So we finally made it to two weeks out. I’m officially relieved of my crutches – even with public transportation. And I’m out of the brace indoors just not outdoors because you never know what might happen. I’ve been told I need to walk “normally” because I’ve gotten used to limping around, so it’s now become a habit.
What is less exciting… the bruising. What they don’t tell you is that after you start walking around you have these ridiculous bruises all over your leg. Most predominantly around my ankles and lower shins. I swear this looks worse than when I came out of surgery. It’s ridiculous.
And I definitely didn’t have any on this side before:
And it’s true they do warn you that you can’t shower completely until your stitches are out but let me tell you, 2 weeks of not being able to wash your leg is like torture. I have to put my leg in a bag and then duck tape it to my leg so my wound doesn’t get wet and infected. It is so frustrating. The stitches come out tomorrow and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to be able to shower in my life.
So yesterday I went to my second PT session and I have been relieved of my crutches. Hell yeah b*!$#es! Ok so I normally don’t swear but I think this qualifies for being really happy. I seriously hate those crutches. Now I’m still carrying them around with me because i haven’t quite figured out how to get on/off a curb without them but I don’t need them for normal walking or for stairs. They’re more of a comfort right now in case I get really tired or find something really difficult to do.
So my mom has been taking care of me, which is really really nice of her. Sadly she went home today. Though while she was here she made a lot of fun of me because a few days ago the pain really stopped being all that bad and I started walking around again. But then yesterday I almost started crying because of this bruise that I have.
So mom thinks this is hilarious because I didn’t really complain at all about the pain right after surgery. I muscled through all of that just fine. And I even thought it was cool the progress I was making. Until these bruises showed up. I mean I guess I can admit that it is a little funny that the surface wounds make me cry but, you know, surgery doesn’t. I’m a weirdo, what can I say?
That said I think I’m actually healing up nicely. If you’ll believe it the bruises are way smaller. And I feel good about it.
So it’s Saturday morning after having had surgery on Tuesday. Overall I feel pretty good. The worst part I think is not being able to sleep consistently. I stopped taking pain killers yesterday and I don’t feel any worse for it so I think that’s a good decision. I am finally able to go up stairs by myself with just crutches. It’s nice that my roommates will still walk me up and down to make sure I don’t injure myself but I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to know that I can actually do at least part of it by myself.
They say that my knee looks really good for after surgery and that I can take the bandage off myself. Personally I think it looks way better with the bandage on than off.
Though they say the scars are healing well and the bandage still looks good on the wound itself so I guess that’s a good thing. I think it looks all gross and black and blue but it could be worse, I suppose.
The hardest part about surgery is not having your independence. To rely on people for a glass of water or food or pretty much anything is a major bummer. It’s been a real adjustment for me because I will get up fully intending on getting a glass of water just to sit back down again because I realize even though I am perfectly capable of walking to the kitchen and filling up a glass of water once I’m there, I can’t actually carry it back because I’m using crutches.
There is also this thing that I have to wear a billion times a day (no joke) that compresses and pumps ice water around my leg. It’s actually pretty cool (no pun intended). It’s called a “Game Ready” and it’s really useful to have around, I’m sufficiently impressed with how high tech and awesome it is. It’s the red thing in the corner of the picture below.
I’m really lucky that my mom came up to take care of me. Even though she isn’t the strongest person around it really really helps to have someone keep track of how much I have to ice and to make sure I eat food. She also helps keep track of how much pain medication I need and to make sure I do my exercises. I’d probably do them anyway but it’s nice to have someone around so that I don’t forget. And I have the best roommates ever who helped me up and down the stairs when I couldn’t manage on my own. They’re pretty much the best guys ever. I thank my lucky stars every day for letting me find them. To be honest it’s kindof nice to have my mom around and my roommates and all of us being able to eat meals and hang out together.
For the first time in my life I can truly say that I am a little bit terrified. And I’m not really sure if there’s anything that’s going to make me feel better. Normally I’m not scared of anything. Pretty much at all. But I am a little scared of having to have surgery and 6 months of rehab. In fact, I’m not really afraid of surgery at all. That part I’m ok with, what I’m scared of is that I won’t be responsible enough to do the rehab part correctly. I’m scared of being alone. I’m scared of trying to push myself too hard too fast because I do that a lot. I’m scared that somehow I will make this worse before I can make it better.
Thankfully as afraid as I am of being alone, I have a posse of truly amazing friends that I know are here for me. I always feel silly whenever I talk to one of them because they remind me that I’m not as alone as I feel. It’s just that I don’t need them right this minute so they’re not right here. But they will be when I do actually need them to help out. It is comforting to know that someone will be there to catch me when I fall.
