Monday, April 14, 2014

Living With a Stress Fracture

When I was first diagnosed with my fracture a few weeks ago - I had these grand plans on how I would document my recovery and use the opportunity to pull through it stronger than ever.  What I didn't count on was the sheer amount of pain I would be in as soon as I stopped running.

Funny, eh?  You'd think I'd be in LESS pain after I stopped running on it.  Not so.  By the end of week 2, I was not only going insane from the sitting still so much - I was still biking whenever I could handle it but my normally very active life was ground to a halt.  I mean - just my Fitbit steps went from 10,000-15,000/day to around 5000/day on average.  Some of it might account for the days that I have been using my crutches around the house.  Pretty hard to take as many steps when you can cover twice as much ground on those.

Add to all of this that I may be having the single most rotten, horrible month of all time. It has taken a bit hit to my mental health as I just do not handle things well when I don't run.  I've had a fair few days of the mean reds and I don't like having the mean reds unless I am significantly into a marathon.

Then - I had a bit of a breakthrough. I was playing peekaboo through the bathroom door with Buggie and was trying to dart out of view before she could see more than a glimpse of me.  Then she headed for the door and instinct took over...and I ran about 5 steps by accident.

Holy excruciating, Batman!  

But then my leg felt really cold and then all of the pain lifted.  I got to spend almost the whole week hubby was away pain-free.  It gave me so much hope.

This weekend, however, I overdid it a bit and my leg was tender last night.  Hubby blames the fact that I carried his suitcase up the stairs while he fixed driveway gate when we got home. I blame my trying to fix the gate myself at least twice before we left to get him (damn Langdon winds and 300lb gate).  Then, after a pretty much sleepless night , I had to get two grumpy kids ready to go this morning and one of them was major tantruming. I was trying hard to keep my patience and I ended up stomping my foot in frustration.  And then falling over in tears from the pain.

It's like two steps forward, twenty steps back.  I'm tired of the anger and the tears and the frustration and the pain and...and...and...GAH!

But this morning - I decided to check my horoscope.  I don't usually do that because I don't really care but I have been feeling like I am just a giant, grumpy griper lately and I need some external hope since people are sick of dealing with me these days.  And this is what it said:
You're too hard on yourself, Scorpio. If things haven't gone exactly as planned over the last few days, there's no sense in berating yourself over it. As long as you did the best that you could, what's the problem? It's likely you've experienced a delay and not a cancellation. All signs indicate that your goals will come to fruition even though it might take longer than you'd anticipated.
Well, if that ain't hope - I'm not sure what it is.  

So, I pick myself back up and accept that I must keep moving forward and I must keep finding ways to cope and I must find myself through all of this.  I need to redefine my goals for myself to make sure I come back smarter and stronger.  I need to channel my frustrations constructively and I need to accept that this is the body I have RIGHT NOW.  I'm going to need to live in it - I just need to find a way to maintain my sanity while I do so.  And I need to come to terms with the fact that my timelines mean nothing now...it is all on my body's ability to heal before I can move forward at the speed I want to.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bad News Bear vs. Little Miss Sunshine

I seriously don't want to be that blogger who only logs in to moan and groan...so I am going to find a way to turn my recent string of nasty luck into something positive.

Stress Fracture

Bad News Bear: Ok - so I have a stupid tibial stress fracture (which 2 weeks of rest into it is FINALLY starting to feel slightly better, yay!)  I am going just slightly insane not being able to run and still fear I will end up 250lbs by the start of may (no I won't).  Seeing everyone elses running posts have been making me pine.

#understatement

Little Miss Sunshine: Just think of all of the Doctor Who episodes I am getting to watch.  Oh and my knitting is coming along spectacularly. I should be ready for Christmas by May.  Oh - and more people than ever just want to have coffee with me.  I did go on the elliptical pain-free for 1.5k today.  I also had a breakthrough on the pain front this weekend.  I had been in so much pain that I almost took myself to urgent care.  Then, Friday night, I was playing peek-a-boo with Buggie and accidentally ran 5 steps to hide before she got into the hallway.  EXCRUCIATING!  Then my leg got really cold, and then ...no more pain.   All weekend I've been relatively pain free.  Not sure if it will last, but right now I am pretty happy and comfortable.

