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.”

Welcome to 2020. This is your year, right?

So we are on the eve of the new year and wondering if 2020 will really be better? I guess when I get grouchy and tally up the never ending list of injuries, sicknesses and complaints I have about 2019, then I’m SURE 2020 will be better. But…none of it was permanent (not really), and so what am I complaining about?

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Riding a HIGH! 

Well, I wish my running had executed better- I had a fabulous race season last year, culminating in winning my age group (I NEVER take this for granted- it’s a tough crowd for sure, and I am 100% an amateur slouching jogger). I was riding a high when I won my first race – the very small MEC Royal Roads Half Marathon in May 2019. It felt fantastic!

And then, I guess when you go up high, you fall even further. I distinctly remember bragging to a friend about how I ‘never need to take rest days’ when we had both signed up for a marathon training group. This was it! I was going to race a marathon in the fall, the Okanagan Sunrype Marathon, and qualify for Boston!

……..

Until I immediately got injured for oh, the rest of the summer. It started with a weird twinging in my shins, inside just above my ankle bones. When it started hurting, I started wondering WTF it was but I didn’t really have to wonder for long- that same week I tripped over an unmarked hose going across a sidewalk that the construction crews were using, and face-planted quite dramatically into a curb. I slid for about a foot on my stomach, and wound up splitting my lip, gravel in my teeth, and a few scrapes and a banged up left shoulder (for the fourth time…my freaking shoulder.)

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It definitely hurt- a lot! But my stress fractures were getting even worse, so for once I was glad that I looked so terrible on the outside. It matched what I felt on the inside.

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Those wounds healed amazingly fast, which was funny because my shin splits and stress fractures sure didn’t. Oats was also lame the same week that I face-planted and developed shin splints, and we had to scratch out of the biggest show of the year for us. A cursed week (the week after my birthday). This also spearheaded a few months where I lost confidence in myself, my horse and my own body.

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I tried and tried to run for oh, the next three months and never could- It felt like someone was grabbing my leg and pulling really hard. I had trouble walking for a bit too.

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Ow, my leg…The success of shockwave was undeniable though! 

At the same time, I had been struggling with some pretty severe abdominal pain and cramping, for oh, 1. 5 years…I finally got it addressed this summer by having my Mirena removed, going back on Seasonale, and felt some blessed relief! I also still have an abdominal ultrasound scheduled in a few weeks, that I had to reschedule because I had the flu when I was supposed to have the appointment…

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The next day- it healed really well! 

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And that takes me to the fall, where I was kind of bummed about dropping out of the marathon but realistically I knew there was NO WAY I could run it. I had started back running for oh…1  or 2 weeks when the marathon started. I ran the 10k and placed third! (really shouldn’t have, but it was not a competitive field, ha), and my husband ran the marathon and did really well! I was so jealous!

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I rode Oats in a horse show and it just…eh. We had a few very inconsistent shows, where he felt weird and I felt really angsty.

Our fabulous roll ended abruptly by getting disqualified from our jumper rounds at CDRC for too many refusals. A very harsh contrast to the fun and happy success of the July show there indeed! And a good cap to what had really become a shitty, miserable season.

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At least we looked cute??

I also ran the MEC Halloween half marathon and finished it, happily. It was extremely humbling, running 10 minutes slower and only being back to running for oh…Three weeks? But I did it.

And then I bumbled along, getting screwed by fate again when I proclaimed loudly at work that I ‘NEVER take a sick day!’ …Yeah you guessed it. I immediately got the flu for three effing weeks. I had to sit around at home on the couch feeling miserable for 5 days. A lot of sick days that week…It took forever to shake that sickness and incredible fatigue and weakness/exhaustion.

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Finishing my longest run in 4 months! 

And then when I did get to take some time off, blessedly at Christmas, I went for a run and was really enjoying myself, blasting along and tried a little sprint at the end of a solid 20k run- and BOOM! My kneecap instantly had excruciating pain under it.

I limped home and limped around for the next effing week. I kind of knew it was not that serious, but damn it hurt and I still have trouble with stairs (going down in particular) AND now I am terrified of running fast or whatever. Why am I so fragile?

Merry Christmas to me>>???

And a happy New Year??

I feel like my resolution is this: Never make bold proclamations ever again, because this year they clearly bit me in the face. UGH.

What fiction is for

Phew this is a busy week- but not so for riding and working out! Just a ton of social/work obligations, due to the holiday season. Oats got ridden Monday by me, Tuesday he had his beginner’s lesson, Wed I rode again (and we did our ‘Homework day’ and fantastically flubbed two fences, and then picked up our socks and fixed it. Go figure, I hate doing homework days with an audience b/c it is SO bad sometimes, and hilarious. Oh well! Over, under or through eh?!), and then tonight his beginner rider takes my jump lesson because it is my organization’s Xmas party.

