A Tough Start to 2019 and the Importance of Self Care


Feb 15 I was skiing in Aspen and on my final day skiing I fell, my first fall in 5 days. As I was going down I felt a pop in my knee and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get up.

May 30 I was waiting to turn left, blinker on and I was rear ended by a distracted driver- he didn’t even brake- resulting in whiplash a concussion and my car being totaled.

I’ve always recognized the importance of taking care of myself but like everyone, I haven’t always prioritized it. However, before both of these accidents I was on top of it and I’m convinced it has made all the difference in my recovery.

Prior to my ski fall, I had been doing MELT, Pilates and yoga regularly. When I fell skiing and heard that pop in my knee, I was sure I had torn either my ACL or meniscus. When I got down to the clinic (in a sled.. the most humbling day ever), the doctor took x-rays and told me it was likely a fractured tibia with either an ACL tear or meniscus tear, and likely surgery. In my initial assessment upon returning home, the orthopedic surgeon suspected the same conclusion and sent me for an MRI.

Well, much to my and my doctor’s surprise, the MRI showed a bone bruise with no tear at all and no fracture! The doctor was shocked because he said 90% of patients who described my exact fall end up with the terrible triad of injuries. He said I was soooo lucky!

Sure, maybe it was luck or maybe it was because I had healthy, hydrated tissue that could stretch and not tear and handle the impact. And I had good alignment and strength to absorb the shock. So instead of surgery, months on crutches and even more months of therapy, I was back at most of my usual activity in 10 weeks. In that 10 weeks I continued to MELT, did physical therapy and took the time to let my knee heal.

Even though the knee injury was followed shortly by the car accident, I’ve had very little neck pain from the whiplash. Luck, maybe... maybe not. I saw my osteopath immediately who helped with the trauma and I’ve taken it slow. A concussion is no small injury. But I think the whiplash could have been so much worse if I hadn’t been taking care of myself prior to the accident. My car was a total loss, but I wasn’t.

It’s now July and I’m almost back to where I was before. And despite everything, I’m grateful for the healthy resilient body I have and the tools I have to keep it that way. We all have the tools, we just have to use them. It pays off when we need it most.

Leanne Bourassa