The WAITING ROOM => Emotional/Spiritual help and encouragement => Topic started by: Sara10 on April 09, 2013, 04:53:33 AM

Title: feeling unhealthy
Post by: Sara10 on April 09, 2013, 04:53:33 AM
I can't help but feel I'll never be able to get back into shape again.  I love exercising, it makes me happy.  This knee injury has put me out of even walking for the past 5 1/2 months.

I just want to really walk again.  And I mean like take a couple km walk on the beach or take an easy hike.   I'd rather have this injury in my elbow than my knee because at least then I'd be able to get out of the house.  I feel trapped because I constantly want to take it easy on my knee.  I'm so afraid of making my condition worse or to a point where it's chronic and I'll never be rid of it. 

I feel so unhealthy.  I now actually have to watch my diet because I'm not getting any exercise which is very frustrating because I like to eat.

Without exercise, I'm constantly fatigued and feel week.  That now I'm losing motivation to try and do some sort of exercise.

And it's not just effected me, it's effecting my boyfriend because we can't do much together.  And I think he's sick of my injury too, and me complaining about it.

I want my freedom back.  Freedom to do something or go somewhere without constantly thinking about my knees or making a schedule around them with icing etc...

I'm no longer really asking when the pain will end, now I'm just hoping it'll eventually will..

Just some kind words or suggestions of how I can turn these feelings around I'd appreciate.
Title: Re: feeling unhealthy
Post by: Snowy on April 09, 2013, 05:59:10 AM
I sympathise so much. I feel the same way about exercise - I love doing it, all my hobbies revolve around various forms of it, and it's important for my psychological well-being. When I couldn't exercise after my injury and surgery, it felt like I'd been completely sidelined from my own life.

Have you thought about swimming? That was what saved me from mental meltdown and kept at least some of my physical conditioning while I rehabbed my knee. I managed to talk my surgeon into letting me get in the pool as soon as the incisions healed, and swam with a float to keep my legs completely uninvolved. It took a bit of getting used to, and wasn't super comfortable when the leg was still swollen and painful from surgery, but the psychological boost of having that one place where I could go hard and actually feel like myself for a brief time each day was immense. It didn't make up for not being able to ski or cycle - my two biggest loves - but it certainly helped get me through the hard months I had to spend without them. The other thing that might be worth exploring is some gym routines that just work the upper body.

I think the other thing to remember is that it's okay to be mad and frustrated and upset and depressed. Until you've been through a severely limiting knee injury, it's hard to understand just how knee-centric your life becomes when you're dealing with one. There's literally nothing you do that's not affected in some way or other. It's a life-changing experience, and it's inevitable that sometimes the frustration is going to feel too much to deal with. The important thing is not to beat yourself up for feeling this way. We've all been there on our own knee journeys, and one thing you can guarantee is that this forum is somewhere that you'll find a sympathetic and understanding ear.

Take care, and good luck. I hope that things start to improve soon.
Title: Re: feeling unhealthy
Post by: Mistyd on April 09, 2013, 04:28:30 PM
I am so sorry you are going through this Sara!  I completely understand though (as I am sure so many of us on this site do)!  I have repetitive acute compartment syndrome in my left arm (have had it for 10+ yrs) and my saving grace for exercise was my legs.... now, I don't have that! Only my left arm remains unscathed currently.  It is so FRUSTRATING!!! lol!

I do find ways to exercise though as it is the only thing that keeps me sane!  And I understand the feeling of being afraid that the motivation to exercise is dwindling (because it can be so hard to get that discipline back once it is gone), watching what you eat (especially when you may never of had to before), and feeling so 'frumpy' and out of sorts with your body.  It is no fun!  Snowy gave a great suggestion of swimming, doing upper body exercises, abs, pretty much anything other than laying in bed  ;).  It is hard when every activity exacts a toll; a price if you will.  Consequences for those of us in pain can be hard to deal with, and those without such injuries often find it hard to understand.  Hang in there!! You have all of us to cheer you on!

God Bless (and help you find some activity you can do that allows you the exercise, freedom, and minimal pain/cost ratio),

Title: Re: feeling unhealthy
Post by: Sara10 on April 13, 2013, 04:08:32 PM
Thank you for your kind words.

