Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Working Out While Injured

When I was diagnosed with my stress fracture, almost 5 weeks ago, I knew that I was going to need to find a way to keep my workouts going.  Sitting still isn't an option for me.  My mental health depends on it and it would be a quick dive back into depression if I backed off even a bit.

But this injury definitely limited what I could actually do.

The doctor I had talked to told me I could continue to work out as long as:

a) I didn't run
b) if it hurt at all to do a certain movement or activity - I was to stop immediately.

So...what HAVE I been doing?

Mostly stationary bike.  The doctor had recommended that I find a recumbent bike but I don't have access to one at home or at the gym and I wasn't going to buy one special for the duration of this healing process.  I have access to plenty of upright bikes and those don't hurt.

I have biked A LOT.

Most days - this has been blissfully pain free. There have been a few days where it hasn't hurt a stitch to bike, but my ankle has swollen right up afterwards or I have spent the rest of the day hobbling around.

My lovely puffy ankle
I have no way of foretelling when it will happen and I just have to hope that I am not hurting my recovery when it does.  I really REALLY want to get this thing healed up so I can move on and re-learn to run again.  I have become a pro at finding ways to elevate my leg and ice it at work.

I did try the elliptical one day - pain free - it was great to feel almost like I was running again.  But that thing ALWAYS makes my feet go to sleep so it didn't last for more than a kilometre and then a bike freed up at the gym.

I have been incorporating some bursts of upper body strength and a bit of core into my weeks.    Not as much as I had hoped.  Likely not enough to make any great difference.

In the end - sticking with the general rule of "if it hurts, stop doing it", I have managed to stay active through this stress fracture.   With any luck - I will soon be healed and we can start laughing at my misadventures as a new runner again.  I never blogged that first time I was learning to run four years ago - I am sure this will prove to be quite amusing as I figure it all out again and try to stay unbroken this time!

Monday, April 21, 2014

MOMday: First Surgeries

When Doodle was 9 months old, our family doctor identified a problem with her right eye - just a slight laziness to it.  The eye just wouldn't stay straight.  It wasn't terribly noticeable to most people, but over the last 4 years, we have learned exercises and coping to help her exercise the eye. Lately, however, the exercises weren't working any more.  And she was becoming much more self conscious about it because kids were pointing it out to her and calling it "weird".  It probably didn't help that her identical twin has straight eyes and kids were using it as a way to tell them apart.  She started to worry about it and have long conversations with me about why she has to have a weird eye.

On our last trip to the Ophthalmologist - he confirmed it was worsening and that the time had come to operate.  A surgery date was set and then changed.  Follow up appointments were booked and we started preparing Doodle for what was going to happen.  We didn't go into the mechanics of the surgery - she chose to focus on the fact that it would be fixed. Just a little bilateral Strabismus repair.  Nothing too terrible.  Day surgery.  In and out. Lazy eye begone! It'd be all good.

Thursday dawned early for our little family.  It was a big day.  Surgery day.  She would have four full days to recover before she had to return to the Dayhome and me to work.

We dropped Buggie off at the dayhome about an hour earlier than usual (Thank goodness for super accommodating childcare) and hit the highway.  Next stop?  Alberta Children's Hospital.  We had a check in time of 7 am and it was going to be really tight to get us there on time.  Somehow, all of the gods were on our side that morning and we arrived with plenty of time to spare.

Doodle was in such high spirits.  She does love going to Children's.  With good reason - the ophthalmology clinic has been caring for her every 4 months since she was a baby.  She was almost skipping as we entered - getting ready to show Daddy around, since he had never been there before.  I know she didn't really understand what would be happening. She knew she would get some sleep medicine and then when she woke up, her eyes would be fixed.  I was a nervous wreck.   I haven't exactly had the most luck-enhanced month and I had been having nightmares about her waking up blind.  I just had to hope her luck was better than mine.

Once we were through admitting and checked into the Day Surgery unit, the waiting began.  We dressed Doodle in her special hospital pajamas and turned her loose on the toys. Honestly - most of the toys were far too young for an almost 5 year old, but there was a magnadoodle and that kept her busy drawing until her doctor arrived.

Nurses came by to make sure everything was in order and to give her pre-surgical medications and take her vitals etc.  They gave us a pager and told us we couldn't leave the premises but we could feel free to go eat or whatever and they would page us if they needed us.

Two and a half hours later - he finally came to see us.  Shouldn't have been a surprise - I can't usually get an early morning appointment with him on a regular day.  He went over how the day would play out.  Apparently the surgery was quick - only 25 minutes - and then she would move to recovery and we could see her within an hour after we left her.

