It Didn’t Work For Me and Other Sayings…😝

As I mentioned I had my injections on Tuesday. I’m usually pretty good at being careful with whom I tell certain things too. Because so many people knew of the pain I was in, it was obvious you could look at me and tell, a lot of them knew I was having the injections. So the first thing many, if not most, people said was “it didn’t work for me” and then proceed to tell these long horrible stories. Why do people do that? I learned a long time ago to stop telling people when I was going on a flight because the same thing would happen. I learned then to share only with “like-minded people”; not that I don’t have people in my life who have different views. What I  mean by “like-minded” is people who are positive and want the best for me as I do for them. Folks who are not going to put the worst negative energy out there about how things didn’t work for them or better yet how they didn’t do the rest of the work to help it work for them; a part that is conveniently left out.

Now I’m not talking Pollyanna by any means, but I’m a firm believer in positive in positive out. Now, having said all that, there were people who weren’t so negative. I attended the Genesis Hope Run a few weeks ago. The Hope Run happens the week when new runners in the Genesis Program run for the first time for 20 minutes non-stop. It’s so cool and a big moment for them. Anyway, I had just been released from PT, I hadn’t seen many of these folks in months so it was great to be there. I gave them the update and the response was very different. Many have overcome injuries, have also had the injections but their responses were much more positive. Here’s the thing, these folks remain active, they are still running, they may not be hitting the times they used too but they are still in the race; despite the injury, they just readjusted as needed. The difference between them and the others I told was the attitude, theirs was healthier, therefore more positive and encouraging. You know those who complain about running are those who don’t run. 😆 I believe they are more positive because they are active.

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Some of my clients will say “nothing works for me”. When they don’t want to do some of the small things that could help with the process in addition to the medication and/or procedure. We all know losing weight can help with back and knee pain, we are not talking skinny here, we are talking healthy. If a person has a good deal of extra weight pulling and putting pressure on these areas it only stands to reason that relieving that pressure will help with the pain/discomfort. I attempted to get a client to understand this last week; she had no idea we have the same pain doctor and she told me “he never said anything to me about losing weight”. I know this is not true he mentioned weight loss to me even though he told me that’s not something I needed to worry about but to keep it in mind.

We have to take some responsibility for ourselves and our health (including our mental health) we can’t solely rely on what is prescribed to us. I think that also includes who we decide to share things with; I don’t like negativity, that’s the main reason I got off FB and some other things. It has an impact on both our physical and mental health. If I ever hope to get back to running, then I’m sticking with people who are going to support that. I’ve had just a little bit of pain discomfort since I got the injections. I’m hoping it’s just my body adjusting and some stretching will help. I may have overdone it a little yesterday, we’ll see.

Keep it positive…Peace..

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Injection Day

Today I had my first round of injections in my L4 L5 in the left lower lumbar area. Everything went well, in fact, it was quick and fairly painless. My friend Susan was my “driver” because I’m not allowed to drive for 12 hours after the procedure. I’m thankful to her for taking the time from work to do that for me. I said in my last post since doing physical therapy I have felt much better, but my physical therapist recommended I keep this appointment. So now I have to keep ice on the injection site which is a little sore but nothing major. The numbness has worn off a little my leg feels like I do when I go to the dentist, numb. I understand why they don’t won’t you drive when you have this procedure done. But I should be back to my normal routine tomorrow…YAY! My second injection is scheduled in two weeks but if I’m doing okay without any pain I can cancel if I don’t need it. I couldn’t take any pictures…no phones allowed 📵

There was no need for Susan to stay with me when I got home; I could get around just fine as long as I keep icing like I was instructed. Since I got home I ordered a pizza (I know, not the healthiest but cooking was out of the question) and I’ve been napping. I didn’t sleep well last night thinking about how today was going to go. It’s all good here moving forward, now time to get a new ice pack.

Have a good one~~

A Good Report! âœ”

I had a session with Mindy, my physical therapist, today and she was very pleased with my progress. So much so I don’t have to go back until I start doing long runs or if I start having problems; that is fabulous news! She said I will probably need her again when I get up to about 8 miles or so. Now it’s not like I can go full throttle or anything she recommends me starting out with the couch to 5k program, and even if I feel like I can do more…TAKE IT SLOW. I still have, what I will call discomfort, but it is nothing like the pain I was feeling when I first started going to physical therapy. I also have to continue to strengthen or I will be back where I started. My injections are scheduled in two weeks, she recommends I keep the appointment because it can only help, so I will. But I feel so much better than I did a few months ago, someone even commented to me the other day, they could tell I was walking better. I know I am, I’m really excited to be able to get back out on the pavement even if is walking for 30-second intervals. It was some of the best news I’ve had in the last few weeks and I needed it!

