Rehab Update

Monday was the worst I’ve felt since this neck injury recurrence – I had the quadfecta: pain, numbness, muscle weakness, limited range of motion. All because I had the unmitigated gall to thoroughly wash my hair instead of half-assing it like I had been to try to protect my neck (anything where I reach my right arm out and try to do stuff with it makes my neck angry.)

Then I had physical therapy Monday afternoon and she added a series lying on the foam roller (with it longways up my back) including a “snow angel,” a 2-minute stretch with my arms in “T” position, and “scissors” with one arm up by my ear and the other by my hip.

Except I couldn’t get my arm up to the top of the snow angel, the stretch was so painful that tears sprang into my eyes and I couldn’t finish, and I couldn’t get my right arm all the way back to the floor on the scissors. When she had me sit with my face in a pillow for the ultrasound I just started crying.

She thinks another 2-3 weeks until I can get back to training (and I’ll have to start off slow) That leaves a month and a half until IM Arizona. None of this is good news.

The last couple of days I’ve been feeling better (though I’ve certainly gone back to half-assing my hair washing) and I’m starting to have hope that I will be better sooner rather than later. My activities are currently restricted to walking and some light weightlifting.

With more free time I’ve been able to do more writing. including a serious piece about that awful Weight Watchers kid’s dieting app for US News, and an open letter to James Corden about his well-meaning but really problematic response to Bill Maher’s pro-fat-shaming rant. I also have a couple fun projects in the works. In some ways that makes it more difficult because this is what I was looking forward to doing once the IM was done. It makes it harder to think about returning to spending so many hours a day training, and not having the time or energy for much else.

But then I look at the inside of my forearm (where I was planning to put the IM tattoo) and…it’s still empty, and it’s hard to think about walking away from this journey without crossing that finish line.

So right now I’m just trying to take care of my neck and get better so that I actually have decisions to make.

About Ragen Chastain

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be Iron-distance triathlete, Activist, Fat Person.
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4 Responses to Rehab Update

  1. You have a really good base to work with. You are a tough woman.


  2. What is the design for your tattoo?


  3. nosnikrapzil says:

    I have had a couple of neck injuries, one pretty bad. I didnt wash my hair, I had my hubby wash it whilst i leaned over the bath, arms well out of the way. YMMV – but it helped for me. I used to do 5 or 6 days a week at the gym, usually for an hour plus. Then I got sick with sepsis, followed by osteomyelitis, followed by chronic leukaemia diagnosis resulting in several spells lasting a months when I didnt go near the gym. I am now back typically only about 3 days a week, and building up, but I am finding that I am still able to do quite a lot now which took me ages and ages to up to when I first started. So as solarpoweredtriathlete says, you have a fantastic base to work with. Good luck.


  4. lsstrout says:

    *HUGS* *HEALING MOJO* For a journey that was partly meant to push you outside your comfort zone, I think you’ve at least achieved that part.


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