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And yesterday I took my dad out for lunch to the Public Market (he had the spaghetti and meatballs from Roast, and I had the side salad kale vegan cesar salad and a side of mac and cheeze, both of which were enormous! I was stuffed and couldn’t finish the mac ‘n’ cheeze at all!!), and today I have another lunch date at Dobosala. Great value from the Very Good Butchers though, would recommend.

And then tomorrow I have another office party at night, so no riding for me Thur/Fri at all! Busy busy. I still have some sinus pain and coughing/snorking a LOT which is pissing me off royally…It has now been TWO WEEKS of the hell-cold/flu. Fuck me.

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From last winter. Doesn’t it look so serene and Christmassy? 

Otherwise it is ludicrously warm out, I am enjoying a real plethora of Xmas treats (cookies! hot chocolate! timbits! chocolate!) and am subsequently feeling the consequences of treats + no riding + no workout at lunch + multiple days in a row of eating out = chubby schlubby. Wowza!

Oh well, might as well enjoy it while it lasts eh??

Ha.

I don’t believe people ever change. But I’ve changed.

So I am slowly getting over the grips the death cold had on me (wow, it was grim this week) and I had my riding lesson back again too! I had to cancel last Thurs – actually my trainer cancelled because too many people were sick, and I was really starting to go down that road myself, and I was bound and determined to have a LESSON yesterday!

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Remember when we jumped a little house?

I practiced up by riding on Wednesday- it was ok, as Wednesday was the first day I was physically able to stay at work without going home early, though I still felt pretty miserable and tired.

Thursday I was more or less back in action- still feeling physically weak and coughing up a ton of grossness, as well as blowing my nose oh, every two seconds. BUT I could do it! On my way to the barn I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open, I felt so tired and exhausted, but I wanted to ride! The fatigue with this sickness has been truly eye opening. Wow. I have never felt so exhausted in my life.

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Loved this jump photo! Back from when we did our first derby! 

Anyways, I made it and the weather has mercifully turned back to mild so at least I wasn’t freezing my ass off or dealing with lung- freezing and the resultant coughing.

I am happy to say that despite my feebleness and ineffectual riding (ok that’s how it felt, Nicole said I was actually riding pretty well), Oats was on FIRE! He was so good! I love my pony, he is a little superstar. Nothing too big height wise, but we worked on long approaches to a single fence, and then 1 small sort of ‘blind’ bending line, which we aced every time- it was our best line I think! Oats even took a very enthusiastic jump to a small oxer and almost sent me over his head! I could barely hang on…I was NOT expecting to get jumped out of the tack! hahahahah

Can hardly fault the boy for jumping too well! What a star 🙂

I was really, really happy with how the lesson went, even though I was weak and basically clinging on to him. Mr. Oats is a saint pony.

Strange overtones

Let’s just strike last week off the map, shall we? I was only able to ride Monday/Friday, due to a number of bad timing things- husband got the flu and was sick for the week, I felt like total crap all week with a head cold and extreme fatigue? And I had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday, so Oats’ leasor got to ride that day instead, for her make-up lesson…And I had my first intro run club on Wednesday, and it took HOURS and I kind of hated it, and just….blah. So blaaaaah. Plus it has been windy as fuck lately and freezing.

So much for the summer?!

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Look at this good boy! What a sweetie.

I was supposed to join run club on Saturday, for a 14k intro long-run, but the idea of messing around for another few hours (like on Wednesday), viscerally made my face curdle, so I decided to not share my bad attitude with the world on that day and do a run on my own, perhaps more peacefully.

So my weekend was actually pretty nice! Lots of ‘me’ time, laid back, riding (and trying a dressage saddle, it was so cute but I reallly hated riding in it), rode in the field on Friday night (fun!!) and just doing what I wanted to do. Oats had one minor psycho freakout and bolted when I was going to change saddles at the barn. I led him up the hill and he spooked, bolted up the hill and trampled a rotted log. Genius.

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Good as gold in the show ring! 

I’m glad I elected not to join the run club on Saturday. At 8am, the LAST thing I want to deal with are 60++ people milling around, wasting my time (told you I was surly). I am just not that patient, sorry.

It was horribly windy this weekend, yet again, but I still got some solid patio-time. All in all, a decent weekend.

Helplessness Blues

Man, physically I have been having a rough week. I ran a great race on Sunday, felt pretty darned happy with it, and then……..Cue a long downslide into just terrible-ness. Ok, so I already know that Saturday was shit-tacular (I still want a do-over, World!!), Sunday was good but presented challenges (talk to my left foot blister that still itches..), and then Monday was pretty good, had a fun ride with my friends…And then boom!

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I needed someone to help me this week. Big time. 

