I am officially 9 days post op for the discectomy.
I got admit. Parts of this recovery are a lot easier than I expected and parts are a lot harder.
I woke from the surgery with my foot still feeling kind of funny. My friend came in and told me that the surgeon said I should never run again. I told her I was not going to think about that, swallowed some hydrocodone rather than have anything more IV, and pretty much went right back to sleep. The funny thing is that they put me right into the bed I would be in for the duration of my stay, so when I got taken to my room, I spent the first 20-30 minutes awaiting with dread the bed transfer…that never happened.
I found it very hard to concentrate on anything except the “She should never run again” statement. I would encourage surgeons to avoid discussing that with anyone, even family right after surgery. It seemed so crazy and I couldn’t really absorb it. Add in narcotics, an environment filled with non-athletes, and suddenly everything was gray.
I did work with Physical Therapy and I was really disheartened when as I started to walk in the hallways, my right foot began to feel more numb and have a lot of the sensations I had before surgery.The PT, someone I know vaguely (I swim Open water with her husband sometimes), encouraged me and told me not to worry about that.
The rest of the day was spent pretty much getting up to the bathroom since I had been loaded with fluids. I had a few visits from my co-workers, and a few phone calls from them, as well as some texts from friends. I developed a killer headache and thought it was my CSF leak coming to life. No… No really just a headache. I had had no coffee that day, add in anesthesia, surgery with me being flipped upside down, and seemingly VERY bad news, perfect combination for headache. The PA ordered fioricet, which I took with the hydrocodone, and slept probably better than I have in 20 years.
The next morning, the PA came in. I’m not really fond of him, but he pretty much handles EVERYTHING for the surgeon- as the surgeon is pretty much somewhat of a celebrity and doesn’t have a lot of time. He was very kind and all I could do was flatly complain about everything feeling 100% the same and not running again. He said, well…during the actual surgery the Doc and I discussed 6 months. I could have hugged him. 6 months seems like a long time, but it is SO different from forever. Actually he said we would also sit down a month from now and see what the plan will be like.
I continued to be perplexed by my continued foot numbness. I definitely had signs of having had a back procedure, my piriformis was irritated all to heck, etc…but for me the only thing that mattered was that this persistent irritation be gone!
But no it was not to be. Many people have Disc surgery and wake up with 100% function and sensation. I was not to be one of them. It seems what is not told is that many more actually awaken with some improvement, and over then next 6 months to 18 months, note further improvement as a damaged nerve heals. Since I waited 3 months to have my surgery I guess it should be expected that the poor compressed nerve didn’t just you know, bounce right into proper shape and behave normally. It had been compressed for a long time, and actually by all indications, I should have actually had emergency surgery the day I went to the Emergency Department.
By Sunday (6 days after the surgery) I actually woke with the numbness somewhat decreased in my foot. This has made a huge difference in my attitude. Firstly, I have tangible benefit from the surgery. Secondly, I actually feel much more comfortable with the decreased numb sensation and increased sensation in my toes.
I’m up to walking about 3 miles a day now, divided into a session with the wonder dog….
and 2 miles on the treadmill in the evening. I’ve really been struggling with feeling isolated in the apartment despite having TONS of visitors, so I find that getting myself into the gym daily has been must….even though it’s terribly silly, since ALL I can do is walk.
Tomorrow is a big day. My Stitches are supposed to be removed!!! I’m not sure if that will increase my comfort or not, but it might mean that I can get into to the pool a bit, which would increase my options. I can’t swim, due to the twisting and torque involved with breathing while swimming. but I could get in the pool, maybe.
I admit, I have a fairly good technique…but occasionally I do over-roll and because I do open water, I do have a habit of occasionally lifting my head up to sight….which is quite different….from swimming in a pool.
It is a lot of torque, and I can see how this would be horrible for trying to heal a back situation….even if I were to only do it say 1 times per lap…by then end of a swim I’d be wow…
Best thing….We are having a cold cold front. The pool which is outdoors, is SO so unattractive right now that there is no interest at all on my end. Hopefully by the time I am cleared for swimming, the heat will have come back on in Florida. Cause right now it’s chilly chilly.
