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Monday, July 29, 2013

A difference of opinion

Two weeks down, four weeks to go.  Or so I thought.

My doctor, feeling terrible for missing the stress fracture diagnosis, referred me to an orthopedic surgeon.  Not that she thinks I need surgery, but just so she knows that we're doing everything we can to get me healed and running again.  Imagine my surprise when I got the call on Tuesday that my appointment was Thursday morning at 7am.  I love that...not, "are you able to come at 7am?" but "your appointment is 7am".

I understand that specialists are busy in this very large city.  What I didn't expect was a 7am appointment, at a clinic that opens at 7am, with a half dozen other people already there to see the same doctor. about multitasking!  I was handed an x-ray req, and pointed down the hall to radiology.  Again...  Surprised I'm not glowing in the dark these days!!  And, I don't know why we're bothering with all the x-rays, because they don't show anything, as proven by the last set.  But, I am the patient not the doctor, so off I limp.  Wait at x-ray for about a half hour (1 a hospital radiology lab...seriously?!?!), then back to the doctor's waiting area, to sit for another 15-20 minutes, then into the clinic to sit for another 15-20 minutes.  Finally was seen by the Dr's resident, before the Dr herself came to see me.  To announce, rather bluntly, "you are not built for running, so stop".  Period.  Um...okay...but what about my foot/ankle, which is STILL SWOLLEN DESPITE NOT RUNNING FOR TWO MONTHS NOW!  Inside voice, inside voice...  She looked at my new x-rays, and the bone scan, and sent me off for more x-rays.  Seriously...I'm at risk of turning into a super-hero!  Shuffled back to the clinic, where she announced I had flat feet...yup, knew that...they've been flat for my entire 50 years.  And you pronate...yup, hence orthotics.  And your arches have fallen...again, I didn't go to medical school, but I know that.   According to her, there are no fractures, stress or otherwise.  So once more...why is my ankle/foot swollen after two months of inactivity??  Told me to get rid of the boot, stop ART (expensive rub-down aka waste of money...she hasn't seen my guy...I'd pay extra!) and go to physio long enough to get home exercises.  Don't actually pay them for treatment.  Yeah...because we all know physios around the world don't actually want to get paid for their services.  And her prescription for me...walk heel to toe.  Crap...I've been doing it wrong all these years.  AND MY FOOT AND ANKLE ARE STILL SWOLLEN.  Sigh...  My favourite part of this two and half hours of happy good times???  Please come back and see me in 4 weeks.  For what, pray tell?!?!  I am so cancelling that appointment.

I went for my expense rub-down that afternoon (made Dave's day!), and was back at my doctor's on Friday.  Blood-work ordered (rule out Gout and (hopefully) Rheumatoid Arthritis), as is a CT scan.  We will get to the bottom of this.  Although I am happy to be out of the boot, I must admit.  Still have it (I do own it, after all), so if the foot gets bad, I'll slip it back on.

Returned to Crossfit this week as well...Coaches were great at implementing WODs just for me.  Even got my name back on the whiteboard - 45 sit-ups in two minutes.  Went to open gym yesterday and practiced some bench presses (50# max, so far) and will continue to work on that.  Then Mobility, where we really stretched out the hamstrings and calves.  Felt good.  And I went swimming twice...yes...IN THE WATER!  Actually, I hung out at the side, did some pedaling, "running" and other leg things.  Going to continue that two or three times a week, until I'm back in action.

In the meantime...

Yay for fitness,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Six weeks is 41 days too long

To be away from all activity, that is.  I had my "triumphant" return to the Box (Crossfit Currie Barracks) on Friday night, after meeting both coaches earlier in the week, to discuss my options and abilities.  While everyone else did The Bear Complex (20min EMOM: 1 power clean, 1 front squat, 1 shoulder to overhead, 1 back squat, 1 shoulder to overhead), I attempted my own EMOM of 5 ring pulls, 10 push-ups and 15 air squats.  Sadly, with the boot, it took longer to get up/down for the push-ups and squats that my 20 minutes turned into an AMRAP.  I ended up with 11 rounds completed in the 20 minutes, and was one very sweaty, happy mess.

By the way: EMOM = every minute, on the minute, AMRAP = as many reps/rounds as possible

I was pleased with my efforts and just the fact that I showed up.  People were quite amused/amazed to see me hobbling around the box with one Oly lifting shoe and the boot.

