So I haven’t been leaving the house by myself, not even to walk Rudy because . . . snow. He has to wear boots because some sidewalk salts are toxic and can dry out paw pads, and because he likes to walk in . . . snow. He’s good about wearing boots, but not so good about putting them on. Or maybe I’m the one who can’t put them on properly because one or more of them always comes off when I walk him!
Another reason I haven’t done much walking is because my right hip started bothering me last October, and grew worse. For a while it was excruciating to walk, even in my own home. I saw my primary care physician about it, and we tried different anti-inflammatories, none of which helped. I had an x-ray done and the hip looks normal except for a touch of tendinitis, but luckily, no arthritis. Unfortunately, a cortisone shot didn’t help ease the pain. Next stop: physical therapy. Again.
Walking with difficulty certainly hasn’t helped my mood, especially since the doctor told me to avoid it when possible. All I’ve done since December is plod from the living room to the kitchen in excruciating pain.
Our condo has a hallway that runs the length of the place from the front door to the back door, and the rooms are off of the hall. Of course the living room, which is where I spend most of my time, is all the way in front, while the kitchen is all the way in back.
It doesn’t hurt when I sit, but as soon as I stand, there’s this burst of fiery pain in my hip, which gets a little better when I start to walk. But the longer I walk, the more it hurts.
The good news is that I once again have a reason to leave the house alone: to restart physical therapy. At least it’s not for my elbow again, which is good? I’ve had 2 sessions so far, and my physical therapist told me not to walk the 3 blocks to their office, so my husband drove me. Yesterday, the therapist and I decided that I’ll walk there on Friday, and see how it goes. My husband can pick me up, if need be.
While my depression isn’t as bad as it was a few weeks ago, my mood has been waning for 2 or 3 weeks now. I haven’t showered in a week. However, at this point I don’t think it’s bad enough that I need ECT. I believe though, that there’s a connection between my mental health and my physical health. Not being able to do something that many of us take for granted has been a blow to my spirits.
The other thing is that nothing happened to cause this pain. Until I started physical therapy for my elbow last fall, I led a pretty sedentary life. Then suddenly, I was briskly walking 3 blocks each way to the physical therapy office. Both my doctor and my current physical therapist believe that could have been the cause — going from one extreme to the other.
What?! I walked less than 2 miles there and back twice a week! That’s hardly a long distance! This could only mean one thing: I’m aging. I’ll be 50 next year, and that’s something I have to face, which I haven’t fully done. I told my physical therapist that my ultimate goal is to walk 20 minutes daily on the treadmill (really, it’s to go back to martial arts!), which she said is a good one. Well, now I have a reason to leave my house alone again, which will hopefully improve my mood.
Have you ever needed physical therapy? Have you found that not being able to do much, physically, lowers your moods?