Drowning in Disability Depression

If you’ve read my blog over the last year, you may know that I’ve been struggling with foot issues. July 2016 I began to experience extraordinary left ankle and foot pain. I’d been suffering with plantar fasciitis in that foot for several months; but, this was something else, something worse. Several nights I left work literally in tears, hobbling like Quasimodo on a bender. Let me put it in perspective for you on my pain scale:

  • 10 – childbirth
  • 9 – folded meniscus
  • 8.92 – this foot and ankle pain, hence the “extraordinary” adjective

Resized_20170411_115300I began consulting an orthopedist which has been a very expensive proposition, both in terms of bills and in lost wages. I’ve had stress fractures in the foot as a result of a  fibrous calcaneonavicular coalition in there. I’ve worn a walking cast/boot for so long that the rubber at the ankle is beginning to tear. I’ve been in a hard cast twice and I’ve been unable to work since the end of December. A little over a month ago, I had surgery to remove the tarsal coalition in my left foot. What that means in practical terms is that the doctor drilled a hole in the middle of my foot to allow the bones that were previously improperly connected to each other to move freely – that’s actually my x-ray with the shiny new hole in it.  As of today, I’m still in the orthopedic boot. I hope that changes when I see the doctor on the 22nd.

This foot problem has impacted every area of my life and I hate it. Walking with crutches or using a knee scooter is such a hassle and because I couldn’t walk without them for so long, I stopped going places. Because I didn’t go anywhere, I wore my pajamas most of the time. Because I wore my pajamas most of the time, I felt like a slug. Because I felt like a slug, I got depressed. Because I got depressed, I ate more. Because I ate more and couldn’t walk, I gained even more weight.

My skin feels greasy. My hair looks like crap. I’m enormous….again. I feel ugly nearly all of the time. And I feel so ugly all the time that when I get dressed, I can’t tell if I hate what I see in the mirror because it’s an I-feel-ugly-because-I-feel-fat thing or because it’s a genuine WTF are you wearing thing. I would ask my sister (who is my roommate) but since I left her favorite stuffed monkey Zip outside and the dogs chewed him up when I was four, I can’t completely trust that she wouldn’t let me walk out looking like Holy Hell Barbie just to pay me back.

As you know, I have battled depression since my early twenties – sometimes the battle is a raging internal conflict, sometimes there is an uneasy peace. These past months have been a constant, intense onslaught due to pain, immobility cause by the pain, frustration caused by the immobility, and anger caused by the frustration. Throw a little self-loathing in there and you get a pretty good idea of where I am today.

Normally, I try to end my posts on a positive note – you know, since I’m the Positive Thinking Blog Goddess and all – but, y’all, I just don’t have it right now. The combat has exhausted me and although I am able to get my head above water from time to time. I feel like I’m drowning.

Maybe this is overshare. Maybe you don’t want to know all of this. Maybe you don’t care. But, maybe you do. Maybe you’re drowning, too.

Maybe you know where the life buoys are?




8 thoughts on “Drowning in Disability Depression”

  1. Hang in there, Jon Anne. I know it’s difficult. But remember how important you are in your son’s life and how much joy he brings you. Be strong for both of you. I wish you the best.

  2. I’ll pray for your foot to be well! I also understand the depression. I describe mine as a deep black hole. Not overshare. I think if more people talked about it then they’d get more help.

    1. Peggy, thank you. I usually call mine a monster that lives in my head. Most of the time, the meds keep him on the chain, but that doesn’t keep him from rattling them. There’s heavy-duty rattling going on right now!

  3. I’ve been there too. Chronic pain can bring anyone down. It’s very hard to keep positive when you are in the middle of it. The good news is you are aware of what’s causing the depression and being proactive in trying to resolve it. If I could suggest anything, it would be to find something (besides food) to do with your hands that will bring you great satisfaction. Maybe it’s time for a novel! 🙂 Be gentle with yourself – I love your truthful writings!

    1. Thank you so much, Kathy. A novel? Reading or writing? My sweetie keeps challenging me to write the one that’s rolling around in my head. Maybe it’s time to let the characters out into the sunshine!

      1. I was definitely thinking of writing. You have a gift that should be explored!

  4. I was once told that my brain was an organ just like my heart. As a patient would need to take heart medicine, I needed to take brain medicine. It took the stigma away. I go to bed knowing that tomorrow I get to try again. If I spend the day in bed feeling sad, it is okay and my body needed it. I haven’t been able to run or walk for a while and go to surgery myself if 2 weeks. I know the frustration and wish you all the strength you can find to get through this. It will pass. You will get better. You will be able to go forward. xox

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