Monday, May 28, 2012

Nice to have breakthroughs when facing adversity

Today's workout came on a day that I didn't want to get out of bed. No, not because I stayed out late last night, but because the level of pain was incredible. I managed to get out of bed two hours later around 1:00 pm, had a nice breakfast of an organic scrambled egg with a cut-up grass-fed beef hot dog in it (comfort food), a tomato, grape chia kombucha, and tramadol. A couple of hours and lots of water later, I was ready for a good workout.

I stayed close to home today, using my back patio as my workout space. First time I've used it for that now that my workouts aren't too nocturnal anymore, and it was perfect. My laptop was out there with me, playing Once (in order!) and I'd run inside to my door frame pull-up bar with assistance band when necessary.

Joint mobility

10 kg press, 1+1 (+1 pull-up), 2+2 (+2 pull-ups), 3+3 (+3 pull-ups), 4+4 (+4 pull-ups), Four rounds. Very happy doing that, as it was my first time doing the same number of pull-ups between each set of reps instead of doing one pull-up at the end of each set. Very good progress! It wasn't especially easy, but it was definitely do-able.

For snatches, I rolled a 4. I found a song from my favorites playlist that was right around 4:00 so I used it. The plan was to do 10+10, record it with a tick mark, pick the bell back up and do another 10+10. They felt so good I did 10+10+10+10 before setting the bell down to record two tick marks, and then immediately picked it back up and did another 10+10+10+10. That's 80 snatches in 4:00!! Yes, it was with a 10 kg and not a 12 kg, but that's still the best I've done post-op to date. Maybe I'll do a 5:00 snatch test with the 12 kg the night before my next surgery :)

Yay for making good progress while in this much pain from bone chips! Makes me feel like anything is possible :)

Minor update: My doctor is on vacation this week so I won't hear from him until next week about when the next surgery will be.

Also, I took two days off from the ibuprofen, and I'm in so much pain I'm just sitting in bed almost in tears. I'm dreading getting up to get ready for bed. Back to shoveling the ibuprofen tomorrow.

Bone chips.

Yes, bone chips. Plural. That's what's been bothering me so badly. I was right when I suspected something was being released as I got more range of motion in my ankle. Pieces of bone are floating around now, wreaking havoc. Of course they have to come out. Why stop at only 4 surgeries on my ankle?

In all seriousness, I do need them out ASAP because my pain is still not able to be controlled well even when on pain medication (yes, I'm back on it again. I'm useless on days I don't take it). I should find out in the next couple of days when all the fun and excitement will start up again. I'm glad to know why I've been in such terrible pain and why it has not improved at all, but rather has seemed to get worse with time. I'm now less likely to push through pain, thinking I just need to get through it. No, I just need to get these *#@%!^& pieces of bone out of my ankle.

That being said, I did have a nice workout on May 25th. I went to the school playground in the evening and let the kids run and play while I did my thing. One of the shows I saw on my trip to NYC was Once. I couldn't get the music out of my head, so I went to Barnes and Noble the day before this workout to get the cast recording because they had some bonus tracks that I couldn't get from iTunes. I can't even remember the last time I bought a physical CD. I felt like I was back in high school right at home in the music section of B&N like in the old days :) Once I put it on my computer, I couldn't stop listening to it (and still haven't). I put it on my ipod shuffle to listen to during my workout. It was a wonderfully introspective way to get into what I was doing, and I listened to the whole album. The only thing that bothered me was that my ipod hadn't imported the tracks in their correct order, so that drove me a bit crazy because the flow of the music was completely off. It made the swing portion a little different from my usual very uptempo music (Holiday from the original Broadway cast recording of American Idiot is a favorite standby), but I feel like I was much better locked on and focused this way, being inspired by the music rather than driven by it.

Joint mobility

Press- 10kg 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3
TGU- 10kg 1+1, 1+1, 1+1 continuous work, switching sides with every rep but not allowing time between sets for recovery. Partial TGU on left side to kneeling, full on the right.
Overhead squat- 10kg 3+3, 3+3, 3+3
Cossack lunge- 10kg 3+3, 3+3, 3+3

5:00 2-arm swings, 16kg: 70 (7 sets of 10)

I had brought my TRX along but I really didn't feel like I needed to do anything more after the kettlebell portion of the workout. I'm really happy with how my training is going. For someone in so much pain and with so many issues, I'm not doing too badly.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Time to face one of my biggest fears

In the spirit of moving forward, I need to address something I haven't been willing to visit yet. My subtalar joint fusion that went very, very wrong. I haven't looked at pictures of it, though every step of the process was fully documented. Whenever I show a pic of when the cast came off to someone that isn't squeamish, they can't believe it was my foot. I need to look, absorb it, come to terms with it, and keep going. (Link to partial photo gallery at the bottom of this post. Not for the squeamish.)

