Thursday, October 21, 2010
The last three days have done so much to make up for what a lousy month October has been so far. To recap, I started out the month with the timing chain in my car breaking and causing catastrophic engine damage, then I developed tendinitis in my ankle and lost my ability to run mid-half marathon training, and just in case I wasn't stressed enough, things were a bit tight financially (I'm not sure I ever broadcast that part, but it was something I was dealing with). All in all, I am ready for this month to be over...
But maybe not just yet, because this week has been great and if every day could be like that, I say "add another week to October, please!" On Tuesday, the dealership finally called me to let me know my car was ready for pick-up (a little over two weeks after I dropped it off!). It just happened to be the day my parents were coming into town, so my dad was able to help me pick up my car and drop off the rental. Now, the reason my parents were in town was a pretty special and wonderful reason. The adoption hearing for my niece and nephew was yesterday afternoon. They are finally, legally, and happily an official part of our family, though they've been ours in every way that counts since Feb. 2009, when my niece first joined us. It was such a happy moment for my sister, her partner, their kids, and our whole family.
Earlier in the day, I had my third PT appointment and after ascertaining that I was really feeling better and able to do all the assigned exercises, my PT gave me the okay to work out on the exercise bike. I do have to stop immediately if I feel any pain or tightness in my ankle. Well, if that happens, I'll just skip on over to the SciFit arm bike- www.scifit.com/proseries/pro2.shtml - which is something I totally forgot about until I saw someone using it at the PT office. They have one at my gym, too. I'm such a doof. I'll certainly have to be careful about what upper body strength exercises I do if I use the SciFit, though. I have a sneaking suspicion tricep extensions wouldn't be fun after that.
I have decided to start going to the beginner Pilates class starting next week. I'm going to have to miss class tonight (I didn't get the okay for Pilates, just the bike and SciFit). I'm planning to go to my instructor's free beginner class at her home studio on Saturday and then make the switch to the Tuesday beginner class. It's not that I think the regular class is beyond me, strength-wise, but when I saw my instructor on Saturday, she did say it would be more gentle. I don't want to aggravate anything when I'm doing so much better.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Stay tuned for Jenna-specific stuff at the end of my WTF??? challenge post.
~*~ WTF??? Challenge Template 10/18 - 10/24 ~*~
There are SIX WEEKS of WTF??? left and that is PLENTY of time to make a huge difference in your body!
Part 1: Exercise and Nutrition
I want to give myself a real challenge for the next SEVEN days, so I dare myself to stay below 1600 calories every day and do everything my PT tells me to do.
To make sure I can meet this dare, I will log all of my calories on SP with complete honesty and pretend PT Jennifer is watching everything I do.
I'm also claiming bragging rights on the fact that I swallowed my pride and fear and went to the doctor last week, and immediately scheduled my PT.
I would also like to focus on my upper body and core muscle groups this week by adapting strength training to work around my ankle and take part in either my regular Pilates class (adapted) or the Saturday morning beginner class.
For cardio, nothing will stop me from not freaking out too much about missing cardio until I'm allowed to do something. (This was a hard one to figure out, because my PT doesn't want me to do anything that will get in the way of my ankle healing until she says it's okay. How do you find something that "nothing will stop" you from doing when you really need to refrain from doing anything? My biggest problem with this right now is mental, so I'm going to stay upbeat and positive and not allow myself to dwell on the training weeks slipping away from me. The time for cardio and running will come. This is not that time.)
NO NO NO Three things I will not eat this week will be:
My excuse that I cannot use this week will be "I'm celebrating/feeling sorry for myself." Both are possible this week. There's the injury causing bad feelings and my niece and nephew's adoption to celebrate. It's a complicated week in so many ways!
Part 2: The rest of your life
How have you been doing when it comes to your weekly ritual of 'you' time?
Not great. I'm getting plenty of "me" time, but it's not productive. I'm reading and clearing off my DVR. That's about it. At the very least, I should be knitting!
Are you particularly motivated or scared into action by a specific event approaching? What is it?
I was feeling scared by the increasing pain and instability in my ankle and thinking about what that could mean for my half-marathon (in Feb.) jolted me into taking action. Right now, it's more perceived inaction that's got me scared. I am motivated to obey my PT and heal this ankle so that I can get back to training as soon as is reasonable.
What will you do this week to keep balance between staying on top of your fitness and maintaining sanity in the rest of your life?
Sanity? What's that? I'm doing whatever I can and accepting that it has to be good enough.