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Slow Progress….but Progress

Hi, all…I haven’t posted for awhile but I’ve been keeping busy. I’ve been doing my physical therapy the last several weeks, had my most recent session today. My physical therapist, Mindy told me today I was getting better she could tell I was improving! YAY! Great news! I still have good ways to go but hearing that I’m now making progress was fabulous. She said my alignment and mobility is better, my strength is improving too. Although I still some work to do she was excited by my progress, so was I. I’m not in nearly as much pain as I was it’s mostly uncomfortable and my heating pad helps with that, I can stand for longer periods time without pain. I thought I was getting better before today’s appointment but there’s nothing like confirmation from the professional.

I was supposed to have my injections this week but my doctor had an accident while cycling, he’s an ultra athlete, he was hurt pretty good so the injections had to be rescheduled for next month. So it’s physical therapy exclusively until then, although she did say I could do some walking, working my way up to 30-second intervals. She said I would be starting with the couch to 5k program. I was like I have to start at the beginning again?! Mindy said not exactly just doing the 30-second intervals to work my way back, “take it slow” she said 😆 I have some glute work to do; if I want to get back to running I have to strengthen the good ole bottom! I tell you I was weak all over! So now I have exercises added for that area. I was thinking the other day about possibly getting a Total Gym. It looks like a good way to get the strength training I need without going to an overcrowded gym waiting for a machine or trainers who don’t seem all that invested. That’s been my experience at my local Planet Fitness. Does anyone have one or ever used the Total Gym?

Other than my physical therapy I’ve been busy working on my dissertation that has been more of a daunting task than a thought it was going to be, taking care of things for my grandmother, who had a short stint in the hospital but she’s home now and doing well. Her new lift/recliner chair is being delivered tomorrow she’s looking forward to that. I also decided with the encouragement of my friend Barbara to register for the Greenbrier Half-Marathon next year on May 12, 2018. That gives me both something to work toward and look forward to doing. My name on my bib will be ComeBckKid. I had registered for this years half-marathon but due to all of this stuff, I was unable to participate. So it would be fitting to get back out there with this race.

I’m going to go on a short walk sometime this weekend and see how it goes. 🏃🏾‍♀️

 

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Mindy, my physical therapist, and me after our session today.

 

 

Sitting Is Bad For You…Pass It On

I’ve been going to physical therapy a few weeks now my last session was yesterday. My physical therapist is pretty cool, Mindy is my regular one she was on vacation yesterday so I was with someone else yesterday, another woman, and I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember her name.  Both women are fabulous and strong or my body is truly weak 🤣They do several things to test the strength in my legs and my back. It looks like my hip and my pelvis are also not cooperating either. My pelvis was uneven but after a few adjustments and exercises, it was a little evener. I have found out the key is my core. It all lies in the core. Pulling in with my bellybutton can correct a myriad of things, including posture. When I asked why my hips and pelvis were not in their proper placement she said well when we sit whether it is in our cars or for me at a desk all day we sometimes tend to lean either right or left. In the car on the console or either direction of the computer on our desk. Apparently, even though a 5k was the most okay for me to run, longer distances my body may not have been totally ready handle, in part due to the fact that I sit for a living.

I have always said people who work in fast food restaurants, waitress, nurses, etc, are in good shape and now I really know they are probably better prepared to run long distances than I  am because their bodies are in constant motion; all they would need to is learn form, pacing, etc. However, I now have to learn how to walk properly, that will help strengthen my core and correct my posture. It’s the basic stuff we hear it all the time. Pull in your belly button and when I started doing it before I left PT yesterday, initially I felt like I was stiff as if I was holding my breath it was uncomfortable.  Until I relaxed a little, it was better and I could tell my posture was better too. I know now this is also how I should have been running.  I have to consciously practice doing this, not crossing my legs, to keep my alignment correct so I don’t curve my spine any further, (yep found that out too), but with a couple of adjustments she was able to make improvements there as well. Just as an added something to all of this I started riding the stationary bike for 20 minutes to help strengthen my left leg as well.

When I finished my session yesterday she told me I have a lot of work to do to get better actually what she said was, “you have a long way to go”. I have mixed feelings about that statement. One that I got to this point in the first place but on the other hand I’m on the road to recovery, quite the mixed bag. My injections are scheduled for July 18th and she said that will help a lot.

The moral of the story if you sit get up and walk a few times a day it’s much better for you than sitting all day…

Have a good one..and keep on movin’ 😊

If You’re Not First You’re Last

Since I started back to school reading for leisure is not something I get to do very often. So while I was on my flight to MN last week I was able to get caught up on a few of my back issues of Runner’s World. One of the articles I read was titled Dead Freakin Last…and Proud of It! This was a great article about those who are the very last to finish races. In the Genesis Running Program, I did they always have a Sweeper to be sure no one in the program is last in the race which is a really cool thing to do. But as I read this article I remembered I had actually run a race many years ago in 2004. I totally forgot all about it!