On November 16th, I had the fusion (arthrodesis). The lateral side of my ankle was opened up so the joint could be cleaned out and positioned correctly. That was when my doctor noticed that my joint would not open due to an extra piece of bone that effectively destroyed the joint. It is referred to as a talocalcaneal osseous coalition. It is a hereditary, congenital birth defect, and the reason I was in so much pain and had been getting cortisone shots to buy some time since summer of 2009. My doctor removed the bone, ground it up, and used it with the artificial bone matrix to fill in between the calcaneus and talus. Sometimes a cadaver bone is used but I was lucky to have my own bone to use. A stainless steel screw was drilled into my heel, and my very own spun out platelet rich plasma (PRP) was injected into the site to expedite healing. After the surgery, my doctor told me he couldn't believe I had been walking after seeing the condition of the joint. I had gotten really good at pretending I wasn't in pain (most of the time, those who knew me well could see when I was hurting badly). As a trainer, I couldn't have any weaknesses, so I ignored the pain the best that I could. In the weeks prior to the surgery, my 8-year-old daughter would remove my shoes and massage my feet at night. The kids hated seeing me in pain.

I had the usual difficulties following surgery. I woke up crying in pain in the recovery room, had to be helped to the bathroom during the first 24 hours post-op, got very sick on the percocet, couldn't eat much in the first week besides crackers, sugary cereals, and pop tarts, and was just stuck in bed with a cooling pump around my ankle, trying to drag out my pain medicine doses to the point where I'd almost start screaming in pain (of course my caretaker, a nurse, didn't feel sorry for me because I wasn't being compliant with taking it every 4-6 hours as directed). I had a fever 3 days post-op. There was a pain pump delivering medication into my ankle for the first 5 days post-op. My ankle muscles would twitch when I was asleep, waking me up in a very painful manner. I threw up in the car ride to my first post-op doctor's visit (November 21) and had to be given a shot of something in my thigh to help keep the nausea at bay for the appointment and the ride back home. I was in a splint and remained in one for the first 12 days before I got my first cast (November 28th). A week after that I got a second cast (December 5th) and the stitches came out. My foot was positioned as close to 90 degrees as it would go. As hard as I tried, it simply wouldn't make it the entire way. That cast stayed on for three weeks and one day.  My caretaker left from December 14-19 for a pleasure trip with his significant other (4 weeks post-op) so I had to fend for myself and our kids. I noticed incredible swelling when I was upright so I stayed in bed most of the day. I got my handicapped parking placard on December 14th so I was driving left-footed and took the kids out to eat once a day so they'd have at least one good meal. I baked cookies (placing my knee on a rolling chair in my kitchen and then would prop my swollen, purple foot on the counter while waiting for them to bake) for my clients, friends, and co-workers at Equinox for Christmas and delivered them, happy to see everyone (though unhappy my foot was turning horrible shades of purple). I knew I wasn't ready to go back to work yet since I couldn't be upright for an hour at a time. I'd also lost about 10 lbs in the first couple of weeks. On crutches, I couldn't carry food to my room from the kitchen, and I couldn't be upright long enough to fix anything anyway. I didn't always have access to food, and was alone while the kids were in school. I was taking them to and from school in a wheelchair before I was able to drive (nearly a mile in each direction). My wheelchair had a special attachment so my foot was positioned straight out in front of me. On outings to the grocery store or mall, I also used my wheelchair. I used it for around two months.

At that fateful appointment where the second cast came off and the third cast was to go on (and bringing my ankle to 90 degrees) on December 27th, my doctor noticed that something had gone horribly wrong. The incision site had opened completely. He told me to go to the nearest hospital ASAP, so I chose to go to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. They refused to treat me there because they hadn't performed the original surgery. My doctor is only in surgery on Wednesdays, so they put me in a special splint and sent me home with high doses of antibiotics (bactrim). I drove the hour back home, feeling more than a little frightened. Every doctor that looked at me had the same reaction, and it wasn't a good one. I was operated on the next day by my doctor. One of my best friends and clients took me to the surgery center, and a co-worker picked me up and brought me back home. The surgical procedure was a debridement for a wound dehiscence. Some cells were cultured, found to be infected, and a second antibiotic (cipro) was added to my regimen. I was on a wound vacuum that was faulty for the first 18 hours due to improper placement. Apparently only wound care nurses do it enough to get it just right. The alarm kept going off every 2-4 minutes and it felt like there was suction on an exposed nerve. I was taken to wound care the next day by a dear friend, neighbor, and client and it was fixed (huge relief).

