My own personal pain journal

So, things are going but also going sideways, haywire, etc. My work is nuts (I am directly involved in public information), and also we are seeing a lot of things shake down, as part of the pandemic.

It’s so stressful- for all. I am not a frontline worker, but I see the effects of this day by day. I am writing a list of fun things I want to do when this blows over/winds down (go travel, go out for a team breakfast! Run! Do a race!), but in the meantime, I vacillate between extreme self-pity,  fear and paranoia, to ‘it’s all okay’. UGH.

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Welcome darkness, my old friend… I REALLY don’t want to do this again. But I might. I guess when you’re going through hell, keep going. 

I also have a recurring stress fracture, so I can’t even run right now. Man, when it rains, it freaking pours eh? I guess the timing is (good? I disbelieve that word even as I write it) now that I can’t race anyways.

Just…Fuck me.

I did have a nice weekend though, believe it or not! I had a riding lesson on Saturday and Oats was great! He was my little superstar~ I rode on Sunday and let too much angst out, and I know I shouldn’t have. I am easily triggered right now, and I want to make it up to Oaty! He is being the best boy he knows how.

It was also like, gale-force windy this weekend, ALLLLLLL weekend. It finally lessened up on Sunday, so I rode and then my husband and I hiked up Mt. Finlayson. There I learned I am a huge chicken, and I was afraid of the steep, rocky bluff ascent. Yikes!

I refused to go back down that way (jesus, no.) in part because I was afraid of it, and also it was smoking busy! I didn’t feel comfortable hiking with so many people swarming around.

We went the long way down, got a bit turned around (thanks to the signs closing the one pathway that actually links back to the parking lot…sheesh), and then we made it home. And we shared a hotdog! Yum! 🙂

I then drank wine, sat in the sun with a blanket – yes it was still chilly- but the sun had some strength that day.

So where does that leave us? Uncertain. Out of my control- even my body is out of my control. My mind? Yeah, that’s gone too. I don’t know anymore. But I can ride, so I will do that now and just …Keep on.

To quote Charles Dickens:

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”

But did you die?

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Not promising.

Oh lord, I am going to stop tempting fate. I have seen a few dear colleagues, friends and family get pretty seriously injured recently doing benign things (walking to the bus, stubbing a toe on a cabinet, tripping over a tree root while out on a run…) and I thought I could escape it, until it was MY TURN! 😦

I was kind of in a deep well of self-pity last week. Work was absolute nuts, we have been going through a pretty big upheaval (and I do not handle change well), my birthday while fun, also kind of sucked because Oats was lame…Just, everything, you know?

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Getting cleaned up.

I should have known better.

I got too freaking cocky about my running, literally bragging to my friend about how I ‘never take rest days’…yeah, newsflash, bad idea…and I ended up with shin splints last week that really hurt, still do actually, but wait, there’s more!

I got my shin splints treated on Thursday, ok and then was running home along Dallas Rd, where there has been ongoing construction since I moved there (and I hate it. ugh) and I was keeping my eyes open for the construction, they had closed one road down and had a water truck parked on the side street, where I was running. And then…BOOM!

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This one is one of the slower to heal. 

I went FLYING. Like a cartoon character. While I saw the construction and the water truck, I didn’t see the hose coming from the water truck (small, grey) going directly across the road, from where I was coming off the sidewalk to cross the side-street. I saw an elderly man trip, and for a split second I wondered what he had tripped on…And then I was a goner.

I hit the ground hard, hands outstretched. I think that’s what saved my teeth, nose and chin. I slid on a patch of gravel for about a foot, and then landed with my face on curb. I was just stunned….Shocked, I leapt up. A construction worker ran over to me and was asking if I was ok, and I angrily yelled that I was. I wasn’t though. I was shocked, and stunned and hurt.

I was in shock and I staggered up, and started walking home. I briefly stopped to consider the free book library that I wound up next to, but realized that my hands were bleeding onto the ground, and I was hurt. I fished my phone out of my bag and left a crying voicemail for Ian to pick me up (I SO didn’t want to creep home, looking insane, covered in dirt and blood…) and a kind lady was walking ahead of me heard me, turned around, saw me and took pity on me.