2011, I have now started a list. I’m pretty sure I hate you. And it’s only the first week of March, which by the way is a few days shy of my birthday. Possibly worst year of all time: 1. MIA laptop. 2. stolen bike. 3. dead car. 4. torn ACL that requires surgery. (I’m not counting the crazy month of work crap because it’s too vague and hard to define). And let’s be honest we haven’t even made it a quarter of the way through the year. Clearly this is awesome. You know, generally I believe that life works out the way it’s supposed to. And sometimes bad things happen to good people so better things can come along. Right now, I’m *really* starting to question that.
I keep flipping from feeling really alone and really scared about having to even have surgery to being really angry at the world for all of this happening at once. Every time I keep thinking that this year is going to get better something happens that just makes it worse. I want to believe that that’s not true and that it will get better but for the first time in a very long time I’m having trouble hanging on to hope. I like to view the world through rose colored glasses. It is so much harsher through the cold clear view of reality.
So my little experiment, I decided to call it quits when I started crying because I couldn’t turn the fan off. That was totally the last straw for me. Sometimes things just aren’t right. And I guess sometimes you have to learn the hard way to figure that out.
Oh wow and I totally started this post a month ago when I first got off the pill, which may have been the best decision I have ever made in my life. It’s as if the sun came up, the world is a magic place and everything is wonderful. Ok, that could be an exaggeration but just feeling normal instead of permanently sad is almost like it is just amazing to not be depressed every day.
At any rate life is great. I should work out more. I kinda lost a lot of motivation to do anything. And yeah, that’s about it.
So I’ve decided experiments on your own body are a horrible idea. So if you recall I started the pill about 3 months ago and I thought I was getting better somewhere around the beginning of month 2. I take that all back. I have been horribly depressed and crying pretty much all the time. For no reason whatsoever. Clearly I should be better at observing this but I’m pretty convinced that this is just not working out for me. I’ve given it 4 months and if going through a little stress called moving is enough to have me have an all out nervous breakdown it’s not ok. And I just started crying because I can’t turn off the fan. No, I’m not joking. I really did start crying because I couldn’t turn off the fan and I’m cold. Not that you know, I couldn’t just get a blanket or put on a sweater. But no, crying because I couldn’t turn off the fan. Clearly the world is ending. I really understand what D was talking about now because I feel miserable. And I have felt like this for way too long in a really unhealthy way. There has to be a better solution. I just wish that not every solution takes 3 months to figure out. I mean seriously?
So I keep semi-hurting myself. I don’t want to say injuring because technically I am not injured, which is really the only thing I am clinging on to right now. But I’m hurting. Pretty badly. And I’ve at least narrowed it down some. I seem to hurt only after extremely long runs. Or after I’ve done sprints (or soccer, which is essentially the same thing). Now I actually managed to figure this out after I did a 5k this weekend where I had been mentoring these kids to teach them how to run. So my running buddy for the race is this absolutely adorable 5yr old with crazy amounts of energy. But my little buddy is not so good at listening to advice about pacing so he took off at breakneck speed as soon as the race started. And continued to do pretty freakin’ fast sprints for the first mile, even a bit of the next half mile. We finally slowed down to a more normal run/walk for the last half of the race. But let me tell you by the end of that set of sprints my knee was *killing* me. On the bright side at least I know the causes and how to avoid it or at least try to avoid it.
Anyway so I’ve been in physical therapy for a few weeks and I have this giant bruise on my leg. My PTs have been doing “deep tissue massage” on my IT band because apparently that’s what’s been causing all my knee problems. You’d think this is great… not so much it’s more like Chinese water torture. And now it just hurts to touch or lie on my thigh, which is *awesome*. (not).
Though on the not so sucky side my PTs also have me doing some pretty awesome yet somewhat difficult exercises and routines. The best part is they totally make comments while I’m trying to go through the exercises/stretches they give me. Today one of the guys was like, you know I think y’all gave her every single thing that everyone hates to do. And I’m thinking to myself, “Gee thanks guys, I appreciate being the guinea pig of torture treatment”. On the bright side I’m getting some really awesome core workouts that I don’t think I would ever inflict on myself. And I’ve learned some pretty good stretches. And I actually feel like I’m getting stronger and I feel like I can actually see the effects of all of it on my body, which is great. Like my upper abs look amazing, now if my lower abs didn’t look like jello we’d be all set. So all of these things are definitely good, it just comes with a lot of pain and hard work. I can’t decide if it’s great or if I hate it. Either way I’ve got another 2 weeks left and I am going to try to make the best of it. (I’m almost tempted to ask for more. Yes, I am a bit of a masochist, always have been a lil’ bit).
