Journal April 2012 Starting to dream about the road back!
April 1 Sun Reading an email received from an older runner friend, Doug Malewiki. He has a road biker friend who was in a bike accident and has been in a coma for 3 years, I can’t even imagine how friends and family are dealing with that, gotta be really hard. I guess in retrospect my 2 month coma was not really as bad as it could have been and for that I am very grateful. One of the upsides I did not get to experience the hurts of the pelvis surgery, broken leg, and other scraps and scratches. Today I walked 1 ½ miles in 46 min and then ¼ mile on treadmill in 5:21, about 20:05 min per mile pace, the way fastest I’ve done. But I am winded!
Tues April 3 Really tearing it up today, walked 2 miles in 1:10. I think it was my fastest time yet and not really too tired. Hit the wrong button on my Iphone and lost all my times, damn! Wish I could find my Garmin 310, just don’t know where it went. Maybe this summer I can get another so I can check my heart rate.
Have no clue when, just sometime June? 2011 at a Snails run. With my wild hair and still with my walker!
Heidi and I did another ½ mile and Bella and I did another ½ mile for a total of 3 miles for me today, and not wiped out! Bella did pretty good considering that was it was my first walk with her since before the accident. Maybe in a few weeks when she is more walkable I’ll take her out more.
Hip is a bit tender today, most likely from the PT with Trevor yesterday, he really worked on the hip and the 3 miles today may have contributed a small bit to the soreness. But it is a good ache and I earned it.
April 5, Thur Tinnitus is quieter today, hand feels better, head is on a bit straighter so it might be a good day. Especially if I can get Austin to run me over to Fullerton Hearing to get a new aid for my right side. Really don’t like wearing them but if I want to hear something it is a must. Between not seeing as good as I used to, being a semi cripple, and not hearing well, well, it’s not really how I want to be. But if I can participate in 5 and 10ks, easy trail/walks run I’ll be happier. To be really happy I need to be the old runner me. Since it’ll probably not happen I’ll have to never stop working to get better. Sure gonna work hard at it.
Took Bella for ½ mile walk, her first ½ miler and, hopefully, first of a lot of walks She really had fun and I set a new time record for me, 1:04. Beat the old record of 1:10 and the other record of 1:22. Dropped about 18 minutes, wow, that is making progress. I can actually look over my left should a wee bit while walking and not feel woozy. Forget about the right side since I can not really look back. But I can at least turn my head and kinda look over my right shoulder. Really would like to brag on FB about my little triumphs like the walks but I really need to wait.
Did PT exercises tonight and they’re a bit easier. Laying on my back, pulling my knees to my chest, sort of!, I find the right hip hurts a little but that is expected. Not expected is the pain in my left thigh from the sciatica nerve and really cannot do much stretching at all, hoping that with time it’ll get better. I have noticed the sciatica pains and leg spasms at night have diminished to nothing within the last several weeks. I like that!
It’s Friday! Yipee! Really should be but Bah humbug! Really have no reason to celebrate Fridays anymore– can’t drive and have to depend on someone to get me everywhere, Bah Humbug!! Guess I’ll do some pt exercises and maybe Sal can get me to pt later today. Austin would miss out on going to the beach with friends so Sal is it, if he is available.
Kristy, the acupuncturist I saw earlier this week made me an interesting offer. She knows about the accident and is willing to not bill until there is a settlement. I really like her and her staff and she seems to really know her stuff, she did not make any promises but was guardedly optimistic. Beats the heck out of Dr. Folmars office where the staff and office sucks and a 1 ½ to 2 hour wait EVERYTIME. Told her I see one doctor tomorrow and I have my deposition the 18th and I’ll talk to our attorney at that time.
Today is Easter and probably a good time to review where I have been and where I’d like to go. About 13 months ago I was just waking up from my 2 month coma. It took many weeks and a lot of hard work before I could even use a walker, more weeks of work to use a cane and finally I can walk without a cane although I do use one for longer walks. A hernia and a MSRA infection really set me back about 4-5 months on my recovery and physical therapy. I’m really pissed about that but what can you do? Just move on!
