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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pain Was Too Good For Her.

So I have this hilarious address book with color-touched vintage drawings of ladies with various text. One of them was the line above, except it's "Pain was too good for him" and it was a picture of a couple embracing. An even funnier one was two women chatting together with the text bubble saying "And then I ripped his lungs out."

Except this post is not about me getting my lungs ripped out, it's about pain. Pain! Wow! So I have a newfound surge of sympathy, empathy, all the athys except for apathy, for those who live in constant pain. Why, yes! This post is all about me and my stupid broken foot! How did you guess?!

Anyways, yes, it's a constant pain and it doesn't seem to give much of a shit what I do to avoid it, it still finds me. It's like the best seeker in hide and go seek EVER. Advil isn't seeming to do too much for me. Todd has some ancient Chinese voodoo liniment called dit da jow that seems to actually help with these excruciating bruises but God forbid you accidentally, with your fingers or even the sheets on the bed, brush the skin ever so slightly, because here come the flames from all levels of hell. Hurrah!

It's intense. And once again, it's a not so friendly, kinda bitchy and sanctimonious reminder of how good life is when there is simply the absence of pain. It's also a reminder that attitude is everything; yesterday I was tired from a rough night's sleep and for some reason the pain got me. As Todd's plumber friend Howard said once, after Todd accidentally punctured the water line in our backyard with an over-zealous shovel strike, and the water shot out of the ground like an impromptu fountain, some days you eat the alligator, some days the alligator eats you.

Yesterday, the alligator ate me and I felt every lusty bite. I rolled over and just let it devour me. Just the giving up made the pain worse, made my mood worse, and I found I couldn't deal with anything. I just sort of squirmed and writhed in agony at my desk, in my evil, wicked, naughty boot (rhymes with Zoot - now, from which movie could that line variation be?) and I let myself be consumed by the negative.

Today I'm going for a different tack. I would like to eat the alligator today. So I dressed smartly, had a good cup of Earl Grey this morning before leaving the house, got rounds of kisses from Todd and Alex. The pain is there and I don't expect it to leave until I fall asleep tonight, but I'm here too, when I wasn't yesterday. So in the immortal words of Kanye West, I'mma let you finish, but I think Jil should win this round.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fractured Foot Friday!

I don't even know how to start this. Do I start with the incredulous sort of shock I have over the fact that, after 34 years of a pretty spectacularly clumsy life, I finally managed to break something? Do I start with the story itself? Do I tell you how painful a drive from Phoenix to Tucson is with a fracture of the fifth metatarsal?

The story itself, we can start with. A simple attempt to alight a hotel shuttle ends with me slipping off that little jutting ledge they have TO AVOID THIS SORT OF STUPID THING, landing on the edge of my left foot, in high heels, and of course my ass, because I bought a new dress for this wedding and of course I land on my ass. Actually I bought new nude pumps for the occasion as well. They're only slightly scuffed and it's barely perceptible; had it been worse I would have just thrown myself off a bridge (these shoes are cute).

So there you go. I could go on and talk about how afterwards I had another couple of drinks and walked around on my broken foot for awhile, but WHY EMBARRASS MYSELF FURTHER.

The shock I have over getting such a stupid injury is palpable, especially after a veritable lifetime of questionable choices and some seriously misplaced trust: sure, I'll sit on the hood of your car, I am confident you will park your car and not take off, pedal to the metal, down the parking lot and then slam on the brakes, sending me flying several yards before skidding several more on the pavement; you know, I've never skied before, let's try that black diamond, I hear it has a jump and everything!; a hot Mexican honey shot? SURE sounds delicious.

In fact, that shock mingled beautifully with the pain on the drive home from the wedding venue in Phoenix back home to Tucson. The pain was physical, and more importantly, psychological. That's actually the whole point of this post, how horrifically painful the threat is, of losing all those basest, simplest functions that we wholeheartedly take for granted. 

For those two long, throbbing, uncomfortable hours of squirming, half-moaning and not-quite-crying, I went through a list of things I wouldn't be able to do. Since I wasn't sure how severe the break was, but was pretty sure it was a break, the time frame of crippledom stretched from two to six months, and after my dad regaled me with a tale of an ankle sprain so severe it kept him on crutches for two months and not-quite-right for a year, I may have even swooned. 

The list started from the "big" stuff:, to the "small" stuff, which I realized later was the opposite: I wanted to do Warrior Dash in April. I enjoy running and biking on a weekly basis. Taking my child to school, to the park, to the museum. Walking. Grocery shopping without a goddamn wheelchair. Cleaning the house. Making dinner. Going to the bathroom by myself. Showering. Rolling over in bed. Being independent.

You know that cinematic trick of zooming in on the main character while the background seems to fall away? That's how the reality of a stupid broken foot felt as it came flying towards me. My God. One stupid moment of not paying attention, of being flippant because hey, I KNOW how to get out of a van, OKAY, turned into potentially a quarter of a year being benched during the game known as My Life. 

