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!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Good news and...

The good news is I'm feeling better, and I'm back home. I got out of the hospital Friday just before noon. And that was as a direct result of the positive reaction I had following my second infusion of Ketamine on Thursday. My mood was much improved after both the second and third, which took place yesterday, Ketamine infusions. I continue to feel better today.

Unfortunately, with good there is, at least on this occasion, bad news as well. I spoke with my back surgeon's nurse just after returning home Friday. Tomorrow marks 12 weeks since my back surgery, 16 weeks since the original injury. I got the clearance to go back to work part time beginning tomorrow. During our discussion, however, I informed the nurse my left leg is still weak. Her reaction was not positive.

I could tell by the immediate pause and change in voice tone the nurse, my surgeon's right hand woman, was concerned I continued to have significant leg weakness. I listened intently as she informed me of the typical progression of recovery. Basically, very few patients, in their experience, continue to see improvement after 12 weeks. Most of the strength gains that will be made are made within the first 12 weeks following surgery. I was devastated.

I tried to maintain my composure after this news, but it was futile. I ended up in tears. It's still hard for me to think about, but there is a very real possibility I won't be able to run again. I know, because I've tried. My leg is too weak. I couldn't run yesterday. I can't run today. And if my leg strength does not improve beyond where I'm at today, there will be no tomorrow. I will not be able to run in the future.

It's hard to imagine not running again. It's so hard I can't even type those words without hopelessness creeping in and tears welling up. I don't know what I would do. I should know one way or the other, whether I will run again or not, by Christmas, which will be six months post op. I was hoping to run a marathon by Christmas.

I'm choosing to believe I will be one of the outliers. After all, I was extremely fit prior to the disc rupturing, and perhaps I'm a bit younger than most of their patients. But then I think about how little my strength has progressed over the last month, and it's difficult to hold onto that belief. But I have to keep believing and hope I'm one of the outliers.

So far this news has not had a crushing effect on my mood, but it hasn't helped either. I'm trying to move forward and stay in the moment. I don't want to allow hopelessness to resettle. I can only do so much. I can only control what I can control. I will continue doing my exercises, walking, and riding my ElliptiGo. I'll focus on getting back to work and keep saying my prayers. Those are the best options I have right now. One day at a time. One moment at a time.


Anonymous said...

I'm impressed you can still ride the ElliptiGo. I'm glad you're getting some mental relief.

Jean Grey said...

I'm glad the ketamine seems to be working. I hope you beat the odds with your leg.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about this setback. I can sympathize as I have had a similar experience. Several years ago I had a serious injury that prevented me from all the sports and activities that I loved and relied on for years. Exercising was my main stress outlet and my primary defense against depression. It was a very tough time but I found alternatives that accommodate my injury. I cannot say it is the same, but it is far better than I would have believed.

I hope you have a full recovery and will keep you in my thoughts.

Thank you for maintaining this blog. I really struggle with depression, and I often feel very alone. Your blog helps me feel less alone.