Monday, August 11, 2008

Ugh...

Here's the latest...

Sunday the 3rd. With finally hitting 3 miles again, somewhat comfortably even though there was still some walking I decided to take my run outside to get used to the pavement and temperatures again. So I headed down to Edgewater Park for a nice 3 mile run to see how it'd feel to not only be outside but to attempt that awful hill that I've been seeing in my sleep. I figured I'd hit this run on Sunday the 3rd, Thursday the 7th, Sunday 10th, Thursday the 14th and then be ready for the 5k there on Sunday the 17th -- pretty good plan, right? HA. So I ran the race route and even managed to make it halfway up the hill, then finished the hill walking. Once at the top I resumed running but felt a twang in my back. Now with most of my back issues I've been able to keep up the running and then the back issues just sort of work themselves out. Not this time though, I ran about 3 minutes before I had to stop and walk and stretch out my back some. Things felt a little better so I resumed the run again but suddenly found myself alternating running and walking for about three minutes each. I finished the 5k course in under 38 minutes -- which considering my goal is to finish in under 40 wasn't so terrible after all even with all the walking. Little did I know that this slight bit of running joy would be my last for a while... As I headed home I noticed my back twang had turned into more of back spasms and by the time I got home I was unable to move my left leg to get it out of the car --- hmmm, well this can't be good can it? --- so between deep relaxing breathes and what was becoming a slow steady stream of tears I sat in my car for close to 20 minutes before I was able to get out. So into the house I went and got myself to the sofa where I pretty much stayed unable to move for close to 2 hours. Slowly the spasms calmed and I was able to crawl my way upstairs and gingerly get into a HOT shower and then onto my bed for about another half hour. Then once I started moving things felt a little better.

Monday the 4th, was grueling and between my back pains and a funeral to attend (Aunt Adele you were always the sweetest, you will be missed), I decided to not venture into work and sleep and rest and watch movies as much as possible. Went to the chiro and he took x-rays and suggested I visit a pain management specialist who specializes in spinal issues.

Tuesday the 5th, was a little less painful, actually it felt as though someone had spent a few hours kicking me in my back non-stop, I ventured into work...my usual 7 minute walk from my parking lot to the office took me almost 20 minutes! After much self-debate and encouragement from G, I called and made an appointment with the pain mgmt doc for Friday. Cancelled my personal training session for Wednesday morning.

Wednesday the 6th, was weird, after a difficult nights sleep due to my back I woke up feeling great and almost wishing I hadn't cancelled my session but figured a day's rest might be good. Went into see the chiro and get results from the x-rays. He suggested I keep my appointment for Friday and to be prepared to be told I wouldn't be able to run my 5k -- but really, my back was feeling great...ok, yes I know what makes sense but most of what I do in life doesn't make sense.

Thursday the 7th, even less back pain then Wednesday and hit the gym for a training session. We took it easy so as to not irritate or do much rotation with the spine. Then Steve and I headed out for iced coffees and a trip to a little park with a pier to watch some of the sunrise and to just talk about life... In spite of the pains and such it was a beautiful way to start a morning -- I am working on keeping positive, but let me tell you something about stopping your day and your life for a moment to watch the sun rise is an AWESOME reminder of how great it is to be alive!

Friday the 8th, made it to my doc appointment and was told that an MRI wouldn't be scheduled for right away and that a spinal block should be able to help point him in the direction of where my treatment needs to take me. So, I scheduled the spinal block for Monday the 11th.

A spinal block...I have never had this done before but let me tell you the thoughts of needles in my spine, just couldn't imagine it being much of a good time.

Saturday the 9th, another easy workout at the gym with Steve. Then off to spend the day with my Mom we hit a farmer's market and then Trader Joe's and lunch at Herb's in Rocky River then back to my house to catch some Olympics updates. Was a very nice day.

Sunday the 10th, knowing my spinal block was only a day away and the fact that my back wasn't really bothering me I so wanted to go for a run...but alas, maybe my better judgement or the haunting words from friends drifting in and out of my every thought kept me from running. Headed off to spend another day with my Mom and we headed out to Valley City for their annual Frog Jumping Event and then onto Medina for a craft even they had going on in the square and followed that up with a very nice lunch at Miss Molly's Tea Room.

Monday the 11th. Spinal Block day. For those of you who have not had the "pleasure" of going through this experience and wonder if it hurts. Yes. Yes it hurts. Ok, well actually the first two injections were just that, they felt like getting a shot with a long needle. Then came the third injection -- ouuuuuuuch. Ok, we were done with the right side, not so bad (but mind you the majority of my pain IS NOT on the right side). Onto the left side. First needle, think I may have actually yelped a little...and the conversation went something like this: the doc, "did that hurt?... me, "um, Yeah I Felt IT"...doc, "You know why that hurt?"... me, "Yes, because you just stuck a needle in my spine!"... doc, "That is where your problem is"... me quietly to myself, "NO SHIT". Second shot, not so bad. Third shot, I felt my reflexes kick into my left leg and think my entire body jolted up off the table: the doc, "did that hurt?"....me, "YES, THAT HURT". The doc's preliminary diagnosis, "arthritis and no running... me, "oh, ok I can't run the 5k on Sunday, ok well I can just walk it then"... the doc, "no more running".... me, "WHAT?, you mean never? But (long pause) what???"... the doc, "why do you want to run, it bad for knees"...me, "because I like to, it makes me feel better"... at this point both the tech and the doc stop what they are doing and just stared at me...me, "ok, well other than this current back thing it makes me feel better". At this point the doc sent me out of the room into a recovery room and I just sat there completely dazed. After a few moments he came over and asked me about running and I told him I need to run, I may not be fast or run for long but I need to run. After some hesitation on his part he told me to call him Friday and let him know how I am doing and he'll decide if I can give it a try on Sunday, but if not he will come up with a plan for me to run....eventually.

I go back in two weeks on the 25th for my 2nd set of shots and then depending on how things go, possibly a 3rd set two weeks after that.

There is so much going through my mind right now...damn a run would feel great about now, just help sort some of it out...is that somewhat ironic or what...anyhow all I can say is --- Ugh... and try to remain positive.



2 comments:

duchossois said...

I am so sorry about your back problems. You're dealing with it as well as you can, and I admire your ability to stay positive.
I got angry when I read that your doctor told you 'no running'. I was glad you challenged that. I want to hear what he says on Friday. I've heard from many runners that they were given similar advice. It seems that doctors who are not runners themselves tend to say 'stop running' without much consideration, because it is the easy and safe advice from their side. If they don't advise against running, they might be blamed (or even sued) for not saying it. So the safe thing is to just tell you to stop running, then they are covered.
I'm not saying that there aren't times when that is the correct advice; I just think you need to challenge it, as you are doing, to be sure you are convinced it is right.

Sunrises: You are right. I started riding my bike to work a couple of days a week, and one of the serendipitous benefits is that I get to see some wonderful sunrises.

EbethS said...

Graham,

Am so sorry you are in so much pain, hopefully the spinal block is working. Just like you I never realize how much running is a part of my life, is really the way I work things out.
Hopefully, you can get back to running soon even if just short distances for now.

Good luck and take care of yourself.