I was working in an Intensive Outpatient Substance Abuse Program at a local hospital, at that time was just playing around with the idea of running a 5k. I was not in shape at all, I barely walked let alone ran anywhere and I was a little overweight. I was playing around with trying to eat better but no real commitment (my how things have changed). Anyway, one of my colleagues was a runner and we had talked about her running and me getting into running but nothing really came of it; until she had me talked into running a 10k, yes you read that right a 10k! Looking back on it now I had no idea what I was thinking, I didn’t even know what a 10k was at the time, the complete lack of knowledge I had about the sport of running and running in general, geeze! What made this idea even worse was where this race was taking place at Kanawha State Forest one of the State Parks in WV.  It’s a hilly beast, so this made it even more of a bonehead moment for me. I knew nothing about form, proper shoes, clothes, I looked like I was from the Island of Misfit Runners. My colleague for all her good intentions and having confidence in my ability to do this race but she didn’t help me to prepare for it all. No practice runs, nothing. I don’t remember much about the complete race; more so just the end. I remember being really exhausted and fighting to finish it, and people passing me. I thought I was going to die, my legs hurt so bad and I felt heavy. I was a hot sweaty mess. My colleague, her name was Robin, was with me the whole time. But I did finish this race and I was absolutely Dead Freakin Last!! I remember being a little embarrassed but I honestly was too tired to care. However, when I finally crossed the finish line folks clapped for me as I crossed. I don’t know if they were happy for me that I finished or if they could finally get on with the awards 😂 But here’s the funny part….I won my division! Haaaaa! The caveat is I was the only one in my division but I didn’t care I got my prize like I beat a million people! I hobbled right up there accepted it. The next day and next several days, I was never so glad to have a bathroom on the first floor. My legs hurt so bad I could barely stand let alone walk. 🤕

Until I read this article I had completely forgotten about this race. I searched through some things and found the medal (my very first) from that day. I didn’t realize the significance of this medal until now. Finishing DFL isn’t the worst thing that can happen, Had it not been for that race my first 5k and half-marathon may not have been possible. It is because of that first race and finishing DFL I learned how strong I was, I’m a fighter and if I set a goal I’m going to meet it.

Fishing Dead Freakin Last may not be a bad thing 😉

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Let The Healing Begin

Today was my first day of physical therapy. I went to the Center for Pain Relief and Physical Therapy.

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The staff here, unlike the staff at the main office, were very friendly from the front office staff to everyone in the back. It makes a big difference. The interesting thing is I used to work in this building with the psychiatrist upstairs. When they set up this appointment and giving me directions, (it’s not the easiest place to find), I was like Oh! I used to work there! No problem! I know exactly where it is.

Anyway, my physical therapist’s name is Mindy. She was FABULOUS! She did a very thorough assessment and history. She listened to what I had to say and gave me feedback. She was just great. I have a great deal of weakness primarily on the left side as those of you who have been reading this blog already know.. After some testing, she told me there was also a weakness with my adductors (I had no idea about that until she demonstrated it…wow)…and there is just a little weakness on my right leg even though the right leg was stronger overall. My core needs work too. It’s amazing how quickly what you can lose in 6 months, but she told me it may not be too bad I would probably have muscle memory (I think that was the phrase). She could also notice my hips shift when I walked, I thought something like that was going on, it felt as if my gait was off like I was walking uneven or something.

Mindy “worked on” several different points on my hip and piriformis to loosen it up or release the tension. I had been hurting today, it wasn’t one of my better days. Then she had me do a few exercises like a press up. Me pushing up on my hands while laying on my stomach when I start to hurt. I’m to do that at least three times a day. Another is to lay on my back pulling my belly button to the floor working on my core, doing the kegel exercise for stabilization. Also doing this same exercise throughout the day when I’m sitting which helps to correct my posture. Amazing, I didn’t know how much I slouched until she showed me how to sit correctly by doing this exercise. I can do it anywhere, anytime. She also gave me a Lumber Roll for my chair which helps my posture and to do this exercise. I used it in the car on the way home I couldn’t believe the change in my posture. She also had me to squeeze a ball between my legs while doing that last exercise which also helps to strengthen my core as well my adductors, you should have seen my knees shaking trying to keep that ball in place. I can’t believe how weak my legs have gotten.

It’s going to take some time but at least I now know what needs to be done. She also said I could do some walking, no running, but I could walk as long as I wasn’t in pain and it was flat. That was cool. So I’m going to be seeing her weekly, hopefully, twice a week, my work schedule is causing some issues. I also have to be out of town the end of next week for school. But at least I have the exercises to do in between sessions. I’m feeling pretty good about this she was reassuring, it’s just going to take time and patience. When I left today the pain I was in going into the appointment was alleviated little. That was a hopeful sign.