Category Archives: Challenges

This is good/bad

Went to a convention in Indianapolis.  Whee!  Prepaid the parking and it is just across the street from the Colts’ stadium which is good since 1/2 the event happens here.  Unfortunately, the other half is in the convention center, which according to the map, is just a couple minutes’ walk from the parking facility.  The map is SO wrong!  1st off, it’s about 4-6 blocks from the car, but when you get to the center, it’s another 1/2 mile INSIDE the building!  I am using my cane, but the side effect is that my back and hip on the uninjured side now stiffen up.

Once you get to the room, you sit for 4 hours after the walk.  Uh oh.  Now back and hip is stiffened up, AND the injured leg is weak and doesn’t want to support my weight.  Not the worst, because hubby’s knee is giving out now!  OH NO!  So started at the stadium.  Then 3 hours later, they kick us out (even though most of the participants are buying food!) before the next session.  The participants take their food outside to eat, and 1/2 hour later, when the doors re-open, are not allowed to take it back in to the facility.  Doh!  Sit for another 3 1/2 hours, then mosey out to find the next session.  We wander down the street and with no end in sight, we stop and sit on some of the low walls.  Finally, we get to the convention center, then follow the crowd in and stand in line for another 30 min to get pizza.  We go to the last session and sit for 2 more hours.  Hip, back and thigh is stiff, and hubby’s knee is sore.  Limp back to the car and ride home.

My right hand is now bruised from the cane.  The room phone doesn’t work, and I am having difficulties getting into the internet.  I should put on my run tracker tomorrow!  I’m going to sleep like a rock tonight!

 

Congratulations! You’re cured!

I don’t get that assessment very often.  I got it from my orthopedic doctor yesterday.  But Doctor, I still hurt.  “Yup.  You’re going to hurt.”  But Doctor, I still limp.  “Yup, you still limp.”  How am I cured?  “Your leg is no longer broken.”  Ah.

Then, from the Physical Therapist…”You know, eventually you’ll have to be doing exercises on your own to keep making progress.  You have to get to the point where you don’t need us any more.”

Maybe I should have washed the clothes I wear to the appointments…though I didn’t notice anyone’s eyes tearing up and heard no retching noises.

I did get new shoes yesterday.  They are supposed to compensate for my outward roll on my right foot and support my weak left leg.  Both have a very high arch support in them.  I feel like my foot is sliding off the center of the shoe.  They felt ok in the store though.  Is there a thing where when you cross the threshold, the shoes have a trigger that turns off the comfort level?  I guess I’ll find out if it works in a few days.

So for all intents and purposes, my leg is healed.  It still hurts to stand on it for any length of time, and I cannot go up and down stairs like I used to.  But…

IT’S PROGRESS!

 

I’m getting ugh better

It feels so weird when I step up on the box and my hip does this weird popping thing.  It feels like someone strumming a guitar.  It takes so much effort to just stand on that one leg.  It requires a lot of effort to stand on the injured leg and do grand battements with my right.  The uninjured leg does not want to move.

The leg doesn’t hurt until I release the muscles.  Then it hurts like the dickens!  But, I am getting better.  Really.  omg.

It’s raining

It’s Pouring, the Old Man is Snoring…

Ok I’m snoring.  I’m lying on my side in the Physical Therapist’s office on a padded table with a heating pad on my leg.  It’s really heavy and it’s moist heat.  *beep*  Time for the ultra sound.  zzzzzzz.  *beep*  “Were you sleeping?”  Me?  No.  Why do you ask?  “Because normally people who are awake don’t snore.”  oh

She really really worked my IT band–the tendon that connects the hip and the knee.  Iliotibial band it’s called.  I’m cross-eyed in pain…and also I don’t have my glasses on so I may not be cross-eyed, just blurry.  ANYWAY, after the torture comes the exercises.  Leg lift with 2 lb. weights, side lift with same weight (OWIE!  that one’s hard.)  Hamstring stretch 3 x at 30 seconds.  Leg extensions with 3 lb weight.  Leg curl with blue band resistance.  Calf stretch 3 x at 30 seconds.  Hip glider machine, 3 springs, 15 times.  Sideways stepping, marching then on to the box.  It’s 4″ box I step up on my bad leg, touch my right toe and then step back down.  15 of those.  After that, I step up on my bad leg and then continue forward and step down on my good leg.  15 of those.  5 min on the tread mill, lvl 1.

