After four days in the ER on IV antibiotics, two surgeries, one soft tissue ultrasound, countless blood draws and culture tests, eight antibiotics a day, several stitches, four follow-up appointments, three PCR tests, and three weeks in a hotel on bed rest sponsored by microwavable meals and Netflix, I am incredibly grateful to say that I made it back onboard.
Finally on September 4th, my paperwork was cleared and I was able to sign back onto the Symphony of the Seas and head into my two weeks of quarantine. Here’s where things currently stand on my healing and a quick little update on what comes next…
If you’ve been following along, you’d know that I was signed off medically from the ship on August 14th, the first day that guest cruising returned after the industry-wide suspension due to Covid-19. A pretty rocky start to what was an extremely anticipated wait on my return to performing.
During the third (and final) week of being at the hotel, I had a follow-up appointment with every doctor that worked on my case to check in on my progress and see if I would be going home or able to return to the ship. On August 31st, I got my stitches removed and foot examined by the podiatrist on my case. I am now allowed to fully resume everyday activities and ease into both regular workouts and physical therapy. He requested that I wait two more weeks for my antibiotic course to finish until I try to skate again, which is the best possible news I could have heard.
The day before my stitches came out, I hit a mental wall. I had been trying consistently to stay positive given the circumstances but I felt really defeated. I thought if I heard anymore bad news that I would just give up and go home. There was no way I could sit on bed rest for weeks in a hotel away from my family eating microwavable meals and bagged salads anymore, every night wondering if my career was going to be over and my toes would be removed. Its sounds like I’m being dramatic, but unfortunately, if the antibiotics don’t heal the infection, removing my bone is the next step.
Thankfully those days in the hotel are in the past, and now onto the future.
Before you think, ‘are you kidding, another two weeks of quarantine?’ Just understand that I am beyond grateful to be returning back onboard with all of my toes and with my spot in the shows saved. I could have just as easily been replaced by another skater while I was away and recovering. All in all, counting my recovery from the first surgery, being sent off to Miami and my quarantine, it will be six full weeks that the cast has been performing without me. Not to mentioned, the time that it will take once I am out to be fully capable of performing both shows. So like I said, I’m happy to have my spot saved.
As far as I’m concerned, these upcoming two weeks are paramount to recovering and getting my foot back to full strength.
While in quarantine, I will be doing physical therapy on my foot, regaining my physical strength, finishing my antibiotic course, and reviewing the choreography from both shows. The goal is to get back into shows as quickly as possible as soon as I am out, understanding that I have been off of the ice for over six weeks and just finished two surgeries and over a month of antibiotics of course.
I am optimistic and looking forward doing what I love. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think of the negative possibilities that could still become my reality. It is possible that the antibiotics won’t properly heal the bone infection. If I get out of quarantine and my foot still feels the same to be in my skates, then the sad reality is that I will most likely need to be sent home and my bone will have to be removed and who knows what that means for my skating career as a whole.
However, each day I am working on keeping those ‘what ifs’ in the very back corners of my mind and focusing instead on what is in my control.
I have the power to control:
- taking all eight of the antibiotics I have to take per day at the right time
- taking probiotics and vitamins daily
- staying hydrated
- making the best, healthy choices on my food intake as I can while in quarantine
- waking up everyday with a positive intention to heal
- preventing other injuries once I return to skating by rebuilding the tendon and muscle strength and flexibility around my foot
- A common side effect of one of the antibiotics I am taking is weakening tendons specifically around the achilles. I need to be very careful to regain my strength and easing into skating once I return to ensure that I don’t create a different problem.
- strengthening my body as a whole since I was on bed rest for three weeks and off the ice for six weeks.
- keeping my mind clear of anxieties while in isolation.
- reminding myself everyday to trust the process and appreciate my body in the shape that it is in (although I am not happy with it) because it is fighting and healing for me.
If I’ve learned anything during this process, it is that your mind is extremely powerful in how you look at your situation. Perspective and outlook is everything. I am making it a new goal of mine to write more in order to keep my thoughts clear on what is important. I’ve put that goal out here now so I’m hoping that keeps me accountable and that some of you reading are looking forward to that as well.
Here’s to creating positive intentions each day. I’ll be back soon. Comment if theres anything you’d like to hear about.
Thanks for reading x