That’s right…. Just like the post says….. I ran 1 mile, uninterrupted, 5 months to the day after surgery and another 1.1 miles today. That doesn’t even include warm up and cool down!!!! The reason I posted this was not to brag(well maybe just a little, but I’m proud eh!!) but to help motivate people that are where I was in the earlier stages of the recovery process. So here is a small recap and some words of advice for the newest members of our club or even veterans that are stuck at some plateau.

 

Here goes…….

5 months ago I was on my way home from the surgery thinking “what did I do to deserve this”. I got home and spent the next week laying on the fold-out getting very good at video games. I went from being very active to, well…… very inactive. As the next few weeks unfolded I began to get depressed and found myself wondering if I would even walk again. It is really easy for the depression to set in while laying around! After the second week I had a little slip and had to get recasted and was told I would be in for a few more weeks. 5 weeks in a cast, being at work rolling, around in my custom decorated wheelchair seemed like an eternity. Finally came time to get the cast off. If anyone has read my previous posts they know that this didn’t quite turn out to be the day of joy I had expected. I complained of pain in my calf and the doc sent me to the ER for an ultrasound where they found a blood clot in my leg. Next came a few blood thinning shots that night and the next afternoon.  As if it wasn’t stressful enough to think I would have to take blood thinners for at least 6 months to get rid of the clot I start feeling really ill the night after the second dose of shots and pills. A middle of the night trip to the ER in an ambulance found me bleeding internally from the shots. Oops, too much medicine!!! I came home that morning and laid in bed.

This became one of those moments…….

I thought to myself, “That’s it, I’ve had enough. I WILL get better. I WILL walk, I WILL run, I WILL do it on my terms. I can’t let doctors be in control of my destiny, I must take over and fight to get better”.

From that day I stopped being depressed. Everyone will have one of those moments and how you respond will make a huge difference in the future of your recovery. I went physical therapy with a positive, almost competitive approach. My therapist laughed at me when I would get frustrated if I couldn’t do something. Even hitting a road block with muscle rebuilding ddin’t get me down this time. We found a new treatment and I kept pushing. The treatment worked and I made huge strides in recovery.

 I finished PT on 12/31/08 and on the 5 month anniversary of my surgery, 1/6/09, I stepped onto a treadmill and said “I am going to run a mile”. It wasn’t easy but the determination took me to the end of the mile and now anything seems possible.

I know a lot of people that are at the laying in bed stage are thinking ‘yeah right’. That is exactly why I posted this long winded speech. I was there. I thought ‘yeah right’. But I found my moment and used it to kick the depression that set in. If you haven’t had one, you will. Just make sure you are looking for it. If you have had one, post something about it for others in a comment here.

There are probably people that have recovered faster or stronger than me but I think that running a mile at 5 months is a HUGE accomplishment and the thing I attribute it to is attitude. Once I shook the blah’s I never looked back.

Now I’m running from the blahs a mile at a time!!!!!

 

Happy New Year

Matt

12 Responses to “5 months — I just ran a mile!!!!! Newbies read this……”
  1. bostonbrother says:

    Congratulations!! I’m looking forward to the day that I can become PWB

  2. kmcnabb says:

    Awesome!

  3. dennis says:

    sidmatt - congrats on maintaining a positive attitude and reaching your goal. (But just want to mention a word of caution about not rushing your recovery.) Inspirational post! Keep up the good work! :)

  4. Melissa Delfino says:

    So proud of you I could cry. So inspirational and I can relate to you 100%. I just ended my 4th month and I am starting to feel another breakthrough. I did a speed-walk session during PT this week (4.0 on the treadmill) for 10 minutes and it FELT GREAT! My therapist wants me to start “assisted running” (treadmill while holding on to the sides) next week!!! I can’t wait!! I can walk on the balls of my feet and do a really good, strong bi-lateral heel raisers, but my single heel raise is still kind of weak. I can get my heel up but not fully. At 5 months, how is your single heel raise? Best of luck on your continued recovery. Melissa

  5. damacar says:

    Hey Matt. Great Job! I ran the mile and felt like a million bucks. Man was it a good feeling. I was super depressed also when this first happened. You just take the small milestones and build on them. Unfortuantely, I somehow developed tendonitis in my ankle during my healing/recovery process, so, I had to cut back again. Nothing like a cortizone shot!!
    We’ll hook up one of these days!! Don’t count on it being at the marathon in May-LOL.
    I had originally planned on trying the 1/2.

    What’s up kkdub?

    Dani

  6. Matt says:

    Thanks to everyone for the posts!!! I just wanted to spread a little New Year inspiration!!

    Dennis ~ Don’t worry :) the PT told me to start running. Even as motivated as I am I still follow orders. I agree with you on being careful but a sense of urgency also helps healing.

    Melissa ~ Don’t cry!! Glad to hear you’re doing good as well. As for my single leg heel raise, I can go 3 inches as opposed to 3 1/2 on the good leg. It feels a little weak but improves almost daily. Still lots of work to do but it gets easier all the time!!!

    Dani ~ Thanks, and yes we’ll meet up…. someday!! My wife and I are doing the ‘Truffle Shuffle’ in February. LMK if you want to do it with us.

    Bostonbrother ~ You’ll get to PWB before you know it and when you look back in a few months you won’t even beleive how fast it went.

  7. denny says:

    Boy, I can’t wait until I get to the five month point. I haven’t been able to run a mile for years (has nothing to do with my AT however, just laziness).

    Denny

  8. Sanfrantourguide says:

    Aren’t you the teensiest bit afraid to push it? I am now at 7 months and still have a twinge now and then to remind me that all is not 100% = not to mention the scar. So I am not running, jumping, or my all-time favorite, dancing, until I am feeling superpositive and sure that nothing will snap again. Overcautious? Perhaps!

  9. greg says:

    Hi
    Im 47 I rupture last August had the op but still can’t run. Well i can with a limp. Im know its my mind protecting the injury. How did you get round that. Weren’t you scared it was just going to snap again?

    Well done

    Greg

  10. greg says:

    August 2007 that is. I wasnt trying to be funny. Im being serious. I used to run all the time but can’t now.

    Greg

  11. andykap68 says:

    Great post, matt, thanks! I have my first postop visit tomorrow and this was just the booster shot of inspiration I needed! Funny, I laid around the last 2 weeks, feeling sorry for myself, obsessing over whether I could’ve avoided this, unshaven and bummed out and then this morning i thought, “What the heck are you doing? What kind of message are you sending your kids?” So I got my butt up and shaved (my wife nearly applauded) and dressed and decided that’s it, starting tomorrow I push (within the confines of my doctor’s recommendations, of course!) towards recovery. I know, though, that there will be plenty of peaks and valleys along the way and I hope more people like you will post messages like these to inspire others to remain optimistic. Congrats on your milestone (pun intended) - CAN’T WAIT to do the same!

  12. matthew says:

    i hope i can run after 5 months i am 1 week rmoved from the surgery i went back to work today that was tough i am going tomorrow but might take 1/2 day friday. not elevating all day hurts a lot more than i thought. well 5 more weeks till i can bear weight and i am going to look to you for inspiration keep the positivity going!

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