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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.

Archive for the tag “Butt Falling off Syndrome”

We’re all talking monkeys on an organic spaceship.

It’s possible, anyway.  I figure whatever we are, that’s what God (or First Cause, or Creator, or whatever name you use) decided is best so if some monkey in the past began to evolve, and now this is what we are, well, who are we to argue?  We’re not monkeys now, right?  I mean, just look around you at how well we all behave, no screeching unintelligibly because someone stole our banana, no running around aimlessly in circles while scratching our head, no shoving each other out of the tree, no shunning the least because they don’t fit in our tribe.

monkeys organic spaceship

Had the big visit with my new BRDr.FF, Dr. L, yesterday to find out about the MRI.  I don’t want to borrow trouble, but at this point, to tell you the truth, she and I both thought it was going to be the S1 herniated; send me off to the neuro and scoop the damn little thing out.  I was really hoping so.  Easy fix.  Just pull the stinking little SOB out.

You two know how I always do things the easy way.  I’m a rule follower.  I’m a follow-the-packer, just let me sit back here and watch.  Straight line, easy breezy lemon squeezy, no arguing, no questioning WhyHowWhen.

Dr. L reviewed the results of the MRI with us.  A few little things in L1-L-4, but nothing – not a thing – no thing – nothing – that could be the cause.  And the S1?  Absolutely normal.  Finally.  What I’ve dreamed of since I knew the term:  “normal” + “Terri” in the same sentence.  Just when it helps least.

God bless Dr. L flying around on the organic spaceship, she is trying so hard to figure what is going on.  Guess what?  And you will both spit your coffee on the screen so I’m just warning you right now to put the mug down and swallow before you finish reading this sentence:  she said I’m currently one of the most complicated cases she has.  Meanwhile I’m beginning to fear I’m just a hypochondriac or a nutjob.

Hubs probably heard the Hallelujah Chorus repeating in stereo in his head when heard her say that.  COMPLICATED.   It’s official.  Terri makes no sense.  Thank you thank you little baby Jesus in your crib, listening to the cows moo you to sleep, THANK YOU.

She did an ultrasound on my hamstring hoping to see if there were some trigger there, but no luck.  I’ll have another MRI Saturday to look over the entire length of the hamstring and I will freeze to death on Pluto (sorry Pluto.  To me you will always be a planet and if I have to freeze to death I want it to be on you) before I get a copy of that damn thing.  If BRDrFF Dr. L  finds that it shows nothing I’m off to the neuro.  Hopefully the neuro will only look at my back and legs because if he looks inside my head he’ll charge us a finder’s fee.

Saturday was the St. Jude Memphis Marathon weekend.  A friend of mine is injured and couldn’t do the marathon she’d registered for.  She is also a St. Jude Hero, having raised money for the kids.  We kept ending up in the same volunteer spots throughout the day, a lot of it on the field at the two finish lines, watching the runners come in, both of us so happy for them.  But even though  it made me feel like a complete jerk, I was jealous.  No matter how horrid the run, I wanted it.  I wanted to be coming across that finish line, happy, exhausted, hurt, disgusted, anything.  I just wanted to feel that sweat and the hum in my muscles (not the electricity).  To enjoy the sweetness of finally stopping, the first taste of water – even lukewarm – that tastes like nectar.

Now I’m going to admit that I’m an idiot.  Again.  Why Why Why (OMG there’s that word again) do I always end up an idiot?  After the race I did something stupid: I went by the MRI place and got a copy of my report.  I didn’t know I could do that.  So I read it and googled all the terms and stuff, and of course I saw words like andycondializing scuppernongs and blerferating hagis and thought well sh*t my back is totally screwed.  My brain was flying through the universe on an organic spaceship in hyperdrive and it was taking me along.

