The Stages of Injury

Getting injured leads to a rollercoaster of emotions, from depression to grief to hope to worry to disappointment to relief. If you ever get injured, you can expect to experience some form of The 8 Stages of Injury outlined below.

Bewilderment: What do I have?

  • Incessant Googling of symptoms
  • Describing your symptoms repeatedly to your husband
  • Twisting and turning, poking and prodding your body to see what really hurts

Recognition: Could I have that?

  • Google search terms become more specific
  • Discovery of “tests” you can do at home to see what it is
  • Trying those tests and hurting yourself
  • Weighing the cost of medical care against the chances of successful self-diagnosis and self-treatment

Denial: There’s no way I have that.

  • Reading further into the Google search results in hopes of finding someone with your symptoms who doesn’t have the injury you think you have
  • Trying to run one more time and failing miserably
  • Taking pain medication and pretending nothing hurts
  • Telling your husband about how rare the injury is and hoping that means you don’t have it

Anger: Thanks Obama.

  • Crying
  • Swear words
  • Throwing things
  • Angry phone dialing to make an appointment with the doctor
  • Blaming your shoes, the cats, your chair at work, and your upbringing
  • Giving your husband the silent treatment for going to the gym without you

Bargaining: Please, let it be anything but that.

  • Promises to run less, rest more, stretch more, and lift more weights if your body lets you run again
  • Telling your injured body part how nice and pretty it is and if it will just feel better you’ll take it out for a nice jog or swim or cycle or whatever it wants

Depression: That is the worst thing that could ever happen.

  • Shopping for motorized scooters online for when they amputate your leg because you’ll never get better
  • Crying
  • Ice cream
  • Making your husband watch chick flicks with you

Diagnosis: That’s what it is.

  • Saying, “I told you so,” to all the skeptics who doubted your self-diagnosis
  • Cool bone pictures
  • Dusting off the crutches from when you broke your ankle in 10th grade
  • A crush on your cute doctor

Acceptance: That will heal. Eventually.

  • “Will you take the trash out?”
  • “Will you hold the door for me?”
  • “Will you get me a beer?”
  • “Will you cook dinner?”
  • “Will you go to the grocery store?”
  • “Will you get up early and drop me off at the train station?”
  • “Do I have to wait till you’re done with all the chores before I watch Game of Thrones?”

2 thoughts on “The Stages of Injury

  1. Hi Erin, I just found your blog. I see by the dates that your injury occurred last year. I hope you’re back to running. I can relate to all the feelings and thoughts expressed so hilariously here. I developed a pubis ramus stress fracture, well actually two of them, one in the inferior portion and one in the superior portion. Lucky me. I think mine started in early Feb while training for a half marathon. I finished it off during the half, but I finished the race. I had a recheck in late June. The superior portion is healed, but the inferior portion has not. So more downtime.


    • Hi Jerrie! Thanks for the comment. I’m sorry to hear you had both inferior and superior fractures. I’m now 14 months out from the injury, and I can run 7-minute running, 1-minute walking intervals for about 30 minutes about 3 times a week, but soreness tells me I’m definitely still healing. I recently discovered that I can definitely not ride a bike yet. It’s a maddening injury, but at least I’m back to working out somewhat regularly. Good luck on your healing!


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