Then I walk out of the office.  I don’t limp for a good 45 min after that.  Then I sit down and of course it tightens up again, but I’m not limping as bad.  But it’s raining.  I have to limp fast to get to the car!  So I am making measurable progress.

I do have a question though.  You all know how hard it is for me to loose weight.  Very strict diet, and I do as much exercise as I can given my current physical state.  Do the probiotics work?  Could I have a digestive problem instead of a calorie problem?

Unintended consequences

Compensating behavior takes place whenever one part of the body is compromised due to injury or disease.  So when you stub your toe, you limp and take more weight on your other foot.  When you jam your fingers, you hold your pencil differently.

I went to a Toastmaster conference in Lincoln over the weekend of April 21, and had to walk about 3 blocks from the parking lot to the hotel where the event took place.  I was a good girl and used my cane.  I was limping and I guess I need new shoes.  My left leg is fine, but my right calf seized up so badly that it’s pulling on my Achilles tendon and causing pain in my right heel.

How do you effectively limp on both feet?

Owie! the sequel

Every time I go into the Physical Therapist, he rubs, (massages? I don’t know what you call it) right around the incision sites on my leg.  Now this isn’t the kind of massage you want to pay for, but I do.  It hurts.  He uses his thumb and fingers and palm and it always leaves me very sore.  In once case it left me black and blue!  But a day after that, I can walk better!  🙂  Not this time.  I was on my side and he was using his thumb on the screw incisions near my knee cap, and was rubbing so hard, I could feel it in the other leg!  This was Friday, and now it’s Sunday and I’m still very sore!  And it hurts to walk.  😦

I wish that I would heal better.

But I am doing my exercises, and going without my crutch or cane.  This morning, I was playing in front of the congregation for both services and having to limp over to the part of the dais so I wouldn’t blow out the preacher’s ear drums with my horn.  The limp is quite noticeable.  Everyone was asking me how I was.  “Are you ok?”  “Did you hurt your foot this morning?”  “Is this weather hard on your knees?”  They weren’t commenting on the music.  My limping was a distraction for them.

It was fun though!  I played my 1903 Lyon and Healy Cornet, and my dad’s piccolo trumpet on “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” with a descant,  “He lives,” the Choir piece “On the Third Day,” and finally “Up from the Grave he Arose” with a descant.  I got to blow the doors off on the 2nd service since there were so many people!  *Giggles*

I had roast lamb, garlic potatoes (small portion) with fresh chives, steamed carrots, and Charoset, a dried fruit dish with walnuts and almonds traditionally used on Passover.  Yum!

 

Immeasurable Progress?

I am getting better.  Or not.

When I went to my doctor’s appointment, and I hobbled in on my crutch, she looked at me funny and asked, “Why are you still on that thing?”  Hmmm, that was most upsetting.  Last time, she said I was recovering well.  This x-ray showed the bone pretty much healed, and no little bone bumps from the appliance they had to put in.  No bone calluses, no screw-holes getting bigger or looser, no movement in the appliance was visible, so everything is fine.  Now, Walk.  “It still hurts.  It feels like I have an extra joint in my leg about mid thigh.”  “Oh?  Well, we can cut you open and go digging around to see what the problem is.”  !!!!!  “And it pops when I try to do stairs.”  “Oh?  Well we can send you to our joint specialist and he can dig around in there to see what the problem is.”  !!!!! 

