Wednesday, November 17, 2010
So, in the past few days, I've gone from "Oh, my God! The pain! Will I ever walk again!" to "Hmm. My knee feels okay. What's up with that?" I'm not 100% back to normal by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel much better. In fact, I kind of feel like I did this past summer, when I was running with supports on both my knees. I could do with a bit less crackling in my knees, but it's the kind of thing that I'm already used to. I suspect it's the TENS unit. I got it for my ankle a few weeks ago, and it came with a splitter, so I put one electrode on my ankle and one on my knee. I'm also wearing my heavier knee support on that knee. It occasionally feels unstable, but I'm actually feeling pretty good. Bending it still hurts like the dickens, but I can see a time when that will go away, too.
For right now, I'm just trying to take it easy. Not too easy, though. My PT isn't letting me off the hook with my exercises!
Monday, November 15, 2010
After posting my last blog post, I headed out to therapy and told Jennifer (my PT) everything the orthopedic surgeon said and she had a slightly different take on it. As she put it, running with my knee issues is not a great idea, but at the same time "you don't want to kill someone's dream." And I had to confess that what the doctor said didn't just take the wind out of my sails, it completely flattened me.
While the doctor may know his stuff, the one thing he doesn't really know is me. He doesn't know that running the Princess Half isn't just a whim. He doesn't know that I've been working toward this for close to a year. And he hasn't spent the last four weeks watching me work through an injury. Not only does Jennifer know all that, she also knows that I was already running with undiagnosed chondromalacia.
The whole time I have been in PT, Jennifer has been completely noncommittal every time I brought up the half. She didn't want to give me false hope if I wasn't going to be able to do it. For her to tell me not to rule it out, that tells me that it's not a completely crazy idea. She's not necessarily telling me, "Oh yeah, you can totally do it!" It's more like she's saying, "Give your knees a couple of weeks to heal, then we'll start PT and see what happens." Which seems like a pretty sensible route to take.
So here's the way I look at it. Best case scenario, I recover from all of my injuries, run-walk the half, and cross the finish line under the deadline. Worst case scenario, I wear my $140 t-shirt to cheer on my Spark Princesses and more than likely, cry a bit. But I won't just be crying for my missed opportunity, I'll be crying with pride for my girls. (And I may secretly be plotting either the Wine and Dine half or bullying my friends into a relay team for the Detroit Free Press Marathon.)
Monday, November 15, 2010
So, there's been a lot going on with me lately. I suppose that isn't really a surprise. Usually when someone "drops out" for a while, it's because there's a lot going on.
First of all, I've been busy with work, which doesn't leave me with a lot of time for daytime Sparking. But I've also been dealing with a lot of GI issues lately. My tummy has been my biggest enemy lately. Luckily, it appears that the worst is behind me.
PT has been going well. I had my reevaluation last week and I did improve the flexibility in my calf. I went from 1 to 4. Unfortunately, I need to be at around 20. I also need to work some more on my stability and strength in that ankle.
However, I have a new fly in the ointment. You know how I had trouble with my knees a few months ago? It's back and its worse than it has been in years. I saw a orthopedic surgeon today and his diagnosis is chondromalacia. His summation, "Very common and easy to diagnose, but not that easy to treat." He also said I have some of the worst-sounding knees he's run across in his career. Which is something, I guess. He said with knees like mine, I shouldn't be running, period. Great.
I'm not sure if I necessarily accept the "never again" aspect of his diagnosis, but I do have to accept the reality that I won't be able to run the Princess Half Marathon. Besides not being able to complete my goal, the registration fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. So I'm out over $100. My family is still going on our vacation, so running or not, I'm going to the Expo and picking up my goodie bag and t-shirt. I'm also trying to figure out if I can walk the minimum pace. If not, rest assured, I will be cheering on my Princess Spark Teammates. You guys have been so supportive of me, so I'll definitely be there for you!
Now I just need to find an activity that I can start to think of as my primary exercise- and maybe develop a new goal. But right now, I need to get ready for my PT appointment and prepare to explain to my PT why I'm in such rough shape.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Did anyone else tell the "I want my toe back" story at slumber parties or campfires?
