Thursday, October 8, 2009

Being back

Tonight I had my initial follow-up with the surgeon. I have some clearance, although not all. It's still walking, not running, and not rehab activities just yet. I'm supposed to still keep on healing. What I did do tonight, however, was return to playing live music. Only five songs, and one of them I purposely cut short. Dropped one verse... I always wondered if any of the other band members paid attention to that part, or just watched me for the changes. Got my answer.

Either way, I feel pretty good. A little sore, because I'm doing something that I haven't in a while, but good. The pain that I used to have following playing... it's gone. That means it worked. You can't understand how ecstatic I am right now!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Getting back to normal

We've got an ache under the scalp... probably planning on some Advil in a bit... unless I go back to bed. I hear this "sleeping" this is popular, and helps both with healing and weight loss. Might need that soon. Didn't walk yesterday because the body was aching and exhausted (work function until 9:30, working on an idea for work until midnight, back up at 5:30am to work on the idea, worked a 10 hour day... and I was actually confused as to why I was tired when 8pm rolled around). Kept it low-key on the food front for the most part, but my new big thing on the road to recover is figuring out just how much I can do to get back to normal.

Now, this is the holiday of Sukkot, and while I'll be in Synagogue this weekend, I won't try anything foolish - like lifting a Torah or anything of that nature. There are some things that have been done for me (mainly by mom or my brother) that I'd like to try out myself again... that I've been worried about them coming over to "check on me" and yelling at me for trying. With my parents out of town for the weekend and my brother full of plans, I finally get to say, "I'm 31, it's my house, I am allowed to take out my own blasted garbage!" Yes, seriously... taking out the garbage. It's less than 10lbs, so I'll be doing that today, along with some vacuuming (again - light enough) and attempting to clean my bath tub. The sink and toilet have been easy enough, but anyone who has ever cleaned a tub knows that there is a lot more vigorous scrubbing to be done, while in a bent position. Today, we find out if I've recovered enough for something like that.

I re-read that last line thrice... re-wrote it twice, then decided to change it back to the original. It actually makes a solid point, and one that my brother tried to hammer home to me. After his hernia surgery, he explained, there were a lot of little and simple things that just took him a while to be able to do again. Simple, mundane things... and as he points out, it wasn't nearly as big of a deal as my procedure. The hardest part about all of this hasn't been "how far/fast can I walk" or getting used to driving, or how long can I sit for. I expected those, and prepared myself for it. The real distressing points have come in the form of "I can't iron my shirts" or "can't finish sanding and painting the trim" or even "sorry guys, I can't go out and play guitar yet because I can't stand that long with an instrument around my neck." Picking up my cousins, I knew, would be something I'd need to do without for a couple of months. Picking up my amp wasn't something that I had accounted for. Don't get me wrong: best thing I ever did was get this taken care of, but for a guy who is used to doing a lot of things for other people, having to let things be done for me is tough to swallow.

This time next year, however, I will be in such a great mood. Able to do things again, and no pain? Awesome. (No, not "like a hot dog") Planning to even run a 5K next spring. Surgeon said he had the same procedure, was able to run the NYC Marathon. I see no reason that I can't go 3.1 ones at a jog 7 months from now.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Remembered Ouch

Under the scalp this morning as I wipe the sleep from my eyes is that there are two things I learned from rehabbing my knee years ago: rehabbing an injury hurts, and there will be set backs. The first one makes sense, because you are using muscles that you haven't used in a while, or muscles that have to be rebuilt. Building muscle means pushing past your current threshold (muscle is actually built by breaking muscles). Anyone who has actually worked out, and built muscle, can explain that there is a certain ache that you come home with from the gym, if you did it right; rehab takes it a step further. I also know that there will be a setback (it always happens, you know it's going to happen, and it happening still devastates you). One nice item under the scalp, however - today isn't the setback, so I'm going to drag my lumpy bottom outside for another walk.

Last night saw an interesting turn (and pushing too far) on the treadmill, as I maintained a 2.7mph pace for about 15 minutes, cranked to 2.8 for 5, and 2.9 for another 5. Pushed it too far, of course, and 2.9 was too ambitious for so early in the game, but I managed to go 25 minutes and 1.15 miles before twinging reminded me that it was time to shut it down. Still, I am encouraged at the new plateau that I have reached. The doctors explained that walking is all that I can do right now as far as rehab goes. October 8th is my follow-up, and today begins week 4 since the procedure. My goal is to already have built some strength by the time any organized physical therapy begins. That has also included some chair exercises. Exercise point for anyone working at a desk and interested in tightening those abs. While you're sitting and working, suck in your belly button towards your spine for a ten count. Do that eight to ten times in a row... and be surprised at the ache. You are actually working those abs. Try doing it a few times during the day, every day, and you will actually strengthen them. It will take diet and cardio to scrape off the fat so that people can see those abs, but one thing at a time.

Food from Wednesday: breakfast: forgot, lunch: tuna sandwich on multi-grain bread with a handful of pretzels and a banana for dessert, dinner: pasta with a perch and onion sauce (two tablespoons of smart balance margarine, t-spoon of rice flour makes a rue; cup of chicken stock, chop up the onions and fish to cook in; put the pasta in afterward to finish cooking, and soak up some of the sauce. Use gluten free pasta and it becomes a fully gluten free dish).

Putting in the MP3 player (non-Apple brand), putting on shorts and a fleece, and putting in about 20 minutes of strolling before work.