Listen while you read.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas


We spent Christmas Eve and Day up in the Colorado mountains, skiing! The time as a family was precious, and we all enjoyed every second. It was Halee and Christian's first time to ski, and they both exceeded our expectations. We even caught Santa taking a break!
And on a side note (at this point), my hip did amazing. I just completed my 6 month post-op questionnaire on my daily activities, including running-for me, and scored a perfect 80 out of 80. What a great Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

This Year!

I'm definately saying "good-bye" to this year and welcoming next! I am finally about 99% pain-free. I can still find the pain occasionally and HAVE to use a pillow to prop my leg up at night, but all in all, I feel completely normal. I am running fairly difficult single-track trail runs now. Marc and I enjoyed a 6 miler yesterday with the dogs. My distance continues to stick around that mark, but I WILL do 7 miles before December ends. I have signed up for a series of races that begins at a 10K distance and 4 races later, ends at a 20K distance - adding 2 miles every two weeks. Marc and I reflected this last weekend on this series last year: we ran it with Halee as training for her half-marathon. Her half-marathon was the last big thing I did before deciding to go to the doctor in last March. So in February, I will be up to 12+ miles and ready to begin marathon training right after.

I am better than I thought I would ever be. I run consistently at a 9-9:15 minute pace. I had hoped for below 10:00, but feared 12:00. I have been working on hills on EVERY run. My uphill is slowly improving while there is not much, nor will there ever be, much success on the down. I have been told to be careful, and my natural fear of getting reinjured makes it impossible to go crazy.

I think I am better than my doctor or PT ever thought I would be. I am just over 5 months post-op (Dec. 8) and back to normal. Dr. White will be doing my 6 month post-op over the phone since everything is going well. I can't wait to tell him how great things are going.

I am looking forward to a fun-filled, relaxing, adventurous 2011!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crazy Hard

This title is two-fold: I have been working "crazy hard" and when I run, the cardio part is, yes, "crazy hard." I'll start with work. We are getting ready for our mid-year assessment this week. I spent all of thanksgiving break planning a huge review of what the students have learned this year, including many aspects of the test. It is like a mini-CSAP, but just for our district. Since my district is "pay-for-performance," my pay is partly based on these tests, as well as a whole lotta more stuff. Either way, I always promise my students that they will be ready for the test if we all work hard. It gives them comfort to at least know we all are doing our best.

Running. I have been running fairly regularly. My long run yesterday: 6.2 miles (10K-coincidentally). I added in hills last weekend and am slowly adding in distance. I will work up to 7 or 8 through December, with a bunch more hills. Strength is not my specialty, so I figure some hills will help me out. I am lifting and doing spin to work on getting stronger all over. Cardio is my number one struggle. My legs feel like they can go, fairly pain-free although I will admit, I can still feel the injury every day. But my breathing is out of control. I have only ran with others, not alone, but the talking during a run is almost impossible the first mile. On easy hills (for Colorado - or normal hills for everyone else), I am fairly consistent at a 9:15 pace. My hopes: to add miles and difficulty and attempt to maintain somewhere around that pace. I will be thrilled if I run a 9 min pace regularly for several years. It is not where I WAS, but it is reasonable. I am still planning on running the Turkey Track Marathon in Pagosa Springs this June, and that goal is feeling more and more achievable. Just two weeks ago, the thought of a marathon was a tiny bit overwhelming. Building my mileage and difficulty, is building my confidence. Most of all, it's just nice to be able to go for a run on a beautiful Colorado day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My First Race...Kind Of.

Lots to share. I have been running, kind of, again since the beginning of November, so really only about 3 weeks. With getting back into the swing of things, in that aspect, it has been hard to run more than two times per week. The first few times, were tough. I walked 9 minutes, ran 2, and so on. The next time, ran 3 minutes, and then walked for 8. This process continued for about 4 runs when I started to pay a little attention to my running pace. I can hear you all now, "Why would you even care yet?" or "Are you crazy, just relax, at least you CAN run." However, as I realized this weekend, pace will always matter no matter how much I don't want it to. Last week I got my walk breaks down to 4 minutes, running for 7 minutes in anticipation of my Turkey Trot Predict this last weekend. Left in charge of predicting my finish time, I started talking myself into a 33 minute 5K. (I should say that in my past life, I could run a 5K in about 21 minutes.) Through the process (the week), it went down to a 30 minute 5K. By the time we, Marc and I, started the race, I officially predicted 29:45, in hopes of breaking 30 minutes.

Being a predict, I couldn't wear a watch and decided to take walk breaks at the 2 mile and 3 mile point. With no mile markers, this quickly changed to at the water stops - there ended up being only one. I walked for about 20 seconds. With about a half of a mile to go, and after staring at the back of two girl's heads the entire race, I decided that I needed to pass them. So in my new fashion, probably about an 8 min per mile pace, I kicked it in and passed them. I finished the race and said, "Well, I won't know if I overdid it until Monday." It's Monday, and I feel great. And my finishing time...drumroll...28:06. (9:04 pace)Not too bad. As we walked to the car Marc said, "You will never be able to run just for fun." I quickly pointed out that my pace was 2 min per mile slower than before, and that may be what it is for a while, but it is all good. At least I can run again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Interesting or Scary?

About a week before my surgery, all the way back at the beginning of July, my right eye got cloudy. Being a contact wearer for about 18 years now, I figured they were old and I needed to change it out. So I did. It remained the same state. So I quickly called the eye Dr. to get in and have them take a quick look before my surgery so I wasn't living with it for months, figured they would adjust my prescription, and send me off with a new contact. After checking my vision, they couldn't correct it with the whole "better or worse" system and decided to run a few scans on it. They checked my peripheral, the shape, the retina, etc. and nothing. I could barely make out the second line, the one just below the big fat "E", on the chart and so my prescription remained -4.0 in my right eye. (My left eye is normal at -5.75 or so, and I see fine with correction.) I left the office with no answers; however, they did give me a bit of advice, "After surgery, wear glasses for a bit and see if it gets any better. It will either get better or worse over time." So I did just that. I wore my glasses for several days, no change, but I could care less since my worries were somewhere else.

Skip ahead 3 months to October, and my regular eye exam. "Is it better, or worse, or the same?" I replied, "It's still blurry." Performing another eye exam, they could still only correct my vision to the same point. He said it had actually gotten a little worse and to stop wearing my contacts. He ran more tests, and nothing. He briefly mentions MS, but says he shouldn't have said anything. So I stopped wearing my contacts and he asked to see me back in two weeks to see what that would do.

Two weeks later. My eye doctor has been consulting with a retina specialist, who is also his friend. He said they have talked several times at length about me and are puzzled. They have never seen ANYTHING like this. So I inquire what EXACTLY is going on. At this visit, he says, "When I give you the exam," (the whole better or worse test) "your eye is now -1.25! IT HAS SELF-CORRECTED!" Your first reaction is to probably say, "Wow, that's amazing. That's a good thing right?" Because that is the one and only response I've gotten when I tell people. However, an eye doesn't just self-correct. And it doesn't do it to that degree. His explanation, along with the retina specialist, "Something has to be pushing on the optic nerve in order for this happen." He again, briefly mentions MS, but again, says it's not likely. Since wearing glasses, they can correct it to 20/25. So I can see now.

Two weeks later. I have now seen the retina specialist. He has examined me, and nothing. Dr. Hampton, my doctor, and Dr. Luu, the retina specialist, feel I should have a CT of my orbits, just to make sure there isn't a tumor - which they feel they would have seen with total dilation. But just to be sure. I'm sitting in the waiting room for my CT and a tech comes out to find out what is going on. She says she needs to talk to her radiologist before they take me back. A few minutes later she returns to tell me that, "The radiologist has NEVER seen anything like this and he really feels that I need an MRI to get a more complete picture." Of course, this has to be reordered by the Dr. Back a few weeks ago, they also got my medical doctor involved, and he is the one that ordered the CT. Yesterday, the MRI was scheduled, I spoke to my medical doctor, I spoke to my eye doctor, and i spoke to the radiologist. All of whom are saying do not worry, but to continue to pursue an answer.

I have googled it, I have asked every doctor that I come in contact with if they have EVER seen this. No. So I decided to blog about it and ask anyone reading, "Have you ever heard of self-corrected vision?"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Running...oh, Sweet Running!

Life has been hectic and crazy and everything that describes hectic and crazy. School has been totally overwhelming this year with the expectations wearing me down. I can't keep up with the blogging, and for that I apologize. Plus, nothing has been very exciting until now.

Yep, I have officially started my walk to run program. It began last weekend with 2 minute intervals, on a very flat, well-groomed trail. My walking time was 8 minutes after I finished the 2 minutes of light, and very easy jogging totalling 2 miles (I had already walked 2 miles multiple times). My muscles are great, my hip was good too, but my cardio...ugggh! As much as I have done spin and even a Bosu class (hard) this week, the cardio has not kept up. So this process will be a bit of stretching out the lungs as much as breaking in the ole' hip.

