Monday, July 15, 2013

Post from the Air....

An entry written on the flight to Portland.....

Hello, internet friends!  Right now, I am looking out a little airplane window at the Cascades Mountains, and it is surely a beautiful sight to behold.  It really takes your breath away.

I’m trying to keep in mind the beauty in life, but it’s hard when pain is an ever present and constant friend.  Right now, my feet have calmed down from their previous flaring pain that had me limping slowly and painfully through Chicago Midway airport to catch this flight.  My left elbow though….I awkwardly fell asleep as people will when they got less than 4 hours of terrible sleep the night before 8+ hrs of traveling. In coordination with my elbow, I have the searing lower back pain that will come from that nasty and awkward sleep that my brain seemed so desperate for.  I’m confident that a good stretch and some movement of both will make me feel better- which will only exasperate my foot.

Sometimes….life just doesn't seem fair.  For the past 2 days I've been feeling like a shell of myself.  Going through the motions but not able to focus very well and having a hard time being happy.  I haven’t felt this sluggish and low spirited in years….and I HATE IT.

A visit with my physical therapist and lots of foot manipulating and prodding has her thinking I could potentially have a stress fracture on one or both of my feet.  Of course it could be something else, but that’s a possibility.  Can you say SCARY?  The funny (really not so funny, duh) thing was that my feet weren't feeling too bad till my feet got poked and prodded and my pt when searching for pain.   I know it was important, and in reality it has brought me back to reality about this injury.  Because not even 6 hours after the apt, I was walking in Target for 10 minutes and by the time I got to my car both of my feet were throbbing and all I could think was of how fast I could get home to ice them.

Actually those exact thoughts were screaming in my head 4 hours ago before this long flight.  I was thinking that maybe I should ask a restaurant for some ice….but then I needed to get on the flight because it took so bloody long for me to hobble around and find some oatmeal and then get to my gate.  I guess if I was smart I would have just asked the flight attendant for 2 bags of ice when I got on board…..  Maybe it’s something I can do on the way home.

Frankly….it sucks being in pain like this. And I’m really concerned about having a full work week in Portland for a big conference.  Then next week….a new hospital opening where I will be on my feet for 8+ hrs each day.  Ugggggh.  I will get through it, I'm just not currently sure exactly how without exercise....and it's the mental struggle I'm worried about with not exercise.

So, fast forward, I am now at the hotel and am being a good patient: RICE time. Aka rest, ice, compression, and elevation. I have my feet currently in compression socks (as they have been all day), elevated, and with ice on them.  They are all tingly and thanking me for the ice after what would normally be a small amount of walking but right now feels like I ran a marathon. No joke....

What do you do to keep sane when you can't exercise?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Injuries suck

So, I need to come clean with my few loyal followers....

I am struggling right now. I am frustrated.  I feel like this little guy:

Banged up bear

Work is a little stressful right now, yes....but I am dealing more with stress in the form of that picture above....injuries.  Let's talk about what I'm feeling right now..

1. Left elbow hurts- still need to get surgery, and sometimes it full blown throbs in pain. Other times it's a constant, dull, low level of ache type of pain.  But it's ALWAYS THERE!!  It's exhausting to always have a low level of pain. Mentally and physically.

2. Right elbow hurts occasionally.....even after having surgery and being "cleared"

3. About 3 weeks ago I had some left arch pain so I took 2 days off, and then was able to do a great 3 mile tempo run.  Only did 1 mile fast and my legs felt great.

4. The very next day....the top of my right foot started to hurt, so I took some time off- a week to be exact- and saw my doctor.  I thought it was related to this:

Got stepped on by my horse in December 2012- the picture is from then

Even got another x-ray.  It was clear, except some calcification of the bone that basically showed that I was in pain for a while and the bone had to get all strengthened as a result. Yay? Got cleared to ease back in....I did, the pain was back after a little over a mile of a slow, easy run.  Took a few days off then eased back in...I did under 3 miles with a mixture of walking and running, with some breaks and I felt fine throughout and afterwards.  The next day (maybe this was a mistake?) I wanted to run a little on the beach as the sun was rising.  We were in Myrtle Beach for vacation, I am entitled!!

Less than half a mile in my darn LEFT foot starts smarting.  And I was going SLOW and light on my feet. Like 15 min/mile slow.  Heart rate at 135 bpm slow.  On purpose. So....WHAT?!  I walked another mile or so because I refused to have gotten up at 5:30am and turn it in after half a mile.  Colleen was pissed. And in pain. Bad combination, especially when on vacation.

So, that happened on the morning of July 4th.

sad runner

It is now July 10th.

Colleen has not run since July 4th.  I haven't done a decent distance run (3 miles or more) since June 19th. OMG! Didn't really realize that till I had to look it up.  Fail.

Well, I am mad about it damaging my body, true...but mainly because it means I can't run. Yeah.....every time I see a runner I ache a little inside.  This started a couple weeks ago as a little longing and missing the run and now has morphed into borderline wet eyes every time I see a runner.  Especially somebody who is obviously a serious runner and out for a long run or is totally killing it.  I have been caught day dreaming in the middle of a conversation when we pass a runner because I'm thinking about some old great runs and day dreaming about runs in the future when I'm not in pain. Several times I have blurted out at them "great job" like we are racing and I'm cheering them on.  Luckily I have only reverted to this sad and pathetic state when alone so my loved ones think I'm still sane...maybe...

It's not just my brain and heart that is mad about my current state- my body is mad that I'm not running.  It still wants to eat like I'm running and doesn't like that I've gained prolly 5lbs since mid June.   Going on vacation and indulging in some new stuff and not being able to run it off and create that much loved calorie sucks.  So, I am dragging my sorry, somewhat bigger, butt into a weight watchers meeting tonight to weigh in and face the scale like a good member.  Since I'm lifetime I will have to pay for the meeting since I am definitely going to be over my goal weight....but it's worth it. I need a reality check!

I have been doing cross training so don't jump down my throat about biking and elliptical- I've been doing that. I even strength trained a couple times and that's always good.   This morning I even caught a spin class....where half way in my left foot told me that standing was not feeling great.  REALLY?!

So yeah....sorry this is such a downer post, but it's my reality right now.  I keep playing phone tag with my doctor because I'm hoping she will give me a script to return to physical therapy.  Hopefully Barb and Mark can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong, maybe it's a running form thing, or a foot strengthening thing.  I know they aren't magicians, but I'm hoping they can help me.... I'm sick of the elliptical and bike, and I want to RUN.

What do you do to pick yourself up when you are discouraged about an injury? HELP!