Injury and the effects on mental health

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  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    Still resting and elevating the ankle here.  Hope everyone is well and in a good groove.  I've been researching return to running articles to keep me occupied. I have come to the conclusion I will need to treat it as if I am a newbie runner given the time off for this and injury history.  A bit like post-pregnancy return to running in a way, but without the dodgy pelvic floor  ;)
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    MsE I think starting again is a really good idea. Just​ think of all the mistakes you made last time and try to avoid them, assuming here you are like me and made many mistakes!!! All those new PBs! Glad to hear you are motivated to come back k to running. 
  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    It's mental health awareness week this week! I hope you are all well and conversations are being had. After conversations, we need to make sure there are suitable outlets and people to talk to, to address those mental health challenges.  That is the next step, making sure those who seek help can find it.
  • happybunnyhappybunny ✭✭✭
    MsE - Glad you're keeping positive on the running front - starting from scratch may not be a bad thing.  As TT says, it means you can avoid the mistakes we all made as newbie runners.  Lots of research to be done as well for exercises etc to do alongside the running when you're fit enough again.

    I've 'come out' as it were to friends about my own mental health history (actually I did it on facebook!) and said that I wanted to run my next marathon in aid of one of our local suicide charities in honour of my own recovery from depression.  My problem, is I communicate feelings etc better through the written word rather than face-to-face with people.  But it's better than nowt!
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    I too am very honest. I find I can control what I say to people, not what they think. So I might as well control what I can! Found runners are more understanding than some people. Also found some people are 'shocked', say nothing then come back later and say something. I really do appreciate the fact the DofC and PH are backing the campaign. 
  • happybunnyhappybunny ✭✭✭
    Kelly Holmes has also spoken out about her struggles with depression and self harm - she posted a great piece on Twitter.  I think all it can do is engage conversation and make things easier for those seeking help now.  

    I think back over 20 years ago to when I first received 'help'.  It was atrocious! I was referred to psychiatric services, waited months for an assessment and was told I was in no immediate danger to myself or others so there was nothing they could offer (this was several months after I'd taken an overdose).  This was after going to my GP and being told I was a silly girl.  No wonder it took years and another suicide attempt for me to get to where I am now.  It angers me now, but at the time I think I believed I was being ungrateful and silly :'(  
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Happy bunny, I am so sorry to hear that. My experience was totally different. First mental health appointment 2.5 hours after seeing my GP, second one three days later. 17 months later discharged. Had wobbles but the strategies I learnt have been amazing at keeping me in one piece, even managing quite well with not running now. 

    I do hope that you have people who are able to listen and help, happy for you to PM me if you ever need to communicate in a less public way. 
  • happybunnyhappybunny ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I'm good now TT, but thank you for your support :) .  I'm all good now, but that's the difference between one experience and another - hopefully nobody else will have my experience.  I think it probably took me a lot longer to deal with than it should have done had I received all the help I needed at the start.  I did get some counselling later on and then paid for some myself a few years later - together with meds and tremendous support from family and friends I managed to get through it and can thankfully say, that most of that is behind me apart from odd times now i.e. when injured from running  ;)  I think though that depression is bit like having an addition - you don't quite feel like you've shaken if off: it's always part of you and I feel that I will always probably say that I suffer from depression.  Anybody else feel that way?
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    I know I am always waiting for depression to come again. One of the people in mind over marathon said they were expecting it in the mail and I think that is a really good way of putting it. Must admit I am beginning to enjoy cycling and swimming. Maybe I just have not done them enough previously? My bike thinks it needs a rest! 
  • I don't know how you guys feel comfortable enough to 'come out' and generally talk about your own mental health issues. I think I've mentioned it to three people (excluding health professionals) and that includes my parents. I don't count forum style anonymity :-). I almost feel like there is a physical tangible barrier I can almost touch that stops me, and to those who have experienced issues I'm more intimidated by their more serious experiences of it.

    I know that exact feeling @happybunny, I've got it right now. I'm relatively happy (for me) right now, but I can't help think about bout is round the corner or that it's coming back and even if I shake it I think the threat of it will stay with me.

