I broke when my Mom died. My soul felt like it faded away that October morning. My desire and will and happiness drained away and I was left a hollow shell.
In May I just started to pull myself from the hole of my depression. I had found roller derby again. I had learned to pick myself up after I fell, while having wheels strapped to my feet. I was increasing my skill set. I had committed to two skating clinics and was really going to give this derby gig a real go. No quitting because it was difficult. No quitting because I didn’t want to socialize. I was doing this.
I had new skates. Skates that fit. Skates that made me feel more confident. My Riedell Blue Streak skates, with Arius (red) plates and Reckless Morph wheels. I even had some extra love and luck put into those plates. These skates felt like a dream.
The Appalachian Hell Betties were working on a hitting drill that I had not been cleared to do. So I was working on track cuts, dodging skaters and transitions, turning around and going the opposite direction. I was flying around the track. I attempted to transition and failed, miserably.
I was looking at my ankle when it happened. My right ankle slid, popped, whatever to the right and I went down. I knew I broke. Your ankle isn’t supposed to look like mine did.
I know I cried and screamed and cussed and literally cried for my Mom. My Mom the nurse. My Mom my friend. My Mom who could tell me what to expect from a break. My Mom who took care of me any time I was sick, or hurt. But I didn’t have my Mom.
Inside and out I was broken. X-rays proved it. I had a broken fibula, dislocated joint and a completely severed deltoid ligament. Did you know that the deltoid ligament is the strongest ligament in your body? I’m definitely an over achiever. My plans for the summer went out the window. But worse than that was the void, depression, anger and sadness that the break screwed into my bones. I had all the time in the world to think, that is when I wasn’t asleep because of pain meds.
I was getting my life back, and then I broke. There was definite improvement with my skating, then I broke. I was working through the loss of my Mom, then I broke.
And I didn’t know I was working through these things, until after I broke and I was laying in bed, in pain, unable to do the simplest of things, wishing I could talk to my Mom. Wishing I could hear her tell me I’d be OK.
Here I am 3 months later, having done all the things that my doctor and my physical therapist have said. I had the support of my husband and my team, family and friends. If not for their help, I wouldn’t have been able to follow the directions of the doctor and my PT. I created new relationships with people who broke at the same time as me, and learned from those who broke before me.
I broke, but I am healing.
Today I skated for the first time in three months. I put on my Blue Streaks, my protective gear because I swear by Bonnie Thunders I will not fall and break a wrist because I didn’t wear wrist guards. I could stand on my toe stops. I could push off on my bionic ankle. I can’t stop, but then I couldn’t before I broke either. I have TWO working ankles.
I am healing.
I still have a lot of work to do. I am getting stronger every day. I am getting more confident every day. I have hope.
I have a t-shirt that reads, “Derby broke my ankle but saved my soul.” This rings true to me right now. The healing process continues even though I am scarred, and need a plate and screws to hold me together.
I am healing.