I’m feeling ok today….But hoping that in one more month that my back will feel less fragile and that I’ll be moving a lot more….
Well, If you read over at my other blog…you already know, did I get healed?
My disc is more extruded, and not stable.
I really have to hand it to the surgery scheduler. She did not cancel my “reservation”
After that my life kicked into high gear. I have made doggie reservations, gotten Medical Leave approved, confirmed the approval…(they emailed my former boss, who is at another facility since October, yeah, HR is really up on who is working at our facility!), scheduled it so the team knows, set up my ride to and from the hospital, set up more pre operative labs and X-rays, gotten pre-approval from the new insurance company. And continued to do some of my work. I’m tired and distressed.
In the midst of this, the person who should have been my rock, my coach, who did not cause this injury, but also did not prevent it at all, really disappointed me. For an unknown reason he did not want to work with me any more. We have worked for years together so it was QUITE a shock.
OK so it wasn’t that funny. It was really frustrating, depressing, and also kind of induced a bit of anger. I think he has had a lot of life changes and really didn’t want the side business anymore. He never really told me why. What actually seems to have happened is that he decided this, but then was “Waiting for the right moment” to tell me, and just never could…which is actually kind of cowardly, or self important. Either he was afraid of what I might say/do, or he thought himself so important in my life that he thought I would just keel on over at the news. So it was one of those awkward moments that everyone dreads, rather than the smooth situation he probably imagined. In my mind, if he had decided this, I would have preferred he help me find the next person…Our town is full of certified people, looking to have new clients. but NO…someone had to kind of be a jerk…all while I am kind of terrified since my back isn’t really acting right. Yuck.
I am surprised at how fast I sucked it up. After a day or two which included a moment of tears with IM David, (who thankfully actually understood and didn’t think it was strange). I decided to ask another person I know to work with me. In a way it feels like a rebound coaching relationship, but at the same time, this is a person I’d thought about working with in the past. He and I have known each other for 3 years. He’s helped me with nutrition and some body fat analysis as well as recovery from my adductor tear. So…not a total crazy move.
Coaching relationships are ODD. This is of course just my experience and opinion. It isn’t exactly like working with a personal trainer. Personal Trainers work with a person one on one in a gym for about 30 mins for say 1 to 3 times a week. Coaches…plan every workout…supervise less, may dictate diet, may dictate supplements, and will want to know every freaking detail of everything. Personal trainers on the other hand…well, they train you for 30 mins 1-3 times a week….I suppose some do more, but thats my experience. Personal trainers also kind of do the whole “fitness” thing, a coach on the other hand will push you entirely to the edge and then bring out back again.
So I was quite pleased with K. said he would be very interested in helping me out. He did say, well of course you’re still working with Skeletor…. and I had to say well, actually no. He looked absolutely perplexed and then wisely said nothing. I am 100% SURE they had a conversation today since K and I talked yesterday.
K. was more interested in what had gone wrong. We talked for about 6 minutes and I could see the wheels turning in his head on how to work with this situation. He asked me to email him and I will, after the surgery. I ran into him (literally as I was headed out the door) the next day and he asked very genuinely how things were. I gave a fast reply and headed home. There is nothing to do now…so..but I did feel reassured…I do have someone in my corner again.
As I was leaving K. He reminded me quietly that “No man is an island.” Indeed…
Tomorrow is Monday.
One day before the BIG MRI.
Did I get healed?
Hard to tell.
I’ve been feeling a bit sick and also rushed for time this past week. Most of my exercise has been heavy on the Cardio rather than the weights.
Possibly not related…this morning when I awoke, I noted that the odd rubber band sensation seems to have returned. Not around my toes, just under my toes. So imagine the bottom half of the toes feel as if a rubber band is wrapped around them, but the tops feel OK.
So… all day today there has been a bit of an under current of TOTAL AND ABJECT TERROR…
I mean… it’s not noticeable, and I don’t have pain (good thing), so no one can see my distress. It also might mean something or nothing,
And on top of it all, it is very very annoying.