Hubs is feeling pretty frustrated.   This is not unusual, of course.  But maybe he’s like a couple thousand points higher on the frustrated scale right now.  I’m guessing this based on how red his face gets and the frequency and duration of his tongue biting.  Sunday morning when I woke in the middle of the night I was about as down as I’ve been about all this.  Lying there in bed at 2am trying to go back to sleep all I knew were pictures in my mind of race finishers, the shouts of their families, bispurtilizing discotomies and the little spasms in my leg.  I thought about what I could post to the MRTC FB page in the morning, something about the race, of course, since so many Memphis runners had done it.  And I didn’t want to.  I didn’t want to see all the FB posts and emails and joyjoyjoy about their race or the sorrow of a missed PR or sore quads.  I was turbo charged by the steroid shot(s) and frustrated.

When I could no longer stand it I got up and went to the kitchen.  My Garmin was on the counter in its charger.  And right there, encompassed in a half-charged Garmin, were all the long runs and short runs, tempo runs and speedwork, heartrates and elevation maps of all the runs I haven’t done and as embarrassed as I am to tell you this, I sobbed.  I sobbed and snotted and hiccupped and sniffed while tears ran down my face and neck and cried that I just want to run.

Let me tell you both something right here, especially if one of you is a husband.   Maybe someday your wife, in the morning, sober, after having coffee, takes you by the shoulders and states, “next time I go bat sh*t crazy crying and sobbing, I want you to come to me, ask me what is wrong, try to understand what I’m saying and then try to fix it.”  You should then get that in writing, drive immediately to someone who can notarize it, get it framed and hang it prominently in your house.  That way she will know where to find it to throw at you next time she melts down.

I know – pull up the big girl panties – and I have, it just took me a couple of days.  Apparently I’m a slow responder.

Someone mentioned recently that I have not drawn any pics lately.  I thought this might be particularly helpful for any husbands out there, and so I will close with this.  As always, copies are available for $25 and if you’d like it autographed let me know, prices have gone up, I’m sorry, but what with being the National Posterchild and Spokesperson for the BFOS I’m getting a bit busier and my time is valuable.  Drive the picture over to my house and I’ll autograph it for $37.82.  No tax, we’re a nonprofit.

crazy train

We’re on a Crazy Train

Driving me insane, I’m going off the rails on a crazy train 

The children, apparently, are all off their meds.  Unfortunately I am not, and I refuse to look at the calendar to see if it’s been 11 or 12 weeks since I’ve run.  I don’t have that many fingers and toes.

As I noted on FB the other day, no one – NO ONE – should be filled with steroids four times in one month. Someone could get hurt, and it won’t be me. This could explain why Chunk ran out the kitchen door the other day and hid under the car.  Hubs was at one end of the car fishing for her and I was at the other, with a mop.  Instead of running back in the house through the nearby kitchen door, which was hanging wide open, she darted for freedom on the front porch where she played Cat & Mouse with the two of us, slinking behind the fern and then under the bench, back and forth, as we darted to and fro, grabbing and missing.  We finally captured her; she struggled but we re-inserted her in the house, only to have her shoot out the back door and into the yard – she was close to speed of light, she was across the patio, down two sets of steps, and in the yard before I could turn around – once again, she was captured and re-inserted in the house. She has pulled the lights off the tree, sat in a branch and broke it and meanwhile I’m considering duct taping myself to a chair. Just need to be sure the Keurig will be within reach.

I fixed the broken branch by using long twist ties to buddy tie it to the branch above.  It’s listing to one side but should make it through one last Christmas.  I bought the tree while the traitors were still in high school so it’s given its due.  When all four kids were younger we got real trees for a series of years.  I loved it, but hubs’ eyeballs rolling back in his head every time he entered the room and considered the possibility of the entire house going up in flames from shorted out lights finally wore me down.  He should have been looking at the fireplace and rolling his eyeballs since that’s where the lightning finally struck and the fire ensued.  And it wasn’t even Christmas.