My diet consisted of a bottle of kombucha daily (probiotics because I felt like the massive doses of antibiotics were trying to kill my soul), grass-fed meats, organic eggs, raw milk cheddar and goat cheese, organic fruits, organic vegetables, raw nuts, hot green tea, and plenty of filtered water. I refused anything else. I wanted to make sure I was doing everything possible for the best wound healing outcome.

Several days later, my parents arrived from South Carolina. I'd emailed some pictures that were taken of my foot at Camp Pendleton, and it was serious enough that they decided it was best for my mother to come take care of me and the kids until I could take care of myself. She stayed until a few days after my last surgery. My caretaker was working 12 hour shifts and couldn't take any more time off from work to take me to surgery or appointments. He had burned all of his leave with his significant other before coming to California from Florida while I was struggling with the kids. I had wound care visits three times a week for dressing changes. Once a week the vacuum canister was replaced. My days were spent in bed plugged into the vacuum, watching Netflix, and playing solitaire on my phone. The more distracted I was, the less I had to think about what was happening to me. When I started to think about it, I would cry. Avoidance was best.

At wound care, I wasn't improving. The depth of the wound remained the same- open (tunneled) to the bone, around 3.2 cm (1.3 inches) deep. I went for a second opinion at UCI, and the doctor said that something must have gotten infected at the initial surgery, and whatever it was hadn't been removed at the first dehiscence, so a second one was scheduled. Two weeks after the first dehiscence on January 11th (8 weeks since the original fusion surgery) I was back on the operating table again. One week and one day later (January 19th), I had a reaction to the antibiotics in the form of a full-body raised rash. It started on my legs and went to my neck. I discontinued the bactrim and cipro and started on benadryl at that point with the approval of my doctor, fearing anaphylactic shock. Another culture had been taken at the second dehiscence, and came back negative. The antibiotics were a precautionary measure against further infection since my wound was still open and showed no signs of closing. I was still on the wound vacuum as well.

On Wednesday February 1st, I was removed from the wound vacuum because it was contraindicated for bone infection. There was still no reason found for any infection to begin with, and no answers for why I wasn't healing or why I had these complications in the first place. All of my doctors said that bone infection was the only reason the wound would still be open. Bactrim and cipro would not have protected against bone infection, only IV antibiotics with a picc line (from a line in my arm straight into my heart) for six weeks would combat that type of infection. A CT scan with contrast was ordered, though not extremely useful in determining the extent of bone infection due to the chronic inflammation of tissues at that point, but it would be a starting point for when my doctor operated again. It appeared, with very little accuracy, that my bone was free from infection. I also developed a fever around that time and was terrified that my body was close to going septic. I had been getting blood tests every couple of weeks to make sure everything was still within normal limits. At no point was I guaranteed that I was going to be able to keep my foot through all of this.

After the wound vacuum was removed, I was able to use the boot and was encouraged to bear as much weight as possible to help the bones fuse. When the vacuum was on, the boot would put too much pressure on the vacuum and it was painful, so I stayed in a splint during that time. When I practiced partial weight-bearing, it was without the boot in my home. I was able to take a few clumsy steps at a time with the boot on after the vacuum was removed, but it was hard and painful.

On February 8th, I went under the knife for a 4th time (4 weeks since the previous surgery and 12 weeks since the first surgery). The stainless steel screw was removed and my wound was cleaned for a third time and surgically closed. Against all odds, my bone did not appear to be infected. After being exposed for 6 weeks, that was nothing short of a miracle. My stitches came out two weeks after that. Since the wound remained closed, it is suspected that I might have had an allergic reaction to the nickel in the stainless steel screw. Three weeks and two days later, I was discharged from wound care, with instructions to keep applying the prescription ointment to the wound site and not submerge it in water (a pool) for two more weeks. I was on crutches until the end of March, and even after that I used them a few times. I wasn't on pain medication for very long after the first three surgeries (a few days at most) but with the removal of the screw and the presence of the chronic wound, I was (and still am) in a significant amount of pain. That's when I started taking vicodin, then tramadol, and back to vicodin again on a regular basis. I'm going in for a CT scan tomorrow to make sure everything is ok because I shouldn't be in this kind of pain at this point. I've been in tremendous pain, haven't been able to sleep well, and haven't been able to eat much. It's been going on for over six months now, and I'm getting tired of it. The goal right now is to recover as fast as possible from this so I can get the same procedure done on the left foot, with a hopefully better outcome. My doctor will use titanium instead of stainless steel (not used often for drilling through the heel, as it is a softer metal and tends to bend), and not use the artificial bone matrix. Fingers crossed everything turns out to be ok.

