I realize this will be post number 3 for 2018 (down from 7 in 2018):
- January 2, 2018—2018: Put Your Oxygen Mask on First
"I have been stuck in the same feedback loop of injury, recovery, [bonus obstacle!], injury, recovery. Reporting back and forth on that cycle doesn't seem very exciting. But a big THANK YOU to everyone who has kept be buoyed up during my rough patches over the past 2 years. I can only hope to return the kindness one day."
- May 27, 2018—If Broken, Yet Strong
"Sorry for not blogging more, but I really do feel like a broken record. Or a broken broken record. I thought 3 years, 3 surgeries was a bit much and repetitive. I can't imagine what 3 years and 4 surgeries would make me sound like."
- November 29, 2018—Crashing in to the Finish Line
And unfortunately, post number 3 will be somewhat of a rehashing of posts 1 and 2. (Also relevant -- an old post titled "When Bloggers Go Quiet, Part II.")
I want to say that 2018 has not been a banner year for me or my blog, but the truth is that while there have been good days and bad, I also know how very lucky I am and have been. If you have followed me on Twitter or Instagram, you'll already know that on September 11, 2018, I had my third, and hopefully final, foot surgery. This was the BIG ONE: ankle ligament re-stabilization (from the damage of having my feet run over by a SUV).
I lovingly call this my "shark bite" -- but the surgery was three main steps (along with cleaning up some scar tissue):
- Make a deeper channel in my fibula for my peroneal tendon (so it would stop subluxating)
- Fix the retinacula (the tissue that keeps the peroneal tendon behind my ankle)
- Modified Brostrom Procedure to stabilize my ankle (not too gross animation here)
Two weeks in a cast (non-weight bearing) and intensive cuddle therapy:
Four weeks in a boot (non-weight bearing):
And eventually, though still quite swollen and dealing with edema, my stitches were removed (which meant I could start PT!):
And while I love the iWalk, by the end I was so tired of using it and the toll it took on the rest of my body:
And was thrilled that by day 50, I was able to start walking without the boot and in a brace:
Did I forget to mention that just a few days before my surgery, my apartment building flooded and it was raining inside my bathroom? Oh yeah. So in the middle of this Very Serious Surgery™, I also had to contend with a rather chaotic home situation that included 7 industrial fans and one very large industrial dehumidifier (and all of their cords) in my small apartment, and the threat of mold growth while healing a rather large surgical site. FUN TIMES!!! ((And as of today, the building's insurance still hasn't fixed it--83 days!))
How do things stand now? I'm doing well in physical therapy, but I have one spot under my ankle that is giving me trouble. It's really tight and angry and loves to hold the rest of my foot hostage. But I'm steadily progressing. The biggest challenge with physical rehabilitation is holding myself back and knowing that while I might feel great now, that I need to pace myself. My goal is to be able to earn my Beat The Blerch and do 5 continuous km on the elliptical before year end. My ortho made a face when I said this, but my physical therapist thinks it's possible.
Every day I go to the gym or to physical therapy, I tell myself that I'm doing it so Tom Wilson can teach me how to ice skate. I know it's silly and that Tom probably thinks I'm a nutjob, but sometimes you need to be reminded that you're a fighter, that you're the enforcer of your own life. He's my honey badger.
At the beginning of this entry, I said 2018 has had some ups and downs. This is one victory that I am fairly proud of, with semi-unrelated photo to illustrate things:
My lowest adult weight was 188, back in 2010 for my best friend Nancy's wedding. And believe me -- I killed myself to get there.
Eight years, 5 surgeries (neck, back, 1 left foot, 2 right foot), and 1 Celiac diagnosis, and my weight has pretty much stayed in the 200-210 range with little-to-no exercise and kinda reverting to my emotional eating habits. Contrary to my fears, I didn't go back to 240 (my highest weight) the minute I stopped running, or stopped counting calories, or stopped weighing myself.
My hope is that in 2019, I make a good honest go of seeing what my body can do now that doctors have put me back together again. I still have some digestive issues, and a few physical issues, but nothing that precludes me from getting back into some type of exercise routine with proper nutritional support. It has been like driving around and not realizing that you have the emergency break on. I've taken the emergency brake off and I'm ready to gradually accelerate.
- How do people date without apps and they're a bit of a hermit?
- I got Botox (12 units between my eyebrows) so I don't look angry/pissed/worried all the time. But it's quite possible that it wasn't enough. I could also just have a resting New Yorker face.
- I spent a good part of 2018 dressed as a shark (but not the day I showed up to silence a sad handful of Nazis that came to DC). True story.
- Watched the Caps win the Lord Stanley Cup -- and had so much fun going to the rally.
- I met Bianca Del Rio and laughed my ass off.
- I met Kristin Beck and in doing so found a friend for life.
- Why do doctors keep insisting that I should stop drinking caffeine? See 5 below.
- Oh yeah, in January there was a bit of a scare with my boobs (don't worry, they're just lumpy).
- Wow. How did I not tell you all that I got my first tattoo? The words are "Si fractus fortis" -- which means "If broken, yet strong."