In our prairie province of Saskatchewan, in my city of Regina, we’ve been in a deep freeze for 10 days. -40 degree Celsius weather has been our daily average. Thursday we hit -49 Celsius.
With a long period of extreme cold, the challenge of my outdoor running, rucks, walks, and even today’s outdoor workout with my team become a mental battle of should I go or should I not. I really don’t like training in cold weather- even before in injury I didn’t. But I did it often before my injury and surgery. I could layer up, force out the mileage, and after a workout while thawing out – I didn’t hurt.
But now, intense cold weather makes my body stiffen, harden and flexibility and mobility are significantly reduced – so much I can’t really feel what my body is even doing, and when I do warm up, I’m hurting a lot. So for myself, it isn’t worth the pain it causes to force my body to train outside in -40 temps. Not being able to feel or have better control of my body risks injuries. And I don’t want to be on the sidelines again. I also now realize the risk in forcing myself out in the cold with my asthma and no inhaler available due to it freezing. I’d rather have a high quality workout indoors than a miserable workout outdoors where my body isn’t cooperating with me but I’m pushing it to anyway. I always felt there was shame and cowardice if I didn’t do my planned outdoor workout. Yet, more often than not, pushing through extreme weather has resulted in missing multiple workouts due to pushing my asthma and my body in elements that hurt me.
So… I’m learning to put myself first and that everyone is different. Some have no problems pushing through this weather. Others, like me, it ends up being a painful experience – such as asthma flare up or mobility issues due to an injury. So I’m learning it’s okay to choose the treadmill over an outdoor run. That the stationary bike is a great option when I can’t get my daily walks in. Or grabbing a kettlebell and doing some mobility.
It isn’t that I’m giving up by adapting my outdoor workouts to indoors. I am just doing what’s best for me today so that tomorrow’s workout and all the ones after also get the best of me.
And yes, I first did start the day with a protein tea latte, my weighted blanket, and a book. But I still plan to crush an inclined treadmill run after lunch.
I haven’t been running all my life. Heck, I haven’t been running even 1/2 of my life. I didn’t begin running until April 2014 – I was 29 years old. Yet, I rarely still feel comfortable calling myself a runner.
I had a challenging week with a stomach flu this week. Ever since my injury and surgery, I take even the smallest of setbacks and obstacles really to heart. I feel like I’m finally getting into a routine, sticking to my training plan – and bam, life has a different plan beyond my control.
Today I had planned to go for a long run. Yet, we had tons of snow fall and I knew a long run on many snow packed paths would definitely cause a hip flare up. If you haven’t ran on 7-8 inches of fresh snow along with many blown snow drifts, you wouldn’t get it. But it’s like constantly running in mounds of sand. It causes bad running stride – and there’s 0 chance I could do it painlessly.
So I decided I would go for a long ruck with Ginny instead. It’s getting cold so we layered up – I put on my 10lb ruck and I put on Ginny’s 2lb ruck. As we entered the nearby park with paths, only about 1km in, we encounter a dog off leash. It is city rules to have dogs leashes in city parks. Sadly Ginny was attached 5 years ago seriously enough for surgery and to leave her with anxiety. The dog prowled and jumped her – I had my dog spray and screamed loud enough to deter it. The owner, without apology, finally managed to leash his dog. Ginny and continue. Not even a full minute later, we come upon 2 off leash dogs from 1 different owners who have begun to chase other. I yell to them I have a dog who doesn’t like to be approached and they try to call their dogs. It took 3-4 minutes.
By now, Ginny is extremely stressed and anxious and I know her ruck is done. I return home defeated that we didn’t even get in 3k (did 2.67km). This was nowhere near my planned 105 minute aerobic activity.
I sat on the chair for a bit contemplating my afternoon. I have tons of school work unfinished. I feel completely off from the inpromptu flu – in training, in report cards, in lesson planning, in home chores, and just off mentally and physically too.
I don’t feel like the athlete I was before all of this. I have gained weight since the injury and surgery. I have battled numerous setbacks. I can’t seem to lose weight. I can’t perform to the extent that I used to. So I often just feel as if I’m working towards something I can’t even achieve.
I pushed these ever recurring thoughts aside and I decided I would walk on the treadmill. Not tracking it. Just walk as long as I felt like it. I also knew I’d play a movie I’ve wanted to for while off amazon prime – “Brittany Runs a Marathon”.
And just… bam. Watching Brittany’s fictional life had me reliving my own. I began running because I was told I was pre-diabetic. I started running to change my life. To change where my life was going. And while my abilities have changed a bit, and some things are more challenging than before, the reasons I run have not changed. I am a runner. I am still a runner.
We often define a runner as an extreme fit skinny long legged fast beast. I’m not extremely fit. I’m not skinny. I’m definitely not long legged (which makes running even more challenging). But I am a runner.
In the movie, someone says to Brittany “You changing your life was never about your weight, it was about taking responsibility for yourself.” This is the truth and love that I find about running. It’s a typical human habit to fall victim to not falling into the typical stereotypes of what we should be. But what is the most important about being a runner isn’t what others perceive of you, nor the medal around your neck – it’s about your own self confidence of who you are, of what you are doing, why you are doing it and where you are going with it. I am a runner. I run because I love it. I run because I want to become better. I run because I know I can. I run because it gives me quality time with Ginny – running with Ginny is an experience I can’t describe. You have to just experience your own run with a 4 legged partner. I run because I’ve taken responsibility for myself and how I live my life. I’m working also at taking responsibility at how I love myself.
I may not get back to where I was. My journey may have changed. But I am still a runner.