Tomorrow, is a run day if I’m not still coughing so much…and a train the new gal day….We’ll see how that all goes…
Good thoughts and Prayers for this injury coveted.
So I think when I do my MRI next week, i shall discover that indeed I have some damage in there but nothing surgical.
I got Healed from something that wasn’t supposed to heal which is pretty cool.
Now. It wasn’t like this:
It was a gradual healing. I think it was more from God than the video healing which I think is a fake.
It’s pretty cool. I have been able to run a little, swim more, and cycle some. In fact, I am now starting to have problems adjusting my workouts and work….which I knew was going to be a real disaster. I can figure it out and since I’m just getting able to function again it’s a good way to adjust.
Unfortunately as I was starting to get going I caught a virus. Several people in the office have been snuffling around. Some particularly loudly.
I felt a bit uncomfortable with all the snuffling….but I was in my own cubie so I thought I was safe. I WAS NOT!!!!! UGH. Snuffly nose, chills, and all over body aches, including my back. At least with a cold…I know that it’s kind of a limited time thing.
4 days till MRI time!!!!
Here is Van Morrison, who I have loved since “discovering” him in college.
Singing “Did you get healed” If you love this song, I would recommend not listening to the interviews with Mr. Morrison on Youtube. He is a true professional musician, As he stated, lots of his albums are not about him personally, and I remember once someone came to him asking if he still had the dogs…he was like what dogs…there were dogs on an album cover, as a photo, and lot of people assumed they were his. He’s a bit more of a salty guy, saying, Heavens the dogs were there as an album picture, not as my pets.
Ok Moving on.
I feel lots better, but at the same time I’m not able to do somethings. I am also horribly out of shape, so it’s super hard to know if I’m out of shape and can’t do it, or if the injury is preventing me.
This week, I’ve been able to cough. When I did it, is was as natural as daylight. Then I was shocked. I had not been coughing for a long time because of the pain, SO…something is better.
But oh this DRAGGING oneself back into shape. Is a real drag
This image from another great exercise blog, check it out here.
This week I’ve been doing “real workouts” At least in my mind they were. I kind of rolled my eyes at myself. This is what I did that I considered a “real workout” a 2 mile run, an admittedly longer strength and weights session and a 1300 meter swim. I was tired out. Exhausted. BUT if I had done that in October, it would have been as easy peasy day.
The stuff I can do is greatly longer now than the stuff I can’t do.
In fact there is not reason to make a list.
I can’t do some yoga poses. No crises.
I can’t lay on my right side for sleeping, this is annoying, but I can live.
I can’t run well…..this is the sticking point. We’ll hope for the best.
Yesterday I probably totally totally overdid it.
I got up in the early morning with the idea of running and then swimming. BUT…I still seem to be moving as slow as molasses in the morning.
DJ shadow makes Molasses cookies for your viewing pleasure.
SO I got there in time for ONE of the workouts.
I got the 2 miles in at a bit of a faster clip than the last time. I’m going to be stuck at 2 miles every other day for a while.
I noted the time and knew I really didn’t have enough swim time, so I attempted to do some strength work, I think I ended up with 1 set of biceps and presses, 1 plank, and some of the myrtl routine.
Then off to work, and then BACK to the gym.
I hopped on the cycle, but before I could do that, I was overwhelmed by the lovely feeling of belonging to the gym. I ran into my friend Kathy and her husband Dave and we chatted for a few, then I was accosted by my back injury buddy Jim, who said, “I’m watching you, you are doing some crazy stuff…” We all chatted for a bit, and I eventually got my 10 minutes of cycle warm up in. Then I did do a short strength workout, in the middle of which Dave came by again to ask about how my back had improved. He also has back issues (I am sensing a theme eh) and so we talked about them for a bit and encouraged each other to keep fighting the good fight.
One thing that was interesting to discover is that he holds the same philosophy… USE THE BODY up.
I am all for taking care of the body, but this sitting around “being careful” is really just crap. So the conversation was great to have, though I admit, suddenly my time in the strengthening session stretched way out.
