Tag Archives: back pain

Good News, Bad News {Food & Fitness Link-Up}

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I thought, on today’s post, I was going to share with you all about Unplug Day.

But I’m not.

Rob and I try to plan one about once a month, but it probably happens about once a quarter. I thought, on today’s post, I was going to tell you about my plans to run again. Well, that’s the good news. But it might be a while yet…

The Good News

My appointment with my orthopedic surgeon this past week went well. After my descriptions of pain and strength tests, he determined that it’s just a flare up and that I can probably expect that to happen once or twice a year. I can minimize that by continuing to do my PT exercises {which I had abandoned altogether while looking for the “perfect” yoga class} and walking. He said that most people are able to go back to their normal activities.

Yay, running!

Normally, when a pain and inflammation occurs, he recommends taking Advil three times a day for three days and keep activity to a minimum. That should be enough to help. {NOTE: I’m merely writing this for my own memory’s sake. This is what my doctor has recommended for me. If you have similar symptoms, you should see your doctor and follow the advice that is given to you.} This time around, though, he prescribed a steroid dose pack. It is helping tremendously.

So I put together my plan to do my PT exercises and walking and then slowly move back into running again. Perhaps I would even run the Challenge Obesity 5k this April. It’s the race where I ran my first 5k and where I walked it last year not long after back surgery. No matter what, I’ll at least walk it this year.

Well, at least I think I will…

The Bad News

Remember when I started running again and stopped due to back pain when I nearly made it to the 5k mark? I was frustrated, annoyed, upset. I found walking to be boring.

Now I just wish I could walk!

Let me explain. On Friday night, as I was getting ready for bed, I stubbed my pinky toe. I hit it on the hard wooden doggie steps to our bed. OUCH! {Our bed is high and these steps also helped me get into bed after my back surgery.} I’m a bit of a klutz at times and I’ve done this before. So I just cursed and went to bed. At about 1am, I woke up and realized it still hurt. Bad. I considered icing it, but was too tired and went back to sleep.

6am rolled around and the pain was bad enough that I couldn’t go back to sleep. I can’t even express how difficult it was to walk.

Difficult to walk!

Looks like while I wanted to run again so badly, I wasn’t being grateful enough about being able to walk. Today, I am grateful for my toes. Sometimes I forget how important they are to walk!

So I immediately broke the Unplug rule for Saturday and got online to find out what was wrong. At this point, it felt like it was broken. But I’ve never had a broken bone in my body, so how would I know? Hopefully, it was just sprained. What I did know is that there wasn’t much that could be done for broken toes, so there was no point in heading to the emergency room.

Here are the basics of what I did learn:
{Take this with a grain of salt for as much as you can believe to be accurate on the interwebs.}

  • A broken toe is generally taped to the adjoining toe and takes about six weeks to heal.
  • A sprained toe generally hurts the most within the first 48 hours, but should heal in about 5 to 10 days.
  • The best course of action now is to ice every two hours and keep the foot elevated.

I love me the google. I am grateful for the google. The area on my foot where my two toes meet is black and blue and the pinky is swollen. I decided to spare you and not take a photo.

This is what this means for me:

  • I’ve been laid up all weekend, icing and elevating.
  • I’m on steroids for the back, so I can’t take any pain killers. But the steroids should help with the inflammation in the toe!
  • I’ll call my doctor on Monday morning to make an appointment.
  • I most likely won’t even be able to walk on the treadmill for a week.
  • But that’s better than six weeks off for a broken toe. Let’s hope it heals quickly!

To be continued…

~

Now for this week’s:

planning

Without any exercise, I’m going to have to be really smart and diligent with my eating this week…

Food

Dinners:

  • MondayBeef in Red Wine Sauce
  • Tuesday – We’ll eat here because this is where we’ll be taking our  puppy painting class!
  • Wednesday – Pork Chops and a Vegetable of Rob’s choice
  • Thursday – Leftovers or chicken quesadillas for me!
  • Friday – TBD (My friend Stacy is in town!)
  • Saturday and Sunday – TBD

Lunches:

Breakfasts:

  • I have a lot of options available and will make them depending on what I am in the mood/have time for:

Fitness

  • Yeah. Not so much. Will walk if I can. Will try to do any PT exercises that don’t put any pressure on that foot.

Have you ever broken a toe before?

Cheers~
Carrie

Blogiversary!

