The long road back...

Monday, April 17, 2017

... starts right here.

I know, I've been gone for a long time. It has been a crazy and terrible few months.

Recap: tore a tendon in my right ankle back in September. Tried to rehab it, but just could not.

I opted for surgery, which happened on March 9. A little more than a month out now, and I had my first physical therapy appointment this morning.

Here's the long version: I have gained back at least 20 of the 50 pounds I lost. I have not been able to participate in any of the activities I enjoy since September. I lost an entire fall, winter, and now spring season, sitting on my butt and watching life pass me by. All of this has left me deeply depressed and withdrawn.

I haven't been on this site for months. Every once in awhile I would get a notification that someone left me a message on my page, and I would just cringe. I had nothing to say that I thought anyone would find remotely interesting.

And I still have SO long to go. I have had this surgery before, which is both a blessing and a curse. Based on my recovery last time around, I know that by six months out from surgery, I will be MOSTLY okay. I will be able to get around on my own two feet, without a boot or crutches. I will be able to walk on flat ground with no trouble. I will be able to walk on uneven ground with a brace, some weakness, and some pain. Over the next six months, every day I will get a little bit stronger, a little bit more steady and stable. And by 12 months out from surgery, I will be back to whatever my new "normal" is, as far as stability and pain. The strength may still continue to improve somewhat over time, but the one-year mark is a pretty good indicator of what my long-term recovery will be.

The bad: six more months. Man. That means that, in addition to the Fall, Winter, and Spring I have already missed, I will be mostly sitting out Summer, too. The six-month mark falls in October, more than a year after my initial injury. Not only is an entire year just . . . GONE, but I still have almost five months to go. It is really, really tough to stay upbeat right now. But I am trying very hard.

The good: I'm already a month and a half into the five-month recovery period!! I will not lie and say it has gone by quickly. It has basically been six weeks of limbo; sitting around waiting for it to heal enough to put any weight on it at all has been torture. Now I am partially weight bearing (in a boot). I can get around so much more easily than when I was using a combination of crutches/wheelchair/knee scooter. I am able to drive again and generally have much more freedom. That is HUGE.

Also, I know it is absurd, but I left physical therapy this morning feeling STRONGER. Part of why this has been so hard for me is that when I started my weight loss journey, about a year and a half ago, I had very low self-esteem. I started exercising and doing lots of outdoor activities and discovered that I felt this enormous sense of accomplishment every time I surpassed a goal or obstacle. I was doing things I never before imagined I could, and all of a sudden the world was full of possibilities and I felt unstoppable. The loss of that feeling has been harder than any of the other things that have happened in the past seven months. I am absolutely thrilled to have a little piece of it back.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I hope your recovery is going Well! It's been quite some time since we've seen you on SP. P.S. you better not have cringed when you saw this notification. 😛
    1274 days ago
    Welcome back!! You should be SO PROUD of yourself for being here. SERIOUSLY. You've been through a lot, but you are still moving forward by being here. I can't imagine how hard it's been, but take some time to redefine what "exercise" is for you. I know I've seen lots of articles on ways to exercise "around" an injury - seated exercises, exercises for those who aren't mobile, etc. Maybe some of these can be your substitutes until you are able to do what you like best. Either way - stay in touch! We are here for you. YOU GOT THIS.
    1524 days ago
  • no profile photo CD17609062
    Howdy! I saw your blog listed in Outdoor Women, and wondered why I hadn't seen your name around. Now I understand! What an ordeal! I am glad that you have not completely left Spark people. Drop in and post progress reports on our wall. When I joined Spark in Feb, I was all gung-ho and managed to get shin splints and aggravated an old knee injury. That was discouraging, but I did not have to face a year of being side lined. I hope that your PT will remind you to re enter slowly, so as not to reinjure yourself.
    TEESTER2 http://teams.sparkpeople.com/OUTDOO
    1525 days ago
    Welcome back emoticon ! We missed you! emoticon
    It is good to read that you are going forward. Being able to drive again is great. Do you like biking? A friend of mine had a problem with her ankle and she could bike in a low gear, as long as her foot was in a certain position. She was holding her toes a bit down I think.
    Anyway, welcome back!!!!
    1525 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.