Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting Injured Sucks -- Let Me Tell You Why

So yesterday was a normal Tuesday. I got up, I brushed my teeth, washed my face, brushed my hair, put it in a ponytail, got dressed, put on some deodorant, ate breakfast and took X-man to pre-school.

After I dropped him off I headed to the gym where I did a 10-minute warm up on a stairmaster. Then I did some universal weights and some ab/back exercises that I've been doing in physical therapy ever since the ugly words "Degenerative Disc Disease" and "arthritis" came into my life last week.

I was feeling great. I was limber, pain free and mobile. So I went to All Body Conditioning from 9:35 until 10:10 a.m. The whole time I was at the gym, I burned around 600 calories, per my HR monitor.

Then I went to an hour of physical therapy. I was active and happy the rest of the day. The Flooring Surfaces people were back at my house doing a stellar job on the backsplash in my kitchen. MacTroll and I ran out to Carter's (both in Champaign and in Urbana) and checked out some new sofas. I paid bills. I continued going through books and toys to donate and to keep for the CARE fall SWAP.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night. Maybe it's because I let X-man sleep in my spot on the bed and went to the guest room. I don't know. All I know is that I was awake -- and aimlessly on the internet. I kept closing the laptop, putting it down and waiting for sleep to take over. 30 minutes later I'd open the laptop again. The dishes were done, the laundry was done, X-man picked up his toys...

Then this morning I had two icky occurrences. 1) I had a bad contact lens issue. The kind where it feels like the lens is, I don't know, sideways or upside down or poking you with pins and you can't get the MF thing out and 2) My back was stiff.

I got dressed like I was going to go to the Balance class (which works on things like my back's stability issues) and Body Blast (30 minutes of interval cardio followed by 30 minutes of weight training). I'm always stiff in the morning lately, so I popped my Aleve and headed down to breakfast.

When I sat down to my bowl of oatmeal, I felt a pull. I sighed. It was going to be a sucky day. I've been having 4 good days and 3 bad back days each week ever since the middle of June. On really bad back days, I walk, however long I can, stretch and ice my back. Sometimes I need 2-3 walking bouts in order to burn just 400 calories (my average is usually 600-850 per day). On normal "bad back days" I usually mow the lawn or walk for 60 minutes. I'm slower than normal, but I don't feel like my spine is unstable when I do it. On good days, I can do what I did yesterday and live life like I have no diagnosis.

The PT and the ortho doc both said to keep moving, but that I shouldn't do any movement that hurts. I'm eyeing my two mini, mini tri races coming up (the park district fun one on August 7 and the Try a Tri in Toronto on the 14th) without a glimmer of hope that I'll be able to participate. I don't care about times. I'd even walk the two miles of the running part without any problems. But there's this sinking feeling in my chest when I see other people running -- like my friend just moved away. And I notice the response I've been having is by eating more and by not sticking to my fiscal budget... you know, good old emotional eating and retail therapy.

I'm sad about it and really pretty pissed off. But then again, maybe today's mood has a lot to do with the lack of sleep last night. Since I'm sitting here with ice on my back and my legs elevated, maybe I should try and take a nap and see if it puts the world of "OMFG, my back isn't moving when I am, and it feels like it's being held together by a string that's about to break" into perspective.

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