Full Circle. Almost. Again.

In the last installment of Black Dog shenanigans here, we left you on the edge of your seats, (just work with me here people), waiting to see how the latest attempt at post-surgical recovery/rehab shenanigans was moving along.  My angel-winged running neighbor had recommended this GUY, who, as it turns out, has proven to be the man.  As in THE Man.  As in, after more than two years since all of this #brokeknee crap started, has actually been able to, ya know – FIX MY SHIT – and get me running kind of like a normal running person does.

elmo dance.gif

I’ll make this short as I know your attention span isn’t any better than mine.

Wait.

What?

Was I saying you something?

Oh yeah.  Running rehab shenanigans.

Anywho, this GUY, not only shoved a finger in that lovely area known as the piriformis, which was immediately followed by a string of cursing the like has never emitted from my goody two shoes yap –

incredulous-owls

Lady, you’re not fooling anyone.  Stop embarrassing yourself.

– but within about 10 seconds had figured out what was actually broken THIS TIME.  Say it along with me kids…

“Since you’ve got a completely shut down broke ass on your right side, your left side has stepped up to the plate, tried to do the work for both sides, and has now decided it’s had enough of this malarky.  It’s sending you the message, with all due respect, to go eff yourself, it’s tapping out.”

Well now.  That’s pretty…..specific.

What’s a frustrated runner idiot girl to do?  Get to work of course.  On BOTH sides of dear ol’ broke ass.

get back to work.jpg

The next few weeks consisted of such insanity as hip and glute strength building, cursing at my new BFF Torture Tony, Elastigirl-like stretching sessions, more cursing, zapping, icing, resistance band exercises I have to determine the validity of or if Torture Tony was just effing with me, more cursing, and oh yes….running.  Remember running?  That bastard of a sport that started all this nonsense in the first place?  That activity over which us runner idiots types have no power to ignore, like a mythological siren’s song?   Yeah, that one.

Jackass.

crying runner.png

After sweating and swearing through four weeks of visits to the GUY and Torture Tony, I was as ready as I could be.  I tried to ignore the knots in my gut that kept telling me…

Too bad you didn’t find these guys a year ago.”

You haven’t run further than 9.5 miles before your leg implodes, you know.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“There’s a big, fat Ghiradelli sea salt dark chocolate bar in the freezer.”

“Could you possibly be any more undertrained for this if you tried?”

“You’re an idiot.”

“You’re going to have so much kinesio tape on your leg you may get mistaken for a mummy.”

“Have I mentioned you’re an idiot?”

Next up, the final chapter.  Thrilled this painful journey is almost over aren’t ya?  It’s okay.  I understand.

resting-bitch-face-dog-3

Seriously. Killing me.

Enjoy the ride.

How long have you given a new type of therapy before giving up on it?  Have you ever had to apologize for swearing at your doctor?  Did you find the therapy got a bit more “intense” after unleashing on him/her?  Do you have cute pet names for him/her?

Full Circle…Almost

We came, we saw, we conquered.  Sort of.

wine and dine

So.  We meet again.

If your attention span is in any way even minutely better than mine, then you would know what a big deal this year’s adventure to the Wine and Dine was going to be.  This is going to take a while – and a few episodes – so sit back, grab yourself a nice fat ‘rita, a couple of ice packs, and maybe hook up that TENS unit for a bit.  Because gawd knows my attention-deficient brain won’t be able to hang in there long enough to get through the entire adventure in one shot.  Besides, cliffhangers are more fun anyway.

After #brokeknees Part 1 and 2 finally came to an end – almost – it was time to get on that training train again and start pulling on the whistle.  ‘Cause DAMN, those miles weren’t going to run themselves.  It was time to grab those pretty new pink ASICS and get to work.

After having my “less damaged” knee parts fixed a year ago, (for those of you new to the nonsense, that’s #brokeknee Part 1 in last April AND #brokeknee Part 2 last November.  Because just one knee surgery is never enough), I was over the whole –

a.   You’re not getting any younger so it may take longer to heal

b.   Can’t you just do something else?

c.   You really shouldn’t run, it’s bad for your knees

d.  You need to stop running immediately  kind of moose poop.