I. Am. A. Runner.
Oh, and you just have to watch “Brittany Runs a Marathon”. It’s priceless.
A blur of half of year went by and I haven’t written a single blog.
The remainder of my 2019 was spent transferring schools – I work for a school board with a transfer policy every 8-10 years – I was ready to move on to a new school but it has been a hectic start of the 2019-2020 school year. 2019 was also spent completing my thesis writing – done. Defending it in November – successfully done – Master of Education complete! Running my first big comeback 20k race since surgery in September – done. Continuing to manage post injury and post surgery flare ups. And just managing life, meal prep and nutrition goals, and training goals.
Where am I at? Well, though it often feels like not very far, I am at lot further than where I was this time last year. I survived a year of rehab, an after surgery setback of a stress fracture in my leg, multiple flare ups, and serious mental battle with myself about where to go from where I was in my training and athletic goals.
I found myself comparing myself to what others were doing and the results they were achieving. I compared myself to my old 2017 self that was crushing races and losing weight quickly. All of the comparing and degrading myself for not being where I thought I would be by end of 2019 left me exhausted and demoralized.
Then I remembered my go to – “She believed she could so she did.” One pronoun. Singular. This is my journey. Stop comparing myself to others and even to myself from previous years. There is no defined pathway for a journey. Sometimes you have to lose control to be reminded that you can’t control what has happened to you but only what you do with it. So here we go – ready or not.
In 2020, following a wise friend’s yearly tradition, I picked a theme for my year. I loved how each year she picked a theme and used that to live her life positively. I hate the idea of resolutions as for me, I am continuing the same healthy eating habits and training program as I did in 2019 with some slight changes. But an actual resolution seems pointless when I already have the tools I need for my goals. So I decided I would try this annual theme thing. I choose embrace happy.
I picked these two words and this phrase as throughout 2018 and 2019, I was constantly searching for happy in comparing myself to my past or to whom I see myself. I was searching for it by comparing myself by what I can’t do that my teammates and other athletic friends make look so easy.
But instead – I should be embracing happy. Each day. Every day. In my now. My morning routine. A cup of tea. A walk or ruck with Ginny. Supper with Brad. Each day has so much happy but I need to embrace it – to fully engage myself in it instead of monotonously going through the motions but only thinking how I can be happy in the future by losing the weight I want to be at or getting back to the running speed I was at. That isn’t going to help me be happy now.
I can also embrace happy in my challenges and any setbacks that may arise. A flare up of the hip – I’ll embrace that as it means I can focus on the tools I’ve been given to overcome it – stretching, foam rolling, mobility exercises. My car breaking down yet again (4 times in 6 weeks end of 2019 and also a car accident – oh, and a mouse in the car too)…is it possible to be happy in that? Yes it is – one, I have a car that I own fully and have the ability to pay to get fixed. And cars will break down – I can’t let that define my day or my year. So embrace happy as at least I do have a car that needs the occasional repair. Overloaded with marking, planning, and extracurricular as a teacher – yes, it’s exhausting and I have complained but I love it. I mean, who gets to be told by a student “You make me feel like I can do anything awesome in French.” Or, “I’ve never ran a real race before” for my school run/walk club. And sharing in a student’s first experience in running a real race? Priceless.
So yes. Challenges suck. Setbacks suck. I’ll likely post and share those too as they are real parts of my life. And who wants to see the perfect side only? But my goal will also be to post how that setback or challenge also brought me happiness – or if not immediately, I’ll share how I think that moment or event can lead to happiness.
So, each day, I’ll decide my own happy by being in the moment and embracing it – whatever those moments may be. I’ll decide the days, weeks, months, and year I’ll have. I will work at not comparing them to the days before or the days ahead.
Love to hear how you’ll embrace happy in 2020 for you. Happy New Year!
Last year running would have been theain focus of my life. I lived for my days of training that included a run of any type – aerobic, intensity, hills. If it was running, I’d be excited for it.
Last week at physiotherapy when I was told I could start doing some outdoor running again, I was so excited initially. But then I was hit with a sense of fear and anxiety. What if my hip hurts? What I tear my labrum again (whether same hip or the other)? What if running isn’t good for me? What if I only ever hurt and exercise never feels good again?
But on Saturday last week, I layered up and said “runnies?” to my best friend and 4 legged running partner – a word she hasn’t heard since March 4, 2018. And we set off. It wasn’t easy but I enjoyed the 3k we did even with the run/walk intervals I have had to go back to.
The problem with my hip labral tear is that we don’t fully know the reason why I had it. The surgeon had thought it may have been a hip joint issue – that there was something on the hip joint that caused the tear. But when he did the surgery, nothing was wrong with the hip joint itself. So did the tear happen during the many hours of shovelling had done during a snowstorm? That’s when hip began to hurt. But I’ve been told shovelling isn’t a typical movement that would cause a hip labrum tear. Possible though. Or was it something that had already been happening due to running? Hip labral tears are a common (even if not well known) running injury.
I don’t talk about it much but I want a reason for this. I want to know what caused it so I can avoid it. I want to know the whys and the how’s. And even now, almost 5 months post op – it still haunts me.
Especially as I’m told it’s ok to start running again. But is it?
Each week I feel like I’m getting better, something else is bugging me. A few weeks ago, it was my knee. It hurts like heck – typically not during an activity but after and during just normal day walking around the house and such. Last week it’s the front of my shin. It has a sharp pain. My physiotherapist is amazing. She takes all my concerns seriously and I’ve learned that any small isn’t a small thing but important to share. I usually hate to complain. I don’t like to express how I feel or if I’m hurting. I hate admitting when I’m not doing well. But I’ve learned how to this past year. I still struggle admitting pain or when I can’t do something – but I am able to do even with a deep internal mental battle where I’m trying to convince myself I can.
