shoulder injurey

Acceptance: How Injury Can be Your Teacher (3rd of a series)


This is the third blog in a series this week called "The 7 Key Elements to Finding Healthy Within."

As the world tells us changing our physical selves for the better is the one thing we should strive for in life, I believe there is a much more powerful message when we can't do anything about it.

It's in these moments that willpower takes a huge backseat, and we're given the opportunity to surrender to acceptance in the moment. Truly, there is no more powerful way to learn this than when we are forced to be still and know.


Psalm 46:10 Be Still and KNOW that I am God.

I've learned this lesson before, when I was not yet in recovery, planning to run the NYC marathon and busted my ankle. I could do nothing. I remember depression setting in. It was like the world was coming to an end and I didn't know how I was going to live without being able to run at all, let alone run the race. My self-worth was so low, I thought that race was the only thing I had going for me. That was about a year before I got into recovery. 

Flash forward 7 years to right now. I just got home from a tough session with my physical therapist, Deb, at South Bend Orthopedic. I go three times a week right now and often times it takes up a few hours of my day. I'm grateful for it, because it's getting me better. But, it's a slow process.

I asked her this morning (as she's holding my shoulder in her arms and I'm secretly screaming trying not to focus on it) something I already knew, "So, no working out till maybe end of summer, right?" "Nope." "Got it." It's like I just needed to be reminded -- this is a journey and I'm still on it! There is an end in sight and I do have a God that I know will carry me through this season. 

Right now though? It's a season of physical repair, a time of physical healing.  

Here's why....

On January 3rd, I was asleep and was woken up around 2:30 in the morning by my shoulder dislocating for the 3rd time in about 15 years. My husband had to find a YouTube video to teach him how to put it back into the joint. It is extremely painful and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

A friend told me I should get it checked out, might need surgery. After an MRI, I found out it was pretty bad. When I saw Dr. Balint he told me that I was going to need the surgery and I'd hate him till Christmas.

I was amazed I was so calm. I would not have been calm a few years back. Major moment of gratitude for recovery. I can do this. 

So I went till April with the injury - not working out except a little light workout on the elliptical - no lifting, no running, no yoga, three of things I like to do in variety to keep me balanced.


6 weeks ago today, I had the surgery. Here's what I've missed...

I have missed being able to put my hair in a ponytail, and being able to put on pants with two hands and a button. Shutting the front door behind me and the car door next to me are a feat.   I miss not having to grab 3 ice-packs every time I sit down. In a weird way, I miss being able to do so much laundry with gusto. Now I can only fold almost a full laundry bin thankfully, but it's tiring. I was trying on clothes the other day in a store and I was literally sweating, almost in tears, not because of my waist, but because there was no way I could get that thing over my head without help. I tried and tried and then got someone to help. But it felt like a defining moment of how I've felt with this injury. A good reminder that I've got a long way to go...but I've improved.

My waist wasn't comfortable either so that just added to it. But the shoulder hurt enough not for me to focus on it. I can tell you that I MISS working out and every emotional, spiritual, physical and mental release it gives me to keep my head on straight and my emotions at bay. It is a tool I use to find peace in life. 


Flash back to last Wednesday when my husband and I got our checkups for health insurance, I get on a scale - which thankfully I don't give the power anymore. I told her not to share with me but then she flashed the number in my face not realizing I'm someone who used to obsess about that number, and I kinda freaked. That's okay, I wouldn't expect her to know.

The weight gain was there. I knew it. I hadn't felt great in a few weeks. My Mom said to me, "You haven't worked out in 6 weeks Mere, give yourself a break." Then my husband said, "Honey, it's been almost 6 months." That felt better because it's been longer that I've had it, but also a little worse! And all I could think was that I've got another four to seven months to go. 


I can tell you I am in one of those places, where there just isn't much I can do to change this. I can go to PT, I can certainly be much more conscious with my food choices, which I am doing, but it can still suck. THIS is that moment where Acceptance is necessary. Like 12-step program says, you do what you have to do and you can do and let God take care of the rest.

I know, my body is going through healing. This is a season in my life. I trust his plan absolutely. I just have to walk the journey and trust the process.


In just a few hours I'll be going in for my 6-week checkup with the doctor. I'm not going in there expecting anything. He was great in telling me that I wouldn't like him till Christmas because he kept my expectations completely realistic. He must have seen I was a Type A and wanted to prepare me. I am so grateful for his understanding and wonderful bedside manner. Sometimes docs that work on your body don't understand what it's like to be someone who IS interested in maintaining your physical health. They'll say, "Well, no more of that at all!" And I just appreciate that this guy gets it. He gets that I'm physically active. He wants me to get better, and whatever he tells me today I will have to accept, and shockingly I'm okay with that. His words, my program, and my belief in God is what is keeping me going through this season of healing right now.

I hope you'll stop by tomorrow because I'm going to be sharing how this surgery touches on my mental health and how being aware of it is so important. I hope you'll check it out, especially since it's Mental Health Awareness Month!!