However, I soon learned that 6 weeks off ALL activity means pain.  Not broken bone pain, but "OMG, why does it hurt so much to move my arms?" pain!  I could barely lift the sheet off myself in the morning, and then standing up...well, that was a whole other ball game!!!!  Let's just say Advil and Voltarin cream were my best friends all weekend!

Of course, I'll be back tonight!  Shoulder press (seated), air squats and sit-ups.  Twelve minute AMRAP.  I can do anything for 12 minutes.  Shouldn't hurt...much.  Tomorrow I will head to the pool.  I will, I swear.  Apparently just buying the pass isn't considered actually swimming.  Who knew?!

Yay for fitness,

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lost miles

I was looking for a notepad here at my desk, and came across the listing of races I was signed up for in 2013.  In all, I was looking at 16 races, in distances ranging from 5k all the way to 50k, with a total of 3 Marathons, 5 Halfs, 1 Ultra, 1 Trail and 2 obstacle races.  Of the 9 that I should have completed to date, I have completed 2.  Of the remaining 7, there are only 3 that I am not yet willing to bow out of, and even then there is really only one that I am holding on to dearly, vowing to crawl it, if I must.

So, how did I go from planning on running over 200 miles in races through the year to managing about an eighth of that?  Yes, we can all go on and on about the whole overuse thing, but I'm personally blaming turning 50.  Yup...that's it.  I was rocking things out in my 40's and then I turned 50 and it all went to the crapper.  Let this be a lesson to you all.  For years I said "it's only a number" and "you're as old as you feel"...well, today I feel about a hundred.  Okay, so maybe not that old, but nowhere as young as I felt earlier this year.  I don't care about the wrinkles (I've earned each and every one) and grey hair can be me, I've been colouring those bad boys since I was 16.  Nope, when I attempt to stand in the morning and my feet, knees and hips all scream NO at once, or my shoulder mysteriously pops out of it's socket overnight, there's something afoot.  No pun intended.

I'm off for my annual asthma assessment.  Without all the running this year, it'll be interesting to see what my lung function is.  Of course, the addition of two more fur babies (who both shed like mad!) may contribute to my problem.  Have I mentioned I'm actually allergic?  Have I further mentioned that the allergies are to anything I inhale, so what's the fuss??  Anyway, combine the low cardio, additional fur-babies, extra humidity in Calgary (WTF is that all about??) and the loss of my daily walk to and from work (it's been a year...only 14 more months to go...big BOO), and I think my discussion with my doctor should be interesting, to say the least.

Getting used to das foot swells a bit in one spot, but I iced it last night and that seemed to help.  Follow up with my doctor tomorrow and Dr. Dave next week.  I am counting the days...6 weeks seems very long, but I'll focus on one day at a time.  I replenished all my food lost to the flood, and nothing sugary came into the house.  I'm going to focus on Paleo (save for Greek yogurt) as much as possible, and have packed breakfast and lunch this week (so far...the week is young!).  Today was flatiron steak that I cooked last night, with spices, and sliced thin over salad greens, some avocado, green pepper and cilantro.  My dressing was salsa mixed with a little sour cream and lime juice.  I am a good cooker!!  Tonight I will make a kale, honeydew and blueberry salad, with either the remainder of the steak or maybe some salmon as my protein.  When I cut the grains last time, I felt so much better, which I need during my "no running or jumping or walking or standing" phase!  I am meeting with the Coaches tonight at Crossfit, to come up with a plan I can follow, as I need to get back to a routine and break a sweat.  DESPERATELY!  Feeling very blue, and I don't like it. 

Nothing a little retail therapy couldn't help!

Yay for fitness!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Das boot

It took longer than I wanted, and really wasn't the answer I wanted, but I finally received some news on my pesky ankle foot.

"Nonspecific changes involving the Anterior Right Talus, Talonavicular joint as well as Cuneiforms worrisome for overuse injury/stress fracture."


My Osteo/Sports therapist (after saying "see?  I told you to get a bone scan!") says he's seen many people with stress fractures in their shins, but never at the joint where the leg and foot meet.  I do like to be different from everyone else.