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This one bled the most, and looked the worst. My shoulder is still not very good on this side. 

She escorted me to the seniors residence she was going to nearby, and I got washed up and called Ian again to pick me up. He got it this time and I luckily didn’t have to wait for too long.

I had a lot of scrapes, cuts and bruises, but it was kind of a miracle that nothing was broken, my nose, teeth and chin were all ok, fingers and wrists too. My shoulder still hurts quite a bit, and I don’t have great range of motion in it either. All my other cuts and bruises are healing. I had to take Friday off work because I was frankly in too much pain to be at work- I made it like 2 hours, and basically I got a tetanus shot, came home and cried for the rest of the afternoon. I had a lot of trouble with my hands- the open cuts made it very hard to grasp things. It was not a good day for me. I was in a very dark place.

But, things turn around. Saturday, I felt like 1 big headache. Everything hurt, ached terribly, BUT my scrapes were knitting together. It was just a big painkiller day for me, and I was walking gingerly. I really didn’t want anything to jostle my bad shoulder, and I needed Ian to help dry me off from the shower because the towel was sticking to my hand sores.

But by evening on Saturday, my sores already looked better. My friends were surprised I was healing so fast! So I am healing, and feeling better bit by bit, and I am back at work today. I still can’t use the gym (sore shoulder, and open sores still) as well as the ever-present shin splints, but I am hopeful that things should settle and improve even by tomorrow.

Shockwave

Therapy, that is. Ugh. I am still very much injured (current diagnosis is a muscle tear in my abdomen wall, near some particularly spirited ligaments that pull horribly on my pubic nerves…). 😦

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Photo thanks to my friend Katie! All snuggles for Mr. Oats.

I injured it three weeks ago, and it’s been on and off painful since. The only things that really aggravate it are running, and riding, natch! Which I do every day? Dammit. I am still trying to ride and run but the running is so painful that I definitely have been toning it wayyyyy back. I even downgraded a half marathon that I was supposed to do to a 5k, which was still VERY painful to run. Man.

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At least my pony loves me! Photo thanks to Katie H. 

Riding this week was pretty good, had a dressage lesson on Friday that was quite humbling…Like after an hour of lesson, this is what my warm-ups should be? Yiikes..We are not there yet, but we are getting there. Otherwise have been enjoying some flatwork, rides with friends, Halloween candy and Halloween parties!!

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Happy Halloween! From a friend’s party this weekend, one of TWO parties I went to! 

I had a shockwave therapy appointment yesterday morning and jesus it hurts~ It is no joke, I didn’t realize it was going to be so painful. And they say that it’s not even on a bone, which is more painful. Yikes. I have another session on Thursday to try and speed up the healing for my muscle…Can’t say I am looking forward to it. I felt beat up yesterday and in a fair amount of pain.

Still with some significant nerve pain today, oh joy. At least my muscle isn’t hurting?

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I am drowning my sorrows in chocolate and wine! 

Not Myself

Having another ‘bummed, bummed, bummed, bummed’ day. The weather is GORGEOUS and amazing and I want to run and ride alll day in it, and yet I’m in the freaking doldrums right now? How? Why? How?

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I was on top of the world!

Let’s start with my mysterious hip/groin/leg pain. Still there, still very painful. I ran home yesterday and it felt like my pelvic floor was going to fall out. Lovely. Because I am a stubborn bugger, I also ran to work today: More of the same. What’s that thing about insanity..something something? UGHHH.

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I mean it! On top! (Photo courtesy of MEC Victoria).

I did go to the doctor’s today and it took forever but I have requisitions for an x-ray and blood test, both of which I am going to do this week. Round and round and round we go! What the diagnosis is, nobody knows!!

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Things were going SO well! 

I missed my lunch workout, because of being at the doctors (yay…not.) but that’s ok, because I am in a terrible mood, still in some measure of pain (try standing on one leg to put shoes on, I dare you body!) and then got some more bad news re- husband. Man, when they pick a day to shit on you, they sure do pick the same day! (Not husband himself, just he got some crappy news and I feel bad for him, on his behalf).

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Having just the BEST times! 

So…yeah. I am taking advil like it’s my actual job, and trying not to think angry thoughts about the world. I had a fantastic couple of months, so when the hits keep coming, I want to come back to those days when I was on top of the freaking world, instead of slowly being ground under it instead. Sigh.

