If you’ve followed Val in Real Life over the last few years, you know I gave my recovery from the 2015 crash every ounce of energy and determination I possess. Even though I knew my body would never be the same, I refused to settle for anything less than the best possible outcome of a bad situation. My physicians have been nothing short of astonished at what I was able to achieve, given my injuries.

Now, almost three years later though, I’m facing another round of poking and prodding of “Frankenleg.” Long story short, I’m back in physical therapy. Everything I gave the first time around wasn’t enough. While everything about that leg still hurts—the nerve damage, the scar tissue, the rigidness of my rod-laden femur, the tibial hernia, the semi-locked ankle, the swelling—I’ve mostly learned how to manage it. I’ve had to accept it will never be fabulous and learn how to manage the symptoms.

But I haven’t gotten my knee pain or function to acceptable levels. The patellar tendon that was assaulted to insert the rod and the soft tissue of my knee that was sliced to repair my femoral artery are still quite troublesome. So it’s back to the drawing board to dig in and find out what’s going on and if it can be improved. Non-intrusive physical therapy is the precursor to making a surgery decision about removing some potentially offending hardware. There may be no relief to be had but I’ve got to try.

Going back to doctors and therapists is not setting well with my psyche. But it’s what I need to do. It’s taking me some time to come to terms with it. That I’m going through yet another round of this because of one person’s negligence has me going through renewed waves of intense emotions. Part of that struggle is the physical strain and hassle of it all.

I also have to alter my life. Again. That means scaling back travel plans to accommodate a multitude of appointments. My head knows that throttling back temporarily is an investment in preserving my ability to continue my lifestyle. My heart is not as accepting of that.

Could I just keep plowing through? Sure. Either route I take is a gamble. Right now I’m opting to see what I can improve while still relatively young and healthy. Postponing wouldn’t give me a chance to live and travel with less pain today. Putting it off also means I run the risk of inadvertently cutting my life of adventures short because I didn’t want to face a short-term setback now.

So my mantra for the next few months is “This is an investment.” Like any investment, there’s no guarantee it will pay off. I can guarantee you I will give it my all. Again.

physical therapy - val in real life
Investing in my body now so I can ensure the longevity of my adventures.