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Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

The new normal

4am Saturday.  Apparently 36 hours of sleep out of 48 is quite enough.

The second SI joint injection, while it did make it much less painful to sit, has not solved the problem.

Natural Childbirth was newly the rage when I was having my first child.  It was all new news; if you took so much as an aspirin while pregnant you risked terrors unknown for your unborn.   My mom drank coffee and ate sugar and took aspirin and look how well that turned out.  What’s everyone worried about?

I slept, cocooned around the life in me, planning the joy of birth, all natural:  breathe innnnnnnnnn breathe ouuuuuuuuuuut.  Soon out would pop a pink face resembling the Gerber baby.  Labor and delivery revealed to me a different world.  And, yet, when my second child came along I repeated the process.  This time there was no rosy glow surrounding my daydreams but I knew it was probably best for the baby.

When the twins came along, rosy glow or no, it was epidural time.  One of them was crossways and he had two choices:  breech or transverse, and the doctor didn’t consider either option optional.  Loaded up with an epidural I gave birth pain-free.  (This could explain why the carpet, 14 years later, ended up on fire.  Small fire, quickly extinguished, but, still, fire.  On my carpet.  In the middle of the den.)

Cue the robins and rainbows and clouds:  la-la-la-la wow.  That didn’t hurt a bit.

For the intervening decades pain level for me has always been compared to childbirth.  Am I being torn apart limb by limb?  No?  Ok, give me some ibuprofen.  I may still hurt, and I may not be a happy camper, but just leave me alone to get through whatever’s going on, and I will.

It took me until this morning to put together this week’s clues.  Like the Sunday puzzler, right?

1.  Tuesday and Wednesday I walked 3 miles each day.  Agonizingly slow miles (and please, no one get offended if they are walkers, because taking an hour to walk three miles when I did 10K in that time ten weeks ago, including allowing for the limping to the finish line the last two miles of the race, is a blow to my ego even though I should be above that type of thing.  I’m a shallow, vain person.)  I’m also impatient and stubborn, which is one of the reasons I run.  Every time I walk I think, I could be done now…I could be done  now…  In fact, I’m going to admit something else that shames me.  On Wednesday as I trudged along I saw a guy running past me in the neighborhood.  I always try to make contact with other people out running and walking, a little wave, a little ‘hi’ if I have enough breath.  No.  I trudged along, head down, refusing to look up.  I was mad.  He was running.  I was not.  Nice attitude, eh?

2.  (Here’s where genius comes in, see if you can figure it out before I did)  Tuesday and Wednesday nights I had spasms in both legs – dozens, all night long – which would grab my legs and freeze them with electricity so hard that two days later my muscles are still sore.

3.  Thursday morning after a night of pain I woke, exhausted.  “I don’t feel so good,” I thought.  I started to sit up.  Ohhh, noooo …. and I hit a pace to the bathroom which would shame Usain Bolt, where I was immediately and completely assaulted with the worst stomach virus I’ve had in at least a couple of years.  This set the day’s pattern.  Sleep like the dead, awake, beat Usain to the throne.  Twelve hours later, both Usain and I exhausted with the intervals, the last of the virus had been exorcised.

4.  How sick was I?  I never had any coffee all day.  Yes.  Now you understand the seriousness of the situation.  Mere mortals fear to tread.

5.  Thursday night I slept like Eric Northman in daylight.  Another twelve hours and I woke, Friday morning, wondering why there was roadkill in my mouth and how I could possibly have actually melded to the mattress.  And, yet, initial consultation revealed both seemed to be true.  Further rumination revealed that I’d had no leg spasms.  None.  Oh, sure, twitches but that’s always there.

6.  All this meant that Thursday’s follow-up visit to the ortho was, understandably, postponed to yesterday afternoon.   After a lunch of Ramen noodles and sipping a Route 44 Diet Cherry Limeade, nectar of the Virus Gods, I headed to the Doc.  Driving was not very painful.  I didn’t find myself shifting restlessly in the seat, spasms in my hamstrings.  Odd.

7.  All Together Now:  Why did I not have spasms?

8.  Because lying around all day long is good for not having pain.

9.  I refuse to accept a lifestyle that includes that as an option without exploring every other option possible.  (see 1, above)

10.  This has nothing to do with my back, but I have to tell you both about Murphy Munker and Mo.  The entire time I was sick they would not leave me.  Ok, well, Munker and Mo ran down the hallway like their butts were on fire every time I jumped out of the bed and bolted for the bathroom but that was just the suddenness of movement.  Murphy, who will spend 8 hours outside in 40 degree weather if he can just find a squirrel to hate or a 24″x 24″ patch of sun to lie in, would not leave the bed.  He went outside for a couple of minutes twice in 24 hours.  If I moved to the couch, he moved to the couch.  Munk and Mo followed.  It was cute.  Like a sick little parade.  Me, wrapped in a blankie, shuffling downstairs, Murphy running ahead to clear the path:  Make Way — Make Way — Munk and Mo following, occasionally stopping to playfully bat one another in the head.  Once in the den they would put on a little cat show, running back and forth, hiding behind the plants or the chair, jumping out to pounce on each other.  Look, Mom!  Funny, Right?  Smile?  If you have an empty nest, I recommend you find some good used animals.  You cannot overestimate the joy they add.

