30 weeks of Marathon training.

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

Ugh! Spinal Headache!

Today was most entirely not as nice as yesterday.

I woke up with a bad headache.  It was a bit later than my normal wake up time, so I assumed it was a lack of caffeine.

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I gave myself a nice cup of coffee as well as some breakfast and the headache abated some, kind of.  I noted that it was way worse with movement, and darn it, after about an hour, I realized I probably did have the “spinal headache” from the ESI.  It wasn’t great.

I researched it online and found that it is not considered dangerous for your health, and that it is ok to deal with it by drinking a lot of fluids and laying flat. If it doesn’t “go away” I will end up needing a blood patch, which I would hope not to need.  Good thing I COBRA’ed my insurance.  For what I paid, I have no compunction about using it.

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So that is pretty much what I did.  I also noted that my right leg is not feeling as good as it did yesterday.

I cancelled my social plans and rested. Eventually I did make it to do my pool walking.

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It is so boring, and I don’t feel as if it does anything for me.  Today had the added enchantment of being cooler than normal, here so I was very cold and actually had some shivering and teeth chattering through it. But I had the reward of a super duper hot shower and then resting on the physical therapy hot packs which felt really good.  I was going to skip the hot packs, but by the time I had finished my water walking and shower my positional headache was back, so I really thought the best option was to rest flat on my back for a while, and the hot packs seemed to make that option nicer.

I tried really hard today to buy some “Black Friday Deals”  but they were not really good deals.  I need swimming tights to protect against Jelly Fish and I want a new gym bag.  While contemplating these purchases, I felt that I couldn’t use them anyway right now, so why purchase something I may never get to use.

Getting very tired of this injury but I don’t think it’s going away any time soon.  Part of me is looking towards February with some anticipation….that would be when I could have surgery…and then the pain would be gone.  I can not imagine my life without this ongoing pain anymore.  I can totally understand why people with chronic pain can’t get anything done and seem disorganized and strange and depressed…it’s because they really are.

 

Thankfulness

So yes, I am not really feeling super thankful this year.

It has been a terribly rough year for training.

The only good thing to come out of this is that now that I have an understanding of this unusual genetic problem that I may have, and probably do, I can look back and see how these things occurred and MAYBE, I can still participate in sports I enjoy with some training modifications, and some goal modifications.

It’s upsetting, especially in the next 8 weeks…well, all my big races will occur and yet again I won’t be at them.

It’s awful to miss them, but even worse to have pain that prevents anything.

I’m on ESI number two out of the three I’d be allowed for this year.  Apparently more than one series of of 3 ESI injections per year is not recommended. I certainly see why.  Lots of steroids, which are not really good for people in general.

epidural-steroid-injectionsI felt pretty rough the day of the injection and the day after.  I had not had good sleep, and just in general felt horrible.  The side effects of both the steroids and the neurontin I take to control symptoms was just too much for me.  Plus, there is still actual pain.  Not a lot but some.  Today I woke up feeling a bit better. My head felt clearer, I was able to reduce some of the medication dosages while still getting the same amount of relief.

I was able to walk the dog a slightly longer distance.

In addition, I stood at the sink and did a lot of dishes and 2 loads of laundry, AND cleaned the car some.

Is this any kind of massive achievement?  No not really, but it is all stuff I couldn’t do before, and as anyone can see, very needed for life.  I am very thankful for the improvement.

I am also very thankful for my coach.

He was kind of a jerk at the beginning.  Since I could feel what was going on and I had a pretty good understanding of the MRI report, I knew this was a season ender.  Initially he didn’t think so.  Once he got a bit of a better understanding, and re-looked at the actual films…he relented and apologized.  He gave me a lot of rehab exercises, continues to check in, and re-evaluate my situation as well as provide a lot of support helping me put on my shoes etc.  I really will never forget the moment he put both shoes and socks on me…I kept telling him, hey I can do the left…he kept waving his hands around saying, let me do it.  This is evolving. He won’t take any money from me.  Normally, I’d have been sent to PT at 25.00 a session.  SO I’m glad for his gentle nature…and also the money saving aspect of this.  He also set me with with the pain management physician, who I find to be a bit odd.  He’s so friendly and comforting in the office, but outside of the office kind of looks at me as if I have 2 heads.

I am glad that I do know how to swim. It’s been a life saver, and if we proceed with some training, it will continue to be one.

