30 weeks of Marathon training.

just a spot to write about the next 30 weeks….of running.

improvement…

So…

I’m continuing to improve.  Actually I have not noted much improvement since the weekend, but I am not getting worse.  I’m at a bit of a standstill.

When I take Motrin, I really feel pretty pain free.  At some point, I always forget that I took motrin, and think..Ooooh, I can run again.  Then I remember.

Once it wears off

back-pain3

There is  pain that just sits on my right glue low back area.  It’s not the greatest.  Not the worst though.

My nerve function has improved.  When I first had the injury flexing my foot up and down at the ankle was difficult, the foot was weak.  My reflexes were not always present.  The lack of reflexes kind of freaked me out a bit, and at the same time I was amazed at how much could be deduced without the MRI.  My right big toe would not raise up off the floor at all.  One Monday I tried it again and bammo, I could lift all those toes up.  Like a total DORK, I rushed out to show the coach.  He looked a little worried when I asked him to look at my feet, but he did.  Big smile, and he looked up and said, Now, THERE’s some nerve function.  Good moment.

Work has become easier.  I’m able to focus and I’m a bit better at reading situations.  It’s still an adjustment, but I just keep working at it, and hoping that it gets easier.

As far as working out, I am able to cycle a little more, and do the strength workouts. No running.

Not really sure what i will do about the surgery.

I have an appointment with a good Doctor Friend the day after Christmas.  I am hoping he helps me to decide.

It’s hard to tell if the stable nerve compromise would actually be repaired by surgery  or if it is already healing, nerves take forever to heal….forever.

So waiting and watchful.  My life changed so fast and so definitively, I find it quite hard to imagine ever being able to train regularly again…

 

 

Saturday….

Saturday…

Despite the Drama of Friday…Saturday was a pretty good day.

I continued my taper of the Neurontin.  I’m at about half the dose, I can tell because my foot and calf are somewhat tingly and that’s unpleasant, but it does tell me that there is still a problem, which is important.

I took the dog on a nice walk and did a bit of dishes and putting away the laundry.  Still not up for a complete cleaning of the house, but if I didn’t go to the gym maybe I would be.  I cleaned the stop top a bit too.

I got to the gym around 11 am.  On a whim, I decided to try the stationary.

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I didn’t do any jumps or climbs or anything. I spun the wheels around at level 0 as I had been advised a few weeks ago.  I could only get my heart rate to go from 80 to 90 that way and I noted I was pulling 25-27 watts.  Normally on the bike I pull 100-110 and sometimes higher.  Ah well.  It was great just to do it.

I moved on to do my modified strength workout.  This is embarrassing.  Initially people can not tell that I have an injury, they tend to think I’m out of shape. They do look at one differently. (I’ve been both out of shape and injured, and people look at your differently).  I am severely deconditioned. So I guess I’m injured AND out of shape. Anyway…I got the workout done. I was pretty pleased with it.

Then I hit the pool for an hour of pool walk/jogging.  I felt better after this.  I have not found my happy place, but I’m lots closer.

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On the negative side.  My right foot is still numb and feels strange and I can still feel an increase in symptoms when I stand up and walk around, so probably i can still benefit from surgery, but what a relief to be doing some working out.  I noted that today even though my low back hurts, I feel more strong and also more capable of handling things.  Who knows…. several more days/weeks before the actual surgery stuff occurs. I just wonder about the nerve thing, I mean it’s damaged nerve.  Wondering how much is damage at this point and how much is acute and will disappear with surgery.  These are the things no one knows…

Freaky Friday

Oh man.  I feel like Job.  I really can not catch a break.

On Friday I just for whatever reason did not want to go to work, even though I was to be at a different hospital, with one of my Co-workers who I adore.

So I got a late start and I was anxious about that.  Getting to an exit traffic had slowed, and when I got started again, I  rear ended the car in front of me.

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Luckily, I was not going too fast.  Obviously…faster than the man in front of me.  I just sat in the car after we both pulled off the road, shaking.  Even though it wasn’t that fast, there was still a horrible feeling.