(Thank you runner friends for completely GETTING me on this crap).

hug10

Every time I’d think I was FINALLY getting somewhere, something else would go to total crap.  Lessons learned?  Hoka One One’s are NOT knee friendly for this girl.  Next one?  Never settle for just one opinion.  Lesson three:  sometimes being a concrete head (as the hubs often calls me:), can come in damn handy when you have no intention of throwing in the towel.  The biggest lessons I learned?  Husbands and Wonder Mutts can be your biggest supporters, and chiropractors fluent in the language of Active Release Therapy are worth their weight in GOLD.

After what was yet even MOREIAMSOSICKOFTHISDAMNFRIGGINPAININMYKNEES setbacks with my training, I was at my wit’s end.  I had gone back to embracing the Galloway run-walk-run method, was only training two days a week, and fully acknowledged the fact this race would have to be all about finishing the distance and not about the time.  (Or so I at least tried to convince myself. #concretehead).

Then an angel happened to flap her wings in my general direction.

I have a neighbor friend who is as obsessed about running as I am.  The difference is she is actually really good at it.  REALLY good.  She’s a few years older, (falls into that dreaded Masters category), and has consistently finished in the top three at every event she’s competed in.  She’s fast, strong, and could pull off the cover of any fitness magazine WITHOUT any photoshopping needed.

And suddenly found herself riding the injury train right alongside me.

Did I mention we’re good friends and like to share?chagrined_chimp

As my neighbor buddy didn’t really blame me for my need to overshare on the injury front, she did the kind neighborly thing and told me about THIS GUY she had been going to who was doing some really cool stuff to fix her very own case of #brokeknee, including such neat stuff as TENS acupuncture, gua sha, and compression icing.  Photo updates from her visits quickly became a source of “holy crap, that looks….interesting”, “he’s doing WHAT?!”, and a few “what the hell is THAT?!” comments.

Now, being a complete victim of FOMO, I had to get in on this out-of-the-norm rehab action.  The bad thing?  The doc’s office was entirely too geographically undesirable.  As in an entire county and way too much traffic insanity away.  However, said doc worked with another awesome GUY who did the same kind of stuff and had an office in a much more geographically desirable location.  (Insert happy Black Dog dance here.)

seinfeld happy dance

Stay tuned for the next chapter of “WTF is Really Wrong With the Parts and How We’re Finally Going to Fix Them”.  It’s a nail biter.

Seriously.

My literary non-talent has Wonder Mutt gnawing hers off as we speak…..

resting-bitch-face-dog-3

You’re killing me lady.

Enjoy the ride.

 

Have you ever refused to give up when injured?  Have you ever explored “alternative” forms of injury rehab/recovery?  What were they and did they work for you?

What To Do, What To Do

Well, after a two-week running hiatus – AGAIN – I hit the road this weekend.  And it SUCKED.  Like somebody please just shoot me and put me out of misery sucked.

I am NOT happy.

I am NOT happy.

Let me bore you with the deets.  Rewind back a couple of weeks to one of my last physical therapy visits.  I hit their dinosaur of a treadmill and hit it hard (here).  After that, the knee was feeling a bit wonky, so I laid off for a couple of weeks.  I was still working out my legs on the machines, getting my miles done on the stationary and recumbent bikes, and even dusted off my trusty bike trainer.

Hello beautiful.

Hello beautiful.