Stalled Weight Loss

Bad News Bear:  I am feeling like a whale with all of this inactivity - especially after the biking left me hobbling last week.

Little Miss Sunshine: I joined a DietBet and then contracted Gastroenteritis from my lovely children.  Now I'm halfway to my DietBet goal with 3 weeks still to go.  Yay me!  and all the excess fat I have on me - well that will just help me float better on vacation.

Childcare Situation

Bad News Bear: Child Services told my dayhome that they had to reduce the number of kids effective immediately.  They decided to do "last in, first out" We're last in so, yeah. That's a thing.   But then, a couple of days later, after they had a chance to do some reworking to buy some notice for those ousted, they decided they needed to just be under school age only.

Little Miss Sunshine: I still have childcare until the end of August - maybe a dayhome will open in Langdon with hours for real parents.  Of course, that brings us to the next thing...

Dog Attacks

Bad News Bear: Hubby is at a conference in Atlanta for a week.  First day, I take the kids to the dayhome alone and am attacked by two of their dogs.  I HATE german shepherds!  Absolutely do not trust them, but these are usually tethered and contained and I was reassured that they have no interaction with the children ever.  They pulled the tether cable this morning somehow.  I'm physically fine, but now I have a tooth hole in my favourite summer jacket and severely rattled nerves.

Little Miss Sunshine: I get a new summer jacket.  Oh and I get to ramp up that search for a new dayhome.  On the flip side - this attack finally rattled the dayhome into action and they are repairing their dog run that was damaged this winter.

Online Shopping

Bad News Bear:  I've had a real bad streak of Online Shopping lately - items arriving damaged or not as described.  So many returns and refunds.  Then this...My clip for my Fitbit started to crack so I decided to order a replacement clip.  It arrived in record time.  I opened the box to find...a modem.


A really lovely modem for a lower end one...but not really capable of holding my FitBit on my waistband. FitBit was as baffled as I was.

Little Miss Sunshine: My reshipped clip will get here this week.  I just have to laugh when I think how the guy who ordered the modem must have felt when he opened his box.

Cancelled Marathon

Bad News Bear:  If I am cleared to run after May 3, I will not be able to do my marathon or even scale back to the half with only 6 weeks to relearn to run and train.

Little Miss Sunshine:  Just think how lovely my toenails will be.  Also - I will have loads of time to train really properly for RNR Vancouver this fall.  Maybe even finally find that elusive 2:15 if I can do it right...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Reads: Doctor Who Who-ology - The Official Micellany by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright

And on to something a little geekier.

Yeah, yeah , yeah...to all of my non-Fangirl/Fanboy reader, my incessant nattering about the Doctor is probably driving you all bonkers.  Sorry - you're just gonna need to deal with that since it isn't about to stop :P

Since I started with the newest incarnation of the series (the one that fired the franchise up again in 2005), I am about 50 years behind on the whole thing.

Enter WHO-OLOGY - the official Micellany to all of the minutiae of the world of Doctor Who.

This little gem of a book was great for someone like me - who has only just started dabbling in this wonderful world.  The pages are filled with a plethora of fun facts and stats about the series.  I loved getting to know each of the past doctors - both in the role and in their actual lives.  I loved reading the back stories behind important episodes and learning how the monsters were created.  Heck - I even liked seeing the charts that showed which companions had logged the most episodes.

The book is written in easy to digest chunks - it kind of has the feel of a Bathroom Reader in that sense (though is too nice of a book to possibly leave in the loo).  You can pick it up and read a little or a lot and not need to worry about leaving off in the middle of something.

I read it cover to cover, but it would be just as enjoyable to read if you just picked a page and opened it up.  It does jump around a fair bit so there is no chronology to it.  Just something to fill those hours where you can't actually plunk yourself in front of Netflix to watch an episode.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Three Things Thursday - Healing Edition

I've spent a week wallowing.  Yep - a full week.  Ever since I went in for the freaking X-ray.  Not working out.  Not watching what I eat.  Just wallowing (and watching A LOT of Doctor Who and Knitting in the evenings).  And I've come to three conclusions.