I’m not hopeful at this point that I can avoid surgery, but…I am glad that if it does come to a surgery that I have insurance, that there are good surgeons in my area, and that basedo n my research my type of injury does respond well to microdiscectomy, which is a minimially invasive outpatient surgery.

So lots to be Thankful for tempered with some caution.

 

 

Injection Day number two…always eventful

Injection Day number two converged with Monsoon day in Florida.

Seriously, one of our hospital had to activate the “weather event” code.  I’ve only seen this done once, when a hospital I worked at was snowed in and no delivery supply trucks or staff could get in or out.

So I drove to work, all was well.

I worked for about 2 hours.

Went for my Injection in the Monsoon, during the Weather Event.  It was really scary driving, but luckily it wasn’t rush hour, so easier.

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I had time to purchase boxes of Chocolates at CVS for staff.  (Whitman’s on sale at CVS this week, buy one 10.00 box of chocolate, get the second free.)  and to write a short note to the MD for his Starbuck’s coffee card.

Then I went in to get the injection.  The staff looked kind of disappointed that I was a “no sedation” patient again.  With sedation, I have to get an IV access, stay longer, have a driver, take the whole day off work.  Without..I walk in, get the injection, leave, and go back to work.

Injection Number two had me pretty riled up as well because well, I knew what to expect.

Scary!

He also didn’t make me feel much better by making a joke…

“It’s not like there’s a big needle close to your spinal cord…oh wait, there is!”

I’m like, do you not remember last time? Not in the least? Do you not remember me crying through the injection?  Memory is fleeting for these folks.

But I was determined not to scream, so instead, I kind of whimpered.  The local didn’t work great on me. He gave me a lot extra and then was asking “What are you feeling” And I’m describing it to him and he’s like… “No you shouldn’t be feeling all that”  I just told him to get it done, because he could stick all sorts of local in there, or he could inject medications and get the needle out.

I then made a big error, and raised up my head.  He was using the x-ray at the time saying, oh that looks real good.  THen saying “OH no. no no put your head down, put it down now.” So I did.  He then said, when you move your head it moves the needle, closer to the spinal cord.  He was then so cute…telling the tech, Ok so this is going to be a heme one and it will be red.  I was too tired to tell him I knew he was saying I’d caused some bleeding.  Oops.

The injection went pretty fast this time. Again massive pain/irritation of the nerve when the medication went in.

Afterwards I got settled into my rolly chair.  And promptly got the buzzy feeling in my head. I said, I’m feeling a little funny.  The nurse said, “You are looking kind of pale” pushed the BP button, and I said, do you think I can lay down… the roll-y chair reclines. which was a good thing. My pressure was 80/40 which is a touch low. As I lay back I started to feel much much better.  The Doctor came rushing out. His tech had said very fast to him, “She says she doesn’t feel good and she got pale.” He heard, “She said she didn’t feel good and she fell”  He stood there a while oddly rubbing my right calf which now looks like an skinny starving cow… atrophy from no real workouts for weeks. He said, “this never happens to our sedation patients, see it could be easier you are making yourself sick with anxiety”  He is going to be SO disappointed when I am still a “no Sedation Patient!” for the 3rd one.

After a bit I was wheeled out to the car (policy) and I hopped in, pulled out the industrial ice pack I was so happy to have remembered and drove on back to work…in the monsoon.

Work was maddening.  I had worked up a very complicated Surgical Infection.  My new supervisor tried to work it up as well, and this is her area of expertise, but I could see she was trying to go too fast with it.  Eventually I let her just do whatever. I’m new.  She did correct me on something I had made an error with, and I was so embarrassed. It was a new piece of criteria I was not used to using.  But…that said, I had used it last week, and I think there is a toll all this pain is taking on me.  Some portion of my brain is now occupied all the time with managing pain signals.  Another part is trying to manage the odd moods I have been having, and the third part is freaking out with the “new job new job!” issues.  The job is lovely, but this adjustment phase. A 4th part always in use before is sort of clouded by the rather large amount of medications.

I am of course sort of sitting here going, “OK ESI work miracles, work miracles”  I suspect, but am hoping I am wrong, that the first ESI worked the miracles, and these are only going to give me marginal improvements.  but who knows.  I hope I’m wrong.

and there is always SWIMMING.

So what’s up with this back injury, some answers, some questions

So.  Every time I visited with the Coach since injury,  he repeatedly said that he really couldn’t understand how I got injured.  Indeed.

I, myself, was a little confused.  I have been having some back pain over this training cycle and I admit I knew that I was probably going to have to go see someone about it, but my goal was to get through the marathon and then do that.

