Tuesday, May 31, 2011

There's stuff that isn't running?

What do you do with all that extra time once your 20 hour a week part time job training gets de-railed?

Wellllll ....

I started cooking again. A lot. And by cooking I mean baking. Pink lemonade cupcakes. Car bomb cupcakes. Kahlua cupcakes. Coconut cupcakes. Sugar free brownies. Sugar free banana bread. Sugar free pumpkin bread. Grapefruit shortbread. Orange apricot scones. Cranberry orange scones. Lemon blueberry scones.

Sorry I don't have any pictures of these, but let me just say if you want to make pink buttercream frosting that it can't be done with a primary color kit. The result is a bluish flesh color. And if your star tip isn't sharp enough, it looks like you piped brains onto your cupcakes. Which would be awesome if you had these cupcake holders: https://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/kitchen/e558/
but is pretty awkward at a party in NE with uptight people.

which I think I might have volunteered to make for my anime artist friend D who drew this version of me:

For the record, me as an angel I think is meant to be ironic.

I also regained my creative spirit. No, I won't be drawing my friends as amine characters. I dragged my ridiculously tolerant BF, we'll call him Polar Bear, to this:

Let's just say my frustration over not being whole showed up in my painting. PB hung it on his wall. This is reason #547 why he's awesome. He was okay with going to a booze and painting event I think because he was worried when I said I had a surprise, that I was going to make him go skydiving with me.

I also have been getting back into fashion blogs. I love flipping through the collections, and being snarky. I pretty much live in gym clothes, suits, and pajamas. And the occasional Patagonia dress. So this is purely fantasy, unless fleece polka dot pajamas become haute couture.

And on the active front:


I LOVE being on the water. I love it so much I have no idea how I made it through the winter. We went kayaking twice this weekend and it was heaven.

I'm also trying to get back into rowing. Which is also awesome. Even at 5:15 AM.

There's just something about the way the morning light illuminates the smog and the sewage.

And if you write a blog I've actually read it and been commenting with annoying frequency. Sorry about that.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I have so been dreading writing this post. I guess in part because posting makes it real.

A few weeks ago I drove up to Martha's Vineyward for the MS Bike Ride. I had to stop halfway through. It felt like someone was dragging razor blades across my hip.

Needless to say, this was somewhat alarming. I got back got in to see the Orthopaedist and got a RX for PT.

Now I had previously spent 4 months in classic PT, and they had recommended I see a chiropractor. So this time I went to the chiro first.

This particular chiro specializes in the Graston technique and ART. I'm pretty sure Graston is Flemish for torture because that's essentially what it is. Although it does leave you feeling a lot looser and in less overall pain after a couple days, so I fully expect to come down with some sort of Stockholm syndrome.

The chiro confirmed I have a metric crapton of scar tissue in my body and that I am quite frankly, damaged goods. As painful as having scar tissue ripped from muscle is, nothing was as painful as what came next.

The chiro told me he never likes to tell people they can keep doing an activity but I *need* to stop running. He said I'll probably need a hip replacement in my lifetime and running is only bringing that eventuality into the nearer future. Like say 55 instead of 65.

I cried all the way home.

I cried later when I got home.

I cried the next day at work.

I did not punch the co-worker who said, "Well you can still walk on the treadmill".
Although I really wanted to. And I'm still fantasizing about it.

Then I emailed my old PT, who I'll most likely go to once I'm done with the chiro, for a second opinion.
Due to the severity and irreparable nature of my injury, nothing over a 10K.

So to be clear: no half marathons, which I've been doing 3-4 a year since I started seriously running. No marathon which I've been trying to work up to for two years. No Ironman, which has been a long term dream for years now.


What am I supposed to do now?

Then I cried again and ate two sugar free ice cream bars.

Just a tip: never eat two servings of anything sugar free, especially if you aren't supposed to run.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year's Tri Resolutions

Okay I know I've done this like twelve times before and I never keep them because I keep getting injured.
Well I'm still injured but I need something to focus on, so here it is:

1. I want to do RAGBRAI. I think I can actually handle this one since the hip seems to hold up for biking.
I applied for it with super cycling friend J.

2. I'm signed up for Shamrock half.
I knew I couldn't heal in time for the full so I'm trying for the half. I'll probably walk a great deal of it, but I should be able to finish it.

