On going saga here of back pain and strain.
It has affected me a bit. I’m just tired from the effort to hold myself up all the time. I’m tired of having to think before I move. and I am kind of tired of planning things perfectly so I don’t wrench out my back again.
All that negativity… but in truth…it is getting better.
Today I decided to simply skip swimming in the morning. I was feeling tired. I had a very relaxing morning, and still managed to be at work 3 minutes after 8 rather than 3 ahead.
Work was an on going battle with my back and my brain. It seems that being in pain really kind of fogs the brain.
So I worked on things today, but found that after lunch and one enormously long meeting….I found that I was kind of cooked. I tried to do some graphs but the results were really odd, so I finally just did maintenance things- like taking care of reporting flu cases.
After work, I had a massage from the new Massage Master. I admit I had been looking forward to it since Monday.
The massage in itself was tough. This type of “massage” is not the spa type where you put on a robe, and a hot guy oils you down and you experiences long strokes or whatever. I ended up almost coming off the table during a stretch, and then my knee again touched my ear. He worked on all the problems spots and at one point as I was rolling over, I mentioned that this one spot on my side is where the pain was. Turns out it was/is an Ab muscle. After he worked on it a while he decided that it’s possible that this Ab muscle may have been what tweaked everything out in the first place.
We finished up and I noted with surprise that I was able to move more freely and that the pinchy spot was just gone.
I’m hoping the effects of the massage last a day or so, so I can heal and get going on the training. My only fear is that this is fleeting relief and that tomorrow I’ll wake up all like this again.
Arrrugh. It was such a Monday.
I actually broke the server at work. You know the Computer Server. Luckily I broke it later in the day. When I called the IT desk, they suggested….I kid you not….that I turn the computer off and on again. Hmmm. I left work on that note.
Anyway. I am able to walk a little better. I swam 750 yards today. I could have done more, but just wasn’t feeling the love. I intended to blast the back with hot water in the shower but when I got out there was a swarm of little girls and boys in the showers, so I got dressed and headed to the Physical Therapy area.
My coach was working on some ladies foot. I sat down very quietly and waited. He eventually looked up at me and asked if I had time for the TENS. He set me up really nicely and soon enough I was humming away. I was really tired, and for the first time ever, I just really didn’t want to have much conversation with him. I think he took it as depression, but I am just tired. We had conversation anyway, but I think he did a lot of talking and I did a lot of “uh huh, yessing.”
I had a few TENS issues today. My every time I moved my back would grab up at me. Still just like before a few hours later, my back feels better.
Tomorrow, I have Massage with my new LMT. I officially “broke up” with my old LMT today. She took it well, I think in retrospect this was coming. She and I had become too familiar with each other. She seemed to have forgotten that she is providing me with a service. During my session it was not uncommon for her to take phone calls, or exit the room to see who had come into the office. In addition, I was really not feeling better during or after my sessions. It wasn’t that healthy in the end. Sometimes it’s good to move on.
TO keep myself occupied I’m mostly doing Holiday shopping and working on new years resolutions.
Well, the Back pain continues.
It does seem to be improving which is really super and kind of a relief to me.
I’m still kind of blown away by the lessons learned from this. When I am hurt, I tend to hesitate to tell anyone, do anything about it. Sometimes you know, it goes away. Plus, I have to admit…the way this occurred, well… I felt totally entirely betrayed by my own body.
The day it occurred, I was feeling pretty great. I had a super fun Spin session, a good run with a friend and got my plank in for the plank a day challenge which I am enjoying. Then slowly I started to feel a tightness, so I stretched, foam rolled, and did loads of Child’s pose.
I’m still amazed at how this was not a foreign concept to anyone else. This is why it is so important to assemble a team of good people when attempting things in life. Without them, I think I’d be feeling loads worse, and very much alone.
I did do a bit of swimming today, and used the TENS unit twice. I also went to the movies with a friend, and in general did what I could do around the house. Movies may have been an error. the seats were not the best for backs, and after a bit I could feel things kind of throbbing in there.
Got an email from my coach telling me to come by his office after work for some more E-stim. tomorrow. Yay that was the best thing ever.
I’ve got some big plans for 2014 athletically, so lets hope I bury this back pain in the near 2013 past.
No training today.
I texted my Massage guy who said he had his TENS unit for me to borrow. I came over and he showed me how to use it and sent me on my way. I was sort of hoping he would put it on me and help me with it, but I was also hoping not to have to pay him anything, so, this is probably the best way. Plus it really is easy to use.
As I was driving home, I decided to just go to the gym and get it over with. My back was pretty sore. I felt like this little tiny TENS unit was not going to do anything, compared to the E-Stim.