I have to admit things are much brighter now. I am walking up to 3 miles once or twice a week, doing my PT exercises, and even thinking about this summer when, or when everything is settled, and I can really start pushing myself to get back to the real me. Maybe we can order the sauna, the Ellipitgo bicycle, and I can jump on the treadmill or exercise bike and really start working on my speed. Don’t have a recumbent exercise bike yet but we can get one whenever Nancy decides she’d like to have one. Everything combined should really let me kick some proverbial arse.
We had the family over today and we all enjoyed a great meal, thanks to Nancy and her hard work. Nice seeing all the family again. After every one left I cleaned the pond skimmer, pump and biofalls for the first time. Really would like to rebuild the stream and add larger rocks to the pond this summer. It’ll just look a lot nicer with some larger boulders and I’ll definitely need some help. Last year I would done that all myself but now it is out of the question.
Late Easter evening: I was trying to psych myself up for a 1 mile walk over to Hillcrest Park and as I was walking up the alley I decided I was too tired and not really in the mood. Ended up doing a ½ mile which is my flex goal. Even though I was tired the first lap was not too bad and the 2nd lap was better. Tomorrow I might get ambitious.
Oh, one of the things I did while a Snails President was to institute an awards program for runners for almost anything. It be could a personal record (PR) in a race, first marathon, 10k or whatever, something that one would brag to your friends about it. The Snails Pace now has done that two/three times since I left office. I personally think it is a great idea, especially for beginner runners, it seems to be a great motivator.
Monday April 9: Just returned from the pelvis doctor and…. not really good news, some of the pelvic area is becoming calcified and that MIGHT be a problem with mobility or pain. The cure is worse than doing nothing as it might/will leave a big void where the calcium was. Damn, I just wish my body would just heal and be done with everything. It seems to really like doing the calcium buildup thing, elbow, shoulder, pelvis, and ???? I just wanna get healed and with no complications. I am so tired of this crap.
Posted this on FB several days ago: “Such a nice day, hate to waste it by doing nothing when I should be out for a long trail run. At times like this I like to reminisce about the companionship, the many races, trail races and runs, and beers, I’ve enjoyed these last few years. Like the Unknown 50K put on by Charlie Nickell , all of the Camp Bluejay races, the Camp Pendleton Mud Runs and many more. Maybe sometime I’ll be out there doing some of wee ones.” I really did not put out a timetable, just said “Maybe sometime “ So far there’s 13 likes and several positive comments. That’s a good morale booster.
In lieu of ½ mile walk tonight I opted for a ¼ walk on the treadmill in 9:30 min and, and I did not use the handrails once. I finished the last 3 min at a 2 mph pace and was tired and winded, balancing is hard work.
April 10, Tuesday Today was quite a day. Walked 2 miles then took Bella out 1 mile and then Heidi another mile for a real total of 4 miles today. I am tired but not wiped out so I suppose my endurance is better. Still need to do some PT exercises later on and I bet there’ll be some good sleepin tonight.
Can’t wait till I can start entering 5 and 10ks and doing DFL lots. Did Finish Last and if you’ve a potty mind DFL can be another sayin. There’ll be no doubt there’ll be a cheering section just for me. Probably need to start 30 min or an hour early since I am so slow. Slow enough that I’ll have to speed up just to stop.
I did get a new hearing aid for the right side today and supposedly it might help with the tinnitus, we’ll see and I do hear better. Probably should have done this months ago, oh well.
I am so tired of my feet being numb, it always feels like I am walking on rough crushed gravel, no fun. Hopefully, the acupuncture will alleviate the numbness somewhat. Kristy might be able to help me with the challenges of just sitting on a hard chair. I think I may getting to the point where any kind of promising treatment sounds good. I’ve always been the skeptic for lots of things and I see no reason now to blindly rush into something. The due diligence will continue to be done and I might be tempted to try something like stem cell therapy or whatever if the cost is not too bad.
April 11 Wed. So glad I got my long walk in yesterday, today is cool and semi rainy. Not sore at all from the long walk yesterday and that is good. But, I really need to do lots of PT exercises in a few minutes.