I went to PT today and went ahead and very carefully told Cameron what I had done. The itch just wouldn't go away, and I gave in. Today, I am one week away from being cleared by Dr. White to do it, so I figured two weeks early (only running once last week) wasn't too bad. Cameron took a little bit of persuading, but he finally said that if two minutes was okay that I could 4 minutes this weekend. I didn't wait. I did a full 1.5 hours of hard PT, and then this afternoon, I hit the trail again. Marc has been great with me and very patient too. We always bring the dogs, and so my goal of being able to run with Tuff again, is happening regularly. I did a 3.3 mile run today (Cameron said 3 miles...) and ran for 4 minute intervals, and then walked for 8 minutes. He doesn't want me to increase my running and decrease my breaks or walking on the same day. So the plan for Sunday is run for 4 minutes and walk for 6. Eventually, I will be running the whole 3 miles. I am planning on doing a 5k in about 4 weeks, just for fun. I am excited about being able to run a race...any type of race. A 5k sounds like a challenge right now, but a realistic goal.

After that, I am going to do a series of races here to get ready to go into marathon training. The series is 10k, 8 miles, 10 miles, and 20K during january and February. I will start training for my first post-op marathon in March. It is exciting to actually talk running again. Of course, this will happen as long as things continue on this path, which I am fully expecting.

My pain is non-existant; however, I can "find" it and still have trouble bending my leg certain ways. I am not sure I will ever be able to sit "criss-cross apple-sauce" again, or comfortably lift my foot up to put my shoe on, but every day life is pain free. Cameron just said today that I will be one of Dr. White's star patients: I am pain free, and will be running marathons again. Very exciting! Now if things could slow down a little at school, I would have some time to enjoy all of this.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Wish Every Weekend was a Three Day!

Where do I start? Life has been super crazy with work. I have a lot of meetings, which I hate, and a lot of fun with my students, which I love. I tell them everyday, "You are the best class I have ever had, and you are definitely the smartest!" That is until next year's class, and then they will impress me too. My mom and dad have been in two times a week, for the entire morning, to help with anything I need. My dad usually catches me up on grading papers while my mom does small groups with students. Having two retired teachers as parents couldn't be any better when it comes to stuff like this. They help me kick start my class in fall, every year. It is the time of year that I see the most growth, probably because there are three teachers in the classroom for two days per week during this time. Love my class, and love having my mom and dad there to help.

Marc and I have been busy doing home maintenance in anticipation of our new carpet coming this week. Yippee. Our house is all set. We fixed some doors, refinished the hardwood entry, and cleaned up some clutter. We have also been enjoying some free-time with my parents. Yesterday, we went 4-wheeling and had a blast. The girls went too and Christian enjoyed her new hobby, photography! (Halee has always carried the camera, but Christian is trying it out.) We might even go again next weekend.
I also had my 3 month post-op visit today. I had the day off, and Marc took the day. My parents, Marc, and I headed up to Denver all together. (We met my grandma after the visit for lunch.) Everything on the xray is perfect. I have had two "flare-ups" from trying new things: mountain biking and walking 2 miles. Dr. White wasn't happy about the mountain biking, but when he realized I hadn't meant to, nor done it since, he was okay and advised me to wait one more month until I started the walk to run program. He reassured me that I would be back to where I want to be, but I need to be patient, which I will. For now, I continue with PT once a week until 6 months post-op.

So all in all, life is perfect! I love my family, my friends, and my job...and recovery is going pretty good too! Except I wish every weekend was a three day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bursitis and Some Treatment

The pain didn't lighten today and moved upward and out. I told Cameron of my desperate situation the second I walked into PT. After some examing, he could put his finger right on the intense pain, and used a bunch of big words with acute bursitis at the end. I received a treatment (that basically put the medicine straight into my hip with ultrasound) and then he worked it my hip a bit. We did a few stretches and sent me home. After some discussion about my weekend activities, we decided it was the mountain bike ride I did where I ascended quite a bit. Spinning class keeps you pretty stable, even if you get up and down. When you are on a real trail, you use your hips to stabilize yourself. He said I wouldn't have known I wasn't ready, if I hadn't tried. I will have to wait a few more weeks before I try again. It was fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yikes!

My favorite thing to say to my students when they do something they shouldn't...and it's usually fairly high pitched and catches them off-guard, kind of like the sleepless night I had last night, and the beastly pain that hit me yesterday! I have been rating on as a 9. I would read blogs and think, "How could people be in so much pain post-op?" Well, now I know. Not really, I don't have an answer because I haven't gone to physical therapy this week, but know the pain. I hurt all through the night and even laying there completely still, I was in so much pain that I wanted to cry. It begins above my knee, to the right side of my leg, all the way up, to the outside of my hip-right below my bone. I had Marc rub it out with lotion last night, like the PT did last time it was "kind of" like this, and 10 minutes later, it was back full force. I awoke this morning to find myself standing in the shower in total frustration. It was excruciating first thing. I went to school, had a tough morning trying to deal with it, and it fluxuated between a 9 and 6, at best. My hope: physical therapy is tomorrow and Cameron will fix it. I hope. My first question for him will be, "How can I take care of this on my own, at home, if it happens?" I have also made my 3 month post-op appointment for October 11, and will ask Dr. White about the possibilities. feeling a little desperate at the moment. I know it'll all be okay, but in the meantime, I am looking forward to another night...in pain! Yikes!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's Still There!

My hip recovery has been amazing. I completed my first real spin class today. The full hour, with resistance and standing with the sitting. Thank goodness. I was getting tired of sitting. I looked into a cycling race, but the season has proven to be my biggest challenge, and that is probably a good thing. I will have to wait to tackle all of my post-op dreams until after winter, and that was the original plan anyways. I go down to one visit of PT per week this coming week, so I will start to hit Villa more on my own. I was warned by Dr. White that between month two and month three post-op would be my most difficult time. Not as far as pain, but feeling great and wanting to get back out and start challenging myself. Interesting, that man is always right. Cameron has been great, allowing me to push as much as he feels safe, which is a fine line. I am now doing one legged squats 5 times a week (3 sets of 10 on each side), plank for 1 minute with both legs, then I toe tap-holding myself up on my good hip. Now comes the hard part, I am trying to toe tap with my not-so-good hip holding me up, I did 8 today, which is more than I've ever done. I was at 3 midweek. I do bridges with a big ball, rolling it back and forth. I "jumped" and "jogged" laying down on the reformer. Jumping was a success, but I won't lie, jogging left me in a ton of pain that I still feel 48 hours later. Pain is kind of something to take note of these days because I am rarely in any. I am still slightly uncomfortable in bed: I can't lay on that side still, and my right leg has to stay straight when I lay on my stomach when I'd prefer to bend it up. If things keep going on this path, the surgery was definitely a success.

My heart (and mind) has started to set some plans for next year. I am going to do a trail marathon in Pagosa Springs in June. I might do a 50k close to home in summer as well, and would also like to pace some friends that are planning some 100s. 100 milers that is. Pacing could get me back into ultra running without having to run the full ultra. It is slow, relaxed running or even hiking, and it makes me super excited to think about doing that. I would also love to conquer a 100 mile bike ride which will be thrown in around my other adventures. The great thing, Marc is on board to do a lot of it with me. (He will have to do a mountain bike ride, while I find a road race.) Pretty soon, I will be 100% and I am ready when I am!

Life is Whirlwind


And before you know it, your babies are growing up! Halee is at her first homecoming dance as I write. We picked out her dress last week, had her make-up done today, and she put the final touches on her hair. What a beauty! We keep telling Christian..."You will have your time too." But it has been hard for her to be patient. It all kind of begins at the END of 8th grade, so Christian only has one more year of watching from the sidelines. For now, she was good with helping Halee put on her dress and do her "walk" down the stairs for pictures.
She was dropped off by Marc and will be picked up by him too. I thought dad was a good choice. She chose to go to dinner with all of us instead of a group of friends. I treasure these moments, as time with the girls is getting less and less, the older they get. I couldn't ask for anything more, with either one. They can be very typical teenagers a lot a bit, but in the end, they make better than average decisions, and want to do what's right. Soon, very soon, Christian will be splashed in her formal dresses all over my blog. Although it makes me a bit sad, it makes me so much more proud of how my sweet little babies have blossomed into beautiful young ladies!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

2 Months Post-Op

I made it through the weekend of races...barely! Struggling with pain since Sunday, only because I was doing way too much, I finally made it back to PT today. The weekend, and the week leading up to the ADT proved to be a lot of work, physically and mentally. I tried to take it easy, but it was more than I had been doing in a while. Catching up on sleep, a little each night, since the race has been top priority. Today, I was ready for Cameron to "shake" it out and loosen up all of the tension that had been forming the past several days. After a few exercises and some time on the bike, he did his magic. I asked about being able to walk or ride my bike regularly and he said that I could ride for 20 minutes on a flat area (mountain bike so I am sitting up) and walk for an hour on a flat, soft surface. I will start riding or walking with the dogs, beginning tomorrow...on my day off! Yep, I'm taking a day off.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Can't Believe I'm Actually Blogging

There was a time, just a few weeks ago, that I didn't miss a day. Now I am back at work, deep, deep into work. This year has taken off and gone every which way but straight. I have paperwork and more paperwork. Throw in a ton of expectations from a superintendant that pays us according to our "performance" (you guessed it-student performance), and what's leftover is a few minutes left to teach. I stay late, and many times the students stay with me. Don't feel too bad, they love every minute of it. It is better than the alternative.