The last time we got a live tree he came close to entering orbit when he had to try to get it in the house.  Granted, it was a bit larger than the door.  It didn’t look quite that fat at the tree lot, really, although the kids no longer really fitting in the van could have been interpreted as a clue.  I just told them it was actually not illegal to drive with three kids in one front (bucket) seat.   I’d already paid for the tree and anyway I think the lady hauling all the kids around the tree lot had quickly been singled out by Tree Lot Dude as a nutjob.  Not that my pride was impacted.  It was some other woman with a bunch of kids whose names she kept mixing up.

After that, feeling sorry for hubs – it had nothing to do with my pride – I decided that was enough and we’d make do with fake, which he could just slide down the stairs from the attic every year in a nice tidy box.  That last year, though, that tree was magnificent.  We named it Mothra.  Mothra The Christmas Tree.  We didn’t realize, when picking it out, that it was too fat to stand alone.  It had a hearty lifestyle before it came to live at our place; apparently it was a choice of becoming a Christmas tree or auditioning for Biggest Loser, which would have been going out on a limb, if you ask me.  I had to use two 4″ nails (one hammered into the window frame and one into the mantel – neither of which I was ever able to remove.  When this family nails something to the wall, it’s freeking NAILED.  Hubs hung an 8×10 picture on the wall in one of the traitor’s rooms and when we moved I had to saw the nail off at the wall and he re-plastered it.  Sucker. Was. Not. coming out.  He’d impaled it in a stud.  The wall was coming down before that nail did.)  We wrapped a thin rope around the trunk and tied the tree to the nails embedded in the wall/mantel.  You mostly couldn’t see the rope.  Especially when the lights were off.

HI!  I’m back!  Had to warm up my 3rd or 4th cup of coffee.  I’ve kinda lost count because it’s now about 6:45am and I’ve been up since 2:30am.  I hope no one counts the empty Kcups in the trash.  I’ve had plenty of time to ruminate about long ago, last year, and last week, and here’s the thing:  I don’t think either the tree or the “kids” are going to undergo any changes, and I really think it’s going to get worse.  I just don’t know.  Maybe the steroids are like a virus and I’ve sneezed some on them?

Last year when Chunk was an even earlier version of Chunklite, since she was still a kitten, I worried she’d try to climb the tree, but she never did.  She did daily strip the damn thing completely bare of ornaments as far as she could reach and batted them all about the den, but she didn’t climb it.  I found ornaments for weeks.  I moved a chair last spring and out rolled one last ornament.   Lonely, lost little ornament with its top missing.  Sad.  This year, one branch down on the first day.  I didn’t even bother putting ornaments on the bottom branches.  Three different Christmases when my kids were learning to pull up, stand, and walk I put the tree in the playpen.  That was uglier than some bottom branches without ornaments.  If we have company I’ll quickly move a few.

Last year Murphy ignored the tree pretty much, at least as well as he ignores anything in the house which he doesn’t want to eat or sleep on.  This past week he spent two days following me like I had a steak glued to my falling off butt but not looking happy about it, cowering behind the nearest piece of furniture he thought he could fit behind (rather like Mothra The Christmas Tree, he had a hugely optimistic opinion of the smallness of his stature, never realizing that an 18″ trash can did not fully conceal him) and while he cowered he shivered and shook, looking hang-dog at me (boy, they nailed that description of a look) (oh, haha – nailed).  I’m not sure, but I think he didn’t like the untree-smelling thing set up in the den.  He didn’t seem to want to enter the den and when he did he dashed quickly to the door begging for freedom.   It could have been the pet repellent I’ve been spraying indiscriminately all over the tree uselessly, as you’ll note in the photo below, where you just might glimpse Mr. Mo settling in for a long winter’s nap as more of the branches dip closer and closer to the carpeting and ornaments slide slowly downward and the tree reeks of chemicals never before combined.  But he’s so damn cute.