My physiotherapist has always been compassionate, sympathetic, concerned, and patient in any small or big issue I have had. She works with me on it – gives me tools to help it. I often want an immediate fix but sometimes there is none. It just means time. I spent 4 months bedridden in pain before we were able to get the MRI to confirm the diagnosis that both physiotherapist and surgeon believed was a hip labral tear. After surgery, I was on crutches and mostly in bed for another 4 weeks, before progressing to 1 crutch for 2 weeks but still resting a lot in bed. My whole body, not just my left hip, has been through the wringer this year. My mind too. There is a lot of work to put back in to get me back to just functioning as pain free as possible. It’ll take that much more work to get me back to where I was athletic wise before this injury happened.
On Thursday, I went to my Conviction Fitness workout and was so excited to see kettlebell snatches in the daily WOD. The first 3 rounds felt amazing – I didn’t know if I’d even remember the movement but it came back like riding a bike. In the 4th round, something in my hip stabbed. I’ve been learning how to listen to my body – and to not let all pains freeze me into stopping what I’m doing. So I stopped, shook my hip out to loosen it up. Thought it felt ok. Positioned myself to try again, and one snatch in – same pain returned to my hip. So I stopped and asked my coach if I could do another movement instead. He asked “what’s wrong?” And I explained and he said “I say just stop. You don’t have to jump back into everything all at once. Sometimes it’s ok to just do what you can and stop.”
Again. Patience. I want to hit the ground running, push through the pain and just be who I was athletically before this. But that’s not what’s going to get me back to where I was. In fact, it’ll do the opposite.
After my Saturday run, I was sore so I didn’t jump immediately into a run on Sunday. I also got hit with a flu early hours of Monday morning. So I didn’t force it. On Wednesday, I felt way better and excitedly prepared for another run – thinking I’d do a 5k. I had a terrible run. Every step felt like I was fighting to move. My calves were angry. It’s now winter in Saskatchewan and winter running is not easy. I wore my grip tractions over my running shoes and that was great from my house to the park on the snow covered roads. Once I hit the park, the running paths were actually clear and the metal of the grips on asphalt seemed to jar my hip and my body more than it ever has in the 4 years of winter running I’ve done. It never bothered me before and made more sense to wear them for the sections that needed them than to not wear them and slip when I hit a bad section. Especially this year – I can’t risk a fall!
Throughout the whole run I wanted to cry. Something I used to enjoy seemed to have lost its spark. I slowly also became angry. Angry that this injury happened. Angry that everything seems to be a challenge. Angry that when it seems it’s getting better, something happens that reminds me it isn’t all easy. Angry that I can enthusiastically agree to do every event or activity presented to me. Angry that the cold winter hurts me more than it ever as. Angry that my calves were hurting. Angry that this took so long to get back to running.
I returned home angry.
I think under the surface for most of this week, I was angry. But after hearing my coach on Thursday and his comment “you don’t have to jump into everything fully right away” and hearing physio on Friday say similar things “you’re doing amazing but you have to give yourself time and patience”.
I am a giving person – except to myself. But I have to learn to be. I may be barely running right now but by learning to allow myself time and that it’s ok that I can’t do it all right now – I will be running again and loving it. I will be able to do more events with my Conviction Fitness team. I will be able to find a race (or 2) that I can do to fall in love (again) with the athletic person I’ve become.
One day, I’ll be running again and I’ll be reminding myself that once I was barely running. And I’ll make sure to pause, breathe, and ask myself what am I doing each day to make sure I remember this new patience with myself I’m learning so that barely running isn’t forced due to injury but just a choice I make when my body needs to rest.
I used to love that quote that “a bad run is better than no run at all”. I don’t love this quote anymore. Forcing a bad run means you’re not listening to your body. Perhaps when your body is telling you not to run it’s time for a rest day or perhaps another aerobic activity you enjoy ( I like walking, swimming, the stationary bike and rucking).
This I do know now. Barely running is better than no running. And if I push it, I could find myself back to the point where running wasn’t even an option. I won’t take this gift of running and of learning patience that I’ve been given again.
Tomorrow is Sunday. What I used to diligently refer to and practice as long run Sunday. Perhaps I’ll wake up and my body will have no pain in the calves, knee or hip. Maybe I’ll lace up the running shoes and try a run. Or maybe I’ll wake up and feel just a twinge and decide to go for a ruck or walk instead. I’m learning that it doesn’t matter what the activity is I do. What matters is I’m getting up every day and I’m doing something active to strengthen myself that I feel capable of being able to do. That is patience. And that is what will get me from barely running to running again.
Been a bit off my game over weekend. Things are ok – pain is better, nausea is off and on but still improving (just not gone yet), but fatigue hits still. Plus with Brad going back to work this week – just wanted to spend time with him too, plus was dealing with some anxiety about it.
Post Op Day 11: Saturday, July 7, 2018
– had nausea hit the night before so was up late until it settled. Finally thanks to gravol and an audiobook, I finally drifted off around 1am.
– I slept all morning until noon
– woke up okay but ready for ice – just an deep ache
– just relaxed all day. Started a new series on Netflix I like. It’s called “FBI Criminal Pursuit”.
– did physio exercises
– Brad was on call for his work and got called out mid afternoon . He had planned to do dishes, set up my new stationary bike, and cook pork souvlaki for a Greek souvlaki salad for supper.
