Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Week I Made All the Wrong Decisions



Last Friday morning, I was awake at 5:30am staring at the ceiling.  My legs were throbbing, everything was so tight and I had to pee.

"I'll do better, God...just don't let it pull like it did yesterday when I stand.  Just let me get to the bathroom and I promise I'll stay off of it next week."

I got up...*YANK!*

So off I hobbled to the bathroom.  I came back to bed and laid there for another hour thinking about all I'd done that week.  Two weeks prior, I'd replaced all of my footwear.  New tennis shoes with over-pronation insoles in them, new workout shoes and new slides to replace the shabby slippers that had more than worn out their welcome.  I knew there was going to be an adjustment period but the problem was, I was only wearing the everyday shoes on the weekend.  So we'd be out and then my hips, knees and feet would hurt because they didn't like being forced into the right position to correct my gait.  So I felt like I would benefit by wearing my everyday shoes around the house all day the following week because I knew I was going to be up probably twice as much as normal.  I mentioned this idea to my chiro and he seemed to be okay with it.

Well, when you go from sharing a blood supply with the couch to 7500 steps on 3 days out of that week and then around 4000 the other days (keeping in mind I work from home in a shoebox so there' not a lot of ground to cover), the already slightly miffed body gets a little more cheesed.   Remember when I told you about doing that trail in reverse?  Well, while I was hobbling along on that, I was also doing some damage but we'll get to that.  Every night, the only thing that would relieve my tight hips is this stretch where I would lie down and pull my left foot up to my right knee and try to open my hips.  It felt really good...it was not really good.  Every other day I was stretching and rolling and the pulling in my knees led me to do some voracious rolling with the hard Stick roller and I gave myself a tell tale bruise on my knee.  Come Thursday, my body was wondering if it was going to finally get a rest day...it did not.  It was pissed.  So it decided to swell the side of my knee on my left leg (the problem leg) because I'd inflamed it pretty bad and I had to ice it 4x that day for the swelling to go down.  All of that would be one thing to get used to but then you add in the all new footwear deal with a lot of up and down stairs and I basically toasted my legs.

Like...big time.

Friday was my chiro appointment and when I woke up that morning, I couldn't stand up.  I mean literally, I couldn't put my left foot flat on the ground without it yanking to high hell.  I sat there at 5:30 am silently weeping while I basically hopped to the bathroom.  I laid there for an hour and knew if I was going to make it to my appointment, I would have to take a hot bath and massage my muscles.  I did that and took a clay bath while I massaged the entire time.  It took 25 minutes for the muscles to finally release enough for me to feel like I could walk.  I wasn't looking forward to my appointment anymore.  I went to see him and when he saw my pain number went up one, he asked me about my week and I told him all of that.  He felt my legs and said the right one is still a champ and doing well but the left one was basically screwed.  I hadn't done any new damage to it, no micro tears or anything like that but that I needed a massage and said he knows I was under a work deadline but I could not do anything remotely close to that this week.  He caught my few spots I was rolling front and back and I could hear his frustration but in a way that is like listening to the nicest guy in the world say "shoot nuggets" instead of "shitballs, what did you do?!"

He said he was glad to see there was no more swelling on the side of the knee and that I very likely tweaked both IT bands on my legs during that walk given the pain I was in the following days.  He politely told me if I feel good for a few days and get the urge to walk in the park...*looked up at me and smiled*...don't.  He jacked the ultrasound up as high as it would go at my request and said I needed to get a massage before I saw him this Friday.  He said the muscles need stripped again but unfortunately my girl wasn't available until Thursday so I've been doing light, long strokes with oil so there's no friction or irritation until I can get in to see her.  His tone seemed much more serious but he said I am not allowing myself to heal despite pulling back on the cardio.  He knows the psychological effect it has on me when I am put on no weight bearing exercise or no cardio so he stopped short of saying absolutely no cardio but I could read him well enough to know he wanted to say it.   He also said anything that I would do to "help" is forbidden especially rolling and stretching.  He had me lie flat on my stomach and said my left hip was now rolling inward so he was going to do something about that.  Yay?  He did some kind of magic popping stuff to my hips with his hydraulic table and kept asking if I was okay as he did it and I told him nothing he could do to me in the office would hurt more than I hurt so do it to it.  He casually mentioned I had compartment syndrome which I just bothered to look up Sunday and it scared the sh*t out of me.  I don't think I have a severe form or anything especially since he said he was glad to see there was no swelling or anything like that which as the internet told me, could need immediate surgery to relieve the pressure.

