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Old 05-28-2008, 08:05 AM   #61
Camille Lore
 
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Re: Susie's Recovery Log

Noticed you haven't posted in a few days. Hope you're doing well.
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Old 06-03-2008, 04:51 AM   #62
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Susie's Recovery Log

Yeah, I hadn't posted 'cause I got real busy with the Albany Crossfit East Coast Challenge. I had a blast, it was hard work but enormous fun.

I've had increasing pain in both arms, left greater than right. It especially hurts at night, interrupting my sleep, so I am feeling generally a tad on the crummy side.

I have my six-week follow up today with my surgeon. I'm hoping to be told that I can come out of the collar and that I can start exercising more. I am feeling sluggish: like a slow-moving, fat old slug.

I'm learning just how critical exercise is for me. Without it, I have trouble disciplining my eating. I need exercise for its mental/emotional payoff as much, if not more than the physical. And I need a degree of intensity that my poor body can't handle right now. I also have discovered that I don't like going through exercise motions without a goal. I need to have something that I can strive to master. My cycling served that purpose, I was training, in part, to be able to cycle across America. Now, it's iffy as to whether I will be able to ride a road bike at all. Crossfit certainly was thrilling for me. I loved watching myself get stronger and faster and more proficient. But when I started developing weakness, it was painful to see all the numbers reverse.

I will need, at some point past basic rehab, to find something I can throw myself into and attempt to master.

I remind myself how lucky I am that I am functional: I can walk, I can use my arms and hands. I need to focus on today: what can I do today that supports my health in the broadest sense. The future---as in, can I ever Crossfit again?---will unfold as it will. I create that future by the choices I make today. ( which is a good reason to stay disciplined in a healthful diet!)

Anyway, I'm hoping for good news today; I'm hoping to hear that this night pain is temporary or insignificant, that I can come out of the collar and that I can step up the exercise.

Stay tuned.
Susie
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:46 AM   #63
Gant Grimes
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Re: Susie's Recovery Log

Keep at it. Hope the collar gets to come off today.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:59 PM   #64
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Susie's Recovery Log

Good news and not-so-good news from the doctor today:

The good news: I'm healing bone-wise about 2 weeks ahead of schedule. I didn't knock a screw loose with my shenanigans in the gym. Neurologically, my reflexes have normalized in my lower extremities and I have virtually no clinical deficits in my legs. I am now officially allowed to sit a spin bike and to do water exercise. Other good news is that the pain in my arm is almost certainly rotator cuff injury and elbow tendinitis (lateral epicondylitis). This is good news because it's my left shoulder and elbow pain that are waking me up at night! Also, doc says my residual numbness in my left hand will get better over the course of a whole year.

The not-so-good news: my upper cervical vertebrae are still held together only by screws and plates. I have to stay in the collar another 4 weeks, no driving. I am scheduled to have an MRI of the shoulder, and the orthopedic doc in the group examined me and thinks there's a likelihood I will need a surgical repair. The thought of more surgery makes me ill right now. I'm going to hope the MRI says otherwise.

So I did some research and found out I can get a month-to-month membership at the Y. They have a therapeutic pool with 87 degree water and they hold stretch and tone classes in the pool. I joined today and just came home from my first class. Man, I have some limitations in my range of motion of my shoulder, and significant pain in my elbow. Working in the water with all the other old ladies was humbling, but I felt I belonged. I was just glad to move.

I've gotten a hold of myself yesterday and got into some disciplined eating. I am very aware that I am building my future with the choices I am making today, and I want to come out of this prolonged recovery without a weight problem on top of everything. I also need to eat for recovery and to promote bone formation and decrease inflammation.

Onward!

Susie
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:43 PM   #65
Tirzah Harper
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Re: Susie's Recovery Log

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Old 06-04-2008, 07:31 AM   #66
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Susie's Recovery Log

Years of overeating, eating poorly and not exercise got me obese---to the tune of 90+ extra pounds.

Took me 4 years to turn into a Crossfitting mama.

I've learned from both sides that you build your future with the choices you make each day.

So what will I do today to build my future?

1. Log on fitday.
2. Cycle on my spin bike at low to moderate intensity for 1 hour (watching TV) and do 10 air squats alternating with 10 standing leg lunges per each commercial set.
3. Practice gratitude.

Susie
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:14 AM   #67
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Susie's Recovery Log

Ok, so today hubby and I did the water class again today at the Y, then I hung out in the whirlpool for a while. Did me a world of good, the shoulder and elbow had better ROM afterwards and MUCH less pain.

Also, I was talking to the instructor about my various injuries, and she showed me somebody swimming laps while using a mask and snorkel. This eliminates the head-turning of the crawl stroke which I obviously cannot do.