3. If that goes well, I'm looking at the Seattle Rock N Roll full marathon.

4. Pacers run series. Hopefully I can do more of these that the one 5K I ran while still broken last year.

5. Kinetic half or if that goes completely sideways, the Rev 3 in Portland.

6. And if everything else goes magically according to plan, I'm looking at the Beach to Battleship full. It could happen. We had our first full eclipse in like 500 years or something this year, it could be my year.

What? It could be.

Stop looking at me like that, I'm not going to get injured again. Probably.

Hey look! It's Elvis!

(runs away)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Sweet Sixteen

Okay so I'm trying to get better about blogging so I'm resurrecting the Sunday Sweet Sixteen

1. I still can't run
2. The ortho wants me to get a cortisone injection.
3. The PT disagrees.
4. I still haven't made up my mind as to what I'm doing.
5. I'm about ready to say F it and go back full force.
6. Because at least if I re-injure it, they have something discrete to fix, right?
7. Right?!!
8. The team ran an 8K this morning.
9. I hate that I couldn't run it.
10. Checked out a 5K to run instead.
11. Then I had an asthma attack Saturday night.
12. Leaves are pretty. Leaf mold is toxic.
13. I am RESTLESS.
14. I think this is how people who go cold turkey off of their psych meds feel.
15. CT5K is running a 5K at the end of the month.
16. F my hip! I'm running it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Three Strikes Law

In the meantime I’m marooned on the sofa watching the Philly bike race on DVR and whimpering at the screen the way an indoor cat does at the glass preventing him from stalking a bird outside.

By the way, did you know that Jelly Belly has an actual racing team? I guess it makes sense since they make Sport Beans. I think this is the perfect team for me, what with having a Jelly Belly being typical of a panda's physique.

Picking a date for surgery was slightly less complicated than picking a space shuttle launch date. I had mass amounts of work travel in March and another week in April, and I had to move at the end of May. Add to this that at some point I actually had to get the MRI done before I could get the insurance to approve the surgery. And we were randomly super busy at work. This should be our slow time but there were unending budget drills and congressional inquiries and TPSs had to be done. Yes, we actually have TPS reports at my job. I make the joke daily and no one ever gets it. That might be a good thing.

And it had to be early enough to where I could recover enough to be able to handle flying to LA later in the month. And it had to be before the end of June so I could burn some unused funds in my FSA. I’m getting to the point where I’m actually planning for a surgery every year when calculating how much to contribute to my FSA. Sigh.

Super friend M came up from Richmond and took care of me. Now, for a non-DC person to drive from Arlington to Reston in rush hour traffic which involves no fewer than 4 highways, is deserving of a medal in and of itself.

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know my life is one long I love Lucy/ Seinfeld episode.
I had to have my surgery at the hospital instead of the surgery center because a special table was needed traction hip something something. Generally I prefer to have surgery at a surgical center since my experience with hospitals hasn't been great. There was the time I had a broken leg and they told me my ankle was sprained, the time I had a shoulder surgery and the nurse dropped a needle and still wanted to inject me with it, and thennnnn there was This Time.

So first we went through the “Are you pregnant?” drill:
H: Are you pregnant?
IP: No.
H: Are you sure?
IP: Yes.
H: Are you really sure?
IP: Yessssssss
H: Prove it!
IP: What?

I had to take a pregnancy blood test. Which seems like a relatively simple thing since they were already going to have to stick me and insert tubing so I could become one with the Matrix. Yeah you would think.
This particular nurse tried three separate times to try to find a vein. I directed her to where I had scars from the IV from my tonsillectomy. She … did not listen. She found a vein and shot through it. Then she tried another and something … wasn’t right. All of a sudden I hear M say, “Whatever you do, DON’T LOOK”.

Have you ever seen a campy horror movie where there’s blood shooting out of a vein after someone gets attacked by a zombie/werewolf/vampire with a chainsaw?
My arm was covered in blood. They had to give me a new blanket I was so covered with blood. Now I have strict rules on puncturingcritical systems. You get three tries to give me an IV or draw blood and you're out. Thankfully at this point she gave up and called in another nurse who got it on the first try. If I have to have surgery again, I’m just getting a port put in.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the curtain …

Another nurse is telling OR horror stories to a guy about to get a vasectomy. I could not make this up if I tried. Nurse Kramer pops in a couple times, which included an attempt to guess my age. He was on the high side by about 20 years. I am not amused. He says he was basing it on the hip surgery. Note to self: I cannot get away with not wearing makeup.

Oh and the test results come back: I'm not pregnant!