– I actually did dishes using a stool to rest! Took a long time, almost 2 hours, being on crutches. No dishwasher and so many dishes piled up, it took time to wash a bunch, dry the rack to empty it, and then put them away (using my crutch bag in many trips to various cupboards).
– even made supper! Again, easy supper took me some more time than usual.
– nausea returned in evening and kept me up until 4am until gravol and audiobook helped me doze off again.
Post Op Day 12: Sunday, July 8, 2018
– slept in until almost noon. Even Ginny didn’t wake us up for her usual 6:30-9am bathroom break. Must have known mom had rough night.
– we had an extremely lazy day. I watched the new FBI series on Netflix.
– pain was remarkably reduced and I went down to just 1 pill of my pain medication for all day until bedtime. Nights still seem to bring in a good stab of pain – probably from just even the few movements I’m doing. (prescribed 1-3 pills every 4 hours. Did 3 every 4 hours surgery day and post day 1. Went down to 2 post op day 2 and that’s been enough minus a handful of times I needed one extra). This was exciting as before surgery, I was regularly on 2 every 4 hours and it was not helping the pain anymore the week before surgery.
– Hot dogs for BBQ
– Brad set up the stationary bike and I tried getting on using crutches and not putting weight on left side. It wasn’t easy but I did it. Tried peddling it and it worked great but didn’t push it as was sore by now. End of day is always tiring and more sore and achy. We have it in living room for now, and once I am able to easily do stairs, we can put it in basement.
– I crashed by 1am.
Post Op Day 13: Monday, July 9, 2018
– I set alarm for 8am. Brad goes back to work today and I wanted to make sure I showered before he left just in case. Getting in and out are still slow. I can do it myself but if I drop a crutch or a towel or slip… just safer to make sure I shower before he goes to work.
– I felt decent. Had nausea but very mild. It passed quickly.
– fatigue hit again. I thought I’d fall asleep for a nap around 10:30 but just as I drifted off, phone rang. Of course. I couldn’t sleep after that.
– After lunch, I decided to get myself outside. Been wanting to but scared as a lot of work as I have to make sure I have everything I need so I don’t have to get up. Means using a backpack as crutches means no hands. Make sure I use bathroom before I go outside so I don’t have to come inside. Even took ice wrap with me as I knew it would help. Still aiming for surgeon’s recommended 8-10 times a day of ice – cold therapy. It felt soooo good to be outside with Ginny again. I threw her the ball (yay for chuck it stick so I don’t have to bend for it) and just enjoyed the hot sunny (windy) day. Spent about an hour out there.
– this outdoor session exhausted me. I came in. Got new ice and crawled back into bed. Netflix rest of afternoon.
– still was able to do 1 pain pill every 4 hours until around 7pm, I needed 2. A storm rolled in and I was packing a bag in case it got bad. A storm west of us had a tornado so I didn’t want to get cut off guard on crutches. But it was short lived and only thunder, lightning, and rain.
– Brad came home just as the storm started. I survived my first day alone. He made supper and I’ve been completely exhausted. Sore and achy. I was going to try my first 5 minute bike session but the way I’m feeling, I don’t think it’s wise. Physiotherapist cautioned me to listen to body so I am trying. Maybe I’ll get on it before Brad goes to work tomorrow morning. It’s only 5 minutes.
– the physical therapy exercises sent home by hospital PT have been going fine. My leg seems sooo stiff even with doing these. But I’m doing them. I had switched to some episodes of The Office on Netflix so it’s on in the background of these videos.
– it’s 10:20pm and I think I’m off to sleep early for change. I’m completely exhausted. But it’s a good exhaustion in some ways too. I got up at a decent time, no nap (though I tried), got outside, did physio.
I really gave up on nutrition this weekend. I didn’t care anymore and Brad brought ice cream home one night and then we decided to do hot dogs. I think my nausea has passed enough that I do want to get back on track. I’ve been decent – eating my healthy freezer meals too but the nausea has left me so ill that I could only seem to eat a muffin and supper every day. But I know getting back on track to my usual nutrition, I will feel better too. This will be a big task as it’s more prep work (cutting veggies, blending smoothies, warming up my eggs and veggies freezer meals instead of just grabbing a muffin) but I’m going to try.
Not a great sleep – kept waking up. I woke up at 6am with nausea again so I had some apple juice and took my medications and gravol, along with first ice of the day way earlier than I normally start with ice. I put on my audiobook and feel asleep until 9am. I woke up feeling a bit better and got breakfast and came back into bed. The bed seems to be the only really comfortable spot for my hip right now. I still had a foggy fatigue and I fell asleep again until noon.
I spent the afternoon watching Netflix. I also had groin and hip pain pretty bad for first time since surgery. Not sure if I overdid moving the day before or if I accidentally bent too far somehow. It scared me as I hate feeling pain – thinking surgery failed. I just kept telling myself to not stress and take it super easy all day. I even took a day off my physio with the extreme pain I had with any movement.
My new stationary exercise bike was delivered around 5pm – so excited for it. Brad will set it up sometime this weekend. I already asked my physiotherapist about duration and I was thinking maybe 2 short sessions of ten minutes. She told me one session of 5 minutes. I was a bit shocked but I’m going to listen. She emphasized that I still rest – like she knows how much I want to get moving again. I also ordered some resistance bands.
Local football game was on and Brad forgot to take out the freezer meals we needed so we ordered shakes and burgers from a shake shack. Skip the dishes app is amazing – so many restaurants use it now. My team won too!
