The consequences of walking around in loose shoes due to ankle and foot swelling

I have had to loosen my shoes because my ankles and feet were swollen from refeeding edema.  I had to learn to lace them in such a way that they did not hurt.  I normally have a very narrow foot, so I wear a narrow running shoe, but my feet were widened as a result of the swelling.  Subsequently, my feet were not supported properly by my shoes, I suspect.

Basically, I think I was fine, except I did an incredible amount of walking and running.  I sprained my ankle five weeks ago and it took nine days to heal.  It was a very minor sprain.  But today, I felt signs of the sprain injury coming back.  I believe that this is because I was wearing shoes that didn’t fit my expanded feet properly.

The swelling due to refeeding edema is gradually going down.  Soon, my feet will be narrower and my shoes will be better fitting.  But until then, I think I should be more careful.

I have my right ankle, the one I sprained, wrapped right now, after having iced it.  I took some Ibuprofen.  I am resting.  I also have my foot elevated somewhat.

I do hope this passes quickly.  I walked 10-1/2 miles today and 11 miles yesterday.   It’s time to rest.

Swaying on my feet caused by the side effect ataxia, caused by Trileptal

Good morning everyone!  I did my homework last night and have left a message for Dr. P this morning.  No Dr. P, the “swaying” that I experience while standing is NOT from my antipsychotics, but from my anticonvulsant Trileptal.  This is not a “balance problem.”  This started after I started Trileptal.  A side effect of Trileptal is ataxia, which generally goes away, but in my case, it hasn’t.  Ataxia is weakness of the extremities.  If I didn’t have this weakness, I may not have sprained my ankle!  I have checked everywhere on the web last night and this morning.  Yes, I am dead right Dr. P.  And no, standing with my feet apart is NOT an acceptable solution.

Yes, I can walk fine.  Yes, I can run fine.  But the treadmill is difficult.  I do okay, but my confidence is not so good, I hold on while I walk, and I don’t feel confident breaking into a run on the treadmill specifically (yes, I admit, I ran yesterday and the day before, and have been on the treadmill at the gym).  Even though I can walk fast on the treadmill and when I am out with Puzzle, how safe is it to do so if there is a risk of my stepping on a stone, and because of weak ankles, getting another sprain?

So, Dr P, I have already halved the Trileptal for tonight.  With or without your blessing.  Sorry.

I walked ten miles today

Maybe walking ten miles today wasn’t the greatest idea.  But probably it wasn’t the worst.  I could have bought $100 in scratch tickets…that’s $100 wasted.  Yes, it’s $100 to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  But I’d rather spend a few hours getting strong muscles than blowing money on nothing.

I walked really, really fast at the track today.  I used running music and walked to it.  I increased the speed as I went along.  I started at 135 BPM and went up to 139 BPM over three miles, then slowly decreased, to as slow as 133 BPM over the last mile.  (I run at 175 BPM, and in the end I was trying out 180 BPM, so that’s a lot faster.)  I walked to and from the track as well: total six miles.  I left at 1:30pm and returned at around 3pm.  Then later, I walked to the supermarket and back.  And this morning, I had walked Puzzle a couple of miles.

You’d think my ankle would hurt, but I seem to be over that injury just fine now. Nothing else really hurts except my hip joints.  Yesterday, I stopped at the gym when I was running errands, and hit the treadmill for an hour.  Apparently, these treadmills only let you use them for an hour and then they start the “cool down” phase.  I walked 3.75 miles, cooling down quite a bit toward the end.

Well, I’ve got to slow down.  This is too damn much.  I will wear myself out if I keep this up.  It’s one thing to run for a half hour a day and it’s quite another to walk for two and a half hours a day, the length of time it takes to briskly walk ten miles.

Can I stop doing this?  How?  Do I want to stop?  No.  There lies the problem.  I feel compelled to exercise at this point, and the compulsion is so strong to the point of being uncomfortable, so instead of trying to fight it, which makes me even more uncomfortable, I go along with it, fuel the fire–or, rather, don’t fuel it–that is another problem.

Tomorrow, Puzzle is getting groomed.  I will walk Puzzle to the groomer’s.  It’s just over a mile there and a mile back.  Then I will walk there and pick her up, and walk back with her.  Total: four miles.  Hmm….It’s going to be a nice day, anyway, and very little traffic.  Of course, that was the plan.  No traffic.  Nice day.  Everyone should have a nice day with no traffic.  Four miles and a shampoo, haircut, and blow dry all over your body. Let’s not forget the bandanna afterward.