This was like, as recently as last week too, hahah.
Dammit, how things change quickly!

 

It’s GO time!

Didn’t have my regularly scheduled jump lesson yesterday, as my trainer bumped it to Saturday- which is fine, because as it turns out, I managed to majorly wrench something in my back= back on fire for a few days…

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Photo courtesy of Nicole G. I love it so much! Big D and his mini-me.

Nevertheless, I gingerly made it out to the barn, feeling like a total hunchback with a raging headache that was creeping up from my sore back.

Every single vertebra hurt…I swear I could feel them all moving dis-harmoniously. Ouch…

Still, I rode Oats in the outdoor and actually had some fun. I was going to do some jumping, but I could NOT get in the groove at all. The jumps were small, but I just couldn’t seem to jump like a normal person. Stare at the jump until we are on it? Yep! Miss my distance every time? Yup! Crooked? Sure!

I knew I was riding poorly to protect my sore back, so I gave up on the jumping part (a wise decision) and went to do some flatwork without stirrups. Two-point, canter, trot, grab the pommel with one hand to situate myself…It was actually pretty good! My legs- inner thigh- were killing me. I ended the ride when I felt this huge knot in my thigh and thought to myself ‘If Oats makes one sudden move, you are definitely on the ground when you can’t hold yourself on.”

He didn’t though, he was a total saint.

He did have one BIG spook when a rider came out of the indoor and he didn’t hear them until they were behind him. Whoops!

I still have a bit of a sore back and lingering neck/headache today, but it’s not quite as terrible as it was yesterday. I’m sure being at work, sitting in front of a computer doesn’t help. Ow….

Busy weekend coming up, and busy next week too!

 

Not with a bang but a whimper

OUCH.

Me this week.

Me this week.

This week, as I have been dreading it all weekend, is off to a smashing start…

Let’s see- work is insan-o, Oats still has his cough (our session with our equine counselor went ok yesterday but he felt kind of ‘blah’ still…) and today, during a particularly sweaty treadmill sprint, I hurt my calf and pulled/strained a muscle just to the right of my calf.

EFFFF this!

So, I have a riding lesson tonight that now contains two interesting variables: Oats with his annoying cough-root-cough behaviour, and now I can’t quite walk well, or put a lot of weight on my right leg, particularly flexing my toe up. Which is how it stays in the stirrups, and me on the horse.

100% recipe for success right???? Right??

I kind of feel like I brought this on myself though. I was pissed off this morning, went feeling full of ‘angry’ energy to the treadmill and was coughing (yes, allergies are still trying to kill me) and distracted on the treadmill and then BANG…my leg goes, not even half way through my workout.

Maybe I’ve been getting too ambitious about the incline and speed. Time I have been controlling, keeping it at 25 minutes as per my knee doctor’s request. Funny, when he said to not increase it past 30 minutes because I wasn’t strong enough, I was like what is he talking about?

Now, sadly, I do know. And it hurts.

Gait retraining is a slower process than I realized. And apparently, more of a painful exercise too.

Everyday

Everyday

Animals- they’ll be the death of me!~

So this week Mr. Oats is off due to his snotty nose and cough, until he finishes his round of antibiotics – ask me how fun it is to crush up 100 pills…

Mr. Oats as envisioned by a six-year-old.

Mr. Oats as envisioned by a six-year-old.

Last week my dwarf bunny Buster scared the life out of me by accidentally getting his teeth stuck over the top bars of his cage. JESUS! How does that even happen? Well, we have a morning routine of giving treats while I check his food and water, and he was biting at the bars of his cage- wanted treats now and then bit the top bar and couldn’t get his teeth off them!

So, he was hanging from the top of his cage by his teeth! I shoved his teeth back with my thumbs until he got unhooked and fell down. He seemed relatively unhurt and was still interested in his treats, so that was ok, just scary. Until this week, when I was checking him over and he chipped one of his front teeth during that little escapade! aRGH.

Oh and let’s not forget Gidget, who has since been banished to stay in the bathroom during the day because she has since un-learned how to be toilet trained…ARGHHH again. And she looks like a wooly mammoth, since her grooming appointment last week got rescheduled (sadly, due to the owner of the salon’s death? All the groomers attended her funeral last week).