I'm very excited about the idea of having an activity that I can use to get my heart rate up! Next Tuesday, the instructor said she'd lend me some equipment so I could try that kind of face-in-the-water swimming and see if my shoulder and elbow can take it. She said if it doesn't cause an increase in pain, it's a good way to work the shoulder muscles and maintain flexibility.

I'm gonna try it Tuesday.

I feel so much better for having moved today that I'm heading out the door for a long walk!

Susie
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:19 AM   #68
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Susie's Recovery Log

An update on my condition:

I'm doing well. I'm still in a cervical collar but I expect to be able to drive again as of July 1st. My bones are beginning to fuse, but I still have to be pretty careful not to strain my cervical spine.

My shoulder pain is just tendinitis, and it feels way better since getting a cortisone injection a couple of days ago.

I have horrendous tennis elbow with forearm pain that keeps me up at night. I'm going to beg for a cortisone shot if doesn't improve by the time my collar comes off, because I need to start pushing SOME weight around, no matter how light.

I have been regularly doing PT-type stretching and water resistence exercises at my local Y pool. It helps. I am taking spin classes as often as I can get someone to drive me to the Y.

My weight is up by 6 pounds and I am soft and fluffy.

Susie
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:09 PM   #69
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Susie's Recovery Log

Thank you, everybody who has IMd me or emailed sending good wishes and asking after me.

Here's what's happening.

I had a follow-up at the neurosurgeon's this week, and the news was good: my bones have all fused, and just need to get thicker and stronger. Most, if not all of the neuro symptoms related to the spinal cord compression in my legs is resolved. I no longer have sensory symptoms, clinical weakness, or hyperreflexia in my legs.

I have some residual weakness and numbness in my left arm and hand, but it's mild.

I've finally been cleared for physical therapy and such, and now I am going full tilt to heal a nasty tendinitis of my left rotator cuff and left elbow. This has been so painful that it's been interfering with my ability to sleep, thus I am feeling moderately debilitated.

The good news is, I've had two acupunture treatments and two physical therapy appointments, and I can feel some relief of the tendinitis already.

The one other issue I'm facing is that I have to have a biopsy of a suspicious lesion in my thyroid gland. Fortunately, my endocrinologist tells me in 30+ years of practice, he's never lost a patient to thyroid cancer yet. So I'm feeling pretty optimistic about that. Worst case scenario is facing the certainty of needing to go on thyroid replacement hormones---either to shrink a benign thyroid or to replace lost tissue postoperatively. But that's a relatively small thing in the big picture.

I've been holding my weight gain steady to about 7-8 pounds, holding at about 152.

I've been walking about 3-4 miles/day and doing Tai Chi, the only things that don't seem to hurt me right now. One day, while out for my walk, I wanted to do running intervals, so I started to run. In a very short time, I felt uncomfortable in my neck, some pain in my lumbar spine, and increased numbness in my left hand, so I stopped, and from deep within, I felt my body say, "NO VIOLENCE!"

Now this is not an easy message for someone like me to hear; when I talk about how pinnacle fitness feels, my eyes light up like a cokehead talking about a blow. Nevertheless, I've been listening. At 53 years of age, I have to.

After doing a lot of thinking, I've come to realize that I probably under-recovered from a lot of my Crossfit activities. I especially loved those long metcons, like Murph, so I did a lot of high repetition work.

I'm conceptualizing my recovery and return to fitness as a series of platforms, where the basic platform, of necessity, is made of rehab, recovery, and foundational fitness. So for now, I'm limiting myself to my walks, my Tai Chi class, and my rehab/health needs: acupuncture, physical therapy, nutritional healing, etc.

I figure by September I should be ready for the next step, which I'm thinking of as adding stretching and careful work with strength training that takes into account the condition of my spine, tendons and ligaments. I *know* there's a way to do this safely, and it's not doing Murph right out of the starting gate!

I've been reading Rip's work on healing muscle bodies and the literature on strengthening tendons. The latter, as I understand it, involves moving a relatively heavy weight through the last segment of the ROM of the usual exercise. I've got more research to do before I attempt any of this. I've had so much pain for so long now, the last thing I want to do is re-injure myself.

Anyway, now that I've adjusted my head to a MUCH longer, slower recovery than I anticipated, I'm doing ok. I'm just glad to be cleared to get on with it finally!

Once again, thank you all for your personal greetings and well-wishes, and know that it's all been greatly appreciated.

Susie
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:11 PM   #70
Tirzah Harper
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Re: Susie's Recovery Log

Yeah, Susie! Keep it up.
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