Thursday, October 31, 2013

Masters Swim

I had a 6:45 swim lesson and decided to get up early and go to Masters.  I have not been to masters in months....but I have been swimming a lot the last 2+ weeks and decided to show up.   It was an all freestyle day (thank goodness because I really, really dislike other strokes)  I had no expectations and was happy to see Ted there - Ted is about my pace or faster so I was eager to see how it went.  I was really happy, really happy when we
started doing sets on base interval and I was making them no problem.  Yowza... solid 300's and then sets of 3x100 and I was pulling solid 100's.  Super motivating and great way to start the day.  Backed up my swim with my 1st Elliptical session.  1 step closer to running.... 30 minutes on the elliptical and NO pain, NO swelling and it was good.  I didn't push it, much like spinning, I did the time and kept the tension low.  Keeping it safe! 

So I was super excited..... great swim and nice to be doing more than spinning and walking!  Baby steps and I am keeping them baby. 

From there it was onto Kaiser for the next 8+ hours.... Mom's pinned hip did not take and thus she was scheduled for a hip replacement.  Kaiser is not concierge medicine... check in at 8.. pre-op 8:45 and I said goodbye to her around 9:30.  Surgeon found me at 12:00 in the uncomfortable, smelly  plush surgical waiting room with the good news.  1- the pins were not healing (hence the ongoing pain) and 2- the replacement went well.  So good news....then the waiting and waiting went on and one.  Post op....blood pressure too low for her to move, blood pressure is up and no room to move to, then blood pressure down and cannot move. So every hour for 10 minutes I would walk down the hall and see her and then get kicked out and back to my "next"  Thankfully there was a Starbucks and a Sprouts near by and I was stocked up with Kombucha, dried kale chips, wasabe edamame, organic grapes, tamari almonds... all good.  Venti Latte x 2 and close to 5 we were moved to a room!  Yeah.. she had a room, was settled and stable.  And I sadly said goodbye  ran out of the hospital and headed home.   I hit my limit... 

Now it a big kale salad, chocolate and an oakey chardonnay... Somehow I managed to make phone calls, review contracts, follow up on a number of outstanding issues, had a athlete-coach meeting and set up 2 new athletes for coaching beginning Nov 1.  Have laptop + iPhone and will travel and work. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Fun

Without real training I find I am staying up to 10, even 11 pm...holy cow!  It's all good for now...let loose, recovery, have surgery, rehab, no schedule and then crack down in December.

With that I wanted to go out to Haunted Trails in Balboa Park.  There is a maze and then a trail that you go through.  I convinced  went with Riley and a friend of hers. We had Greek food and arrived at 7:30 when the opened.  

The maze was terrifying.... we got lost, stuck and there were jumpy scary creatures, strobe lights, hanging things and a few times I freaked.  I was not sure we would get out. We did.. I sweating and my HR was higher than it has been in months.

Onto the trails, if I cannot run trails, may as well hike them in the dark with scary creatures.  It was maybe 20 minutes and I am sure I screamed 50 times and a time nearly peed... I jumped a mile and jogged (protect the knee, run from the zombie, he cannot touch me, run from the zombie.   We laughed so hard, screamed and it was just plain FUN!!  So glad we went.  

What else.... more spinning and swimming. I have to take a swim break- my arms are trashed and my shoulder is sore.  Not the labrum (thankfully) says Dr Wells but the tendon is impinged.  He worked miracles and it was good until I logged 3500 today and it is back.  He says to me "the good news is (although not sure I should tell someone like you) is that you are not doing damage to a muscle or tendon.  When you swim it just hurts and is inflamed. So you can keep getting treated, keep swimming and deal with the pain OR you can get treated, take time off swimming and feel better.  Ok so rationally, stop swimming.  My current state....Ok in a week I will back of swimming because then I can ride outside yes Dr, I understand. I will swim for a week will back off and see you next week and fess up that I was swimming.   Its my sanity...really.  Violins out please....have not run since 9/6, off the bike 2 weeks and now can spin 45 min easy on the trainer.  Let me swim.... NO CrossFit every :( Maybe yoga but not for a while.... I see Pilates, so good for me but so NOT CROSSFIT  in my future.  I get it, I get it...I don't like it but I get it.  I want to bike and run pain free!!!  Trade offs...I tell you 

And, most favorite beverage of the year is in stock!!  Frankly I wish there was a ban on all Christmas Decorations until the day after Thanksgiving..but this holiday gem can gladly show up now!    I love it...not the soy nog, not the coconut milk nog, EGG NOG.  Yes is has 1000 calories and sugar and fat..I love it!  I love it best with rum, so occasionally I mix it up, but I drink it (cut with NF milk) over ice for dessert!  When I am training, more than 45 minutes, it is the perfect recovery drink.   I really need to get of the injured list- mostly so I can drink Egg Nog. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

17 days post time flies

14 days post op and the Dr was great... looks great, mobility great, all is good as can be expected.  He took off the steri- strips and the deep incision bubbled up with blood - so he said 4 more days until I can swim. Infection in the knee is BAD, really bad. So Monday, my birthday I hit the pool, very tentatively.