So about 4 years ago in a moment of brilliance I decided to get all 4 of my wisdom teeth taken out at once. It was painful and I couldn’t eat and it basically sucked a lot. But I was like ok well at least it was all at once and now it’s all over. Wrong again.
Just yesterday I noticed that my mouth was a little sore and my gum was super tender and OH MY GOD! DO I FEEL BONE?! Why yes, in fact I do. I feel another tooth coming in. Right where I had another one removed 4 years ago! SERIOUSLY!? How is that even possible?! Suffice to say I am not thrilled. In fact, I’m so far away from thrilled I can’t even describe because last time all of my teeth were impacted and required oral surgery. I am *not* looking forward to going through *that* again.
No, that is not a mis-spelling. That is pretty much how I feel right now. As I mentioned before I’ve been training for a marathon and it’s pretty near and dear to my heart as one of my cousins was just diagnosed with cancer, again. It’s a different kind than when she first was diagnosed and won her fight about 20 years ago but it’s just really jarring to have a diagnosis that it may be back in a new location and in a different form. Especially when it isn’t really something that’s been an issue for nearly 20 years. That’s a long time for it to be gone. I mean I guess it’s different I was just a child when she was fighting against it, so it just feels so much more real this time around. Though this time they caught it in the early stages, which is good. And they are treating her aggressively. Also, I will be allowed to see her this time because I will not be some germy little kid. It always sucks as a kid that you can’t see anyone who is sick because children are like a depot of diseases.
Anyway that is not why I started this. So running right now is pretty important to me. I try really hard to keep up with the long runs even if I’m not completely on schedule. So anyway this past weekend I finally decided I think my running shoes suck. Honestly, my knees have been hurting and I have crazy blisters on the insides of my feet. Thankfully one of the coaches from TNT recommended a place where I can go and said I should make sure to look for shoes that work better for people who pronate because that’s why I’m getting blisters (and possibly a black toe). So anyway, I was all set to go to the running store later that day. But as I was leaving practice my knee really started to act up. By the time I got home I couldn’t really bend it without significant pain. And forget about trying to walk up the stairs to my 3 story walk-up. That was the best time ever.
Now here’s the part where I really show my brilliance. I decide to stay in and ice my knee and give myself a break for the rest of the day, which was great and probably something I have needed for a long time. But the very next morning I got up early and headed out to my soccer game even though the knee wasn’t totally feeling better. It was definitely smarting at the beginning of the game – you would think this is a warning sign. No siree, not for me. I continued to play on it until the last 15mins of the second half when I literally couldn’t walk without limping. Because that, my friends, is S-M-R-T.
You know, running doesn’t seem like something that is initially incredibly complex but now that I’m training for a marathon I think there is a lot more to running than just putting one foot in front of the other. Such a huge part of training is a mental game, just being able to tell yourself that you can do it. First of all, I don’t consider myself a runner because I’m slow and I just don’t think of myself as a runner. I first started running any meaningful distance (read: more than a mile… ok actually it was like 3ish) in April when a coworker asked me to start running outside with her and to do a 5k. I have these trusty old running shoes that I have come to love a lot.
Since I started training for my marathon these shoes have served me really well but they’ve got a lot of miles on them now. And recently I’ve heard a lot of talk about these new shoes. Ones that are the closest thing to running barefoot. So I’ve decided to take the plunge and give them a try. I haven’t run in them yet, obviously since you can still see the tags.
As much as I deny being a runner and saying how much I dislike it, it’s seriously addictive. After I did my 5k I followed it with a 10k a few weeks later and then a half marathon about 3 weeks after the 10k. This was a pretty poorly planned set of races for someone who isn’t a runner. However, it did make me see that I really like running, it’s challenging in some great ways but it’s also difficult to run the much longer distances by yourself. I find running about 6 miles by myself is a great challenge and I like doing it alone. But the longer distances pretty much anything upwards of 10 miles is really really difficult for me to get through without help. So I am extraordinarily glad that I discovered Team in Training because not only do I have a great group of people that I run with, I am reminded that I’m not just running for my health or to challenge myself but also to help all those people who are battling cancer. I’m doing what I can to make a difference in the world. Perhaps it’s in a very small way but it is what I can do. It also reminds me to appreciate the journey I’m on. Life is one great journey and there is always something new around the corner and you never know what you find.