Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tough news

I had a rough afternoon and evening yesterday. At 4:00 PM I saw my orthopedic doctor to get my MRI results. My worst fears were realized. I have a partially torn right Achilles tendon. Unfortunately, in order for my Achilles to heal I will need to be immobilized with my toes pointing downward in a cast for four weeks. I will be able to walk with the cast, but with the toes in a downward position, it will be an awkward gait. Of course I won't be able to run while I am immobilized or for an undetermined time afterward. But I have a bigger issue. I am also restricted from doing any right lower extremity exercise. My doctor wants me to totally rest so as not to interfere with the healing at all. Ouch.

As you all know, exercise is a vital piece of my depression relapse prevention. I'm very concerned about losing it. Suffice it to say I will be doing a lot of sit-ups and push-ups over the next several weeks. My doctor knew he was asking a lot of me, but he also impressed upon me how important it is to rest and heal. I still plan to run the New York City Marathon on November 1st, so I will listen and rest. The sooner I heal the better. But I am nervous about the exercise restrictions.

The other scary issue with being in a cast is work. I'm a physical therapist. I lift and twist and balance and walk all day. I am responsible for my patients' health and safety. I cannot work with patients if I am unbalanced myself. I already know I will not be allowed to work at my hospital job. I'm waiting to hear from my skilled nursing facility. Even if the skilled facility is able to accommodate my temporary disability, and they allow me to work, I am not currently scheduled to work enough hours next month to make ends meet. Financial insecurity is a big trigger for me, so again I am worried about my mood.

Speaking of my mood, I am fairly low today. Besides the Achilles issues, I also have some tough news about my relationship. After a long discussion last evening, my boyfriend and I decided to discontinue our relationship. It was a mutual decision, and it may be the right decision, but that doesn't make it any less difficult. I am very sad. We've been dating for 4 years, and although we didn't get to see each other often, it will be strange adjusting to life without him. I really thought this relationship might lead to a lifetime commitment. We both did. I'm not sure I have the energy to begin again.

Begin again, I will, however. There is no other choice. I will keep moving forward. I am placing my faith in my doctor's recommendations and my body's ability to heal. I am praying for acceptance; to accept the things I cannot change. I am willing to take the next right action. And I am praying for the strength to handle these life challenges as they present themselves. One moment at a time. One moment at a time.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about all the challenges. Thinking of you.

Tamar Sloan said...

So sorry to hear you have so much going on at once. When you have/have had depression bouncing back takes a little more work than the average person. Bouncing back from a triple whammy (lost coping mechanism, financial difficulties, relationship breakup) just makes it even more challenging.

The final note of hope and determination is admirable and inspiring. Keep it up! One thing I would ask myself is, what are you going to do to look after your mental health now that exercise has to go on the back burner?

Cheers
Tamar

Anonymous said...

I just discovered this blog today after a particularly difficult night ruminating and letting my depression get the best of me. I am also a runner and am just barely starting to come back from a stress fracture that kept me grounded for the last 6 months or so, taking away my main coping mechanism. It's tough, because so much of my sense of self-worth is connected to my identity as an athlete, and when that is taken away, I'm pretty lost. Needless to say it's been a rough time. I became more dependent on my boyfriend for support until it got to the point where he told me he needed some space and he feels pretty stifled by me being around all the time. As an effect of depression, I have a tendency to cling to people who I know love me and remind me of my self-worth so I don't have to do it for myself, because it's exhausting.
Anyway I am working on it, and wanted to say thank you for sharing. It's good to know that other people are struggling with the same thing, and I'll keep reading. Please post if you have good advice for injured athletes.
Stay strong
Emily



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