I started with a buoy and open turns and was scared. Felt good to use the legs a bit but was tentative. Logged 3500 and texted Dr ( did I mention how accessible and awesome he is) and asked can I do flip turns and kick.  Reply "use the knee you are ok"  Tuesday I swam "normally", slow for sure but swam. While I would love to log 5K I am still nursing my shoulder ( throwing the chuck-it 2 hours a day due do injury + energetic Vizsla) and I want to swim every day.  Tuesday 3k.  Wed 3k. By Thur the ever so familiar "feel for the water" was returning.  If you know that feeling, it is blissful. I have done the same workout every day. 500sw, 5x100 on base + 5, 400 steady, 4x100 on base (ouch, as I can only make 2 right now) 300 (100ez100hard100ez) 3x 100 on base +5,  200 ez, 2x100 on base - 200 ez.  I am hoping hoping that by next week I can make 5x100 on base.  We will see. 

Feels great to smell like chlorine, have flaky skin, and frizzy hair  be exercising and feel sore muscles vs bed sores from sitting on the couch.

birthday with good friends, family, food and a lot of pity...hard to feel great when I am basically lame and feeling not great....but I had fun and felt a lot of love from family and friends so that is all good! 

Add caption
Friday I was cleared for 30 min spin!! yeah... went to a spin class I don't like indoor cycling let alone in a class but figured I would be entertained.  not really but got the 30 in and then thankfully John set me up on the Computrainer for my next days of spinning Sat :30 min, Sun: 45 , Mon: 45 and all is good....NO knee pain and while I am pushing pathetic power it is okay. Goal is ROM and to begin building back...Dr said if NO pain after indoor for a week I can get outside - yeah!!!  I don't want to overdo it but I really dislike the trainer.   I cannot wait to be outside again riding... running too (2.5 weeks) 

I hate the trainer...but am happy
to be riding at all

Friday, October 18, 2013

6 days post op

 Ok so I love my surgeon...not in that way- I am married and so he is but really I love his bedside manner, attentiveness and is spirit.  I cruised in this AM feeling pretty good, After a pretty good walk with the dogs and a good icing session I headed over and was seen at 9:01 for a 9:00 appointment.  Again, why I love this Dr.  No waiting.  He took off the steri strips and was pleased with the incisions.  Sutures are inside.  Minor bruising and swollen but not all that much.  Few drops of blood but all in all they are healing.

I walk without a limp and can fully extend my knee- all good!   He recapped that part of my knees are of a 14yo ( which he is shocked considering the stress I put on my knees.  He has 15 pictures of  inside my knee.  So very cool!  

This is the torn meniscus.  (LEFT)   The frayed part is the tear, the part on the right, nice and smooth is how cartilage should look, He cleaned up where he could and saved 70% of the meniscus, which I need to be running ( in 4 weeks) 

This is the underside of my knee cap - sort of looks like shag carpet-all that roughness is what grinds and crunches.  He shaved/cleaned that up the best he could.  

I will spare you the gross, so gross pictures of the cyst. Which was the size of an apricot.... and yes I have photos.  Absolutely discusting and no wonder my hamstring hurt. The cyst was rooted in the joint and grew from there- UGH. 

Any way all looks good.  I am cleared to swim on Monday (Happy Birthday to me) and next Friday I can spin inside.   If it was not for the cyst I could spin now but he is worried any synovial fluid released will go down the same path and re-create the cyst.  So...7 days.  Then easy and see how it goes.  Each week I can do more.  As for riding outside, a few weeks. Hill are out and if I feel pain it is best to stop ASAP and that is hard to do when I am a few miles form home.

4 weeks next appt and then I get to run!! 10 min x 5 days... a start.  My hope was to be running by 12/1 and now it looks like I will be running by 11/17.  Baby steps...

For now... walking is good, bending is good but so is elevation and ice. So I am still camped on the couch when working. 

Today I had a BIG day.... Dr appt, coffee with Dad and K and then lunch at Veg Grill with Les.   See triathletes don't "do lunch" we swim, bike, run and have coffee or do dinner. But with 2 injured girls (although Les swam and pool ran) we have time to meet at the mall for lunch.  It was so.... fun but weird.  We both commented on how much longer the days are without training.  Ugh...soon, soon I hope to have that problem of not enough hours in the day.