None of those options seem like a good idea.  Maybe I ought to just suck it up buttercup.  I have been doing exercises to strengthen the muscles in my left leg.  I have done exercises to strengthen my core and my upper body too.  I can stand without my crutch and can hobble all over the house, but it’s not walking, it’s limping.  And it still hurts.  I need to stop complaining to everyone (she says complaining to everyone in PRINT on a BLOG.)  When people ask me when I should be off the crutch, I should just drop the stupid thing and walk (limp) away.  I shouldn’t have to explain my shortcomings and failures to heal to anyone.  No one is actually interested in WHY I still hurt or why I’m not progressing like a normal person that is done with the surgery and then done with the cane or crutch 4 months later.  Here I am at 2/15/17 after my accident 8/15/16, 6 months, and still on crutch.  Did I mention it still hurts?  Every step hurts.  Getting up from my chair, from the couch, from the pew hurts.  Standing hurts.  Sleeping without a pillow between my knees and ankles hurts.  I feel like the guy in Holy Grail.  People ask me how I’m doing and I say, “I’m not dead…”

Fail

All that work.  I’m a failure.  How useless am I?  Why even try?

Wow, I read this from a friend of mine and thought that sounded familiar.  Oh yeah.  I said that.  I jumped into my teaching/coaching mode and asked some questions to change the direction of his thinking and then formulated a plan of instruction to lead him to a better conclusion.  Silly me.  I should have done that on myself!!!

Why didn’t I?  It’s harder to get perspective when you’re in the middle of the mess.  When you’re stuck in a hole, all you can see is hole.  You don’t see the birds and the clouds and the trees and the snow and the… see?  All you see is the hole.  Someone yells down the hole, “YOU SHOULD SEE THIS LOVELY SUNSET!”  And of course you’re thinking, “What’s a sunset?  I’m in a hole.”  Someone else yells down, “I JUST HEARD THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BIRDSONG!”  I’m hearing dripping noises.  “YOU SHOULD TRY THIS MARVELOUS DINNER!”  I’m in a hole–there’s no food down here.  The people outside of the hole think that motivating you will get you out of the hole.  Send someone down with a rope!

Failing at something is a normal process.  If you were good at something from the beginning, you wouldn’t grow, you wouldn’t add to your knowledge or wisdom, you wouldn’t get stronger or more flexible.  A failure is not someone that tries and goofs up. A failure is someone that doesn’t try anything new.   Too much psychology spends time in labeling people and situations.  All those silly tests and quizzes on Facebook tend to help you explore your giftedness and then slap a label on you.  Which villain are you?  Which Celtic myth are you?  Which Harry Potter professor are you?  Why do we do these quizzes?  How do you feel when you discover that you’re too wimpy and kind-hearted to be a villain?  Are you disappointed?  What if you find out your not Celtic?  What if you turn out to be the janitor in Harry Potter?  Does that make you feel bad?  I took a Hymn quiz and got 100%.  This meant I was the elite of Catholics.  I took the same test that said I was in the top 1% of Lutherans.  Wait…  It was the exact same questions!  So what does that mean?

We have been led to believe that we must fit into a category or a description.  We belong to this group or that group.  We succeed or we fail.  But that is not the case.  In order to succeed, you have to fail.  It is not the million dollars you’ve saved, it is the person you had to become to save it.  It is not the marathon you finished in record time, it was the hours and hours of trying and failing that allowed you to run the marathon.  It is not the straight A’s, but the student you have to become to get them.  Each journey will have failures in it.  You have to fall short in order to grow enough to succeed.

I failed in my diet yesterday.  Yes, it was mostly protein–cheese, summer sausage,ham and cheese ball with Triscuits.  Then I had homemade eggnog.  Wow!  I love that stuff!  But I am not a failure.  I will eat well today.  I will do my PT exercises.

Failure is not a character trait, it is just a measure against a goal you set that tells you how far you need to go.  Have you reached it?  “Not yet.”

And if you know someone in a hole, get in there with them and work things out together.  Happy New Year.

On the Road again

I couldn’t believe it.  I was soooo happy for something like this to happen.  A couple of years ago, I would have thought someone who was looking forward to doing this activity was absolutely insane.  What was it?  I got on the stationary bike for 30 min.