With that cleared up I shuffle off to slumberland where the forest critters fix my hip. Well, what could be fixed. More on that another time.

Moving, a race report

Being the genius that I am, I moved the weekend before I had surgery.
While I was playing Keep Toss or Donate, the Team was off racing Mountains of Misery (MOM) and the Wilderness Road Ride. Rides so difficult they make Savageman look like cake. Since my sense of masochism only goes so far, I decided not to race the world’s hardest course on a torn hip and then try to move in two days.
But it did make for a fun game of “Would you rather” with the roommate.
Me: Would you rather race Mountains of Misery in a thunderstorm or … move on the hottest days of the year?
Roommate: The race. Absolutely.

There was a bit of stress since I didn’t officially have the new apartment until about 3 days before I needed to move. I had a panicky moment full of Catholic guilt that I would not be approved for the apartment. I had some contingency plans, but it was all pretty tenuous.
Second point of stress came when the movers I’ve used the last two times were fully booked. I think this was a blessing in disguise. The movers the new apartment complex suggested were great. They were super nice and took great care of my stuff. This was key since being injured and all I was pretty limited in what I could carry and move myself. And, I wouldn’t be able to move anything if it wasn’t where I needed it.
I took Friday off to pack. Saturday the movers came. I don’t know why, but it always takes twice as long to move stuff in and it does to move stuff out. It’s bizarre.
Now I had moved six months ago from a townhouse (under some serious duress) to a tiny 2 bedroom apartment with a roommate. I still hadn’t unpacked a lot of boxes when I moved to the new place. Which has absolutely. no. storage.
There was also a certain amount of pressure because 3 days later I would be having hip surgery and wouldn’t be able to walk so everything needed to be in its place.
I quickly found out that when I moved out of the townhouse, I didn’t get ANY of my kitchenware moved.
My awesome sorority sister R came down and drove me (because my car was still packed full) to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get basic necessities like flatware, dishes, and pots and pans. We also went all over creation trying to find a squid strip surge protector. Did they recall them? I can’t find one anywhere!
She also helped me make my bathroom handicapped accessible with a removable hand rail, fish bath tub grips, and a handheld shower head. All lessons learned from the previous surgeries.
As much stress as it was there’s something to be said for living within a 1/8th of a mile of restaurants, a grocery store, and a coffee shop for two weeks.

BTW, did you know that most people don't consider a bike to be living room furniture?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Can I get a new hip for my birthday?

So I was going to skip my birthday since it’s not a milestone and I was kind of depressed about being old and the whole being broken thing. In the end I decided like a week before to have a happy hour since I was going to be off early anyway for the MRI.

So the MRI:
I negotiated to get the MRI done in Springfield instead of out in Reston where my Dr. Is. Getting from DC to Reston can be challenging to say the least. I thought that I would have time to come home and take a nap before the happy hour. I was wrong.

My MRI was a contrast MRI, unlike my shoulder. First you go through the usual 20 Questions regarding medical history, medications, and “Are you sure you aren’t pregnant?”.
Then the usual disrobing and removing of all piercings and putting on the super awesome slipper socks. I have a collection.

Then they took a few X-rays of my femur/hip bone.

Then the actual radiologist came in. She was wearing a huge lead apron. This was not confidence inspiring.

First they inject you with a “numbing agent”. This so called numbing agent was supposed to “sting” a little. Instead it felt like someone was jamming a railroad spike into my hip and like my whole leg was on fire.

Then they continuously x-rayed my hip so they could see where to place the needle that would inject the contrast dye into my hip. Dye injected then I head off for my MRI.
I had a good hour’s worth of MRI pictures that needed to be taken. But that was nothing in comparison to the injections so it was cake. I put in the earplugs, took a nap, and channeled Snow White.

Then I put everything back on and in and headed out to the waiting room for my CD of very expensive pictures. Half an hour goes by and nothing. I go ask and apparently no one has bothered to burn the CD. I wait another half an hour and bingo, happy birthday to me!

I have to say I love looking at these kinds of things. How often do you get to see yourself inside out? I took a couple minutes to check out the CD before I left for happy hour.

Now, when they MRI’d my hip, they MRI’d BOTH hips. I can only assume for comparison’s sake. I would post pictures, but I was startled to find that when they MRI your hips, they MRI EVERYTHING in between your hips, ahem. So not only do I have beautiful full color pictures of my hips, I also have a vivisection of my reproductive organs.

So instead I give you panda birthday pictures: