Saturday, May 25, 2013

I'm still here..

..and 5 pounds heavier. Some of you may be rolling your eyes.. but on a person only 5'1", that's a lot of weight. The only good thing about it is that my face is fuller, which erases some of the crows feet and diminishes the hollows, and the girls have made an encore showing. If it all were left to that, I wouldn't feel so bad. But the hips are wider, and my pants are tighter. I've only run three times in the last month.

I saw the sports doctor twice. I'm encouraged by his words that I will run again. But right now *tiny violin music inserted here* it really doesn't feel that way.

My calf really feels only about 50% better. I remember how seductively normal it felt only a week after the first time I busted it. I can walk and take stairs in shoes without discomfort. I really can't walk too well on my toes, and heel raises with a bent knee (soleus) feels very dangerous. Walking barefoot, I'm uncomfortable.  I know I'm still in recovery. I'm currently icing/elevating and gently stretching.

The second treatment which consisted in part of active release and Graston technique were brutal, and here is the proof:

Below is a comparison of both legs a day after the above picture. I'm standing pigeon toed to better display the area of injury which is mostly posterior-medial on the right leg.

Oops. The German Shepherd needed to see what was going on.

Then the Corgi needed to get in on it too.

Finally, dog free!
 There are 2 places of injury/concern.

Here is the theory behind active release technique (ART) and Graston

I chose the particular doctors (husband and wife team) I'm working with due to the fact that they are associated with the running club I belong to. No one at my job does either one of these techniques. I've had Graston technique used on my neck at the clinic I worked for many years ago, and it helped tremendously. I've always wanted to be certified, but the tools themselves cost $3,000.00.
 I've been doing much thinking, and if I do recover from this based on these treatments, I believe that after all these years it's probably time I suck it up and become certified. Especially since my hands and fingers have become arthritic after 12 years of manual therapy. These tools will not totally replace what I do with my hands, but they may help relieve some of the heavy duty work if there are no contra-indications with regard to the patient. The cost of a single course (depending on body part) is less than a third of the cost of the tools, and at the least, my job will pay for only part of the cost of tuition for a single course once a year. The courses are given over a weekend, so I won't be loosing vacation time by taking them.

Active release is more expensive. It's over $2000.00 a course, and it's a 4 day session which will include 3 overnight stays at a hotel somewhere. There are currently only two places it is given locally to me, between an hour to a 4 hour drive away. All other places require airfare.  And there are five courses in the series. Ugh.  At 53, I really should be using that money for adding additional savings to my retirement account instead..

I was told not to run or walk the 5k I had planned to do in Minnesota with my sisters. This is ok, I guess- actually, it will have to be.  I'll be taking pictures and cheering them on. When I get back from vacation, I have another visit with the doc the day after I get back, and from this I'm hoping to get more information about whether or not I can get back on the road. If not, I will volunteer with the club at races until I can. I have been meaning to volunteer anyway. This just forces the issue.

At work today I treated a long time (22 yr) club member who said they are always looking for people to take pictures during the race. I'd love to improve my near-absent photog skills.

Tomorrow I leave for Minnesota with my sister Kathie to visit my younger sister and her family. I'm going to try to use this time to drop the weight I gained and fill the days with talk of running, health and fitness.

I have already signed up for that half marathon in October, and it's still my goal to run it. My 'official' training starts in July. 

What I'm realizing now going over the dates of this injury, is that my perception of time is skewed. Whereas it's only been a week since I tried running in Bethpage - because it is MY leg, it feels like MUCH longer. And considering the extent of this injury, as a PT I'd be advising my patient not to run on it until loading of the muscle at low and high velocity (plyometrically speaking) is back to normal. The doctor didn't tell me this, but he probably assumed I already knew. It's my job at this point to follow the rules of recovery. The downside of this is it can take weeks

As an aside, immediately following the repeat injury at Bethpage, I've also had at least 3 different episodes of muscle spasms (resulting in limiting my ability to posture correctly) up and down my spine (which I've never had) and through my neck (yet again) as a result of reflexively stretching. Wtf? You know, like when you first get out of bed, or while you're sitting at the computer..

Besides having all other things running through my head (like the beginnings of a neurological disease - ALS, MS, Parkinson's), I thought about the muscle tissue logically in terms of it's physiologic and chemical behavior, and arrived at the conclusion that I was most likely not drinking enough water.  At this point in time I'm wondering if this is what precipitated the primary injury. My typical fluid consumption (not coming from food) is: a cup of coffee with skim milk in the morning, probably between 6 to 8 ounces during work (if I'm lucky), and a glass of water sitting on my bedside table at night, usually only half empty by morning. How dehydrated I must have been on a daily basis! I only seriously hydrate a day before a race or a planned long run. As of a few days ago, I've changed my habits, and I've not had another incident. Just something to keep in mind if you frequently suffer from pulls, strains or spasms. 

In the meantime, I will continue to live the runners life through all of your great blogging! And I thank you for that.

Run safe and be well!


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