Returning to Fitness and shedding the fatness!
So right around the 5 month mark I was killing it! Swimming was improving rapidly, I was upping my minutes on the treadmill, hitting my rehab, and generally progressing nicely. Then I did what I always do and ignored my own limits. With my back feeling great from my last steroid injection, and the warm weather lasting well into November, I decided to run in my neighborhood on the pavement, which was the one thing my hip doctor, my PT, my back doctor, and my own brain told me to stop doing. I have a great neighborhood for running though, and it is just so convenient! Plus I had been feeling great on the treadmill. Well 3 5Ks on the pavement plus a couple of 18-hole rounds of golf and I was heading back to the operating room for another transferal epidural steroid injection, which was two weeks ago. Also, my hip flared up badly, SO NO MORE RUNNING ON PAVEMENT (except on race day). Treadmill, trails, and tracks for me from now on. Let's get to the update!
At my three month doctor appointment, the PA told me that it was normal to plateau at this point, and she was most definitely right. Well, mostly definitely right. There was not much improvement between three and four months, but in the last two weeks things have really started to progress, especially once I had another injury diagnosed and fixed. I’d been having severe pain in my butt, hip, and hamstring during the majority of my rehab and it just didn’t seem like anything was making it better. The surgeon thought this seemed odd, so he sent me to a back and spine doctor. Turns out, I have this. So at some point in my life I had stress fractures in my L5 vertebrae that didn’t heal correctly (most likely middle school football or wrestling). In fact, I have a 9mm misalignment between L5 and my sacrum, which I’m told is “a significant amount.” Over time, this has caused my L5 vertebrae to sag, which causes the disc to bulge. If I had access to my MRI and X-rays, I’d love to include pictures of what my lower back looks like, ‘cause it ain’t pretty! Solutions: lots and lots of core work. Since I was already focusing on that for my hip, no big deal. Oh yeah, I also got a transferal epidural steroid injection last week, and it is my sincere pleasure to report that I am pain free for the first time in 3 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact, I'd say that I am basically healed right now for both my hip and my back. Well, at least 85%.
Wow, it's been a while since I last updated you on my recovery and return to athletics, and actually, it's been my return to athletics that's kept me from writing because I've actually been training again!!!! Or at least I was right up until Labor Day, when I had a wedding over the weekend followed by a grueling work schedule (60 hour week of night shifts (last week) followed by a 72 hour week/weekend of day and night shifts (this week), and then finishing up with a 44 hour week/weekend of day shifts (next week). Yikes! Oh yeah, I also re-herniated a disc in my back, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.
Permission to (butter)Fly!
Well I had a computer mishap that delayed last week's update, and since I was seeing the doctor soon I just pushed it off to today. So, today I had my first follow up appointment with my surgeon. After a near 45 minute wait followed by a three minute chat with the Doctor, my immediate prospects for returning to athletics have been given a huge boost! Over the last two weeks, my rehab sessions have been becoming more and more like a workout, complete with dripping sweat and me having to wipe down machines and tables (ALWAYS WIPE DOWN WHATEVER YOU SWEAT ON AT THE GYM). My brief foray into dieting was obliterated over a couple of beautiful weather weekends, and a general lack of self-control. I eat when I’m bored or frustrated, and I’m bored and frustrated all the time because I can’t exercise. Despite my best efforts, this has been my cycle for pretty much ever, and even though I’m testing the limits of my wardrobe, I’m tired of beating myself up over it. Let’s get to the good stuff!