I’m a Naughty Little Cheater

I did a potentially bad thing that turned out okay today – I actually ran a little. Just a little. And it didn’t hurt one bit. Well, the ankles got a bit sore but nothing in the abdomen gave me any trouble.

I feel like a bit of a cheater though, because technically I really shouldn’t start running at all until the 6th week is complete, and today is just the beginning of the 6th week so one might say it’s a bit soon. However, I think I am basically healed up. I haven’t even seen so much as a drop of blood in almost 3 weeks, and never anything more than transient pain (gas, I think) for about as long, so I can only think I’m probably close enough to where it’s probably okay.

I started my treadmill workout with 5 minutes of brisk walking, then ran 1 minute, very slowly. No abdominal pain and no ankle pain either. So I walked 4 minutes then ran 2. Still no problems. Then I ran a bit faster for 3 minutes and walked 3. No problems with the abdominal area but the ankle started feeling sore, so I just did it one more time, for a total of just over 12 minutes. I think the running averaged about a 12 minute pace, so if I had to guess, I’d say I probably ran about a mile. Then I walked for the remainder of my workout for a total of about 3 miles.

Depending on how I feel, I may or may not try this same workout again later this week. I have a PT appointment for my ankle on Wednesday – I might try it again that day and Friday. I just have to take it day by day and see how I feel.

Oh, and by the way this is not even the dumbest thing I did in the last few days. I went with my husband and kids to the baseball diamond where he was going to work with them on some batting skills, and we all basically forgot that I had even had the surgery. I swung at a couple of balls and had no problems. It was on the 4th swing that I realized what I was doing was probably not all that smart, and on the 5th swing I realized it was in fact downright stupid. My body, in particular my belly button, gave me a heads up that I was being an idiot. So I went and laid down on the bench while the boys finished up. No problems since then – woke up feeling great today. Thus my decision to give running a go. If I was gonna tear a hole in myself, seems like it would have happened yesterday. This is what they call justification.

So yeah – I’m a cheating cheater who cheats. In my defense I do feel that recovery from this surgery is highly individual and I think I must be on the faster end of the spectrum. Probably because I was in good shape going into it – I really feel like I have bounced back pretty well. It didn’t feel like it for the first couple of weeks, but once things started to turn for the better, they really turned around quickly.

But anyway, all in all I feel like my recovery is going very well, and it continues to appear that the limiting factor in my return to running isn’t the surgery at all, but the ankle injury. Which it’s probably good I have that ankle injury or who knows what stupid thing I would try to do to myself next!

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Better Every Day

Every time someone asks me how I am feeling since my surgery, I tell them I feel better every day. It wasn’t true at first, but it has been true for the last couple of weeks since I started back to walking at the gym. I am at 5 weeks today and am really feeling strong now. I occasionally have odd twinges of soreness, but for the most part my surgical stuff is not causing me any pain.

If only based on my recovery from surgery, I think I would be getting back to running pretty quickly. Unfortunately, the tendinitis I developed back in January is still bothering me.

Since I’ve already tried giving it a couple of months of rest and doing some rehab exercises I found on the Internet – a course of action that hasn’t quite worked- I decided to stop futzing around and actually go see a doctor about it today. He basically agreed with my Internet diagnosis of posterior tibial tendonitis, and recommended 2 more weeks of high dose Ibuprofen three times daily, some PT and some orthotics, and then see where we are. He also said I need to go back to Brooks when I go back to running as the Asics I switched to are probably not a stable enough shoe for me. Honestly, I can feel the squishyness of them so I definitely think it could be the shoes are at least partially responsible.

Anyway, If there’s no improvement in a couple of weeks, then we will do an MRI and possibly refer me to a podiatrist.

The good news for now is that he felt that I didn’t seem to be in enough pain for a stress fracture to be very likely, and that tendonitis was very consistent with what I told him about my training. A lot of mileage added quickly is a pretty textbook way to give yourself tendinitis, which I knew. What I didn’t know was how fast it would go from “no problem” to “big problem”. At the time I knew I was adding miles pretty quickly but had just hoped to get by with it for a few weeks. Obviously, I miscalculated. Lesson learned, I guess.

