Thursday, March 27, 2014

Weighty Issues...and other stuff.

Perhaps I should start with the "other stuff". Yesterday I went to Rite Aid to purchase some Mederma or other scar care product. Holy Moley is that stuff expensive! For a small tube of the Mederma Advanced-$35! I went with something called Scarguard, a product that combines silicone, hydrocortizone, Vitamin E oil and flexible colloidion. I had called my orthopedic surgeon to see 1-what they recommended and 2-if I could get it in prescription form (which would be cheaper with my insurance). They don't give out prescriptions but the nurse described to me what they sell at their office and I found the closest thing. I can't report on it this early on but I hope to update later and mention if it works.

I went to PT today and talked through what's been going on with the pain I have been having. The therapist has a sense that it was too much activity too soon and recommended that I cut out aerobic type activity this week and just focus on the strength moves and walking right. Then next week I can play around with what type, how much, etc of different exercise. She also said steer clear of all hill anything-no hill hiking, walking, nada. She also said absolutely no jogging or running until my calf muscle is strong again-GOODY. Which leads me to...

Weighty issues...I have been keeping loose tabs on my weight. I'm not a big scale person, but I do believe the scale can be one of many helpful tools. Another is fit of clothing. So far both have been ok. Another one is dressing rooms. Don't laugh. This is called tough love people. Dressing rooms are the worst! Don't they realize that if they put more flattering light in those places, people would buy more of their clothing? Well today I was in Target trying on a few new things for spring/summer and it was not pretty. I'm getting slightly lumpy in my backside areas (back of rear, legs, arms). UGH! I refuse to act surprised though, I know where I gain weight. Next, I tried on a pair of Merona brand size 6 shorts and they were too tight! That is never a welcome situation. *sigh* The tank top I did purchase I am going to feel slightly self-conscious in because my arms don't look as good as they did before. I'm going to try not to obsess over it.

The honest truth is that I have not been diligently watching what I eat, despite not having running as an exercise outlet. I'm not going to lie. The word DIET makes me want to stick my finger in my eye. I love food. This is why I run! But I can deny no longer that I have 2 options before me as I rehab: 1) Eat whatever I want and gain weight or 2) Discipline myself with my intake so that I can come out of this thing relatively unscathed. But I love food!, my inner self whines. It's ok, you will still be able to eat what you want within reason, and in smaller amounts. The world will not end, I answer.

So next on my list today is to record measurements and get to work on taking positive steps. I have used MyFitnessPal in the past and I'm thinking it's time again. I can't stand taking the time to plug everything in, but if I have time to log into Facebook a gazillion times a day, I have time for this (and less Facebook would probably be good for me too!)

Ok here goes:

Weight: 145 lbs (goal 135)
Hips: 39.5"
Waist: 29"
Thighs: 22.5"
L arm: 12"
R arm: 13"
R calf: 15"
L calf: 14" (this will be one area I hope to increase!)

I'm not going to go over tips and tricks for weight loss. I've been down that road before. I think more than anything, moderation, and hopefully I will find some kind of cardio outlet that doesn't leave me with a sore heel! I might have to start dancing around the house or something.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Backtracking again...

Pulling on the reigns, backing up the truck, rewinding the video...well you get it.

My left lower leg just above my heel, along with my heel has really been hurting lately. So much that that "normal" walk that I had perfected has become extremely difficult to power through. It is so frustrating! I guess my activity last week was too much? It certainly did not feel like too much.

So I am going back to the basics. Strength exercises only, stretching, and walking normally. Some Ibuprofen or Naproxen and ice. It sucks, I will admit. I felt so good last week, and I wasn't even sore after anything except the interval session.

Tomorrow I have PT again and I'm sure it will be good. She does a lot of massage and works on my scar too (which also seems a bit more swollen than it has been...) I don't really know what to think of the regression except that "one step forward, two steps back" isn't all that uncommon in injuries like this one. It is just the most frustrating thing because it involves walking so there is no escaping when it hurts.

I just have to go back to taking it easy, and being careful.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

More regular cardio

Last Tuesday I was at my son's soccer practice where there are some great rolling hills and hiking trails that weave in between them. I thought I would give hiking a try as it is an approved activity so I did and it went well! I ended up doing 30 slow minutes.

Wednesday I went out and tried for a walk/jog. It hurt some on the jogging parts so I only did 10 minutes of 1-minute jog/walk intervals. It was hard but felt so good! Bad news is that I was pretty sore the next day. Not muscle-sore, but over-did-it-sore. So I have not tried again yet. I figure until I am not sore afterward, I will save that particular exercise for once a week.