Also good was that the driver seems to be a very nice man.  He came out and assured me he was alright (I asked him right away because well, when someones back bumper is scratched up and your front bumper is also scratched up, what kind of debate about who’s fault it is can come up?) He then asked for my insurance card and wrote down all the info.  I was still shaking.  He was very neutral, and calm and kept saying, “It isn’t terrible, it’s really just paint damage.”  Then his companion took a few photos and they sped off.

On a normal day I would have simply gone home.  But no, I’m on some kind of “make your own orientation” at work.  So I proceeded to the other work site.  I would have really preferred to speak with my insurance agent and kind of calm down, but instead I was at the work site doing what is called an EOC walk.  It is an Environment of Care walk.  As a team we each go to specific units, walk with the manager or person in charge and check for things like expired supplies that made their way to the units, fire safety, under sink storage.  We also interact with the staff and have them answer Joint Commission style questions related to safety.  “What steps do you take if there were a fire, a medical gas (oxygen) failure etc”  I actually really enjoy doing these things, and I was very happy my back held up for the whole thing.  I of course was utterly distracted, remembering the car accident.

I should have hopped out of my car (kind of dangerous as traffic was zipping by us rapidly.) and also taken photos, but I just was paralyzed with fear and really was so tired.  I’m now worried I’ll pay for it later.  Again, the man seemed very “Ok” with it.  He even made a comment that “This happens to everyone”  But you just never know. He could call on Monday, and say that they had horrible damage, back neck and back pain etc.  I think it is unlikely as he said not to bother calling the Police for this, he just advised that I call the agent and he would call next week.  All in all, he was a very nice person at that moment.  No yelling no screaming, no “why didn’t you stop sooner”.  Believe me I wish I had.

So what would have been a delightful work day was kind of difficult, since I already felt horrible, was late, had car worries…it just goes on and on. On a positive note, I re-met one of the big wigs from that hospital.  She had done a short welcome talk at my orientation.  Nothing major but she had made a specific plea that we try to not pull out our cell phones at every possible moment, and that we be aware of our environment as we go to and from the parking areas.  I’m a iPhone addict.

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I actually started putting my phone in my purse as I walk to and from my car.  I have to admit, she was/is correct. I’ve been more aware of my surroundings.  I greet almost everyone I meet, and I am able to help visitors occasionally, and also maybe more importantly, just make them a little more comfortable. I know they are often in pain, coming for follow up appointments, and in general, worried.  So I’ve really been trying to smile and it really has made me feel more connected to things. I stopped taking it into the gym with me as well.  My Coach was totally like, hey you forgot your phone.  When I said, ahh, I left it in the car…he was like, WHAT? I can’t believe it. He usually pries it out of my hands… Anyway. I had been thinking to write her a note. but that seemed kind of extreme and also a bit “Sucking up”.  She dropped by my friends office and I was able to share it with her.  She smiled, laughed and sincerely said, “Wow, someone is listening and open to change, you made my whole day”.  Considering how miserable my day had been, I was really pleased that I could genuinely make someone else smile and know that they had made a difference.

My back felt pretty horrible after that work day. So, I got into the pool…yeah.  I forgot to add, it’s been in the 40’s in Fl, so it’s pretty cold.  The pool water is warm but I was cold. I walked a bit.  Then I got on the hot packs for PT and went home.  I was so so worried that my back would be horrendous this morning, but actually…I was able to take the dog on a much longer walk this morning, so I am still under the impression that this is healing somewhat. Still with decreased sensation to the right leg and problems bending over, but of course this little bump up could have spelled major set back. I’m starting to reduce the Neurontin, a medicine for neuropathy.  I figure I want to stop all medications and see how I feel prior to canceling surgery.  I also want to see what the repeat MRI shows.  I probably still need it, because I do still have neurological symptoms.  I was not a fan of the neurontin as I felt it made my already disorganized state even more so.  Hoping to get off of it entirely.  I’d stop it but there is apparently a risk of seizure if you just stop without a taper.

For now…I am actually moving a bit better, I’ve started to “jog” in the pool and am continuing with a few strength exercises that I can do.

I’ve gained a lot of weight.

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I can see it in my face, but also feeling it in some of my clothing.  So I’ve embarked on a bit more of a healthy eating regime.