Should I have laid off the lower body work altogether?  I don’t know.  But when the hubby and I headed out for an easy two miles, I thought Ronda Rousey was still fighting and landing karate chops to my the top of my #brokeknee.  It was actually a little worse than right after the first time this popped up post-PT dreadmill day, but I also knew it would eventually calm down once I had warmed up.  Not completely go away, but at least get tolerable.  Fast forward to about a mile and half, and without even really thinking about it, I picked up the pace a little bit and finished up relatively strong.  Then back home, on ice, stim, and good old Tylenol.  Not that it does a thing to alleviate the pain.

ouch flynn

Herein lies my conundrum.  Both PT Pam and the surgeon said I can’t screw up what he fixed, so that makes me feel a little better about my current state of affairs.  The first two runs back before the PT dreadmill incident felt GREAT.  So great I was hitting paces I hadn’t seen since high school.  Now, it’s worse – at the run’s start – then it was when all this #brokeknee crap started.  Is this just residual whatever left over from the dreaded dreadmill incident?  Have I messed up something ELSE now?  Is this just my knee’s way of saying, “I’ll let you get back to it, but not before I remind you who’s REALLY running this running show?”  I guess the only way to figure this out is to keep running and see what happens over the next couple of weeks.  If it doesn’t back off, then I just may try a few laser therapy visits.  AGAIN.  I am just SO sick of APPOINTMENTS.

nope grumpy cat

No more damn appointments. Unless Moose Tracks is involved.

I’m just going to hang in there and see what happens.  To be completely honest though, I am a bit S-C-A-R-E-D, but I’m trying to fight that off and not have a total freakout over it.  Any clouds of healing pixie dust you may have just hanging around, please feel free to throw it to any Florida-bound winds.  It would be very much appreciated.

Please?  Thank you!

Please? Thank you!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this four months post-surgery?  Any advice for a mildly freaked out runner girl?  Am I just overthinking this or do I just need to calm the heck down?

#KneeGate 2015: The Adventure Continues

It’s been a while since we checked in on the progress of #KneeGate2015, so let me regale you with an update.  Because I KNOW you’ve just been loving the cliffhanger that has become the Tale of the Broke Knee.  Haven’t you?  Come on, you know you have….

Tellmemoretellmemoretellmemore!!!!!!

Tellmemoretellmemoretellmemore!!!!!!

So here we are, just shy of six weeks post op.  And let me tell ya.  This girl, THIS girl, is my new hero.

PT Pam, meet Black Dog world.  World, meet PT Pam.

PT Pam, meet Black Dog world. World, meet PT Pam.

In the past three weeks, with her expertise, patience, and the uncanny ability to not go off the deep end when I ask her every five minutes, (literally, EVERY five minutes), “sooooooo, can I run yet?”, PT Pam has gotten this stubbornass, stiff, achy #brokeknee to start acting like a knee should.  Bend more?  Sure.  Straighten all the way?  No problem.  Lift some weight again?  I gotcha.  It’s like she’s some kind of friggin’ miracle worker.

No, not that one.  BETTER.

No, not that one. BETTER.

If it sounds like I’ve got some kind of hero worship going on, I DO.  Three weeks ago, after a very, let’s say, disillusioning, visit with the surgeon, my attitude wasn’t the best.  After a few visits to PT Pam the Miracle Worker, this Black Dog brain is in a much better place.  MUCH better.  Like rolling in vats of Moose Tracks and margaritas kind of better place.

That's the one.

That’s the one.

This mutt has her dupa back in the gym, back on the bike, banging out baby squats, (who knew there was such a thing?), and fighting the urge to take the mph on the treadmill just a little bit higher.  I’m not quite THAT stupid.  Well, then again….

Okay, so I'm an idiot.

Okay, so I’m an idiot.

If it were not for the fear of screwing things up for this year’s Splash and Dash Wine and Dine, I might have just pushed it a little too far, too fast.  Then again, there’s always the very possible, very REAL fear of a Kellie beatdown.  Or getting beat over the head with one of Nicole’s oars.  Yeah, I’m not THAT stupid.  Usually.

Hmmmmmm.....

Hmmmmmm…..

In the meantime, my constant harassment of PT Pam shall continue, I’ll keep pushing the limits of my pain level, and I’ll keep looking at that date on the calendar.  You know the one I’m talking about.  Come on now kids. Say it with me.

Ommmmmmm........

Ommmmmmm……..

 

Enjoy the ride.