Man…I need a week off from the animal-drama!

A very sweaty Oats from a few weeks ago- working hard!

A very sweaty Oats from a few weeks ago- working hard!

A jumping weekend, with wild weather!

I didn’t ride Friday, though I was slightly tempted as I got off work earlier due to my changed schedule for the two days- had a nap instead! Guess I wasn’t that tempted.

From BC Day- wish this weather could last forever!

From BC Day- wish this weather could last forever!

Saturday the weather changed for the worse- blasting wind, threatening rain and generally unsettled. The trickiest part was that it was also sunny and warm, and then a huge gust of wind?

I tacked Oats up in the outdoor cross-ties and a big gust came up and blew a ton of saddle pads into the air! He spooked and I went to go pick the saddle pads up that were strewn everywhere, and while I was reaching to grab them, slipped and banged into the fence.

To add insult to injury, I went to grab the railing to stop myself from falling smack into the fence and immediately got a splinter from a thorn on the blackberry bushes. SHIT! And it is STILL jammed into my finger, after a failed attempt by my husband to needle that sucker out of there…I was howling and shrieking, so I slapped a band-aid on it and continued on my way. Ouch, not worth it!~

Not an auspicious start to my ride…

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When I was riding, Oats was high high high! Very frisky and looky, spooky and on-edge. The man who has been cleaning up the paddocks with the backhoe stopped by to ask a few questions (very friendly) with his dog, and Oats was kind of losing it! The dog! The man! Wind!!!!!!!

So …yeah.

My goal became clear- live through the ride.

We actually had a pretty nice ride once I gave up the idea that we had to deal with his scary areas ”the corner” being one we just flat out avoided on Saturday. Schooled him over some jumps I set as low x-rails, and then did a figure-eight type pattern of x-rail, to road closed panel, to diagonal x-rail, back to the first x-rail to ‘road closed’. That was fun!

Ended it at that, as I didn’t want to end up on the ground…

And of course, when I had Oats back in the cross-rails, another saddle pad went flying and he spooked again. SIGH.

Turns out it was well and good I rode early, as the wind only got worse as the day went on. When I came in for my ride on Sunday, I had to pick up tree branches and the barn shutter that went flying in the windstorm. I could only picture a house being picked up with ‘Auntie Em’ echoing in the background!

Rode in the indoor on Sunday and felt kind of not enthusiastic. I wanted to gallop in the field, but figured that was off limits due to the rain…Blah. We worked over a tiny x-rail to establish pace and nailed our distances to it everytime! This is after I trotted him over it and he fell over it twice- fell! So, canter it was, and canter it went!

I then did some no-stirrups work that felt ok but still fairly punishing…

Wanted to save my legs for a run I had planned later in the day. The run itself went ok but I was SO PARANOID about my knee blowing up on me. I couldn’t really enjoy it as much as I wanted to, I didn’t have that ‘free’ feeling at all. Gah…At the turnaround I was so sure this was it, I couldn’t run anymore. But then we did turn around, and I was ok again?

Today my legs feel fine though, so….

Fingers crossed?!

More BC day

More BC day

Also of note- I tried Krema’s Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Spice flavour and loved it!

Also tried the new Strawberry Shortcake Frapp from Starbucks- and blah. Wouldn’t have it again. They don’t serve the S’mores flavour, which I am SO bummed about. ARGH.

Oh and we went to the Island’s Greek festival after Starbucks and our run, and enjoyed a nice gyros platter. Yummmy!

Setbacks and Advancements: Weekend Recap

Weekend recap:

Friday night: Had a great (and mostly free!!) time at Lighthouse Brewery’s open house BBQ- got tix for a free beer and a burger, and the rest of the beers were $4…So no reason not to have more, haha. AND their new rhubarb beer is amazing, I had it twice. Good food, good beer and good friends- who could want more?

Seems legit.

Seems legit.