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Today marks the one year anniversary of Season It Already! Happy Blogiversary, SIA!

A lot has happened in the past year. This blog has evolved. It’s become an outlet for me for all things food, wine and health. After never ever believing I’d be a runner, I ran my first 5k. Then I ran eight more… and even one 5-miler. I reached a 35-pound weight loss milestone. I’ve tried to meld my husband’s love of dining out with my quest for a healthier me.

Recently, I’ve endured some severe back pain. I can’t run right now (nor can I do any sort of workout). I’m just about half-way through my weight loss goal and I fear gaining it all back.

Yesterday, I met with an orthopedic surgeon to discuss my options. After looking at my MRI, he said that it’s the worst herniated disc that he’s ever seen and that he couldn’t believe I wasn’t screaming in pain. {I seriously believe that I have my chiropractor to thank for that!} As a conservative surgeon, he really only suggests surgery as a last resort. But in my case, he couldn’t see any other option. And since I’ve lost feeling in my left foot and some of my lower left leg, he wanted to get me in ASAP.

I can’t tell you what a relief it is just to know and have a plan of action in place!

In the meantime, in terms of weight loss (or even maintenance) the only thing I can do is watch my eating. I have to be more diligent than ever before. To hold myself accountable, over the next week, I’m going to try to post all of my eats. You might think that you’ll be bored by this, but I’ve really enjoyed when other bloggers have done this because I’ve found some wonderful recipes and ideas for meals this way.

This week, I’d like to take a poll from all of you readers out there on what you like and what you’d like to see more/less of in the future on Season It Already!

I do apologize for all of my non-local blog friends, but I will continue to be posting about my restaurant experiences here in the Twin Cities. This has helped me remember what I’ve enjoyed and disliked so that I don’t make the same mistake twice. It also reminds me of what I want to try next time and why, or maybe what may have been a healthier choice. For those of you outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro, please stick with me. You just may be inspired to recreate a dish that I’ve had a restaurant! But… ultimately, this blog is for me. 😉

I’d love it if you’d post what you’ve liked best/least or what you’d like to see more of less of on Season It Already!

Cheers~
Carrie

Red Carpet Ready…

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I know I’ve been quiet. I have many posts half-way in the works and then never get them completed. There is so much I want to share with you! And I miss this creative outlet.

It’s okay though. Around these parts I’ve mostly been managing my back and leg pain and am anxious for my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow. It was almost canceled due to an insurance misunderstanding. This has been very frustrating, to say the least. I’m so lucky and grateful to have a chiropractor that keeps the pain as minimal as possible; but I’m ready for some answers and to move in the right direction toward healing.

And while I have no reason to walk {well, limp} down the Red Carpet myself, the Oscars are being presented this weekend! I am actually really looking forward to Seth MacFarlane as the host. It’s going to be terribly funny! I don’t think I’ve seen any of the movies up for nomination this year. One of these years, I want to see them all and be the judge myself. Don’t they have those Oscar Movie Marathons at the theaters?

And to honor the Oscars, this month’s Birchbox theme was Red Carpet Ready:

February 2013 BirchBox contents

February 2013 Birchbox contents

Although there is a new theme each month that is the same for all members, Birchbox recipients may receive different contents. My box contained:

  • Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate & Caramel Square – HELLO! It’s chocolate. It was packed into my lunch for the next day to enjoy with my coffee.
  • Curly Hair Solutions Rev Up Volumist – Okay, I have wavy hair more than curly. Sometimes I can make it work, sometimes I can’t. Sometimes I just want it straightened. This stuff remind me of the Spray Gel I used to use in Junior High to scrunch my curls. That pretty much sums it up.
  • theBalm cometics Mary-Lou Manizer – This is a luminizing powder that I’m still learning how to use. It may do wonders for my uneven skin tone and dark under-eye circles. Luckily, Birchbox offers tips online as well as how-to videos. I received theBalm’s Hot Mama Shadow & Blush All-in-One in last month’s box and love it!
  • Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm – I really didn’t know what a Beauty Balm was until now. From the Birchbox website: “Their premium formula is a five-in-one primer, serum, moisturizer, SPF, and sheer tint. It uses exotic caviar extract and other actives to tame problem complexions.” I would agree. I love this stuff. Excellent to get up in go in the morning! And I think it’d be perfect for travel, too.
  • Juicy Couture Couture La La Fragrance – I liked this much more than I thought I would. All the Juicy stuff I’ve smelled in ads and magazines never really suited me before this one!