Ever found yourself chomping at the bit to get back to the road before being cleared for it?  Did the fear of re-injuring yourself keep you in line?  Have you ever dreamt about taking a running leap into a pool full of margaritas?

And We’re Off! Part 2

We now return to our regularly scheduled program……

On the last installment of Black Dog Freaks Out (here!), we left as I was about to start raking my nails down a chalkboard if it was only to get someone to notice I had been sitting in the outpatient surgery waiting room for OVER AN HOUR.  Me.  Over an hour.  In a hospital.  Patient I am not…

impatient kitty

After robbing me blind and not even saying thank you – amazing how quick they are to take your money, isn’t it? – I was FINALLY called into pre-op.  And given THESE oh-so-fashionable garments to change into.

hosp clothes1

Completely jelly, aren’t ya? Yeah, you know you are….

Being the impatient guy that he is, the hubby decided to do some pre-op recon.  And came back with the bad news.  I was number 8 of 12 surgeries The Man Part 2 had scheduled for the day.  Eight.  EIGHT.  (No wonder these guys are rolling in dough.)  That place was a darn processing plant – get’em in, get’em out.  I had expected I wasn’t going to be back home any time soon, and I have to say that once things really got going – chat with the anesthesia doc, start getting goofy on the meds my pre-op nurse gave me, and, oh yeah, having to listen to the lady in the next curtain puking her guts up – yeah, THAT was pleasant – it didn’t take long to get the party started.  And to accompany me on my trip into La La Land, an NCIS marathon.  Score!

Oh Gibbs, you're such a looker.

Oh Gibbs, you’re such a looker.

And what pre-op festivities are ever complete without the requisite stupid hat photo-op?

Say cheese!

Do these come with Mickey ears?

Then again, we started getting all kinds of crazy when Nurse Claire turned up the happy juice.  You know what I’m talking about.  The stuff that makes you all loopy.  The best part was I could feel it hit my system, and as it did, I started comparing it to shots of tequila.  And providing said tequila narrative to the hubby.  Who apparently thought it was absolutely hilarious.  So much so that he recorded it on my phone.  Which shall never be aired on Black Dog Airwaves.  Ever.  EVER.  You’ll just have to live with a live action shot of the happy juice.

"Nurse? Is this Patron or Don Julio?"

“Nurse? Is this Patron or Don Julio?”

Since I know you’re all at the edge of your seats, like all good authors, I’m going to leave you there.  Yes, my sick, evil, twisted brain is going to keep you guessing until next week as to what happened next.  SPOILER ALERT: Girlfriend made it out alive.  But you know that.  Obviously.  Because my readers are THAT smart.  And have great blog taste.  And that’s why we love you.

nomnomnom

nomnomnom

 

Make sure you tune in next week for the final installment of “Black Dog’s Surgery Room Shenanigans”!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Did you ever think I could make the interminable wait of pre-op so entertaining?  Have you ever partook of pre-surgery cocktails?  Were they top-shelf?

And We’re Off! Part 1

When we last parted ways I believe I was undergoing the fully expected pre-surgery freak out.

scary cat

All that kept spinning through my head was that stupid documentary I had watched umpteen years ago about people who had undergone anesthesia, but it didn’t work and they felt every.single.thing.  With my luck, I was going to be one of those freaky few whose anesthesia didn’t take and I was going to be seeing, hearing, and feeling EVERYTHING.  AAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

freaky sponge

(SPOILER ALERT: Out like a light.  Took all of about a nanosecond.  Didn’t feel doodlysquat.)

Back to our regularly scheduled program…

Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to eat anything after midnight the night before, the hubs filled me up on cheese, tortellini, and of course, a nice bottle of Cabernet.  Because he’s awesome like that.

Oso1

After finishing up the evening’s gut-busting with a bowl of vanilla ice cream mixed with dark chocolate pieces – go ahead, it’s okay to drool, I won’t tell anyone – it was time to face the inevitable…..girlfriend had less than 18 hours to go before the surgical shenanigans were to begin.  Yeah.  YOU try sleeping with THAT hanging out there.

can't sleep

Oh Homer, you are right on buddy.

