Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Turning Trials into Success

Two years ago today, while base jumping in Venezuela... oh wait, my story is not that exciting.

Two years ago today, while getting myself up off my couch after having just completed a knitting project, I took a step, rolled my ankle, and went down. Before passing out on my neighbor who was sitting on the opposite couch, I heard a very loud pop. When I came to, I could hear Ron on the phone telling someone all my personal business. I remember thinking, hey, I'm on the floor here - who the heck are you talking to and what business is it of theirs what meds I'm currently taking??

He was on the phone with 911.

One ambulance right, IV pain meds, x-rays, a splint, and some crutches later, I was on my way home with a "bad sprain".  I went home in considerable pain and in disbelief that my ankle was not broken.

September 2013

Less than a month later, my ankle would be refusing to heal, so I had an MRI. "Bad sprain" turned out to be torn tendons and ligaments which would require surgery. A date was set for right around my birthday in November. 

This all took place four months after losing Peyton. So here I am laid up on the pull out sofa in her old room, unable to do much at all. I was in constant pain as I awaited my surgery date. If all of that weren't enough, one day in October, I experienced a different sort of pain - pain in my chest/lungs/back accompanied by an increasingly difficult time simply drawing breath. Having been down this road twice before, I immediately got myself cleaned up and dressed - because that's what you do when you are about to tell your husband to call 911 when you know your life is in imminent danger. Massive life-threatening blood clots in and spanning between both lungs. This wasn't my first rodeo so I knew  what it was. The diagnosis did not surprise me. The fact that I was able to spew out a list of what I would want/not want in the event this turned bad kind of did surprise me. I spent a week or so in the ICU, in a boot, hobbling around in extreme pain from my as yet un-repaired messed up ankle.

December 2013 {post-surgery}

February 2014

March 2014 {enjoying a PT appointment}

April 2014 {feet up in our state room on the Carnival Glory - just a little swollen after a day's activities!}

Fast forward 8 months in time through surgery in December followed by months of physical therapy, I finally landed just where I wanted - at the highest weight ever in my non-pregnant life. I put the brakes on in August 2014 and started to work out with a trainer, sore ankle and all. I decided to "ease" into exercising by going with intense crossfit-style workouts - because why do anything half-way at this point??

Fast forward just over 12 months to today. I've been working out almost every single day (sometimes twice a day) for over 50 days. I've maintained a workout schedule for almost 13 months now. I have dropped 35 pounds (well it was 40, but some of it crept back on me). While I need to get the nutrition side of things back under control, I am - today - the healthiest and fittest ME I have EVER been in my life.

Surely I could have lived the past two years without all of these trials, right? However, given that my base jumping...err...knitting accident had to happen, I think I have turned this whole mess around. The depression that ensued after the loss of our daughter was partially responsible for me becoming the most sedentary person I've ever been. That wasn't good. The ankle injury only compounded that problem. For some reason unknown to all, this injury which was bad but not so bad in the grand scheme of things {per my orthopaedic surgeon} should not have caused me to have a massive pulmonary embolism, threatening my life. But it did. That certainly didn't help my physical status.

There comes a point in time when you have to step on that scale - literally and figuratively - and take stock at what's going on in your life. I was very fortunate to have recognized the trouble I was in with my weight before it went up another 0.2 lbs, which would have meant a very very depressing {for me} change in the numbers of my weight. I stopped in my tracks and realized something had to be done. 

It's been nearly 13 months now and the transformation is remarkable. Except for the usual tiredness of a busy schedule, my sleep has improved to where I am no longer taking medication to help me sleep. I'd been through several meds over the past few years. While I can't say I'm "over" the depression side of things relating to the loss of Peyton, I don't think it's as bad. Yes, there are still bad days, but day to day isn't as bad. At least I don't think so. I have muscle. Who knew?!?!  It's there and all these workouts are bringing them out. The habit was created long ago, but this has created a new lifestyle for me. I am generally happier when I've worked out. My ankle has improved tremendously. It was tough-going for a while there, but as it has healed, it has grown much much stronger as a result of the fitness regimen I have implemented. I don't have 100% range of motion yet, but the pain I would have every day is a thing of the past.

All of this is good.

All of this can be counted as success.

Is there room for improvement? Absolutely! Am I trying my best for where I am at today? Well, that's debatable, but I'm trying! With accountability partners, I can get back on track to where I need to be. The point is that I'm trying. 

It doesn't matter how big or small the thing is. You can turn things around for good!

What can you count as a success today?

Ron, Moira and I in port in Cozumel, Mexico on our cruise
on the Carnival Conquest in April 2015

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