Tuesday basically culminated in a few bad things: I haven’t been sleeping, like at all. I have problems with what I call ‘roving insomnia’ that present many challenges for me to get any rest. I get terribly anxious and restless at night, and cannot sit still or sleep. At all. Even after running a half marathon, I WAS TIRED and I couldn’t sleep.

This compounded (I wasn’t recovering) and I was exhausted, just exhausted at the onset of the week. Because I am also an idiot, I kept going…Riding, running, working. And then on Tuesday I was pretty busy after work (cleaning cages, cleaning bathrooms, walking my dog, etc), and I started feeling strange.

Cue another night of no sleep… And mystery cramps that were ripping my uterus apart. It. was. nightmarish. I was sweating, writhing in pain and so bloated that my ribs hurt. I couldn’t sleep, was in a tremendous amount of pain, and I was taking too much ibuprofen (by the handful, basically, in a desperate bid to get on top of the incredible pain. Newsflash- it was too much, and it DIDN’T TOUCH the pain). I was up all night in a real sorry state.

Oh and I checked the bottle of extra-strength ibuprofen that I was downing by the handful the next day and you’re supposed to take… 3 per 24 hours. THREE? Anyways, the road to ruin was started.

I ran to work, felt so fucking out of it I couldn’t type. I was nauseous and still having cramps and pain (I have a Mirena IUD which I am planning on getting removed DUE TO THIS – wtf is going on? I have not had such horrible PMS symptoms in 10 years????)… I took more handfuls of pain medication (yikes, a bad idea. Likely came close to causing an ulcer yesterday, but I couldn’t escape the pain)…

Anyway, went on a run at lunch and immediately felt like I was going to faint, or puke or both. I had terrible nausea, cold sweat, dizzy and cramps. It was just awful. I left, and crawled home and lay on the couch to try and rest off of what was rapidly becoming a terrible day and a bad decision all around.

Honestly? I think my crashing sickness was due to a few factors:

  • Not sleeping- I was rapidly losing control of my sanity. Rapidly. After running a half-marathon, not healing the way I should be, and not getting any rest at all.
  • Horrendous cramps, also causing my not-sleeping and my overdosing on x-tra strength medication. I was beyond desperate.
  • Overdosing on pain medication- I wasn’t getting ANY relief, despite the fact that I have the Mirena IUD and this SHOULDN’T be happening in the first place?! All I got was terrible nausea.
  • I got my blood iron levels checked and they’re on the low side of normal (Ferritin was 35, which preferably it would be at 50+…) and keep in mind that is with supplementing with iron. Hmmmmmmm.

I also bought myself a CBD+THC spray for insomnia, and I was anxious to try it out- and you know what? I think I finally slept for half a night for the first time in months! It’s no miracle drug, but I was so, so desperate to sleep. I think I was on the verge of a psychotic break. And I finally got SOME sleep. Yeah! And for the record, I have tried melatonin (doesn’t work) and over-the-counter sleep aids (and Benadryl) which do not work on me. Some of them make me actively crazy and restless.

The CBD+THC is no miracle drug again, but I think through some trial and error, I could fine- tune how much I need to allow my body to relax enough to sleep. 🙂

 

Trophy Daughter

Jump lesson update! Again, I wasn’t really sure how things were going to go- I haven’t been doing that well this week, due to a lot of pain from my pulled rib muscle. I went to bed super early on Wednesday, feeling flu-ish and in pain and just generally really crappy.

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It was a very painful week.

Luckily my ribs started feeling much better on Thursday, so my jump lesson was a go! Small motions like trying to pick up barbells/hand weights were painful, but on the whole breathing/sitting/standing and walking things were much better.

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From when we were first back in the indoor…Now my life. Ah well! 

I was tentative in my lesson though- I wanted to jump (obviously!) but was wary about straining my injury. I shouldn’t have worried though, things were fine! Some aches and my ankle  now hurts for no reason, but overall pretty darn good! 🙂

We worked on a very simple course- a line of two jumps (3 strides), oxer on the diagonal, a vertical on the diagonal, and a line of jumps (4 strides, vertical to oxer). It was actually really good! I am LOVING how Oats is moving these days…So nice. I did get an awkward spot to one oxer after I kind of spurred him hard, and he protested, whoops! He was pissy, like hey, I said I AM GOING you jerk!! Ah, sorry Oats!

Bonus- our work on isolating his neck/shoulders in dressage might be paying off! He came the closest to a clean flying lead change in my warm-up than I have *ever* gotten from him. YES!!

Bad note though- he still has his back lumps and one on his butt too. WTF are these?

Yes, I’m a witch too

A three-day week and where does it leave me? With a cold, UGH! I suspect the long-dragging weirdness from when I got back from Mexico has well and truly bodyslammed me. Ah well, I had it coming. The late night from New Year’s Eve did me in, and my virus decided to hop in!