And in my spare time, what is that again? I am down to the last week before the marathon. No, I'm not running. The American Discovery Trail Marathon and Half Marathon, which I direct and Marc so graciously helps me out with. We rode the course this weekend and it ended up being 3.5 hours on about 13 miles, maybe more. It was back and forth, and back and forth, marking the half and full course of the last 9 miles of the race. I only limped for about 2 hours after and pretty much rested the remainder of the evening. Woke up fresh-pretty much pain free-for another day of volunteer work. We ran more errands, and finally made it to the pool by 3pm where I sat on my phone, answering emails. I woke up this morning, exhausted, knowing that this week, it only gets better! The race committee is about 20 people strong. I have been receiving emails all day from various members, "Can you be sure I have this on race day?" or "Can you make sure...?" So I attempt to please, but am sure I am pretty unsuccessful, because those emails come in between the runners that want to know exactly what color of socks they should wear on race day...or they wonder when I am going to update the website for the 2011 event? I am going to think out loud for just a moment, "If, yes IF, I make it through this year's races, I will be sure to get the webite update about, oh, 3 months after...or so...maybe." Needless to say, I am tired. I am worn out. I am ready for Christmas break?

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Big Itch

I have started to get this crazy itch. No matter what I do it just won't go away. I can do mini squats. I can ride the stationary bike for a while. I can throw an 11lb ball into a trampoline-catch it, with one leg in front of the other on a foam pad. Nothing will get rid of this crazy itch. This itch, a nice relaxing ride on a very well-groomed, flat trail! All on my mountain bike so it would be comfortable of course.

I went to PT on Thursday, sat on the stationary bike, and began to spin. I told Cameron that I was starting to get this huge desire to bike, casually. I don't want to go crazy. I haven't had any pain in over a week, unless it is forced. I can bring my knee up to my chin, or try to lay on my hip, and it will hurt. But, come on, when do we really bring our knee up to our chin? So pretty much pain free. Back to me spinning. Cameron asked about my pain and I said I didn't have any. I did a ton of exercises, and he finished up with some one-legged squats, almost all the way down to the ground. (Started with two, and moved to one.) I had to do three sets of 10 on each leg, and by the end, my puny little right quad was saying, "Hello World, here I am!"

He was testing my pain. I passed for a casual, easy, Sunday ride. Since Marc is working on the course for ADTM right now, it means I can ride with him as he paints the mile markers. I started tonight with 30 minutes at about a 7 minute per mile pace, and it was fantastic. I kept admiring the trail. The flowers. Everything that I have been missing out on lately. It was heaven.

It probably won't be a regular activity yet, as Cameron said it was okay to do a test ride, and then a ride this weekend. I am sure it will stay limited for a while, but limited these days feels limitless!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gasp! Gasp!

I'm trying to catch my breath. Going back to work is only a tiny part contributing to me feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. The biggest part, ADT Marathon. We are in the final countdown. Next week will be total chaos and then race day on Labor Day will actually be a relief. I'm glad it's almost here.

On to what I actually sat down to write about: my doctor's appointment yesterday. Quick. He didn't have too much to say, EXCEPT, everything is PERFECT! His word, "Smooth!" He let me know that Cameron is doing a good job. I couldn't agree more. I am thrilled with my surgery and my recovery. I am down to feeling pain about 10% of the day and that is when I am "testing" out my limits. I am still following directions very closely, but can now add strength in. All is good and on track. Now back to marathon planning.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Almost Normal

I love my weekends!
I get caught up on life. Being back to work always proves to be such a challenge. Keeping up on laundry, housework, and yardwork becomes such a task between early mornings at school, late nights at meetings, and physical therapy still twice a week. By Friday I am wiped out and ready for Saturday morning to come jsut to catch up a bit. This weekend was extra great because I was actually able to perform most of my "normal" tasks. I vacuumed. I weeded. So for everyone wondering how long the honeymoon lasts, about 6 weeks. I am one of those people that loves to vacuum everyday, yes everyday, so being able to do it again is heavenly. I won't be back to doing it that often, but probably twice a week. Weeding will be kept to once every two weeks and I will still enlist in the help of the family. At the end of the day, I just feel a little sore. I decided to throw in grocery shopping. I know, now you hip patients are probably yelling at me. Marc went back for things we forgot, and I limited my walking as much as possible. He pushed the cart 100%.

Tonight we are relaxing with a great dinner! Marc grilled zuchini from the garden, burgers for the girls and him, and a veggie burger for me. Christian and I baked a lemon cake together.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Not Much, But a Whole Lot

I am so busy with life that I really don't have much to say. I think some big changes are coming. I am healing great and I have my 6 week check-up on Monday! I will write with an update. Other than that, just takin' one day at a time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back Into the Swing of Things

My days are looking more normal than ever. I can step in and out of the shower, over the edge of the bath. I can put my shoes on, if I'm careful. Jeans are getting more comfortable. Laundry is getting done, and I can even stand for a bit to iron. I washed the car, all by myself, today. Marc wouldn't have probably let me do that if he was home. He was off mountain biking. I snuck it in. I even vacuumed a little bit, carefully.

My nights are a bit achy, and I hope that I can sleep without pain soon. I try really hard to sleep how I use to: left leg propped up on a pillow, while I lay on my right side. I still can't sleep on that side, and even rolling over is still sensitive. I naturally avoid it because I know it doesn't feel great when I do. My arms go numb, because I lay in the same position all night-on them, where I use to flip flop around after I fell asleep.

PT Update: I am still able to spin for forty minutes. I am not allowed to stand up on the bike until I am not limping anymore. I lifted on my upper body yesterday. I can do mini-squats, bridges, tons of balance board things, and more. I swam last week and it was "okay" but hard since I can't use my legs still (buoy between them).

I still impinge and notice it more after an active day and when I do too much, I am definitely sore. But I am 5 weeks post-op and finally feel like I am getting back into the swing of things.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Students

Marc reminds me at this time each year that relationships take time to build. He is referring to my students. Last year I absolutely adored my class, but not until after Christmas break, and teared up at the thought of ending the year. The year before, I thought I could never have a class that would compare, and yet, last year's students did a great job and it was a close competition. Already this year, I can tell there are a few characters that will capture my heart.

At home I have two girls and know that God was very strategic in this part of my life. I love having girls at home, but at school, it's the boys that make my life interesting. Girls are natural pleasers, but boys make you work for that relationship. I am also blessed with what I'll call "some challenges" because the previous teachers, or their parents, have hopes that I can make a much needed change in their lives, yes, plural. I can see already, in just four days with them, that it is going to be a great year of relationships, caring, struggles-together, and celebrations. They will learn, like my previous classes, that they are smart and capable of conquering the world. Someone just needs to tell them! And that is my job.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Crutches...What are Those?

Kidding! After 115 days - yesterday, I am officially OFF OF CRUTCHES! It started back at the end of March, yep way back then. I had a few days off before the Boston Marathon, and then 2 weeks after my stress fracture cleared and before surgery. Add up all of the days, not that anyone was counting-well, I was, and you get a nice round number of 115!

After two hours of PT, Cameron said, "So what are you going to do with that crutch?" I didn't have to think about it, "Throw it out my car on the interstate?" Was it for real? I have freedom at home and at work, but if I decide to venture to the mall-ya right, then I have to take it. I won't be going anywhere that I have to take it. I'm too tired these days. I'll get to that later. Back to the whole two hour thing. In the last week, Cameron has really upped the time that I am there, and the things that I can do. I go and go the whole time and feel like I am rebuilding a lot. I would like to hit more spin bike, but time isn't permitting it with being swamped at work.

Speaking of work, my students have arrived. I just finished up day 2 with them. We are already busy working hard. They have learned how to stay on topic in writing, and they each made a set of flash cards today to practice their multiplication facts-yikes! By the end of the year, have no fear.

At the end of today, first official day with the crutch, I was limping. My students let me know. (It's amazing how fast we get to know each other and are comfortable-good thing.) I figured I would be. I hope each day gets better. The pain was a bit much too. Now, I rest. I have PT again tomorrow-every Tuesday and Thursday now. Things are coming along.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Following-Up

Going back to work has been a ton of excitement; however, it has also left me exhausted and realizing that it will set me back a bit with recovery. I am hoping that this weekend will jump start me back in the right direction with some biking, swimming, and catching up on my PT exercises.