Mo in xmas tree

Apparently to Mo and Munker consider pet repellent to be as attractive as I thought my mother’s Chanel No.5 was when, in 7th grade, I wore it to school for weeks trying in vain to entice the attention of Kevin, an “older man” in 8th grade.  Hey, why would I think she’d mind?  She never used it – it just sat there on her dresser, another item to dust.  Or so it seemed to me.  She’d had it for years and it never got much emptier.  Wouldn’t you think she didn’t like it but kept it around so she’d have a purpose in dusting?  Which, by the way, I thought a useless and archaic waste of time probably invented by my grandmother on the farm, which was surely dirtier than living in town, especially since it was actually me that had to dust the bottle, giving me ample evidence of her disdain for the item.  Yeah, right.  Disdain until one day in a freakish accident she somehow discovered the visibly lower level of perfume in the bottle and determined it wasn’t the dog smelling so fine.  Lesson learned:  don’t use mom’s perfume.

Plus, it didn’t seem to work anyway, Kevin fell madly in love with some idiot girl at his stupid church.

Now, this evening, Mo is curled up under the Christmas tree, looking so cute and sweet and pretty, all white and black and soft against the red plaid tree skirt, while he evilly plots his next tree climbing excursion.  Chunker, meanwhile, is sound asleep in my chair and has been pretty much since 3:30am when, after a desperate search throughout the house and realizing she was nowhere to be found, I discovered the little sh*t OUTSIDE on the kitchen deck gazing at me through the window.  She’d been outside all night.  Her longest previous outdoor excursion was the aforementioned visit to the front porch.  AND she has not yet batted one ornament off the tree, which I think is a sick ploy to throw me further off my game.  Murphy lovingly and uncoweringly played all over the den last night and then curled up with the B’ster, who spent the night with us, and this morning I heard the hubster upstairs roaming around at 7am, he overslept by two hours and didn’t run this morning.

We’ve got to get back to normal around here.  I’m the one who’s crazy and they are making me insane.

All ye All ye Outs in Free!

HI!  Where the heck have you two been?  I’ve been right here!

Well, so, maybe I’ve been sort of here but not really.  Guess what??  Mom came for Thanksgiving!  yep!  She said she wasn’t going to, but Hubs, the Man, Mr. Patient, called and said we’d really like you to visit and let me get your ticket booked and she caved like a cheap camp chair.

She’d told me she didn’t want to come.  Hey – I’m fine with that.  I’m the kid, she’s the mom, even though I’m 28 years old now  (and I don’t want to hear from any of my children who may think they were born prior to 1984 because actually I lied to you all).

Reverting to childhood, I spent the past week worrying about pleasing my mother while trying to get things done that, as a fake adult, I feel obligated to do.  This means I would review work emails, consider which had to be taken care of immediately and shunt the remainder to the unread pile.  The take-care-of-later pile.  The oh-SH*t-I-probably-should-have-taken-care-of-that pile, and the SCREW it pile.

In between mom coming for a week and the Thanksgiving holiday (Right.  I needed that.  Turkey, dressing, gravy, pumpkin pie, whipped cream, leftover turkey on white balloon bread and mayo, more pumpkin pie, blahblahblah and for the three days following, even though I’ve already gained some awesome steroid pounds). Last Sunday I had an MRI.  Today is Thursday and it will probably be Friday before I get this posted.  But – no MRI results.  Is my new BRDr.FF too busy to let me know the results?  I suppose so.  They say results have not been received, the diagnostic imaging people say they were sent Tuesday.   Either way, I had a 2nd spinal epidural yesterday (Wednesday) marking the 4th steroid injection in four weeks and also marking a new high water mark for my face which now looks like a basketball without the seam lines.  Not that I’m bothered by that.  I like looking like a balloon.

On the other hand I just smashed a mosquito in .00157 seconds.

Die, you little sonuvabitch.

I’m seriously considering going for a run and not telling anyone.  What?  I’m going to herniate a disc?

I’m lying.  hahahahaha

Oh, here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8gmARGvPlI  Maybe now I can get rid of the earworm.  Let me know how that works for you.

HUGS and all that sh*t.

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.

Breathing underwater.