So, I got some quick direction from the LMT, and on my way home decided to just get the gym over with. I was kind of hoping the one guy I’m fond of that works there would be there, but…he wasn’t.
I got in the pool which was VERY cold- so great for my back. I did some walking and some slow swimming. I think the walking hurt more. After about 800 yards of this I was very tired. It was very hard to do actually and I felt annoyed and tired by the whole thing. Dressing and undressing was a nightmare. After I got redressed, I went, pulled out a large Ice Pack form the Physical Therapy Office era, crawled up on the large table and just lay there. I let the cold really sink into my back and I contemplated my situation. I mostly felt tired.
When I finally got home, I pulled out the little bitty tens unit. Stuck it on. and turned it up. Well. Color me surprised. It worked almost as well as the E-stim. The only reason it didn’t work AS well is that there are only 4 electrodes. I think my coach used 6 on me. Plus, he was able to pack me up in ice on top of the electrodes. It’s a bit harder to use these things on one’s own. Still I turned up the power on the unit and it hummed away.
TENS unit works on the principle of blocking pain sensation of interfering with the pain signal that goes to the brain. From what I have read on forums etc, when people with chronic pain take OFF the TENS unit, the pain returns. I have not had that experience, With the E-stim, I actually didn’t feel any better immediately. But then a few hours later, I started to feel relief and more flexibility. There is some statements out there saying that it also breaks up spasm, which could be quite possible, and that would be maybe why I am getting such good relief. I’m really pleased as to how well it works.
After 15 minutes I turned it off and to my surprise, things did feel better. I fiddled around, and was able to actually walk the dog. I am grateful that I made sure to train the dog in the past. I generally do not have to worry about him pulling on the leash or trying to meet other dogs/people.
He rarely, if ever does this. This is a good good thing for me with a tweaked out back. I did some cold packs and hot packs.
I’m really not used to having spare time like this. Usually on the weekends I rush about doing errands, training, and such. With the injury, all I really can do is sit or lay. I can move about a bit, but I am not really able to maintain my fish tank or anything.
I studied a bit for the CIC exam. Did a bit of dishes, and admittedly commented ALOT of facebook!
It really is a forced slow down. I can get stuff done, but I have to choose what is most important and modify some of it.
I used the TENS again, and noted some more pain improvement. Areas that had started to bother me again were pacified. It is nothing short of amazing to me.
Got some plane tickets purchased for my Holiday trek north. In some ways, I am feeling very relaxed. I have no races planning until July, 2014. I do not have to worry too much about training while up there, though hopefully we can get into the YMCA for their saline pool.
I am resting in the faith that this will be healed rapidly. I am nervous about going off the steroids on Monday….sometimes I do not do too well transitioning…
It’s not been lost on me that I just started to work with this new Massage Therapist…had a completely unprecedented back injury, and he happens to be very well versed in back injuries. Hmmm. I guess it’s true that God often gives you what you need, when you need it.
So yay for TENS. Hoping for less need of it by tomorrow.
We’ll see how Sunday goes.
So I have tweaked out my back. It sucks a lot. But, I’m actually feeling pretty lucky. Why.
Typically this is how a back injury works for folks.
You experience pain. If it is only kind of severe, you self-treat with anti-inflammatories, heat and ice, rest…maybe Vodka if you are inclined!
When that doesn’t work, depending on severity you either call your Primary physician or head to the Emergency Department.
Depending on your physician, you may have to wait a day or so for an appointment. If you go to the ED, you will definitely wait. Back pain is AWFUL but it won’t kill anyone.
So thats a day down, where you are in pretty bad pain.
Get scripts fill scripts..Get referral to another MD from ED doc or to an ortho from your GP.
Ortho may prescribe an MRI. It may take a week to get an MRI appointment. It will then take a week to get it read… If your Ortho is smart, they will prescribe PT as well. Again it may take a week or more to get a PT appointment.
For me. I walked in to the ED, saw an MD I have worked with for years without having to go through the rigamarole of ED nightmares. I then emailed my coach. Texted the Massage therapist.
Within about an hour, I had started on steroids, and muscle relaxers. I text my new Massage guy and he has an appointment, but he safely asks that I have the coach look at it. So I drag myself to the gym. As described yesterday, Coach comes up with a bit of a plan…and send me on my way.
He essentially did a total rapid fire eval of my situation. Again, no wait time, no bill. Just HELP.
My coach is no angel. He sometimes gets frustrated with me, and sometimes he gets really disappointed in me. I have done something that I do indeed regret, and he seems to have forgiven me. But he is really a guardian. After talking with him, I felt safe, cared for and protected.
Then Massage. This guy is stellar. He helped me in a lot of ways, yes my back felt more moveable, but I also felt again safe and care for and protected. He knows a lot about back injuries and while he was working on me, he also was giving me information on how to heal this, and work arounds.
Today I had E- stim at the Physical Therapy office. I crawled up on a high table..coach man attached some cold little electrode things to my back, asking a bit about where the nidus was. I belated looke up at him and said, “Hey is this gonna hurt?” He laughed reminding me that it was a little late to ask, but reassured me that it wasn’t gonna hurt. After he got the electrodes in place, he packed my back with a nice ice pack. he then turned them on and turned them up to my comfort level…it was not uncomfortable at all, but I really had that moment of thinking, “Yeah…this vibrating sensation isn’t going to help.”
After a bit, he came by, I don’t know if he said anything because I had my headphones in. He pushed a bit on my back and moved the ice pack down…
I took some deep breathes and continued to listen to music. After a bit, he turned the machine off, and turned down my music. Pulled off the electrodes and sent me on my way. I found after the treatment, yes I was still in pain, but I found I was able to move a bit better. WOW. I went to get the poor dog dog food…had to purchase the 5 lb bag for my back, but I was happy to be able to complete the shopping trip.
I was also able to give the dog a walk..
He seemed happy. I was happy. With each movement, I felt that the back was loosening up more and more. Every once in a while I got a huge spasm, but it was really easier for me. So Thumbs up for E-stim.
I texted the massage guy later to tell him how I was. (He asked me to do so). Turns out he has a TENS unit as well, and offered to let me borrow it over the weekend.
And this is why it is so great to have a coach. I hope and pray by Monday…that this will be really gone.
Can I admit…. I swear I have a stupid black injury and pain cloud over my head.
After I wrote my entry for yesterday my back just got tighter and tighter. I noted that I was having trouble walking. I knew it was obvious because my poor poor long suffering dog was giving me the Look…
He knew something was going on, but not what. I finally took 800 mg of Motrin at 1 am in am attempt to fix the pain. I got up at 5 am and took a very hot shower….and limped the poor dog around the complex for his morning constitutional.
I then struggled to get work clothing on. I ended up being 3 minutes late to work because I just could not walk faster enough to the car or to the time clock at work. BOO.
at 9 am I was due for another dose of motrin, so I took it and continued to work on desk projects. By 9:30 I figured it had started to work. Got up and went down to the ED to check on something. I used to work ED, so I do have a bit of a relationship with the physicians. I saw one of the more popular ones, and he looked at me and said, “Hey you look like you aren’t ok” I bust out telling him my sad tale of “WTH happened to my back?” He listened and whipped out his Rx pad. God Bless Dr. M. I checked on my stuff, and hobbled out of there with a script for prednisone and flexeril. Prednisone is often my friend, never have tried the flexeril. So far I’ve taken just 1/4 of the dose I was supposed to take. The spasms (or what I am calling spasms) has stopped, and I’m left with acute pain. Out of desperation I texted my new massage therapist. I want to have it worked on in case it can make it better, but I also feel stupid going to see MT twice in one week. Because he is a man, now all of a sudden there are all these connotations. Arrrugh. He was actually super nice and texted me back that he had a time, and what he would be able to do. He also asked me to go see my coach. I didn’t want to, because My goodness, this year all of a sudden has been one thing after another. I got to the gym, and I saw him duck into a workout room with his backpack, and I realized that this was his lunch hour…So did a bit of “stretching” and sent him an email. We don’t text, which is odd, but…email works.
Eventually I got up off the floor and had to use the bathroom. This is a project when one has back pain and it took me some time. When I exited, and was waking back to the mat, I saw my coach looking for me. He was great. We did a few evaluations and he states he feels it isn’t disc related, just solidly tweaked. He told me to go ahead with massage, and to get into the pool. He also agreed me with that there were starting to be no more lessons to be learned and that this was starting to look like an attack. (Yes Gentle readers, as attack by Satan.) The way I’m feeling, I had to agree.
After doing some more work, he had an eval to go do- which is his real job, he took a minute to pray over me which helped me, and he then hugged me which felt strange and awkward…but I could tell he was really caring for me and helping me in the best way ever.
The new LMT was also very good. He actually helped me out of the car, and carried all my stuff. Took off my shoes for me, and put them back on…laughing that I really could have left them on for this. He also actually positioned my body a great deal on the table because I am finding that turning left to right etc to be incredibly hard. I think he’s a keeper. My coach asked me today if I liked him. Of course I said yes, I mean, I am going back to him. The Coach said, “yeah he’s really a nice guy, I like talking with him…” and i could see where this might be going. He is awesome, but I’m sure already connected with someone else. I’m pretty content to let him address my gluteus muscle groups without getting grabby.
Got home, email from my coach and call from my boss. mailed coach back decided to avoid boss call. Hoping for great improvement tomorrow, and it may happen….
We’ve been ushering and inviting the holy spirit, and in general…when you come to the lord this way, the devil, well he’ll be removed. Eagerly awaiting that moment…
On Wednesday after accupuncture, my pain in my adductor went away.
It said Sayanora. Adios. etc.
I did tweak out my lower back really a lot.
New Massage guy worked on it on Monday. I totally skipped my workout for the massage. The massage was kind of a tough session as I came in limping and in a lot of pain, and the new massage guy is NEW to my body, so he is kind of cautious. I learned that my knee can be made to touch my ear though if need be. Suffice it to say, I got a real good stretch.
I left out of there and was still kind of sore, so I took that as a sign. I didn’t do anything. Swam on Tuesday 2000 yards. A one mile run was on there, I decided not to do that.
Today I did monday’s cycle. Hit a pace of 17 MPH for the cycle. This is good for me and considering that I was having a lot of trouble with the one leg I was pretty pleased. After I decided to run the 1 miler. On my way out I ran into my friend Yolanda, she joined me after she had run 3 miles. So she was pretty tired, but my pace was kind of slow, it was good to run with her as she pushed me right on up the hill that I normally walk on. She did tell me she had to walk at the tippy top of the hill, so we did. I suspect I might be in better shape than I used to be, and I might in the end push her a bit. She is very competitive, and kept reminding me that she had already run 3 miles…whatever. She is back at my gym so I need to learn to find a way to handle her.
I bothered the coach briefly, to do lunges. He told me to tear them up. He asked how the pain was, I reported, and we discussed “starting to build up again” This feels encouraging.
Wow did I ever have an unusual day!
I went to see another doctor in Orlando today. Just a quick check up. I feel like I lately live at doctors offices.
Because it’s a drive, I made arrangements to meet up with a friend for breakfast.
It turned into a very strange shopping experience. Apparently Clothing and TV’s are not the only thing that goes on Black Friday.
I found myself in a line at the local “Total Wine” shop being one of about 6 of us who lined up for a friend to purchase a 4 pack of this Bourbon beer…
He was very pleased for the assistance.
After we went out to breakfast and ended up at Anh Hong. He is Vietnamese so I suppose thats par for the course. I truly wanted pancakes but I got rice noodles and shrimp instead. It was pretty good.
We then went to Track Shack. Now, I don’t really adore track shack. I’ve had some really BAD experiences there. That said, this experience was VERY MUCH improved, or my expectations were lower?
I was able to try on the Cortana 3 from Saucony.
I’ve been running in the 2. The 3 looked REALLY different. But I just kid of walked around in it and found it was actually pretty nice and felt pretty good. Because of course the price at the store was 140.00 USD or so I politely decline to purchase there. They know we can get it online for less. I did not get any advice from the sales guy so..I don’t feel that bad about using them to look/try before I buy. I actually think I may still go to the Kinvara anyway because it’s much less expensive and in the long run… this may be a good thing.
They did not have my Nike Lunar Racers, so no chance to purchase them. This doesn’t surprise me though as they aren’t really shoes that people would commonly come in a buy as a regular training shoe. (See lowered expectations.)
We then ate up the 50% off rack. Gear is expensive. I make do with tech shirts from races, but they don’t give shorts out at races.
On the 50% off rack I found a pair of Tri-shorts. These are shorts with slight padding in the seat area. I’ve wanted a pair, but since I use the spin bikes mostly it seemed a bit of a luxury, if you will. These were on sale for 30.00 USD, and looked fantastic on me. I noted that because the padding was so slight, it didn’t give me the
Biker Butt… Seriously. If I am going to spend 100 miles on a bike, sure no problems, but I generally do 1 to 1.5 hours on a spin cycle and then must walk through the gym.
My friend went to the men’s rack and found a tri suit for 50.00 which is a pretty good deal.
We then parted ways and I hit the gym.
First up was a swim. There was an event at our gym and so we were relegated to the “short lanes’ and the very undeep side of the pool. I swam 2250 yards in about 4 feet of water. After about 10-15 laps I stopped doing flip turns as I was a bit concerned that I might scrape my head on the pool bottom. They had super heated the pool as well, which made me feel as if I was swimming in soup.. Hopped out and ran inside to start the bike. I did pull out my brand new shorts.
Wahoo!!!! Where have these things been all my life?? My spin was still a challenge, but a much much more comfortable challenge.