    I had a weird experience today, I finally got an initial NHS appointment with a specialist. He took in the full explanation of my issues looked at it and come up with a different idea. He wants an ultra sound of my anterior tibial tendon and think this is my issue, he said running, cycling or doing anything won't make it worse (just more pain potential) so do whatever I can, cycling was recommended. WTF? he's told me that running with pain won't make it worse.... does that make any sense?
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Slowfoot, I can completely understand not being comfortable about it. I had over nine months of work and had many a discussion with CMHT about what I said when I went back. I decided, maybe for better or worse, that I would be totally honest. I do realise I had the backing of CMHT, a fab GP, and an amazing LM. Some people could not cope and showed that they could not cope, but I decided I needed to do what was best for me. It was easier because I had had the time off, so a reason was needed. 

    I can sort of understand the pain not making it worse. Maybe (and I am not a medic) he is saying it is as bad as it can be, nothing will make it worse so you might as well run? Maybe he is a medic, and there are more and more around, who sees that running is doing you more mental good than it will do physical harm? 
  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    Slowfoot  - Often the lack of movement can be as damaging and create problems as too much repetitive movement. I know when I was grounded for a year with achilles tendinopathy, the sports podiatrist doc fitted me with some orthotics and sent me back out running.  It was as simple as that.  No magic elixir needed.  After the agonising months spent on the bench, it didn't make sense but looking back I can see how not moving is as harmful sometimes.  A case in point is my current state.  I have gone from this:
    To this:
    Which means I can wiggle my toes around and try to get movement back in my foot and calf.  After just two weeks of being totally immobile, my calf has shrivelled to this:
    Reading up on post ankle op recovery, as much of the literature is focused on addressing the muscle atrophy as it is on regaining motor control and strength. It all makes a very persuasive case for the claim that you either use it or lose it!

    Glad to hear you are getting into the cross training, TT.   

    happy bunny - your backstory sounds incredible. What an amazing person you are to have come through all of that.  
  • ftm42ftm42 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Venting again - now 'on the bench' again. Ran a local 5K fun run last Sunday & felt ok and finished sub-28 minutes. Two days later my knees flared up again. Saw physio who is now talking pain management not cure and a possible op for arthroscopy and debridement?

    Not run now for over a week to try to allow knees to recover [apart from running between 200m warmup area and discus area carrying my son's kit from one to the other due to an event overlapping on Saturday! Knees hurt after doing that].

    Kneecaps click a lot now and feel sore to touch all the time. The pain is 'only' 3/4 out of 10, but just won't go away. I've come home from work just to have a good to cry this evening.

    Trying to think positive. I have a gym between work and home that I could go to so will ask physio if I can go there and use their machines to replicate the physio - leg extensions on light weights etc. That way I can get out of the house to be on my own, work up a sweat [yes, I like to sweat! Why do you think running's so satisfying - sweat with a purpose!] maybe using the other machines...
  • happybunnyhappybunny ✭✭✭
    @ftm42 please vent away  :) I'm sorry knees are being a bugger again.  Getting to the gym could be good - I think getting out of the house to have 'me' time is beneficial for those of us who usually get it through running (I only have a OH at home but need time away from her for my me time and found I did the same thing and went to the gym).  I am a profuse sweater for a woman (I believe I may have inherited my father's sweat glands :s ) so I get the sweating think!

    If surgery is needed, do you know how long it could be before you're able to get it and will it solve your knee problems?

    MsE can I just say, I would love a pair of pins like yours (injury aside).  My calves are unfortunately, like tree trunks and I'm currently sporting a most attractive black toe nail.  When are you able to start rehab to strengthen again? 

    I never really thought too much about how the whole treatment thing in my teens/20's was so crap until the last few weeks - this last few months has forced me to look part a fair bit on that time, and like I say, I think I just feel a bit angry now but can understand why my problems drifted on for so many years (and I don't harbour feelings of feeling as if I was some silly little girl anymore, which I think I did for a good number of years).  I like to think now that things that we've gone through do make us stronger in the end.  :)
  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    ftm42 said:
    Venting again - now 'on the bench' again. Ran a local 5K fun run last Sunday & felt ok and finished sub-28 minutes. Two days later my knees flared up again. Saw physio who is now talking pain management not cure and a possible op for arthroscopy and debridement?

    Not run now for over a week to try to allow knees to recover [apart from running between 200m warmup area and discus area carrying my son's kit from one to the other due to an event overlapping on Saturday! Knees hurt after doing that].

    Kneecaps click a lot now and feel sore to touch all the time. The pain is 'only' 3/4 out of 10, but just won't go away. I've come home from work just to have a good to cry this evening.