I did some very easy biking yesterday and I was a tad sore afterward but not bad! I am really trying not to rush things, but at the same time, I need to challenge my legs to increase strength and ability. I am still working on the other strengthening exercises. I am getting better with the calf raises!

I skipped physical therapy this week but I go again Thursday! I am just glad to know I can do more now! I'm sure I will be hopping on my bike more often since it doesn't hurt at all :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Getting Close!

17 days have past, including 2 sessions of Thursday physical therapy. Therapy has gotten harder, but I am progressing each week. My flexibility is really good at this point and I have definitely gotten stronger. This week I am working on progressing through calf-raise exercises. First I do raises with both feet together, then I am working on doing raises with only my affected side. It is hard, and I have a ways to go with this exercise. I'm also doing lunges, squats, stretches as I mentioned, and other leg-strengthening exercises.

I never posted a picture of a comparison of my calves at this point so here ya go!
This is mirrored so my L is pictured on the R, and is quite a bit atrophied. It will get better though.

We went to the beach last weekend. I love the beach! I knew it would be a "moment of truth" so to speak for me to face my lack of exercise. That being said, I am not overly disappointed. My body is definitely softer, maybe even flabbier in some areas, and-ehem-plumper in others! Somehow I am just ok with it-all of it. I am really pleased with how well I have accepted where I am now. I know I will continue to progress, and I am not discouraged anymore. I got a nice tan and had a great time! Last year I purchased a new bikini with a really cool back to the top and I felt comfortable in it.

Cute, right? I found it at Sports Authority on clearance so I just wear a solid teal colored bottom

On the activity side, I got to rent a stand-up paddleboard and paddle around the harbor for over 2 hours on Sunday! It was great exercise and I love it! I was concerned a bit about how my left side would handle the intense balance and strength associated with it but it was great. I also did a lot of walking on sand and some boogie boarding which was fun. I took a break here or there when things started to feel sore, but all in all it went really well!

Last, but certainly not least, I am almost ready to do a little jogging. I spoke with my orthopedic surgeon on Monday for my post-op follow-up and he said I'm completely healed and my achilles is strong and flexible. He even asked me if I was doing any running yet. I thought he was joking but essentially things are strong enough if I happened to jog. My physical therapist has been more cautious, working on me getting my strength back first, but last week she even told me I could probably get out and do some easy hiking and going for some longer walks. But I think I am ready to jog a little. I tried and I think if I did a jog/walk combo, I could get started and work my way up.

To be continued!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

7 Weeks Post-Op & PT Week 4

This week was very much like the rest. I started PT with a nice session on the recumbent bike, followed by my PT spending a good amount of time massaging my incision. While doing so I usually chat her up which is just my personality. If we sat there quiet, it would be awkward! Thankfully she is a very friendly person and she is a fellow runner. She hasn't ran in quite some time due to 2 back surgeries, but she is a runner nonetheless. She gets it.

Today I finally worked up the courage to ask her how my therapy is coming along. I wanted to know from her professional standpoint if I was progressing well. I didn't really get a difinitive answer, but I was encouraged.

* I am ahead of the game so to speak with my surgery rehabilitation. Out of everyone who has ever had Achilles tendon surgery, I'm at the front of the pack.

* She has commented a few times before that she can tell I have no problem being motivated to do my therapy at home.

* She calls me an "athlete" which makes me feel proud.

* She mentioned that for me it is important to really focus on the muscles I am working because if I don't, my other muscles will naturally jump in and compensate. She said that I am extremely strong so I have to really watch out for this (I took it as a huge compliment and it really encouraged me!).

* My therapist warned also regarding compensation and how even the slightest unnatural motion can put me at risk for tendonitis in other areas (plantar faciitis? posterior tibial tendonitis? No thanks). So it is important to notice and recognize when my heel or posterior tibial region is feeling inflamed, stop what I am doing and ice it.

* I was also instructed to make sure I have good arch support when I am on my feet often. 

This is a great diagram of the tendons in the foot and ankle

This week I am proud of myself. I have been taking it easier. I believe I mentioned we were going to have some stormy weather move in and it certainly had a hand in my rest. I can tell a big difference too. I don't have the same aches.

I will end this post by saying Here's to March! Here's to progress, sunshine, my garden growing. Here's to the good life!