It’s going OK…not great.  I want to lose slowly, so I’m not too concerned.  I have not been active at all, so I think as I increase activity, some will disappear.

I Miss Running.  Really a lot.

 

Thursday fun

Well.

To jazz up this post I’d love to post a photo of the new beautiful daughter of my Coach. She is PERFECT. I am not biased. All that said, it’s not really the thing to do, she’s not my kid after all.  She is making me smile a lot though.

I’m still going through Job transition Hell.  It’s so hard to be new and especially hard for someone who is a bit of a “Sheldon”.  Usually once people get to know me they like me.  But they have to get to know me.  Funny how everyone loves Sheldon for 30 mins on TV, in real life we Sheldons have a difficult time.

Went today for what I believed was going to be my third Epidural Space Injection.

Noooooo.

It was a “Meet and Greet your Doctor” no procedure, I pay to talk to the man.  :(

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He seemed to think this should have cured me. It *HAS* improved my quality of life greatly.  I am now able to walk longer, bend over some, stand up, sit without agony.  But cured…

Well, here are some things I can not do:

  • cough
  • sneeze
  • RUN
  • SWIM
  • ride an exercise bike
  • walk for long distances
  • sit for periods of time over one hour without severe discomfort
  • Look down without severe pain in the low back.
  • stop taking Neurotin (Nerve medication.)

There are more.

So  he offered me MORE Medicine.  Lyrica.  It’s used for Chronic Pain sufferers, and for nerve pain, and, well. I kind of started to feel like he was just throwing medication at me.

I need the problem FIXED then I can strengthen and make sure it doesn’t happen again. If it isn’t fixed of course any odd twist will aggravate this, no matter how strong everything is.

 

Fingers Crossed

I am unsure but…I believe I am seeing some improvement in my symptoms for real.

I am noting that gradually over the weekend and yesterday and this morning that I am moving a little bit more intuitively and naturally.

I still have a lot of Nerve symptoms.  My right calf burns rather all the time.

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And lately the sole of my foot has had a really unfortunate sensation….kind of like someone taking a cheese grater to it.

But…despite that, I am actually noting some improvement.

I was all about the email the coach, then I took a deep breath.  I didn’t really want to get anyone’s hopes up. Plus I kind of want him and his new little family to have a few days without discussing my back.  I gotta say….little EJS really brought out the communicator in him the other day.  I didn’t realize how invested in my running he is…  he shared with me that he himself was pretty disappointed about the marathon because apparently  he had been looking forward it as much as I was.  We really had not been communicating well, because I wasn’t sure he wanted to work with me anymore…and I actually thought he was deeply disappointed in me…

It’s still surgical.  But I do feel improved.  I really hope that the disc isn’t healed and I’m left with this horrific pain.

So we’ll see.  It’s up to God. There’s a reason why this happened….I kind of think it was to get our attention so Coach and I can understand the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and continue to live an active life.  I’ve been on an EDS forum and it’s filled with people who are obsessed with pain and body functions, no one does anything.  I’ve connected with another EDS person who does Marathon swims…so it’s quite possible.   Cause…when Jesus says yes….Best song I’ve heard recently. Makes me want to dance.

I would like Jesus to say yes to me being able to move without pain.  I would indeed.

Fingers crossed…. Breath held….

Monday

Monday was pretty good.

It is now 56 days until my surgery.  When I write it like that it seems like a very long time.  But you know, life throws really hard curve balls sometimes.  Not only did I get hurt, but I have a new job and can’t get unhurt til later.  I need a pre-surgery advent calendar.

On the positive side…surprisingly, when I got up today, my leg/glute etc was feeling slightly better than it has before.

I did find that my left sided back is feeling a bit of strain on the muscles.  Yuck.  But…that will heal, there’s no chance I’m going to make it worse by lifting a ton of weights or something.  (Because I’m not doing those things).

But I think some of the new exercises I am trying may be stretching some things out and reducing some of my symptoms.

So  Fantasy here:

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I start thinking…Maybe I can Heal this leg before surgery date, right?

That isn’t going to happen.