    Trying to think positive. I have a gym between work and home that I could go to so will ask physio if I can go there and use their machines to replicate the physio - leg extensions on light weights etc. That way I can get out of the house to be on my own, work up a sweat [yes, I like to sweat! Why do you think running's so satisfying - sweat with a purpose!] maybe using the other machines...
    As well as ligament reconstruction I had arthroscopy to clean out the cartilage damage and junk the surgeon found in there (debridement I think is the technical term).  I can't say how it feels as I am only 3 weeks post op, but I can say that I feel very optimistic having had a "fix" and knowing that it is down to me how well I recover and capitalise on this opportunity to build back up to where I was.  (Shhhhhh, but secretly I am hoping to progress further and find my potential as the ankle really held me back in training and racing.)  Ankles are a bit like knees in that they are hinge joints but as it isn't the same issue I can't tell you much more I'm afraid. It does sound like something worth investigating?  No harm in finding out what your options are.
  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭



    MsE can I just say, I would love a pair of pins like yours (injury aside).  My calves are unfortunately, like tree trunks and I'm currently sporting a most attractive black toe nail.  When are you able to start rehab to strengthen again? 

    I never really thought too much about how the whole treatment thing in my teens/20's was so crap until the last few weeks - this last few months has forced me to look part a fair bit on that time, and like I say, I think I just feel a bit angry now but can understand why my problems drifted on for so many years (and I don't harbour feelings of feeling as if I was some silly little girl anymore, which I think I did for a good number of years).  I like to think now that things that we've gone through do make us stronger in the end.  :)
    First physio appointment tomorrow.  I suspect it begins with getting movement patterns back again (motor control).  I won't be fully discharged for another 10 weeks or so and don't anticipate running till 3-4 months post op.  Happy to strengthen in meantime and x train.  Means I will be looking at autumn when kids are back in school after the summer holidays to resume training which works well logistically.

    It is interesting how the current situation has caused you to reflect on your early adult years. Feeling residual anger suggests something perhaps remains unresolved and you are still coming to terms with that part of your life.  I couldn't agree more that what happens to us makes us stronger and this goes for negative as well as positive events in life.  Onwards and upwards!

    PS Am sure you do not have tree trunks for legs.  You are, I suspect, far harsher on yourself than you would be to others.  My black toenail is hidden by the nail varnish....! My middle daughter said my swollen ankle looks like Moana's. Then changed that to say it was more like Maui's. (cheers kid)  Here is Maui (note ankles and tree trunk legs):smiley: :

  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Hi MsE, good to hear you are looking forward. September sounds like a great time to start running again, even though I am a long (in fact very long way) from school age I still enjoy the excitement of September! I think you are right we are far harder on ourselves than others. CMHT once asked me what I would say to a friend going through what I was, then said why do you not say it to yourself then? It was a very difficult lesson and one I still have to keep reminding myself of.

    Ftm42 have you had an MRI? Did that show any impingement??? 
  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    Hope everyone is feeling brighter with the sunshine and warmer weather.  I started reading this to understand depression as I am starting a Mental Health Ambassador role at my club.  It is very illuminating but I think may be helpful to those dealing with their own black dog.  Well worth a read and it's nice and small to take on holiday or pop into a bag to read on the way to work:



    In other news, my leg continues to wither away!  Ugh!  But I am diligently doing my pilates and rehab.  Two more weeks until I can fully weight bear and then rebuild muscle. 

    Wondering if Ftm42 has had the MRI to work out what's going on....
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Thanks MsE, just downloaded to my Kindle. Sometimes I think technology is amazing, and this is one of them! 

    I had my injection and investigation on Monday. Consultant said there is a slight chance I might be able to run up to the op in September, depends what he found. I find that out in two weeks. How are you finding the not running????

    I am thinking of discussing being a mental health ambassador. There are non in the local area and I think it would be a real bonus to the club, but as I am not likely to be running till 2018 I think it is a long term aim. If you want to know more about the long term aspects of living with depression just PM me. 
  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    TT - how are you feeling post injection? Don't discount the MHA role simply because you aren't running. I think you could provide valuable advice given your experience. Thanks for asking about me, I'm managing fine not running as I know I'm slowly healing and, importantly, thanks to the op will be able to run properly again. I'm currently in Greece for the kids' half term and have been doing Pilates and hydrotherapy daily. I can now walk on the ankle and am getting movement back into the foot muscles. A bit more strengthening and I'll be walking and driving again. Life is good! Especially with this view:


  • happybunnyhappybunny ✭✭✭
    @MsE not jealous of that view at all lol.  It is currently wet and miserable in dull Northern Ireland, but the positive is it's dry tomorrow, so although I'll get soaked tonight running home from work I should be ok tomorrow.  Glad to hear that movement is steadily improving and you're doing all your exercises.  Kudos, for being a mental health ambassador for your club - I didn't even realise clubs had these (I'm not a member of a running club at the moment).  