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Gidget dove into my rabbit’s cage while I was cleaning it for some tasty treats…Yuck!! 

That meant my jump lesson last night was …not great. I felt very nauseous with rolling waves of ‘going to puke’ feeling pretty much allll day. I couldn’t figure that one out? Sure I was getting a shitty cold (sore throat, swollen throat, coughing, body aches) but the waves of nausea? Wha?

Plus we had practically a monsoon over the past two days- no joke, apocalyptic rains. So, I ran to and from work in what can only be described as a ‘deluge’ while fighting some weird sickness. = success? Um, no. What was I thinking??

So I went into my ride fighting off the urge to puke. But I wanted to ride so badly!! Ha. Problems equestrians face eh? I had a jump lesson to get to, dammit! We worked on a small gymnastic grid, focusing on positioning in two-point. By the third jump, I’d have it! But, it took me three jumps each time to get it, soooo…Yeah. This theme basically didn’t change, ha.

Oats was feeling GREAT though!! Full of beans and energy, yay! Of course on a day where I feel terrible, he feels amazing. Life, amirite?

Ah well, at least I did it. Came home, felt sort of hungry for once and ate a reasonable dinner. Proceed to not sleep all night due to coughing and crushing sinus pain. Lovely… Feel kind of washed out and lame today, just in time for a work day and a dressage lesson. Yay? Kill me.

Face down in the gutter of your love

Wow, this week definitely got derailed. I caught this weird creeping sickness- notably from people on the airplane last week, I’m sure. After I crashed hard this weekend and had to nap instead of run (the horrors!!) I thought I’d licked it. A big NOPE on that front. I came in to work this week and felt distinctly blah and unwell, but shrugged it off because quite frankly the only indicator to me that something wasn’t right was constant light-headedness at the gym. And I can get through that.

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Photo is from Global News. This is near my place! 

What I can’t get through? Coming in to work, sweating profusely and feeling light-headed sitting at my desk. Yep that was me yesterday. I was at work for 2 hours, felt just terrible…faint, dizzy, super weak and just like someone had pulled the plug on my body. It was burned out, spent, done. (I really like that saying, my colleague had similar symptoms and she described it that way).

I crept home, sweating and feeling awful.

I then spent the entire day in bed.

I never do that! I can’t even recall the last time I was forced back into bed?? It’s been years I think. I dozed on and off, feeling miserable. Read for awhile, napped, lay there staring at the ceiling. Couldn’t muster the energy to read my phone until about 2pm. Wowza. Gidget was in dog heaven though, her favourite: Daytime sleeping!!

I cancelled my riding lesson (thank god, because I was in no shape to do anything), and as it turns out, it was the right call anyways because there was a terrific windstorm and trees were blowing down right, left and centre! It was nuts!!

So, I guess all things happen for a reason, or at least they did yesterday.

Back at work, and a dentist appointment to greet me in the morning (lovely). My stomach is still funny, but I don’t feel this crushing exhaustion so that’s good! It helps I guess that I spent the entire day in bed yesterday.

Here is hoping this weird sickness goes away!!

Much better

Ok crazy week recap:

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Monday: Oats still sick, on antibiotics that I frantically called my vet to get him put on from Saturday. Beerfest is on! Pizza and Beer night with gelato. It was AMAZING!

Tuesday: Work is crazy, Oats is apparently still really sick? I start freaking out…Go out to the barn and jog him up and down the hill, and it looks pretty good. No snot, minor coughs in the barn.

Wednesday: Ride Oats finally!! After two weeks my legs are rusty hahaha. He has some coughs and snorts early in the ride, and it is insanely dusty in the ring. Like, I am coughing. So he’s doing quite well! Our first ride back in two weeks. After my ride on Wednesday, I head downtown for Beerfest Cheese and Beer night! It does NOT disappoint, unlike last year there are no crowds, the food is great and easily accessible and the beers are all my favs- Belgian Trippels, Belgians, and some sours and a fruit beer or two. YUM!

Thursday: Was going to try for my lesson but my trainer cancels this time! The dust in the arena aggravated a cough she had, and I can’t blame her. I go ride for my first ‘real’ ride and Oats is fantastic!! Coughing a bit, but it is so dusty that even I am coughing too, so I’m happy with the progress. Good boy 🙂 Also on Thursday: We go see The Dears at Capital Ballroom (formerly Sugar Nightclub). It was a sweeeet concert! Weirdly there was almost nobody there, so we got practically a private show- could buy drinks with no line-ups, and were right up at the front!

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Phew. A busy, busy busy week. But, I’m just so happy that Oats is on the road to recovery. That was a long illness he had, and I was worried antibiotics weren’t helping- until they did, ha. I know I made the right decision to have him put on them, it had gone on long enough!

What does this weekend hold? Phew I dunno, I’m tired from the week!!