Monday, October 22, 2012

Pain, Surgery, Anger and Recovery

It's been a rough year. It took 4 months to get a definitive diagnosis with my ankle pain and get surgery planned, and since the surgery, it's been a long recovery. I had surgery May 4th, was immobilized in a cast, total non-weight bearing for 8 weeks, and then was in a cam walker plus a lace up ankle brace for another 6 weeks. At least once I got put in the cam walker I was able to start therapy, but it's been a long, slow process. I'm still in therapy, and I still need to wear a lace up ankle brace for any activity outside of normal walking.

I had a lot of anger issues while I was recovering. I'll admit it. I was angry at my body, angry at the world, angry at myself. It's frustrating when you are trying so hard to do everything right. Here I was, trying to exercise, eat right and get healthy, and BAM! Just like that, I'm immobilized and cannot even get up the stairs on my own. I couldn't put my three year old to bed, take him to the park, give him a bath, all those things you don't even think about. I was in a pretty dark place for a while there. Thankfully, my wonderful husband, family and friends helped me through it.

So why so angry at myself? I think I was just angry for getting to this point. I'm angry at myself for not embracing a healthier lifestyle sooner. I'm angry at myself for always worrying about everyone else. I've spent most of my life taking care of others (no wonder I became a nurse) but in this pursuit of caring for others, I neglected to care for myself.

While I've been out of commission, I've realized that I have to change this. I need to make time to care for myself. To go out for a walk, a run, a ride, to hit the gym, just to do something to take care of myself, both mentally and physically.

On October 10th, I finally got the go ahead to start back to running. First thing in the morning, October 11th, that is exactly what I did. I started the Couch to 5K (C25K) program again and went for a run. It was hard. It was grueling. It was FABULOUS. I probably looked a mess, but I didn't care. It felt so wonderful to be out there, to be running, even if it was just alternating walking with running. I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed my pace and distance were far better than the first time I did C25K.

Today, I started week 2 of C25K. The most encouraging part is I'm not exhausted and feeling like I'm about to die when I'm done. I'm hungry for more! Fear keeps me from doing too much too fast, however. While my right ankle has been repaired, I have similar issues with my left ankle, so I need to be vigilant. I don't want to relive the last 9 months or so. I do, however want to learn from it. I want to remember to take care of me too.


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