I didn’t nap yesterday after sleeping most of the morning. I felt close to wanting to but managed to stay awake and I actually felt tired around midnight. I threw on an audiobook as I was still hurting but it helped me drift off to sleep.
Post Op Day 10: Friday, July 6
I actually woke up at 9:30am this morning with no nausea and even some of my old morning energy I used to have. So I made my healthy freezer meal breakfast of eggs and veggies. I watched Netflix and did my first rounds of ice for my hip. I had a nice shower around lunch time – all Brad has to do for me now is put on the suction handle onto the shower wall. I am able to get myself in and out – I use a crutch for balance. I’ve learned to make sure crutch does not go on bath mat outside of tub or it slips. I get right leg in first and then, thanks to a tip from Brad, I lift my left leg at the knee behind me and holding the suction handle on shower wall with right hand and my crutch outside of tub with left hand, I can get my left leg over the tub wall with minimum pain. Once in I can reach the handheld shower head without reaching and the taps without bending. Just barely – if either were even half an inch further, I’d need more help with showering. I’m so thankful for the shower chair. Standing for a long period of time with only putting weight on one side of body is very hard on your good side of the body. Getting out is harder. I grab crutch I leave outside of tub but near shower. I hold onto the suction shower handle – lift left leg back at the knee, but it’s harder because I have to bring left leg out first. It’s hard to not put weight on the leg while getting right leg out. I try to make sure weight is mostly on crutch but still not easy. But it works.
After showering, I had lunch and was watching Netflix. All of sudden I was hit with fatigue, nausea and a headache. It got really bad – I took a gravol for nausea but didn’t want to take anything for headache with already on aspirin to avoid post op blood clots and pain meds. I drifted off to sleep until Brad woke me up at 4:30.
The teacher that took over my French teacher position at my school wanted to cook a meal for us as a thank you. She said it was to thank me for helping her but it was really her that was amazing!
Now in pyjamas and watching Netflix. Im really hoping to get some thesis reading in soon, and maybe even begin to do more Core French unit planning but I’m trying to be patient with myself.
The pain today is immensely better than yesterday. I can’t seem to have a day without either pain, nausea or fatigue but I know my body has been through a rough ordeal and the medications I’m on now aren’t helping. Soon I’ll be back to working, thesis and workouts so trying to tell myself to enjoy this little lounge vacation. My body feels better when I listen to it so I’m going to keep following its cues.
We hit a heat wave today – humidity makes it feel like 40 degrees Celsius. I may try to go outside tomorrow for a few moments.
Happy Fourth of July to all my American followers! Just a regular day here in Canada.
I woke up today – with no nausea! First day since surgery. It felt like a 60 lb sandbag was lifted off of my shoulders – sorry Spartan reference for you. I so wish I could carry a sandbag right now.
I had to get up and shower by 10:30 today as our landlord was coming to do some yearly odd jobs and check of house. We rent our home. Her husband patched the roof and we’ll be most likely getting a company out to do a professional job. Living on the west edge of town has its downfalls – Saskatchewan is so windy and wind always seems to come from the west and it has taken its toll on the roof for sure. They also fixed the deck for us – it had becoming warped as it was built properly before. We may also get new windows done this year. Our landlord is beyond amazing and we love renting from her. I didn’t have to do anything but just wanted to be showered in case they were in and out of the house but they barely bothered us at all.
I had my first protein smoothie since June 18. They told me to stop drinking them along with other supplements before surgery. After surgery, the nausea was so bad, I couldn’t stomach the thought of one so didn’t bother to try.
Landlord and husband were here most of day and I mostly just watched Netflix. Considered doing some thesis work but I’ve been so miserable with the nausea that I decided to just give myself another day or two to just chill.
Did my physio today and was better again. Hip had some sharp pain in evening – think just from movement and maybe bended a wee bit too much by accident grabbing grapes from fridge. Even was hard to get comfy in bed tonight.
Was a dull, non exciting but good day overall. Landlord was here too long so we didn’t get Ginny to vet as they closed before landlord left. Brad will do it tomorrow – she seemed better today but I know ear infections don’t just go away. We don’t like her to hurt so maybe it’s just ear wax but they can’t tell us if something is wrong so we’re just going to be sure instead of sorry.
I sent a message to my physiotherapist and told her about the upright bike we bought and she is okay with me trying it like post op notes said I could on day 7-10. She said only 5 minutes though – I’ll take it. It’s supposed to come tomorrow and hopefully Brad has time to put it together. Excited to do anything active even if short and not my favourite.
This quote below is so true … but even my physiotherapist warned me to be slow today. I think she senses my excitement over the small improvements but doesn’t want me to overdo it. But I am being very smart about this injury – it was too long and too hard to just rush back and hurt myself. I’m probably going to struggle more with being over cautious than being impatient. As much as I’m excited to try the upright bike, I’m scared too. But I just have to find the balance of overcoming fears in a safe slow way in my recovery and rehab.
I didn’t have a great sleep last night. Kept waking up and it was hard to fall asleep. Brad decided to work from home – I felt relieved as I’m still a bit unsteady, and consistently struggling with nausea and fatigue still.
I listened to an audiobook to fall asleep at 4:30am. Woke up at 6am having to pee, couldn’t sleep again so listened to audiobook, dozed off around 6:40. Woke up at 8:30 so got up for ice and breakfast. Fell asleep around 9:30 and woke up again at 11am. Nausea was intense today – some have said you can be affected by the general anesthesia for 2 weeks so maybe that or maybe the medications – or maybe both. I just watched Netflix and tried to sip a tea and get control of nausea.