All in all I feel pretty good and pleased. I am on the road to recovery.. just need to hold onto patience. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 3 post surgery

Day 1 was a blur, Day 2 was Ironman World Championships = 10+ hours of couch time watching friends and professionals chase dreams and reap the benefits of so much work, Day 3 was hard, poor sleep followed by false expectations of feeling better, where in reality I felt nauseated, sluggish and depressed.  Day 4 was awesome... 10 hours of sleep with only 1 wake up and no added pain meds.  7:20 woke up refreshed and hopped, well glided out of bed, feeling less stiff and sore than the night before.   Eased downstairs and felt good enough to take the dogs out.  Beautiful morning, crisp and clear and we headed to the park where I walked, slowly, for 15 minutes and the threw the ball (left armed) for another 30 minutes.  Happy dogs, Riley was able to sleep in then I checked email and had a nice hour in the park.  Mako found a big mud puddle and got really, really muddy.... all 4 legs and his muzzle.  Riley was up by now and happily met me at the door and ushered him into the shower for a nice warm bath.

My office, place of refuge, is the couch.  I am camped out with my leg on 2 pillows, the ice machine on the floor, phone, laptop, window ledge for my various drinks and snacks, briefcase with random stuff, yellow pad and I am set.  I  had a rather productive work day.... conference calls done, contracts reviewed, hotels called- all done from the couch. Flexible work space... around 11 I moved to the garage and set up in an Adirondack chair, leg up on a Rubbermaid bin, chair has arms for my laptop and the benefit of this.... I can see the sun, Mako can hunt lizards in the front garden, Zen can relish in the sun and we all get a change of venue. 

Lunch arrived around 1pm, courtesy of my 79 yo mom who is pending another surgery to fix her hip...I can hear the walker as she arrives with a wonderful Greek salad in a bag.  The lame helping the lame.... she wants to help and I greatly appreciated it as Riley was out job hunting. 

I left the house for the first time since Friday with Riley for an appointment. Nice to get out... I survived in a car, away for 2 hours without ice and my couch.  And I am off the major pain meds and doing well Aleve.  Pain is tolerable.

Tomorrow....I get to take a shower! No more hair washing in the sink and bath in the sink.  I get to take off the gauze... sutures are inside and only steri strips.  Really excited.  And I get to walk more..... 

Post op is Thur and I hope, hope PT soon there after.    And tomorrow...I can drive too.  Life is looking up....Funny I was depressed about not running or riding hard and now I am simply excited to drive and leave the house.  


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Surgery..a first for me

Once the prognosis of a torn meniscus came my way I knew I wanted to get it repaired ASAP to begin the road to recovery. I was referred to Dr Chris Wahl - Chief of UCSD Sports Medicine Orthopedics.  Sounded good to me and after "checking" him out the feedback was good.  I felt fortunate to get an appt 2 days later and was blown away by the offices.  Not just the decor of the  "Concierge" medicine I believe they call it  with wood floors, covered walls and leather couches, but also personalized amazing service...impressed on all fronts. 

I was there for over 90 minutes and the team was thorough.  From the RN to the PA to the Dr.  They all thoroughly examined, explained and discussed all options.  By the time Dr W said we have 3 options. 1, the conservative approach - I cut him off and said I want aggressive, I want to be running by December and racing in March, doable  We skipped the details of option 1 and 2 (as he later told the resident he suspected would be the case) 

He showed me the MRI and the flap tear and the cyst which looked huge ( big cherry/small apricot) and was clearly displacing my hamstring.  Plan was 1- shave off the flap on the meniscus and "clean up" necessary parts 2- remove the cyst, which generally is not the protocol  (as having surgery just to remove a cyst is a bit much and they opt to drain it) but since I was already having surgery he did not want any risk of it coming back.

How soon can we do this?  Day after tomorrow....gulp, okay, Friday it is.

Instructions- no food/drink after midnight.  No issue as I go to bed at 9.  Wash entire body with antiseptic skin drying  soap, clean towel and pj's and I assumed no spooning with Mako that night.  Up at 4:30 to tire the dogs, another leg shower with antiseptic really, really skin drying  soap and clean clothes.  Riley was up and ready to go at 5:30 and off we went.