Which Oscar-nominated flicks have you seen and/or want to win?

Have you ever done an Oscar Movie Marathon?

Cheers~
Carrie

Notes to My Healthy Self

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Dear Healthy Self:

Move because you can.

Be grateful.

Be grateful that you can run, skip, dance, walk, bike, swim, workout, do yoga, lift weights and sleep comfortably. Some people can’t.

If you are having a day where you don’t “feel” like being active or working out, don’t use that as an excuse. Because that is all it is – an excuse. You may think you are “exhausted” but you really aren’t. Exhausted means that your muscles are so weak that you can’t get them to move your body parts. You wouldn’t be able to get out of bed if you were exhausted. You might be tired, maybe even really tired. But that is still no excuse. Workout first and then go to sleep. You’ll be glad you did.

Any excuse you make for not being active and/or working out is just LAZY. Yes, that is right. If you don’t want to move, you are being lazy. I’ve been thinking about people who physically cannot  move… how frustrated they must be with those of us in America who are obese. I can only imagine that they look at us and wonder why we aren’t moving when we can. They are probably wondering why we are wasting this ability, an ability that they may only dream to have. I bet they think it’s lazy and ungrateful, too.

I know this because I can’t move like I could before and I’m jealous of those who can. Be grateful and move.

Love, Carrie

~

Since my last post about my back pain, I’ve been seeing a chiropractor. He put things in motion, referring me to a neuroclinic to schedule an MRI. The results of my MRI show a herniated disc, which my chiropractor identifies as being a 7 or an 8 out of 10 being the worst possible scenario I could have. It could be from an accident or fall, but I don’t recall anything major. He suspects its degeneration from within the last 10-15 years. The photo of the MRI itself scared me the most. I’m trying my best to get that image out of my head.

Now I wait to meet with an orthopedic surgeon to discuss my options. At least I’ve managed the pain for now. It was the worst of my life. I took for granted little things like picking items off the floor. {Boy do I drop stuff a lot!} I’ve taken for granted putting on my socks and getting out of bed.

Until then, I can’t run. I can’t stretch. Anything too active right now could cause an inflammatory flare up and more pain. Now I just wait. It’s frustrating. I learned from Emily at Blogging Runner that I should avoid reading too many running blogs right now. Boy is she right about that! It’s not that I’m not excited about your success. It just makes me sad that I’m not doing it, too.

I have fears. The fear of returning pain. The fear of getting to the half-way mark of my weight loss and gaining it all back due to my lack of inactivity. I need to learn to adapt.

I am not looking for pity, here. {I know no one wants to hear about it over and over again.} I’m merely writing my thoughts so that I can come back to them at a later, healthier date. In fact, I want to be positive and live my life as normally as possible. I need to remember all that I am grateful for now. I need to stay healthy mentally to get through this.

You won’t see any running posts from me for some time. I’ll have to put those 13races in 2013 and 10k goals on hold for a while. I may start sharing my daily eats on the blog like you see over at My Bizzy Kitchen and Running with Racheal to help hold me accountable. I find that when these gals have posted things a few times, I am more likely to try out what they are making {i.e. lasagna soup from Two Dogs in the Kitchen & hardboiled egg sandwiches}. I love when they share or link to recipes, too! I’ll let you know which ones are worth it or not.

So I’m letting go of this post and am putting my energy instead into the following:

health quote

To your health.

Be grateful,

Carrie

Back Pain, Running and Doctors…

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I haven’t run since Dec 27th.

Yes, that’s right. Despite my declaration to run 13 races in 2013, I have not been running at all.

I have back pain. Pain that I think/thought was another run {excuse the pun} with sciatica, has taken it’s toll. It started right before Christmas, but I tried to just take it easy and remembered what I did last time to heal. I tried to sit the least amount possible. {That’s tough to do when you  have a desk job.} I’ve been sleeping on my side with a pillow between my legs. I tried to keep moving, but all the while being conscious and careful about how I moved.

I even ran. It seemed like running made my back feel better!

Then it slowly got worse. I think trying to pick up Benny in the middle of the night over Christmas, so that he wouldn’t wake everyone up, exacerbated it. {Benny can’t hear very well, so he won’t come when you call him.}

I considered seeing a doctor. But my doctor left my clinic late last year. And we got new insurance. How does one start to look for a new doctor? {I had been thinking about it anyway. I never really clicked with the one I had.} I tried to do an online look up on our insurance website. Can they make those anymore confusing?