Our landlord called and said she wanted to swing by – we knew she was coming by tomorrow but today was unexpected. They wanted to check the roof – we knew we had lost shingles. Brad dealt with that and they stuck to outside stuff today and she’ll be back to for inside check tomorrow. Insurance companies want landlords to check their properties once a year.
I tried some hamburger soup but couldn’t stomach much of it. I then watched Netflix while dozing in and out – not really sleeping but not able to keep eyes open. You know that feeling?
I decided to get a shower and besides Brad having to put on the suction handle, I was able to do everything myself today. Just slowly and carefully. My steri strips were mostly off and I pulled the last hanging one off. A couple welt looking marks that hurt. I’m really bruised and the incisions are there but look good.
I did physical therapy exercises and then spent more time with Netflix and dozing. I’m really sore and stiff today. It hurts to move at hip. A deep bone and joint ache today.
We had leftovers from our power outage Boston Pizza supper. Super light – just 2 pizzas of Italian pizza – and I managed it but nausea still had its grip on me. After supper, I offered to help with dishes as I was restless. Just asked Brad to bring my stool to kitchen and I would wash as I wouldn’t have to move. It wasn’t as easy as I thought but it worked. It’s just hard to have weight all on right side – right side gets sore doing all the work. But I did it!
Brad is going to take Ginny to the vet tomorrow. There’s been an odd smell in bedroom that we can’t pin it but last night I realized she was really scratching her ear. We’ve noticed the last week her head is a bit tilted when she gets up from sleeping sometimes. We thought it was from sleeping but I’ve heard this can happen to dogs with ear infections. I looked at her ears last night when she was cuddling me, and positive one smelled bad and it was filled with brown gunk/ear wax/dirt. I cleaned it best I can but positive that’s the smell. We had almost thought it was my leg and my incisions but they’ve been clean, even with a bit of discharge it wasn’t infected. This morning we looked again and ear looks greasy and some brown wax/gunk again so we are going to play it safe and take her in tomorrow. If not ear infection at least we checked. She has seemed a bit off too so this may be why.
Nausea finally passing, I put on pjs, did physical therapy exercises again, and put on the ice wrap again and did a couple popsicles that completely helped the nausea finally. My physical therapy was hard today. I feel the most stiffness I’ve felt so far today. And like I said a real deep ache. But I did it as I know it’ll help.
I didn’t have a solid nap today, just dozing, so I hope I’ll sleep by midnight. I felt guilty not doing anything today. I feel like I should read for thesis or do some unit planning. I just can’t mentally do more than Netflix. I’m trying to be patient with myself and give myself time.
It’s a whole week now since surgery – I can’t believe a whole week is behind us. I’m hoping by next week the stiffness improves. But I’ve been told to expect slow progress and that some days I’ll have a step back and then sometimes a huge surge forward, another step or two back, etc.
Just reminding myself constantly that even with it being a rough day, I’m still here and I haven’t quit or given up. The hospital physical therapist said there are some who become bedridden after surgeries as they are too afraid to put the work in or it hurts to much. The worst thing I can do right now is not do my exercises – so it may not seem like a lot but it’s the necessary step I need right now. Probably one of most important ones. If I can at least do my physio, then I’ve moved my big rock for the day.
We can call today “the day of sleep”. I could not stop sleeping! I crashed around 1am after finishing up Netflix’s Marcella (I sure hope they have new episodes soon!).
Brad woke me up in the morning with a gentle shake saying “Hey hun. It’s 10:30, I let Ginny out but you should get up and get some ice and pain meds before it begins to hurt.” He’s been so gentle and kind about this – I’m doing so well with longer time between meds and I’ve reduced my pain meds but if I go too long, it is harder to get control back on pain. So I got up and went to bathroom, and made my way to the freezer – glanced at the stove clock for whatever reason and see 8:33am. “Hey babe” I call to the bedroom – “the stove says 8:30! Did the power go out?” Make way back to bedroom with a muffin and ice and he has no idea why he thought it was 10:30 but we just gained 2 hours in our day – bonus! Haha. I crawl back into bed, catch up on some social media, and fall asleep again.
I wake up around 11:30 with stomach grumbling but I’m just feeling so lethargic. I force myself up for ice and lunch but I simply grab a muffin and a brownie. I’m so ashamed of this but I had nothing in me today for energy. I couldn’t even bring myself to warm up lunch or eggs. I crawl back into bed with ice wrap on, and grab my kindle hoping to settle in for some reading. Next thing I know I wake up and it’s 3:30pm.
This time I have more energy – so with Brad’s help again, we get me in the shower and today is special because it’s the first day I can go without Saran Wrap over the incisions! Finally! This shower feels amazing – I even managed to get off most (maybe even all) of the medical tape residue still left from the massive bandage I took off Thursday. I hadn’t been able to as it was too sore to try and scrub and also, I had to cover the area with Saran Wrap so I couldn’t get it off. I had residue all over my left ass cheek and all over my thigh. I swear medical grade medical tape is like super glue. It was so tender scrubbing but I wanted it off so bad. My leg was a bit smelly (not infected at all just unwashed with some discharge – can’t help the smell). The smell has gone away now with the shower today.
I had my longest shower yet, but I finally got out (with help again) and got myself dressed using my reacher/grabber. I said – heck, it’s 4:30 so screw it – back into clean pjs and a robe. My in laws had texted earlier and they really wanted to stop by today. So we had agreed after supper. Brad had ice and a jug of water ready for me. I was still nauseous and dry throat. Crawled back into bed while Brad showered and went to hang in living room. He was going to heat me up some hamburger soup in a bit. He had slept and read on and off all morning too – he was exhausted as well. I think he hasn’t slept all through night just checking on me. I know it’s mentally and physically exhausting being the caregiver too.