Fiddling around in my classroom, walking back and forth to the workroom, and then sitting for long periods of times (meetings) has made my hip ache. I try to keep up with others, so I often get a burning feeling in my butt when I am walking. If I sit for too long, more than 30 minutes, I have to stand up to stretch the front of my hip or serious aching will drive me through the roof. Overall, I am just exhausted, which is totally normal for going back, but it results in NOT wanting to walk anywhere after work, just sit in my bed.

I am struggling with wondering how I will keep up without having Allison every week to help me clean. She is back to every other week starting next Friday. Somehow it will all work out.

I go back to Dr. White on August 23. Going back to work has also proven to be difficult on scheduling Dr.'s appointments, as I dislike getting subs. On Mondays we have early releases for meetings, and I scheduled it for a Monday. Guess what? The Principal and Assistant Principal scheduled the first meeting with 5th grade on the 23rd. We rescheduled. Until October 8, 3 months post-op, juggling a full-time job that isn't too flexible, will be fairly difficult. Just "following-up" with where I am at almost one month post-op! Oh ya, I still have my crutch, but he said we would talk about losing it next week. Nice.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First Day Back to Work

AND 4 weeks post-op...all in one day! It was so good to be back. I love my summer's off, but I really love teaching and being back in the school and into the swing of things was great. My day started with the usual reunion, everyone in my classroom this time since I settled into my chair for a bit and also had a few quick projects to do before I headed off for a math training. One person after another came in until there were 5, then 3 more, and others in my room all giddy about being back for another school year. Kevin, my 5th grade teammate, came in and stayed while the others made their way through. Before I knew it, time was up, and we had to head off to our training at district. That went slow. The 4th grade team and us (Kevin and I) are fairly close, so we all made plans to go to lunch. Lori tagged along and as Kevin would say, she's having a hard time cutting the cord! (That was for you Lori.) The afternoon was spent in more meetings, and I finished up with putting 23 names on three sets of clothespins. Tomorrow is our district's convocation, a big hoorah to get us going for this year, and then we head back for a game and work day!

Oh ya, I almost forgot-4 weeks post-op. Taking a few steps back right now, just trying to take it easy. It's all par for the course. No biggy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad...

You take them both and there you have, the facts of life!
Some days are better than others. There have been better days. I am stressed out and super busy with race directing right now. The American Discovery Trail Marathon is coming up on Labor Day. This is my second year directing it, and although this year has been a breeze compared to last, it all just went crazy! We are about 5 weeks out, and it is the time when I make sure all of the final touches are in order. Are the medals in the U.S.? Volunteers for all 14 aid stations? Emergicare for the finishline? Shirts ordered? Post-race food? Ice? Sound? Port-o-Potties for several areas? Dumpster? Bibs? More rooms for Hotel(we've booked over 100)? Truck rentals? The list goes on. Really it does. I have a committee of 20+ people, but it still seems like the details fall on me. I know it will all come together, as last year it did without any hitches.

PT was not the greatest either. I had the best day ever yesterday. I was actually complaining about them giving me exercises that were too easy. Then when I got home, I decided to go out with Marc in the yard and fiddle around. I won't go into detail. Maybe I weeded some. Maybe. Then today, BAMM! It hit me bad. I went to PT and he said I had some swelling in my hip which is, inadvertantly, making my right leg longer. To stand straight, I have to bend that leg. Here's the bad news: I can't go off of my crutch until I can stand up straight without bending the right leg. It will be a bit. I needed my crutch today. I wanted it. So I decided to accept that I will have it for the first day of school. Once I decide I'm okay with something, it really is okay.

Friendships. One of the hardest parts of this whole "injury" thing has been to figure out how friendships are going to develop or even change. I'm talking about the friendships that were built on my ability to run. Some of my friendships DID start that way, but then grew into more. Some didn't. The ones that didn't, it's easy-I haven't seen them since the day I couldn't run anymore. The ones that are something more-I see them all of the time. I'm not going to lie though, it has been hard. On both ends. They try to keep up with including me in the things that they do, to the point that it hurts sometimes-emotionally. Do I feel that it is intentional? Of course not. I TRY to be understanding that they are all still carrying on with their plans. Inside I understand, but I don't think it always come off that way. I am not sure what is harder, being injured and waiting to come back, or being the friends that are trying to include me. Either way, today has been hard for that too.

For all of the bad days I have, I have ten good ones, AT LEAST! That is a fact of life!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Scary Good

Along this journey I have noticed that there are what I call, "Huge steps forward and little steps back!" On the days that I feel like I am going backwards, I get a little discouraged and maybe even more like scared. On the days that I am progressing, I feel like it is too good to be true. TODAY! I had a big set back last week with pain. I hurt every which way I positioned myself. I had an excruciating pinch (maybe cramp) at PT on Friday. I thought I was never going to bounce out of that rut. I did spin like I was told: got off when I was tired, carried out my exercises diligently, pool walked daily for 5 days in a row, and tried to rest when I was tired. I think it has paid off. I no longer feel that sharp pain I had last week, and I am amazed at how easy it is to get around on one crutch now. Everyone and anyone that has been around me the last four months can't believe the difference between two crutches and one. Huge difference. I can actually keep up. It is nice to have, because I don't feel like I have to worry about supporting it completely, but I also think I am just about ready to be walking without it. Mentally I was ready 3 months ago, but now, physically. I have PT in about two hours, so we'll have to wait and see.

Today, I am just hanging around with Christian-takin' it easy. Halee left for high school this morning and looked cuter than ever. Christian goes back to school tomorrow, 7th grade-same school as last year. And I return on Thursday! I have enjoyed my summer: vacation, the pool with my family and friends, cycling and swimming early on, the girls growing up a little in a good way, and time with Marc...wherever it was!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tuff: Update

He HAD skin cancer which is much better than the other type that we were fearing. This may also explain a lot about his skin that he has had problems with since birth. The second biopsy is under analysis with various antibiotics to see which reacts the best. Then, Tuff will be put on it in hopes of clearing his skin up. Either way, we are happy that the sweetheart will be hanging around a while.

Warning:School Starts Soon

I am extremely excited about the new school year! I spent a lot of time in my classroom and preparing new ideas for my upcoming students. My interactive bulletin boards are all over the room and I have finally gotten some clothespins to go with some of them. The stores were sold out and I suspect it is due to all of the teachers going back. Lori, my student teacher last year, brought several great ideas to my classroom and when she left I made a list of things I "must have" because I used them frequently. That list is all purchased and then some. To top it all off, I created a math bulletin board that will take the students through a spiral review everyday, without a worksheet, and we have a new math curriculum.

I brought home two tubs of math manipulatives, things for the students to play with and use during math. As a teacher, if it hasn't been provided, I make it or buy, usually make it, so it is nice to have new resources. Teaching math the last two years has been fun because our curriculum was so bad (all that I had was a thick textbook) that I made a lot of games to implement the math concepts. I never received a teacher's manual and that was probably just as well, since I like my own ideas better. While I was recovering, I starting exploring the new curriculum on-line and found that it is amazing. I didn't realize how amazing though. I unpacked a box called "Centers." This box contained 5 thick, spiral books full of games that correspond to each lesson. Each book is the same, so a pair of students or a group can work together and there are enough books for the class, working in groups. The best part about it: you put together 5 Ziploc baggies with certain supplies - they tell you what and they supply most of it - the students grab a baggie with supplies, and they are set for any game. I looked through the games and most of them seem really exciting. I was tempted to try some. I can use them each day in math, or a reward, or indoor recess - which we have a lot of in Colorado. There is also two of each game, an easier version and a more difficult, so I can differentiate with these games. This curriculum is a dream come true for a teacher that enjoys teaching math the nontraditional way, without a textbook. The students will have a textbook, but my goal is to only crack it a few times a month.

Something else that has me jumping for joy...science has changed in our district. They are now telling us particular concepts to teach and then assessing our students on this subject. I like this idea because science is tested on the CSAP for the first time in 5th grade, so a lot of the teaching fell on 5th grade teachers, playing catch up for 6 years of school. My first quarter concept is the "Human Body." Some people cringe when I tell them excitedly, but for me, being a runner, and interested in how all of that works, loves it. The students, in groups, will be assigned a system in the body, for example respiratory system. Then they will choose a science experiment to conduct, from a list, on that system. I have demonstration boards that they can use to present their experiment and findings when it is all done. We will learn every system in great detail, but then they will see how each system works together. It will also be related to plants and animals, how we are different or the same. I can't wait to start teaching science just writing about it.