I shall be wearing this 18/7 (I get to take it off at night to sleep, shower), so it's going to take some getting used to.  At least it's an air cast and not a fibreglass one.  That would totally suck.  As it is, my friend P, who lives across the hall and who I drive to work daily (works in the same department) is doing the driving.  If I have to go somewhere without him (he didn't want the chauffeur cap - odd), I've left a pair of birks in the car, and will take the cast off, drive, put cast on.  Has fun written all over it, doesn't it?!  In the meantime, I see my doctor again on Wednesday (to make sure I'm being good, I suppose), am waiting to hear from a sports therapy clinic (I'm an "athlete", and my crossfit coaches, to come up with a plan to do ANYTHING to break a sweat for the next 6 weeks.  I can do upper body, and possibly squats, as long as my hips are even (the shoe I wear on the left will have to level me out).  I may (gagging even as I type) have to look at going to a pool.  For those who don't know, despite being a Pisces, I am not a water baby!  Fear is a great word used to describe what I think of water.  Intense fear.  But I'll work on it.  So, goodbye to Shopper's Women's 10k at the end of July, Mud Hero and Spartan in August, Moose Mountain trail race at the end of August (although it was just cancelled due to the floods).  I "should" be out of the boot by the end of August, so will test the 10k in Banff (Melissa's - I'll drop the distance from the 22) and then Chicago in October.  To quote my beloved Stampede (Hell or High Water), I'm doing Chicago in October.  Don't care if I have to crawl.  I'll walk it.  I'm doing it!!!  After all, I registered 12 times during the fiasco that was sign up day...I've got to compete at least once!  LOL!

It's Stampede week here in Calgary, and for the most part it's been pretty good.  The fact that the City managed to clean up and host it's usual 10-day party, on time, is nothing short of a miracle, and makes me beyond proud to say that I am a Calgarian.   Strangers helping strangers, almost $19 million (last I heard) raised in basically 3 weeks and while there are still some odd pockets of destruction (our poor zoo is facing a $50 mill clean-up and had to ship away 35 animals and permanently close an exhibit), for the most part, Calgary looks like Calgary again.  Okay, so there are now running paths to nowhere, as they end at a cliff over the river, and some restaurants are likely to not reopen for a year or more, if ever.  And High River is having entire neighbourhoods plowed to the ground...but we've still got each other's backs.  Busloads of people are going to High River every day, just to haul garbage and help where they can.  I dare say Calgary and High River will be back to "normal" long before New Orleans...and Katrina was in 2005.  

But back to Stampede week...went the rodeo on Wednesday, although I had to leave before my favourite bull-riding for the doctor's appointment.  Tonight I'll go to my one and only party, fittingly enough a Hell or High Water party at a friend's.  My "yahoo, drink all night and function the next day" days are long behind me now.  So a couple of beers, meet some new people, visit with friends...that's my kind of party.  Listening to all the "yahoos" stumbling around downtown all night is as close as I want to get.  There were a lot last night...till the rain, at least.  I think that washed most away.

My apartment is a little more crowded these days.  Yes, it's official.

I am a "crazy cat lady" - kind of excited by this, as now it means I get to chase children with a stick, right?  Right?!?

Anyway, Simon (tongue out) and Myles have come to live with George and I.  It's been an adjustment, but for the most part everyone is getting along.  Myles suddenly thinks he's an outside cat, so sits at my apartment door and meows to be let out (not going to happen!) and Simon is not overly fond of George, but so far just hisses and growls.  Poor George is "WTF???  Who are these kids???  I'm old, leave me alone" but still purrs and cuddles, so I know he's doing all right.  We'll see how long it takes for me tripping over 3 cats, before I go on the hunt for a larger place!  In the meantime, here's hoping I don't come home to this one day.

We're still waiting on a permanent place for Mom, but she's being looked after well at the hospital, in the transitions ward.  She asks every night (usually 3-4 times) where she is, how long she's been there, how long till she leaves, where is she going and what's wrong with her....every.single.time.  But she laughs about it when I say "you have to go to a care facility because you don't remember that we just had this conversation 4 times tonight".  Always been in good spirits, which is awesome.  There was a new patient there last night that cried the whole time I was visiting Mom.  That makes me sad for her and her family.

That's news for me.
Yay for fitness,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Am I glowing yet?