Some of the pictures are here: Link to partial photo gallery- WARNING: NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH

I wasn't documenting the wound during most of the wound care visits, but my mother has those pictures on her camera. Every time my dressing was changed, she took a picture. These were the pictures that ended up on my phone.

Now that I've gone into detail about it and actually looked at the pictures, I feel relieved. Horrified, of course, but relieved that I'm not afraid anymore. I'm tired of being afraid of so much in my life.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Moving on...

I did a quick pre-flight workout on May 16th. Simply three sets of alternating 16 kg 2-arm swings (15) with double 8 kg presses (3). I felt great before the cross-country flight without spending much time or getting sweaty. I didn't have any tightness in my back from the flight like I usually have either.

I spent a few days around the NYC area. First of all, beware those with mobility problems. There are steps EVERYWHERE. Escalators were frequently broken. There are LARGE step-downs from trains and buses. Usually I enjoy stairs but I don't have enough range of motion in my right ankle to go down regularly. I have to take it one step at a time, which is annoying especially with a backpack and suitcase. Going up isn't a problem. If I tried to go down regularly, I would be pitched forward and land on my face. Ah recovery.

Also in NYC, the sidewalks, streets, and pretty much every walking surface anywhere isn't completely level. That made it very challenging to walk around in dress shoes. I did attempt heels, and that lasted for about 90 seconds before I stopped to change back into flats. Couldn't do it. I was even on double the regular dose of pain medication, which I had stopped earlier that week but used during my trip. I haven't taken any since I've been home. I'm keeping up with taking two 800 mg ibuprofen daily. I think it's helped the inflammation quite a bit. I'm due to go in for another CT in the next week. We'll see what that has to say about my recovery.

One of the highlights of my trip was hanging out with some RKCs, Ari and Liz. We talked some shop and some not-shop over extraordinarily good coffee (decaf for me) and yummy baked goodies. I can't wait to see them again. Very, very good times.

My first workout back was this morning. I headed up to Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach because I really needed to get out of the house. I realized on the drive up that I forgot my training shoes, and decided to do my kettlebell portion outside. Who uses the handicapped parking at a gym? Why that would be me, carrying my TRX and workout stuff in my backpack and farmers walking with a 10 kg and a 16 kg kettlebell, of course. It was another perfect 72 degree day, so I set myself up on a nicely sized slab of concrete outside and stripped my shoes and socks off before beginning joint mobility. By the end of the swings, the concrete was getting a little too hot to stand on.

10 kg presses, 1+2+3, 4 rounds
8:00 16 kg 2-arm swings (wanted to do 1-arm but didn't have any chalk with me, and was entirely too sweaty to attempt it), 8 sets of 10 (kept it nice and light).

Next came the TRX portion. I did some nice strength pyramids, keeping reps to 6 on each side, or 6 total.

Balance lunge
Balance lunge, power pull
Balance lunge, power pull, crunch
Balance lunge, power pull, crunch, flye
Balance lunge, power pull, crunch, flye, squat

Squat, flye
Squat, flye, crunch
Squat, flye, crunch, power pull
Squat, flye, crunch, power pull, balance lunge

By the third round of balance lunges, I was not using assistance on the right leg. That's a definite first. Oblique balance lunges were MUCH easier than regular ones. By the second round of crunches, I was doing high plank, focusing on everything I learned at Hardstyle Ventura about keeping the body locked and in the right position. It felt completely different and wonderful. I was doing oblique crunches (high plank) on the third to last round and last round. For my final squat, I did three 1-leg squats per side. It felt incredible and I did power breathe my way up from the bottom. First time trying that with the right side. On the last round of balance lunges, I got a rec aide to assist me for my first attempt at suspended lunges. 6 per side, with my hands on top and lightly touching his to just make sure I wouldn't fall over. I didn't :)

On to the spin bike. 18:00, 6.10 miles. Just a nice and easy ride.