This year the 4th grade teachers, the ELL (English Language Learners) teachers, and myself, thought it would be conducive to put the majority of the ELL students in my class. Since I majored in Spanish, I understand how to teach going back and forth. Not necessarily teaching in Spanish, so let me explain. In English, possessive nouns have an apostrophe before the s at the end. In Spanish, the word "de" is used to represent the apostrophe. So I have the students say "Sara's shoes" and then I have the ELL students say it in Spanish, "zapatos de Sara." If there is a "de" they use the apostrophe in English. Just one example. I can understand why students learning a second language make the mistakes they do, because I made the same mistakes when I was learning Spanish, and probably still do. I am also able to communicate with their parents. Their parents like this, as well as the school doesn't need to find a translator. I am thrilled to say I have 13 out of 22 ELL students right now, and ready to teach them. Usually, they are all very eager learners and work very hard to do their best.

My final thought: I won't be able to write as much when school starts, but I'll update as much as possible. Thanks for following along with me this summer!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Few More Exercises

I asked Cameron to pull out his highliter and let me know what exercises I can do on my protocol. First he tested me out with them, to see if I had any hip pain, and then let me know HOW MANY of each one I could do per day. I asked for a number and joked that I would be doing 150 per exercise per day if he didn't limit me. I have turned another corner and finally feel like I am rebuilding some of what I lost. This week I biked 40 minutes two times and 20 minutes three times. I am now doing wall slides partially down, balance board activities while hold onto something, some leg raises to the side, and pool walking for 20 minutes at a time. (I haven't made it past 15 minutes yet due to boredom.) With all of that, I feel really strong. My hip pain that was so bad earlier this week has almost gone away completely. On that note, Cameron was working on it yesterday and had me in some sort of funky position, and it pinched up! I screached and fought to be let out of it immediately, instinct. He held on and let me out slowly, so I didn't hurt myself. He thought it was a cramp, I thought it was a pinch, but either way, it was excruciating for that moment. After he finished with me, he watch me walk without crutches and there is so much improvement. I chalk it up to pool walking. I am getting stronger on one crutch, and know I still need it, but see a big difference between Tuesday and today in regards to strength. It is nice to feel the huge jumps forward despite the tiny steps back.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Good Morning Muscles!

I waited all day yesterday like a kid the night before Christmas. I had it planned. The girls had their sports physicals, then we all had dentist appointments. In between we had to pick up and finish laundry because Allison is coming today. I had to have it all done by 4pm, so I could spend the evening at the GYM! Spin class was at 5:45pm, but I wanted to "pool walk" and eat dinner before. Mission Accomplished! Although I thought I would be able to pool walk for at least 20 minutes and spin for an hour, I only made it through 10 minutes and 40 minutes. I have been advised to stop when it is enough.

Pool Walking: The first minute was a bit iffy. I have been struggling with not getting my WHOLE foot down on the ground. When I do that it straightens my leg and stretches the front of it. Something that is kind of important, and something that also hurts a bit. So I thoughtfully walked flat footed. After 2-3 minutes, it felt like heaven. For the first time in a long time, I wasn't limping. I wasn't hurting. I was walking completely normal, with water up to my neck.

Spin: I kept the seat and handle bars high, took off all of the resistance. I did "clip in" which I am not sure is okay. I will be asking today. The riders around me sprinted, they climbed hills, they stood up and sat down, all while I sat there barely plugging away. My effort level was there, don't get me wrong, but if you looked in the mirror, I looked like a 90 year old climbing Mt. Everest on a beach cruiser. Stop laughing. Around 30 minutes, I was looking at the clock every 2-3 minutes, and I made it to 40. At this point, I pulled my right foot out of my shoe and unclipped it manually, as I have learned from pre-op, that will hurt. I grabbed my crutch, got a wipe and cleaned my bike. This was the point that the very frustrated instructor, frustrated with me, realized why I had ignored every single one of his pleas to join the rest of the class as he stated over the microphone, "Oh wow, I didn't see that you were on crutches! That explains so much!" I smiled. I could feel my quads during the class, and heeeellllloooo, I can feel them even more this morning! They are what I call a "perfect sore!" I used to hope that I would get this kind of sore a few months ago. Not too much, just enough to know that you worked enough to wake-up those muscles.

I was a bit frustrated that I only made it through 40 minutes when the day before I had made it through that at PT; however, that was in two-20 minute segments, and it was my rear end that gave up, not so much my legs. The one thing I have learned about recovery: just because you can do something one day, doesn't mean you can do more or even the same the next. It is definitely a two steps forward, one step back process. Cameron will tell me repeatedly, mostly when he keeps me on crutches day after day, that he doesn't care about what makes me happy today, he cares about what will make me happy a year from now. His point: he can make me happy by taking me off of crutches today, but in a year, I will be miserable when things aren't right.

I feel stronger today. I think the pool walking really has something to it. The pain is slowly, I mean slowly, dissapating, but still there. Emotionally, I feel about 90% back to myself. The other 10% will come over the next few months. Overall, I am extremely happy with my progress so far.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oh, Oh, Oh, It's Magic - You know...

It actually feels like any other day for now, but it's only 7:15am. In a few hours I will venture out into the world IN MY CAR! I realized I have no idea where my driver's license is because the last time I had it was at the hospital, so that needs to be found. The CPM machine has officially been moved to the floor, next to the couch, where it will sit until it is picked up - hopefully today! The house is slowly being put back to normal.

Tasks at this point: (3 weeks post-op)
Late last week, or maybe even over the weekend, we switched back to our sides of the beds, I dumped the meds down the toilet, put paperwork away - which I have since pulled out, and sent back my Game Ready. I can wash the laundry, fold it, and put it away, but still can't carry it up and down stairs. That goes for everything. I can't vacuum or weed. Oh bummer. The girls are great at helping with vacuuming, but hate weeding, so that fell upon Marc yesterday. Maybe my dad will help a bit when he comes. The cleaning lady is still coming weekly and will through next week, which will put me at week 5 when I have to do any real cleaning. Then she will come every other week, like normal. This I would strongly recommend for peace of mind and taking the pressure off. My daily activity is fairly normal to find that I am pretty tired late afternoon.

Bump in the Road: (Pain)
A couple of days ago I reported that I had a horrible day of pain. (Tuesday) This pain continued yesterday as well. I still don't know today. Anyways, during PT last night, my gut was telling me that something was really wrong. I had so many days that during the day my pain level was a 0-1, at night higher, but not during the day, now I was sitting at a 7-8-9. I was worried. I would catch something inside and want to scream. I told my PT last night that I was concerned. He really started to analyze it. And then work it. He eliminated the bone. He eliminated the hip flexor. He asked about my posterior labrum. "Did Dr. White do anything to that? Usually it is too hard to get to." I had no idea. This is when I dug out my paperwork. My MRI showed I had a full-thickness tear on my anterior and a partial tear on my posterior. I pulled out the photos of the actual surgery. Yep, Dr. White has photos of both. Cameron has asked to see these a few times, so I guess it's time to bring them in. It may explain some things. Even without these answers, he said 2-3 weeks is the time that scar tissue builds up. I had the wave, which they were trying to create scar tissue, plus the repair, all will create scar tissue, and it seems I am pinching some of it, which is not good. It needs to break down. So he worked with it, plus I need to bike, again without resistance, more. I biked for 40 minutes last night. I get to bike for up to an hour to try and break this down. SPIN CLASS! I will just be sitting there, on my rear end, not making any adjustments, but I will be a part of a class, pretending. I also get to work on my gait by walking in the therapy pool with water up to my neck. I am excited! I can set up my road bike on the trainer with granny handles too...options, options.

I have PT again tomorrow, but I see a weekend of pool walking and spinning...in moderation, of course! I am the queen of moderation, that is why I am here in the first place.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Halee in High School

I am taking Halee to Falcon High School this morning, the first time we have ever been there, to get her schedule! I think I am more nervous than her, because it is done by last name and not by age. We will be exploring the halls with the Sophmores, Juniors, and Seniors. Marc and I told her that there may be some mix-ups, confused about classes, etc, but if she just laughs about it, things will go smoothly. (I might cry for her.) In her words, "I was nervous about middle school and it was okay, so I know this will go okay." Such a smart young lady!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Not Quite Ready

Today was a normal day, like any other. I had a day planned with girlfriends at the pool. Somewhere along the lines, I decided I wanted to know what taking a step, without crutches, would feel like. I took a couple (in my bedroom) and stopped immediately. It was unbearable, so I decided to quit cheating immediately. I have been so good, but I was scared the PT would take me down to one or to none, and I wouldn't be prepared. I guess that's his job.

The rest of the day resulted in pain. I'll give a 7-8 on the scale. I couldn't get rid of it no matter how much I rested. I spent the day doing a lot of laying around, at the pool, until I went to PT. I was honest with Cameron, and he said, "It's okay, you're not quite ready." He is perfect for me. He asked me to try one crutch so he could watch me. One crutch it is...for now. He calls my hip "grouchy" on days like today, but I call it "miserable." I prefer the good days.

