Post surgical blues

Leading up to surgery, I was overly optimistic. Four to six weeks off of work? I will get sooo much stuff done. I’ll knit a bunch of hats and scarves, I’ll have time to catch up on my reading, I’ll watch all the documentaries in my Netflix queue and do some design work I’ve been wanting to do.

Boy was I wrong.

When I’m not in a drug-induced nap, I’m watching marathons of “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation” or “SpongeBob SquarePants” on Netflix. I’m playing stupid games on my computer or iPad. The only thing I’ve knitted so far was a cover for my cast to keep my toes warm.

photo (2)Speaking of my toes… we have a little situation going on. As you can see (sorry, gross, I know)… my toes are a nice bluish purple. That’s from getting up to go to the bathroom and let the dogs outside. I was up for maybe 10 minutes total and my toes went all cray-cray.

Apparently, I’m now getting into the crazy swelling stage of recovery, where if you don’t have your foot elevated, everything swells and starts to turn colors. This could go on for a couple of months. MONTHS. WHAT THE HELL?

BTW, the orange is from the betadine they put on you to sterilize everything before surgery. At first, my leg and toes looked like I got a bad spray tan. Now it just looks gross. Add in the blue toes, and we’re on the way to getting a rainbow.

Anyways, when my toes swell up and get blue, they also get super tingly and uncomfortable.

So that’s awesome.

And on top of that, I have been feeling lonely. I’ve had a few visitors (thanks, guys!), but I just feel secluded because the couple of times that I have left the house I felt exhausted the entire following day. Life is going on for everyone else and I’m here, sitting alone at my parents’ house. Ok I’m not really alone – I’m just that crazy hermit lady holed up in a house alone, with three dogs.

</pity party>

Easy walk with the dogs turned – oh crap I may have just effed everything up

My parents said they would drive down to the eastside so we could take the three dogs for a walk at Lake Shore State Park (one of my absolute FAVORITE places to run/walk). We drove down to the parking by the lighthouse and headed out along the water to the park. Not even a quarter mile in I lost my footing on the sidewalk/grass (sort of missed the sidewalk) and rolled my BAD ankle, scraped up my arm a bit, got grass stains on my pants, and bruised my ego.

My parents gasped. I sat there in shock, not knowing if I should cry, scream, swear or crawl back to the car.

I was so scared that I completely messed up my left foot/ankle. I’m pretty sure I rolled it. Which, you know, is really awesome 7 days before you’re traveling to wine country to complete your first half marathon ever.

I sat on the ground for a while. My dad and another guy who saw me fall offered to help me up but I turned them down. I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to know if I had just taken myself out of training for the final week. I didn’t want to know if I would still be able to do this race.

Honestly, I think there was a part of me that wouldn’t have minded being side-lined from the race. I’m already at the point where I am not going to be anywhere near my initial time goal, due to knee problems early in training and then this whole sprained foot business.

I moved my ankle and it hurt, but wasn’t excruciating. It was important I pick myself up and keep going. I knew that if I retreated back to the car, I would have a huge psychological barrier next weekend at the race.

I stood up and took a step. I’ll be honest. It hurt. A lot.

But I kept going. As I walked, it hurt but I was able to do it without too much pain. My ankle/foot is definitely weakened now. Although, maybe whatever I did will have knocked things back into place. Who knows.

All I know is I am in a lot of pain right now, so I wrapped it up and iced it for 20 minutes. I’m going to do that every hour til bed and hopefully things will be better in the morning.

Otherwise, I might really be sidelined for Napa. And I don’t think I can handle another blow. Please say a li’l prayer for my left foot/ankle. I can’t not do this race.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

First it was good. Then it was really good. Then it was ok. Then it was meh. Then it was bad. Then it was really bad. Then it was oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-die. Then it was over.

My left foot/ankle bothered me quite a bit yesterday. I’m not sure what happened. I iced it on and off all afternoon and evening, hoping it would feel better.

When I woke up today it was a little bit better, but not great. I did not have high expectations for today’s run/walk. I was completely prepared to do a couple of miles and go home.

Around the first half mile mark, Coach Anne asked if I was going to run down the hill (I like to run down the hill at Lincoln Memorial Drive cuz it makes me feel fast). I told her that I would probably run down the hill and how I felt at the end would determine if I’d run any more today.

Well I started running. And I kept running. Before I knew it, I was by the Northpoint custard stand which is the 2mi mark of the route. And I was running. woah. I walked for the next 3/4 of a mile. Then I started running again. And I kept running. My pace was slowing considerably but I just kept going because I was afraid of what would happen when I stopped. I continued running til I got to Lake Shore State Park and then walked the first half to 3/4 mi of the loop. Then I started running again. I continued running (ok at this point it was more like a shuffle) to Discovery World. Then I realized that the route I thought was 10 miles was actually going to be more like 9 and I got mad and I went up Michigan past Discovery World out onto the pier to add some mileage. It was about half a mile but whatever. It was some additional mileage.