Seems life had some other plans for me.

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A physician friend suggested I look up this odd syndrome Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.  Kind of an odd suggestion.  I mean, I am an adult, I kind of figured if I had an unusual, heritable genetic problem, I would have known about it.

So I looked it up and read about it. It was a bit disarming. Depending on which article I read I vaguely resembled the symptoms, or I could check off one by one the traits and symptoms.  Clearly we are looking at the hypermobility type not the vascular type.  I’m fairly sure with the cardiac complications from the vascular type that I do not have that.

I discuss this with my Mother, who confirms that she has similar traits and symptoms, and that her father also had them… interesting.

So…Next step I thought would be simple.  Make an appointment with a Genetics specialist in Connective Tissue disease.  Wow.  There are really not very many of those people around. So.  After some discussion with myself regarding if this is really important or not, I email several contacts from the EDS page.  I get a few emails back.  one MD wants to test me immediately. I note he owns the genetics lab where the testing would be done.  He is in Boston.  he states he can not recommend anyone in the entire great state of Florida.

I get a call from a Doctor in PA.  He is abrupt and rude, stating that if I have not had chronic dislocations, I must not have the disease.  He got very upset when he found I was a nurse and that a physicians had recommended I might have the syndrome.  Suddenly he wasn’t sure of himself anymore, lots of backpedaling and discussion of what my physician friends had seen to make them think this or that.  I told him that I must have just been going overboard and hung up.  He was a bit full of himself, and explained he gets lots of emails each week and “I give everyone 5 minutes of my time”. Charitable, but actually he really wasn’t that helpful.

Eventually I contacted of all things, a hand surgeon, who was very helpful and explained some things and gave me a book title for reference so I can investigate further.  He took time to exchange a few emails with me, so I really give him “props”  since I explained to him I had a herniated disc in my back…and not in his area of speciality. The hand surgeon seemed to think I met most of the criteria, but warned against going full throttle to get a “diagnosis”.  He explained that some people have trouble getting a PCP, or have other issues after a diagnosis is confirmed, prior to Obama Care this kind of a diagnosis would be a death knell to changing insurances.  He reminded me that since there is no prescribed treatment, having the diagnosis on paper really won’t make a difference.  I am still stuck with the joint laxity, the easy bruising and scarring and other things.

My Coach initially was a little skeptical.  He said he would not have pegged me for Ehlers-Danlos. After thinking about it for a bit he relented saying he had never really connected my flexible ankles to my back or my hip problems. He then said, “You sure were amazing to run all those races with that problem….at least you like to swim”  We both got really quiet.  I asked him if he thought I’d ever get back to running.  He got really quiet and then very carefully said, “Yes I think you can get back to running again.”  How much on what surfaces is still to be determined, and I’ve been told to really not think about it at all.

But of course what else can I think about.  I’m unable to ride a bike, swim, walk, run, weight train?  What else am I going to do with my time exactly?

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This seems to be my future.  We will see how this all develops.  At least for the moment, I am having less pain, and moving about a bit better. I am of course reminded through this that…

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So….how is this going…

Sooo,

I had the big injection on Tuesday….and it’s now Saturday.

It’s been a very gradual improvement.  And I’ve noted that while I should be responding with gratitude I’m actually responding by forgetting very rapidly how horrible the initial injury was.

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When I first noted the injury, simply sitting on the side of the bed was excruciating.  I remember being in the ER,  where I literally know 98% of the staff and not really caring if my underwear was showing.  (I had pulled on a sundress and had been sure to wear underwear, but in trying to get off the bed, I just didn’t care). I also had to use the bathroom before the MRI and ended up sobbing uncontrollably due to the pain of trying to walk from the restroom to the stretcher.  It was probably less that 10 feet I was trying to walk. I really was in agony.  I cried quite a lot that week, and now looking back I just can not imagine how I actually managed to drive myself to several of those appointments without having a massive accident.

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I write the above not to be dramatic but actually to remind myself of where I actually was.

With the large amount of medications from the Neurosurgeon I had been able to go to work for my last week of work, but it was a pretty difficult week.  I had a lot of pain and was having massive problems doing things like taking the dog on a “walk” or honestly getting ready for work in the morning.

On Tuesday I had the injection in my Epidural Space.  This ranks up there with one of my more unpleasant patient experiences ever, despite being seen by one of the nicest rad techs in the whole world whom I adore, and being very well treated by all the staff and the physicians.  So, in other words, that experience was frightening and uncomfortable.