After an hour I hopped off, and decided to see how they ran. I ran 1 mile. It went pretty well. Still feeling the lack of ability to accelerate and when dealing with hillage, I still felt certain things firing off that caused me to think twice.
Got home and found I was actually well tired out.
I know the Coach told me not to look at racing until i can run 10 miles again comfortably. Well. I’m looking at bunches of races. I’m so enthusiastic that I am now without miserable 100% of the time groin ache. I’m not registering, I’m just looking. Browsing.
Well, I am actually on the road to recovery.
Now, don’t laugh. This song really is more for use with 12 step groups. I don’t have a substance abuse issue, but I sure have had an actual injury.
I gotta give some high fives to my coach. This groin/adductor injury was actually kinda bad. Since I’ve been working with him I’ve had tweas and stuff, but nothing that kept me from running for more than a week. This was at least 3-4 solid weeks of misery. It affected not only my ability to run but also my ability to rest comfortably. In the past, I would have had to go to a physician, and get a referral to Physical Therapy etc.
Instead of waiting for an appointment, I went to the coach. My coach was able to pretty much direct me to some workouts I can do…and to some people that could help me. He also was able to keep my spirits up, kinda. I was actually starting to feel super super distressed, but now….not so much. Like always he didn’t hold my hand through stuff, but he did direct me to the right people, and investigate lots of options for me. Kind of a good balance between “suck it up and deal” and “Let me dry your tears with a silk handkerchief.”
I had what I’ve decided is my last acupuncture treatment on Wednesday. (I hope!)
The Physician is fine, but not inexpensive. Plus, post treatment, about 4 hours later, I felt “cured” I don’t like the super emphasis on homeopathy at his office, and also I found he was consistently looking for things to treat. I thoughtlessly checked “headaches” on the form as I occasionally get migraines. Very occasionally. Each week he asks diligently about headaches. It’s kind of one of those places where it really benefits them if they can continue to have me come in weekly, but my budget can’t deal with it.
That Said. My Opinion, skeptic and all is that for pain control and inflammation… Acupuncture works. I gotta say this last treatment was quite effective. It is not entirely pain free, and there are definite unpleasant sensations with it, but it isn’t like getting 20 vaccines in you leg either.
After the treatment, I became the “Packet Pick Up” express…I drove the 2 hours to Melbourne Florida to pick up EVERYONE’s race packets for the Space Coast Marathon and Half. I arranged to meet some of my other running friends who live in Melbourne for a meal after picking up. As I stood around running zone, and tried on some shorts. (Oh Rouching is a no no for a hippy gal!) I noted that my pain was just not present any more.
So between the acupuncture and the massage guy, I’m pretty well healed. And just in time, right for me to attempt to earn the first of 5 medals in a 5 year series. I do not think I will be attempting 13.1 But I do have a free entry in case I wake up on December 1 and feel like being a defiant person and undoing all the good work that has been put into me.
Space Coast is a free entry for me and a sponsored race, so I will be showing up there on Sunday in my “Run Juiced” shirt to take some photos etc. Most likely someone else will run with that number though.
We had a BLAST at dinner. I almost didn’t want to go, as I had not seen anyone in a while, but then it turned out to be SO fun.
This is my friend Tanya and myself. As you can see my normally brown hair is really BLONDE from the pool time. (I’m in the purple jacket).
This morning I pulled the “Run one mile” out of the hat for the week of workouts. I did about 1.75. One mile and then 0.75 at a walk jog. I tried a new taping technique for groin injury with KT Tape. The actual forum wasn’t useful, but Youtube was.
It seemed to work. I felt kind of out of shape and so not thrilled at my own assessment of my fitness level, but I did run without pain. After I popped some Ibuprofen and went out for turkey at a friends. This time of year always makes me wish I wasn’t quite SO single, but you know, you take what you can get.
Now 9 hours later, excepting a run in with the dog, my hip groin area is still pain free.
I can tell from the run that I’ve lost speed. I felt if I had been asked to accelerate, I’d have had a pain issue… but I gotta start somewhere.
What have I been up to workout wise?
TIny bit of cycle, and then MORE SWIMMING.
My normally dark brown hair is entirely chlorine bleached out. It looks almost platinum. A variety of people lately have told me that they “Love my highlights” and want to know my hair dresser. I direct them to the pool.
I may be getting to be a stronger swimmer. Hmmm.
I had my second massage with the new massage therapist.
It was a crazy insane experience.
My left foot was stuck up close to my right ear.
then my knees
We chatted after for a bit, and then when I left I suddenly noted that WOW. My body felt fantastic.
Where has this man been all my life?