It's been awhile since I've written about this stage of recovery, and it's for a few reasons. The top reason being lack of motivation. Second would be lack of focus. Third would be... I don't know. That would take too much effort to figure out (if that's any indication of where I am right now...)
The effexor was interesting. I was on it 9 days before cymbalta was approved through my insurance. With effexor, I was super energized without being able to sleep much, smiling all the time for no reason whatsoever, had no appetite and food tasted bad anyway. My doctor said it was fine to go straight from effexor to cymbalta, so I did and then started two a day 5 days later. The cymbalta knocked me out so I was sleeping 12 hours a day, and was very drowsy when I was awake and lacked motivation to do just about anything. My appetite started coming back though I still had to force myself to eat. In the first few weeks I was on it, I was kind of... disoriented. I would miss turns while driving, had a hard time articulating anything I wanted to say, and just kind of felt and looked like a zombie. Heck I'm still having trouble remembering things, like totally flaking on the kids' dentist appointment last week after planning my day around it. What was the most confusing was the depression. While the effexor and cymbalta were floating around in my body at the same time, I was very depressed.
I want to clarify something about depression. It's not a state of being sad or stressed about what's going on in your life. It's a real chemical imbalance that you don't have any control over, and it affects your thoughts and mood. No amount of positive thinking can push it away. It's frustrating when well-meaning friends tell you to be grateful for what you have (which I definitely am), count your blessings, blah blah. I do all that already. The depression I've been struggling with is a result of chronic pain signals in my brain and the drugs I've been taking to correct the pain signals. Just remember that the next time you know or suspect a loved one has depression. It's not always in their control, so don't patronize with the positive thinking speeches. Getting off my soapbox now.
The pain is getting better overall. I started walking my kids to school some mornings (if I've slept well, which is another issue I'm struggling with), which is just under a mile away. Getting out of bed isn't as painful, but is definitely the hardest part of the day. The first 10-15 minutes on my feet where the scar tissue is breaking up and the joint is moving around still sucks, but it's night and day difference from the months before. I have to maintain 1200-1600mg motrin/ day. If I skip a day to see where I am, I realize the motrin is still doing a lot to control pain and inflammation. I'm also religiously taking a joint support supplement, grape seed extract, milk thistle, and a few others (vitamin D, calcium magnesium zinc). Having it all together makes a big difference. Skipping the joint support in particular makes my day a lot harder.
Sleep. That's what I've been having the most trouble regulating. Sometimes I crash in bed by 10 pm and other nights I'm wide awake till 4 am. Sometimes I want to sleep all day and sometimes I can only get a few hours and then can't get back to sleep. It changes every week or so. Frustrating.
Food. We all need it. It is our fuel after all. My appetite is completely gone and I'm having a hard time eating. Once I start eating, I can usually do pretty well, but I never know what I want and nothing sounds good anyway. I've been baking a lot more just to eat something. Muffins, cookies, cake, pancakes, all that "good" stuff. I'm back to the weight I was at 18 (though I'm two inches taller now, late bloomer I am), bordering on underweight for my height. I'm a solid 10 lbs lighter than I've been in the past three years, and 20 lbs lighter than the year I was on paxil (4-5 years ago). I really just forget to eat. I'm not getting the hunger signals, so it's not until I get a headache that lasts all afternoon and into the evening that I realize I haven't had enough to eat. I calculated my average caloric intake for breakfast (my intake until dinner, really, with the hours I've been keeping lately) and it's around 300 calories. No wonder I have headaches and feel like crap for most of the day. Then I only eat another couple hundred calories for dinner, staying probably around 600-800 calories a day. This is not intentional at all. It's not until I started calculating it today that I realized how miserably I'm failing at eating. It affects my mood, workouts, sleep, and pretty much everything in my life. Not good.
