30 weeks of Marathon training.

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

Aftermath of the Lighthouse Loop Race (warning Long)

So, if you follow this blog (all 4 of you!) I had an OK race last weekend. If you are going to read this, Invite you to get a cup of coffee, shot of tequila or something because it’s a little long.

I was fairly active all day Sunday. We all hoped that  by staying hydrated and active we’d be less sore.

By the time we made it home on Sunday afternoon, all I really wanted to do was lay on the couch.  So I did.

I sent an email to my coach.

So my back is really hurting now.  I did climb up the light house in Ponce Inlet and back down Oow!”

I took an Ice Bath.  I rested, then about 6 hours later, I took a steaming hot epsom bath.

Went to bed.

Got up, had a pretty hard time getting up, my back and hip hurt quite a bit…I hit the pool as the workout plan instructed.  Just walking out there, the swim coach raised his eye brows and said, wow…you are limping.

I did feel better after the swim.  Went to work.

At work, I discovered that I could barely sit.  Essentially I would sit for 15-20 mins and have what I assumed was a spasm of my piriformis. So I’d stand up…move about a bit and it would cease.  I texted my massage guy and he was able to reschedule my tuesday massage for Monday.

Had the massage and did feel slightly better.  Went home, I now had the dog back from boarding, and I took another hot bath and went off to bed.

Tuesday.  Woke up and found I could really not walk.  I literally was crawling on the floor. My left foot was numb.  After weighing the odds of this going away any time soon, I went to the Emergency Department.

emergency-room-sign

Was this an Emergency?  Well. Hard to tell.  I chose it though because I wanted an MRI.  Getting an outpatient MRI takes forever.  Normally they don’t really do them in the Emergency Department either, but I work at the hospital, and the MD knows that my insurance is about to run out, SO, he ordered it.

The staff were great and got me in and out.  MRI is a funny thing, I am claustrophobic, in that in general I couldn’t function in a tight space, but the key with MRI is to just shut your eyes and not allow yourself to open them.  You can’t tell you are in an enclosed space at all.  As far as I could tell with my eyes shut…It could have been…

field_of_flowers_wall_muralSo the actual test went ok.

When the MD came back in, he wasn’t smiling at all. I knew though that something was terribly wrong, I mean, I couldn’t really walk, couldn’t sit and the only comfortable position was laying flat.  I had an extrusion of my L5/S1.  Seems a common area to have an injury.

They started me on the steroids to reduce the swelling and gave me all sort of pain meds- valium…you name it.

I called in sick, and went home and started my aggressive recovery policy.  I investigated really quickly who was the best neurosurgeon spine guy in the area.  Then I started making phone calls.  I did get an appointment for the next day at the office recommended.  After that I started to feel a bit better…. The Magic of steroids.

K_steroids1

I showed the report to my coach who read it and didn’t really get it.  He said, oh this is fine, rest and we’ll strengthen you.  He set me up on some hot packs and told me It would be ok.  Later he felt sorrier and tried the tens unit on my glute area which I thought was spasming.  TENS unit does not work too well for nerve pain, I don’t think because after about 10-20 minutes, I started to have worse pain.  He chatted with his friend the pain management MD and arranged for me to have an appointment there even though they do not take my insurance.  I was not feeling the most positive ever.

Oddly though I was very relaxed.  For the first time in MONTHS, I did not have to be at work, answer work questions or deal with work.  So that is a good indicator that I need a new job, when laying about in fairly strong pain, with a numb foot still feels more relaxing than work.

Wednesday I went to the Neuro physician. Tough office.  I had to drive 30 minutes to get there.  Sitting in general is awful, but I have found now if I sit for a certain time in a position, it eventually evens out and the pain becomes bearable.  So I got there, and they hand me the 900 pages of forms to fill out.  This drives me nuts. They asked all the same questions on the phone the day before, so…I filled out the forms and I thought I was doing ok standing up.  All of a sudden, my head got that buzzing sensation and I knew that I was close to fainting.  I sat.  The pain was awful, but I was not about to faint or lay on the floor in the office.  I am not for Drama.