My new BRDr.FF, Dr. L, slammed my falling off butt with another steroid shot Thursday in the SI joint.  She said give it a bit and take it out for a shake down run, she wants to see what happens.  Since it continued to hurt and actually felt worse after the injection I waited.  Friday as the day progressed I was surprised to find that sitting wasn’t hurting near as much, and I decided to try a run this morning.

I felt like I was in high school again and after waiting nervously for weeks, the boy I secretly liked had just asked me to prom.  I carefully charged up my Garmin, located the HR monitor, got my inserts back in my running shoes.  I opened the drawer I’d just recently and reluctantly tucked my running stuff into, thinking I wouldn’t be seeing them again for a while, and happily dug out shorts and shirt.

It certainly did not hurt a bit that it’s a gorgeous fall day, brilliant blue sky, green, gold, russet leaves drifting in a breeze, birds chirping, cheeping, and flitting through the trees.

Spring, 2011 we moved into this house.  I had not been running consistently due in part to the plantar fasciitis but mostly due to the incredible busy-ness of renovating a house, keeping up a house we were trying to sell, and then moving.  Stir in a few emergency trips to my parents…it was a crazy time.

My usual route leaves my house and across the busy street at the end of our block.  There’s a lovely upscale neighborhood about 1/2 mile away with a lazy winding road running through it.  The developers wisely kept all the old growth; houses sit back from the road and 30′-40′ trees line the narrow road, natural undergrowth left in place.  It’s like running through the country although I can vaguely hear the semi’s on I-40 a 1/2 mile away.  I like the sound of trucks on a freeway, the thought of where they’ve been and where they’re going, zooming along in their little contained worlds.

Last spring when I started back running I ran this road consistently, reveling in the beauty of these beautiful trees leafing out, the birds serenading each other and wooing, daffodils and crocus popping up through a layer of leaves.  Today I ran that same route, watching the swirling helicopter seeds float past me, squirrels rushing to the trees for more hickory nuts.  It’s not uncommon to see deer here, usually does with their young ones in the spring, with their tweens and teens later on.  I didn’t see any today but last time I ran I saw three young buck, antlers just fuzzy bumps, young enough they could still be friends.  They stood back, but didn’t run.

I have friends who are former runners (committed runners, people who did well under 3 hour marathon PR’s in their younger days) now walking stiffly with worn hips and knees (and – not from running, but genes).  They ride like crazy now, and we’ve discussed before my opinion of that as a substitute for running.  At this time, and I’m trying to keep an open mind, biking as a substitute for running is like getting a turkey sandwich with an apple for dessert while sitting next to someone with a steak and sweet potato fries and a huge hot fudge sundae for dessert.  It’s a moot point, I can’t bike anyway, it makes my toes go numb from the pressure on my back as I lean over the bars.

If I rode like this it would be OK:

Gotta find me one of these.  Since I frequently match her cranky attitude, however, I might find myself cackling as I biked.

As I grow older there are many things I want to begin cutting out of my life, but activity is not one of them.  I do not want to be that person who cannot carry two bags of grocery to a car.  I will do all I can not to lose that.

I want to get rid of the worrying, catastrophizing (my counselor made that word up, it’s a great word) OMG this is the worst that could happen, that is horrid, what if, how can we, who will…impatience – that car is in my way, when is the paper getting delivered, my K-cups pouring forth nectar within 30 seconds.  I want to slow down.  I want to look around.  I want to feel this day and live it, not wait it out, which I have done too many times.

When I run I am using the body I was given.  I am making muscles what they were formed to be.  I have life flowing through me and I am alive to the world.  I feel that in some way I am doing honor to the honor I was given:  life.

I love the act of running.  Looking down watching my feet blur on the street.  Hearing my breathing.  Street level, looking at the world go by on my own power; open to the world on this little private journey, burning some endorphins.  I’m alive in that moment, for just a moment existing in that present.  Yes, of course, most of the run still has a running conversation of when, how, next, then – but the hum is quieter and running further in the background.