Exactly one week till the deposition. Really lookin forward to it so we can really start getting this all settled. Not much for me to do to prepare since I really do not remember anything at all, nothing, nada, zip. So if I am questioned about the accident all I can say is “I don’t remember.” I will read over everything I’ve written for the last few months just to refresh my memory. I’ll have to remember not to volunteer any information, just stick to the question even if is just a “Yes” or “No”
I have lots and lots of time, good thing I really can’t do anything otherwise I’d surely be in trouble up to my eyeballs. I do, occasionally have one beer and I don’t do more than that because of meds. Each mile I walk, I think, burns approximately 100 calories. Each beer is about 150 calorie so I need to walk a 1½ miles to burn off one beer. My normal weight is of about 155-165 pounds and been that for years. I used to run about 20 miles a week and occasionally would hit 40/45 weekly. If I ran 85 miles monthly I’d burn off 8500 calories or 2.4 pounds each month and there’s about 3500 calories per pound. That could allow me to enjoy nearly 57 beers per month. Of course, I really never had that many but it sure does sound good right about now. Once I get off all my meds so my upcoming 8–10 miles weekly would allow me to enjoy a couple of beers guilt free. Probably a good thing I am on meds so there is a bona fide reason not to enjoy alcohol otherwise there might be times when I might over indulge!
First time in weeks that leg spasms kept me up and for way too long. Tried playing on the puter for an hour at 3am and that did not help. Finally I got cold enough to snuggle up in the warm bed and drifted off.
April 13 Friday We have a big Jacuzzi tub upstairs and I finally took a decent hot bath for the first time this year, felt really good. Since it is upstairs and I don’t really care to go up the circular stairs since it is harder than regular stairs. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll move back upstairs but for now downstairs is suiting me just fine.
I really don’t feel bad, just don’t have the ol’ get up go I used to have, especially today since it is rainy, windy, and cool. Occasionally on a nice day the bug will bite and I’ll venture out for a long walk. I’m really starting to have lots of empathy for those unfortunate souls that do suffer from a debilitating disease or accident. I am extremely fortunate in that at least I do have some mobility, can get around on my own two feet, kinda!, and I don’t really have a constant hellayius pain. Oh, I do hurt, I am stiff and not very flexible, but some of it is sloowllyy getting better. That is why I like going to therapy, it really helps and there is someone to talk with.
The do something bug gave a teeny bite today, shampooed the upstairs bedroom. Not really much to clean but it did give me a good workout, need lots of good workouts. Took me less than 15/20 minutes and I’m done for the day.
Today is really rainy and lots cooler and I seem to be…don’t know, more stiff than usual and more blah. The grey, cold, and dreary day is probably not real conducive to a smiling me. I don’t like being blah, just not me.
My day did brighten considerably: Micki, my oldest daughter, is letting me borrow $2,000 to help pay for the sauna. I have some money socked away in a big piggy bank and with the $2,000 should have almost enough to pay for it completely. I’ll call Wed to see if they have any demo units available at a better price. I’ll wait till the deposition is over and really would like Mick to have the money for just in case for car repair or whatever. Decisions, decisions!
Damn, I just wish something of me would heal completely. Hand, leg, feet, shoulder, getting head screwed on straight, I don’t care what so long as it is something. The tinnitus is really bad tonight and I really don’t feel with it at all, blah. I don’t feel bad, just not even close to me. My ankle seems hurt more bothers me more tonight. Sometimes, often? I even don’t like walking, feet just feel really funky. As soon as I talk with Ron I will go an appointment to see the acupuncturist, it may actually help something and surely will not make things worse. About the only thing better lately is that the hernia is healed and the MRSA is no more but all that was the result of the pelvic surgery and we know why that happened.
Really thinking it would be a good idea for Dr. Folmar to do a little surgery on the elbow just so I can have one part of me on the right side that works pretty good. Just looked at my appts and his is not till Aug. I do remember being in the rest home and could not use my right arm at all so Micki shaved me several times. Had to eat left handed and I would make sorta a mess almost every time, depending on the food. With lots of time I have gotten so I can do almost everything with my right hand. Shave, eat, put shirts/jackets on with no problem but it took months to get there.