Now, that sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Six miles–what was I thinking?

I think I walked six miles today.  That includes walking to the library and back.  That includes the seven laps I did at the track this morning, and the long walk with Puzzle, too.   This is not unusual.  Recently, I have walked more like ten miles in a day.  But after an injury?  Damn stupidity.

Yes, stupidity.  That sums it up.  I did all the right things for my ankle.  Except I didn’t rest it.  By the end of today, it was swollen.  I suppose it may have been swollen anyway, given that it is sprained.  I took some ibuprofen just now, and iced it, and have it elevated somewhat, as elevated as I can get it and still type here.

It doesn’t hurt.  It didn’t hurt all day, pretty much.  I had to be careful with it, but then again, slanted sidewalks have always bothered me.

So, what’s the reason why I was so stupid?  Why was I so anxious to exercise today?  I gained weight, and couldn’t deal with it, and still can’t.  I don’t know why I gained weight, and I’m panicking.  So I hit the track and burned calories, like I did last week.  It’s the nature of this illness to fall apart over things like this.  It’s the nature of this illness for the sky to come crashing in over every pound.  It’s the nature of this illness to find oneself praying the the scale each morning as if it were the one who decided whether one lived or died.  And many do die.

Will my body ever forgive me for the cruelties I have laid upon it?  I have starved it. I have put it at risk.  I have worn it out.  I have scared it.  I have threatened it.  I have poisoned it.  I have made cuts in its skin, deliberately, years ago.  I have beaten it in so many ways.  Never mind what I have done to my mind.

The body forgives.  The body heals.  I do think the body remembers, though, but to what extent I am not certain. You hear about people who recover from eating disorders and live normal lives afterward.

Some things do not heal.  You can’t bring back the lost years.  You can’t replace the energy and effort  you spent fighting this damned eating disorder.  And you can’t bring back the relationships you ruined.

What can I bring back?  I don’t know.  When was the last time I was okay?  I’m not sure.  Maybe 1979.

You can’t go back.  You can’t undo it.  Once you start the journey, you can’t turn around, because time always moves forward.

I don’t remember ever being okay, actually.  My parents force-fed me when I was a child.  I remember this.  I’m not trying to get weird by saying this, only that it wasn’t right from day one.  I remember food being shoved into my mouth when I was in a high chair.  Spinach, spinach, spinach.  Lotsa that.  Open sesame.  In goes the spoon.  Swallow.

I’m surprised I actually like cooked spinach.  Probably the only reason I don’t mind it is cuz it’s low calorie.  Maybe it was creamed spinach they were giving me.  Now that I do not like and will not eat.

The only kind of frozen vegetable I have in the house, actually, is frozen spinach, so that was what I was using to ice my ankle until I bought the ice bead thingy the other day.  Frozen spinach worked fairly well, but not as well as frozen peas would have worked.

So while I sit here and type, it seems that the swelling has gone down.  My body has forgiven.  For now.  Let’s see how it goes tomorrow.  And tomorrow, I hope that I can forgive myself, too.  I hope I can accept my body at whatever weight it’s at.

I get weighed tomorrow at the doctor’s.  I hope I can just step on the scale and not make an issue of it.  I hope I can be cooperative and stand facing away from the scale so I won’t see how much I weigh.  That is the agreement.  I hope I am honest.  I know I will be.  Because that, too, is the agreement.  And I got tired of lying.  That got old real fast. My T has told me that she will not hospitalize me because I have a decent attitude.

Those weren’t the words she used, though.  But I think she has faith in me.  I think I have faith in me, too.  I may be totally stupid, but at least I recognize my stupidity.  I even laugh at myself a little.  Laughter is a good sign, or so I’ve heard.  I suppose there’s someone, the God of Eating Disorders, who really gets a kick out of people afflicted with ED’s, and has a good laugh all the time.  And if I can see through that god’s eyes, I can laugh, and laugh, and laugh.  Because if you can’t laugh at yourself, how on earth can you laugh at anything, anything else?

So really, walking around the track seven times this morning, injured, was that dumb or what? I must have looked silly to the God of Eating Disorders, walking around the track in the freezing cold this morning, burning calories because of what the Scale God has told me over the past week.  While walking around the track, was I laughing at myself?  Well, sorta.  I did see the humor in the situation.  My body probably didn’t find it funny, though.

