Monday, February 21, 2011

Curse Dark as Gold

A Curse Dark as GoldA Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The beginning of this book started out well enough, but about half way through I lost all interest as the main character kept making stupid decisions and her actions were largely unexplained. I had to force myself to finish this one. The author did wrap up all the loose ends, but it almost seemed as if she were as tired of writing it as I felt of reading it...

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Back Updates

I am blogging this morning from my treadmill. Yes, I am happy and relieved to report that the cortisone shot did what it was supposed to and reduced all the inflammation in my back muscles, and within three days reducing my pain to a virtual non-existence! That stuff is like liquid magic! I did walk and swim easy the next two days after the shot, and I think that movement and circulation helped the medicine work faster. I'm also hoping that it is helping the tear on my disc, which was what was causing a lot of the pain. I have promised to take it easy and have been walking and swimming everyday, and will wait a solid month before I even think about running again. There are some decisions that need to be made on that front- a marathon is no longer in my future because of my susceptibility to further injury. I also need to figure out what will work out in the long run (no pun intended!) and if (what) short distances are okay, and how often. I don't want to be in debilitating pain 30 years from now because of the choices I make today. But I won't bore you with those details. I spoke to my doctor and he said that what I am feeling now is normal muscle feedback, and everyday I marvel at the ridiculously easy movements that no longer cause me pain (like drying my hair, picking things up off the floor, kissing the tops of my sons' heads). I can even drive to work and hop out of the car without first unfolding myself and biting down waiting for that first flash of pain! I am a normal person again! That said, I am still super cautious about proper form and posture during my daily routines and workouts. I have no desire to get stuck back on the floor again! And that my friends, is the latest scoop. (And hopefully this makes some sort of sense since it's difficult to edit while walking and typing on my phone! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cortisone Shot

As promised, here are a few updates on the health of my back. First, this past week has been one of the worst. I had to leave work early on Saturday because the muscles in my lower back wouldn't stop spasming. I laid low all weekend, but to no avail. By Tuesday, all I managed to do was crawl to the bathroom and then spent the rest of the day on my bedroom floor. I didn't drink anything all day so I wouldn't have to go. I know. Awful. But I had my fancy phone and a couple books to keep me company. By Wednesday however, I was up and walking again and actually felt better than I had since Friday last week! I guess all those days on the floor were the necessary rest my back needed. And today's news: The Big Day of the Cortisone Shot! I have been waiting a solid month and a half for this day to come for the relief and healing this epidural can bring. Basically it is an injection to the injured area of steroids and medicine to help reduce the inflammation and begin the healing process. I admit, I was a little nervous about the procedure this morning, but it turned out to not be that bad! There were two needle pricks (getting blood drawn is worse), and then the injection of the lidocaine and cortisone. That was strange- took 4 or 5 minutes total- there was a lot of pressure as the good doctor slowly injected the medicine. Then the nurses had me sit right up and walked me out to get changed. My butt was numb, and my legs down into my feet, but that went away after a couple hours. He said I'll probably be sore for a day or two and it could be up to a week for the cortisone to take full effect...

I swam every day for the past two weeks (not this week, obviously), but have not run in almost a month. Which I promised I wouldn't do until things start feeling better. I've also been doing "press-ups," as my physical therapist calls them, which is basically laying face-down on the floor and going into a half-extension downward dog position. Hips stay on the floor, drop your shoulders and look up. Bent elbows- also on the floor. That should help the bulging disc go back where it's supposed to be. Don't know how much help or hindrance that causes on the herniation though (I'm just imagining the vertebrae pinching that disc- but then so does sitting and about everything else, right? At least I'm helping something!). I am determined to take things slow- walk in the mornings and swim in the afternoons. The swimming has been the biggest help, by lengthening the muscles and gently stretching them, but with no impact. And I do get a workout so I don't go absolutely stir crazy! :) Even if it's not the same as running~

So that's my news! Hopefully I'll have something else to report in a week or so...