After because of the impending cold front, I hit the pool. Dang the temp was already dropping so I got in a short swim and hit the hot showers.
This morning they have closed the pool. Too big and the heaters can’t heat it to even 75. But hopefully by the evening…
I suspect I will still have surgery but I am putting it off until March or even the first week in April. I spoke with the MD office FINALLY yesterday. They promised to put an order in for my MRI which I have yet to see. BUT….
Lately my life seems to be returning to me piece by piece.
On Sunday I took a Les Mills Class. Bodyflow. Les Mills is an interesting concept. It’s a set of classes that change every 90 days. I’ve done the Body Pump before and that class is fantastic. I was less excited by Body Flow. It’s low impact and not too difficult actually. That said there was a Yoga portion of the class that I found quite challenging. My back doesn’t allow for such things. I did the class with a friend and it was nice to see her again.
I also think I am not totally fond of group fitness. I feel like we are all trying and also all comparing.
After that I hit the pool for some laps. It was a super nice day. The swimming was enjoyable.
Monday Was pretty great. I actually went to the pool in the morning, and swim a short workout. That made my day go better overall, so I need to try to keep doing that.
In the evening, I ran again. 2.0 miles slowly on the Treadmill. The GYM is FULL to the breaking point. I do not remember it ever being that crowded. We’ll see how long it lasts. I continue my stupid need to tell the world I am injured, not a January-ist. After the TM, I did a modified shorter workout, about 7 instead of the 10-12 exercises I normally am doing these days. I wasn’t feeling super strong and I had some pain issues, so after a second set of step ups.
I quit and went to ice my back. I wanted to talk to the coach too because it had been SO long since I had. I said hi to him and he gave me kind of an awkward smile. I wasn’t sure about it, so I iced, contemplated what that smile meant…. You know the whole “What did he mean when she/he said, looked at me like that/etc
When I finished I decided to just ask about wether massage was an option at this point. I asked if I could ask a question and he looked tense. But then I said, do you think I can get a massage? And he relaxed, he had about a 30 minute conversation, all the while he was working with a delightful lady who I enjoyed meeting as well. He doesn’t want to start me on a training plan yet (ha ha ha) because I can barely run and technically I am still having surgery. But of course we both agreed that this healing even not at 100% is a freaking miracle.
Maybe the Catholic Church would not certify it as a miracle…but I know that the surgeons were thinking this looked surgical, and yet I have improved….
Today… I got my massage… not so sure that was the brightest idea.
I also managed a 25 minute cycle on the stationary. Still moving forwards as best I can…
I wake up each day feeling like I am at least 75 years older than I am.
I really regret that today because the night before I wanted to do Lucky’s Lake swim. I tried to get into my wet suit, but it really either didn’t fit anymore (which would be odd) or because of the injury to my spine, i am not longer able to pull it on without risking reinjuring. SO discouraged by the wet suit lack, and my aches and pains I decided to sit on the couch and have coffee. Later I learned the water temp was pretty good, and I regretted it yet again.
I had an appointment to go look at homes today and so that then took up a lot of my time. I am just amazed at the HOA fees. The home itself is affordable, but the HOA fees, are kind of insane.
Anyway after reflection on the massive HOA fees, I went to the gym.
I RAN. 1.7 miles. It was pretty nice. Very very slow and I had some problems on the last 10th…my body is weak and my HR goes crazy with running, I also for whatever reason, drank a lot of coffee today….
I really enjoyed it.
After I was able to do a little strength session. I am always surrounded by these fit people and feel so just flabby and out of shape. It is January, and well, everyone assumes I am a Resolutioner. That this is the year I finally “get in shape”
I know I should not care what others think, but indeed, I do care. I take every opportunity to tell anyone who will listen that I’m hurt, injured, and recovering. Funny thing though, it does make a difference. I’ve had some buff guys look at me like I was in their way, when they overhear me tell someone, “Yes I’m improving from my injury” they give me this look of respect. Kind of crazy.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised at some of the improvements I could see in my workout.
