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Monday, August 25, 2014

Yes, things are actually looking up. And cross training.

I don't think it's a fluke. My hip is feeling better. I might be imagining it, but the clicking and annoying slipping in and out of the joint (not dislocation, just subluxation) seem to have decreased. The pain is still there, but it's less noticeable. Stupid mistakes, like catching my foot under a creeping vine, result in an "Ouch!" and a wince, not day-long shooting pains. My hip flexor is still killing me, but somehow it seems less distracting, and I get the impression that my femoral head is finally healing, losing that hypersensitivity. So, hurray!

Meanwhile, I'm just cross training. Sort of. I have to admit, I haven't done much. For one thing, I had a lot of restrictions early on. For another, I've been trying hard not to overdo it, and for that reason, I've been hesitant to do very much.
Since I have PT two days a week, I only have five days with time to exercise at all. I've been dividing my time amongst the four options open to me:
1. Pool jogging. I have gone several times, since I was allowed to start as soon as I was off crutches. It's fine, but I never feel like I get a good workout. Plus the last time I went, I was leaning against the edge of the pool stretching before I started, and my eye was an inch from a crack. There were two little twitching hairs sticking out of it...until I realized they were the tips of the antennas of a giant palmetto bug. Haven't been back...coincidence???
2. Elliptical. I was allowed to start the elliptical a few weeks ago. I've been....once. Yikes. I just don't love the elliptical! I get bored, and I don't like watching TV (unless it's a sports game I'm interesting in). I don't mind reading when I exercise, but while I can read on a stationary bike, I can't on the elliptical. The movement is too up and down.
3. Biking. I could ride the stationary bike very early on, I think even the first week. I couldn't add resistance until week 8, though, so it was a little pointless. Once I got cleared to ride a real bike, though, I started doing that most mornings. I enjoy getting outside for a little while, and I really missed Audubon Park. I'm lucky to have a bike lane to the park and safe biking in the park, even exiting the park up onto the levee for two miles (there is construction blocking the rest of the path on the levee, or I could go all the way to Baton Rouge. As it is now, I can do four mile loops a few times!).
4. Weights and strength training. I should be doing this anyway, right? I've been doing weights or strength of some sort about once a week. I usually do one or two core routines, plus some upper body stuff.

Besides that, I also do some home PT at least once a day. I try for twice, but I can't always fit it in. Overall, while I have definitely lost a lot of fitness and I'm sure all of my endurance, I still feel pretty strong. My muscles didn't atrophy as much as I expected, and now that I have more options open, I should be able to get back in shape with time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I own bras with pockets!!

Well, I'm pretty excited. I received two more Coeur bras last week! I asked for them to surprise me and got these two patterns:
I would be nervous about wearing white bras around, but see that black lining? Absolutely no see-through happening. I really like that. I also, as I have babbled on about before, adore the bra pockets. And I don't think I pointed out fully the extreme usefulness of these pockets: there are actually two. See? The large one (it's made up of white and black fabric and is a good 4 or 5 inches wide) and the small one (sewn into the lining, but on the inside, so chafe-free - perfect size for a gel). I can imagine myself using the larger pocket for gloves or something like arm-warmers, and the small one for a key or a gel. 

Cutest part of the order: I got a sweet personal note. My hip still hurts, but encouraging notes make it immediately better. 
Now I just need to get better so I can WEAR some of my new clothes. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm such a tightwad.

I sold my prison.

Yep, people bid on used medical equipment. Gross.

(This has been a big selling week for me. I also sold my vacuum on Craigslist. It's a fabulous fancy vacuum but I have two area rugs and I just never use it. It's too big and heavy. So I sold it for $50 and bought a new tiny light vacuum for $55, the same kind I have at work and love - I just wish I would have broken even. Stupid taxes.)

What's the weirdest thing you've bought used? I've purchased open paint before. Art supplies are expensive, and these weren't dried out and were someone's failed hobby for super cheap.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five things Friday

Whatever, I'm tired this week.
1. Sunday night I went grocery shopping and filled up the fridge and freezer with milk, whole chickens, shark (it was on sale, woot!), and various dairy products. On Monday morning the refrigerator died. Love how that happens.
2. I have a new pharmacist at work. This is the NINTH pharmacist I've had in three years and a couple of months. Am I hard to work for?
3. Apparently Robin Williams was closer to some of my friends than their family members. I have really never seen anything like the outpouring online and in person for this man!
4. Ever since my scrape with Steven Johnson's Syndrome, I get red, raw patches on my fingertips whenever I fill prescriptions for Bactrim DS. I guess some powder from the drug puffs upward as I count and settles on my hands, and apparently I have quite the reaction to it now! Work hazards. Too bad I fill prescriptions for Bactrim about 20 times a day.
5. I hired a new bedside delivery tech a few weeks ago (yeah...see #2) and she says, "Ta-ta!" whenever she leaves the pharmacy. Now I find myself saying, "Ta-ta!"

