What Happens When You Lose Something You Love?
As I write this, I am at home in front of my computer instead of riding my bicycle. Instead, I am sitting here nursing a broken foot one day away from my second infusion and thinking I may not get on my bike until at least Friday or maybe even next week, depending on how my foot heals.
Foot injuries are not new to me. I have had three in my right foot in the last 2 years, and even before this one, I was on track for a foot surgery at some point in the future. So breaking bones is not a new thing. This break is again in my right foot (no driving which means once again Sheryl is hauling me around).
I cannot say for certain that the break is associated with RA, Diabetes, or Ankylosing Spondylitis. It may be unrelated or some odd combination of the three. The radiology report notes a loss of bone mass in my foot which is likely contributing to the issues: two ankle breaks, stress fractures, and now broken bones.
I had an osteoporosis test a few years ago, and the results were negative. Making this seem like a localized issue in my body. It may be associated with neuropathy caused by diabetes, a condition I have had for several years. More likely it is just the combination of everything. One condition impacts the others and the others impact the original until my body is a witch’s brew of craziness.
What I do know is that not riding my bicycle is a terrible let down for me and at least this week I will need to really work on remaining positive. Because the real universal condition that impacts everything is depression, and I cannot afford to get depressed in the middle of summer, the time of year that has almost always been the best part of my year. It is too easy to get depressed because one thing happens, and then like that witch’s brew of contributing issues, the entire sum gets blown out of proportion.
I must keep in perspective that this is at most a two-week issue. I broke it a week ago, and I will likely lose most of this week on my bicycle, but I will also likely be back on the bicycle next week. This little setback is just that, a little setback. So not riding the bicycle is the symptom and I cannot let depression become the issue.
Depression, the major issue
I wonder if this struggle to remain positive is a universal issue in the RA community? I know in my case I am great at catastrophizing little setbacks. Like last week during shuffling between two doctors to understand what happened to my foot and what had to be done; I was convinced I would have surgery almost immediately. But the specialist confirmed the breaks (there are two), and he said this would heal, no surgery necessary, wear a boot, be sure not to bump it and use ice and check back in 3 weeks. That seems like logical advice, and I was grateful for the assurance that things will be alright in the end.
How do you keep from catastrophizing setbacks? Am I looking for any coping mechanisms you use to keep the little setbacks of life with RA in perspective? I am hoping someone has that killer app that I can install on the telephone and make my little worries go away. If not maybe we can invent one. I, for one am a buyer if one exists.
Have you gotten the COVID-19 vaccine yet?