Suddenly the wind blew like crazy and I told Brad, he looked outside and real black clouds were coming in. He moved some furniture and candles outside to safer spots. Power went out and stayed out for a long time so we ordered pizza and salad from Boston Pizza. It finally came back on after about 1.5-2 hours – I was worried about my ice packs this whole time.
I did my physical therapy exercises in the darkening room. It’s getting easier to do and I actually can feel my hip muscles and core strengthening finally. Before surgery, the exercises barely helped as the injury just seemed to ruin anything I or physiotherapist did in just moments. It’s nice to feel progression instead of regression.
The power actually came on just as my in laws walked in – my mom in law came in and wanted to see how I made out with cleaning my leg. She is a breast cancer survivor and her own surgical knowledge for post op has been handy. Knowing tips here and there and just want signs to watch out for. She said my face looked so great today and colour was back in it. I noticed my left leg finally didn’t look as purple as it had been since around April. It’s really bruised around the area of surgery but they did take me hip out of joint so not a shock.
After we chatted a bit, my mother in law handed me an envelope and she looked like she was holding back doing a cheer. I opened the card and saw it was an amazon gift card.
I had been pondering purchasing an upright exercise bike. Originally I had thought I’d just sign up for a YMCA pass but I was starting to stress about it. One, I can’t drive yet – it would be a royal pain to beg friends and family for a ride every day to get to a bike. More likely, I’d end up only going a few times a week due to the inconvenience. It’s so much work getting ready that going to a gym is going to tire me out. To do it every day and figure out transportation – it would frustrating and exhausting. Second, it’s better to do short sessions on the bike 2-3 times a day. I’m not going to go to gym 2-3 times a day and to go once for just one 20 minute session would be discouraging. Third, $55 a month for a pass for Y, it would add up to be over $600. Lastly, this hip injury will improve. I’m positive of that. However, it remains to be seen how much it will improve and how much I’ll be affected by the arthritis I’m already developing. Whether I get full pain free function back or not, I want to make sure I focus on adding low impact cardio to my regular exercise when I get the green light to resume regular exercise training. I want to reduce my high impact running to only 1-2 short runs a week with one long aerobic run. Though the long run may have to be reduced to under certain kilometres. I want to find an exercise plan that strengthens me, not injures me or runs my hip into needing a replacement before 40. I’m still not sure what my future exercise will look like but I know that I’ll figure that out with my surgeon, my coach, and me.
Back to the bike story… I found an awesome almost 5 star reviewed upright bike that is foldable for easy storage for $150 on sale on amazon. Usually $260! Brad told me to wait – I know money is hard with me on disability but as a teacher I don’t even get disability for summer months. I always work a summer job but I can’t this summer. If you know me, once I want something, I hate waiting. But I knew this was a big decision but I strongly believed my reasons and logic were strong here. $150 for a bike I can use 2-3 times a day and not need a ride to the gym, or $600 for a YMCA pass that I’d probably go use 2-3 times a week but for only 20 minutes and be stuck on relying on friends and family to take me at times convenient for them.
So gift card in hand… I ordered an upright bike from amazon that will be here Thursday. So excited to do any kind of exercise again!
I was feeling a bit down today with all this sleeping I had done and my lack of energy that this has re-energized me mentally. Physically I’m still exhausted! My snack bag quotes today were dead on for my day:
Not sure if I’ll be up late or not. It’s already 11:12pm. I’m starting another Netflix series called “Staircase”. Wondering if my all day sleep will keep me up or not.
Brad has decided to work from home this week. He wasn’t sure if he’d go back or stay but I honestly don’t feel well enough to be alone all day. I could probably do fine for a couple hours but all day scares me as I sometimes hit a rough patch here and there. If I drop a crutch, I’m screwed too! Not being able to bend and not having hands has really reduced so many things I do need to do in a day. He can’t stay home the whole 4 weeks but at least by week 3, I’ll be a bit more at ease with movement on crutches. I cannot wait for 4 weeks to be up!
Happy Canada Day! It didn’t really feel like a holiday to me at all. Looked like lots of fun activities but no way I can easily manage crowds without really putting a lot of stress on my hip. Even crutches take a lot of effort.
My afternoon nap yesterday made for a sleepless night and I was up until 4am watching Marcella on Netflix – an interesting Netflix original series. I’m already almost finished it. I fell into a deep sleep even if late, and woke up at 9am. A deep ache in my hip overpowered my urge to go back to sleep. I got up for ice and breakfast, and let Ginny out. As I was getting ice, I realized I really needed to pee. Ever try to crutch quickly to the bathroom break? Yeah, we’ll crutching jostles you enough to want to pee even more! I barely made it. I crawled back into bed – getting out of bed has gotten a bit easier but getting back into bed is still painful. Short body and a oversized mattress equals a challenge.
I fell back asleep, and didn’t wake up until noon when Brad woke up. Decided to just shower and relax rest of day. With Brad’s help I got in and out of shower again. Damn the shower tub wall as there is just no easy way to get my left leg over it. Dressed and ready, I managed to make myself my own lunch today, and equipped with fresh ice, made my way back to bed.
My right shoulder is extremely sore today from crutching. And one of my four steri strips came off today. I’m bruising a lot across my abdomen and now with one steri strip off, my poor thigh area is definitely beaten up.