During the drive up to the base, I thought a lot about fear, and how much it has been holding me back in different parts of my life. I decided not to let fear get the better of me in my workout, and was very pleased that I was able to do things on the TRX like 1-legged squats, high plank crunches (oblique even!), and suspended lunges. I've been afraid to try things that I might not be able to successfully do, and I'm tired of that fear controlling my life. I've been living in a lot of fear and denial over the last 4 years, and it's time to stop because I can now see how much it's hurting me and those around me. I feel like I made great progress today not only in my workout, but in realizing how much I have to come to terms with to move forward with my life. What an absolute relief. Here's to moving on!

That was then
This is now

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to ME!

When we last left off, I was experiencing a severe bout of pain and inflammation. I decided to go off of my pain medication yesterday (again) and stick with just the ibuprofen. Just don't ask my kids about me right now or they'll tell you how mean I am. Pain med withdrawals never get any easier or pleasant. I figured the vicodin might be allowing me to do too much, so I need to be able to listen to my body a little better. With the ibuprofen, I can't tolerate all three 800mg pills a day but I can manage two with a handful of peppermint Tums with the evening dose. I'm walking better but am still in a tremendous amount of pain so my doctor is getting an MRI approved and scheduled for me. We want to make sure nothing is wrong. All bets are off when it comes to me so we're being safe.

I did a quick spin workout on May 8th. I went 7.14 mi in 20 minutes, which is a definite improvement from the first spin workout I did on May 1st (6.7 mi in 20 minutes). Besides that, I didn't do any workouts between May 3 and Mother's Day, May 13th.

I wanted to celebrate Mother's Day with a good, hard strength workout. I wasn't feeling that good since eating pizza and celebratory cake at my daughter's birthday party two days before. It was more that I didn't stop eating the cake all weekend that kept me feeling icky. It's almost gone, and then I'll be safe again. I'm obviously weak when it comes to chocolate cake with chocolate mousse. Even though I hadn't done a strength workout in 10 days, I wanted to push it a little. However, I allowed plenty of recovery time so it stretched from the final two hours of Desperate Housewives (is it really over?? so sad, I've watched and re-watched this show for years...) to well after midnight.

Joint Mobility

10 kg presses 1-2-3 with one assisted pull-up at the end of each rung, three rounds

1-leg DL (assisted on the right side with my hand on my bed for balance), 16 kg, 5+5
Partial TGU, 10 kg, 5+5 (12 kg felt too heavy for some reason so I played it safe)
Goblet squat, 10 kg, 10
Windmill, 10 kg on bottom and 8 kg on top, 5+5
Double swings, 2- 10 kg kettlebells, 10 (felt incredibly awesome, and was my first time with double kettlebell swings since before surgery)
Overhead squat, 10 kg, 5+5

16 kg swings
15, 10, 15, 10, 15, 10, 15, 10 = 100 swings

The biggest news about the workout besides feeling wonderful while doing it is that I was barefoot! My first barefoot workout in months. I tried a little in the beginning but really needed the support of shoes. I'm going to try to do more barefoot walking and exercising. I know it can only help me. My biggest obstacle with that is how sensitive the area around my calcaneus (heel bone) is. Every time I put weight on my foot, it feels like the bone is driving into the ground with no padding between it and the hard floor. Socks and shoes help provide some comfort, and especially the little heel cup things my doctor gave me to use last week. I wore them in my flats when I went to church and I was able to leave the boot at home this week. Good stuff.

Recovery is still one day at a time. I had a really bad week last week. I hope to make this a good one. In fact, with the things I have planned, I know it will be.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Here we go again

This morning, I was excited when I got a little bit more range of motion in my ankle. It cracked and I suddenly had about 80% dorsiflexion compared to my left foot. Very good progress.

I carried on my day as usual, doing laundry, vacuuming, gardening, and cooking. Pretty much on my feet the entire day. When I finally sat down while made from scratch organic apple pie was baking in the oven, I took my shoes off and was surprised how much my feet hurt. I could hardly get up again. After watching a movie in bed while eating a slice of my apple pie a la mode, I walked to the kitchen without my shoes on. I could hardly make it. Putting any weight on my heel was really painful.

The medial side of my ankle has been itchy for the last couple of days. I have to be careful not to scratch through the skin, as I have very little awareness of minor pain anymore. I took my socks off to take a look at my foot and noticed that the swelling has gotten worse and the temperature is considerably warmer than the other foot. This doesn't make me happy. I'll keep an eye on it tomorrow. If it's not getting better I'll go back to my doctor on Monday. I took some benadryl to see if the itching will subside.

