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?

What A Difference A (Few) Days Make

Remember how I was trying not to get too freaked out about this?  Well, a few days of rest, and a few days at the gym, and I think I’m back to where I should be.

Yes! Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes!!!!!

Yes! Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes!!!!!

I’m still giving it another week before I run again, but in the meantime, I’ve been hitting the weights.  HARD.  Like post leg day penguin waddle hard.

leg day waddle

Yep. That’s me.

I even busted out my dinosaur of an indoor bike trainer and cranked out a few miles in my sauna of a garage, while watching the final stage of the Tour de France.  I like to be inspired by all the muscley legs and overpriced fancy wheels.  Unlike this bargain basement beast.

She may be ugly, but I love her.

She may be ugly, but I love her.

I’ve even busted out that byatch of a foam roller at PT Pam’s advice, and as always, ice is my constant companion.  Isn’t it amazing how much better a mindset you can have with just a little bit of reduction in pain?  Even if you’re scaring your mutt with words coming out of your yap that would make a sailor blush in the process?

Excuse me, WHAT did you just say???

Excuse me. WHAT did you just say???

The plan for the next few weeks is to keep working the beejesus out of my legs, get back on the road again, and start building up that mileage.  S-L-O-W-L-Y.  I’ve got 102 days until Wine and Dine so I can’t go TOO slowly, but I’m not going to risk injuring #brokeknee part II before I can get it fixed, hopefully a few days after Wine and Dine.  Maybe by then, I’ll have actually paid off #brokeknee part I.  A girl CAN dream after all….

debt

If I haven’t already bored you to tears with the snail’s pace of my post-surgery shenanigans, hang in there.  I promise to litter my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds with all kinds of silly, feather-brained, muddle-headed miles.  (I have no idea what muddle-headed even means, but it sounded good.)  And who knows?  Somewhere along the way, I may even find that running doesn’t have to hurt quite so much as it has in the past.  Not really sure what to make of that.  Hmmmm….

hmm

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever found that a little rest and NOT running actually HELPED your running?  How long before you felt truly comfortable back on the road again?  Have you ever cursed so much you made your critters blush?

Setbacks: A Study in Patience

Of which I have none.

impatient

So here’s the dealio.  Just as I’m about to break up with PT Pam, #brokeknee decides to act up.  BIG time.  I’d been pushing my speed for short bursts during my last few runs.  If for no other reason than I haven’t been able to do any speed work for years.  Yes, you read that right.  YEARS.  Soooo, last Monday at my PT session, PT Pam puts me on the treadmill.  Where, once again, I say to myself, “Self?  Let’s see what you can do on this horrible thing, shall we?”  Now, knowing the speed on the dreadmill is WAY off in comparison to the pretty little numbers I’ve been seeing on my trusty GPS, I kept hitting the speed plus button.  And hitting it.  And hitting it again.  All the way to that lovely point I lovingly call the death pace.  You know the one.  The speed where lead legs kick in, stitches stick in your side, and breathing is a long-lost, fond memory.

C'mon Bridge, we got this.

C’mon Bridge, we got this.”

I had that blasted machine going faster than what it was telling me, and I started to suspect I hadn’t moved my dupa that fast since I was about 12.  But, I managed to keep it going at breakneck speed for a couple of minutes.  As I kicked it back for a cooldown, I started feeling a bit of discomfort in the spot.  You know. The SPOT.  The one started all this aggravation many, many, many moons ago.

Later that night and into the next day, that old familiar ache was back.  And I was PISSED.  When I went back to PT Pam a couple of days later – for what was SUPPOSED to be our big breakup – I was still pissed.  She figured I’d aggravated my….wait for it…..IT BAND.  (Cue dramatic music here).  You know what I’m talking about.  The same no-good IT band I thought was the source of all this crap for the past few years.  Yeah….THAT one.  I swear sometimes I’m cursed.

Angry bird's got nothing on me.

Angry bird’s got nothing on me.

All that bitchin’ aside, I’m happy to report the ache has subsided quite a bit, but my first run back beachside wasn’t nearly as pleasant as I would have liked.  Thank goodness the hubby ran with me.  (I don’t think he realizes how much he pushes me just by being next to me.  And that is a very good thing.  Just don’t tell him, I wouldn’t want it to go to his head.:)

I’m trying to take all of this in stride – no pun intended – and stop all the crazy thoughts of here we go friggin’ again – from racing around in my already overloaded, game-show-dollar-machine brain.  I’m yelling “plot twist!” and changing up the game for a couple of weeks.  I’m headed to the Keys in a few weeks and there’s no way I’m NOT running in that tropical paradise.  In order to get me there, the game plan will be all about biking, swimming, and walking.  I’m still going to breakup with PT Pam tomorrow, but I feel good about it.  Especially since I can do all the exercises on my own, and have pulled out and dusted off my trusty little muscle stim machine and foam roller.  Oh, and did I mention hitting the leg weights?  HARD?  If there’s one thing this runner chick has learned, it’s to embrace the sweat, pain, and tears of the cross-train.

leg day toilet

Any words of encouragement would come in pretty handy right now, so feel free to share any interesting, inspiring, little ditties of wisdom.  Or you can just yell at me to quit my whining and get my ass back in gear.  You wouldn’t be the first.  If you happened to be peeking in my bedroom window yesterday you would’ve seen me doing the same thing in the mirror.  BEFORE I called the cops about some creep peeking in my window.  But thanks for the good intentions.  Creep.

