Sunday, December 04, 2011

Early Winter (?) Check-in


Here I am, delinquent again.  Things have been insane around here this fall.  Since the marathon I've worked a lot, begun my reconstruction, traveled a lot, and hardly run at all.

The first step of my reconstructive surgery was on 10/25.  Briefly, the doctor placed tissue expanders under the pectoralis major muscle on each side, which also required "releasing" part of the muscle from its attachment to my chest wall.  This was not an overly pleasant process.  Those expanders had 50cc of saline in them, and I've been going back approximately weekly to have 30cc more injected.  Those injections involve finding the metal port in each expander with a magnet, inserting a needle (which I'm sure is scary, but have thus far managed to avoid looking at), and slowly injecting the fluid.  I feel sore for a few days after each fill, kind of like I've done too many pushups, but since about 2 weeks after the initial surgery it hasn't felt bad.  At this point I don't even need Advil after the fills, though I did need vicodin and valium quite regularly after the initial surgery.  Once my expanders are full and my muscles have had time to adapt, I'll have a second surgery to swap out the expanders for permanent implants.  Then it'll be a few more weeks of recovery and I should be back to normal.

Travel has involved trips to NC and PA which left me feeling like I'd been traveling continuously for 2 weeks, and if I have to travel more I might consider setting up a campsite in Chicago O'Hare.  After all, I seem to be delayed for several hours every time I fly through there.

Running has been low by necessity.  After my surgery I was expecting to be off running for about 6 weeks.  Two weeks in, the doctor told me I was healing very well and could try running if I wanted to.  I didn't feel right about it so I waited, but the following weekend stress was taking its toll and I just had to try.  It didn't feel so great...really, you don't realize how much you use a muscle until it's sore.  I waited a bit longer, and then tried again on Thanksgiving day.  This time the only thing that hurt was my stomach from all the food I'd eaten earlier that day.  The next day I ran again....and then there was another week of travel during which I didn't run at all.

So, I'm back to the blog in an attempt to hold myself accountable to something.  Running will still be hit and miss, I think, until I get through this process and start to feel more like myself again. I'll do it some, though.  Really I just need to be more consistent with getting in any exercise at all, so I'm making it a goal to get out for a real walk, not just a stroll, 4 times this week.  I'm also going to try yoga, but to be quite honest I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it yet.  For this week, I'll just make it a goal to try once and see how it goes.

So there we go. This week, 4 walks and 1 attempt at yoga, plus hopefully some running.  And more travel, this time to see Doug's family in Illinois.

Happy running.

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