Since the injection I have noted that I am having small but significant improvement in my “condition”  And small but also significant droop to my mood.

So… Today I was able to:

  • replace the spring rodded curtain that the dog accidentally pulled down last week.
  • Walk the dog twice without having to lay down anywhere public.
  • Walk 800 feet in the pool.
  • change the sheets
  • do laundry
  • wash some dishes
  • lay on the floor at the gym and talk to the gym front desk lady (I did that but probably this was easy) while doing some foot exercises with the yellow thera-band.

So, in general my tolerance for activity has improved dramatically.

Unfortunately..my mood which should be soaring is just….

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feeling…flat. I feel injured, all over.

Steroids in general are odd, and directly injected…they are being absorbed as they will be…

and I have no control.  So I’m having some mood swings in addition to knowing I’m losing all my fitness bit by bit.

I’m seeing everyone else have great races all over Face Book.  Part of it makes me happy, and part of seeing that makes me feel really glum. SO not really sure how to address this. I’ve had friends totally drop out of all running groups on Facebook and stop logging into their Miles trackers….but that feels kind of silly to me.  It’s kind of like saying, ok, since I’m no longer playing I don’t care who is…

I do care.

I want to support them.  I want them to support me.  I think it’s pretty hard though to support me. When I’m in a bad mood, no one wants to talk to me, and it is hard sometime to be the broken but still positive human.

At least Coach skeletor has been there.  Like I suppose he always will be.  He is still rather stymied as to how this happened.  He felt like I was doing enough core work, and my legs were strong so that I should not have had the stress on my back.  I just feel like it was one of those things.

It’s going to be a very interesting next few months.

But…

I have to admit…as miserable as I am, I was more miserable.  So…moving on…We shall see how this is in the next few weeks.

I have another injection coming up and I am terrified, but at least, I know the scary experience has resulted in some fairly positive results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Injection Day

Ok so, I keep thinking “Training Day”

Injection day was not near as Epic as the film training day.

I decided against the sedation because of how I needed to pay for this.  The Pain guy doesn’t take my insurance and is doing this as a favor to my coach right.

It started out well.

I called to discuss a payment plan and was told what he was going to charge.  It seemed ridiculously low.

I was relieved and very happy about that.  The price was very affordable.

So admittedly it wasn’t like  $50.00 but again I was injected using fluoroscopy, by an anesthesiologist, using expensive medications.  So, I was pleasantly surprised at the price.

I got to the pain place with 2 of my friends for “support”  They were the best kind of support… One has a 6 months old infant who is very personable, so the entire waiting room actually seemed to relax when he rolled in with his smiles and gurgles.

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They must have been backed up today.

It took a long time to get me back to the room.

Once back there, I discovered that my Radiology tech friend from the hospital has taken a job working over there.  We were always good friends so seeing him brightened my day. Some.

Then they led me into the treatment area. I started to get kind of freaked out.  I wished I had opted for sedation…

My hands actually began to get super sweaty…and I noted my breathing was a tiny bit more rapid.

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The MD injected some numbing medication and I felt an immense amount of pressure in my back area.

He then proceeded to try a second injection during which time I felt the need to  Not move, but SCREAM a loud “ouch”

The Doctor Jumped. I actually sensed it.  Oops.

Apparently it was a scream heard all the way to the recovery room.

oops.

Doctor admitted, “Well, I admit you actually surprised me so much you made me jump”

OOPS.

I don’t think the MD is really used to having awake patients because he actually made several comments like,

“I don’t like the way that looks at all…”  which you know patients don’t like to hear.

I was actually uncharacteristically silent when he said these things. The Tech did some side shots and I continued to concentrate on breathing…

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I assumed I’d feel him pull the large cannula out and replace it.  But after a few moments, he said, Oh I like it now…and even said, “Funny I didn’t move it but looking at this time round, it looks better”

Again…kind of an unusual statement, but I just lay there.  He then injected all sorts of medicine. I continued with my horrible sweaty hands and funky deep breathing. I said “Ouch” quietly a few more times.  The MD and the Tech agreed that I was like most typical nurses…bad patients.

Even though I said ouch one thing reassured me…I could actually feel the medication irritating the nerve from my buttock to my foot, so I was about 200% sure he was in the right spot.

The MD I think felt a little bad after because he kind of tried to rub my shoulders…as I apologized,  for my untoward scream…He is a nice man and I know he was surprised…as was I.

