Friday, December 18, 2015


I had surgery on my right foot last July - it was a running injury that I'd been putting off and that Hong Kong trip in February sealed the deal. (All that walking made me realize I had to figure out a solution. It was quite painful - a torn ligament.)

I would think that every busy person has, at some time, fantasized about being forced to take downtime. Especially those of us not great at choosing it for ourselves. I've been quite healthy my whole life (Christ, until recently - welcome to middle age), so when I finally got it scheduled I thought it would be difficult, but maybe I would enjoy a week of good, drug-induced sleep, too.

It was hell. Mentally and physically. The dependency on others, the inability to shower for a week at a time, not being able to get myself even to the bathroom (much less the kitchen and living room - downstairs) without tremendous effort and usually tears, the pure pain - it messed me up. And gave me a great respect for people who have permanent challenges in mobility (and who handle them with much more dignity that I did).

My recovery was s-l-o-w but normal for a foot surgery, apparently, and things were just picking up when in September I developed a post-surgical nerve problem (CRPS 2) that is really quite serious, although I have a fairly mild case. I'm just wrapping up physical therapy for that now, and I can walk without a limp about 60% of the time. Walking with a limp in public is just this whole thing I've never experienced where you find that kids react, of course, but adults do as well. They stare or give very wide berth or express tremendous pity that makes you question if you might be even worse off than you're aware. It's this constant "I'm not normal" sign that you're holding up. I hate it and have to actively work to not feel a lot of self-contempt over it.

I have a long way to go in terms of full recovery, and my original goal of doing the New Year's Eve 5k that my brother and I have done for the last 3 or 4 years is no longer realistic. I've gained a bunch of weight and have developed this sedentary, weird routine where I have other aches and pains all over my body from moving in weird ways to compensate for the foot pain. BUT. I've made progress and I just have to keep going. If I'm faithful with my PT plan and do all my foot stretches several times a day, nothing happens for a long time and then all of a sudden I'll make a big jump in my progress. So I'm counting on those jumps when nothing is happening. And I'm trying to remember that there are people who would love to have these kinds of problems. God, am I so tentative and weak that recovery from a little surgical procedure can almost break me? Mind games.

I had a relationship that I've been in for some time end in a pretty negative manner in September. Also in September I was given notice of a layoff, and I ended work with my company about a month ago. I'm not sure what happens next, but I thought I'd wait until the first of the year to start looking.

That's not all that has happened, but those are some of the things that stick out when I think of the past many months. Life, man. I've had a hard time believing that it's even possible that good things are around the corner, and that is so different than how I used to be. I'm 44 now and I'd say the 40's have been pretty hellish. What do you do? You hold on and keep fighting. So that's what I'm doing.