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Things might be looking up

Around about week eight post-op, things started sort of looking up for my hip. It's still too soon to say (I'm only at week nine now!), but I feel like I've made several large improvements all at once.
1. The painful tugging and catching on my hip flexor has lessened enormously.
2. The sudden stabbing pain has gone away.
3. My recovery from bad days is much faster: I can go to sleep in a lot of pain and wake up pain-free.
4. And I actually have a "pain-free" - sometimes there is no pain at all.

I still have a lot of problems, too - namely,
1. Catching and clicking inside the joint.
2. Pain with adduction combined with extreme flexion.
3. Hip flexor pain
4. Sensation of hip "falling out" of socket

But big changes for the better? Awesome. On Sunday I was able to walk the 3.2 mile park loop with David and didn't feel any pain except some hip flexor complaint when I extended too far. And that was after walking around at Dirty Linen all night on Saturday.
I don't know if improvements are because of something I did, or they just came with time, but I have been stretching a TON more lately. I bought a stretching strap, and at PT we've been pretty much yanking the joint everywhere. We aren't really stretching the muscles themselves (except the hip flexor, which continues to be a problem), but we are stretching the joint itself, trying to clear the hip capsule of scar tissue. I do feel a lot better after a good stretch, so I think it is at least a contributing factor.

I'm feeling a little more positive about the situation now. Who knows? Maybe I'll make big improvements and be able to ease back into running in the fall. I still have that as my goal.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dirty Linen and a tourist trap

Last week? White linen. This week? You get to rewear it at Dirty Linen, which is another art show held in the Vieux Carre (Next week is Filthy Linen, held on St. Claude).
But I didn't re-wear my white, since it practically disintegrated in the wash thanks to my coffee attack and subsequent bleaching.

I wore a  blue strapless dress with clogs to dress it down (I do not know why I am all posed in this picture; I suppose this is the kind of embarrassing photo I should quietly delete, but it's my only full-length pic from the night. I was actually trying to get my clogs in the picture!).

And large amber earrings, also to dress it down. Nothing says, "Not fancy!" like big, cheap jewelry. That's actually I have worn these earrings to dress down more than one outfit. I would have worn my hair down but it was too hot.

After the art opening (which was uneventful; I only saw one new show I liked, although it was excellent textile work by an artist who claims her name is Kim Pterodactyl), we went to Tujague's for dinner. It's a tourist trap, so we've never been there, but we gave it a chance since
1. It was in the area
2. It had a $35 pre fixe "Coolinary" menu
3. It's the second oldest restaurant in the city, and it almost went bankrupt this year and turned into a T-shirt shop, so we felt a responsibility to support it.

So. It was a tourist trap, as assumed. We had reservations and were on time, but the maƮtre d' made us wait ten minutes while he consulted a Post-It note full of names he had "concealed" in his palm. When we were seated, the service was rushed, and we were squished between two obnoxious bachelorette parties - plus, the dining room was frigid. It was probably 64 degrees, if that! Maybe lower.
Our food was tolerable. My entree was good, but the scallops were over-salted. And Davids swordfish was flat-out overcooked, no way around that. It was okay, but in New Orleans okay gets you nowhere! And David would definitely have sent the fish back, except for the temperature in the dining room. We were so cold we just wanted to get out! Lesson learned: Stay away from tourist traps. Stick to the locals' favorites!

Monday, August 11, 2014

A look at some Couer clothes...

Remember that time when I said I was going to be a Coeur Sports ambassador? Of course you do! Because all you've seen since then is me winning races in Coeur gear, swiping up age group prizes in Coeur kits, and finishing 20 milers with nary a Gu chafe thanks to ample pockets in Coeur clothes.
Or you would. If I hadn't torn my hip labrum and had surgery. And the part about winning races. I made that up to spice things up a little.

Anyway, I actually received my Coeur kit right before going in for surgery and was thrilled to try it out, except that apparently I can't figure out my sizes at all and had to send everything back. Now, as it turns out, Couer was adjusting some sizes based on feedback, and I missed that memo. So with the adjusted sizes, my advice is - it runs true to size. But since I realized that too late, I sent everything back for the right size (FYI they have a very comprehensive returns policy).

And then I haven't worn anything, because I haven't been doing much more than sitting on the floor flexing my quads (that was actually my first PT assignment). But I took some pictures, so let's do a little look-through:
Shorts and top in "Fleet Foxes" design and bra in "Chinese New Year"

There are two pockets in the back on the shorts. The fabric of the shorts is kind of hard to describe - more stretch than most running shorts; kind of like bike shorts material but lighter. 

The back of the top has a reflective logo for safety.... Oh, and "fleet foxes" isn't just a pattern name - it's made up of little foxes!


There it is, right in the middle, almost unnoticeable (very smoothly inserted). So useful for gels and keys. Love this feature. More reflective logos on the bra, too. I love this pattern, not only because it is NOT NEON (I am so sick of neon), but because it's great for modesty. No see-through in this fully lined, patterned top! 

And I got this soft and comfy sleeveless shirt for post-race changes! 
Now, I would love to review the gear, but I can't. Haven't used it, woe is me. But I'm saving it for my first runs back after this surgery to give me something special to look forward to! But until then, do check the site out: this is actually a company that respects athletes, supports charity partners, asks for feedback, has a good blog, and makes clothes in the USA.