Need to be getting ready for a native garden tour next week at one of my customers in Monrovia. We put in a 40 ft long pondless steam and waterfall with a 1,500 gallon RainXchange system (a system that captures rainwater for landscape and other uses) and a killer landscape lighting. It was a total makeover and we planted a big native oak that is awesome. The whole yard is native and wow good. We’ll have lots of fun and hope the weather is decent. Really don’t need to do much especially since Cliff will do most of the work. I’ll let him get any jobs we may get since I cannot do any kind of real work right now and he has bailed me more than a couple of times with my own customers.
April 15 Sunday Spent all day Saturday over at Wynesta and Steves place for their Native Garden Tour. Cliff and I talked with lots of people. Many had already been to other houses and most thought our landscaping was one of the best on the tour. I put a lot of time into that project and in the last 1 ½ years it really has matured and now looks fabulous. It’s always nice to see a landscaping project turn out really well. But… since I have not been out in the sun much I ended having a really red face last night, not too bad today and just a bit tired.
This is what I used to build: streams, waterfalls and ponds. Fun and hard work and I do miss it.
Damn, Nancy was telling me last night how much we are paying in federal and state taxes. It is a fricking’ lottttttt. Not sure how we are going to pay for that, Nancy will probably have to take more out of her IRA and she’s already spent, I think, about $23,000 out of pocket for medical stuff for me. She’s even going to run our taxes separately to see if that makes a difference. I know I did not make very much at the beginning of 2011.
Tinnitus is really bugging me tonight so I am not real happy. It seems to be more of a whinning noise today, yuk! Think I might try a long walk tomorrow and see how I feel. Might take Heidi out too and Bella, I might try to do a short walk with her. But I am concerned about going out too far or too long since my deposition is Wed so I might just do the block several times. And I do have PT tomorrow evening and don’t want to be wiped out.
April 16, Monday Damn tinnitus is still there but not too very bad, been worse but has been a lot better at times. Just got through doing some pt exercises and I still feel so puny and weak, I know I am a bit stronger but it sure does not feel like it. Ankle is bugging me today, and hurts, but I am lucky in that it could be lots worse. And my right forearm is a bit funky too, kinda like it starting to be numb.
It is an excellent day for at least a short walk so I’ll take Heidi out for a bit and then Bella. Don’t want to do too much since PT is on the schedule for this evening. I did sign up for a free seminar/dinner for neuropathy. Just curious is there anything for my feet/ankle. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Since this is free I really can’t lose.
Oops, PT is Tuesday and Fri this week because of the deposition. So I might do a longer walk today. So I did take Heidi out. Sunny and quite warm and actually sweated a bit and that did feel good. But I feel like I just ran a hard trail race and as I think about it, maybe the walks are these are harder given my current condition and not nearly as much fun as trails. Gotta do them if I want to get back to a semi- me.
I am tired but really want to do sometime constructive but too restless to take a nap. I did trim a small bit of ivy and roses before the battery conked out. Not sure if I’d been able to do much more. Dang, no like this! I did finally get enough energy to take Bella for a 1 lap walk. I almost feel like if I hit the bed I’d fall asleep in seconds but I won’t.
Another random thought: I’d only been awake from the coma for a couple of days when Nancy told me I a had 5 ½ hour pelvis surgery. I looked at my hip and said “Where’s the bandages?” She said “You healed while you were in the coma.” I’ll probably remember lots of little bits and pieces like that for the next few months. Oh, another one: When I first woke up and started therapy my right leg simply would not straighten. It was as though I was sitting in a chair and the leg was bent 90 degrees. It took many months and lots of pt but now I can nearly extend it completely straight, just a little more I will be there.
Just looking back at when I first started walking the ‘block’, it took me up to 14 or 15 minutes to make one lap. Now I am consistently around 7:30 minutes, some slower and some a little faster.
Wed April 18 Today was interesting: gave part of my deposition about the accident. Mostly talked about my medical condition since the accident and just a little about biking and running. The defense attorney thought I was a big time biker and I am not, just a average joe blow that does a little mountain biking for fun and a little cross training, lots more into running. That probably helped our case just a little and I’ll take all the help I can get. Anyways I did not have to expound too much on my condition since they have everything anyway. We were there for about 3 hours and our attorney was ready to knock off for the day before I said anything I should not say and I was started to get just a little tired. Don’t know when we’ll convene again. Ron, our attorney, does expect a bit of fight but we’ll get to that soon enough and hopefully there will be a settlement by June/July. Heck, if the settlement is right, I’ll settle yesterday
I am soooo sleeeeepy but it is waaaaayyyyyy too early for bed, only 6 pm. Need to wait until at least 9pm before I conk out. I guess getting up at 6:30 is part of the problem and maybe my go juice from the deposition is running out. Think I’ll eat the rest of my burger and have a cup of soup and make me really sleeeepppyyyy.
