Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Making a Plan

I wrote a few days ago about about being in a rut I can't seem to escape from. After writing, I lay in my bed, unable to go to sleep and thinking about what I could do to fix it. It turns out writing it down had exactly the effect I had hoped it would, it made me contemplate how I could make it better and that led me to making a plan. For the first time, I'm seeing a problem and making a plan to fix it. That's not my usual way, so I feel good about it. 

The plan is pretty simple, but I think I want to share it here. It's really all the things normal people do, but that I've struggled with because of anxiety and depression. So, if it seems easy or like a duh, try to remember that people with depression struggle with easy.

  1. Establish a consistent sleep schedule, stop over-sleeping
  2. Cook and eat at home, stop ordering DoorDash so much
  3. Drink more water and stop drinking so much soda
  4. Go out and try to walk, even if I can't much, accept trying as success
  5. Be more proactive about mental health, including regulating meds and going back to meditation
  6. Do my at home PT exercises every single day
  7. Spend at least 30 minutes a day cleaning up (on non-gaming days)
  8. Do something to make me feel better about my appearance
  9. Focus on reconnecting with gaming (tabletop RPG)
  10. Spend some time on hobbies, like diamond painting, and read a book
See, pretty simple, but many things I've been unable to actually do for a while, whether because of a lack of motivation or because I physically couldn't. The list I made on my phone is a bit more comprehensive, each of those points have sub-points, but I didn't think that was really necessary to share. And, so far, I've actually started to succeed, with varying degrees of difficulty, to do the things on the list. I think the most important thing is that I'm making a plan and trying. Always keep pushing forward, no matter how hard that might be.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Lost and Disinterested

There's an old adage that blogging and journaling are cheaper than therapy. Lord knows that's the truth, but I've learned from my experiences with therapy that writing can also be a part of the process. So, I'm sitting here at midnight thinking about where I am right now and feeling the pull to write it down. Maybe seeing it in black and white will help me work it out. I am trying so hard to feel grateful this year, to be more optimistic, but I'm running into some roadblocks. 

Before breaking my leg in October 2021, I spent a lot of time feeling like I was under water. While there've been ups and downs, the downs have been powerful. Losing Chewbacca, my job, and then Anakin within five months really tore me down and I've felt, since then, like I can't get traction. Nothing seems to be going completely right, except that I did get a part-time, contract job that I really enjoy. Everything else has been an uphill struggle. Then, I fell down the stairs and made the struggle exponentially harder.

It's been a challenge to my mental health, even on the Fluoxetine, to have had surgery and been unable to do anything for myself for almost two months. But, I healed and did so pretty damn well. In most ways, it's been a pretty textbook process. Hell, I was fully weight bearing again just 6 days after I was released to partially weight bear. I thought, once I could walk again, my life would go back to normal, but it hasn't. This is where I'm really at right now, struggling to feel anything even close to normal.

I can't seem to find interest, let alone joy, in any of the things I've always enjoyed. I don't particularly feel like diamond painting most of the time, I struggle to connect with gaming, I'm can't seem to figure out how to get my house back to normal. No matter how much I clean, it doesn't seem to be getting cleaned up and it's so frustrating that I've begun only doing the bare minimum to keep it relatively picked up. So, on top of feeling lost, I feel disgusted with myself for not being able to actually get done the things I need to do. And, I'm sleeping either too much or too little, and having all sorts of weird dreams.

So now, when Matt leaves for work, I lay in the bed and watch TV, rather than reading, cleaning, or diamond painting. I can't seem to find motivation to do anything. I want to go out and walk again, but I don't think I can walk far before I run out of steam and start to be in pain, so I'm avoiding going to do it at all for fear that I'll drive over there and get started, only to have to turn around and come back before I get it done. And, not getting it done might actually make me feel worse and less motivated. It's a vicious cycle.

I'm trying to make some changes to my schedule and find the motivation again, but I don't know how to get my energy and drive back. I'm trying, though, and I think that's what matters. Might be that I need to break the cycle of hiding out from my anxiety in my bed, which has somehow become my safe zone after spending so much time there while I was healing. Maybe finding a good sleep schedule and routine would help me find some normalcy. Again, I don't know, but as I said before I'm trying and I'm taking the fact that I even want to try as a good sign. As a sign that I'll eventually find my way back from the murk. One day at a time.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Walking, Driving, and Physical Therapy

It turns out learning to be comfortable walking again is kind of a big deal. I mentioned before that I'm back in my own shoes, for which I am still amazingly grateful. Not having to wear that CAM Walker boot is so fantastic. But, the brace I have to wear on my foot right now isn't the most comfortable, even though I've given up wearing it with ACE wraps and started wearing a compression sock. My right shoe is so dang tight, but it's still better than the boot. 