I will have to apply for medical leave. essentially 2 weeks unpaid because I just won’t have enough PTO or emergency leave accrued.  Luckily…I’m a saver and this is not a big deal at all.

The application for leave though is like an entire other job.  :(  Pisses me off, that I have to APPLY to have a herniated disc fixed, but oh well…it’s life.

Work is starting to even out more and I feel more confident and a bit better as well.

And today…was awesome as well because Coach sent me several photos of EJS.  I was so so so excited…he kept sending them every hour or so.  That is one adorable baby though, a few of the photos he sent were not the most flattering.

sore….hurts so good.

Today was a great day.

Firstly Coach and his wife had their beautiful baby!

Last night, I got an email that appears to have been sent pretty quickly after the grand event.  I felt pretty special. I seriously felt like I was the “special auntie”…..

Which I tried really hard to keep in check, because I am not the special auntie, right…

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So when I woke up this morning, I felt pretty lousy, leg numb, pins and needles sensations, and just life.  but then I remembered little EJS and I really did have a smile creep on my face.

I met a friend for pool walking.  She is a good friend, we don’t see each other that often, but… I just enjoyed talking to her and her stories about some running events.  So the hour long walk blew by very quickly.

I also met my pal who works at the gym and was able to share the news of the baby.  She was also excited and we just grinned and giggled about the new little life in this world.

When I got in from the pool, we were laughing.  My gym attendant let me know that Coach was at the gym.  I was like what?????

Apparently one hospital room, 1 new mommy and 2 new grand mommies was a bit much for Coach.  He took off for a run, a weights work out to clear his head.

I told C. that I really wanted to see him and congratulate him.

Then I went to take a shower.

A lovely hot long shower.  I felt good enough to get the legs shaved….etc.

As I was turning the shower off C came running in saying. “He’s back, he’s done running…”  I was all wrapped in a towel and was like.  OK well, I am naked, he can wait.

I finally found him lifting some weights.

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He is over the moon.  It was AWESOME to see him so overjoyed and happy and very good to hear that the delivery went well and that Mrs. Coach is doing well.  (though I think he is not so aware of how she is doing, since his response was….she got up today and put on her makeup… sounds shallow but considering how many photos get taken, I totally do not blame her.)

Anyway I told he I was SO excited to see the email, and that for a moment I felt like a special auntie.  To which he replied, uh you ARE the special auntie to us. It was an “Awwww” moment for both of us.

After which we actually talked about the surgery, and getting me ready.  He modified a bunch of exercises.  I learned I can do pushups with no pain to anything…so load of them. Biceps curls, some mini squats,  press ups.  It felt great, though I looked pretty crippled.  I got a few Looks from people…

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But I was like..I don’t care.. I am working out…sort of.

Couple hours later.

OH SORE.

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Yahoo.  I am sore.  So excited.  I was able to do all this without further injuring my back.  Amazing.

Several hours later, nothing really feels better or worse which is awesome. awesome.  awesome.

I’m hoping I can get stronger.  And I get to meet EJS tomorrow….since I am the special Auntie after all. I had not had a good long conversation with Coach is so long, I loved hearing his joy, and I feel resolved in my injury.  He made me laugh so hard, since he was lifting huge heavy weights I bemoaned how I can’t do that…

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He looked at me and said, not  now, but I already have a plan to rebuild you.

Ahhhhh.  I get to get rebuilt AND I’m the special Auntie.

 

 

 

Let’s just overdo it…shall we?

Today I walked 50 laps.  It’s 0.71 miles.  All in the pool.

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I was not nearly as happy as this young lady.  Nor did I look as cute, though I decided what the heck it is December so I wore my ridiculous Snowman swim suit.

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Yes this is the exact suit. I wore it all through August and September, and darn it all, I’m going to enjoy it in December.

I had to walk in the deeper side of the pool so it was chest/chin deep.  This makes it slower, but I think it might be better for my spine.

I got home and actually fell asleep on the couch, I was SO tired.  I had also kind of gotten all of my medications messed up.  I just could not recall when I took the 2 that I take, so to be safe, I kind of pushed to the latest time I could have possibly taken the one.  So by the time I got up off the couch my right leg was KILLING me.  I walked the dog and bending and everything was awful.