When we return, I’ll take you on the laughable journey I like to call, “Black Dog’s Adventures of Arriving at the Hospital Early For Absolutely No Friggin’ Reason Whatsoever”.  On the next installment of “And We’re Off!. Part 2.”

Can’t hardly contain your self, can ya?

be-excited

 

Enjoy the ride.

How were you able to sleep the night before your surgery?  Did you sleep better with some Cabernet, Merlot, or a Sauvignon Blanc?  Mint chip or Rocky Road?  Did it work, or was it an exercise in futility?  If you had to have surgery, how do you think you would be the night before?

And The Results Are…..

….not in.

Yeah…..soooooo……remember when I said I was dreading what The Man was going to tell me when I went back to see him about my knees?  Well, I’m still not really sure exactly WHAT happened.

Huh?

Yeah, that was me.  Pigtails and all.

I think a lot of this is my own fault.  I’ve had right knee issues for SO long that I almost don’t remember what it’s like to NOT have pain.  After Wine and Dine, when pain suddenly showed up in the LEFT knee, I figured that was the one I better bring up first when I went in for my appointment.  Now, I DID make sure to tell The Man that both these freakin’ things have been a pain in my dupa – so to speak – but the left knee pain was a newer occurrence.

After doing exactly what he told me to do – and pretty much doing nothing that he said I shouldn’t, the left knee is feeling decent.  Not perfect, but decent.  The original pain in the ass right one though, well, let’s just say I am NOT a happy Black Dog.  Or Nemo either.

mad nemo

I am one pissed off clownfish.  No joke.

After a lot of blahblahblahblahblahblah, I just busted out with a I HAVE A HALF MARATHON IN NOVEMBER.  WHAT THE FRIG DO I HAVE TO DO TO BE READY FOR IT??!!  I knew I was in trouble when I was pretty much answered with the same look as Boo.  Then things got interesting when I heard I may be able to run 2-3 miles for the rest of my life.  ‘Scuse me?  What was that?  2-3 MILES???  ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR EVER-LOW-MILEAGE MIND?!?  I hate to point out the obvious Doc, but 2-3 miles ain’t 13.1.  Or 26.2.  DUH.  I think that was about the time I busted out the S word – no, the OTHER S word – and he knew I was no longer riding the Downtown Train on the Conservative Treatment Line.  Thanks Doc, but this girl is derailing this ride.  With glee.

Heeeeeere's anesthesia!

Heeeeeere’s anesthesia!

Not just yet though.  First, it’s a return trip to MRI Land to check for a meniscus tear – which, let’s face it, we’re 99.9% is NOT the case.  Simply because that would be too simple a fix.  And I never do ANYTHING simple.  EVER.  Then it’s see what the radiologist thinks, see what The Man thinks, and then possibly see what The Man’s partner thinks.  There was mention of possible microfracture surgery, but I’m pretty sure there’s another, much less scary sounding option out there.  Which I only mention as another runDisney fan-friend of mine had said alternate surgery done and was back to running after eight weeks.  And get this – he had THE SAME EXACT DIAGNOSIS AS ME.  Plus, why should my sister be the only chick in this family with bionic parts?

Whaaaatttttt?????

Whaaaatttttt?????

So, as the saying goes, we shall see.  MRI Part Two is tomorrow, and we should have the radiology report sometime next week.  Then, who knows.  Stay tuned.  This could get quite interesting.  Or ugly.  Or just plain downright hilarious when I really go off the ledge.  Jumping.  And screaming hysterically.  Wearing a cape.  Because I will just have to disagree with Miz Edna this time around.

Yes, Edna, yes.  Capes.

Yes, Edna, yes. Capes it shall be.

Enjoy the ride.

Have you had to make a decision about surgery that you weren’t 100% positive about?  How did it work out?  Any regrets?  Did you say anything embarrassing while you were knocked out?  What was it??  Tell me!!!  I won’t tell anyone, I swear!