Frustrated

Guys, I’m frustrated.

If you didn’t come here to listen to me and my whiney-pants, then move along. This is a bitch fest.

I apologize, because I had no intention of this blog turning into the concussion chronicles, but here we are. This is what I’m feeling and living, so this is what I’m writing about. It’s been almost a month without an intense workout, and I think I’m going a little bit crazy.

My symptoms got much better, my mental fogginess went away, I have been able to tolerate screens again (yay blogging!). But my headache has held steady — I have not been headache free since I got hit, which is frustrating in itself. But that’s not the main problem here. I had started to do some light workouts again, and by light workout, I mean walking the hill by my house a few times in a row. La di da.

I did increase the intensity of this last week by jogging some portions of the hill, which did raise my headache temporarily but felt good anyway. I even considered going back to stadiums last week, but then thought better of it when my medically-sensible husband advised me to wait until I had done a few more intensive workouts first. So I waited. And then this past Saturday, I did a workout at the gym for the first time in 3 weeks (I’ve just been doing light stuff at home). I did a 20 minute spin that was at least half “recovery” which means I only did about 10 minutes of actual work, and then followed that up with a light lift. I’m talking front squatting 65 pounds for sets of six. And bicep curls. Yes, it was a light lift.

And afterward, I felt miserable. By the time I got home after that workout, my headache and nausea were so bad that I had to lay down in a dark room for about 45 minutes before I could function again, and my headache has stayed at a high level since then.  Since then, my head has honestly felt like it did during the first couple of days after I got hit.

I am beyond frustrated. We’re closing in on a month, and I feel like I’m losing everything I have worked so hard for in the weight room. Yes, I know my health is more important than my dead lifting max, but when I’ve been working so hard towards goals for the past few years, it’s very difficult to sit around and watch it all waste away. I also can not explain what it’s like to have a constant, 24/7 headache for a month straight. I feel irritable, I feel emotional, and the worst part is that I have no control over it. I try to ignore it when I’m around others, because I don’t want to be that person that is constantly complaining about something.  For the past couple weeks, I have not avoided social situations because of it, because I refuse to let a headache take me away from experiences with my husband, friends, and loved ones. But when I stop moving and sit by myself, there’s a pressure and an ache across the front of my head that just. won’t. quit.

I have always been someone who wants to push myself, who wants to go to the limit of what I should safely do, sometimes to my own detriment. And I can’t even really do that now. After how horrible I felt after that light workout on Saturday, I’m afraid to push again. If I end up feeling like that in the middle of a work week, when literally a hundred people per day are counting on me to make decisions about their health, I’m going to fall apart.

I’m just frustrated. Weight lifting, stadium runs, and working out are part of who I am. They are a major part of my identity, and I’m not really sure what I am or where I’m at without that. I’m not the complainer, I’m not the “debbie-downer”, but it’s really hard to stay positive when there’s a vice grip around your brain 24/7.  What am I without fitness in my life? What is this blog without a writer who can actually do anything that she’s writing about? I’m scared of how long I’ll have this headache. I’m scared of how long it will be until I can tolerate an intense workout. I’m scared that I’ll lose all of the muscular progress that I’ve been working on for years.

Okay. Rant over. I’ve got some good posts in progress, so I promise this hasn’t turned into a concussion blog. If you made it this far, thanks for reading and for tolerating my whiney-pants, I’ll try not to wear them again for a while. 🙂

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15 thoughts on “Frustrated

  1. You’ll get there, you know it really and that’s probably the thing that’s frustrating the hell out of you! Might be worth seeing a doc to see if you have a hairline fracture to your skull. That would explain the constant headache whilst it’s healing. Having had a head thump myself aeons ago when the dinosaurs ruled the earth, it took a good long while for the headaches to stop. But they did eventually stop. My head thump had muscle damage which caused my headaches. Muscles, on my head!! lol!
    Good luck with the training. 😉

    • Ah, I know I’ll get there — you’re right it’s the waiting that’s so frustrating. I know it’s not a hairline fracture, I definitely wasn’t hit hard enough for that. Hopefully these clear soon, or at least enough for me to ramp up the training a little bit!

  2. Hang in there, girl. In recent times I’ve learnt that the gym will ALWAYS be there and focusing on your health is far more important. This will all pass and you will be back to your normal self before you know it.

  3. Yeah – you need to look after your health first! I’m nowhere near as fitness-mad as you are, but when I started running (and really enjoying it and being ok at it) a few years ago, I then injured myself and it took me a year to get myself back to my happy fitness level (thankfully now I’m even better than that).
    I know it’s not exactly what you want to hear having to wait a year, but I can happily say that I am so much better now that I did what the doctors told me to and I stayed off running for a loooong time until I was healed properly.
    I have no idea about head bumps, but my humble opinion would be to just keep at the light workouts that you’ve been doing without the awful feeling until your doctor says you can increase the workout.
    Good luck!

    • It is always a good idea to take the time to properly heal –working in sports medicine I preach that every day! You are right, sticking with the light workouts is the best plan of action right now — I just hope I can increase fairly soon. And I like the way you put that — I guess I am a little “fitness-mad”! 🙂

  4. I sympathize. Listen, even when you are able to start again, you’ll have experience a loss in what you can left, not all is lost. You *will* regain those gains back and it will happen faster than the first time around. Take care of yourself.

  5. Don’t beat yourself up for whining!

    I totally understand how it can feel mentally to have to skip a workout – even if you know that’s the right choice health wise.

    You’re doing the right thing to make sure you’re able to return to the workouts you love.

  6. Okay so I didn’t read your rant, but GIRL I know where you are coming from! I tore my ACL last May and all I could think about during the recovery period (which by the way is at the LEAST 6 months from start to finish) was how I was losing strength and motivation and ability. BUT you’re NOT! Think of it long term, yes it sucks right now and you just want to get back to your normal schedule and feel GREAT, but the more you push now, the longer term effects it can have. Take the time to recover, get back into working out at a pace that works for you head (sometimes that heart has to take a back seat) ..fitness is a life long journey and you’ll be stronger in a year then you thought you would be…trust me 🙂 okay ..whine away again..you’re aloud …:)

  7. I definitely know how you feel Steph, with the frustration of wanting to keep pushing yourself in the gym and such but being held back physically. I hope you get some answers and that everything clears up soon. I’ve never had a concussion, but I’ve had many friends who have so I understand how hard the recovery can be. Hang in there 🙂

  8. I had no idea the effects of concussions last so long! I’m so sorry for the way you’ve been feeling lately – it sounds awful. But I’m sure since you’ve already seen some improvements, things will just continue to get better! Hang in there girl. You can always build up your strength again once you feel up to it!

  9. The fitness life encompasses taking care of you! So embrace the fact that your head needs some time and find something that doesn’t aggravate your symptoms.. even if that is laying in the sun meditating. All the gains you’ve gotten will come back again, the beauty of the human body is that it heals and we find ourselves back to normal just when we think recovery is never going to end. I’ve been where you are.. it sucks! But treat yourself like you would an athlete in your care. Good luck!

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