Body, forgive me.  Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me.  I wish I could love you again.  I wish I could comfort you and hold you like you were my child and feed you–not force feed you–but feed you lovingly and with care and respect.  I wish I could dry your tears and tell you how much I love you and reassure you that no harm will ever come to you, ever, ever again.   I am not the best at this but I can try.  At least that.

Please, body, give me another chance.

Sprained ankle–what am I thinking?

Okay, so I sprained my ankle yesterday.  I could walk on it but not all that well.  I wasn’t sure I could make it to therapy even.  Today it was improved.  I had to be careful but I could walk just fine.  By this evening, I could walk full speed on Puzzle’s walk.  I still have to watch the bumps in the sidewalk and it still feels funky, though.

So…while on Puzzle’s walk, I was promising myself that tomorrow I’d go to the track and walk seven laps.  With not only a sprained ankle on my right side, but a shin splint on my left.  The latter has improved as well, from resting the past couple of days.  But….

WHAT AM I THINKING?  Does my eating disorder have that much of a grip on me that I have to go out there and possibly re-injure myself?  Or am I…”rehabilitating” myself?  Who am I trying to kid?

However, I really, really, really want to go to the track tomorrow morning.

My therapist talks about the 3 D’s and SOS.  The 3 D’s are Discern, Disagree, and Disobey.  SOS stands for Send Out for healthy Support.

Discern means to discern between what is my eating disorder and what is me.  Disagree means that I am supposed to disagree with what my eating disorder is telling me.  Disobey means that I am supposed to not do what the eating disorder wants me to do.

I told my T, first of all, that I wanted to do these things, that I didn’t want to disagree or disobey.  She said that I was still immeshed in my eating disorder and wasn’t yet able to Discern.  She said my survival was dependent on being able to do this.

Well, who wants me to go to the track?  It sure feels like it’s me.  Who wanted me to only eat one meal a day for the past three days?  It sure felt like it was me.  Who wants me to lose weight?  Well, that, I know, is my eating disorder.  So now, I’m confused.

My T wants me to tell her the things that my eating disorder told me last week.  I told her that I had a particularly hard time with it.  I’m going to tell her that my eating disorder didn’t tell me anything.  My eating disorder isn’t a person.

I have had the experience, in the past, of having thoughts that I felt weren’t my own, thoughts that I felt were put into my head by someone else.  I think it’s called “thought insertion.”  But this doesn’t feel like that.  It feels like I am the one thinking the thoughts.

In 1980, I was the one who stepped on the scale and declared myself “fat.”  I was the one who, July 1st, 1980, started my first diet.  I was the one who chose what to eat and what not to eat.  And that was the beginning of what has turned out to be a nightmare.

I have been choosing ever since.  Or, should I say, the choices have been made for me.

No, I don’t feel like I have control anymore.  I don’t feel like I have choices.  I don’t feel like I have chosen this path.  I don’t feel like I woke up one day and said, “Gee, I think I’ll develop an eating disorder,” and “I think I’ll keep this eating disorder,” and, “I think I’ll keep this eating disorder for a long, long time,” and….It seems like I have no choices anymore, not now, not ever.  Because once I stepped on the scale, and started my first diet, there was no turning back.

When I left the hospital, I was feeling fairly certain of my willingness to work toward recovery.  This past week, I had a really, really, really hard time, and I wavered on it.  I am scared of “recovery” because it means “gaining weight.”

Today, I told my friend that I had gained three pounds.  I told her this over the phone.  It sounded like she was jumping out of her seat for joy.  This made me feel like shit.  I wish people wouldn’t jump on it like that.

Whenever I tell people that I eat now, which I sort of do and sort of don’t, they want to talk with me about food.  They want to talk about recipes and various cuisines.  They want to talk about what goes with what and what tastes good and how to cook different things.  It is almost like I have sparked other people’s addiction to talking about food.  We just go on and on, and I get kind of bored talking about it.

Food it just food.  There are deeper issues.  I didn’t realize that in 1980.  One of the problems, I thought, was that I was getting selfish.  I was concerned that I was praying to God for the wrong things.  I was literally getting down on my knees and praying to God to help me lose weight.  After a while, I replaced God-obsession with weight-obsession.  I think I stopped praying to God and started praying to the scale.  “Please, please be one pound lower, please!”

Weight-obsession was just covering up what was deep inside that I couldn’t face.  Some of these things I have yet to uncover, even now.  Some of these things are best left covered, I think, just smothered in the past and forgotten.  But I do know, partially, what these things are.