Factory parts no longer under warrantee

Been pretty quiet on the blog lately, I know. I’ll rectify that situation now and give a brief update. But look out – I’m gonna be all old and talk about my health problems. Worse, I’m gonna talk about my lady parts.

The upshot is, the factory warrantee on my lady bits is about to expire. About the time I stopped posting, I started having some female problems. More specifically, I had the recurrence of some problems I had managed to keep on the back burner for the last few years.

A few years ago (2010), I had been having a lot of heavy bleeding between periods, which my doctor at the time kind of dismissed as being no big deal given that we knew I had some fairly good size fibroids. Her attitude was kind of “well, you have fibroids. Bleeding happens.”

I wasn’t satisfied with this answer though because up to that point, it hadn’t been happening to me. I knew that the fibroids had been there for years and never caused any abnormal bleeding before. Why did they suddenly start bleeding now? That didn’t seem right to me, so I asked her, how do we know everything is normal? She basically said, we don’t know, I am just making certain assumptions based on your age and general health. You don’t fit the profile for uterine cancer, but would you like me to test and make sure?

I said yes so she did an endometrial biopsy. And found that I had complex endometrial hyperplasia – which is not cancer, but can develop into cancer in some cases. She prescribed a round of progesterone and assured me that they could probably make the condition reverse and my bleeding would stop being an issue.

It didn’t work. I was referred to a gynecologist. Two more rounds of progesterone, more tests and still no improvement.

This time (early 2012) I was referred to a gynecological surgeon. The first words out of his mouth were – I think you are at high risk for this to develop into cancer given that you don’t fit the profile and aren’t responding to the usual course of action and I recommend hysterectomy.

That scared me. I had just adopted two high energy little boys and basically felt that my home situation was not under control enough to where I could consider anything that would incapacitate me for more than about 5 seconds. I wasn’t ready to take that step. So we decided to try some last ditch efforts to keep my factory parts. He prescribed megestrol, a high dose progesterone pill that is given to cancer patients to fight endometrial cancer (which I did not have, but I did have a precancerous condition so it was an appropriate treatment).

I also had to have a D&C. At the end of this, it appeared that the hyperplasia had finally been reversed and so I was able to avoid having the hysterectomy at that time. Instead, I was put on the Mirena IUD to provide a constant localized dose of progesterone in hopes that this would keep the bleeding issues at bay. Mirena actually stops periods completely, so after a few months I wasn’t supposed to be having any bleeding at all – not even my period.

It worked for a while but in early November, I had a period after not having had one for over 6 months. So once again, things were not responding as they are supposed to. And honestly, at this point I am just tired of worrying about this. Who wants to have the big C hanging over their head? I don’t have it now – and I don’t want to have it at any point in the future. I don’t really want to give things a chance to develop to that point.

So now is as good a time as any to take care of this. My life basically feels under control, I know my kids will be okay and that I will be okay, there is no reason to continue having this scary thing hanging over my head. I’m healthy and want to stay that way. So it is coming out in early March. I am just ready to be done with it.

How this ties into my running is, that since I don’t know how I will recover from the surgery, I am trying to get in as much running and exercise as possible before the big day so that I can be in as good of shape as possible beforehand. I am hoping this will make the recovery easier. It’s supposed to be laparascopic and minimally invasive, but still there will be some down time and recovery involved.

I have some goals I am working toward (partly to make myself feel better about this situation). I plan to do a half marathon at the end of January, and just did a 12k on December 15.

Some of my other plans for 2014 are on hold though – I won’t be doing the Heroes Half in April. I should be walking and maybe doing some short distance running by then, but 13 miles is right out. So running wise, I expect that I will spend most of next Spring and early Summer in recovery, and maybe if all goes really well, I can do a half sometime in the fall.

I will have to be careful though. They say you only get one chance to recover from this so I plan to take it easy and come back slowly. But until then I plan to run as much as I can, as fast as I can, until I can’t.