I even won a door prize- $10 to Hanks BBQ joint downtown. Hilarious eh? I did question if it was real…

Saturday: Woke up feeling less than spectacular. Apparently more beers don’t really agree with me anymore, particularly when I have a jumping lesson! I felt so draggy and tired and out of it. Lucky for me, Oats brought his A-game and was a star! We worked on the gymnastic line (not set high though, prob only to 2’4” or 2’6” ish) and then added on to the course, which I wanted to bail after once because, hello, tired…But then took a break and did it again, even better! Go us!

Sunday: Rode Oats in the morning and he was good! We did a fair amount of cantering, circles, large, more circles, and I was quite pleased with him. I then jogged downtown with my husband to go watch our friend in his dragonboat race- we missed the race but managed to catch up with him later, so that was a win! We even got some free pizza slices courtesy of Dr. Oetker’s travelling van, and it was sooo good. Wrapped up the afternoon by running out to Songhees and back, and then home…And my knee didn’t make it.

Shit shit shit

I couldn’t run anymore, and we ended up having to walk home. I could feel pressure building under my kneecap and my kneecap was shifting too much and it hurt quite a bit. ARGH. Setbacks…

I hope it is temporary! I iced my knee at home, and worked through my exercises. I have also made another appt. to talk about it with my knee doctor.

We then headed out to pick some blackberries and it was significantly less joyous than it has been- the blackberries seemed to be out for blood! And they were either overripe or red on one side. Gah!

But, we finished the day with a lovely dinner, and I really enjoyed my weekend of not blasting off to another race or travelling to anywhere. Sometimes you just need a weekend at home, I guess!

Baggage (the fun emotional kind…)

As I mentioned in my ‘Derailed’ post, I have a real tendency to get thrown off track easily and then have a devil of a time getting back in the groove.

So, funny enough, my primary concern for my ride on Oats Saturday was wondering how his feet were going to be, after his run-in with stones in his feet and the potential stone bruise. He does have sensitive feet, you know!

Well, I didn’t have to worry…

He was rocking it. On fire! So much so that when we were warming up, casually walking and trotting (and I NEVER let my guard down in the outdoor, NEVER), he spooked and spun so hard at the ‘spooky corner’ that I came flying off and landed on my back and bad right shoulder.

SHIT

So, my ride went from ”hmmm wonder how his feet are going to be” to BLAM on the ground.

Within five minutes of getting on. ARGH.

I was on my back, but then I was back on my feet and didn’t feel that bad…And it was only the beginning of my ride, so I hopped back on and continued. Funny enough, he wasn’t spooky really at all- it was just that one freak thing? He was full of beans though, cooler windy weather will do that, so I took advantage of his energy and worked over some small fences.

Later that day, I went for a 15km slowest, most terrible run with my husband. My god, I felt sooo slow and soooo drained, but we kept going. That maybe should be a sign for me, since during the night my back was KILLING me and I could barely get out of bed in the morning the next day. I am clearly a genius…

And because I am a genius, I still rode on Sunday too. Eek. I did mitigate my risks though- it was windy, blustery with a chance of thunderstorms so I rode indoors (and of course it was beautiful)… Wish I could say the same for my ride. I was still edgy and anxious, and pissed off at Oats. I took my pain out on him during my ride.

My back didn’t really hurt while I was riding, but boy, it sure hurt before and after! He was a fairly good pony, a bit confused about why I was riding him so edgily and angrily, but I softened, (not much though) and we worked on a pole exercise.

It was another lesson to me – one I learned when my mom fell off Oats in May in the outdoor and broke her arm- that I really, really, really shouldn’t get back on the next day to either tempt fate or challenge myself or challenge Oats. Why, why why do I do this?

Well, anyways I did it- It wasn’t good but it wasn’t terrible. It just was NOT a shining display of how I can normally ride, in a nice partnership with my horse.

I need to not get into it like this. I thought I was getting better about not picking a fight the day after when I’m feeling hurt or emotionally upset, but apparently I’m not 100% perfect about it yet either…

I just feel disappointed in my fall, a fluke accident, but it almost works to confirm my belief that YES, there IS something to be worried about riding in the outdoor, in the scary corner. After all, my mom broke her arm there a few months ago! He’s always bad and on-edge there, and this most recent accident works to concrete that fear in my mind. Shoot.

I hope I can get past that, and get back to the positive progress I was making- both with my horse, and with my mind.