So, in case you missed it on the feed, I lost another pound since my puzzling "but I'm eating junk and not working out" pound yesterday. I have now lost 37 pounds since January! And what's even more staggering to me is that when I re-took RealAge's test, I found that my previously set weight was 244, so I've lost 49 pounds since whenever that was! I am exactly halfway to goal from my weight when I started Sparking. It's pretty astounding to me. Today, I am wearing corduroys for the first time since high school and thinking something I never would have thought of my brand new size 14 cords: "I hope they shrink a little in the wash." Instead of fitting me snugly or even perfectly, they're sliding down my hips more than I expected. I guess it's not time to take a break from my extensive wardrobe of belts yet!
To celebrate, I made up a little song that is a total rip-off of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream."
Imma get your heart racing
In my size fourteens
In my late-30s today
I'll let you take my old eighteens
and my 20 jeans
I'm a size fourteen today!
*Cue the booty shaking*
Monday, October 18, 2010
So, when I last blogged, I had just visited my doctor and gotten a diagnosis of peroneal tendinitis/sprained ankle, and was referred to physical therapy. The PT department of the health center was booked up until early November, so I had to find one on my own. After trying to find something close to work through my insurance provider ( their website is not exactly user-friendly), I gave up and found someplace in my town that had a decent range of hours that took my insurance. As luck would have it, they just happened to have an opening that day. In fact, one of the PTs was on vacation, so that was the only open spot all week! I've never had PT, so I had no idea what to expect.
I met my PT, Jennifer, and after she asked me a series of questions about my medical history, allergies and any cultural limitations she should know about, she started evaluating my strength, balance, and flexibility. She confirmed that my right leg is slightly longer, but that my scoliosis makes this more of an issue than it might be because my hip is higher than is accounted for by the leg length discrepency. Two things she noted during evaluation: the good, my legs are very strong, even the injured leg (though it is weaker than the right leg); the bad, my calves are extremely tight. The dorsiflexion angle on my left leg is -1 degree and the right leg is 1 degree. Average is 20 degrees! This may be the root cause of several of my leg issues. She also cringes every time I bend my knee, because it has a rather loud, crunching noise. I told her it doesn't hurt so it's a minor annoyance. The battle plan going forward is to get the ankle healed, then stretch and strengthen the muscles.
After the evaluation part, Jennifer first did an ultrasound treatment on the tendon. This is supposed to promote circulation so it heals faster. Then she did a manual massage of the area. Then she used an electrical stimulation device on my ankle and just above my knee. This stimulates the muscles to gently contract to strengthen and promote circulation for healing. While using the stim, I also had an ice wrap around my ankle. And that was pretty much all there was to the first session. Oh! We did set up three appointments a week for the next four weeks, and Jennifer told me to a) do a 5-10 minute ice massage rather than using the generalized ice pack I was using, and b) wear my running shoes and orthotics at all times for the next two weeks. Doesn't matter if I'm at work, running errands, or working around the house, I have to wear my running shoes. So now I'm trying to limit my work clothes to things that won't clash too badly with gray and purple Sauconys!
I did buy a pair of plain black Reebok walking shoes at JC Penney on the way home, but they're going to go back to the store. My co-workers are pretty supportive of all of this, so they won't care what I have on my feet, and my Sauconys are just so comfortable and supportive. However, the four new pairs of pants I also bought at Penney's are staying with me! I stumbled onto a "door buster" sale by about a half hour and bought (non-stretch) jeans, a pair of olive cords, a pair of chestnut brown cords, and a pair of gray/black herringbone tweed trousers- all size 14 and none over $17.99! Everything fit, but they are all a bit more snug than is precisely comfortable. Give me another week, though, and they'll look great!
On Saturday, I had a dentist appointment in the morning and finally followed up with another blood test for my thyroid at the lab. I ran into my Pilates instructor unexpectedly at the lab and gave her the rundown on my PT. I told her that Jennifer kept remarking on my leg strength during the evaluation, and that I had told her one of the positions (a parallel side leg raise) was very similar to one we'd done in Pilates- though drawing circles with our feet in Pilates, rather than having a PT try to press the lower leg back down. Judy, my instructor, asked if she could quote me about that on her website! I spent the rest of the day zoned out and watching TV with my leg propped up on pillows and doing my ice massages. On Sunday, I was babysitting and hemming my niece's suit for her adoption hearing (YAY!), so I wasn't able to do as much icing or elevating as I should have. Also, genuflecting at church and getting down on the floor to snuggle a shy cat are apparently bad things to do with a healing ankle! The more you know, people!
I had my second PT appointment this morning. This time, Jennifer did the ultrasound and massage routine, and then I did some mild stretching and strengthening isometric exercises. These were also given to me as homework. In addition, I was told to practice picking up a Kleenex with my toes, because I'll be picking up marbles on my next visit. After the exercises, I got 15 minutes with the stim and the ice wrap. I asked about going to the gym and using the exercise bike tonight, but she advised me to give it two more days of healing. My ankle is much less inflamed, but the pain was only about 30% better this morning and she doesn't want me using it for any kind of cardio until it's at least 50% better. Now, of course, it feels like it's about 60% better. The adoption hearing is on Wednesday afternoon, so the earliest I'll be able to work out again is Thursday. Joy! I just love waiting, so much! (I am occasionally filled with the spirit of sarcasm.)
