Couch Potatoes

It’s been about 4 months since the onset of my knee pain .   Three runs have been attempted since, 2 of which were in April and felt fine, the last of which in May lasted 8 minutes. I was in oodles of pain for 3 days afterwards. I biked easily and sporadically through May, but since things weren’t improving, I stopped that too. So swimming is the only thing I’ve done consistently since. Unfortunately, the last several times in the water, my back has not felt so good. (It’s been sporadic with some major aching and a little pain for a couple months). Grrr! Thankfully swimming is not doing any damage, per my doctor, so as long as I listen to my body, I can continue. Whew!

The knee has felt much better the last several weeks, but my back has not. An MRI a couple weeks ago revealed why. The results didn’t show anything major per se, but I have a plethora of issues. Some of you may recall I was in a bike accident a few years ago and herniated a disc. Thankfully, that hasn’t gotten worse, but now I also have lots of tears in the ligaments surrounding my back, as well as bone spurs, some degeneration, and a major lack of mobility in my lower spine. As a result, the nerve canal has greatly diminished which is causing pain to present in my knee and in my back too.

A nerve test was endured today as well just so we can pinpoint a more precise diagnosis. (This entailed lots of needle prodding in my lower back, legs, and the bottom of my foot). As suspected, some nerves aren’t firing well and/or incorrectly and some are damaged. What does this mean? Well, I just need more time to heal. Nothing can fix the issues other than time so no training for at least 4-8 months. I can swim some, do the elliptical up to 30 minutes a couple times per week, and walk for now. I’ll also be getting various types of therapy from my doctor including stretching, core exercises, neurological exercises, and maybe a couple of adjustments here and there as we need to deter all the scar tissue and muscles from getting tight.

There are a few other options to consider along the way, surgery is the last one, which I’m hoping to, and probably will, avoid. So I just need to continue on this path of inactivity in order to heal, something with which I am completely unfamiliar and uncomfortable. It’s not like I’ve only been told to not to run, not to bike, or not to do most activities. I’ve been told to totally change my lifestyle; no training, little working out, both of which mean a lot less eating too, all of which is very difficult for me. It messes with my head, my body, and my hormones. Feeling & being lethargic is foreign and no fun at all. Although I’ve pretty much swallowed this pill, it’s not always easy to be patient and optimistic. In the end, I know what I have to do and I will do it. There is no pushing through this. Tick tock tick tock…

Ironically, Scott is in a similar boat as he’s been struggling with plantar fasciitis for, well, years. He pushed through this year though, with the help of a cortisone shot, in order to run the Boston marathon. Luckily, he did awesome there, but now he’s paying the expected price.   He was put in a boot for a couple weeks and will see his doctor for a check-up in a couple days. It’s not feeling much better yet, but we’ll find out his options soon.

So there you have it, we’re both couch potatoes this summer! At least we’re making the most of it with more travel, more summer nights on the patio, and more time with family and friends.


7 Replies to “Couch Potatoes”

  1. Oh, Mary! I’m confident that the same intensity you put into training and racing will help you through this very tough time. Heal swiftly and completely!

  2. Hi Mary! I’ve been meaning to email you re a blog a while back. I was really saddened to hear that you were unable to race this summer. Very tough when it’s your passion. Hopefully, your coaching others is allowing you to experience some of the victory via your clients. I know it’s not the same and I was really looking forward to seeing you place at the Chicago ITU but……not this year. I am certain you will heal and come back stronger than ever!!!

  3. Really tough, sorry to hear 😦 … on that note, I am up for more backyard gatherings… 🙂 lets make the most of your time off!

  4. Hey, sorry to hear it’s not getting any better. But if it makes you feel any better, there’s at least one aging, sometimes struggling, near drowning guy out here that you’re keeping motivated.

    Keep the chin up and I’m sure you’ll be back at it before you know it.

  5. I’m so sorry that you both are going through such painful times. I can’t imagine you not being able to do your workout regimen and taking part in your regular activities. You sound like you’re doing your best to deal with it all. I’m sure it’s not easy! Thinking of you and hoping that the rest makes the difference. xoxo

  6. hey I am JUST catching up here. I am sorry you are going thru this but BIG PICTURE keep saying that BIG PICTURE. I think re-setting our normal is hard, i have had to do it ( when i was in my 30’s) and luckily not since for an extended period of time. But it stinks.
    You are so lucky you have your girls and a good perspective but it doesnt make it easier, i know.
    Surgery? Ya last resort. But i do know people that have had back surgery and are doing really well just sorta depends.
    Hang in there:) miss you!

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