Sitting outside Starbucks, sucking off their wifi, sipping a coffee in the sunshine.  A perfect way to spend a
Sunday morning, if it weren't for the fact that I am currently radioactive!  Okay, so I exaggerate a little (okay, a lot!), but I am finally getting a bone scan done on my foot/ankle today.  I was injected at 9:30, had one scan and now must sit and wait 3 hours before heading back for scan #2.  I really hope this finally answers some questions.  I am getting very tired of doing NOTHING and watching my foot swell daily.  Yesterday, for example, was sore and stiff and locked up after STANDING.  Yes, that's right.  I stood, making salads for the Stampede BBQ at the Box.  I didn't run, I didn't jump, I didn't walk...I stood.  And I was wearing ropers, which I thought should have stabilized the foot.  But no...crap.

Got up at the crack of stupid this morning to marshal the Stampede Half.  Yet another race in which I was forced to sell my bib.  It's been a long, frustrating running season for me this year.  Hell or High Water (Yes, Calgary Stampede, I'm using your catch-phrase) I am running in Chicago in October.  Don't care if I have to drag the leg or crawl.  It's getting done!  Needless to say, I marshal with mixed emotions.  I love helping out, and cheering everyone on.  Cowbell firmly in hand and big smile on my face.  But I am also very sad and a tad angry that I'm not running with everyone.  I have never run this Half.  The first year, I missed package pick-up (refused to ghost it) and last year I was support for the Sinister 7 race in southern Alberta.  Next year I keep telling myself that I am going to cut back on racing, so maybe I'll do this one in 2015.  Maybe.

Speaking of Crossfit - man, I miss it.  I did go last Saturday and tried some rowing.  Ankle didn't really hurt, but it didn't really like it either.  So I can add rowing to the list of "don't do" as well.  Oh joy.  The lack of cardio and the increased cravings for sugar (getting my endorphins somehow, I suppose) has resulted in a nearly 10 pound weight gain in June, but I was down this week, and feeling a bit more in control.  I managed to pack breakfast and lunch for most of the week (which is key), and I'll sit down with a Paleo menu for the next few weeks to really get myself back on track.  If I can't sweat it out, I'll at least eat properly and drop some weight that way.  I do have a company pancake breakfast on Wednesday (first.time.ever!) and then we (the accounting team) are heading to the grounds for the rodeo that afternoon.  So, basically Wednesday in a write-off in both productivity and food!  And weigh-in is Thursday morning.  Could be interesting!!  But I love the rodeo, and I love beer!  So it'll be what it'll be!

Still haven't moved Simon and Myles (I've decided it's spelled with a y) to my place yet.  Not sure why, but I really must do that.  The fuel savings alone should inspire  me to do it sooner, but  I keep putting it off.  I think I'm afraid they're really going to freak out in the smaller space and without all of their "stuff".  George is settled back down, and again, I'm worried how he'll handle these two invading his domain.  But it has to be done, so I just have to pull up the big-girl panties and get 'er done.  Then get the house cleaned up, get some quotes and sell it.  The market is strong right now, so our timing is good.  Will miss that house and yard though.  Too bad it's so far  out for me.  I just don't like the "burbs" and the commute to work would be a bitch.

Got back into my building the Thursday before the long weekend.  Mind you, there was some confusion as we initially didn't have power, but after throwing some switches and pushing some buttons, the lights came on.  I had to empty my fridge and stand-alone freezer, and I learned something about myself.  Hello, my name is Carol, and I am a food hoarder.  There is no other explanation why a single woman, who lives alone, should throw away 6 (yes SIX) green garbage bags of food.  Luckily I went in on Tuesday, and emptied them then, rather than waiting till the power came back.  Most, while melted, hadn't started to stink yet.  I always said I had to clean out my it's a good thing, right?  Now to refill it.  The government is handing out debit cards for those of us displaced by the floods, but I just can't make myself get one.  My costs were minimal and more of an inconvenience than anything.  I had a safe place to go, and all my stuff is fine.  I know people who lost everything, so I'd rather they get the cards.  Made sammies and treats and handed them out to those standing in line over the weekend.  Doesn't feel like enough, but my foot just won't let me slog through the basements and haul crap.

Well, that's it for me.  Another hour to kill before heading back to the clinic for my scan, and then off to a friend's new place to help her make some decorating decisions.  Then down to Mom's to pick up two cats and all their stuff and bring them home.  There...let it written, so let it be done.

Yay for fitness,