I felt pretty good right after…due to all the lidocaine, a numbing agent.  But I was forewarned that the lidocaine would wear off.  It did as I attempted to walk the dog.  I actually was a bit frustrated because that was not easier.

BUt one hopeful sign…I just noted that my foot…which has been miserably cold for weeks is now feeling decidedly HOT…. increased bloodflow?  One can only hope.  I can definitely more more freely now…but my favorite position remains flat on the back…tomorrow I will attend Orientation which will require some standing and a lot of sitting.

We will see in the next few days.

South lake Pain Institute.   On my Christmas Cookie list.  Even if the injection doesn’t quite work as promised…

They tried and were pleasant about it.

Sick and tired

Of being this person…

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I don’t want to be the comeback kid with the great attitude in the face of misery.

Mostly I just want:

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I have had such a tough weekend.

Firstly. I am BORED.

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Lots of well meaning people have told me to “explore all those things you were wanting to do but never had time for”

RIGHT.

I don’t think they get that I can not walk more than like 50-100 feet without excruciating pain taking over my body.

Even if I wanted to Explore something like Knitting….cross stitch….painting, etc.. I can’t physically go to get the supplies needed for those things.   I don’t particularly want to do that anyway so it’s kind of a moot point.

I have a few unread books, and I see why they were unread, they looked promising, but not well written, so I am struggling through Istanbul Passage by Kanon  It frankly SUCKS, I can’t believe it got a halfway good review from the times.  I hate reading it, but I am reading it.

So bored.  It’s race season and my Facebook feed is full of people posting about their races.  That doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.  I just find that the whiney ones…well I just want to scream at them, remind them that I can not even walk…why are they complaining, “the race was short”  “The race was long”  “It rained”  “It was too hot”  “It was too cold”

Secondly,

I can not do any kind of exercise. At least after my hip surgery the very next day I had to get on a stationary bike…

This is different.  I do some small and limited exercises, but as my coach said, they are just to preserve function of the leg…nothing else.  Best conversation :

MG: So ok you want me to do these 20  reps each time?

Coach: yes, and let me know how you do with them.

MG: These are gonna keep me in shape?

Coach:  Eyebrows raised….NO.  No they will not, MG, you are about to loose almost all your fitness. It will just happen.

UGH, it’s not that fun to build up again. Though I suspect this time round I will find more ways to make it more fun and enjoy it more.

Thirdly- regular functions are so limited…that things like house cleaning is severely limited.  CLothing is strewn around, dishes left haphazardly in the sink. I manage to wash a few each day so it’s not terrible, but..

Fourthly,  the condition is very unpredictable.

I can be “fine” for hours, and then decide to do something, and Bam I am not fine.

So… I am really just sick and tired of trying to be brave and soldier through.  I see others who have been running for years with NO injuries at all.  ANd in Truth, I also know at least one very speedy runner who has had horrendous year long injuries like I have had.  Guess it is time to

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Race Grief

So One of my Favorite Races is in about 20 days.

 

Space Coast Half Marathon and Marathon. 

I love this race.

I really really love it.

It is FLAT.  It is along the shore line.

It has a fun Space Theme.

It has the best schwag.  Nice long sleeve t shirt that always fits me…whoopie pies, a beach towel at the finish, and an enormous medal.

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My Medal goes to Medals for Mettle, but I do have it for a few days and I like it.

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I ran this race last year…Injured so I essentially ran walked it at a 2:33.

Beyond the “Stuff”  the other thing great about Space Coast is that EVERYONE I know does it.

So last year as I was chugging along I had a string of High Fives along the course.  It was amazing to see everyone I regularly see on the local trails, as well running friends I rarely see, and even some people I only previously knew from FaceBook run groups. I often choose not local races, so this was just wonderful to smile and high five and socialize with you know 500 of my closest pals after with a hug pancake breakfast as well as pizza and Natalies Organic Juice.

People wear costumes

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Number 113 is my good friend Janice!

Most dress as “runners”  though, but the costumes are so fun to see, and enjoy!

I was really looking forward to SC this year and had hopes for an actual PR.  My Coach thought I could do it too.  THen this injury happened.

I kind of thought well, lets get the back healed and at least I can “walk” the race.  I have 7 hours…I can definitely walk 13.1 miles in 7 hours.

Now it’s been about 2 weeks.  I have a good understanding of the injury and the limits it’s put on me.