The gal called me back to the room and I could see my films up.  3 people were looking and pointing and making exclamation point type statements.  I could not help myself…right before I went in the room I looked over and said, “I know those are my films you are looking at” The physician came in and introduced herself.  She asked how on earth I did this.  I explained that I had run a race.  She tried to show me the herniation but I really couldn’t deal with it because of the pain.  So she let me lay down and gave me a shot.  I assumed it was toradol.  She then set me up with the Neurosurgeon for the next day.  Of course by then I was crying, because I have the new job, Surgery seemed so crazy, and frankly, I was in a large amount of pain. I received MORE prescriptions for narcotics and also Gabapentin.

So on the way home I filled them and then stopped by the Physical Therapy office.  I spoke with the Manager of  PT, rather than my coach.  Then placed myself on the hot packs for a while.  Eventually my coach came and sat with me. He apologized for not getting the seriousness of the situation, and looked at the films, finally saying, well…I don’t read films but wow, I can see the problem right there…it looks so different than the others.  

He prayed over me for a long time, and I just cried. Such an element of WHY me.  I also was reminded that in this life…as a follower of Christ…All of us are promised trials…  emphasis on the “S”  not just one trial, but many. I reminded my coach of this and he kind of looked surprised. I said, well, I know if I’m having a trial, Jesus hasn’t left me.

The Next day I saw the Neuro Surgeon.  He said I looked a lot better than expected.  I totally acknowledged the prayer. While I do credit prayer, I discovered also that the injection she had given me was Depo-Medrol.  A very powerful steroid.  SO that is probably what caused the remarkable improvement.  He decided that I might be able to resolve this on my own, and made an appointment for next week to see me again.  He was super pleasant and informative and respectful of my pain.  The office staff were also very nice, saying, “We saw how bad your film is and want to help you in any way.”  I had been listening through all the thin office walls to lots of patients demanding narcotics and other controlled drugs.

Friday…I see the Pain Management Specialist. WOW, what an adventure in Narcotics.  Everyone coming in has to give a urine sample.  I looked at the lady and said…i do not want any more narcotics or prescriptions. She looked shocked and said, don’t bother with the sample. I noted that they did pull in Rx history as well.  In Florida, practitioners can pull up I believe a 90-120 day list of all prescriptions you have filed.  When we did it in the ER I worked in, I was always a bit amazed at the amounts of drugs people were getting from different prescribers and Emergency rooms/urgent cares.   My list was short, less than a page, but indeed, it was starting to look a little like overkill. As I sat in the room, I could hear again, another person telling the Doctor he needed Valium or percocet or roxicet.  He didn’t want the Gabapentin.  He only wanted the narcotics.  I can not imagine how anyone works in that environment all day.

Dr. P. came in and said, “Hey you are from the training center, I see you there all the time”  I smiled a little.  We talked about my coach and he said, Yeah..I’d do anything for him, lets get you set up. He looked at the interpretation and said, “OH you have got something legit and serious there.” He proposed some steroid injections to shrink the disc back into place.  I asked about running. He said, “There’s a reason we are all triathletes” The he said, running will be tricky.

I said OK. I mean, I can’t really walk regularly.  my leg is numb. I need to work.

My current plan is to have the large steroid injection…get back on my feet, get established in the new job.  Possibly have a second steroid injection, and if I can not get back to running with all that, then I will have the surgery.

This is a new pain, and WOW.  It is quite intense and difficult to manage well.  Already twice when giving Teulu the wonder dog a small walk… I’ve become so incapacitated I had to lay down on a bench.  NOW.  both times the sky has been beautiful to look at, but… I can not function this way at all. This morning I woke to tingling in my right arm as well, so this is not a good sign.  I have one week till I get the injection.  I must be present at work. I must also show up and be functional at a pre-employment appointment at employee health for my new job. In addition, I have to give a presentation and also somehow start work and get time off on my second day to GET the Injection.

I know everything happens for a reason, but this one is really odd.  Whats funny is that I know this has probably been brewing since last year, so WHY NOW?

Well praying that Jesus the Great Physician will “Pass me Not” And Thanks to Eddie Ruth Bradford who uses her amazing bluesy voice to reflect how I feel!

