It has been a month, in more ways than one. First, it has been a month since I posted. I knew I wasn’t going to have the time or energy to post much, but I didn’t mean for it to be an entire month.
Then, it has been A month. I had another episode with my back on the 16th, the anniversary of dad’s death. Again, it was when I bent over to tie my shoes and couldn’t straighten back up without severe pain. Then it hurt just to stand or walk for about an hour. Surprisingly, it did feel better when I sat in the car to drive to work and wasn’t horrible the rest of that day.
I talked to the chiropractor, and we decided it was time to get an x-ray. He wasn’t expecting anything major to show up. Since I would have to pay out of pocket if he ordered the x-ray I made an appointment to go to an orthopedic clinic. I was actually able to get one for the next day. (My insurance will pay for it if a “doctor” orders it.)
I got an x-ray in the clinic before seeing the orthopedic person. Turns out I have pretty severe scoliosis – a 33 degree curvature, and degenerative disc disease. He said it is possible that a brace they have would help, but he has found that people don’t wear them all the time like they are supposed to, so they don’t work. He was not at all optimistic. He didn’t tell me I couldn’t run, but he didn’t think that running was a good idea. He also said that I needed to start walking with a stick, in case my knee gave out – which it never has, and that I would probably wind up stooped over and shorter. He just printed out some exercises for me to “try” and gave me a prescription for a steroid pack and muscle relaxers. I was not impressed with him and cancelled my follow up. Instead, I made an appointment with someone else who was recommended for runners. I don’t see him until Feb 1, which is the day dad would have turned 90 years old.
The steroids and muscle relaxers did work over that weekend and the pain went away. I haven’t had to take the muscle relaxers since then. My back is mostly tight, with a little pain here and there.
Since he did say he didn’t think running was a good idea, I have taken it easy. I have run a little since then, but mostly walked. I am doing the back exercises that the chiropractor had me doing – most days. I don’t do them if I feel pain, but do try to stretch instead. The one’s the ortho gave me were basically the same. That adds about 30 minutes to my routine, so on days that time is limited a mile walk is about all I can manage. I have played tennis 2 or 3 times and that doesn’t seem to make it any worse. Running doesn’t either, but both may in the long run. I’m just not ready to give them up. Like my mom said, “If you can’t run or play tennis, what are you going to do for fun?” I’m sure if I have to, I can find something, but those are my things right now. I’m hoping the new ortho will be a bit more comforting.
On the positive side, Christmas and New Year’s Eve and Day were okay. Of course, they were a little subdued without dad, but better than I expected.
Saturday was the one year anniversary of my open heart surgery. To celebrate, I had intended to run 3.65 miles (for the 365 days it had been), but I ran out of time, so I walked one mile total for warm up and cool down and ran 2.65 miles, so that I traversed a total of 3.65 miles.
Today marks a year of my streak, except for the one day I had the stomach flu. It really motivated me to do something on days that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I am planning to keep it up until I reach the day that I had the flu, May 9th, to make it a true year streak and then decide if I want to continue it or not. It still blows my mind that I got to come home from the hospital after just three days and one of those days was surgery day! I know I am blessed beyond measure.
I’ll try to post more often, but no promises about every day. I may just try for days that I actually run or something interesting or “important” happens. We’ll see how it goes and modify as needed. Flexibility is important.
I hope you all are doing well, and the beginning of the new year has treated you well. I’ll try to catch up with you as time permits.