Checked in at 6 am and the staff was equally impressive.  Friendly and helpful.  Signed 1000 papers, had to explain my interpretation of the surgery to 3 different people.  Soon Dr W stopped in calm and collected to see if I had questions. In my gown, slippers and hat I walked into the OR, which was freezing and laid down. Dr W said I had my game face on. My eyes were wide and I was apprehensive and nervous, yes a bit like before a race. Anesthesiologist tells me I will feel light headed and I wonder how one feels light headed laying down but sure enough I did and that was it for me. Apparently shortly there after Dr W asked I was feeling and I say " like I am about to bonk at mile 20 of the marathon"  #orhumor 

And then I was waking up.  Bizarre.... best sleep I have had in months.  I don't remember much but soon I was released with a full compression stocking over a massive gauze
no this is not me- 
wrapping around my knee.  I walked out and off we went.  I was a bit nauseous but that soon passed and we stopped for coffee and bagels on the way home.   Since then I have been camped out on the couch.  Leg on a pillow and this cool Cryo/Cuff Cooler that filters ice water + compression onto my knee.  As long as I don't move much, take anti-inflammatory + pain meds and ice hourly I am okay.  When I do get up I can walk unattended it day 1/2 it was the cyst incision that hurt the most but today it the meniscus. 

Instructions were little movement day 1 and 2 to ensure no excess bleeding and today I can move a bit more.  Oddly today I feel a bit worse. Sleeping is a bit of a challenge and I may just be tired.   I am starving... already had eggs and kale + green tea and it was delicious.

Riley has been amazing... taking care of the dogs, me, cooking, cleaning and getting me what I need.  Mom and Dad each delivered dinner one night so we are well fed for sure. 

Tomorrow I can drive- woo hoo...not sure I will as the swelling and bandage make it hard. I am not coaching as I definitely cannot stand on deck for an hour.  Tuesday I take off the gauze and can shower!  yeah.....leave the steri-strips on until Thur when I see Dr W. All sutures are on the inside which is good. 

Per Dr W surgery went great.....he cleaned up the flap and shaved of what looked like shag carpeting so it's nice and smooth and cleaned up the underside of the knee cap while he was there.  Glad he took the cyst out as some cartridge had started to form, not good. It was big... He called me Friday night from his personal cell to give me an update and said I can call anytime with questions or concerns.  

And there you have it!  hoping to start PT asap and get an idea of when I can resume training. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

If the pain does not go away....

It is probably more than a overuse injury....If stopping running for 3 weeks, backing of any really fun hard riding, quitting CrossFit and even Yoga and the pain seems worse its time for an MRI.  Bingo...acute torn meniscus.  Mencius is cartilage and cartilage does not heal, no matter how much you stop running.....If you are active, does Ironman qualify as active?, then they recommend surgery.  At this point....I can't run or really ride and it aches and sometimes really hurts so lets just get it fixed and get the rehab started.

Appt with the surgeon on Wednesday and hoping, hoping I can get this done soon.  See my Mom's hip surgery is not healing and she is scheduled for a replacement on 10/31 so I need it done before that.  Hope, hope to have it done ASAP!  In the meantime.. swimming is hard - see since I cannot run Mako to tire him out I use the Chuck-it to throw the tennis ball about 1000 x a day and I managed to have aggravated my torn labrum.  I know..really I am falling apart.  So today I tried throwing left handed. Mako was really confused about the ball placement and why it did not go far, but we worked it out.  I try to explain to poor Mako that mom is simply falling apart..... he cocks his head sideways.

So life in San Diego....rolls along. This Ironman blog has become a pity party I fear.  I am thankful for my friend Les who is also injured so we can connect and do our handicapped "cafe" rides.  It's all social and chatty and no hills- hills aggravate the knee and Achilles (her problem not mind)

As for off season, injured triathlete weight gain....gulp 5lbs and adding. Hoping this week will even it out as Riley and I are doing a 3 day Juice Cleanse.  We have talked a lot about it and are going for it now.  We are not doing just juice- we added 1 salad mid day and it was awesome- spinach, kale, quinoa, fruit of some nature, pomegranate seed and a few other things that I am not sure about.   Per Leslie's advice we added the salad to make it more sustainable. I did a 30 min float swim and after that I had a banana (they said it was okay)

I am not expecting amazing results but i do feel good and am curious how well I will sleep without the caffeine.

So far so good..  Tomorrow is my cafe bike ride so will see how well I hold up on juice...

No coffee this am or at all today (this is monumental)  I did have green tea with almond milk. Every hour you drink 8z of juice and 8 oz water.  I feel good....I have a bit of a stomach ache right now but not sure if that is all the greens or what...and well, let's just say I am glad to have dogs so I can blame know what I am talking about.

3-DAY CLEANSE MENU (64 ounces “Just Juice” per day):

Day 1: Kidney and Liver
Green Supreme+: cucumber, celery, kale, broccoli, spinach, cilantro, lemon, apple plus+ beet greens, tomato, romaine

Day 2: Second Brain: The Intestines
No Fruit Green+: cucumber, celery, kale, cilantro, broccoli stem, spinach, parsley  plus+ginger, green apple

Day 3: Super Skin and Colon Detox

Organic Garden Supreme+: cucumber, celery, beet, carrot, parsley, cilantro, kale, spinach plus+lemon, garlic, cabbage, romaine, and ginger