New Normal continues as we continue to puzzle out my Falling off Butt:  My new BRDr.FF has scheduled me for another epidural which should happen next week.  She said we’ll give it a week or so; unless I call her singing the Hallelujah Chorus and already planning my next marathon training schedule we will move into Plan B, Operation Save the World from Terrilee:  visit the Neuro.

NEXT WEEK IS THANKSGIVING!  What are you two planning?  Regardless of my back and my whiny little tiny baby issues, I am blessed.  I have many wonderful friends whom I love, and who seem to love me even without their drugs, a fantastic, wonderful, supportive, loving family, a job that’s out of this world and, of course, Murphy Munker and Mo.  I could want more – and usually do – but I know the truth:  I’m incredibly blessed.

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12 thoughts on “The new normal

  1. 1. Ergh. Yes, I’ve always felt the same way about running vs. walking. I could be there by now.
    2. Childbirth is a horrible sort of pain, but you get a child out of it. Huge bonus. Other pain: no bonus. Ergo: pain not necessary and wholly unwelcome.
    3. I’m glad you’re feeling better. Nothing like your insides coming out to make you forget back pain, eh?
    4. Your cats sound like they love you very much.
    5. Good luck with the epidural next week.
    6. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving because I don’t have to look for a job for three days. Very exciting. ; )
    7. I hope you and your friends and family have a very, very happy holiday.

    • Are you a firstborn? I think firstborns are more impatient. At least it’s born out (haha) in my life.

      Funny, the whole birth/pain/virus thing, I did get rid of a lot of the “Steroid Baby” (another crappy side effect of this whole journey, three shots in one week, *urp*)

      Silly cats.

      You know I’ll be letting the world know about the epidural 😉

      JOB? Why? ick? not ick? And good luck!

      BLESSED Thanksgiving to you and yours!

      • Yes, I’m a firstborn, and I’m very impatient. And when I don’t feel good, I have very little patience for that.

        So is my firstborn son, who always is ready for the next thing, the next thing, being older, what are we doing next???

        • Oh, yeah, I so see it in my daughter, too – not only firstborn but definitely her mother’s child. I had a friend whose son I just adored. I told her once that I thought I loved Hunter so because he reminded me so much of her. She said that was interesting; he was, for her, the most difficult of her children for precisely the same reason.

  2. I’m so glad you’re getting over the blow the virus dealt you, and that you have devoted pets who stay by your side in illness! My ol’ boy Buck would do the same. If only they could bring you toast and water, and maybe mop up after you a bit, it would be perfect.

    You know, whininess makes for fun writing and reading. This is where you let it all hang it…

  3. I am also a first born, and CAN be impatient. So sorry to hear that your still having problems with your back; and wow, that virus sounds like it was a nasty one! Hope you improve…xx

    • Thanks! Much better. The good part of the virus (now that it’s over, nothing was good during…) is that I got rid of some of Steroid Baby, as I’d begun calling the ‘roid gain. Three shots in one week … erk

      I see it so much in my family, the impatient firstborn thing. I wonder if there’s ever been a study.
      I’m gonna go look!

      Happy trails! Today is the last of the Road Race Series which started back in July, the 2nd half marathon this morning (2 5K in July, 2 5mile in August, 2 10k in Sept, 2 10mile in Oct and 2 halves in Nov). Since I can’t run it some friends and I will drive the course screaming and honking at the runners. I think someone is bringing a cowbell, too. Another friend is bringing her giant Mickey Mouse hands from Disneyworld and we’ll wave out the window while we honk, scream and ring the cowbell. Incredibly, the crazy nutjob runners like it.

  4. Hey Terri Lee,

    Not only do we share the pain of not being able to run–I really feel your pain, but my middle name is Lee. That’s right, Daryl Lee. Keep in mind that I’m English–what was my mum thinking. All I want for Christmas is some cool fluorescent running digs, but I’m unsure whether I will ever make it back. Sometimes I think that if I cannot run like a Tsunami is behind me, then I’m not interested. Not very sporting eh? Mine is improving. Every morning I attach bungee cords to my feet, stretch my hamstrings, roll around the floor getting tangled up in Anne’s rubber bands, I hang upside down in the inversion table playing Granny Smith on my Iphone–trying my best to stop the darn thing flipping right-side up, because I’m upside down. My kids affectionately call it hanging with Granny G. We will make it back; people have overcome so much more. Patience, Patience, Patience (I’m cringing as I write this). Good luck and have a great Thanksgiving. P.S. The moggies (cats) sound very loveable.

  5. Just wanted to let you know you’re the coolest blogger EVER! Hope you’re feeling better.
    Happy Thanksgiving,

  6. Hi Terri…hope this finds you improved…MUCH improved. Constant pain sucks (voice of experience there)….

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