I still mostly just feel most of the ache deep in my hip joint – from the traction they have to do for this surgery and bringing hip out of joint. Surgeon told me hip replacements are actually less painful.
Today I managed to do my physio exercises and hope to do another set before bed.
It still is slow and sore but I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can. I’m very worried about my future – I was right that surgeon said surgery went well but I guess I missed the part where he told me I was already developing arthritis in my hip. I’m 33 years old – this terrifies me. Brad told me Thursday when we sharing each other’s stories of Surgery Day. I’m guessing being overweight for so long and then exercising overweight at the beginning of this lifestyle change has been hard on my body.
This news has made me seriously think the last two days. I love my Spartan races but though I’m not old, I’m no spring chicken. I don’t want to spend my newly found athletic lifestyle jumping injury to injury. This experience has taught me so much and I’d never change it. But I also don’t want to force things on my body that will mean more pain and surgeries down the road. I want to find the balance of being athletic but also reducing my risk of having another hip labral tear and even possibly hip replacement if the arthritis worsens. If I can make any changes in my sports and training that will mean less injuries- I’m open to that. This hurt too much to throw it all away just because I’ve fallen in love with something. I started all of this to become healthy – not to race. For me, being able to run, even if I do it less and shorter distances, and my Conviction Fitness training is all I need. Half marathons and Spartan races were the extras.
My follow up appointment is July 20 and I’ll get more answers then. I’m not going to overthink right now but just prepare myself for making smart choices. I’m going to focus on taking this injury and surgery recovery and rehab slow and steady. I’m keeping track of all my rehab this next year or two in a 2 year calendar. Just marking down what I do. I’ll even track my exercise when I am allowed to do that. I know this will be helpful for the first year after this surgery – you never know what information can help me, my coach, my physiotherapist, or my surgeon. I love the message on the cover.
My journal is with it. My coach created these athlete journals. This is my second one. Writing about this experience has been therapeutic and I know I’ll read about this journey again in my future. You can buy a copy of this journal here:
I also made my weekly to do’s in my weekly planner. Something I’ve done since this injury began – makes me feel like I have things to do and to not let days pass by without me trying to make the day worthwhile. Each day should count for something – even if one thing.
Besides that, listening to the pop pop of fireworks going off – just some neighbourhood ones. Ginny isn’t enjoying these odd sounds but is doing okay.
Nausea hit again today. Not sure if it’s some of the deep joint pain, the medications, or still some side effects from the general anesthesia. Either way, I ended up having soup and naan bread for supper instead of tilapia fish freezer meal. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for your body – something I struggle with. I like to follow my “plan”. I’ve been flexible since my surgery in allowing some detours of my meal plan but I can’t deny it doesn’t mentally bug me for a few minutes. I haven’t been back on my usual tight macro counting daily nutrition habits. I can’t even get to my protein powder right now as it’s on a bottom shelf and the almond milk and spinach is in the fridge at a position that would require me to bend 90 degrees at the hip. Brad kindly put 3 flavours of protein powder on the counter for me but I haven’t had the energy yet to make my daily shake. I think I have to let go of making my blended smoothie and just allow myself to mix a shake of powder and almond milk or water. If I remember to bring my reacher/grabber to kitchen I’d probably be able to reach more items. But crutches are hard enough without adding holding onto a long stick thing too.
But these are all things that will get easier with time. I’ll figure it out. I have to give myself a break. Today I was giving myself a mentally rough time for not doing a lot the past 5 days. But it hasn’t even been a full week since my surgery and it wasn’t the easiest procedure on my body between the anesthesia and the traction. My body was forced to do something we normally try to avoid – dislocating my hip joint. And it’s okay to take a week or two off. The surgeon told me it would be about 2 weeks until I felt better so I have give myself that break too. I’m doing what I can – eating wholesome healthier meals, even if a little bit of my exact macros; doing my daily physical therapy exercises, which hospital PT told me she knows so many people ignore them; and I’m trying to get up for ice and things myself as I know a little bit of movement out of bed, even if on my crutches, is good for my body too.
So today wasn’t a bad day at all. I still am taking my pain medication but already at a lower dose than surgeon expected I’d need the first week. I’m sleeping well without sleeping pills now – which makes me sooo happy! I’m off at least one medication! I did my exercises even though hard and sore, and I’ll do a second round of them for the first time after I finish this post up. I’m still smiling and even with all of this craziness, I’m happy. I have an experience that I’m making the best out of and becoming a better person and athlete because of it. I’m not giving up even when it hurts, and even though I’ve lost some of the weight loss and strength training progress I worked so hard for the last 5 years.
If this injury hadn’t happened, I’d have 3 half marathons for 2018 done out of 5, and I’d be training with my team for the Spartan Kimberley Beast in just under 2 weeks. I was so excited for this trip to the mountains and had an amazing place booked to stay. It was supposed to be a little vacation. It is hard as this event comes closer but I’m figuring out how to make the best of it. I won’t let this injury make me become grumpy and sullen. As much as it is hard to hear that I am developing arthritis, if it weren’t for this injury and surgery, I’d never had known that. Perhaps knowing about it earlier is going to become something that helps me be able to have a longer pain free athletic and healthy lifestyle by making the changes to how I train now instead of when it’s too late. If I hadn’t known, I wouldn’t have even considered stopping doing multiple half marathons and Spartan races each year – and I could have ran my hip into a point where I could never train again.
So I’m growing, learning, embracing change and getting stronger – even if it is a different journey than I had planned. The next 6 months will be the most crucial but I won’t stop at 6 months. I plan to embrace this for the rest of my life.