1 step forward, 2 steps back?

by Ginger on July 22, 2015

in I'm a Disaster

It’s been close to a month since my surgery, and things are chugging along. I had a pretty rough go of things for a couple of weeks there–I fell (everything is fine), I struggled a lot with being so limited with mobility, nerve pain caused a lot of distress, and I had a couple of emotional breakdowns. Then I rallied. Then I broke down again. Then I rallied. Then I fell again. Then I broke down again. I guess no one said recovery would be easy.

Things are slowly getting better, although not fast enough for my liking. I can sleep without the boot now, and take it off during the day if I’m not up and about, which is really nice in that my number one pain that messes with my head is nerve pain which the boot rubbing up against my foot really REALLY doesn’t help. (It messes with my head because it’s just constant. Constant pins & needles in one area, & a constant feeling of burning & like my skin is being rubbed raw in another. It’s there with or without the boot, but the boot really does make it worse). To be honest though, I still need to wear it a good portion of the day, otherwise the ligaments and tendon start to hurt from not being in quite the right position. (Also, I can actually feeeel them pull a bit, and it kind of grosses me out. I’ll have to get over that eventually, but for now…ew). A bit of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t so I just spread it around depending on how I’m feeling that day.

I can start bearing a little bit of weight, and I’ve been doing some crutches-assisted, not remotely full weight bearing walking (mostly back & forth in the living room). I’m not even close to being stable on two legs, even just standing, & being up for even a few minutes makes my toes swell up like balloons (weirdly, my ankle doesn’t swell tooooo bad, compared), and it’s just so weird that this leg that I’ve had my whole life just DOES NOT FUNCTION the way I expect it to & want it to.

I go back to the dr AGAIN in another 2 weeks to see if I’m ready for PT. I thought we were going to move to PT after my most recent appt, but given that I’ve fallen a couple of times, he wants to really make sure things are good and healed first. So ok, fine. Meanwhile, my calf muscle has withered away to nothing, and I’m kind of like–uh, how exactly am I supposed to start putting weight on this whole nonsense again? That little chicken leg just is not going to hold me up (is how I feel). (Although I will admit it’s kind of funny to just see my sad little calf flapping in the breeze when I’m not in the boot).

I am off the narcotic pain killers entirely, & am taking just a couple of tylenol a day, which is good. I’ve had some unpleasantness as the narcotics work their way out of my system, which is less good, but hopefully will pass soon. I’m REALLY glad I had them, but I’ll be really glad when there’s no trace of them anymore.

I have this whole list of things I can’t wait to be able to do again: shower without needing to lie down afterwards, keep my foot down on the ground for more than a few minutes at a time, go up and down the stairs on my feet not my butt, shower standing up, go to the bathroom in the middle of the night without turning on every light in the place so I have a pathway, sit at my desk to work without needing to have my foot propped up, walk into the kitchen and get my own damn glass of water without having to bug my husband yet again for something ridiculously trivial.

Mostly, though, the hardest part about all of this is the mental stuff.* Some days really are better than others, where I feel optimistic & think “ok, we’re chugging along, this will all pass soon, things are going pretty well, all things considered, every day is another day towards being better.” And then there are days where I struggle, mightily, to not just fall into thinking nothing but dooooooom “I feel like I’m never going to be better, I’m creating such a burden for my husband, is this ever going to not hurt, I can’t do anything on my own, OH MY GOD I JUST WANT TO WALK INTO THE BATHROOM ON MY OWN TWO FEET IS THAT SO DAMN HARD?” The mental stuff is where I really feel, sometimes, like it’s 1 step forward, 2 steps back, and it sucks. I want to be able to just suck it up, or always be positive, but it’s just hard sometimes.**


Even on the rough days, it’s another day forward. I’m healing, even if my brain is freaking out. I WILL get through this eventually, it’s just a matter of time. So even when it’s hard, even when I’m having an emotional meltdown, my body is still moving forward, healing, however slowly it may be. It’s hard, but it WILL happen. I may shed some tears of pain and frustration but it WILL happen. It IS happening.

I do wish it was happening faster though. This recovery thing is for the birds.

*don’t get me wrong, the not having the use of both legs is hard, really hard. But the days when I can’t get my head out of the cycle of dooooom, it’s even harder.

**I am trying different things to try and get out of my own head on the days it’s rough: reading, work, watching silly tv instead of angsty or high drama tv, leaving the house even if it’s just a short drive, anything to sort of shake out of my funk/get out of my head. But still. Hard.

Nonsequiturchica July 22, 2015 at 7:44 pm

i’m sorry things aren’t going great but every day that passes since your surgery is another day closer to when you get back to normal.

Madelyn July 23, 2015 at 4:28 pm

From Madelyn in Alabama

Hang in there!
This isse is so fresh cuz a dear friend just now is recovering fro a knee replacement. That after these last few years having TWO hip surgeries (first one botched) second repaired the botch), another spine surgery after long past back surgeries. Then her husband had a sort of botched colon surgery that eventually turned out okay but a long recovery.

We talked of the “doom” that invades us at times yesterday when I visited in the hospital.

Sounds cliche, but – one day at the time. AND go thru the doomr-iddeness rather than around it!

Again, hang in.

Ann July 23, 2015 at 6:45 pm

It sounds like recovery totally sucks! I’d be enormously really frustrated too! I’m thinking of you and crossing my fingers that it will continue with looking more up than down with each passing day.

Carmen July 27, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Hey, Ginger. I can only imagine how awful this whole situation is; I think I would find the mental part the most challenging as well. I’m a “glass is half empty” sort of person and I think I would have a hard time staying positive. But I KNOW that you will not be a burden on your husband forever (and I also KNOW that he doesn’t think of it that way AT ALL) and I KNOW that things are improving every day, even if it’s hard to see it. Hang in there!

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