Then, last week, when it was icy, I almost fell in a parking lot. Of course, as I slipped, correcting my balance in order not to fall aggravated my back even more. Ugh. I decided it was time to go to Urgent Care. I finally just called the insurance company to make sure that my usual clinic was in-network.

Doc gave me some meds – a muscle relaxer and some pain killers – to be taken only at bedtime. I was to take Aleve or Advil during the day. I had been taking Tylenol, but he said that this was too wussy for this job. I tried to collect as much information as I could from him; but by the time I walked out of there, I realized that I was just really confused.

Was this sciatica again?

Was he just treating the pain?

Why were no follow up visits recommended to see if I my back improving?

How long was this going to take?

But here’s the worst part.

I asked about running. Yeah, I hadn’t been doing it anyway; but I wanted to know what I could or couldn’t do and what I should expect. His response:

“No. No. No. No running or any exercise of any kind until you no longer feel pain. You’ll want to do some core exercises and core work. But not now. No stretching until the pain goes away. You could do a little walking. But you have to be very honest with yourself if you feel any pain at all.”

UUUUGGGHHHH!!!

I never, ever, ever thought I would say this, but I JUST WANT TO RUN!

In fact, it’s strange not moving. But it also hurts to do the simplest things, too… Like putting on my socks in the morning or bending down to get a file at work.

So. Incredibly. Frustrating!

My husband is frustrated, too, I’m sure. But he’s been trying to be very patient and understanding with me. I’m trying hard to ask for help and he is trying hard not to be annoyed with me for asking him to do the littlest of things. I guess if we are going to grow old together, we might as well get used to taking care of each other from time to time.

That’s even more of a reason to try to keep ourselves as healthy as possible!

While I’ve been maintaining instead of losing weight for the last few months, I now fear that I’ll gain due to this lack of inactivity. Because I really can’t do anything but lie down, I’ve started to binge. I forgot what this felt like. I’m learning that frustration leads to binging for me. And right now, I have more time to eat. But due to my lack of activity, I need less calories. It’s a challenge.

And these pills… They don’t feel like they are doing anything. I remember the first time I had this incredible sciatica pain, it took months to go away. They gave me Vicodin. I didn’t feel like it did anything. I told the doctor this when he started writing my prescriptions this time around.. He said we’d give Percoset a try.

I don’t feel like it’s doing a thing either. But maybe the problem is in my expectations. Maybe I should just be glad/lucky that I’m sleeping mostly through the night. Maybe I shouldn’t expect that there should be little to no pain upon waking.

At least we know that I won’t be addicted to narcotics. I really don’t understand what it is people when they get woozy on these drugs. I don’t feel that at all. Because of this experience, I don’t see what the big deal is. Of course, I will still follow doctors orders by not taking them before driving or at work.

Despite all of this, I need to learn to be positive through the pain. I know that I need to picture myself well again. I need to take this in stride or my mental state is going to be just as miserable as my physical state.

So here’s to looking to the positive side of this experience:

  • I am grateful for my body and that I have the ability to run. I always said that before. When people asked, “What made you decide to start running?” I replied, “Because I can!” Not everyone can. But I had the legs and the ability to do so. So I took full advantage of it.
  • I have permission to be lazy. I can lie on the couch with a blanket, a heating pad and catch up on bad TV. And not feel guilty. Because that is what I’m supposed to do – nothing.
  • If I get bored of watching TV and movies, I can read – one of the things I love doing and made a point to start doing again.
  • I will appreciate it even more when I start running again. It’s just going to be challenging to start out slow and build my way back up.
  • I am determined this time to get on the ball with core work. I don’t want to go through this again.

And I’m going to do the Challenge Obesity 5k, even if I have to walk the whole damn thing. So now you have no excuse! Please join me and Team Season It Already!

Once my meds have run out, if nothing has changed, I am determined to find someone who can help me. In the meantime, can you help me out by answering a couple of questions?

What is the best way to find a new primary care doctor?

What is the best way to begin core work?

I have yoga and pilates DVDs and loved taking classes in the past. But what are your favorite resources that you use?

Feel free to add anything else positive to the mix. I’m open to any and all positive vibes coming my way!
Cheers~
Carrie