As I was leaving PT, I asked, "ABOUT how many days on one crutch?" Then I heard exactly what I KNEW was coming, but thought I would only hear it during my nightmares, "14 more days." He is chalking it up to the "wave" healing which takes extra long. So it looks like I'll be on 'em 115 days. What's another 14 days after 101? Another two weeks and the first day of school! Goals are great, but learning to be flexible with the recovery process is good too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sit Back and Enjoy the View


I am relishing, not really, my final days of laying around in the CPM, riding the carts at Walmart, and walking with crutches. This Thursday marks the magical point in which I get to have a tiny bit of Independence, like drive myself from point A to B and not devote 4 hours on a bad day or 6 hours on a good day to the couch, IE. CPM. After 101 days on crutches (this Thursday) the crutches have become a permanent fixture on my body: I know how to walk holding stuff, open doors, do cartwheels with them, okay, okay, not really, but I have the hang of them, I will not miss them.
The carts at Walmart have been the best part of it all, except when I see one person right after the other that I know. That's about the point I wish I had a paper bag to go over my head. Oh ya and I have noticed that unless you weigh 300-400 lbs or are at least 60 years old, a good percentage of the shoppers judge you and think you are going for a joy ride. Maybe it hasn't been that fun.


Although this has been great, I am looking forward to sitting back and enjoying some better views!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Guess I'll Just Say It

"It just isn't the same!" For now, for today, it was nice to see Marc run a race and feel a sense of accomplishment. I enjoyed being able to watch Shari and Lori cross the finish, exhausted. However, that was it. We took a few pictures, got some food, and left. That may have been why I fell in love with the marathon, or even the ultra. I like hanging around, spending the whole day at an event, minimally an hour. Since Dr. White and Cameron have both said I just need to slow down, not run on roads, and eliminate major downhills from now on, I am going to hope that distance can still be a part of my postoperative life. For now, watching my friends and family enjoying the great satisfaction and accomplishment that they are finding running and racing, will have to do. Why not? They have all been spectators, on the side-lines, watching for a while. Now it's my turn. For a while.Me and Marc
Shari and Lori

My Most Faithful Running Partner

Tuff! I ran as a young child, maybe around age 5, in community track meets and all the way through the middle of high school where I burned out. I got married and had my two girls. It was then that I realized I missed running and wanted to get back into it. It happened about 6 years ago.

I was a casual runner, 3 miles on the treadmill. A long run was 4 miles. I turned 30 and told a close friend, and ultra runner, that I would run a marathon by the time I was 40. That was all it took. I opened up my big mouth. "You can do it now. You're ready!" So I bought a book, and trained for my first marathon completely alone, using a book to answer questions and guide me.

At the time we had an older dog, a Dalmatian named Anni. She was about 11. I TRIED to take her on some of my shorter runs, but she would sit down and the dreaded day came when I had to drag, and it looked pathetic, I mean drag her back home. She didn't want to run. During that marathon training, my long runs were actually long, and I would run in "convenient" locations versus beautiful. One day, I was running 17.5 miles for the first time ever in my life (something you never forget) and a man, with gloves, was sitting under a bridge, in summer. I was about 15 miles in, and ran my fastest last miles of a long run EVER. I went home and told Marc that I needed a dog to run with, that would protect me. We asked our friend, a vet, what I should get, and he thought a boxer would be a good fit. A few weeks later Tuff came home to live with us.

He didn't "run" until he was almost one to allow him to grow properly. He had a full year of training. We ran early in the mornings in the neighborhood when I was freaked out because I was sure that Leather face from Texas Chainsaw Massacre was going to attack me. We ran on desolate trails when I was sure a wild animal was going to lurch at me and chew me to pieces. He ran with friends and I in fog and darkness, when we couldn't see a man out in the middle of nowhere. I still wonder what he was doing out there. He ran with me on sunny days when there was nothing to fear at all. He ran with me in the snow and buried his face in it as he patiently waited for me to catch up. We ran and ran together.

Unfortunately, Tuff has not gotten to run so much lately. When I first went on crutches, I came down stairs, ON CRUTCHES, but I was wearing running clothes (probably for a bike ride) and he got all excited! I looked at him as he was bouncing around and said, "Tuff, I can't go running, I'm on crutches." I think we laughed together.

In the last few weeks, he has developed a tumor. He was looked at by our friend who said it needed to be removed and it was a higher grade than Chewy's tumor that was just removed at the beginning of July; however, he was leaving on a week long trip. So we waited. In the meantime, this tumor is now bleeding, Tuff has to be bribed to eat, he is irritated by it, and you can almost watch it grow! As of today, we bumped up surgery to get him in on Monday. Bill, his beloved vet, will be back on Sunday. I have told Marc that my PT goal may be changing. I would like to run with Tuff again. He has always been my most faithful running partner.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Running Race

I get to go to a running race tomorrow. My first one since surgery, and first in quite a while. I ran Boston, then a week and half later went to watch Marc run one of MY races (suppose to be my 50 miler, but he opted for 25 with only three weeks to train). Scheri ran the 50 miles without me, and it was the first time that everyone kept asking me, "Do you wish you were out there?" and I actually thought, "NOWAY!" I hurt so bad from Boston and just hurt in general, that I didn't want to run anymore, that is until things were fixed. But tomorrow, I get to go watch Marc run another race. This time it was his doing. He registered for it, not just a transfer from me. I helped a little. I pulled the registration out of the mail, put it on the counter for a few weeks, talked about how fun the race would be, then talked him into it, he agreed excitedly, and then I registered him on-line. Okay, okay, so I miss being a part of it. I have a few friends running it, all for fun! And that's exactly what it's going to be.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sleep...Two Weeks Post-Op!

is overated, I guess! I haven't been getting too much since I went back off the pain meds. The comfort level just isn't there yet. My back hurts when I'm on it a lot, my hip has gotten a little stiff and so stretching the front while laying on my stomach is a little unbearable, and now I resort to laying on my good side with a pillow between my knees and feet...the pillow to keep my leg straight. I am waking up earlier and earlier again, today 5am which I won't complain about because I go back to school in TWO short weeks. I waited and waited all summer for my surgery and now, I am already two weeks post-op with two weeks left until school. I can't believe it. I am excited about starting a new school year, without crutches!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Daddy is Home!

My dad just sent this photo of him arriving in San Fransisco Bay, with the Golden Gate Bridge above him! He has been sailing from Honolulu to San Fransisco since July 2. He flew to Hawaii on June 23rd, so he has been away from my mom for about a month, the longest ever for the two of them. All of us have been emailing frequently, but it was nice to hear his voice when he called me and told me he was home this morning.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No News is Good News?

Things are finally moving along a little quicker. Not that I am rushing my days away, but I remember waking up last Monday and thinking, "Oh my gosh, it is only Monday, how am I going to make it day after day, to get me through a week, or two?" Now, I am just a day away from two weeks already. This second week has gone much better. I am back off of the pain meds, officially didn't take anything for sleep last night, and all is well.

I did have some "pinching" right in the hip joint itself, and today, Cameron figured out I was doing an exercise wrong. As soon as I started to feel it on Sunday, I stopped all of my home exercises just in case, so when I woke up this morning the pinching was gone; however, I waited for PT to do anything. And then, I got to ride the bike. It was 10 minutes of trying to figure out if it was uncomfortable, or fun, or...not sure, but I did it and it is another step.

Since I won't even be "trying" my first running steps until 6 months post-op, I'll settle in and enjoy the bike for now. Either way, I still love PT, and can't wait to go back.

Oh ya, and since you didn't hear from me yesterday, I'm hoping you assumed that "No news was good news!"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Google is good, but...

like my blog, it is just MY experiences. Lately, I have been consumed with blogging about my hip, and what I am going through, which I am doing to help others who are going through it. When I started going through this back in February, I am sure that it was accompanied by a google search of hip flexor or something since that's what I thought was wrong. Then when I was limping, I googled limp+running+hip flexor. The searches continued and got more frequent the more I went along with the process. There is so much information out there, but at the same time, not that much. That was when I decided to start blogging more about my hip than the other parts of my life.

My dad is in the process of sailing from Hawaii to San Fransisco, a dream that he has had for most his life. Amazingly enough, he has email communication, so we have been writing back and forth. He has been gone since a bit before my surgery, so he hasn't been able to read my blog to keep up...so he asks questions and then I remember things I need to tell him, about the surgery and my recovery, and my life. I wanted to share some correspondence between the two of us:

Me-"Doctor is worried because he says there is a place when he went in where my cartilage is not attached to the bone. He fixed it as good as he knows how. Time will tell."

My Dad-"Cartilage is not attached to the bone... Hummmmm. Did he say that it will attach itself or grow together or you just wait and see what happens as it all heals? I'm sure you have googled this and found out as much as you want to know. He sounds like a great doctor and I, like you, totally trust him."

Me-"About my cartilage not being attached, the doctor aggravated it in surgery, to make it bleed and cause scar tissue, in hopes that the scar tissue will reattach it to the bone. Since I have a phenomenal doctor, I don't find myself googling my injury anymore. I can talk to him or call him, and he is super good. He talks to me for 30 minutes at a time if I need. Plus, I know so much now, and have finally gotten to the stage where whatever God's plan for me is, it is okay. I don't need to know what will happen in 4 months, or 6 months. He found the perfect doctor for me, when I didn't trust Him so now I decided there is no sense in wasting time with that."

