Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 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!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Foot and mouth update

I just returned home from my 8th physical therapy session. It's been almost one month since I began rehab on the Alter-G Treadmill. Today I ran on the Alter-G for 30 minutes, at 8:30 pace, at 60% of my body weight. This was the first time I ran at 60% of my body weight. We tried advancing to 60% early last week, but my Achilles began to hurt almost immediately, so back down to 50% we went. I ran the full 30 minutes today without increased soreness. It's progress. Slow, slow progress.

I'm trying to be patient with this return to running. I must admit, though, I figured I'd be back on the roads by now. Instead, I'm only up to running at 60% body weight on a treadmill. I've got a long way to go, and I didn't think it would take this long to get there. But I'm trying to be patient. I am grateful my Achilles didn't hurt today. My worst fear is another setback. I'm not sure I could handle that.

Speaking of not handling... I've got more issues with my mouth. It seems I have a crown that's loose, at least I hope that's all it is. Now this typically wouldn't be a big deal, but with all the issues I've had with my mouth over the last two years (braces, 3 oral surgeries, fractured and extracted teeth) it became a much bigger deal in my head. To fix it means money. More on that later. It also means coordinating with the orthodontist to remove the braces at his office, then traveling to and fixing the crown at the dentist's office, before traveling back to the orthodontist to reassemble the braces. It's going to be a pain in the butt. And it stresses me out.

The crown came loose yesterday afternoon, coincidentally about one hour prior to my second consult with an oral surgeon regarding replacing my missing canine tooth and molar with implants. My first consult a couple of months ago was discouraging. The molar is going to be simple. The canine tooth is going to be complicated, costly and time consuming. Unfortunately, the second consult yesterday resulted in the same recommendations and cautions.

Here's what needs to happen. After I am finished with the braces, which may be another 3-6 months (a full year longer than the orthodontist expected me to need them), I'm going to need the first of at least two bone grafting procedures. There is no guarantee bone will grow, but if it does, I will almost certainly need another procedure 5-9 months after the first. If sufficient bone grows, I will get the initial implant hardware 5-9 months later. It isn't until those implants heal, another 5 months, that I will finally get the actual teeth (crowns) and will be able to smile without a hole in my face. It's going to be a long, painful road. Again, I'm trying to be patient.

It's hard to be patient, though, when the road feels so long. And I'd be lying if I said the whole process wasn't totally stressing me out. Never mind the pain of multiple oral surgeries. Financially, I'm not sure how it's going to work out. One estimate was $10,000. The other estimate of total cost was just over $11,000. I don't have that kind of money. Thank you, Depression. I am able to take a loan out against the value of my vehicle, which I just paid off, but loans need to be repaid. Like I said, I don't know how it's going to work out. I'm just going to have to say a few prayers and believe it will.

So I'm focusing forward to get through the long road(s) ahead. When I find myself worrying about my Achilles and the (too) slow progress I'm making, I try instead to visualize running freely and think about how grateful and happy I will feel when I'm back on the road. My patience will pay off. When I find myself disgusted with and stressed by all the issues, complications, pain and expense of my mouth, I try to visualize a smile free of brackets and holes. I imagine what it will be like to chew without struggle or pain. I've got a lot of years of a wide smile ahead. This too shall pass...eventually.

I've got to continue to practice patience. Easier said than done, but I'll keep at it.


Jean Grey said...

I am in the process of getting dental implants- hopefully near the end- and there is nothing good to say about it except that it will come to an end, eventually. It is long and drawn out and expensive, but I will have teeth again. And that will be worth it.

Unknown said...

At least you will be able to run.