I'm going to try to move more.  I have joined a gym that has a pool and I used to try to swim before my left knee started giving me problems.  But with both knees hurting when I try to swim. it feels like they are giving out on me.  Like I have whiplash in knees.  It's a strange feeling, not painful, but I don't really like it.  So the last time I swam was end of feb.

I'll try to get back to swimming especially because I just went to the ER last night for really bad chest pains!  It was this terrible tightness in my chest and overall weakness.  EKG: sinus arrhythmia short PR.  I'm 25 years old, slim, (I wish I had more muscle tone) but this is not fair!  I'm supposed to live till I'm 100 (my Goal :)  )  But I don't understand how I will if my knees and heart won't get me there.   

Ugh, maybe I'm just complaining.  But it is frustrating because I always try to be the healthy one and try to get everyone else to be healthy with me and yet everything seems to go wrong with me. 

But now with my new chest pain and heart issues.  I think it's better for me to get some sort of exercise everyday.
Title: Re: feeling unhealthy
Post by: FMRCathelete on April 14, 2013, 03:16:18 PM
Hey Sara.  So sorry that you are going through this.  Did the ER have any insight as to why your PR interval was shortened?  Are you going to see a cardiologist soon?  Hope they figure this out & get you back to feeling better.  You are also under a great deal of stress and I assume on some medications and all of that can weigh heavy on your body.

I don't have easy access to a pool & I also am active by nature & want to go for a hike so badly it hurts to think about it.  I have tried to focus on what I can do.  Your whole upper body can still be active -you can do all kinds of strength training and core work without putting stress on the knees.  Some pilates & yoga moves may be good for you and help you feel stronger.  Meditation and deep breathing exercises have helped me to settle my mind.  Believe me I absolutely no it is not the same as the feeling after an intense workout or hike, walk, etc. but it is something & is better than sitting on the sofa and wasting away.

On the relationship front, I can't tell you how many times in the last 5 years my husband has said he wants his wife back.  I know he doesn't mean to be hurtful, but it does sting a bit as this is not a choice.  All I can say is to try to stay positive, make sure you thank him for all he does for you.  Asking for help not always a bad thing as men do like to feel needed.  I try not to complain, at least not verbally to him anymore.  If he asks me if something is wrong I just say "the usual" & he knows that means the knee is acting up, and he also then knows I'm not upset with him.  We have made trips to cafe's our new thing, so we sit & sip coffee and talk instead of biking or hiking together.  Seems a bit lame, but we get out of the house and spend quality time without packing on pounds or spending too much. 

Take care & I hope spring gives you some inspiration and you are feeling more like you soon.  Cheers-A
Title: Re: feeling unhealthy
Post by: Sara10 on April 15, 2013, 02:08:25 AM
The ER doctor wasn't sure without having a prior EKG.  He said it's possible I could have had this for a while, but it doesn't really explain why I had such a severe chest pain.  I'm going to call my Primary care tomorrow morning to see if I can get an early appointment to see a cardiologist.   Maybe get an echo or a holter monitor.  Been very weak this weekend.

Thank you for your tips.  I do have some coffee dates, and bookstore dates with my boyfriend and they are nice.  I'll take your tip and keep saying thank you to him for his help!

On a good note, this weekend my boyfriend and I built a balance board for me to do my knee therapy on!  Buying all the materials was soo much cheaper than buying one online.  Because after all these knee injuries get expensive!  I am excited to start using it.

I'll keep everything in mind and try to keep positive, Thank you
Title: Re: feeling unhealthy
Post by: Snowy on April 15, 2013, 02:37:54 AM
I used to try to swim before my left knee started giving me problems.  But with both knees hurting when I try to swim. it feels like they are giving out on me.  Like I have whiplash in knees.

Have you tried using a foam float to keep the knees uninvolved while you swim? Apologies if you've already done this, but that was the way I was able to swim after my knee surgery - I could let the legs just trail behind me, supported by the float, and it really reduced the effect of swimming on the surgeried leg.