So that's pretty much where I am. I'm still struggling with depression, which I find ironic since I'm on a medication that's mainly used as an anti-depressant. I'm not eating, my workouts are lacking, and my sleep is irregular at best. This is why I haven't committed myself to a job yet. I'm not recovered enough to help others.
Since my last post, I've done a few fun workouts.
17 August 2012
I did this one while on effexor, though the weight felt very heavy and I still felt like I wasn't quite in my body. I was slightly dizzy and nauseous. I also found that driving my right (damaged) foot into the ground makes my left shoulder more stable, so I focused on that and using more tension in my right glute. It makes a huge difference.
Three rounds (very slow reps, focused on maintaining form):
3+3 press and front squat - 8 kg
3+3 get-up sit-up - 8 kg
3+3 top-loaded windmill - 8 kg
3 band assisted pull-ups, overhand
swings- Five sets of 9. I didn't write down what weight I was using, but I imagine it was the 12 kg.
21 August 2012
1-2-3 press with assisted overhand pull-up, one round, 10 kg
Three rounds on the TRX:
suspended lunges - 5
body saw with crunch - 5
reverse plank with pull-through - 5
suspended abducted lunges - 5 (assisted on right)
narrow chest press - 5
low row - 5
hip drop - 5
The focus was again on slow reps in perfect form.
swings - Three sets of 20 reps with the 14 kg. Apparently I felt great because that's what I wrote down!
25 August 2012
1-2-3-4 press and assisted pull-up, 10 kg, two rounds
reverse lunges - 5, 8kg
front squats - 5, 8kg
1-leg deadlift 5, 16kg
swings - Five sets of 10, 16 kg
10 September 2012
Joint mobility, correctives (kneeling, crawling)
TGU - 1+1, 8 kg
Windmill - 3+3, 8 kg
Goblet squat - 3, 8 kg FULL range of motion!!
swings - Three sets of 15, 12 kg
12 September 2012
Joint mobility, correctives
1-2-3 press and pull-up, 8 kg, two rounds
plank practice, bridge practice, bottom goblet squat/ rocking squat practice (8 kg)
swings - Three rounds of 20, 16 kg
13 September 2012
My birthday, so we spent the day at the Disney parks. I was on my feet over 12 hours and didn't need to stop once to massage my feet or legs. I also wore my chucks (converse) and did much better than athletic shoes with my orthotics. That cushy stuff really wears my feet and legs out. The more I recover, the less I wear them and the more I wear my chucks and flats. I even wore high heels out that weekend celebrating my birthday with some friends and did great.
18 September 2012
First day of walking the kids to and from school. I had a couple of awesome days before I was completely exhausted from everything I was doing.
Joint mobility, correctives
1-2-3 press with one unassisted neutral-grip pull-up, 8 kg, two rounds
TRX and kettlebell fusion, Two rounds:
1-leg deadlift, 4+4, 12 kg
TRX oblique crunch, low plank, 4+4
front squat, 4+4, 8 kg
TRX pike, high plank, 4 (extremely slow reps)
TRX suspended lunge, 4+4 unassisted
Overhead squat, 4+4, 8 kg
19 September 2012
Joint mobility, correctives
Swings, Five rounds of: 12kg - 15, 16kg - 10, 24kg - 5
(breaking up my strength and cardio was a great change of pace, and I had the hardest cardio workout I've had in a very long time!)
TGU with overhead squat and windmill at the top, 1+1, 8 kg
1 unassisted underhand pull-up alternating with 1 unassisted neutral grip pull-up
I then got distracted and stopped what I was doing. It happens.
My biggest workout obstacle right now is having the headaches that last most of the day. If I do a workout late at night when I'm feeling better, I'll be up all night and sleep the next day. I'm trying really hard to get back on a normal sleep schedule. Hopefully by the next time I write about my workouts, I will be eating more and working out regularly in the morning or midday. My goal is to do more than 8 workouts in the next six weeks, which shouldn't be too hard to accomplish especially with Halloween coming up as a huge motivator!!