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Less whining, more "I'm fine"-ing

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POOHLA711 11/18/2010 8:14AM

    Keep up the good work and positive attitude!

Have I mentioned how glad I am that you're back? emoticon

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LAURIE5658 11/17/2010 5:28PM

    Physical therapists are like that! There is no rest for the weary with them! let me tell ya though, my PT is a miracle worker and I do as she says. You'll get back to normal and hopefully sooner than later.


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FUNFROG79 11/17/2010 3:21PM

    Urgh! I hated my TENS unit after my knee surgery, hated it! Hang in there, you'll feel better soon! emoticon

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Not so fast...

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.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LITERARY_CHICK 11/17/2010 11:15AM

    I know this is devestating for you because you love your runs so much but I am confident you'll find something you love doing just as well or figure out a way to keep running.

Keep the positive attitude about your Princess run. Hope is what keeps us going.

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FUNFROG79 11/16/2010 10:34AM

    I agree with LIVE2RUN4LIFE! emoticon

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POOHLA711 11/16/2010 9:33AM

    Should have read this blog before I commented on the last one :-)
I love your "spark"!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 11/15/2010 11:34PM

    If it's at all an option, I would consult a doctor who either treats runners or (better yet) is a runner for a second opinion. Perhaps your PT could give you a referral. I can't tell you the number of people who have tried to warn me off running because of my age. None of them were my physician, but some were physicians.

Comment edited on: 11/15/2010 11:35:30 PM

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FOXXYROXXYD 11/15/2010 8:53PM

    emoticon I like the way you think... of course the mother in me says, "Proceed with caution."

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LAURIE5658 11/15/2010 8:52PM

    Now this paints a completely different scenario and it does keep your dream alive. Do what you and your PT thinks is right. I may be wrong in saying this, but sometimes doctors have a tendancy to keep their blinders on. I should know. I used to be a physician's doctors office nurse.

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Long time, no blog

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1313HARBOR 11/16/2010 3:01PM

    Bummer! But since you paid for the Princess I wouldn't give up the idea of walking (with your doc's okay, of course). Lots of time to train still. Good luck!

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POOHLA711 11/16/2010 9:31AM

    Hey lady!
First of all, welcome back! I've missed you!

Second, I'm so sorry you've been having all of these health issues. Glad to hear that your ankle is getting better and hopefully the GI issues will work themselves out.
The knee thing... Aw, nuts!!! I know it stinks to get that diagnosis, but if it were me, I wouldn't accept that answer. Do your research, get a second opinion, and do not give up. And your idea about walking the half marathon is a good one. Keep working hard, and I know you can do it!

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SIMPLY-EVA 11/16/2010 9:08AM

  Im curious about the GI problems. Did this develop due to a change in something that your eating or are you getting less water than your used to? I know for sure that this is one thing that can really put a person in a funk. I would say, try adding a hot tea to your nighttime routine. This sometimes helps things go in the right direction. (Out)

Good luck,


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RAINEMARIE214 11/15/2010 9:13PM

    Sorry to hear about your knee! Definitely listen to the doctor though. I was diagnozed with chondromalacia when I was only 19 years old. I didn't listen to what the doctor said and ended up causing more and more problems - resulting in a patella realignment at the ripe age of 21. However, the doctor too told me I would never able to run again, BUT I ran my first half marathon last Sunday. So, my sage wisdom having been there and done that at much too young an age, listen to your doc, do whatever exercises he tells you to, rest if says to, but dont give up completely! :)

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 11/15/2010 8:09PM

    I am so sorry to hear this!

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FUNFROG79 11/15/2010 7:46PM

    Awwwww! Sorry to hear! I think for Disney as long as u keep a 16 mile you are good! Hang in there! emoticon

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FOXXYROXXYD 11/15/2010 7:00PM

    Well, poop! I know this hasn't been easy but I love your attitude about it! I'm so sorry Jenna - it just plain sucks! (Can you tell that I am kinda angry for you?)

I know you will come up with something new to focus on for exercise and can't wait to hear about it! Hang in there and keep us posted!


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LAURIE5658 11/15/2010 6:33PM

    I am so so sorry this has happened to you BUT I am really looking forward to still giving you a hug at the end of February!!!


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I want my toe back

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLY-EVA 11/10/2010 4:32PM

  Hee Hee! " Don't make me angry! I don't know if they put the legendary temper in the box, too. "

Thats funny! If they dont you can always say you thought they did and ride it! Everyone says red heads are firey but brunettes sizzle! Im going for the sizzle tonight!

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LITERARY_CHICK 11/5/2010 11:07AM

    I want your eye doctor. All mine ever says is how terrible my eyesight is compared to normal optically challenged people. When every statement he makes starts, "With eyesight as bad as yours...", I am getting a complex.

Congrats on somebody noticing you lost all that weight! Double congrats that it was a cute somebody.

Comment edited on: 11/5/2010 11:07:42 AM

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FUNFROG79 11/4/2010 10:15AM

    Glad you accepted the compliment! You have worked very hard!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 11/4/2010 1:24AM

    The big toe is the critical one for running, so if you had to break one, the little toe is the way to go.

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DRPOOH63 11/3/2010 10:30PM

    I agree and so funny because I wondered how much you had changed since your photo on this page. Sorry about the toe, it is a hard weird thing to heal from but I guess it is good all on the same foot!

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FOXXYROXXYD 11/3/2010 1:25PM

    How about a pic of that sassy redhead? Yay on the compliment - you should be so proud!

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What I most want to do right now is also what I fear most

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)." I swear, sometimes it feels like my iPod is reading my SP blog. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 11/1/2010 4:52PM

    Hi! Oh I've known this feeling...what about walking? Just to get some fresh air. Your initial ankle injury must have been painful? Maybe try that certainly don't deserve suffering through that again! I'm don't consider myself a "great" runner but I do have the knowledge that every single time I've quit running..I've always started again. Even as painful and brutal as THAT is! It comes back faster than you know! I hope you continue to heal fast!

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KARVY09 11/1/2010 4:12PM

    What did PT say about it?

Ask em. You might be surprised. You might be able to do a light run or something C25K-ish.

I know this sucks but I also know you will be out there again!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 11/1/2010 4:07PM

    Have you asked your trainer?

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POOHLA711 11/1/2010 3:39PM

    Jenna, you are totally in my head right now! I haven't ran in 2 weeks and I'm DYING to. In fact, i think my hubby is looking forward to my recovery more than I am because I know I've been a total snot without my stress reliever. LOL
I know it's tough, but please wait until you get clearance from your doc to run again. Do your PT and maybe some upper body strength training to get some of that energy out.
I'll do it if you will.
Keep your head up!

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FOXXYROXXYD 11/1/2010 2:56PM

    ELO - love it!
Do not make me go all "mom" on you and tell you DON'T DO IT!
I know it's a pain not to be able to run but you know you risk being sidelined even longer if you do it and UNDO all your great PT work.
What does your trainer say about extra walking? Maybe some walking intervals until you are healed?
I thought of you today when I was running on the dreadmill (which actually wasn't too bad but I much prefer running outside) and was going to check on you to see how you were doing... now I know.
Hang in there!

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