Enjoy the ride.

What inspiring words of wisdom do you have for a friend in need?  Are you the arm-around-the-shoulders type of or more the Jillian-Michaels-scream-your-head-off type?  What do you respond to more?  Are you a fountain of patience or ready to ram your head through the door after a minor setback in training?

#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 3

Or…

Dear God, Please Make It Stop.

praying otter

pleasepleasepleaseplease

Since I know you’ve been just salivating for more details of the Black Dog Surgery Shenanigans (here and here), let me allay your fears of not knowing how this cliffhanger ends.  Well, you kind of already do, but let’s just pretend I’m not really telling you this.  Yet.  I think.  Damn, now I’m confused.  Hmmmmm……

Anywho, when we left off last week, Nurse Claire had hooked me up to the happy juice and the hubby was making fun of my comparing it to shots of tequila.  (Made TOTAL sense to me.)  So now that the feelings of anesthesia-anxiety had quite dissipated,  I was pretty much up for whatever came next.  I do however, remember telling the hubs to make sure he took care of the furball.  You know.  Just in case Mama Dawg didn’t make it out alive.

Worried Calypso1

You’re leaving me with HIM?!? He doesn’t rub my belly every night Mom!!!!

After I don’t know how long, because, you know – happy juice – Nurse Nancy came in to whisk me away to the OR.  It was like getting wheeled into the Overlook Hotel.  Minus the creepy dead twins.  And the Big Wheel.  I think.  Happy juice, remember?

overlook

After what seemed like miles, Nurse Nancy finally turned into the suite and all I could think of was, “Look at all those friggin’ machines!  Where the heck is the guy gonna stand to cut me open?  THEY’RE ALL ON THAT SIDE OF THE TABLE!”  And then I happened to notice the anesthesia guy.  (Who just may or may not have been a total cutie patootie.  I’m leaning towards total hottie.  But then again, how hot can one be in one of those ridiculous hats?)

So after scooting off the bed and onto the table, cutie patootie threw an oxygen mask on my face, walked over to my IV, and said “this is what’s going to put you to sleep, okay?”  I got as far as saying the OH part of okay, and was out.  And I mean OUT.  Out as in I don’t think I’ve ever slept that great in my life.  No dreams, no nightmares, just good old dead OUT.  Not unlike this guy!

zzzzzz,zzzzzz,zzzzzz

zzzzzz,zzzzzz,zzzzzz

The weird thing about going out like that, is you wake up just as fast.  All of a sudden, I open my eyes, see a friendly face working on a computer next to my bed, and quickly deduce I am now in Recovery.  (Freaking brilliant aren’t I?)  Let me tell ya, the recovery unit in that hospital is Union Station at rush hour crazy.   I think it was only about an hour after Nurse Nancy had come to get me, so The Man #2 had certainly cranked through his portion of the program, and now I was happily back in Happy Juice Land.  All I remember is I kept lifting the blanket to see this huge dressing on my leg.  I just couldn’t comprehend the fact the surgery was already done and over with.  I must have had a giant goofy grin on my face and said something typically ridiculous, because I soon had not only my recovery nurse, but the one in the next curtain, laughing hysterically.  Because that is WHAT I DO.

FUNNY-FUN-FUN.COM

A fast hang time in recovery, and back to post-op we go.  Back to the anxiously awaiting hubby. (Not so much. Man found himself a tap-room across the street.  I would’ve been seriously disappointed had he not).  A pair of crutches and a comical attempt at trying to get my street clothes back on later, and I was OUTTA THERE.  Being the tough chick that I am – okay, maybe it was just the leftover happy juice talking – I volunteered to take the stairs.  One look from Nurse Lindsay, followed by a “yeah, don’t think so girl”, and into a wheelchair I go.  The lobby was only one floor down but let me tell ya, happy juice and elevators can be a lot of friggin’ fun.  A LOT.

wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

So endeth the tale of Black Dog’s Surgery Shenanigans.  My only conundrum is I really hope I didn’t say anything too embarrassing to the cutie patootie anesthesia guy when I was out…

Up next: Black Dog Recovery Shenanigans.  Stay tuned!  You know you wanna!

 

Enjoy the ride.

Let’s hear them!  I know somebody out there has a funny happy juice/anesthesia/recovery room story.  Divulge state secrets while you were out?  Unknowingly flirt with any surgical team cutie patooties?  Wake up with a strange phone number on your dressing?  C’mon….you know you wanna tell me!

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?