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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    When I have the feeling that life is taking over, I start writing lists of what to do when. I start very small and build up. emoticon
    1687 days ago
    Thank you so much, Rose. I sure don't feel like a champion most days, but it is really nice to have encouragement from my people :)

    I too started out slowly. I could only do one lap around a soccer field. I gradually worked my way up to running 5Ks and lifting and doing all sorts of crazy things before I got hurt. It was hard. I know I can do it again but it feels discouraging to have to start over from scratch.
    1688 days ago
    You are SO INSPIRING!! I can't even imagine how hard this must be for you, and yet you are not letting it defeat you. You are a CHAMPION. I know that this may not seem like much to you: " 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." But seriously? Do you realize what the alternative is? NOTHING. You could be doing NOTHING. Not sure if you ever started out slowly, but when I started, I was proud of doing 10 minutes of ANYTHING. You are truly VICTORIOUS. Rejoice in every victory! YOU GOT THIS! emoticon
    1688 days ago
    Way 2 go
    1688 days ago
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