One thing I'm not sure I mentioned is that my PT arranged for me to get a home TENS/stim pack for at least a month, with an option to buy it. Doing the electric stimulation treatments at home means that I have more time for other stuff at PT and I can do a much longer treatment. The tricky thing is, it's not really all that intuitive to use. After using it at home for several days, I finally figured out for that every home treatment I had attempted, the unit was in "standby" mode instead of active mode. So I was getting zero benefit for those days and couldn't figure out why I didn't feel better. Anyway, I now have all that straightened out and am using it properly. And how 'bout that- my ankle feels better. (Really need my ::rolleyes:: emoticon.)
Last night, I was walking back into the living room after my stim treatment and thunked my foot into an ottoman. I rarely walk around my house without shoes on, but I was temporarily unshod. I whacked my baby toe on my injured foot pretty good and I suspect it may be broken. It hurts when I stand on it or move it and it feels somewhat swollen. It also has a bruise that circles almost all the way around the base of the toe. On the other hand, it might just be badly stubbed. I know which outcome I'm hoping for!
Earlier in the day, I went to my optometrist's office for an eye exam. I've been going to the same optometrist for close to ten years, but naturally I only see him once a year. Practically the first words out of his mouth were "How much weight have you lost? You look great!" Rather than question whether I looked so horrible before, I've decided to just accept the compliment as it was meant. I *do* look great! And I'm now going to confess that I've had a huge crush on my optometrist for years, so I'm doubly flattered. He asked how I did it, and I was quick to credit Spark People and running.
I also re-colored my hair yesterday, so I am currently a sassy redhead. Don't make me angry! I don't know if they put the legendary temper in the box, too.
Oh, I forgot to mention- I talked to my PT about how much I wanted to run and asked if she could estimate when I can start again. She immediately asked if I'd tried walking yet. Not for exercise, I replied. Her short and sensible answer is "Have to walk before you can run. But don't push it too much. You're still healing." She also wants me to improve my ankle stability and calf muscle flexibility before I run again. So, there's my answer. I plan to head to the gym after PT tonight to walk and strength train. But probably not much walking with this toe annoyance.
Monday, November 01, 2010
I want to go running. It's a beautiful day with a clear, sunny sky. I mean, based on the temperature, it's also a freakin' cold day (46 deg), but that just means that I'd wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt. Heck, it was almost that cold when I ran a 5K in September and I was wearing a singlet and shorts. And my desire to put my ankle injury and recovery behind me and just get back to running has become so strong it's almost like a physical need. I want to be able to just throw on my running clothes and shoes, grab my iPod and water, and start my determined trudge. It's not that I ever had delusions of being a good runner or a fast runner, but I did it regularly and I was happy to do so.
Some part of me wants to just give it a shot. I'm feeling so much better. My ankles are getting stronger. My calves are getting less tight. I have virtually no pain at all in my ankle. But I'm afraid to try. I'm only halfway through PT. What if I tried running and totally screwed everything up all over again? What if I made things even worse? And I have to admit that another part of me is secretly wondering if that's what will happen anyway, even if I'm good and patient and wait until PT is over.
I'm also worried about what this is doing to my body. It's been ages since I had a real workout. I have PT three days a week and afterward, I rarely feel like going to the gym. These days, my cardio has been reduced to a mere ten minutes on a machine called a "Nu Step." It's basically a seated stair climber. I'm just so frustrated. I love PT and appreciate what it's helped me do so far, but I would give anything to be done with it.
Tomorrow will be exactly one month from the last day I ran. I feel like I'm in mourning for something that I dreaded a year ago. I've been really unsettled and on edge lately, and I think about 50% of that has been the lack of running and uncertainty of when I'll do it again.
Edited to add: So, naturally, I turned on my iPod to shut out distractions and really get down to work on work stuff and the very first song it played was ELO's "Hold On Tight (to Your Dreams)." www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TLmpL2AzLs I swear, sometimes it feels like my iPod is reading my SP blog.
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