Heidi can be such a pest but a fun one. She has a favorite cloth snake that she carries around a lot and loves to retrieve it. I can now throw it overhand with my right hand, not very far or very well. Several months ago I just could not begin to throw overhand so it is a tiny bit of progress. I look at everything that is hard for me to do as a bit of physical therapy, like putting dishes up or reaching for something up high. I do lots with my right hand even though it might be easier with my left hand.
Thur 4-18 Took Heidi out for our usual walk and just barely our fastest time. Later I took Bella and she pulls and pulls to the right just a little. She could be better but could be a whole lot worse. I think I am over, or mostly over my wussiness, I think can walk along a busy street and do the crosswalks w/o any problem. I did have real concerns for a long time.
It’s not the amount of years in your life that count, it’s the amount of life in your years!!!! Stole that from a FB friend!
Just remembering when I was in the hospital a year ago and I could just barely turn to either side, I needed to use the handrails to turn just a little. Even when we had the rental hospital bed it was still much the same. It’s only been in the last few weeks could I comfortably do a 360 turn. Now I can even lay flat on my stomach and not have my shoulder or elbow yelling at me! I can even bend over enough to somewhat comfortably tie my shoes. For months I had to put my right foot up on something to get to it.
Sat April 21 Just realized my tinnitus has not been too bad for a couple of days, Yea!!! Did my 2 mile walk w/o Heidi and was 4 min slower L But still I remember when I first got on the treadmill and 1 mph for 5 min was all I could do and now, almost I can do almost 2 mph for an hour in a real walk.J
Speaking of walking, I totaled the miles thru April 21st and I have done 26 miles total, WowJ
Instead of Gatorade, I’m making homemade electrolytes with Agave syrup, a tiny bit of salt, lemon juice and it seems to work just fine. Lots cheaper than store bought! From what I’ve read, a hell of lot better for the body than Gatorade.
Sunday April 22 Today might be a good day for bitchin bout myself since it is a grey cooler funkyish day. My ankle hurts and seems to really yucky. I might see if I can get a compression sock on, I seem to have a little bit of swelling. Vision in my right is virtually all gone, I can see a tiny bit but is worse than useless. My hip is apparently not happy about the walk yesterday but I might try to go to another longer walk just something to do since Nancy is going to work and then see Kay, her very long time friend. And to heck with my hip. Tinnitus is still at bay, yea!
I did ½ mile walks with Bella and Heidi one at a time and then, then set out for another 2 mile walk. Did it in 1 hour flat, and fastest time yet. Guess it’s the ol’ runner in me seeing how much faster I can do something. For a very long time I really did not try to go faster but just really to be fairly consistent on longer runs. Now I want to get down to a 20-22 minute mile and I know it’ll take a long few weeks/months to get there. Once there, I don’t have a clue other than work on my endurance, really want to do 5 and 10ks. The biggest hold back at the moment is my ankle. When I walk even a little the ankle seems not to like that worth a damn and wants be swollen for revenge, crap!
I really want to drive by the end of summer. My head seems to be on a little bit better, finally! and the foot, well, we will see if I can drive a bit. I am gettin really tired of not being me: ankle hurts and does not flex, drop foot, hip hurts, shoulder aches, elbow is funky, and course vision sucks. Oh, forgot about the tingling numb right fingers. I think that is about all I can bitch about for now.
The old horse in the stable yearns to run free. Chinese saying? No clue, but it does apply to me. I’ve never really felt old, just a little slower in running but, dang it, I could still do lots more work than most of the Labor Ready guys that worked with me in the last several years, what a bunch of wussies! Up until the accident I had faster races than lots and lots of younger runners. At the Camp Pendleton Mud Runs I almost always placed in my age group and very often could have been in the top 5 or ten for two/three age groups below me.