1) I am essentially back in January of 2010.  Why do I say that?  Well - I wasn't a runner then.  I was starting out at 208 lbs (NO - I am not back there, thank goodness) and so I was a girl with a calorie budget and stationary bike.  I can't find my food and fitness journal from those first 7 weeks before I started running, but I do know one thing...by the time I started running at the end of February that year, I was down 25 lbs.  How is that for perspective?


2) With that in mind - I feel more confident than ever that I can make some major headway on my goals by the time I am cleared for running again (hopefully in early may).  It doesn't hurt at all to bike so that is where I will focus my frustrations.  I actually hopped on the bike today at lunch for the first time since my stress fracture diagnosis.  Felt good to sweat.  Probably means I won't kill people today.


3) and, I said I wasn't going to, but I decided to do it anyway.  I joined another DietBet.  Nikki & Solana are hosting one in the month of April.  $25 bet gets you in.  If you'd like to join us - you can sign up here

I decided to join for one reason - misery loves company.  Nah - but seriously.  I just need somewhere to be accountable to.  And I actually want to lose the bet.  But not in the way you all are thinking.  I want to lose enough weight in that month to make DietBet question if it was even possible.  THAT would be worth $25 to me.

I plan to start April on the right foot and do what I did when I started this journey.  Eat less, bike everyday and bring myself back stronger than ever when the time comes to return to running.  I've been watching a lot of British TV since we cancelled satellite so I keep hearing the following saying in my head with a British accent:  "Keep it simple, stupid".   Except I am hearing them as "Keep it stupid simple"  Eat less.  Bike everyday.  I can do that.


Now lets get me healed.

(BTW - I forgot to tell y'all that the doctor I saw for my treatment plan pretty much told me I am a real runner now.  Humph.  How 'bout that.  Crossing the finish line of 50+ races, including 13 half marathons and 2 full marathons didn't do it. It took a stress fracture to make me a "real" runner.  Good grief.  Can I have my regular doctor back now?)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Confirmation

My super sexy leg wrap

I just got the call from the Doctor's office.  The X-ray clearly showed the fracture.   It was so clearly fractured that they cancelled the appointment for the bone scan.  Eep.

I will be seeing a different doctor tomorrow (since mine is now on vacation for 2 weeks). I'm kind of scared to find out the extent. Until then, I rest.

At least now I know.

I'm trying not to beat myself up for waiting so long before seeing the doctor.  Who's to say that the diagnosis would have been different.  All I can do now is find out my treatment options and forge ahead until I am healed.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Day Reality Sunk In

...also known as, the day that screwed me.

So, last night.  Last night I ran.  Not far (1k) not fast (that took me 10 mins)...but I ran.

I thought things were looking up.

I stretched.

I even foam rolled and massaged my feet with a massage ball.  My shin did NOT like the foam roller.  I may have even yelped in pain. But in my limited experience with a foam roller - that is nothing new.

Today, I woke up hurting.  No worse than usual.  But hurting.  It was a good thing I was heading to the doctor.

I got in really fast, considering I was just walking in today.  I always like it when I get to see my actual family doctor.  She has been my doctor for something like 14 years and is really good at diagnosing me - especially when it comes to odd things.

So I told her about my shin.  I told her I wanted to rule out a stress fracture and then I told her my hunches on what has been causing the shin splints.  Most specifically - I told her about the hammock injury that I had not come to see her about because it was "just a bad bruise, after all".  My thought was that the hammock injury and the long recovery has screwed up my biomechanics.  This is supported by how my chiro pointed out the misalignment in my pelvis. She agreed on both counts.

I could see the wheels turning in her head as she examined my calf.  She pressed in a couple of places with her thumb.  Nothing.  Then she pressed a third place and I nearly shot through the ceiling.   So. Much. Pain.

That was when she broke it to me.  There is a good possibility that I am looking at a stress fracture.  and I am forbidden to run until we have the results of the tests.  I also need to keep my lower leg wrapped until we know for sure.

DAMMIT!

So - off I went to the Radiologist.  Thorough xraying of my tibia and fibula commenced.


I won't know those results for a few days.  I go for a bone scan on Tuesday morning.