The best thing right now is that Matt took me out driving and it turns out that I can absolutely drive again. I got the husband seal of approval, so I've been driving myself to do errands and to my physical therapy, which I started last week Tuesday. The physical therapist did a little evaluation and gave me some exercises to do at home. Our medical group even has an app specifically for physical therapy so the therapist can assign me exercises and see my progress. It's pretty neat. 

I've also been doing aquatic physical therapy, which has been so great and so exhausting. Not gonna lie, y'all, I was honestly a little uncomfortable when I found out I would be doing aquatic therapy because wearing a bathing suit is a big old no go. But, my mom told me about swim leggings (I got them on Amazon) and that has helped tremendously. I can wear them in the pool and feel comfortable to do my exercises, rather than feeling self-conscious about my fat legs.

The aquatic therapy is about 50 minutes per session and while I'm in the pool I feel fine. They have individual pools with a treadmill, which is pretty dang cool and means I have the whole little pool to myself. One really neat thing about it is that there are cameras in the pool, so I can see my legs and so can the therapy assistant helping with my therapy. So, I still have to look at my fat legs, but I'm getting used to it. Afterwards, I can feel that I worked out and I am soooo tired. I've done just two sessions and it's been pretty helpful so far. I have three more sessions to go, at the least, which I think will continue to be a huge help as I learn to move my foot naturally again. It's even inspired me to maybe look into doing water aerobics in the summer... maybe.

For now, I'm walking again, even if I'm limping a bit. It's getting better every day and I can start to go back to living my life without much pain. I can't stand very long without getting tired and I can't completely step without a little bit of discomfort, but I'm getting there. I think it's going pretty dang well, especially knowing that it will probably be the end of October before I'm completely back to normal. I'm crushing it!

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

In My Own Shoes

Today, I'm grateful for standing on my own two feet, for the care of Dr. Rigby, the great doctor who put me back together, and for being mobile enough to finally get my COVID booster. Being whole and mobile is truly a blessing I won't take for granted anymore, however painful the process of getting there has been.

I went to my 10 week surgical follow-up today. They took 3 standing x-rays and my doctor was so happy with how I'm healing. I've been limping around with the boot for almost a month, using my walker for balance on occasion, even when I was full weight bearing, and trying to make progress. Today, that work paid off. I'm in a soft ankle brace and my own shoes! 

The brace only barely fits in my shoes, but I got it done and squeezed my foot into the damn tennis shoe. I walked out of the hospital today, after visiting rehabilitation to set up physical therapy and be fitted for a brace, on my own. I felt wobbly but I did it, and what's better is that I can drive again as soon as Matt is comfortable that I can do so. I am tired from the COVID booster, but I'm stoked!

Monday, January 3, 2022

A Little Gratitude For 2021

In the spirit of my New Year's resolution (take every day with gratitude and not take the small things for granted), I got to thinking about the things I was thankful for in 2021. I wrote briefly about the year and what a dumpster fire it was, but there were several really high points that I don't want to take for granted as we embark on 2022. Especially because, by in large, the year was really hard and I don't want to carry all that negative energy into the new year.

  1. Eilistraee and Selune came into our lives in February. They're so skittish, but also so sweet.
  2. We had our 21st wedding anniversary in February.
  3. We've been lucky enough not to contract COVID, though Matt has been exposed several times.
  4. We were fortunate enough to get our COVID-19 vaccines, and Matt was able to be boosted in November. I'm going for mine tomorrow.
  5. I got a new job adjunct teaching comp at a community college in Arkansas (online).
  6. I broke my leg, but I learned so much about my own strength. I learned how strong I can really be.
  7. Breaking my leg has brought me and Matt closer. He's taken such good, loving care of me though this whole ordeal. He's an amazing husband who has shown me so much love and support.
  8. My sister came to visit. That was so lovely, she really lifted my spirits after having surgery.
  9. I read more than 50 books this year, before the broken leg derailed me.
  10. Other than a broken leg, I'm in great health. 
With all these positives from 2021, I'm hoping to bring good energy into the new year. I go to the doctor tomorrow to see if I can toss the CAM walking boot (figuratively) and get back into my own shoes. Even hopefully drive again. That would be a great way to start 2022!