Feel like I’m not having fun anymore

I’m not even sure this is wholly about the achilles injury, but I think that is playing its part.

My healing seems to be going well (as far as I can tell). I was so overjoyed to be able to walk around the house crutch free (since being in the boot) - I was actually grinning while I walked for the first day!

But now today I don’t feel so lucky. Sure, I can do the stuff that I have to do (get the kids’ tea on the table, keep vaguely on top of the house), and I haven’t taken any sick leave from work (mainly through working at home - though I can also commute in when I need to). But I am tired by the end of the day, and can’t seem to have fun evenings. What did I used to do? I think partly I was happy-tired in the evenings from sport, and partly on a high from a good (interactive! At work! Seeing colleagues!) day’s work. Plus I think I did more fun stuff with the kids, which made me feel happier/more fulfilled by the end of the day.

Now I seem to watch more TV with them (very tired after getting in). And I am working from home, so seem more dependent on my husband for evening company. He comes home quite late anyway. And then I feel tired and grumpy, and he doesn’t seem to want to slow down to my pace (understandably). I think this has come to a head because he is going to the opera with some friends from work. I’ve never known him be into opera, but I guess it’s a different thing to do. They are booking ’standing room only’ tickets, so obviously I can’t come - even if I had childcare, and even if I was invited which I don’t think I am. I just feel like I can’t join in with any fun, and I’m not sure I ever will be able to again. I just feel so tearful about it!

Sorry for all this emotional outpouring - I just felt the need to write it all down. Is anyone else too tired to do the stuff they used to do?

12 Responses to “Feel like I’m not having fun anymore”

  1. Snafu, I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but I think I understand your feelings. I had a somewhat similar low point at week 7, which I think is about where you are now (BTW, I recommend that you add the ATR Timeline widget to your blog). I wrote about waning motivation then (http://achillesblog.com/davidk/2014/05/02/week-7-waning-motivation/), but I was really a little depressed at the thought of possibly never getting back to a “normal” life again. For me, that turned-out to be the absolute low point in my recovery from a mental perspective, and from then on my outlook slowly improved. Try to focus on how far you’ve come already and on nearer-term rehab goals. ATR recovery is trying, but it is also temporary. You will get through this and most-likely be able to go back and do everything you used to do before your injury. And, when you do, it will be that much sweeter for knowing what you’ve been through. Take care. -David

  2. Snafu, this has been a very humbling injury for me. If I go out on the weekends with my kids, I am totally exhausted after a couple of hours. I have been mainly working from home, but if I go into the office for a few hours, by the time I get home in the evening I am completely wiped out. I feel like my stamina has really gone downhill since my injury (it is an accomplishment for me to crutch down to the end of the driveway and get the mail!). So, this is all to say I can relate to how you are feeling and think it is probably normal given the recovery involved with an achilles injury. I just keep telling myself to hang in there because eventually this will just be a blip in the rearview mirror. Take care of yourself.

  3. I can understand how you feel as I had been there myself. I spent the first two months pretty much working from home and feeling very limited by this injury. Even once I went to FWB, there was much I couldn’t do as well and had to turn down many social engagements. And although I could make dinner again, it was difficult to get around in the kitchen and I would get frustrated at not being able to manage as I had before. I think this is completely normal and would guess most all of us go through this phase. Try to concentrate on what you can do and I think you’ll find out that in no time you’ll be back to doing everything again.

  4. I think we have all felt the same- it is especially tough when there are things going on that you simply can’t join. The tired part is normal as well, I can’t believe how much sleep I need. Taking a power nap in the afternoon has been a fantastic help for me- I still hit the pillow hard and early but I am able to enjoy the evenings beforehand. All the best!

  5. Thank you all so so much. I feel emotional just reading the replies! (What is going on with me!? Was it only running that was actually keeping me sane and balanced all these years?).

    Yes I think it is the tiredness - the lack of stamina - which I’m finding so depressing. I was starting to think that there was maybe something else wrong with me (even though my tiredness corresponds perfectly in time to the injury). I mean at first tiredness makes sense because your body is in trauma. Then crutching around NWB is obviously more tiring than walking. But now I can FWB (indoors) and PWB (out and about), and given that I am doing a lot less than I used to, I can’t understand why I’m still tired. But I guess from your replies that this is normal, which is wonderful to hear, because it means it is going to eventually go away!

    I’m sorry that other people have been through the same low, but it helps to know that we are not alone in this. Yes *davidK* I am 6.5 weeks - so maybe this just is a low point in the recovery. I have checked out your post at 7 weeks, and yes, that’s it. It’s like the reality hits you that it is still a long long way ahead to get back to everything you love. I wonder why this happens at 6-7 weeks… I feel like if I study the recovery marathon I will discover a hill at the relevant point!

    And *soccergirl* I know just what you mean about it being humbling. Before the injury I saw other people living more sedentary lives, but I always felt different - very alive and active and playful with the kids. Now when they want me to play hide and seek, I would rather sit on the sofa and watch horrible histories! I don’t feel like such a good parent, or such a fun person to be around, or such a good wife to my husband. But I do feel humbled because I have just always been lucky to be so well and free from aches and pains. And this is just a tiny insight into what it is like not to be like that… the injury is really nothing I know compared to what some people have going on.