I love the idea of building a balance board together. Not just a shared project, but one which benefits your knee. :)
Title: Re: feeling unhealthy
Post by: FMRCathelete on April 15, 2013, 02:18:42 PM
I too think it's great that you two built a balance board together ;D  Cheers-A
Title: Re: feeling unhealthy
Post by: dm on April 18, 2013, 03:38:47 AM
I can certainly understand how you feel about the "feeling unhealthy" thing. I've had more than my share of medical drama... the heart thing is sure scary... here's my "heart thing" I'm 41 now, but when I was 35, I suddenly, in the middle of Walmart at 9 at night, had my heart freak out. Out of nowhere, with no prior heart history, I started feeling REALLY weird..... I went to the blood pressure thing at the pharmacy and when it said my pulse was 196, I thought the machine was broke! I still felt strange, but sorta okayish, and finished my shopping and went home, not realizing anything was really wrong at that point. At home, I got out a wrist bp cuff I had and redid my bp/pulse which came back at about 134/64 with a pulse of 192... then I started to get worried. After about 2 hours of repeated readings about the same, and starting to feel even weirder... I told my then 13 yr old that I didn't want to scare him but I was going to have to go to the emergency room. He could come if he wanted, but he decided to stay home with the neighbor to check on him... when I got there, I had to wait about 15 min to be triaged, but when they got to me, they flipped out and I suddenly became an urgent case, not allowed to walk, hauled in back, stuck with needles until they got an IV port in, and they didn't even bother with the tubing and saline before giving me drugs!! That stuff was horrid, let me tell you - like getting kicked in the chest without being touched!!! :o :o They told me if that stuff hadn't slowed my heart down, they'd have hit me with the defibrillator....ummmm... not while I was awake! >:( :o You'd have to catch me first, and then knock my butt out!!!  I ended up spending 5 days in the hospital and having a heart catheterization and ablation procedure for an electrical glitch called av nodal reentrant tachycardia. AVNRT for short. It's genetic... evidently I had a timebomb I didn't know about in there, but the procedure they did fixed it so I don't have to take pills every day for the rest of my life - that only had an 80% chance of working anyway.

How's that for freaky?? Then you add in that I have severe puker migraine headaches, IBS, and if it's got pollen, I'm allergic to it (trees, weeds, grass, mold, etc) and have been on allergy shots 15 years with no end in sight....

you can see what a medical disaster I am when you add my crapped up knee to the mix - which is now so bad with grade 3/4 wear to the pf and medial sides, 90% medial meniscus gone, some lateral meniscus now gone, plus a repaired acl that blew, so it's now acl deficient too.... and i've been told there's nothing they can do that will matter short of a TKR, which they really don't want to do because of my age. I've an OS who will, because it's medically indicated, but I have to have the money for my share of the costs, plus pay my bills while I'm mending and off work... so its not gonna happen any time soon... which friggin' sucks .... especially when I have days like today when the knee is giving me stabbing pains whenever I walk on it.... or day before yesterday when it buckled on me and left me in screaming pain for the rest of the day until it died down....

I'm now pursuing pain management just so I can live with myself and the knee misery, because the docs are getting so uptight about prescribing more than one painkiller script to a patient... if you need refills of narcotics because you're a chronic pain patient... you have a hard time getting anyone to write scripts with them cracking down on the places writing them to anyone with cash.... so, if you're like me.... it takes a LOT to prove that 1, you have a legit problem that's long standing and isn't going away anytime soon, and 2, you're not an addict or doctor shopper. You should seen the kinda sideways look I got from the pain management doc when he asked me about the number of pills per day that I'd need, and I told him 2 would be enough. I've repeatedly said to my OS's and I said it to the PM doc, I hate the things, and don't like taking them, but when I can't stand myself, and it's that bad, you gotta do what you gotta do.  What's funny is that I hear all these stories about people who claim they get "high" and "buzzed" off these painkillers.... I must be missing something... because they never do that to me. I can take 3 of them in a day, every 8 hours, and no one would know I'm on them, unless I said something.  My 5th knee surgery, they gave me 3 different kinds of narcotics within 2-3 hours, one IV, one IM, and 2 pills, then sent me home on crutches... I was still awake after all that.