This throws so many kinks into my plans for my redemption marathon this year.   I think it goes without saying that the least I am going to be able to do is scale back to the half.  I knew 12 weeks was pushing it to properly train for a marathon, but if I am facing a 6 week fracture recovery...yeah. That.

I am lucky in one regard, though.  If I miss the race altogether - I am not losing any money.  My wellness spending account through my work reimbursed my fees for the race.  Perhaps I can get a deferral to next year and still get to do the race.  I have so many contingency plans running through my head that is helping to ease my brain away from the real possibility of my most feared diagnosis.

Dammit.

On one hand - this is a disastrous blow to my plans this year.  But on the other hand - it is kind of a good year to have it happen if it had to happen at all.  I haven't registered for many races yet.  It is a good wakeup call.

I also need to stop moaning and bitching like this is an already diagnosed fracture.  Right now it is just a hunch by my doctor who has proven time and time again that her hunches are usually right.  So I am going to try to think of my plan for either way.   No matter what - I think the marathon is off the table and that really sucks.  REALLY sucks.

But I'd rather heal. Maybe healing will give me a fantastic PB at RNR Vancouver this fall.  Maybe I will come back stronger than ever.  Either way, I am really looking forward to having answers so I can move forward.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

74 Days to Go!

So, yeah - there is no rhyme or reason to my update post timing.  I'm just going to write them whenever I feel like it and leave it at that. (also noted - this is the first post for March...hmmm)

74 days.  and where am I at?  A better question might be "How many unbreakable rules have I broken?"

Yeah.  that :(

Ok - let's rewind.   When I last checked in - I was down 5lbs.   I am still down 3lbs from my start weight and the 2lbs I gained back is likely hormonal and could vanish any day now.  Yay me!  Things could definitely be much worse

But my workouts have been really bad.   so very very bad.   Trying to heal shin splints while trying to keep going just doesn't work that well.  In fact - it plain sucks.

I did have a light at the end of the tunnel, though.  I have been resting A LOT and rehabbing A LOT.  I went to see my chiropractor last Wednesday and he figured it out pretty fast.  My pelvis was out of alignment.  Like and inch and a half out, he said.   He adjusted me and things felt instantly so much better.  Still super tender, but no more shooting pains.  I had been worried that it was a stress fracture.  I'm not anymore.  The doc said that it would have been like I had been running on a flat tire for the past few weeks.  Stupid biomechanics.  

It's my own fault, really.  I stopped seeing my chiro over the winter and I probably shouldn't have.  We talked it over and he is going to help me come up with a plan for regular treatment to keep me on my feet through marathon training.

I HAVE been working out.

I have been putting in a whole lot of bike time.


I revamped my home gym, but have hardly had a chance to use it since my girls haven't been giving me much free time after they go to bed.   See how pretty it is?  No more hot air blowing on me when I run...


I think we may have reached a few new world records for "number of times a mom is called back upstairs after bedtime".   No strength training.  No core.  Some stretching.  I've been short on my fitbit steps too, but that is more a reality of bike vs. run or walk.  There just aren't as many steps involved, even though the effort may be significantly higher. I did run one pain free 5k on Saturday.  I ran another 5k today but it wasn't pain free.  Neither of these were fast runs.


My eating has been screwy.  A few too many days where I forgot my lunch at home.   This one instance where the peanut butter I keep in my cupboard at work (for my oatmeal) may have been eaten with a spoon after a particularly sweaty bike session.  A few afternoon candy binges.  It really is quite amazing I didn't gain it all back.

Doesn't this just sound ever so bleak?

So - back to my unbreakables.

I still truly believe that my Unbreakable Rules are the way to go for me.  Even if everything I wrote above seems to contradict that.

I only have 74 days.   Wanna know what that works out to?  10.5 weeks.

That still feels like a lot of time to make a pretty big dent in my goals.   I know that the 10.5 weeks is just the beginning.  I know I can get there.  I just need to be stronger and buckle down.  Anyone can do anything for a short period of time and 10.5 weeks is really just a short period of time.  

So today - I am back on it.  The wagon, that is.  I'm still feeling optimistic.  I will keep striving toward my unbreakables and see where it can take me.