I'm worried that I'm having a reaction to something that has been locked up in the joint and is being released now that I'm getting more range of motion. Of course the nurse in the house thinks I'm overreacting, but with all I've been through nothing would surprise me anymore. There was never any known reason why I had the reactions to the initial surgery. Perhaps the extra bone he removed and then used as filler had gotten infected. Perhaps I had a rare reaction to the artificial bone matrix. If it was just a reaction to the screw then I shouldn't be having any further problems related to it since it was removed almost 13 weeks ago.

So either it's just random inflammation on a day I didn't even go to the gym or do a workout or it's something more. I've had really bad arthritis pain in my left foot as well today. I give up.

Update- 7 May
Today's x-rays looked good but I shouldn't be having this much pain. I'm now on Duexis (800mg ibuprofen and 26.6mg famotidine) three times a day. Also got a refill on vicodin because the tramadol doesn't do as much for me. If the pain hasn't subsided in a few days, an MRI will be scheduled.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

When it's good, it's good. When it's not...

This has been a week of incredible highs and devastating lows. Such is to be expected in recovery, I suppose.

29 April (midnight)
Joint mobility
2-arm swings, alternating between the 12 and 16 kg
12 kg, 5 sets of 10
16 kg, 5 sets of 10

100 swings total.

30 April (during Smash and the late news)
Joint mobility
8 kg press, 5 sets of 1-2-3 with 1 assisted pull-up (band) between each rung of the ladders
TGU 10 kg 1+1 (felt a little too unsteady on the left side at the push-off with the right foot so I went down a size for the next rounds)
TGU 8 kg 2 sets of 1+1
Rolled an 8, so 8:00 easy 10 kg snatches, 5 rounds of 10+10, 0:30 to spare but was too worn out to attempt any more. I worked hard for the last few reps.

1 May, NWS Seal Beach, 9 am
Joint mobility
Treadmill 3.0, 5%, 20 mins
Spin bike, 6.7 mi, 20 mins

TRX supersets, 10 reps ABAB
Balance lunge (still slight assistance with the right, oblique on the second round)


Hip drop
Standing roll-out

Crunch (low plank)
Pike (low plank)

Evening massage in the salt water hot tub under the jets

2 May
Stayed in bed most of the day

3 May, NWS Seal Beach, 9 am
Joint Mobility
8 kg press, 2 sets of 1-2-3-4 (I was running short on time and had to make it to a doctor's appt, so I cut the presses off early. I had intended to do 5 sets)
I rolled a 9, so 9:00 of swings with the 16 kg. 8 sets of 15 reps!! I felt nauseous for the last couple of minutes and for awhile after. 120 swings... new post-op record!

Treadmill 2.8, 10%, 8 mins

4 May
Stayed in bed most of the day and still quite sore!

I had been feeling better so I jumped back on the exercise wagon pretty hard. It takes a lot out of me, and I tend to forget that I've been through a lot and need to take it easy. When I'm having a bad day or week, it's easy for me to lay off the workouts. But when I feel good, I forget. I'm also getting ready for a trip to NYC so I'm pushing a little harder than I would otherwise. 

I went from going to sleep at 4 am to 10:30 pm, so changing my sleep schedule has been difficult this week. Of course I'm backsliding tonight, but I'm dealing with some personal issues and can't sleep anyway. At my doctor's appointment, a routine check found something I have to keep an eye on. Hopefully it's nothing, but knowing it might be something is a bit unnerving, especially after I've just been through so much with my health. Not knowing my family medical history really sucks at times like this. I went in for a blood draw today, so hopefully everything will be ok with those tests. My primary doctor knows my body has been through a lot and wants to make sure nothing is off. 

Some days I feel good and want to try to go back to working. Other days I don't think I'm ready for committing to a job. I'm just doing the best I can, knowing I'm getting another piece of metal drilled into my other heel as soon as my right foot is recovered enough to support and balance all of my weight. There is still a considerable amount of swelling and of course I'm in a lot of pain. I've recently started taking two pain pills a day because I'm having trouble dealing with the constant pain. I'm in this horrible limbo, not able to work and knowing if I could, I'd just be out for an unknown length of time again soon, with very likely unknown complications. I have no idea when I'll be well enough to work, and I have no idea when my feet will be fully functional again. I haven't decided if I want to get the other foot done asap or wait until the winter. If I go back to work, I'd wait until the winter. If I get it done soon, I might deeply regret it, not being recovered fully. Either way I'm being pressured to get the surgery done and return to work asap so personal issues can be resolved faster.

I just want to know how this all ends!!