Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 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!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

4 Weeks Post-op

It's been 4 weeks since my surgery to remove the extruded portion of my L4 disc, 8 weeks since the original injury, and I'm trying my best to deal with a very slow recovery. Yesterday was a really tough day. After attempting to increase my level of activity just a bit, I again ended up in fairly significant pain. I saw my surgeon's physician assistant, and she assured me I'm doing as expected. She kept saying, "It takes time." Patience is not one of my virtues, I guess. I really expected to be further along the road to recovery by now, and I certainly didn't expect to continue having so much pain.

Pain is discouraging and frustrating, but I did get some good news yesterday. The physician assistant cleared me to begin walking for exercise, as my pain allows. She also cleared me to begin gentle physical therapy strengthening exercises. I still can't work, as I continue to have significant lifting restrictions, but I'm happy to be cleared for increased activity. I just hope my pain will decrease and allow me to do what she's now granted permission to do.

On another front, my date went well. It was fun. Beautiful evening, great stadium, and our team won with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. We'll see where things go from here. We may just continue to be friends, I think, but one can never have too many friends. I'm proud of myself for pushing through my fears and going out at all. Fear gets me nowhere. Courage, on the other hand, can lead to great things. And I think we all deserve great things.


Anonymous said...

On balance, then, progress?

etta said...

@ paullamb: Yes, progress. Thank you for reminding me.

Katheryne Patterson said...

Etta, I've been out of town and have not had much internet access. I've been thinking of you and hoping you the BEST. Injury is just awful. I'm so sorry that you had to have surgery, too. Here ARE some positive things: you are still writing in your blog: Thank you! You pushed through and went on a date. You are NOT drinking. That is huge! That is so impressive. I have many family members who struggle with that and have not been able to stay sober. I am so proud of you for being able to do that. You are doing so much more than you give yourself credit for. You are writing this blog. You are trying every day. That is amazing. This will heal. This will get better. The injury and post surgery will improve. It will actually go away with time, which is more than we can say for depression and anxiety, right?!

Much love from New Orleans! I just found a great podcast called: The Hilarious World of Depression. It is really good. I've been listening to it lately. Peter Sagal of NPR just came out and did an episode talking about his depression. I'm so proud of him. I really look up to him. He is also a runner.

Katheryne Patterson said...

What a great comment about it can lead to great things and fear never leads to anything. It's true. We can all learn from that.

etta said...

@ Katheryne: Thank you so much for your comments. I always appreciate your insightful thoughts. And yes, I do know about that podcast, and I love Peter Sagal, too!

Katheryne Patterson said...

Thanks again for sharing your story with all of us. I remember an earlier post that you did maybe 6 or 7 months ago. You were talking about how you were going to try not to be too hard on yourself. I know how incredibly hard that is. You have also talked about having gratitude. I love when you mention these things. I try them, too. Today I'm struggling which makes me so angry at myself. I have been doing so well. However, I was so busy last week that I was unable to exercise all week. This was a mistake. Without you is so difficult. I'm angry at myself for doing this. I'm angry at myself for not really connecting with my own children this weekend. I wasn't present like I should have been. I made play dates for my daughter when we could have been having time together. I have to forgive myself to get past this. It just happened yesterday. I want to wallow in it and berate myself all day. I know these are all symptoms of depression. I know I don't have to feel this bad. The symptoms are so real though, aren't they? When I don't feel well, I don't want to be with anyone. I am very good at making excuses...having playdates for my kids so I'm not with them....doing errands....and in reality, I am not being the best mom or person that I can be. I'm just trying to live through that day. It is better (it seems) to be alone when I feel that way than to be with others. I just ran into someone at the coffee shop where I am writing this after a 2 hour walk (thank God I walked). I saw someone I knew. I did not want to talk to her, but I forced myself. The entire time I talked to her, I forced myself through it. I had to talk to her. Her daughter is friends with her daughter, and my daughter wants to see her. Plus she is a great person, and I would like to get to know her better. Again, thank you for all you do. Is there any way you can swim or just tread water with just your hands or just your legs based on how you are doing? I just thought of that. I know it is not the same, but I'm wondering if that would help. I absolutely can't take it when I can't exercise. It IS AWFUL! I finally exercised today, and it has begun to lift this a tiny bit. I know that each time I exercise it will improve.