Have you ever mentioned to a pal or loved one when they are going through a tough time, it could be worse. Four words that no one wants to hear at the time, but in reality when all is said and done, the most accurate phrase possible.
Sure, it could be worse.
Three weeks ago I was on top of the world.
My surroundings were the mountain tops of Austria, Mayrhofen. I’d skied a few times before over the past 10 years and I was excited to finally get a chance to do it again.
Having moved on from playing rugby I could now try new things and push myself in other ways and leave the injuries behind me.
Fast forward three weeks later and I now boast a beautiful knee brace and a dodgy knee cap.
You see, while on my way down from that amazing viewpoint I happened to hit a mound of snow and unfortunately, my boot didn’t release from my ski, my body went right and my leg stayed put and my knee dislocated from it’s socket. Sure it could be worse.
Most people have never had this happen to them however, this is the fourth time I’ve dislocated my knee. 3 on my right leg and now 1 on my left. I suppose having experienced the pain event though it was 17 years ago meant I could react to it quickly in a calm way. Sure it could be worse.
After putting my knee cap back into place I sat on the mountain in sheer disbelief. How could this happen to me again? 17 years after having my right knee reconstructed I have to go through the process once again. I was enjoying the fresh skies of Austria. Taking in the world from a place I don’t usually get to enjoy and then a whole new challenge presented itself to me. sure it could be worse
To say I was and am disappointed is an understatement. It is so easy to go into a spiral of negative emotion and feelings. It’s all about staying occupied. As soon I stop doing things my mind wonders. It’s easy not to show disappointment in public, but trickier in private and no distractions. I’m sure those around me can vouch for this. Sure it could be worse.
It is amazing to think that one minute you’re on top of the world both mentally, literally and physically, then the next minute you’re reassessing your decisions, asking the ‘what if’ questions and you think it’s only happening to you. And in the background friends and family saying “Sure it could be worse”
Most people who suffer injuries go through various stages of emotions. There’s a grief stage model which outlines a sequence of emotions similar to those when someone passes away denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. There’s no evidence to suggest that one stage last longer or shorter than the other, it’s down to the individual. There are other models that take into account one’s social support and surroundings because these also influence a person’s ability to recover from injury. But sure it could be worse
The reality is, it could be worse. When training in FFS I spoke to say it’s tricky getting up in the mornings when my coach Rudd’s mentioned that one of their trainers gets up to Dublin from Kilkenny for a 5:45 start. Which put my situation into perspective. Sure, it could be worse.
Also, I recently heard a girl was on death’s door last November and friends and family did all they could to ease her suffering. So much so that one of them know’s many famous sports stars and musicians. After telling them this poor girl’s story, they all shared videos of best wishes and hopefulness, some popped into her to meet her, and from death’s door in November. After all those positive and kind rallies of support and kindness, she’s now out of the hospital and looking forward to a fun life. So, it could be worse and that’s the way to look at things.
There’s usually someone in a worse state or frame of mind than yourself. So, with a dodgy knee injury and a long rehab road ahead, the challenge is going to be tough but not impossible and the opportunity is to test my character once again. I’ve had a load of injuries before and got back from them all, this will be no other.
While I can’t promise to my loved ones that I won’t complain at some stage, I’ll do my best not to keep it to a minimum. Sure it could be worse.