I wanted to share this because there was a time that I wanted to control everything about this injury. I was obsessed with WHEN my surgery was going to be and with WHO my doctor was going to be. Ultimately, God was in control and His timing and choice was so much better than what I could have made for myself. I have summer to rest and recover post-op and a doctor that understands his needy patient. I haven't googled post-op about anything related to this. I have a few people that help me understand so-called "normal" through this, and I read their blogs regularly, but other than that, I am finally taking it one day at a time and I finally, once again, have been reminded that God has a great plan for me, even when I try to take charge.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Turned a Corner

There was a time that I couldn't imagine being out of bed, out of my CPM, because it was the only thing that gave me comfort. It took my pain from a 10 to a 9 during a good hour. I couldn't sleep, and I couldn't walk. Sitting down to go pee was a process that took decades, and going downstairs was impossible. That time was just a couple of days ago, and now, I have turned a corner!

I am not sure if it was going back on the pain meds, which I am still on, and not in any hurry to get off of this time, or the one week point, but either way, from Thursday afternoon until this afternoon, life has been manageable. I am still kind of sensitive, and a little grumpy (blaming the Oxy) but I don't live in bed.

Don't worry, I'm still taking it easy. I've been doing all of my home exercises for PT, and I'm in my CPM as we speak. I'm not going to do too much too fast. But there is a light, and I see it now that I made a turn.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Mysterious "Wave"

I am sure there is a more technical medical term, but a "wave" it is! I had a doctor's appointment and was able to ask some questions, and get some x-rays. All looks good, as far as healing. While I was getting my x-ray, Dr. White talked to Marc. Marc told him I was doing well, which I am now. So much better than just 28 hours ago. Dr. White had hoped I would heal slowly, and he told Marc that he is concerned that I will get better too fast, and then think I can do more than I really can. I will be good, I promise. Marc told him that our insurance covered as many PT sessions as I wanted to go to, no limit, and he said he had never heard of that, but was super happy.

He said I am using my crutches right, and most people don't. (Lots of experience.)
My stitches were taken out and steri-strips put on.
He wanted to "talk" before he examined me. That is the best part about Dr. White, he always takes time and just sits and talks. I never feel rushed or that I can't ask him what I need to.
Why was my labrum bruised? Sign of injury. It was still going through trauma before surgery.
Can I sleep on my stomach, as long as Cameron has given me the proper way to do it? Yes, it is good for stretching. After examination, he said I am tight as far as my leg straightening out. It bends to 110degrees up, but is still slightly bent when I try to straighten it. So my feet hang off the end of the bed with a pillow from my chest to my thigh, and my feet stay straight.
Do I HAVE to stay on Naproxen? Yes, and then he showed me x-rays of a boy that didn't take it and his bone grew into his muscle. He said to tough it out.
I told him about my pain and meds, and he said good, take the Oxy for sleep. He only prescribed me 12 to begin with, so the fact that I still had 6 left, he thought was great.
He asked about the Vicodin. "It makes me mean and grumpy!" He said, "Okay. Don't take it."

Then he examined my flexibility at this point. Just up and down. He said it looked good. He added that I could lose the booties at 14 days. I told him that I haven't used them too much, because I have been in the CPM so much.

During my exam, I asked him about the "wave." Here it is: The labrum is attached to bone. It is attached so it's not free floating out there. I have a place where it is NOT attached. He said he fixed it the best way that he knew how; however, there hasn't been enough time with this specific repair to tell how successful it is. His words exactly today, "This isn't good!" We kind of left it at that, because when I was in the hospital I said, "So if I am in pain in a year, we know what it is?" And he said he didn't want to go there. I don't blame him, I don't either.

One last funny thing, and all of you who know me will laugh. I asked him at exactly what point did I go to sleep? What was going on the room? He always laughs at me and my questions. He quickly said, "You were out! You had a tube in your mouth..." I clarified,"Was I asleep when I got the spinal block? They said I would be awake, but I don't remember? Did I talk?" With a little chuckle, "You didn't say anything you should be embarrassed about." Marc and I had come up with all of these stories that I must have told them, oh my! Oh ya, and Marc joked with him about my constant questions in the hospital! He laughed at that too. Marc told me on the way home that he is probably use to his patients asking all sorts of questions post-op, but then he said, "No, probably not. You are a detail girl. You have to know the details about everything and most people probably don't care right after surgery." Who knows, but it was funny.
I go back at 6 weeks.

One Little Pill!

It is amazing what one little pill can do...I had a great night of sleep! I will be going to see Dr. White today, so I'll write more later, but I had the best night of sleep yet! Thank you Oxycontin! It is addictive for a reason.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One Week Down!

I have waited forever to say that! Well, what feels like forever. I had another night in agony. I was classifying my pain at a 10 and ready to go back on Vicodin. I was nauseous all morning, and things were going downhill fast. Until..Lori was taking me to PT and I saw Marc. I called him, and he offered to pick me up after I was done and go to lunch. I was SO happy!

PT: I did some resistance exercises. I got a major back rub! He checked my strength, and then added some things, still little, to help start doing what I could. He said I could bike as soon as I wanted to, but I decided to wait until next week. I told him about my horrible nights, and we figured out that the way I was propping a pillow was doing more damage to my back...so we shifted it, and I will try it tonight. Some runners may want to know this part-Cameron discussed my running with me today. "Only time will tell," Cameron echoed exactly what Dr. White said, "but unless you want to be back having another surgery, you should not run asphalt or downhill. Rolling trails are okay. You should also not do it for speed. No more PR's." Simply said, and I understood completely what will be expected. PR=Personal Records, I'm done with worrying about getting any faster than I use to be. I am VERY okay with this, as long as I can run. He didn't shun marathons either. So I have a little glimmer of hope.

Marc picked me up and we had lunch, came home and took a nap, and then enjoyed live acoustic music by the pool. Perfect afternoon! I haven't been able to say that since surgery, so it feels good. I just took an Oxycontin so that I would be pain free tonight and able to sleep. I have to go for a drive tomorrow...doctor's appointment in Denver.

I know this is totally random, but another hipster, Noell, posted today and I found I could seriously relate. She gives great details. Noell's Post

Well, one week down!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oh...Physical Therapy

I am happy to say that once again, I love my insurance. The physical therapy office said they would call today to see how many visits I am limited to in a year, and then let me know. (Not sure how common this is.) But I jumped on it this morning, and my insurance said I'm not limited. I am prescribed 2-3 times per week, so Cameron and I were hoping I could go three times until I go back to work. I will have a jump start on recovery and hopefully be ready for work then.

My first session consisted of a lot of "teaching." He taught me how to get up and down off of higher places, how to make sure I am lifting my leg still with my hands-which I am, how to lay on my stomach, how to roll over without letting my legs flop everywhere, etc. He stretched some areas as well. He also dug around for the mysterious "butt" pain that I have been suffering from. He found it and worked on it for a while. It is very deep. Can't remember the name of the spot now, but basically an overcompensation from all of this. A big knot. I asked about when I will be able to drive...3 weeks, when I get off of crutches. I have another appointment tomorrow, so I think we will get more into things then. He gave me four exercises, more like stretches, to do at home.

I am completely off of pain meds. I haven't had any in 36 hours. However, I only slept 3 hours last night. I am going to call Dr. White today to make my 14 day check-up appointment and ask if I can take Aleve or something more natural for sleep if I can't take Aleve for pain. It was pain in my lower back last night. I also had my usual bout of nausea this morning, so I am going to ask about that too.

I wanted to say one last thing...thanks for the kind comments on my entries. They mean the world to me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"It's Okay to Be Upset"

I woke up this morning, like every morning since surgery, with intentions to shower, make the bed, clean up my night stand, maybe fold some laundry, put some dishes in the dishwasher - as long as the girls unloaded it first, and minimally, comb my hair. I have made it as far as the shower each morning only to find out that by the time that is done, I am worn out and ready for a nap, all by 7am. I find myself in the same spot...my CPM machine, Game Ready, and my bed 8 hours later.

Let me back up to about 7pm last night when I realized something kind of important. I had been on Oxycontin since surgery...also Vicodin, but started taking myself off of it all on Sunday. Last night marked the 24 hour mark of being off of Oxy. Previously, I thought I wasn't in much pain, naturally, and that I really didn't need the pain medication, it wasn't necessary. Here comes the realization...I was at a level 9+ last night. Not a 10, but close enough. I believe a 10 is crying, and although I held back tears, they never came. I took ONE Vicodin to get through the night and made it. So back to this morning. Those great intentions...I showered, I got back in bed. Lori called and ask if the girls wanted to go to Villa. I said I did. I know it isn't sitting in bed all day, but once I am there, I wear my booties in the shade and follow doctor's orders, so I asked if she cared. The only thing, I had been sick all morning. Nausea. She was okay with being flexible, and came and got the girls and I. I WAS GOING TO HAVE A GOOD DAY!

