Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 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!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Regaining life

I'm trying to return to some semblance of normalcy. Between post op hip recovery, depression relapse and recovery, and COVID-19 my life has not resembled the life I knew prior to mid-January. I haven't worked or exercised or even functioned near normal. But today I'm seeing, potentially, some light at the end of the tunnel.

First of all, I decided to attempt a return to work next week. I haven't worked since January 22nd. That's a really long time ago, and that length of time was not at all what I had planned. I thought I'd be out 8 weeks, at the most, but I'm now approaching 16 weeks! My supervisor and I discussed having me return for a couple of very short days, likely Tuesday and Thursday. I'm relieved but anxious.

There's plenty to be anxious about. I'll have to adjust to wearing the COVID-19 personal protective equipment and to the restrictions on patient movement within the facility. I have to learn a new documentation system, just to make things a bit more challenging. And of course I will have to adjust to and determine the limits of my repaired right hip. Despite the anxiety I'm really looking forward to getting to see my patients and coworkers again. I'm looking forward to being a productive member of a team again. It's been way too long.

Speaking of my hip. I saw my surgeon today to address the ongoing pain in my anterior right hip. We went over the results of my most recent MRI which showed mild bursitis in the area of my pain but was otherwise fairly benign. That was good news in that the surgical repair appeared to be intact and healing, but it didn't explain the origin of my ongoing pain.

After examining me, the surgeon suggested a cortisone injection into the hip joint. If the pain resolved after the injection, great, but if the pain continued, that would at least indicate the source of my pain was not coming from the joint or the labral repair. In other words, if the pain continued after the injection it would actually be good news.

So far the pain hasn't resolved, but it might be too soon to tell. In a few weeks, if I'm continuing to have the same pain, we'll inject the bursa. It's acting like bursitis pain, so I'm hopeful that's all it is. Bursitis can be difficult to resolve, but it would be better than potentially having to perform another arthroscopic procedure.

Lastly, my mood continues to improve or at least hold fairly steady. I did notice a bit of a dip by the end of last week and over the weekend, which concerned me. I had my fifth ketamine infusion on Monday. I've been doing well since. I have a couple more infusions in this "acute series," and then I will begin a "maintenance series," which basically means there will be increased time between infusions until we find I need them at lesser defined intervals or don't need them at all.

Thinking back to how desperately low I was just a few weeks ago, I feel incredibly lucky, amazed and grateful to be feeling so much lighter today. I think returning to work may challenge my mental health as much as my physical health. I'm feeling hopeful but guarded about my prognosis; not quite ready to believe the recent relapse is totally resolved and not quite confident the increased stress of returning to work won't challenge my shaky stability. I won't know until I try. And it's time. I'm ready to try.

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