Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A shot of alcohol... hurts.

I've been doing great overall, feeling very strong in my training sessions and walking very well. I've even been off all prescription pain medication for several weeks. Then I had an especially good session a couple nights ago. I was doing 10kg (22lbs) Turkish Get-Ups, 1-leg deadlifts with 16kg (35lbs) and deadlifts with 24kg (53lbs). I broke up so much scar tissue in my right ankle (the one that had serious complications and five surgeries to date) that a nerve was freed and suddenly in contact with something that it shouldn't have been touching, resulting in excruciating and constant pain. It hurt to walk, stand, sit, drive, or do absolutely anything. Even laying in bed hurt. I called my doctor this morning and he saw me this afternoon.

I got my first shot of diluted alcohol injected into the side of my ankle with the promise of pain relief in about 12 hours, just in time for my symphonic band concert tomorrow night. It HURTS but no worse than what I had been feeling (which by the way, was the same type of pain I'd had all last year which drove me to trying the cymbalta to get rid of that constant pain and stream of vicodin I needed to get out of bed in the morning). My doctor said that when I'm in surgery for removal of the screw in my left ankle in a few weeks, he will inject the heck out of the right ankle to try to get rid of all the scar tissue so he won't have to make another incision. The alcohol also damages the neurons so they will no longer be sending pain signals to my brain. Wahoo. I hope I'm seeing the light at the end of this tunnel. Even my kids have been asking me when this is all going to end. I would love to know the answer to that!! What a journey.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I'm BACK!!

Recovery is never easy, but it sure is an interesting journey. I got off crutches about a month ago and have been doing sporadic workouts ever since. Some days it hurts too much to get out of bed. Not necessarily always the left foot that has the huge screw in it, but quite often it's the right foot that is full of scar tissue and damage from the serious wound and inflammation. To have two not entirely functional feet really sucks.

Overall I'm doing much better this time. I'm off all prescription medications (800mg motrin, vicodin, and tramadol) and am instead using natural supplements, diet, and mobility exercises to keep moving. I'm in more pain this way but it's worth it to have my mind back in a good place. For workouts I've been focusing on getting the movement patterns back and not stressing about the size of the weight, number of reps, or even writing down what I'm doing or when I'm doing it. At 12 weeks post-op I did a 5-minute snatch test with an 8kg (18 lbs) for fun at the end of my workout and knocked out an easy 100 in a row. Last week I wanted to try swinging a 24kg (53 lb) kettlebell just to see if I could, and it flew up to chest height without much effort. I only did two sets of 10 but it felt amazing. I've been doing some TRX work as well, progressing nicely.

I go back to my doctor in another 2 1/2 weeks to discuss when the screw is coming out. There is also the possibility of a plastic surgeon operating on my right ankle to clear out the scar tissue (yet again, it was already done at surgery #5 but every morning scar tissue binds the joint no matter how much work I do during the day to free it) and re-do the scar in the hopes of it relieving the pain and keeping the scar tissue from coming back. It'll either be that or alcohol injections to kill the neurons and shrink the scar tissue. Either one is risky and won't necessarily help.

Tonight was a really fun kettlebell practice. After some joint mobility and basic tension exercises with my dear Katie over Skype, I was in the mood to try using double kettlebells for the first time since this last (sixth) surgery. Just 8kg each (18 lbs) for a total load of 36 lbs.

Clean, press, front squat (below parallel!!!) - 3
Swing- swing- snatch - 3
Get-up sit-up - 3
1-leg deadlift - 3 + 3

I did four rounds total and feel fantastic. I'm not doing a ton of reps or using a lot of weight but with the tension I generate, I'm doing a LOT of work. People have no idea from looking at my body that I've spent most of the last year and a half in bed. Tension is the key, with relaxation being equally important during a workout. If you're doing this stuff right, you don't need to do a lot or go for very long to get (and see!) the benefits.

It's so good to be back.