Have either of y'all tried combining other approaches to managing daily pain? I've had some success with lidoderm local anesthetic patches, they don't take it all away, but can take the pain down a couple notches, which can help functionally, so you can be more active. Voltaren gel is an alternative to taking ibuprofen or other nsaids, it's topical, so it is an option to give the tummy a break from some of those pills, or you might even find that it helps better than something you're currently using. Flector is the patch version of it, but it costs a lot more than the gel does.

I've got a PT consult on monday, the PM doc wants their opinion on the situation, to see if they think there's anything that can be done from that perspective to help, either with pain or with function. I've got some questions for them myself, so will have to see what, if anything, useful comes of that visit.

Even if the PM doc will just provide me painkiller scripts every month or two, and perhaps the anesthetic patches too, and will give me a handicap tag for the really bad days when walking far is pure misery, that's enough to keep me going, which is a help.

I'm trying my best to keep as busy as possible, I work every day, medical drama or not, migraines or not, and just don't quit. I've got a ramp to my back porch to rebuild this weekend in fact. I'll pay the piper in pain... but what do you do...  suck it up and get 'r done... then put ice in the ice machine and set it to max, take the max dose of painkillers, and park in bed, and let the knee recover. story of my existence the last couple years.... one thing at a time... and a shelf full of icepacks in the freezer.

Message me if you want... always glad to listen or commiserate with a fellow sufferer! I'm in it for the long haul and will willingly share tips and ideas for coping strategies.
Title: Re: feeling unhealthy
Post by: Sara10 on April 18, 2013, 04:45:43 AM
So sorry to hear about your pain dm!! 

I went to my primary yesterday and he told me not to worry about my heart.  That I guess the short PR I had it when my heart did go a bit faster, but not when it was slow.  And he said in that case it was normal.

He thinks I could have had an esophageal spasm (hmm I did eat 6 cookies that evening oops) or a muscle spasm (getting a little too adventurous trying to hold plank to make me feel like I'm working out?).  Apparently the nerves in your chest aren't precise like your fingers, so when you do get pain, whether it's lung, heart, muscle, esophagus, they could all give very similar problems and you feel it radiate down to your arms.. etc.

Back to my knees! Snowy,  I haven't tried using a float I think I will thank you!  I think my gym has the kind of float you hold between your legs, so I'll try that this weekend. 

My balance board so far has been working out good.  I told my doctor yesterday I made one and he's like "oh don't do that!"  But no, it's not an indo board! It's a stationary board that is a few inches off the ground and rocks back and forth.  I'm noticing I have this temporary strength in my R quad after I use it.  Then if I get off of it and stand, and try to tighten my quad to lift my knee cap I feel the most strength I've felt in, oh, 6 months now.  Although if I really squeeze, I feel a tugging sensation in my tendon.  Maybe a little 'pop-like', no pain. it's just strange.  L knee is doing OK with pain with the board.  I always ice after.

Thank you again for your support.  Really, I feel better than I did just last week after having my mini meltdowns (those will come and go).   

I'll be in touch
Title: Re: feeling unhealthy
Post by: CHosp on August 07, 2013, 01:18:46 AM
Please keep your spirits up and it will pay off.  You had to have had to expect some depression in this adventure right?
I keep telling people I am halfway through my "adventure" sounds much more optimistic than other things I can describe in it lol.
I am 3 weeks post surgery for a microfracture in which my OS is insistent on 6 weeks NWB...ugh lol.  I have been going to the gym and going upper body.  I have always been a gym rat and into bodybuilding and seeing my calf atrophy is weird lol. 

I haven't been in the pool yet, i'm afraid of how clumsy i would be around the water lol.  The last thing I want to do is re-injure it.

Anywho, try doing activities to keep your spirits up.  Keep in mind that you are on an adventure to better health! lol.  This will all payoff in the end.
Check out or some other digital sources that are now available on many devices.  Or if you are not digitally inclined then perhaps there is a support group in your area that you can go to.

Keep chin up!!!! Pretty please?!