Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Long road back. . . am I back?

Hi Quirkyland :-)

It's been a while since I've written. Mostly, I was ticked off and upset that exercising/walking slow was painful, exercising/walking fast was painful.  After that 4 mile event this spring I pretty much said 'forget it'.  I went to physical therapy and still I didn't see any improvements.  I finally told my PCP's office that I had to have referrals to orthos because I was getting no where. The PCP office told me that it was because my autoimmune disease made healing slow---uh, I don't think so. Almost 8 months post collision and I still wasn't able to walk 'fast' without wanting to puke. I had pain in my low back doing just about anything, including sitting. I can't do yoga because of my wrist and back.  Well, you get the idea.

I went to the first ortho for the low back and he said my spine looked fabulous and I needed to see a pain clinic doctor, not an ortho for it.  I went to the pain clinic where the guy told me I had the back of a middle aged person. (gee thanks).  Over the course of a few months, I had a facet injection, an epidural, and an SI injection.  The first helped with pain while sitting, but not a great deal. The second was WOW.  I asked him if I'd be able to run after the epidural and he said not to do it right away, but that yes I could, but not to go all out. ---gee, I didn't think anyone could go 'all out' in running after not doing a dang thing for 7, 8 months. He must think I'm She-RA!   A few weeks after the epidural, I went for a run. OH joy!  My body remembered how to run! Even with added weight and all.
  However, I was having some weird pain in the low back/right side.  The following week I went back and he said that it was probably the SI joint in the area, and I got a VERY painful injection in that spot.  Mostly painful because he couldn't use numb stuff since I had to be able to tell him where it hurt.

 I even was able to wear my heels around the house. . . I didn't want to push it, so I put on shorter ones to go out.  These were the shoes I wore with my bruised toenails a week post Marine Corps Marathon to my dermatologist appointment where they cut off a spot on my pinkie toe. . . and I wore them with no issues. After the collision, I couldn't wear them thirty seconds without severe back pain.  (Happy dance).

Post SI injection, I went for a run a day or two later and was able to do so without much issue. I still have a feeling of pressure in the low back area, but the pain that was preventing me from doing things isn't there.

Me. Running. In my neighborhood.
Bright orange to be visible!
Now my wrist is still another issue.  I saw a different ortho for the wrist.  He did an injection in it which eliminated the weird and disgusting pops/cracking it would do.  I was able to do some stirring on the stove-top a little longer with the wrist before switching to the left, but I still had a lump and pain about three/four inches back on the wrist/forearm. I got an injection in that which helped, but not immensely. I still had to wear the brace which limits movement, and building of/upkeep of muscle.  A few weeks ago I called his office back because the pain was coming back. I had done some things with the hands/wrists at the end of July which made the joint and muscles scream at me.  The ortho said I had a choice of more physical therapy, or open up the forearm/wrist area and cut the scar tissue on the tendon. Uh, hmmm, uh, can I see a different physical therapist?  Sure, he said. I decided to go with a new PT office and so far have had about four visits and have seen some improvement, but I want to be able to do everything I normally have done, so it's frustrating. 

This is how I go about doing yard work or mowing the yard. We have a rider, but turning the wheel still requires both hands. Tape up the wrist and hand, for added support and pressure, and I seem to be able to do it. I've been told to not OVER do it.  

The new physical therapist is funny. The first day in his office, my left hand/arm was okay, the right injured one was pained because we have yard stuff that *must* be done before we have a new driveway done. I had been out doing that. Using the clippers in the right hand until it got sore, then switching to the left hand, and then switching back, etc.  The PT guy said it was okay that I had done that before coming in, as it let him know how bad the wrist is when I'm using it for normal stuff for me.  Then he told me to not do it again :-D    To use the left wrist as much as I can.  Sigh.  

A couple weeks ago, The Mike and I headed north to the Minnesota Melanoma Research Foundation's 5k.  It was a gorgeous day, with a 5k walk around one of the ten thousand lakes.  It was wonderful to walk without back pain.  We managed to walk each mile a little faster than the one before, and finished the 5k a minute or two faster than the Fools 5K in April in horrid pain.   

We even got a finisher's medal. It's rubber. Pretty sweet, and simplistically filling for this runner, turned walker, turned couch potato, turned walker/runner.  

I didn't want to write at the start of August in case the running didn't turn into anything, and now I feel like maybe I've kept a secret too long, but it's hard mentally getting back into the game. I use to get up every morning for a run or for yoga. I use to bike to the grocery store.  Now I'm slowly back into the game of being able to run, but I also know I have a long way to go to get where I want to be (which is where I was), and am trying to accept where I am now. The now that is where I can run. I never accepted the then, that was the now, that was not exercising (was that too much Spaceball like talk?)

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