I also hit the pool for 1200 meter.
This evening I have this idea that the rubber band sensation around the toes.
is reduced some more. We will see…
We will see.
I do want to email the coach immediately, but…for whatever reason I’m playing it cool. He is new baby life full. I saw him on Friday watching me working out. He left before I was done and didn’t come over to say hi, so I felt a little “left out in the cold” even though more likely he just wanted to get home to the baby. Stopping to talk to someone can take a long time (I love to chat). I think I’ll talk to him when I have some definite news. I miss him, and I miss training. But I am encouraged daily. I think this long delay for surgery that really pissed me off may actually be a huge blessing in allowing me to avoid the surgery… Who knows.
Happy New Year.
The day started out kind of poorly. I intended to visit a state park, and oddly my map on my GPS took me to the middle of an “over 55 active” community in the middle of Haines City Florida. it was a bit of insanity.
We eventually got to the park, but to be frank, I saw actually more wildlife in the housing development than what was at the park, so Blech. (Seriously at the development I saw Ibis, Storks, Sandhills and an alligator. at the park, i saw a mosquito and lots of tracks.) I used GPS so was sure to walk a mile at the park, but then it was Such a horrid little park I just went home. Several hours later, I realized I was feeling OK, so…
I leashed up the dog and went for another run/walk/run experience.
It felt like this, and the Dog looked like this, but I think I looked more like someone doing a shuffle walk. Regardless. I got pretty sweaty and my HR soared. By the time I was done with the piddling 1.6 miles, I actually felt accomplished.
On Monday or Tuesday I was swimming, and noted that my foot seemed to finally FINALLY have the rubber band sensation decrease.
Other than the pain, the particular compromise to my toes was super annoying. I literally felt as if someone had wrapped a rubber band around my toes. With this sensation, there was always a message going to my brain saying, “Remove the rubber bands” Very annoying. I still have altered sensation, but it is not that tight rubber band sensation. I no longer have a constant message buzzing in the back of my head about removing anything from the toes. I was hesitant, but after today I decided that this really is an improvement, wahoo.
So Here’s hoping this is no longer surgical.
Well… sort of not really.
Yesterday a friend tagged a lot of us on Facebook and invited all of us to a Yoga session at the gym to get started on our New Years Resolutions. I was all like sure, why not, not my New Year Resolution, but I know it is one for many and I like to support friends, and I admit, the particular pal who invited us all is not at all fit and so I thought, if she can do this, I can too, even with a massive herniated disk. This morning when I awoke I noted as I walked the dog, that my big toe on my numb foot had changed sensation. It was definitely more painful than the night before, but not horrific.
I rested a bit and invited yet another friend. Then, the original inviter cancelled, and my friend said “your town seems far away” and I thus remembering the pain in my toe, attempted to cancel too. BUT…at 9 am I got a text from the last remaining friend saying, “I’m on my way” So…i jumped up and donned yoga type clothing….and rushed over to the gym arriving at 9:25 just in time for POWER YOGA.
I dutifully informed the instructor that my back is rather messed up, and that I might not be doing a lot of the session. She was a sub and as all yoga instructors, very chipper and encouraging and all about modifications.
Since the instructor was a sub, she was not as confident as a regular instructor which may have actually made things worse for me, as she was not familiar with any students, so no one really knew what would happen next.
I have to be honest, this level of class was really for people who actually regularly practice Yoga. Not my friend or myself. I have not done this stuff for years, and she is very out of shape. My fitness helped me to maintain some things, where she could not, but in reality, I could not follow a lot of the sequences, and So many modifications had to be made for my back that I think I ended up doing a different class than the rest of the class.
My friend gets the giggles, which is really not appropriate in this kind of a class so I had to avoid eye contact.
So…end result, 6 hours later my hamstrings ACHE. My ankles feel miserable. My shins even hurt. I got a nice workout and stretch though I don’t think I’ll be trying power Yoga again soon.
After this, I had a coffee and a chat with my pal and then hit the pool for a quick swim.
Not too hopeful at this point about avoiding surgery…