??  Believe it or not it was a major step forward.  A while back, I would get on the bike and watch SVU with subtitles to take my mind off this odious task.  It was in no way pleasurable.  It was boring and it put my butt to sleep.  It tired me out and made me hurt the next day.  Who could look at that and be excited?

After I broke my hip last August, I was restricted to walking with crutches.  When they put that much metal in your hip, they have to move a lot of muscle and tendons to work on it.  This means there’s a lot of swelling and bruising, and the recovery time is long–6 months to a year.  It hurts.  It hurts to lie down, to sit, to stand, to walk, to drive…  But you soldier on.  The doctor was pleasantly surprised on how well I was moving.  The physical therapist was amazed to see how much weight I could put on it, and how well I articulated my foot.  I was confused.  I didn’t think I was making much progress at all.  I was frustrated.  It still hurt.  In fact it continues to hurt.  How was I to strengthen this leg?

xray-3-11-8-16-001

bionic hip

I was given some exercises to strengthen the leg and I did those when I went to the gym.

Of course, it occurred to me that it was silly to work just the leg angle when I could do a myriad of upper body exercises while I was there.  Granted, my forearms, shoulders and triceps were getting a workout from using the crutches, however I added biceps, back, abs, and chest exercises just to round things out.  One day, I did stand-ups from an inclined bench.  I lay down on the bench, sat up and continued into a standing position, then sat down again.  Sitting down without using my hands was new (and scary) but I didn’t have far to go to get my butt onto a surface, so I didn’t have to worry about falling.  The next week, I added a 10 lb. weight and a twist after I stood up.  I was getting stronger.

So last Tuesday, I rode the bike!  30 min!  Of course, it was level 1.  My trainer had me go 4 min on 1 and then boosted it up to lvl 5 for a minute.  I was SO excited.

I haven’t had as much water this week as I did last week.  I feel so dry now!  Need to drink some more.

I’m back to the weight I was when I started this journey 3 years ago.  208.9  Dam.  But I’m healing!  YAY!

 

Is it an allergy or a cold

Does it matter?  Well, yes.  An allergy goes away when the things you’re allergic to go away.  A cold goes away when it WANTS to go away.  Sniff sniff…coff coff.  So those of you who do lots of cardio, what do you do when you catch cold?  Doesn’t that mean that when you’re not running or walking or elipticalling (elipticalling?!) or treading that you have to start from scratch when you start up again?  When I’m coughing and sneezing and my head and nose are stuffed up, I can’t breathe.  When I can’t breathe, I can’t get my heart rate up.

Of course, if you’re reduced to a soup diet, you are not really piling on the calories are you!  Well…depends on the soup.  If you have a cup of clam chowder, 250 cal, but a bowl is 650!  And some chili is huge, and some stew is humongous!   Nevertheless…I did 90 crunches last time I was in the gym.  My abs did not hurt as much as they do after 3 days of coughing.  What kind of exercise do you do when you’re struck down with a cold?  Picking up the kleenex around the trash can that you missed from throwing them across the room counts as deep knee bends right?  Walking all over the grocery store to find cough drops gives you steps for your fitbit….ummmm.  Sneezing and coughing are great core exercises!  Going up the stairs to get the cough medicine every 4 hours counts doesn’t it?  Wellll…

So obviously, I didn’t go to training tonight.  Except I did.  I’m up 2 pounds since Saturday.  Must be all those cough drops I’ve been eating?  I added a new exercise.  I lie down on the incline bench with a 10 lb plate in my hands, sit up, stand up, twist left and right, sit down without using my crutch or my hands.  I think I’m going to hurt tomorrow.  I also lie on my tummy and lift my legs back off the bench.  I can’t do my left leg very well.  It barely moves.  With all the coughing I’ve been doing, I didn’t do the crunches, but I did the butt raises, the latex band work on my legs, and the rubber ball exercises.  I’m tired.

 

210.4 lbs.