In my old T’s office, there was a duck-lamp.  This was a lamp which had a bottom that was shaped like a duck.  Where I sat in her office, the duck looked right at me.  One day, I decided to move.  I especially didn’t like the way the duck looked at me.  I didn’t like the duck’s face.  I moved, and asked my T to cover the duck, so that it wouldn’t look at me.  From then on, my T obliged, and covered the duck’s face with a book every time I came into her office.  I didn’t look at the duck.  The duck didn’t look at me.

The duck represents many things to me.  In part, it represents the issues I don’t want to deal with.  I suppose I use my eating disorder as a way not to deal with these issues, because it hurts too damn much.  The duck made me very, very uncomfortable.  I couldn’t bear to look at it and I couldn’t bear to look at it looking at me.

My current T wants me to talk about the duck–or, rather, I told her I’d talk about the duck a little.  I never told my old T what the duck meant, or why I wanted her to cover it, just that this was my request.  I have told my new T that the duck was very important.

I see my T Monday, two days from today.  She will expect me to tell her what my eating disorder has been telling me.  Will I tell her that today, the eating disorder told me, on Puzzle’s evening walk, to go to the track tomorrow and walk seven laps?  But this was not my eating disorder, this was me, of course, my desire, my desire to cut back on food the past few days, my desire to abuse laxatives a few days ago (I told her I did this–the first time since 1997 to my recollection), my desire to pretend everything was okay when it wasn’t.

And deep inside, I need to keep the duck as far, far away from myself as I possibly can.  Maybe I have been putting my eating disorder between myself and the duck for a long, long time now.  I think I have been doing this for survival.   So when I want to do these things, like going to the track with a sprained ankle and a shin splint, it’s for my survival, because I simply don’t know any other way to keep the duck away.

Survival….You can look at it so many ways.  An abused child does certain things to ensure survival.  Locks doors.  Listens carefully.  Hides.  Stays alert.  Always on guard.  This is survival.  You learn certain patterns and you stick with them.  And it’s hard to unlearn those patterns.

It’s hard to unlearn those patterns I’ve learned to ensure my survival, even if it means I need to unlearn them to stay alive.  I know this makes no sense, but it’s true.

Actually, this is one of the many reasons why eating disorders make no sense.

So when I go to the track tomorrow and walk my seven laps, will I be thinking of all this?  Will I be thinking of the three D’s–Discern, Disagree, Disobey…and SOS?  Maybe.

Who knows what I’ll be thinking of.  I could be thinking of anything.  Anything at all.  Maybe I’ll be swept away by the music I’m listening to.  Or maybe enjoying the fresh air and the sun rising over the track.   Maybe I’ll be thinking about nothing.

Maybe, on the other hand, I’ll be promising myself better days to come.  Maybe I’ll be remembering that I am striving to have a strong, healthy body.  Maybe tomorrow, I’ll eat three meals and treat myself well.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll remember that I am on this path, the only path I can possibly be on in order to survive, the path of wellness.  Maybe tomorrow, I’ll treat my body with respect, and cherish it for all that it’s worth.

Ankle update

My ankle kind of turned blue yesterday, but doesn’t hurt very much. I was able to give Puzzle a 20-minute walk this morning. We didn’t go very fast.  I had it wrapped.  I iced my ankle afterward.  I took ibuprofen this morning.  It felt kinda funky going down the stairs in the front of the building.

I did get a call back from my doctor yesterday afternoon, but I wasn’t home at the time.  She left a message saying that I was doing all the right things, and that it should heal quickly.  She hoped that by the time I saw her, it would be a lot better. I hope so.

Sprained my ankle

I sprained my ankle today.  No, I wasn’t doing the “no-no” I mentioned in the previous entry.  I was out walking Puzzle and stepped on a funky part of the sidewalk.  I guess I wasn’t looking where I was going.  My head was turned in the other direction.  I knew this was no ordinary ankle turn as soon as I did it.  I was totally pissed at myself.  Soon, I experienced pain.  It wasn’t all that bad, though.  We finished our walk.  It still isn’t too bad, but definitely a sprain.  I can walk on it okay, very little pain, just resting it, icing, wrapping it, taking Ibuprofen, and elevating it.  My ankle is blue a little bit, no swelling though, but of course I’ve been wrapping it, so it’s hard to tell.  It’s very distracting dealing with this.  I see Dr. K anyway on Monday.  I left a message for her but she hasn’t called me back yet.  Maybe she isn’t in today.