A short time later, the porter came to wheel her to surgery.  I was trying not to hyperventilate.  Gotta stay calm for Doodle.  She feeds off of me so if I freak - she freaks.
So brave!
Dood is such a trooper - she had her lovey bear and her eye was going to be fixed.  Those were the only things that could ever matter.

We were wheeled into a room just outside of the surgical suites and the anaesthesiologist and surgical nurse met us there.   We could stay until it was time for her to go in so we distracted her and before long it was time for one last potty break, hugs and kisses and a chorus of "see you very soon".

Enter hyperventilation.  I was almost crying as soon as I turned to walk out.  Hubby steered me to the elevator and we went to find me some breakfast and the biggest coffees we could find.   Then we distracted me by scouring the gift shop for a new stuffie to help Dood recover.

After around a half hour, we decided to wander back up to the day surgery waiting room and wait for our pager to go off.

Suddenly - my purse started to emit a loud series of beeps.  We rushed back to the nurses station.  It was too early!  And she told us "false alarm" and reset the pager.  Then it was back to waiting in the waiting room again.

Not for long, though. A few minutes later, the pager made a different noise and we wandered back.  This time, they told us that they needed just one of us to go right into recovery.  I was anxious to see Doodle so I handed off the backpack to hubby and followed the nurse.  She calmly explained to me that Dood hadn't woken up well and they needed me to help calm her down.

All I could hear as I entered the recovery room was the wailing of my daughter. "I can't see!! I can't see!!!"  Not exactly what I wanted to hear.

I went over and scooped her up.  They needed me to keep her hands away from her eyes - which she proved to be unusually strong for an almost 5 year old and incredibly determined.   In her flailing, she had pulled out her IV line and had a dark bruise across the back of her hand.  I held her tight and reassured her.  The nurses explained that she can't see well because of the ointment in her eyes but that the surgery was successful.   Then they gave her morphine to kill the pain and calm her down.  Then, I carried her back to the ward to finish her recovery.

Once back in her little day surgery room, she fell fast asleep for a couple of hours.

She wasn't getting enough oxygen so they put her on a blow by feed (basically a tube of oxygen blowing at her face).  Just a by-product of her usual tantrums - she tends to shallow breathe.  Once she was awake - she was still in pain, but keeping a cool cloth on her eyes helped her keep her fingers away and she soon wanted a popsicle...and then another...and then another.

The nurses came by a few times to check her vitals.  They wanted to keep her there until she could have another tylenol dose but then we were free to go.  They brought us a wheelchair and we wheeled her out into the world again.

Later, at home, she was ready to watch some cartoons.  Let me tell you - it was incredibly cool to see her little eyes track together for the first time ever.  They have never moved in sync before and all I could do was stare in wonder at how this stressful little surgery was such an immense success.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Reads: WARP - The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer

When I saw that the mind behind the Artemis Fowl series had a new venture - I couldn't buy the book fast enough.  Of course, then I didn't read it right away and it has probably come on sale about 14 times since LOL. At least I eventually got to it, right?

So - the premise....

Chevie Savano is an incredibly young FBI agent - at sixteen years old, she was part of a pilot project with the Bureau to suss out potential terrorist cells in schools before they could take root.  When the task she is set to goes terribly wrong - Chevie must go into hiding until it blows over.  So the FBI sends her to London.  
The thing about the London office, though, is that it is the site of an even touchier special project.  One where key witnesses are being protected by being send back in time.  The criminals or witnesses live safe in Victorian London with an agent nearby to protect them.   Until the day that murderer-for-hire, Albert Garrick, is tasked with killing an agent and it all goes haywire.  Suddenly, the agent is dead and Garrick's apprentice, Riley, have been sucked back to the present day.  When they send a team back to find out what happened, Garrick kills them all and hops a quick ride to present day as well - and happens to acquire all of the memories and knowledge possessed by the agent who travels through time with him.

Garrick wants to kill Riley for failing him and he now has not only his cunning Victorian murderer mind - he now has all of the information about technology and time to make him all that more dangerous.

This story is brilliant.  Part of me wants to re-read it just to actually have the flow of it go uninterrupted.  I very much enjoyed the adventure.  My spine tingled appropriately whenever Garrick opened his mouth and I loved how the two young  main characters become very good friends, bonded by their incredible adventure together.

This took me an impossibly long time to read.  But that wasn't the books fault.  Totally mine.  I would read it in bursts and then put it down for long periods of time.  then I'd pick it up and read a huge chunk...and then put it down again.   Life just got in the way.  I think if I'd had this on vacation - it woul dhave been read in a couple of days - it is truly that engaging.  I just couldn't be engaged.

I do recommend it.  It is a young adult book but I would say it is better suited to the 13-16 age set instead of a younger pre-teen audience.  There is a great deal of violence, but the fantasy that underpins the entire story is quite captivating.

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 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 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.


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 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 , 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 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?)