An uphill climb, but still alive
Tuesday, November 08, 2016
The hits just keep on coming. I had a meeting last week with my surgeon. My ankle is not healing the way he had hoped. To make matters worse, according to the MRI results, there does not appear to be enough tissue left over from the last surgery to make a second surgery successful.
We are exploring options. I am trying some last ditch physical therapy. We may be able to use cadaver tissue or plates and screws and mesh to cobble something together. But he warned me that recover was going to be MUCH harder than last time and there was a high chance that I would have residual nerve damage and permanent pain.
That was DEFINITELY not what I was hoping to hear. It honestly plunged me into an even deeper depression than what I have been fighting for the past couple of months.
Other life stresses have gotten in the way. My youngest son is battling a mysterious illness and we are spending a lot of time dealing with that. My husband and I are both crazy busy at work.
I've now gained back 15 of the pounds I worked so hard to lose. I am a huge stress eater. I used to jokingly say that I like to eat my feelings and they taste an awful like an entire pan of brownies. It's funny in a sad way, because it's true. It's also part of a terrible cycle. I am inactive because of my injury. I gain weight due to sitting on my butt all the time. Then I get depressed from not being able to do the stuff I want PLUS upset about the weight gain, and I self medicate with carbs and sugar. So I gain more weight, etc, etc.
I've also just sort of fallen out of the HABIT of being active and fit and healthy. Every time I make a tiny little effort, it ends up going badly. I will finally work up the energy and courage to go out at lunch and take a short, slow walk just to get my blood flowing, only to discover that I forgot to pack my shoes. Or I will get to the gym and discover I've forgotten my inhaler, or water, or headphones, or whatever. The same pattern has repeated itself a million times over the past few months. Every time I make the tiniest bit of effort, it ends in failure. That makes it even harder the next time to muster up the energy or interest in trying again.
Over the weekend I was honestly in tears because I used to feel so strong and powerful and like I could do anything. Now I have a hard time working up the energy to walk down the hall to go to the bathroom.
But last night I finally managed to make everything click. I left work at a reasonable hour, and got home in time to sit at the table with my family while they ate (I can't exercise with food in my stomach or I get sick, so I keep them company and eat later). After dinner, my husband agreed to take our youngest son to scouts. I had two hours before the gym closed and had two critical errands to run. I got both of them done and still got in a full hour at the gym!!!
It was discouraging, don't get me wrong. I could only walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes at 2.7 mph, at a 5% incline to warm up. Then I did some weights. I had to put the machines on the lowest possible setting, and it was still hard. I have definitely lost muscle in every area of my body. But I did it. And I don't feel as sore this morning as I expected to.
My goal for right now is very small. I want to go out one day during the week for a walk at lunchtime, and make it to the gym one evening during the week and once on the weekend. I don't even know for sure that I can manage that. But if I can, then it will give me something to build on.
Thank you again to everyone who has sent me encouraging messages while I am gone. I love reading them, even if I don't respond.