Tag Archives: broken bones

Splishin’ and a splashin’

I have come to really love swimming. I think it’s my favorite sport. I really enjoy all of the parts of a triathlon, but swimming feels the best.

There is a certain freedom that comes with riding a bike. You see the world a little differently and feeling the wind in your face is pretty amazing. But also, when I’m on my bike, I tend to worry. I worry about cars on the road, about falling off, about swerving into the road. It’s not as relaxing (and I mean “relaxing” to mean something like mental peace, since exercise is obviously not meant to be relaxing) as I would like. I don’t have friends who ride or any good place near my house, so it’s a bit more of a hassle sometimes.

Running is a great way to release everything that’s stored up inside of you. Stress, frustration, even at times exhaustion, seem to get absorbed in running. But I think I get caught up in the numbers game. I want to run faster, I want to run farther. I get annoyed when I get a cramp or feel that I need to slow down. I wish I could run with more abandon, but I’m not there, yet.

But swimming… when I’m swimming, everything else just kind of fades away. I’m not thinking about anything else besides my strokes and breathing. I don’t worry so much about times and numbers and find that I move even faster and swim even farther without trying. I leave the pool after each swim feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the day.

But I’ve been landlocked since I broke my wrist back in December. Clearly I couldn’t swim with the cast on and even once I had that off, my doctor said to get back into the water slowly. It’s been a month now since I’ve had my cast taken off and I’m not going to lie, I’ve been nervous about swimming again. I was afraid it wouldn’t be as strong as I thought. Or that I might accidentally hit my wrist on the wall or on another swimmer as they pass by. Not to mention, swimming is the hardest sport to wake up for in the morning. Especially in the winter. You just think about how cold it is and that you’re going to have to undress, get wet and then drive home still wet. Trust me, that does not sound appealing at 5:00 in the morning.

But last week, for the first time in over two months, I got back in the water. And I can’t even tell you how good it felt. It made me realize truly how much I’ve missed it. But it also made me realize how far I have to go. Any swimmer will tell you, you have to consistently swim in order to keep up with it. Even just a short time out of the pool and you will notice a difference. I could feel it in every muscle in my body.

It’s going to take me some time to get back to where I was, but I’m not totally discouraged. When I first started swimming last summer, I could hardly make it one length of the pool (25 yards) without gasping for breath. Just a few weeks before my triathlon in October, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it the 250 yards for the swim portion. But suddenly, everything just clicked and I made it past the 250 yards up to around 2000 yards in just a few weeks. And now, I’m still able to make it those 250 yards, although my arms are tired and my wrist is still weak.

I’m taking it slow for right now, keeping it to about a half-hour swim. As I start to feel a little more comfortable with my wrist I’ll continue to increase the time and distance. But I’m so glad to be back in the water. Now I just can’t wait for warm weather!

My first therapy session

Yes, I am in therapy. Occupational therapy, that is. I started yesterday to help rehabilitate my wrist and make sure I get back my full range of motion.

It was a pretty easy appointment. It basically consisted of the therapist measure the angles I could make with my wrist (like how far I can bend it in each direction or flip it over, in comparison to my other wrist). It was actually surprising to see how much my wrist movement has been inhibited. This stephanie hughes wrist exercise stretch bend flex motion stolen colon ostomy crohns blogpicture is my attempt to show you where I am starting from.

For the next several weeks, I am supposed to do a series of stretches for my wrist, moving it in all directions and holding it in position for a few seconds. I am going to have to be disciplined because you’re supposed to do these exercises 4 times every day, and the last thing I want to do is slack off and not make the improvements I want.

I have to go back in every week, I guess just to check on my progress and to determine what new exercises I should start working on. I am thinking it’s going to be a bit of a long road. I am still wearing the brace most of the time, but trying to cut back on that as well and make sure I’m getting some strength back in my arm. Thankfully, I have already gotten back to the basics of writing, typing, picking things up (within reason) and even opening jars with my right hand, so it hasn’t been completely unused for the past eight weeks. Now I guess I just have to move past the pain and keep pushing it a little more every day. We’ll get there soon enough.

One month down

February Candy hearts valentine's stephanie hughes stolen colon ostomy crohn's blogIt’s amazing how quickly time goes by. I have often been told by those older than I am that it just gets faster every year, and that definitely is the truth.

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting here mapping out my goals for the next year, and suddenly one month is already done and over with. But I am very excited about the great start this year has gotten off to.

  • It has been the best month so far for The Stolen Colon. It makes me really look forward to the year ahead in blogging!
  • I got a new design on the blog and have more ideas in store.
  • I submitted my application to NCSU’s grad school.
  • I have made my bed 32 out of 32 days.
  • I am working on eating better, fresher foods. I’ve been enjoying some green smoothies in the morning 🙂
  • Jarrod and I have a new budget in place that I’m really excited about. It’s pretty strict, but still gives us room to have fun, while getting our current debts paid off. And we actually did a great job at sticking to it for the first month!
  • I’ve been getting to bed earlier and waking up earlier for a morning workout. (Not every day, by any means, but I’m working on it.)

So now, on to February. It’s only day 1, but the month is quickly filling up! But with lots of good things: there are so many birthdays of my wonderful friends and family; I have several networking opportunities set up; the Super Bowl is this weekend.

Not to mention that Valentine’s day is in a couple of weeks. My husband and I don’t usually go all out for Valentine’s, but we do usually mark the occasion in some way. I suppose we should since Jarrod proposed to me on February 13th! And I do like the reminder to celebrate the love that you share in your life.

And finally, training for the Team Challenge half-marathon officially starts this month! We’ll have a kick-off party and the 16th and then the training begins on the 23rd. I am looking forward to going through the entire 16 week training this season, since last year I joined a little late in the season. It’s going to be a great season and I am really looking forward to getting to meet everyone who is involved!

I have pretty much touched on my goals for this month.

  • My main goal is to be prepared for the start of Team Challenge season and to work hard to bring in some other runners in the area.
  • Continue the “early to bed, early to rise” routine and morning workouts.
  • I also start therapy on my wrist, so I am hoping for a strong recovery and being able to get back to all of the activities I’ve been missing out on.
  • Beyond that, I am going to continue honing the budget and being good at sticking to it.
  • And I am looking forward to spending time with family and friends and celebrating the various events throughout the month.

Freedom!

stephanie hughes broken arm wrist bone cast off brace stolen colon ostomy crohns blogMy arm has been freed! Thank the Lord, I got my cast off this morning! I do still have to wear a brace for the time being, but that’s just fine with me.

It was so strange to have the cast come out. My arm looks so small. I am pretty sure it’s a combination of muscle atrophy from not using it as much and just an optical illusion since my arm has looked so much bigger in the cast for the past several weeks. I will have to some physical therapy, just to make sure I get my full range of motion back. I should start that sometime next week.

I can see now just how dry and tired my skin has become since having the cast on. I spent a while in front of the sink earlier just scrubbing it down with soap. I’m looking forward to putting lots of lotion on it later!

The brace is velcro and removable. I will be able to take a normal shower, put my hands in the sink and wear long-sleeve clothes again! Maybe even get back in the pool soon. I am supposed to keep the brace on most of the time for the next two weeks, only removing it for a few minutes at a time. After that, I should be able to start using it less, especially when doing easy activities. We will have to see how the therapy goes and should have some more answers in the coming weeks as to when I can start back some activities. But I am already enjoying my new-found freedom in no longer wearing a cast!