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Depression is Rearing its Ugly Head

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Today started out ok food wise, fruit and cereal for breakfast. Exercise is so challenging. After my neck surgery in November 2011 and a long recovery period, I still can't lift more than 15 pounds, lift my arms over my shoulders, push or pull over 15 pounds. I can walk, and for that I am thankful. I know I would walk more if I had a walking partner, but that's not too easy in this very small town I live in.

I know people who have had the same surgery who are much further ahead in their recovery thank I am, and I am frustrated by that. My surgery actually was a two part process, with my original accident happening in 2000, when I fell backwards down 16 stairs and landed up against a metal fire door. By the time I underwent my first surgery in April 2003, I was paralyzed from the waist down, with no feeling in my hands or face. I was given a 25% chance of surviving the surgery. After the fusion of cervical spine disks 6-7, I was able to walk. After two years of not being able to walk, I was completely mesmerized by the whole putting one foot in front of the other thing. I have never taken walking for granted since. My surgery in November 2011 fused my cervical spine from c2-c7, wiht a 5" titanium plate and 8 screws put in. I still have trouble swallowing, but it was a long time before I could properly eat and drink after the surgery, about 5 months. The stuff I was given for nutriton was packed with calories and i put on an additional 40+ pounds.

Now my neurosurgeon has told me I need to lose 60 pounds or face a complicated and scary surgery on my lower spine. You would think that would be enough to get me motivated, but depression is a battle i fight daily. For whatever reason, the depression keeps me from doing the activity I love the most, which is walking. And of course, my appitite is increased when i am depressed. Somedays I can keep the depression under wraps, and I feel pretty good about myself. I would like to have more days like that.

I thank you all so much for your encouragement on my weight loss journey. It feels good to know others are struggling and overcoming. I know I can do this. I have to do this. Your support and helpful comments will go a long way towards getting me to a healthier place.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You have been through a hang of a lot over a period of time, but you have overcome a lot of it. You can use that determination to help to get you through this weight-loss process.

    Remember that Baby Steps is the way to go - change one or two things to start with and only when your mind/body has gotten used to that, add something else to the mix. This method will give you the best chance of making it through to your goal and then maintaining.

    Do you have a Therapist to help you with your depression? There are techniques that they can teach you to help you turn to other things when your 'appetite' tells you to eat! If you are on medication, discuss with your prescribing Dr possible alternatives to whatever you may be on, because some have the tendancy to cause us to want to eat more, but there are some which have the benefits of sometimes helping with weight-loss (as a side-effect!)

    Good luck,
    3016 days ago
    I am impressed by your story and give you a lot of credit.I know what depression can do to an individual in and of itself.It sounds like me.I have not had anything done to me in comparison to you but your walking reminded me of myself.I have horrible osteo-arthritis in my right knee.I am 54 yrs old.I see the doc again in July.I am going to ask for another cortisone shot for the time being.I know one can only have so many in a given year.They seem to help short term.I have been a member of my ymca now since 2002.I took all the water aeobics exercises there were to take.Guess What?Everybody did the same exercises.I could just about teach them in my sleep.That is my favorite of all exercises.I tried cycling the other day but I noticed when the knee went around in the circle I felt some degree of pain as opposed to the water.The water is the best exercise for me.I generally go as a rule,7 days a week.Last week I was depressed two days and when the alarm went off I said to heck with my swim and the ymca.It reminded me of you.If you can just incorporate a little bit of walking into your day,seeing as you say it is your favorite,I think the depression will lift.Thankfully it lasted two days for me although today we are in the midst of a second day of a heat wave and I did not go.I will pick up again where I left off tomorrow.Just try 5 minutes and see how it works.Send me email any time at all.Onlycasper. Kerry emoticon
    3017 days ago
    I am so very impressed by your story. You truly are a brave person. I know it's very hard to find motivation at times especially when you're feeling down, but sometimes we just have to adjust and adapt to our circumstances. Since you enjoy walking but have no one to walk with how about trying some of the "Walk at home" programmes? They're low impact and very effective. There's everything from a 1 mile to a 5 mile option available. When you do get the chance to walk outdoors, I always take my MP3 with me and listen to some music or an audio book since I always walk alone too.

    I know it can be difficult and we all have our demons to battle against, but please remember that I am here for you and we're in this together.

    3018 days ago
    As I read your comments, I can feel your pain and frustration. You are caught in a vicious cycle. I am so sorry to learn of your injuries. However, it appears you are an extremely strong woman. Depression cycles. You, unfortunately have very real events
    in addition to the emotional ones. I hope you have a good treatment team. Perhaps a medication to get you over the hump would be of help.
    The gratitude you hold for maintaining your ability to walk is inspiring. It will help get you through. There was a time when I, too was required to change my lifestyle in order to maintain quality and independence.
    I read recently in a Spark blog something which might be helpful. Although depression has many faces the thoughts we hold on to which bring us down last only a few seconds. Try to refocus to all of the positive things you have accomplished so far, and the good to come. Try and move as much as you can, and it will become easier. Baby Steps. I will keep you in my prayers, and if you ever feel a need to get rid of some of those feelings I am always available. emoticon emoticon
    3018 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/20/2012 11:38:37 AM
    emoticon Praise God that you can walk. Start walking short distances and soon you will increase that amount. I live in a small town as well and I walk every day. As I walk I pray and thank the Lord for all He has given to me. I know you can do it.
    3018 days ago
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