    @TT would be great if you can do some running over the summer so I hope the news from the consultant is positive.  I would echo MsE, I don't think you need to be currently running to be a mental health ambassador, in fact, I think it gives you an ideal perspective, but most of all would probably be very beneficial to you.

    Running is going well here at the moment with a few races coming up (5m next Wednesday and HM entered for beginning of August).  I should be ok, but finding it a bit tough some days at the moment. I think a bit of a combination of post-marathon blues and relationship problems.  Added to that, I think I'm isolating myself a little.  Thinking of re-joining the local running club, but really want to find someone to go with as I know I'll turn up, feel a plonker, then not go again.  Will hopefully get my arse into gear sometime.  Will try and get along to parkrun on Saturday and set myself an aim of at least engaging in conversation with 1 person  :)

    Take care all.
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Happy bunny, so pleased your running is going well. I still set myself little challenges such as talking to one person when in town. Used to do the same for parkrun. 

    I think you are both right I need to look at the role. Unfortunately I had three amazing days without pain this week then it just hit again. I can deal with pain but this is terrible. Fortunately the hospital gave me prescription meds. However the lack of pain for three days was fantastic so I am holding on to that for after surgery. Also it makes any pain I had when training just fade into insignificance. So coming back should be so much easier. 

    MsE I have to at that view is incredible and makes me rather envious! 
  • ftm42ftm42 ✭✭✭
    MsE - I didn't see your 'wonder how ftm42 is' comment earlier - bless you! Good luck with your continued recovery and enjoy half-term!

    See some of my posts here! Upshot is, I did have an MRI that confirmed degenerative tendinopathy. More physio, change of exercise routine, considering arthroscopy:

    https://forums.runnersworld.co.uk/discussion/comment/11336405#Comment_11336405


  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Good news, after seeing the consultant I can run again. Bad news this is only because my hip is so wreaked that I can do no more damage before surgery! 
  • happybunnyhappybunny ✭✭✭
    Great news @TT (I think  :o ).  At least it'll keep you ticking over, then surgery will hopefully sort it all out.  
  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    ftm42 - how do you feel about where you are at?

    TT - excellent news.  Any change is often great in itself if only to break the feeling of being in limbo.  Take care not to overdo it!

    I am out of my cast, driving and walking around this week.  Starting to incorporate yoga into my daily pilates workouts too.  Feels wonderful to include more activity.   :)

    Polling day today.  Hope you are all casting your votes!  No matter how dire things can seem, taking action has to be better than doing nothing.
  • For those needing some encouragement that it can get better: end September 2013, torn posterior tibial tendon in cycling accident. Five months in ankle brace, slow return to running, back to 25-mile training runs then June 2015, broken ankle (fractured fibula) from slipping while walking down a grassy bank. Return to running but not 100% mobility on ankle, then stress-fractured pelvis during 2016 London Marathon...

    4th June 2017, I ran Comrades. Absolutely NO problems from any of those injury sites. :-)

    So hang in there, do the physio exercises, cross-train if that's possible/advisable, take care in ramping the miles back up when you get started running again and believe that a full return to running IS possible.
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Debra, thank you. It is great to read about how people have come back to running and also well done for Comrades, seriously amazing!

    Run/walked three times. Felt fantastic and just totally incredible. All the cycling, swimming, core work has paid off. Just going to enjoy what I can do till September,  very little but I really do not care just to run is just amazing. Planning a marathon for October 2018! Consultant said that is totally doable and he is the expert. 

    Embracing the good days. 
  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    Good to hear you are feeling positive, TT.  Just to give those of you contemplating surgery hope, I was signed off by the ankle consultant last Thursday, 6 weeks post-op.  Now in the hands of my physio, I have some work to do before I will be strong enough to run.  But there are strength benchmarks to strive to achieve to get there.  I also know how much mobility I want to achieve in my ankle before I run on it again so I don't end up with any other injuries.  But all is good!  I only came out of the boot and started walking and driving last week.  This week I am building in pool running and static biking.  So to those of you wondering whether to go ahead with surgery, the time out may not be as long as you think it is.
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