Savior, Savior
Hear my humble cry (hear my cry)
While on others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by (pass me by)

(Pass me not)
Don’t pass me, O gentle Savior
Please hear my humble cry
While on others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by

Repeat Chorus (with stepouts)

Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief
Living Lord I’m kneeling there in deep contrition
Help my unbelief

‘Cause we’re singing Savior…
Repeat Chorus (with stepouts)

Trusting only in Thy merit
Would I seek Thy face
Heal my wounded, broken spirit
Save me by Thy grace

Repeat Chorus (with stepouts)

Thou the Spring of all my comfort
More than life to me
Whom have I on earth beside Thee?
Whom in heaven but Thee?

Repeat Chorus (with stepouts)

Don’t leave me, Lord, no, no, no (Do not pass me by)
I need you by my side so please don’t pass me by (Do not pass, don’t pass me by)
Do not, do not walk on by and leave me Lord, I need You (Do not pass, please don’t pass me Savior)
Do not pass me by

Scriptural Reference:

“He said, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, my Lord, do not pass your servant by.'” Genesis 18:3

 

Anyone have any experience with these pesky Discs?  Any encouragement, advice, Prayers….appreciated.

 

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7 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Mizunogirl's Blog and commented:

    reblogging from my training blog.

  2. I clicked “Like” here not because I like what I’m seeing, but just to let you know I stopped by, kind of like when hikers and pilgrims leave a stone on a cairn along a trail. I’ve never had a herniated disc (knock on wood), but I know back pain can be so debilitating you’d do anything to stop it. I also know your particular injury can be crippling, so please take care and stay put until the neurosurgeon makes a decision about how to treat it. I’m hoping you won’t need surgery to fix it, but in the meantime, so much depends on what’s done to ameliorate the pain.

    I’ll add you to my church’s prayer chain, if you’d like. A neurologist who worked with my husband during his illness told me he believed in the ability to heal through prayer. I’m forever a skeptic, but it is profoundly comforting to know people are thinking of you when you’re sick or injured.

    • I’ve been amazed at the power of Prayer and how it works. I’m myself always conflicted..I mean they say “God has a perfect plan for you” but then…somehow prayer can change that perfect plan? But I do think it does change things. This week I’ve been praying for 2 people with cancer, and both have suddenly had great outcomes…WHo knew!

  3. Wow…so sorry to hear that this has happened to you. My experience is a bit similar to yours, years ago I blogged that I was crawling around to get around my house, or hanging on to furniture, etc, to walk around the house. Pain was pretty bad.. Was told my L-5 was involved, but now, 4 years later, don’t have back pain very often. I still have leg pain, but my Chiro says it’s muscle stiffness more than anything, a part of getting older. I move more than I used to, but Chiro would like me to sit as little as possible. I have pain when I sit or lie down more than a few hours. I feel better when I move. Hoping good things for you as you go through this situation and that the doctor(s), your coach, and therapist can help you feel better soon!

    • It is definitely starting to get a bit better, I am still having a lot of pain when I walk, but at least I am not reduced to tears in every moment. I will be going back to work today, which will be quite difficult, but I have no choice, if I don’t go to work I have to file for FMLA and to do that for my last 5 days of work on this job seems just dumb. Tomorrow I have a conference so I can probably recline in the car for part of it…and then I am off friday for the Neurosurgeon appointment again.

  4. I, too, had an L5 bulge. I don’t think it was quite as bad as yours, but it made me stop running for over a month. A year later, my mom wound up with a herniated disc that kept her from being able to walk for a few days. It’s certainly a different kind of pain. It’s been years now, and sometimes it gets irritated at me but never as bad as it was. I use a foam roller every morning now on my legs and my back. It seems to really make a difference. I think tight leg muscles really exacerbate the issue. I sit at work with lumbar support as well. I’m careful with how I bend when I pick things up. When it starts to get irritated, I give it some rest. Praying for your recovery! Hang in there!

    Cassie

    • My disk broke apart and the contents came to reside on my nerve. It has caused me weakness at times which does not allow my foot to flex properly, so walking has been difficult, not to mention driving the car. I am so glad your problem resovled though I am sure that not running for over a month seemed horrible. I’ve definitely had a lot of ongoing problems and probably won’t be able to return to any form of real exercise until March 2015, but it is what it is and the plan right now, Obviously I was meant to focus elsewhere. In my case, it would appear that I may have a connective tissue disorder that caused this to occur. Thank yo uCassie, as you know, I covet your prayers.

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