Some Honest Thoughts on Recovery

This may not be the happiest of posts, but it’s honest. If you need a laugh, you can check out yesterday’s post.

Recovering from a surgery is hard. It’s hard for a lot of reasons, not least of which is that it’s uncomfortable. I’ve already written about all of the physical pain, but I mean it in sort of a different way.

It’s hard to ever sit comfortably. Walking anywhere (even five feet away) is always an effort. I mean, I will literally wait until the last second to go to the bathroom if I think it means I can consolidate trips. Yes, really.

I’m down to one crutch now, though, which is a good thing.

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I’m starting to be able to put a fair amount of weight on my right leg/ foot. But that doesn’t mean it feels nice. Rehab is tough because you have to put yourself in pain in order to improve. Everything feels counter-intuitive.

There’s also the discomfort of all of the staring and attention. I feel so conspicuous whenever I go out. I feel like people in public are judging me for my difficulties of walking on crutches (I’m sure they aren’t, but I’m ridiculous).

There’s also the uncomfortable necessity of having to ask for help. Everyone in my life has been SO helpful, but I feel like a huge asshole asking my friends and co-workers to do things like grab something for me from another room. I feel so lazy. I know it’s for a reason, but it makes me feel gross when I do it.

When you’re on crutches, have to think ahead about everything ahead of time. For instance, I had to think ahead about what I’d need for the week and then pack it all. And then it hit me: How was I going to carry it all?! Enter: my backpack.

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(This was my mom’s idea. I lack the common sense gene sometimes. I’m not sure this ever would have occurred to me.)

Anyway, I feel like I’m back in high school!

Except I’m not back in high school — I’m at work. I probably went back to work a little earlier than I should have, but fortunately, I have one of the best bosses, ever. She has been incredible about working with my schedule and with my abilities. A lot of my job is on my feet, but obviously I can’t do most of that stuff for the time being. Lucky for me, my boss has arranged for me to do the one job solely done on the computer. I have not only been doing that for the past week, but will be doing it for the next week, as well.

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It’s not glamorous work, but it’s work I can actually do — and both I and my wallet are grateful for that.

And then there’s dressing for work. I started out with that huge brace and couldn’t fit anything over it, so I could only wear shorts. I kept wearing shorts even when I got the brace off because I was wearing thick Ace bandages and there was no way I was going to fit my jeans over those. I also kept wearing shorts because, let’s be honest — walking on crutches made me sweat!

Today, I also had to dress for multiple purposes. I had PT during my lunch break today, so I had to wear comfy and stretchy clothes that would work for that. I’d like to call the look “PT chic.” I tried to take pictures of my outfit in the bathroom, which first didn’t capture the pants, and in the second one, has me going off-balance for the dumb purpose of a picture.

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Stupid. My mom is going to yell at me. Leigh and Mark might, too. I’m FINE, guys!

Anyway, I got Mark to take a more complete picture when I got home.

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Much more effective.

At physical therapy, I found that I’m improving quite a bit. I even improved a ton during the session, which gives me a lot of hope — and it’s SUCH a different feeling than I had pre-surgery, when nothing really seemed to help. We did a bunch of exercises, including the bike, on which I worked my way to making FULL circles! This probably sounds like nothing to you, but it felt like a huge accomplishment to me. I was proud of myself.

Leigh also taped me again, so I’m all octopus-ified again.

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Sexy.

This was also my first day without painkillers, which made PT a little painful. I still might take one tonight, but I’m proud that I made it through the day without one.

One of the things I talked about with Leigh today is something that’s been weighing heavily (no pun intended) on me for the past couple of weeks. It’s something I knew would happen, but I also haven’t really been helping matters.

I’m gaining weight, and really quickly. I haven’t been able to work out in three weeks (except for two half workouts thrown in there in the days between being too sick to work out and getting surgery). Between my caveman-slow metabolism and my inactivity, I was doomed. Meanwhile, my feeling sorry for myself hasn’t helped my emotional eating habits, so I’ve been snacking on my favorite things….

Like chocolate-covered nuts and berries….

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…and peanut butter-filled pretzels.

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…and it certainly doesn’t help that we have a batch of new kids at work, who have to bring breakfasts (just like we did). On Wednesday, we had pastries.

On Thursday, we had waffles.
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I think you’re getting the point. Anyway, where I’m heading with all of this is that I need to figure this out, and fast. Extra weight will not an easy recovery make.

Not to mention the fact that I absolutely REFUSE to buy any clothes in a bigger size.

Finally, I don’t know what it is (and this is definitely the most honest part of this post), but there hasn’t been a single day this week that I haven’t come home and cried at some point after work. It’s not that work is hard — like I said, I’m just on the computer all day! — but I think maybe just being out and about for a full work day is a lot for me right now?  I don’t know if it’s physical exhaustion, frustration at feeling helpless, being alone at night when I’m used to being so social, a hormonal reaction to the anesthesia last week/ the painkillers, the weight gain, the loss of control, or what, but I get depressed and end up crying every single night. It’s not me. It’s very unfamiliar behavior for me and I don’t know what to make of it. I’m thinking it’s probably a combination of all of the above.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to this phase of my life being over. I just want to be better and in control again soon. I need a good run. I’ve needed a good run for a freaking year.

Aside from eating healthier (that’s my big project in the coming week, that’s for damn sure), what can someone do to lose weight (or, at the very least, stop further gain) while unable to work out?

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Some Honest Thoughts on Recovery

  1. Recovery of any kind is painful and difficult. I’m not sure how to help with your weight gain issue, can you get in a pool at all? I know that swimming might be an option. But, if you can’t workout at all, I mean, I guess it’s just about limiting calories for the time being? *hugs* Hang in there, you’re doing great, and getting your knee healthy is a huge step toward reaching more of your fitness goals!

  2. Mark

    we’ll start chair yoga whenever you want.

  3. Upper body stuff lady! You can always lift weights while sitting down, and do some shadow boxing! You can also have a dance party in your chair…ok, that’s a stretch but ya know…:)

  4. I’m so sorry you are having to go through this! I am not one good for weight-loss tips, (except for brain trauma as I said earlier, haha) but I am sending lots of healing gods vibe-y thoughts your way!

  5. Oops, that’s “good” vibe-y…But heck I’ll send the healing gods too!

  6. Jennifer

    Sending good thoughts your way, Kaitlin! I know that it is so hard to ask for help–even when it is totally necessary. Hang in there. Things are only going to get better.

  7. Recovery is hard and emotional!! The only surgeries i’ve ever had are c-sections. I vividly remember the days where walking to the bathroom and even getting off the couch were good days and only taking pain killers at night was a huge accomplishment!!! Sending good healing vibes your way!!! xoxo

  8. Eating habits are the biggest factor in feeling good. Perhaps putting yourself into daily eating goals will help you find new non-fitness accomplishments. I always like to think that food is the end all be all of how we think, feel, act, etc. By holding food to such a high regard it makes me more thoughtful about what I eat. For instance, adding that handful of spinach to the smoothie is treating my body to a healthy boost. Quality gas in the tank type mentality, it makes me think of food not as the stepping stones to weight-loss, but to feeling and living well.

  9. I want to hug you right now. I keep seeing pictures of you on facebook and thinking you look absolutely wonderful and beautiful. (Crazy, beautiful! 😉 ) I know how it feels though.

    Let’s chat because I need some sort of game plan to get myself feeling good and back on track. I’ve been using the dailyplate app on my phone to help track my nutrient/caloric intake but was thinking of something else as well.

    Love you!

  10. Pingback: HAPPY November! | Kaitlin With Honey

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