I think I'm passed the "recovery" stage, and have officially developed...
As some of you may have gleaned from my posts here and on PH, I've been fighting an infected broken tibia for the last 6+ months.
At this point: I believe to have 90% healed the fracture, and I do not believe I still have an infection. My surgeon would disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure he gets paid$$ if we go back into surgery. We won't talk about him for now.
However, I had a large and severely devastating realization on my walk home this evening (it's 15 degrees and snowing): I've passed the acute "recovery stage" - and now, just as they warned me "may happen", I've developed arthritis in the rebuilt ankle joint. There are nine titanium pins holding my talus bone together - and yes, for those of you that know your skeletal anatomy: that is both a tiny and pivotal bone to have that much hardware in.
I suppose this means that I, all of the sudden, no longer have an option in my diet. I'd noticed over the last few months that the better I eat, the better I feel (in the ankle) - and I'd been chalking that up to the infection. But it dawned on me tonight, there's a very good chance that this is forever.
Wow. Really? I'm 24; I'm really not sure I'm ready to have absolutely no choice. I really appreciate the knowledge that I have, and the ability I have to make myself feel nearly superhuman in my strength - but, as a mandate? I'm having a hard time swallowing this new reality. I've only gotten through the recovery to this point by telling myself that it was a cumulative process, and at some point I would be "good as new" again. It really hurts to acknowledge that I may not.
I'm in the same boat. Recovering from a shattered tibial plateau, high probability of arthritis a few decades early, trying to deal with it emotionally. Changing my diet has helped, but it still hurts and apparently it's never going to stop.
Wish I had some words of wisdom, but all I can say is hang in there. You're not alone.
All that I can say is that at one point in history that could have been a death sentence.
Change happens, just accept it and move on. You are not the same person you were before the injury, in fact you will not be the same person you were by the time you finish reading this. Change is constantly happening, nothing ever stays the same. Let go of the idea of “you” being something static. That's a fiction. I know, easy for me to say. Here’s the thing, you’ll accept it and move on, or you’ll die without having accepted it and moving on. My guess is that you will accept it. Therefore, the only question is how long do you want it to take. 10 years? 5 years? 1 year? 6 months? Tomorrow? Regardless, you’ll arrive at the same place, but my vote is the sooner the better.
My daughter broke her arm in two places at 7 years old, one in the radius near the wrist and the other in the growth plate in her elbow. She fell down roller skating and tried to catch herself by putting her arm back straight. She tells me it aches and gets stiff when she gets sick and when the weather gets cold and has since she broke it. She tells me it isn't as bad now as the first couple years after she broke it. She is 19 years old now. It is supposed to be 'good as new'. I've had spinal arthritis(lumbar-sacral area, top of the pelvis) since my early twenties, it really made me miserable during my pregnancies. Most of the time as long as I keep moving and keep flexible it is in the background and it is there, but it doesn't slow me down. I go camping and backpacking(yeah sleeping on the ground makes it hurt but I'm having fun so I ignore it), cycling and I am hoping to do ocean kayaking in the future.