April 24, 2009

Last week I woke up and couldn’t stop thinking I had ruined my life.   I looked back over the past five years of my life, beginning in December 2003, when I suffered a serious ankle sprain playing soccer.   After about a month of pain following my injury I went to an orthopedist who told me that I had an large osteochondral fracture in my ankle and that this was the cause of my pain.  He said that I would need surgery to fix the problem.   I decided that I should have the surgery sooner rather than later because I was starting a new job and I didn’t think I could handle waiting.   I was in fairly regular pain, although it was not so bad as long as I restricted myself from all weight-bearing exercise.

In January, I started the South Beach Diet.   I was swimming and doing yoga five times a week.   I felt fantastic and my weight was on the lower end for myself (low 190s – I used to bounce around between 190 and 210).  Then I flew down to Seattle to have surgery.   The surgery I needed was more invasive than I had originally anticipated — instead of drilling the fracture, my doctor recommend that I undergo a newer procedure that would transfer bone and cartilage from a nonweightbearing portion of my knee to the part of my ankle with the fracture.    The surgery was intense and I never felt as though I had quite recovered.   While a lot of the type of pain that I had in my ankle pre-surgery was gone, I still had limited range of motion in my ankle and pain when I flexed my ankle one way or the other.   I also had a significant amount of pain in my knee, which I had never had any problems with prior to surgery.  

Fast forward five years, I spent five years in a law firm working late hours, not working out, and eating take out food.   I gained 50 pounds.   My ankle is still not terribly functional and I still have knee pain.

I felt so angry at myself I actually wanted to harm myself.   I was afraid that I was getting depressed, so I took some Wellbutrin I had laying around.   That was a bad idea- I didn’t realize that crying spells were a side effect.  I just kept crying and thinking that I was really, really depressed.   So I took more Wellbutrin and cried some more.   Then I stayed up all night Saturday researching ankle-related issues on the internet.   The next day I went on a walk with my brother and cried some more, at which point my brother told me that crying spells were a side effect of Wellbutrin and probably compounded by the massive doses I had taken.   

So what have I done post-breakdown?  I finally weighed myself.   I also have stuck followed my workout plan for the week, which has included (so far since sunday) – Weights and toning two days in the gym, 30-50 minutes of cardio three days in the gym, one five mile walk outside, and one two mile walk outside).   Tomorrow I have another session with the personal trainer.   I made an appointment with a doctor I consider to be the best ankle surgeon in NYC. 

I will post some stats next week.


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