By this point my foot was starting to hurt more, but I kept alternating between walking and running for a bit longer. As I passed the lagoon the pain started getting worse. My pace was slowing. And slowing. And slowing. I ran out of water and bought a bottle from a vendor at the entrance to Veterans Park. I kept going even though the pain was getting worse. I was determined to show the lakefront who’s boss. As I reached McKinley Marina, I knew there was no way I would be running any more. The pain was getting worse. I was glad I had sunglasses on because I’m pretty sure I was crying a bit.

I’ll be honest. There were times during the last couple of miles that all I wanted to do was sit down and cry and call someone to come pick me up. But I didn’t. I kept going, despite the pain.

When I got to the Lake Park Bistro stairs and stared up Lincoln Memorial I knew there was no way I was going to make the last mile of our normal loop. So I cut it short and practically crawled up the stairs. No joke. It was so painful going up those stairs. My knees were aching. My ankle/foot was throbbing. I made it to the top and collapsed near the picnic bench Becky was sitting at. I almost lost it then but managed to keep my shiz together as I talked about what happened.

The rest of the day I was really depressed about what happened today. I focused on the bad so much I forgot that I RAN 1.5 miles today. And then another mile. And then a half mile. And then another mile or so.

I’m going to spend the next couple of days resting my foot and hoping that some RICE action will get it better so I don’t throw off my training. Here’s hoping my workouts at the beginning of the week are more strength-focused than cardio. Cuz the treadmill and eliptical aren’t happening.

SPLITS: 15:51, 15:13, 18:08, 16:17, 18:03, 17:33, 18:10, 19:39

Checking up, slowing down and a wardrobe malfunction

On Friday, I had a checkup with Dr. H. regarding my myriad of health issues. First, I talked with Nurse Debbie. I was bursting to tell her I lost almost 11 pounds. She was SOOO excited for me! She asked what I was doing and I said I was exercising and eating less. I made sure to point out that I’m not cutting anything completely from my diet, just eating smaller amounts of food. She agreed this is probably the best way for me to lose weight.

Pulse was good. Blood pressure was… (insert fanfare) 136/86. Still not great, but down from 149/92 in December! SCORE.

I also told Debbie about my plan to do a 5k in April and a half-marathon in July. I even told her about my breakthrough C25k moment last week. I also told her about something that happened during that run/walk that I didn’t share with y’all. I had a wardrobe malfunction. I was about 12 min into the intervals on the treadmill when I felt a li’l drafty. Figured it must be because I was running oh-so-fast. Then I did a “pants check.” Yep. Sure enough, my pants fell below my bootay. Luckily, I was wearing a long shirt and *hopefully* no one saw too much of my underwear. I quickly pulled my pants up. I hope I didn’t scar anyone for life. Nurse Debbie started laughing so hard her eyes began to water. She said she felt bad about laughing but it was too funny. I assured her I didn’t mind if she laughed… I’ve been laughing about it all week.

So then Dr. H. came in and we had a really good talk (20+ min) about everything. I told her about the 5k, half-marathon and this blog. She was so happy I’ve lost weight. “I’m impressed,” she said when she realized I had lost almost 11 pounds in just 6 weeks. Dr. H. laughed about the wardrobe malfunction and said she definitely thought I could walk a half marathon in July. YES!

Dr. H. was very happy to see my blood pressure had dropped and attributed that to my exercising. She said that hopefully in a few months, it will be back down to normal! I’m so happy I don’t have to go on meds!

I went to the lab to have some blood drawn to check my Thyroid levels and my TSH was down to 5.24 (from 10.2 in December). She upped my meds slightly and hopefully the increase will help regulate my levels enough that I don’t need to up them anymore. I started the higher dose Saturday and haven’t noticed a difference just yet. Soon, I hope! My iron counts were good, so I don’t have to increase that.

The results from the sleep apnea link test I took earlier this month came in last week. I wasn’t in the “normal” range, but I wasn’t in the “grossly abnormal” stage either. Basically, that means I have to do a sleep study at the hospital. THAT should be a blast. I hardly slept with the apnea link, I can’t imagine how I’ll sleep with even more stuff hooked up to me and a video camera watching me sleep. I just might make an obscene gesture or two, to make sure they’re paying attention.

I also talked with Dr. H. about my knee pain, telling her I think it’s just weak from not working out and maybe I aggravated some scar tissue from the surgery I had when I was 18. She said if the pain wasn’t stabbing/short, I was probably right. So I’m gonna work on strengthening my calves/quads/hamstrings plus hip abductors/adductors and hope that helps righty out. Acupuncture is actually helping quite a bit, so hopefully the combination of the above with the new brace I ordered I will be able to continue C25k training next week. I’ve decided that I’m taking this week off, and focusing on the strength training and will just do walking and/or biking for cardio.

Reminder:  I’m selling coffee to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis research!