Running log: In the last 10-15 years I have really never kept a log like I used to, now I do wish I did. It’d be nice to know the mileage, where and time. But…more importantly who was on the run and maybe remember some of the great stories. I still have most of those logs and I do like to thumb through them and read about the ol’ training runs and races. Brings back lots of memories.
Tuesday April 24 Going to a free seminar and free food with a Dr Shaw, DC. He’s done lots of advertising in the paper and my first impression is “He’s a quack.” May not be but I’ll listen and go from there. Like I’ve mentioned before I can now readily understand why people fall for quacks.
Went to Dr. Shaws seminar yesterday, it was good and interesting and I’ve already set up an appt for tomorrow. Not really sure if he can help me cause I am not the typical patient. But… it is worth a try.
Went to the Snails meeting last night, just to make an appearance. A number of folks kept telling me how good I looked. I really don’t know, perhaps from an outwardly appearance it might be true. But….damn it, if only the rest of me would to continue to improve. I know some things are a little better but others flare up and make matters worse and all I wanna do is just simply heal and be better. No swollen or hurting ankle, no blood clots, no numb feet would be a fantastic start.
Went to Dr, Shaw’s office today for an evaluation, and it seems they could help me. But, it is $2,000 to as much as $7,000. I really don’t want to make that kind of money commitment just yet, not until the settlement is reached. I might try the acupuncture first and that will definitely be lots less and she might be able to help my hand. I think are other DC treatments available so I’ll look around.
I am doing some digging on the internet trying to find neuropathy doctors and there is one in Garden Grove that seems particularly interesting and he is a lot closer than Dr. Shaws office. If I could drive that would not be a big deal but since there is no driving for me, yet, I kinda need to stick fairly close!
Thurs April 26 Lousy day just feel worth a damn, not sick, just not worth a hoot. Feet hurt, ankle is crappy and my old compression ankle support is too small and so I ordered another off the web that is adjustable and maybe I can get it on without too much trouble.. Spent some time searching for neuropathic doctors close by and there is one I’ll call tomorrow. Hopefully the consultation fee is not too much and I can in pretty quick.
Friday April 27 I did call Dr. Cho DC and set up an appt for next Wed. and I am really lookin forward to it. I did do some research on their equipment: it is really mainstream and used by a lot of hospitals, clinics and others. I really want to try it and see how their treatment works on me. I do feel better today but feet and ankle still hurt so I suppose it is the cool, damp grey days that really makes me feel crappy and dumpy. Today is much nicer than yesterday and did 3 laps around our block, slowest I’ve done in weeks, just could not get motivated to do any faster.
“Should” is an often used word but boy, it is loaded. It “should” work, you “should” feel better now, there “should” be another way, and so on. I really “should” be better, ack!!!!!
One of the keys to keep me from going into a deep funk is reading lots on Facebook, the Headz website, and anything related to trail running. I devour any easy reading on health, science fiction, science, fun stories etc. The Kindle Nancy got me is it!
April 28 Sat Mike and Yvone Miller came over today, he needed to do an interview with some older folks, me, about retirement and life in general. We talked a bit about early schooling, career choices, marriage and in-laws, kids etc. I am lucky in that I have a great wife, had great in-laws, kids are now doing great, have good friends and so life is pretty darn decent. Now only if I only I could heal and I will be working on hard that.
Went to a concert at Soka University down by Mission Viejo. Great little concert by the Pacific Symphony. I just wore black Dockers, nice shirt and dark sport jacket. My attire was really set off my Brooks running shoes since that is all I can wear with the ankle brace
April 29 Sunday Another nice day and started to pass going to Costco with Nancy, just did not feel like walking much. She reminded me that their little electric carts are available and so I went. Those little carts are kinda fun drive but I really don’t like appearing old, frail, and handicapped.
Took another nap this evening, 2nd one this week and it was a good one, I saw myself actually doing a slow jog so maybe the upcoming foot treatments are more than an illusion. Damn tinnitus is back but I did have a few days either w/o or just barely there and I actually had about a week mostly without it. Now, if it would only do that all the time.
Bella, Heidi and I out for one of our first walks Probably bout time to wrap this chapter up and so now done!