Todd of course was amazing, jumping up for me every time I needed something, or walking me to the bathroom. And he waited so long with me at Next Care, and then went grocery shopping while I waited for the doctor and the X-Rays, and was just so sweet. But it made me feel so guilty, so stupid that just some mistake, some accident, could make my entire family's life turn upside down, dumping everything onto my husband's shoulders.

I got the X-Rays, and the doctor guy comes in and is all "Well, you did break it. It's in pieces. Surgery is highly likely." And my sweet husband is at the store and I'm alone and I see surgery and pins and boots and crutches and casts and months of recovery and loss of independence, and humiliation and fear swarm me like a thousand angry bees. Tears flood my vision. I nod my head, ask for my X-Rays, and get fitted for crutches and a boot.

The next day was better. In fact, it was fabulous. I went to Tucson Orthopedics and the wonderful doctor, who, after what he said, is now up for Sainthood in my opinion, told  me it was just a fracture. Its horseshoe shape is what must have made Next Care Guy think the end of the metatarsal was in pieces. But this doctor told me it's the most common fracture there is, no surgery necessary, to walk on it whenever, that I wasn't special, and I have never been so happy to hear of my status as a mundane, boring old Regular Person. 

Relief washed over Todd and me. Several high fives were executed throughout the rest of that day, and the morning after. I had been faced with, and was blessedly relieved of, the threat of a life that was filled with things I hated; the inability to exercise and move my body, to be an active participant in my kid's life, no longer being able to take care of my family, not being able to carry my own weight, do my part, not being able to be independent. And the whole walking and showering thing, that was huge too. 

So now I have an ETA of six weeks for recovery. I'm walking on it, I'm going to work today, and I've only taken three pain pills (only at night) so far, though Ibuprofen is my friend and counsel. I'm managing, I'm kicking its ass, I'm going to the bathroom by myself and shaving my legs and washing my hair and I made dinner the other night. And, you know, I am thinking I might still do that Warrior Dash in April. 

Thank God, the universe, the angels and the devils and whoever else moved in or stepped aside to let me escape relatively unscathed. And I'd like to think I've learned some lessons about, you know, going a bit slower, taking stock of a situation even if it's as simple as getting out of a hotel shuttle.

Hey, anyone wanna let me sit on the hood of their car while they park?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Workout Wednesday WHAAAAT

So I did this workout routine last week and afterwards I was delightfully sore in the three main areas: arms, trunk, and legs.

Hey, so I just used an Oxford comma there. I'm not really a fan, because I don't know why, but I'm just not. However I read this cool essay Todd wrote on Tai Chi and he is apparently a fan and uses them. I found that fascinating! It's nice to know that even after eight years you will still learn things about your spouse. I also just forgot how to spell fascinating for a hot second there.

Anyways! I have another workout that I've posted here, that I un-affectionately refer to as The Ballbuster, that is similar format of 10 moves, 50 seconds a move with 10 seconds rest, completed a total of three times. It sucks.

This one though, you guys, I love! The other workout had some really tough upper body stuff back to back to back and my form suffered significantly by the time the third round rolled around, and that is a recipe for injury.

So here is one that I actually enjoyed! Start your clock and at the 10 second mark, start the exercise and keep it up for 50 seconds. Lather, rinse, and repeat. OXFORRRRRD

Around the World (grab a weight or medicine ball and hold hip height to the right of your body. Swing up to the left above your head, circling once like a halo before lowering and bringing down to the left of your body, hip height; repeat going the other way - this works everything if you use everything to stabilize)

Abs (any ab work you like; after lots of different stuff I've found that crunches on an exercise ball with my butt as high up as possible will never fail to exhaust both upper and lower abs)

Burpees (the devil's playground)

Sumo Squats with 7lb weight (squat down with the weight grasped between two hands; push up quickly with your weight in your heels, swinging the weight to the right as you lift your left knee as high as is comfortable to counterbalance. Squat down and repeat on the other side)

Pushups (the devil's mistress)

Butts Up! (lie on your back with your lower calves and feet resting on a medicine ball. Dig your heels into the ball, lift your hips and pull the ball in towards your ass, then slowly return the ball to start position. Do not drop your hips. If you get tired, keep your hips up and ball in start position and just pulse your hips up, squeezing your ass as you go)

Shoulder Press (I have two different weights so that if I get tired I can do down to the set that's a couple of pounds lighter and not slow down too much)

Plank (the devil's nightmare)

Weight Punch Shuffle (with weights in hand, do a sort of shadowbox routine. Punch with the right fist, with your arm crossing over your body towards the left. Twist your torso to follow the movement and put your right foot back as you punch with the right, and vice versa. Go as quickly as you can and play around with your rhythm to have fun)

Backwards Lunge (pretty self explanatory. I like backwards lunges because I really have to concentrate on placement and go pretty slowly; that way I can avoid injury since I already have a fussy knee)

Anyways, it's by no means easy but I think I figured out a really good order for the moves so that while you're always tired, you're never wiped out, and therefore can finish all three rounds. Happy sweating!