I didn't exactly make great choices food-wise this weekend. I had a Beef n' Cheddar and curly fries from Arby's on Thursday, a gutbuster value meal (the one with the Mexican pizza) from Taco Bell on Friday, and a Baja salad, small fries and a small Frosty at Wendy's on Saturday. While I have allowed myself to eat fast food on occasion since I began Sparking, my choices have always fit into at least my calorie guidelines for the day, if not the fat guidelines. This weekend, I basically went a little nuts. I think it was two parts comfort eating and one part "crime of opportunity." I was hungry and I was not at home, so I ate what was handy and sounded tasty. The funny thing is, I stepped on the scale this morning expecting to see a number north of 200 and got 196- a pound lighter than my last weigh-in! I really don't get it. I haven't worked out. I've eaten the wrong things too often. The only thing I can figure is that my other meals on those days were pretty skimpy. On Friday, for instance, I had a banana and a granola bar before my doctor's appointment and then nothing but a mini-scone and a cup of skim milk hot cocoa before that Beef n' Cheddar. That is a whole different kettle of bad nutrition choices. You can't starve yourself and then gorge on fast food! It just doesn't work in the long run. I need my whole grains and veggies! Today I am back on track, but trying to stick to the lower end of the calorie range because of the lack of exercise.
Did I mention I hate not working out and wish exercise restrictions would die in a fire? But I do like PT so far. My ankle is feeling better and stronger and I feel like there's an end to this frustration coming soon. I'll be a good and patient... patient, but I gotta tell you, monkey-grabbing tissues is no replacement for a good run!
Friday, October 15, 2010
I had my doctor's visit this morning for my ankle. He evaluated it and recommended I continue with PRICE (now with extra P!), increase my dosage of ibuprofen, and get some formal physical therapy. If therapy doesn't improve the situation, I'll go in for an MRI. He thinks it's unlikely it's peroneal tendon subluxation, which was my great fear. Since I'm a big worrywort, I'm not completely ruling it out. His diagnosis is ankle sprain and peroneus tendinitis.
Since I'm anxious to get back to being active (with or without running), I found a physical therapist in my town and got an appointment this afternoon. In less than an hour, as a matter of fact! My PT is yet another Jennifer. It's times like this I wish I had my DIS boards rolleyes emoticon! The PT office just happens to be right next door to the restaurant I ate at prior to discovering my dead car situation and walking home in not-so-great shoes the night before my last 5K and subsequent ankle issues. It kind of feels like coming whole circle!
I've never been to PT, so this should be interesting. I'm curious about how ankle PT works.
So it looks like it's another boring, frustrating weekend on the couch for me.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
So, I've got an appointment with my doctor tomorrow morning. Yesterday, I had glimpses of blue skies in my own personal storm. I felt pretty good. I could walk without a noticeable limp. I didn't feel like I needed to wear my neoprene brace for most of the day and could get around pretty well without it. There wasn't a lot of pain. It seemed like things were getting better.
Even this morning, at home, I felt okay. I was able to get downstairs without much trouble. Pain wasn't the first thing I was aware of when I woke up. Walking in from the parking lot (which is a quarter mile) was a nightmare. I didn't put on my brace, which I would normally have done. I was still able to walk in and concentrate on walking as normally as possible. That means much slower and a shorter stride than normal, but without lurching or limping, because that kind of thing doesn't just make my ankle worse, it messes up my knees.
The reason I decided to call the doctor to set up an appointment is that, while it feels less painful overall, the pain is different and things have changed. The pain is now intermittent sharp twinges that don't necessarily have anything to do with activity. I can be sitting here with absolutely no noticeable pain in my ankle for 30-40 minutes, and suddenly it's *twitch* *pop* "AAARGH!" And the popping is not a literal pop while I'm sitting, but it is when I'm walking. The one thing I was afraid of is the one thing I was waiting for is the one thing that's finally started happening. I can feel- and slightly hear- a snapping in my ankle when I walk. Not all the time, but often enough to worry me. I think it may have started yesterday afternoon, but my knees pop almost all the time and it was hard to tell where the snapping was coming from. I can put up with it in my knees because that's old news and it barely registers now. But this ankle thing needs to be nipped in the bud.
I'm still hopeful that it's "just" tendinitis and will end with a doctor saying "Turn your RICE into PRICE, because all we need is a little patience" (apparently my imaginary doctor is a big fan of Guns n' Roses ) But I'm steeling myself for bad news.
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