I can hear my voice echoing over and over in my ear. I am always telling women who have just given birth to rest, to let others treat you like a queen, to not be afraid to ask for help, to be ok with laying low and not overbooking themselves. I send them this blog post, written by Gloria Lemay, on what women and families need after their birth. It’s fun to read, and all true!
On Mother’s day, I injured my knee while launching off of a jump on my bike. I thought I was an invincible rock star, but it turns out I wasn’t. I couldn’t stand on it for a few days, but it was soon bearable to walk on, so I ditches the crutches. It is quite a nuisance chasing after my son Nash, who has Down’s Syndrome and is a Speedy Gonzales, while managing the awkwardness of crutches. I chose hobbling without them.
I shrugged my shoulders and hobbled through two births in one week, went camping, managed the everyday chaos of life, packed Nash around on my back at Kai’s swim competition… and for some odd reason, didn’t see any improvement on my knee condition after two weeks. I was still telling myself that it most likely wasn’t that bad, and I would be back at my sports and fast paced life soon enough.
I sat in the orthopedic surgeon’s office a few days ago. She tested, yanked and pulled and I winced in pain. After the discomforts were all done, she gave me her prognosis: torn ACL, grade 1 or 2 MCL tear and probable meniscus injury, with the recommendation of surgery once the swelling goes down and the mobility increases. YIKES!! She told me I needed to hop back on my crutches for a few weeks, rest, let others treat me like a queen, ask for help, and not to overbook myself. I was horrified.
When my voice started to crack, and my eyes swelled up with tears, she assured me I would be back to my sports in no time. At that point in time while sitting in her office, it was not the 50 km trail race I was thinking about, or long biking adventures I would miss out on over the summer. No – I was going back to the basics. The thought of daily tasks and responsibilities as a mother suddenly overwhelmed me. How could I gracefully look after my children with this injury when I felt nearly maxed out as an able bodied individual? Me? Needing help? I am not a person who asks for help!!! I can do it on my own!… oh crap… and then my snarky little subconscious pestered at me. “Practice what you preach. Get down off your high horse. It’s O.K to struggle. Lose that ego and ask for help.”
I am so thankful for those who have gone out of their way to set me up with crutches, knee bands, cooling devices, food, physio, taking care of my children, driving me to Whistler, giving me a hug, and two thumbs up. I won’t ever be a pro at asking for help, perhaps I even said I was just fine, but you jumped in there to help anyway, and it touches my heart.