    And *annababi* and *herewegoagain* thank you for sharing your tiredness stories… it makes me feel a lot more normal, and like this really will pass. Maybe I should try a powernap in the afternoon when possible, to make the evenings more fun. And yes I really relate to finding that you can do jobs at home, but they are harder. E.g. this morning I saw something on the floor that in the past I would have quickly swept up before we left the house, but now I know that it will take me longer than before, clattering around finding the dustpan with my big boots on, and I just left it till we get back. And I think about having a sort through the childrens’ clothes, and just feel like it will be too much effort!

    I had a talk/cry with my husband yesterday, and I think that was really helpful. He had no idea that I was down about it all. He has been helping in practical ways, but says that he just didn’t realise that I might need other kinds of help (e.g. cheering up!) too. So he says he is going to ‘put his thinking cap on’ to come up with fun things we can do even though I’m tired.

  6. Snafu - there is probably a chemical thing happening within your body as well which makes you feel like this. You asked if it was running that kept you sane. In some ways the answer is yes. Excercise produces chemicals. Have you ever noticed how it takes a lot of effort to get start an exercise regime from scratch. It may have been a long time ago. It takes about 6 weeks for these things to become habit forming to the point we actually can enjoy them and crave more. These chemicals the body produces also help us fight depression. Take them away when you have been used to them for so long and what happens. So the timing is about right. All these other interactions are a factor as well. The stimulation from being around other people is also important. All I can suggest is find something you can do to replace the things you can’t. You may be able to get some aerobic exercise on a spin bike now plus you can do some upper body work. It will not be too long before you will be heavily engaged in rehab and I found that to be a good driving force. We get all caught up in ‘life’, getting married, raising kids, work/career etc. Injuries like this force us to take a time out and look at our priorities especially the way we have been living our lives and how our lives interact with the ones closest to us. Having a good cry also produces good chemicals aparently but that is not my expertise. I am an ‘ ozzie bloke’.

  7. I think there is a lot of truth in what you say here *Stuart*. And I think that your theory about crying is also right - though I know you haven’t tested this out yourself! I did actually used to go running when I felt restless or anxious, and it seemed to do the trick - give me that calm happy sort of tiredness, you know? Maybe crying is one alternative - and thank you for your suggestions of other ones. I think maybe I should join a gym at this point to use their stationary bikes, weights etc.

  8. Dear snafu so sorry to feel the emotion in your post. I am probably the most positive happy person people know and yet this injury has tested that. I was at my most low At 7 weeks with a week before my cast came off as I had conditioned myself to eight weeks in plaster and when I knew I was getting closer to the removal I started thinking of the recovery I would have to do when it came off…. But it’s just a step closer to recovery. My husband has been wonderful but at about the same time he opened up about how fed up he was and he could only imagine how I was feeling but life as we knew it had stopped for him too and his house was always full of visitors. The good thing was letting all the frustration out and then setting ourselves our next goal was helpful. From being on this blog what I hold onto is at some point everybody gets better and they get back to their old life or a better one. My friend used to send me text of songs to sing to like happy, I’m the king of the jungle and wiggle and it worked to clap and sing along on my own. Good luck it will get better x

  9. Thank you so much *kim* for your understanding. It’s very surprising how you can express your sadness online and some people you have never met take the time to make you feel better!

  10. By talking about your sadness you are fighting it face on and that is how to do it, well done you!!

    So many of us have been there and weathered the storm, it is booming hard at the time but be assured it does pass and you will look back on it all with a different light. I still say that unless you have been here with this injury you would never imagine just how testing it is on both the physical and mental level - the mental being the hardest!

    We all suffer in different ways, but thankfully the general overall outcome of this is that we come out a much stronger person with an exceptional new understanding of ourselves. I sometimes scare myself (in a good way) with how much differently I now approach things compared to my pre ATR days. Yes I do still get frustrated with what I can’t do yet and yes I do still get tired much quicker, but on reflection I have achieved so much more in the last 21 weeks than what I would have done with out the injury and have been re inspired to get out there and live my precious life to the full. So good luck, stay strong and you will soon be looking at the injury from another angle

  11. Thank you *pegleg* for those words of encouragement! What sorts of things have you done in the last 21 weeks that you wouldn’t have done otherwise?

    I have one: my mother in law is unable to walk, but for different (unfortunately long term) reasons - and that’s the tip of the iceberg really of her physical problems. When we last visited her, I was at the NWB stage, and we ended up spending quite of bit of time together. And I wasn’t a flurry of activity around her (as I think i usually am), but we were more just sitting together - you know? That was nice.

  12. Snafu, I have ‘learnt’ to take time out which is a major break through for me as I am usually none stop….after all life is for living! I am so much more appreciative of the really simple things in life that we tend to take for granted, especially the basics of daily activity, to be able to walk etc (I think we are the lucky ones who will walk again - as with your mother in law, many people are not so lucky) With every ‘pre ATR activity’ that I get back to, I have new excitement, like a kid with a new toy! I marvel at what an amazing capability the body has to heal and overcome major problems and have also come to understand how powerful your state of mind is and how you can use it to your advantage. I would say most of all that I have discovered I am even tougher/more driven than thought I was (and I knew I was tough), my ATR happened at the pinnacle of what had been a very tough year and a half and when it happened I wondered how I could take anymore and get through it, but here I am back on my feet wondering what the heck all the doubt was about, now feeling older and wiser!!!

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