I finally realized I have been pool walking too much.  It isn’t hard. I never get out of breath or feel like I’m working out at all.  I enjoy being out in the sun enjoying the “Florida Lifestyle”  if you will.

Ugh.  I’m going to have to walk a little less.  This is not such a bad thing. I am at mile 8 of my Virtual Half Marathon. so I have 5.1 left.  Not too much really.  I got my bib for it in the mail, so one of these days when I’m “feeling pretty”  I’ll have to photo myself with the bib in the pool for the Race Director. He knows it’s good Public Relations.  I appreciate him, so it’s no problem at all to do that.

I’m going to have to tell the supervisor on Monday about the upcoming surgery days.  She knows I need it but I for some reason am still very scared.

Now I am moving into Pre-surgery prep mode.  Most important thing for me is to strengthen my abdominal muscles.

Just have to figure out how to safely do all this… I want to set myself up to win.  And I really really want to be running again.  In late 2015.   The pool walking thing is just for the birds.

It’s scheduled.

So Since late October, I’ve been struggling with this incredible injury.

It has really been difficult, and kind of affected every aspect of my life.  I’ve never had an injury so totally take over my life.

Never.

I worry that I am going to lose my job because it is so difficult to be there and try to learn.

I worry that I will not return to any fun activities.

I worry about the future for everything.

So that said, I saw the surgeon and his PA today. His PA, by the way, Rocks.  A very smart and pleasant gentleman.

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We talked for a while. He was super helpful.  Answered tons of questions.

And he told me that when he saw my MRI to start with he was pretty much sure I’d need surgery.

I had a moment where I dreamed my surgery was OVER and this was just a recovery visit.  YEAH.  Not so much.

I saw the surgeon and we briefly talked.  and then after waiting about an hour, surgery was scheduled.

February.  They had dates in December, but I have to go to work.  Until February, unless something different occurs.

So now, I just wait and desperately try to control pain, and have just a little bit of enjoyment.

I miss running.  I miss swimming. I even miss cycling.  I really miss strength work.  Really.

Hump Day & Thursday

The wise men rode camels, so hump day in the first week of Advent is totally acceptable.
images-6I was ok today.  having a bit of frustration about essentially being used by my old job.  I am super annoyed that I am still essentially contracted to be doing their work, and having to go back and try to train a replacement and well…that’s their problem. Except that it’s also mine.

Anyway, they have had a spate of infections there last week, so I churned out reports.  And had more emails from people from the old job.

It’s kind of like I’m doing my old job just in a different office.

Only one time did I have the need to lay flat on the floor.

I felt really good when leaving work.

When I started pool walking I actually started to have some issues.  My right glue hurt, and both feet and ankles hurt. I don’t think that I’m building muscle but it’s possible I’m doing some things differently.  In addition some nerve symptoms were present. It got cold really really fast!

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I got out and my leg was really aching.  I hit the hot packs.  Today the pack felt fantastic.  After a bit my coach came over and tried to actually work on the leg.  He pulled on it, had me roll up into a ball…Nothing really gave relief, I wasn’t sure what he was getting at.  He then said, “Well, I think this is beyond the limits of traditional Physical Therapy”  We didn’t have any time to talk after that because he had a client.

Today I felt OK at work.  Work is so difficult.  I fit in, kind of.  We are missing a director and it’s just hard without one to direct.  I skipped the pool walking today because of the pain yesterday tomorrow is a different type of day with an MD appointment and then I have to return to my old place of employment.  UGH.

I did go by the gym to drop off the Coaches Baby gift.  I ran into the run group unintentionally.  My friend T. was there and said, “So you’re getting better gradually?”  It’s like NO I am NOT.  I answered her that it is the same.  She sees my Facebook posts which do not refer to my back injury and assumes I’m fine,  Right.  Ah well. I am grateful she is concerned.  It’s just hard to discuss with someone who really doesn’t know me that well.

Today was just over all strange.  I’m so tired of not having any real exercise.

Well Surgeon tomorrow.

Maybe we come with a plan.

 

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