping also) and help from my parents.
  10. Glad there are things I can do from my bed. So I don’t go insane.
shortly after removing my temporary cast–
good thing I had painted my toes recently right?!?
Another thing to be glad for. I would have for you
to all see me with scrubby toes 😉

So there is my update. It has definitely been a situation when I have been so glad that I have put in effort in different areas of my life so when I needed to, I could “slack off” or I could do some nice “couch parenting” from my bed.

It isn’t to say it has been a picnic. As I said, it pretty much sucks. Yesterday I must have taken my glasses off because I looked at my house with a more critical eye and thought of the work that was ahead of me when I was better and I literally had to fight back the tears.

I told my husband the other day I feel like a leech on society and our family (which was followed up by the lecture on how I need to let people help me and it is okay if people help me). It isn’t easy emotionally as a mom to be incapable of so much.

The first day that it was just Brinley and me, she stood with her hands over her face crying because I couldn’t carry her around the house (I guess I have babied her too much in that department). While amusing, it is also sad to see your baby so upset over it all. The next morning, however, I got her up and said, “Brinley, I can’t carry you so you have to walk on your own okay?” And she cheerfully replied, “Kay!” and she did it! So I am glad children are so resilient and adaptable. She has been walking on her own with no troubles. When she wants to cuddle, we do it on my bed or with me sitting down with her.

What is my point…I guess it is to hang in there doing your day-to-day because you never know when you will be glad for all of that effort.

Another point I have is to encourage you to take it easy when you need to. It is good to keep up on your day-to-day, but sometimes things are hectic and you need to let it go.

I also have the point of expressing gratitude for the good things I have.

And I have the point of needing to vent out some of the frustrations that are associated with it all.

So I guess with those four points in mind, this post is square. But it could be rectangular. Or a trapezoid.

I should go now…

PS–we are getting old now. Make sure you wear the correct shoes for your actives,

That is all.

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6 thoughts on “Torn Ligaments and Motherhood: Handling Injuries”

  1. Way to keep a positive attitude! Your comment about Brinley made me think; I'm almost looking forward to when baby #2 arrives this spring, so I have two priorities, not just my daughter. I have such a hard time saying no to a nice request when all I'm doing is a chore or checking my e-mail. 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness, that is awful! I am so sorry that happened. And I am soooo sorry you get no basketball for the whole SEASON! Boooo!! I admire your positive attitude & your reflections during such a time. I hope you heal quickly so you are back on your feet soon.

  3. Val what a testimony to your "normal" structures that now even laid up the kids are able to pull some slack! What incredibly helpful and sufficient grown ups they will be.


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