I got to the pool and ran into another friend. I was coincidentally sitting right between two friends. I was set. Well, besides the excruciating pain in my butt, and the nauseousness in my stomach, and...I was now crying. I had hoped that going somewhere would magically take away the misery of the situation. What can someone say? Nothing. Well, I didn't think so. I sat there for a while, and we had lunch and left.

I rested at home for a bit with ice and the CPM before physical therapy. Marc took me to my appointment and on the way, I decided to let it out and tell him just how hard this has all been. There is the physical apect of this whole situation, but what is tied so closely with that is that running was an outlet for me. It was a time with girlfriends, or my dog, or a date with my husband. It was a time for me to sort through difficult situations. It was my identity. I was a runner. I ran with...I ran in such-a-such race...I placed in the top...it was a lot! Now, I sit on my bed all day. Marc is okay with this being hard, but always tries to be an encouragement, which I understand and is okay.

Cameron, my PT, did the whole "interview" before we began. Then he had me lay on my stomach. I was so happy. It hurt a tiny bit, but he held my leg, and I got through it. I can start stretching my hip flexor. Not strengthening, just stretching. As we worked together, he started talking to me about running. I had been pretty quiet. I guess he picked up on my hard day. He leaned down next to me and said, "You know, it's okay to be upset. So many athletes struggle because they think it's not okay, but it is. You're in a tough situation and it's okay. But you can be upset and then also choose to work towards getting better." He added, "No one has ever talked to you about this part of it. The doctors?" Dr. White is phenominal. I am learning more and more about him as I go, and I think the world of him. He EXPECTS nothing but the best. He takes a lot of time, but we haven't talked about this part, the emotional part. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt though and now maybe I understand why he said repeatedly, "You'll be good?" He even said, "For someone as active as you, this recovery will be difficult." Even if someone would have warned me, I am not sure I would've understood. But now I do. And it's okay. And if I have a bad day, I'm not going to beat myself up for it. But I will try to do what I can to keep moving forward, and I will work towards getting better.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!-Day 4

The good is obvious, the waiting is over. My surgery is done. I am on the road to recovery. I finally feel like I am moving forward on this journey and couldn't be happier. I get to catch up on all sorts of computer work for teaching mostly. I get to rest which is what my body needed. I have met new people. Life isn't just about running, but socializing and spending time with friends and family now-new perspectives.

However, I don't feel like this blog would give this surgery the respect it deserves if I didn't touch a little on the bad and the ugly, post-op! I also have been writing this in hopes of helping others get those, "Is this normal?" questions answered. Not too much to say, so here I go. I have mentioned the heartburn that accompanies Naproxen and Aspirin. This heartburn feels like a large, hot, steel ball that rolls up and down my esophagus constantly. I have finally taken so many antacids, including pills, liquids, tabs, and home remedies, that it is under control. It has not gone away completely though. You would think narcotics fall under the "good" category, but the bloating and constipation that accompany them don't. I was sent home with "stool softeners" and let me just say it, "Skip those and go straight for the laxatives!" I waited until late yesterday, and now I think my stomach has stretch marks from being so bloated. Not really, but don't wait it out, it's not worth it. On the subject of narcotics...there are lots of bads, but goods too. I'm not on anything for today, so we'll see how it goes, but I do like Oxycontin for day and night. I was taking Vicodin at night to help with sleep, but Marc gave me one for going to the pool yesterday. So I don't like them for the daytime. I was super grumpy in the hospital and yesterday. I can't handle anything. Then I go from grumpy to super depressed and crying. Marc might say, "Well, I'm going back to work tomorrow." Next thing you know, I'm crying. I didn't end up taking one last night and only slept half the night. Not sure what I'll do tonight. Trying to get off of them altogether.
The views are good for a few days...
...but then after a while, same ole, same ole.

The ugly, but not too bad! I want to point out that it is gauze with a water tight seal over and around it which allows me to shower, or sit on the edge of tub with a shower on me, fairly easily. There are three incisions under the patch. There is swelling which is probably hard to see, but just slight bruising.

All in all, I know there will be more "goods." This is where the word "patient" comes in!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 3-Post Op

So far so good. I had a few hours last night where I couldn't even move my leg over, with the help of hands, but other than that, things are going great! I was able to go to the outdoor pool and relax for about two hours. I did an hour with booties on a lounger, then about 30 minutes on the edge of the pool, feet cooling off. The other 30 minutes were walking back and forth to the car. I did have nausea coming and going, but was okay once I settled in. I will admit, my bed, the Game Ready, and the CPM felt like heaven when I got home!

One note: I have had excruciating heartburn. We read the side effects of my meds and it is the naproxen-this helps the bone and cartilage heal separately, instead of together. I have to take it. I have gotten it under control with antacids, Maalox-Extra Strength, and warm milk. It still tries to creep back.

Marc and I also decided that one activity a day is enough for this week. So if I have physical therapy, I shouldn't schedule anything else. You don't realize how tired you are or how much work it is until you are out and about. That's all for now.

Twisting...


A Lady Bug (Ella) and A Butterfly

Halee did some fantastic face painting! (Miles)



Scheri

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Made It!

"At home."I am home and Day 2 post-op. On Thursday, after surgery, I made it out of recovery around 6pm and was moved to my room. I don't remember any of it. I don't ever remember waking up in recovery or being moved. My first memories are of the middle of the night post-op. I had a pump to push for pain meds, which I was allergic to and got a rash from, and I was SO relaxed that I would stop breathing. They had oxygen on me, but it made my nose itch, so I kept taking it off. Then the nurses would rush in and put it back on. By about 3:30am, I was ready to get up and clean myself up. Not really. But I thought so. Marc explains it like this, "You would wake me up and want me to help you get ready, only to find out that you were passed out a minute later. So I would wake up and get ready to help, look over, and think, 'Are you serious?'" The CPM and the Game Ready are straight from heaven. I will be in them both 20+ hours a day. Dr. White said I had the choice to sleep in the CPM or the booties, I choose the CPM. I don't know how to explain it, but it is comforting and it doesn't allow me to get too stiff. I didn't get sick until last night, at home, when at 4am, I decided I wanted to take a shower and change my bandages. This is when Marc said, "I thought this would be a daytime activity." I was thinking 4am was daytime...when you are awake a lot, or asleep a lot, can't tell what I am really, there is no day or night. I got sick and went right back to bed and waited until 6am. He changed my bandages and I was able to take a shower. I have been laying here since. Pain when I am laying down, 2. Pain when I am trying to walk to the bathroom, 5-6. I am off of Vicodin during the day already-just at night. I am on Oxycontin still, but will use that at night only after today.

I did not have a microfracture, but Dr. White is concerned about one part of the cartilage that he could not fix. It is "waving" away from the bone. I will ask him more in two weeks, but am not too worried about it. Here are the best photos from game day.
"Getting ready to go into surgery!" "I don't know if I'm coming or going...And I can't believe I'm sharing this, but even I can laugh!"
"All set up-Day one post-op, in hospital."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Last 5 Months...

Running Log Entries:
February 19-"Feeling hip flexor pain since after Wednseday's run...possibly an injury."
February 21-22 Mile Run "When I came home I had to nap, so apparently the run took a lot more out of me then I thought during. I also CANNOT step forward at all with my right leg, which is a direct result of my right hip flexor tightening up during nap. hmmm. Not even sure what I want to do about that."
March 4-4 Mile Run "Decided to take it easy to try and rest my hip AGAIN! This isn't fun. I am not pleased with the progress. Doesn't hurt when I get warmed up, but hurts after and through the night."
March 14-18 Mile Run "Good run today. Took me a little bit to warm up and then was okay. A little stiff after for a few minutes here and there, but overall the Aleve is working."
March 16-7 Mile@8:00. "Scheri is nice for saying, "we" slowed, because it was all me. I was hurting from trying to run with my students at 2:30...my hip, AGAIN, and was very tense the whole run. Then, post run had very bad stomach cramps and aches. So not sure what is going on. Overall, just didn't feel good at all. 9:15pm and still feel bad."
March 18-"Ran with Marc around Villa. Hip hurt so bad the entire time. Appt with Dr next Thursday."

On March 19th I took a week off from running. I had not taken any breaks from running since I started, any breaks for injuries. I took recovery weeks, but never HAD to take a break.
March 26-Unofficial diagnosis-Labral Tear, sent for first MRI to rule out stress fracture
March 30-First MRI-Diagnosis: Femoral Neck Stress Fracture
April 8-Second MRI(Arhtrogram)-Diagnosis: Three Labral Tears, One complete, Two partial
June 21-Third MRI:Hip Stress Fracture Cleared (I couldn't have surgery with a stress fracture.)

Today, surgery! And on the road to recovery. I am excited to move forward with the next chapters...