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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Broken Wrists, Broken Dreams, and Broken Lives

Kansas is trying to kill me.

My first night here I caught some horrible stomach bug and was violently ill. Then the polar vortex hit. And then I slipped on ice and my left wrist is in a splint until I can get into the doctor... or cave and go to the ER because our insurance has us listed as "traveling/unassigned" until February. At this rate I should manage to get beheaded by a frozen fish before the end of March.

The worst thing about getting a wrist injury - for me - is how frustrating it is. I had all these big plans for the new year. I have a new weight bar and weights. We're planning on building a mini-gym in our basement. So this whole injury thing threw my plans for a loop. Here I was all set to get back to working out and getting fit and I've limited myself to my least favorite exercises: running and cycling. Theoretically I could go roller blading since we now have sidewalks, but I'm willing to bet my new doctor would flip if I said I was going to roller blade with an injured wrist.

Plus it's freezing outside. Literally.

I was lying in bed last night, wrist throbbing, having this complete pity party because CLEARLY a possibly broken wrist is the end of the world and my life was ruined. And I got to thinking about all the other times things have gone awry and my dreams have shattered like a broken mirror. Like the severe postpartum depression I had that turned my goal of writing a book every year into a laughable affair and eighteen months of misery writing.

Or when I'd just had my second baby and my oldest daughter was diagnosed with developmental delays. My whole plan of going back to school for my masters died an ignominious death in a pediatrician's office. I couldn't go back to school fulltime and get my daughter all the help she needed.

Or the whole "not born to rich and famous parents" which killed my childhood dream of being a princess or a rockstar.

Out of all those dream-crushers the depression was probably the worst, probably because I dealt with it most recently and I still feel I'm walking on the edge of a very slippery slope or the pit of despair. I got lucky. Depression can break lives. It didn't destroy me. It took more than a year of my life away, but I escaped alive, and many people don't.

Not getting to grad school... it was a choice. I let the dream die because I believe helping my daughter have a full and meaningful life is more important than studying in academia. The life that I imagined at sixteen when I wrote essays about what I'd be when I grew up wasn't the life I needed or wanted five years later.

And not getting to workout the way I like to for a few months is unlikely to kill me.

It's not fun. Wearing a splint kinda sucks honestly. It's hard to type. I can't lift anything. I hate having anything on my wrist so I'm constantly twitching because there is a thing tightly wrapped around my wrist. But... you know? I can still eat healthy. I really can go workout. I'm sure there's a gym with a treadmill somewhere around here. I don't have to freeze.

Take away lesson here? It's okay to have pity parties. It's okay to have setbacks. It's okay to not get what you want exactly when you want it.

A setback is only the end of the road if you quit.

If you're writing a book, trying a new diet, learning a new skill, battling depression... you only lose the fight if you give up.

Keep writing.

Keep striving to be healthy.

Keep learning.

Keep fighting.

You're going to win this one.


  1. You need to think beyond the box. You were planning on working out with weights. Well, what do you call that thing on your wrist? A weight.

    Sure it's light, compared to most of the weights. But it currently is more weight than you normally have on that arm. Take advantage of it and work those arms. You should be able to find a hand weight close to it to keep your arms balanced.

    Just don't try throwing any punches.

    1. ... I wouldn't have even thought of that. Thank you. That's a very good idea actually. :)

  2. Your attitude always amazes me. I hate things on my wrists too, so I would really have a hard time in your situation -- but my favorite exercise is cycling, so I'd be okay there at least.

    The postpartum depression, though. Yeah. Hit me so hard I could only have one kid, so I know what you're talking about. :(

    Wrists heal a lot easier than mental issues, so that's good! Here's to fast-healing bones.

    1. Let's hope, right?

      *raises glass to fast healing bones*

      ... a glass of milk of course. ;)