I can not walk the race course.  Twice now I would have lost consciousness except that I sat or lay down immediately when I felt the Buzzing sensation in my ears and the room began to get darkish.   Beyond that I’ve also had several bold shopping attempts that went sour due to a complete inability to continue walking due to pain.  My Coach tells me that these spinal injuries are a bit tricky, and that he felt I should not push anything.

So… I can’t walk the course.  I thought to volunteer, but really as a volunteer…at this point, I’d be a hindrance, the only position that really works for me is to lay flat.

Now I am getting that pain injection on Tuesday it is supposed to make all the pain when walking go away, but…not so sure that just because I’m pain free, I should either attempt to walk 13 miles or volunteer for hours on end.

It’s a grieving and letting go process, and I had no idea how rough it could be.

I want to figure out some way to be involved, but as of yet I haven’t.   :(

 

 

On my way

TO see Neurosurgeon Number one.

Trying to get the back fixed is kind of a career in itself.

Yesterday my Coach/Physical Therapist did a small eval on me and gave me a set of ten very mild exercises to prevent foot drop and further weakening of the foot and leg.

I have been working really hard on just accepting reality and not moaning about it or anything.

So I was a bit surprised as I worked on picking up marbles with my toes…

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When he actually said sort of quietly, “Gee, I never thought I’d be giving you these exercises.”

I could hear a bit of his despair there.

We moved on.  I learned about ten very basic exercises.

I told him I thought the injury would make me a fantastic marathoner, and he looked at me and said, well why.

I explained that the pain I was feeling now was way worse than the typical pain one encounters towards the end of a race….and since I’m learning to deal with it now, the end of race pain will feel like nothing.

He grinned a little and went back to looking at my reflexes.

We worked together for a while and then said good bye.

I had connected via a Triathlete FB page with a man who had a similar surgery last year. He met me at the gym and we talked for a while. I found it hard to focus but one of the things he told me was how hard he found it to focus or function when he had had his injury, so I actually feel better about that.

He has successfully completed an Iron man since his surgery- thats a 2.4 mile swim, a long 100 plus mile bike ride and then a Marathon as the cherry on top.  This is impressive to me. He said he was SLOW, but WHO CARES.

I felt hopeful seeing how fit he is and how he is functioning.

Seeing surgeon number one in about an hour, I will see what he says and probably decide on the surgeon.

The crazy thing about this, and I recall it from my last surgery, is how when one is injured, EVERYTHING…I mean everything exhausts.  I did the foot and ankle exercises and then talked with that man for about 30 minutes came home and could not even make it off the couch, woke up with lap top still on lap.

Into each life is a season, and here is mine!

Next Steps

Today I saw the Second Opinion Neurosurgeon.

It was a fairly pleasant experience except for one thing.

I had an extremely long long day at a conference, and by the time I got to the appointment, I was entirely in pain and very tired.

The Surgeon spent more time with me than the other surgeon, but I have to be honest, last week I was having a lot of trouble comprehending information, and I had no coherent questions.  I had been placed on a lot of medications and my head was totally fuzzy.

By now, I’ve had some time to think, I’ve adjusted to the medication and so I had some questions that made sense.

The Surgeon did an exam and looked over at my films. I laid flat on a table mostly.

He was entirely surprised to find that I was still working.

His findings agreed with everyone else’s that there is weakness in my left leg.

He explained that the epidural injection will not shrink the disc as I had hoped, but that it would reduce the inflammation of the nerves and also dull the pain some.  So it should help me, but not in the way I would have expected.

He then did the most thorough exam I’ve had so far.  After that he told me that he did believe I’d be able to run after surgery (at some point).  His big caveat was that I can not have any  increase in the weakness in my leg.  He felt I could have the epidural and delay surgery as long as I keep the foot and ankle strong.

One thing I liked about him is that he seemed to share my opinions on Pain Management (as a specialty) and such.  he did not like that I had been placed on Neurontin, he said, “It makes people feel funny” I agreed but frankly, it’s not narcotic, and has helped.

At any rate, I felt good that I kind of have a plan in place now that may provide some pain relief, and return me to some form of function.

Friday I see the other Neurosurgeon again.

I’ve accepted that I will eventually need this surgery.  I have seen that it does have a 95% success rate, which is high and gives me hope.

Now, I just have to figure out WHO does it and WHEN.

Hard to choose a surgeon when both are really qualified.  Yes the second doc spent more time, but with  surgeons, one really doesn’t care much about bedside manner, one cares about results.

So we’ll see. I fired off an email to my coach asking if he could do the strengthening exercises with me.  No response yet.  So we’ll see.

 

 

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