Wanna know what pushed it to that point?  Being crammed in coach unable to move for 7 1/2 hours. I mean other things contributed but early on, he kept bringing that up and how it was probably the straw that broke the camel's back.  From what I read, the "crush injury" that happens in acute cases will cause the affected area to swell severely and given I'd experienced that once or twice before on really long car rides and no regular exercise on vacation, I knew I'd need compression socks.  I did use them but it was only after the symptoms came on because I knew peeling them off at 32,000 feet wasn't going to be an option.  So yeah, basically the airline should be paying for this treatment as far as I'm concerned.  You add on me trying to correct my gait with new inserts and an increased workload of being more active and I was doing myself no favors.  Best way to treat it?  You guessed it.

Rest.

I found it funny this came up in my feed when I was writing this post.  Thanks Chalene!


So I am pulling myself off of cardio this and possibly next week.  I did have to finish my project and Saturday was a bad day but I rested Sunday and did upper body strength.  The Mr will do cardio since he's able to.  I know it might sound crazy to some like "dude, your body is broken, rest it!" but when you've lost a lot of weight, you are constantly worried about gaining it back especially since we're still fighting that last bit of vacation weight.  But my mobility must take precedence so I have planned my meals and adjusted calories down to what I would typically be at after a workout.  I will still do upper body strength because he said that is fine.  He also said "compression, compression, compression" so I wear my compression sleeves basically all day and it does help my legs feel less achy.  I can't even tell you how hard it is not to roll or stretch.  It's like telling a kid with chicken pox not to itch.  I've adjusted my work schedule so that the next two weeks are all things I can do sitting down or not running up and down stairs.  The legs REALLY hate the stairs right now.

At this point, I just am glad that I have a doctor I don't want to disappoint.  I do wish he was a little more forceful when he needs to put his foot down because whatever he tells me to do, I do it.  So I am hoping come Friday, he will give me news that the left leg is feeling much better and my cardio exile will be for good.  Even if he doesn't verbalize it,  I know I can't go back to what I was doing until he tells me I can.  I will tell him that I have decided to drop any cardio until he tells me to ease back in.  I want to make him proud and healing has got to be my top priority or I won't be able to do anything in the future anyway.

Do you have a hard time scaling back on exercise even if your body needs you to? 

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6 comments:

  1. I think sometimes we try hard to do what we can to speed up or help out the healing process. Unfortunately it's easy to forget that the best thing is just to rest and let the body do the healing. I feel optimistic for you that this plan of attack is the right one.

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    1. Yeah, especially given we have a getaway coming up in the Fall and I just want this behind me. If resting means I'm good to go for it, then I'll do what I need to but you know how badly I want relief. Sorry if my rolling addiction has been irritating the past few days. I'm detoxing! :)

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  2. I have Degenerative Disc Disease in my L5 S1. I also have a straighter spine than normal, so my lower back is in a constant state of spasms. I finally went to the ortho and he told me nothing but biking, swimming, and walking. No weights, etc. Well, walking isn't good for me because when I walk too much, I have plantar fascia. But, I have picked up walking with Leslie (with some running in there) and I still do weights, only I have lowered them when doing bent over exercises like deadlifts. I also am doing tae bo and hiit. My body still hurts. I always feel guilty when I rest and don't do what I feel like I should.

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    1. It sounds like you are modifying to fit your lifestyle and that's good. You definitely have to be careful with that when you're dealing with your spine. I don't know if you've ever considering acupuncture for the lower back or not. Some people swear by it. I haven't done it yet but I'm going to look into it especially for the Achilles area to see if he can increase the blood flow/healing.

      It's hard not to feel guilty when we rest but sometimes our body throws up the white flag and we can't ignore it...it's hard though! :-)

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  3. Aw Stacy, I feel ya. I have degenerate disc disease as well. It stinks. And weights are my love. I love walking too, but weights just feel right. Anele, I've been told to back off the weights, others say they are needed. So I've learned to do what I can and modify when im told I cant. I will use lighter weights and perform strength exercises with my back braced on a wall or the floor. But then I take walks that are too far and my hips will just die haha. But my mental state is what takes a hit should I stop. I pray you feel better soon. I don't like getting older.

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    1. It's one of those deals where you can be told something and you just instinctually know if your body can take it or not and then other times you have to have someone tell you "look, NO. It's not forever but right now...no!" LOL Just like this morning I did a nice massage on the legs since they were tight (heated up the muscle first with a heating pad so I wouldn't be tempted to dig in) and about 45 minutes later, my knees were achy and throbby. So I had to strap on the ol' compression sleeves. Sigh. Getting older does stink but I suppose we should feel blessed we are since some people didn't make it to our ages.

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