There are so many things we no longer do for ourselves.  When my daughter was born I used cloth diapers.  The first few months I didn’t have a dryer and I hung them to dry in the Arizona sun.  I made her food.  The grocery was about a mile away, if I only needed a few things I put her in the stroller and walked to get milk and things.  I washed the dishes.  We had a swamp cooler but no A/C.  On Saturday she’d play in the hose while I’d wash the car and let her play with the bubbles.

Now I order Christmas online, getting most of it done on Black Friday as I sit in my climate controlled office in order to avoid the traffic.  I drive everywhere, the washer and dryer left spinning and the dishwasher chugging away at home as I run my car through the car wash after I buy gas.  I’ve got a sack full of microwavable veggies and pre-formed hamburgers, automatic bowl flush cleaner tabs.  Hubs’ 100% cotton button downs go to the cleaner.  I haven’t ironed in so long that while typing this I had to stop and think where the iron might be.

I’ve recently discovered a poem that has grabbed hold of me, circling in my brain, landing for consideration then lifting up and swirling back into my thoughts as it floats about lighting little dark corners of my day.  I have too often and for too long held my breath and dug my toes into the sand, determined to stand still and maintain a moment, a place or an event. I stand, clinging, to imagined wrongs, to imaged rights, to how I think things should be.

I want to learn to tumble through life embracing it all, living in the coral castle, learning to breathe underwater.  When I run, I feel I am.

++++++++++++++++++

Breathing Underwater

I built my house by the sea.
Not on the sands, mind you;
not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.

A strong house
by a strong sea.
And we got well acquainted, the sea and I.
Good neighbors.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance,
but looking our thoughts across the fence of sand.
Always, the fence of sand our barrier,
always, the sand between.

And then one day,
-and I still don’t know how it happened –
the sea came.
Without warning.

Without welcome, even
Not sudden and swift, but a shifting across the sand like wine,
less like the flow of water than the flow of blood.
Slow, but coming.
Slow, but flowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
And while I thought the sea crept higher, till it reached my door.
And I knew, then, there was neither flight, nor death, nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling, you stop being neighbors,
Well acquainted, friendly-at-a-distance neighbors,
And you give your house for a coral castle,
And you learn to breathe underwater.

Sr. Carol Bieleck, RSCJ
from an unpublished work

Things that make you go hmmm hmmm hmmm

I’m not really sure what happened.  I have an average of 56 views daily, and that’s only because I shamelessly promote myself on my FB page and my family is forced to check it out under threat of not making the sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving if they don’t.  Oh, maybe a few hapless runners have some confused idea I would delete their race results but that’s just crazy sh*t and I have no idea where that would have come from.

Two days ago I had 515 views.  Site Stats said well over 300 people looked at it from a link at Runner’s World alone.  I realize rundogcat has been linked from that site for months; I doubt 300++ people suddenly decided on Wednesday to go to an obscure link at RW and read a bunch of crack about cats and my mom folding sheets by someone who is not currently even running.

Anyway, please be sure to comment to this post if you would like an autograph.  I haven’t set up a paypal account yet, you send me cash (inbox me) and I’ll get that out to you soon as the bucks arrive.  I think, maybe, $15? each?   Think about it, I was once also the Queen of England, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.  Or Euro.

Blogging is a crap shoot.  I know that I am putting stuff out there in the interworldwebnet that people can randomly find if they google Daniel Craig swimsuit (which tends to get me a quick view almost daily; they don’t actually read my blog, it’s a drive-by viewing where the searcher just wants to see poor Daniel, now apparently embarrassed by the entire Speedo incident, poor guy, welcome to sex kitteh world, I know, it’s tough, but you got the buns, hun, you get the name.)  (I never posted him in the Speedo to get views, other, of course, than my own.)  (Just thought I should disclaim this.)

So:  hmmm hmmm hmmm.  Wordpress apparently posted someone else’s views to my page.  The worst of it is all those readers getting ground turkey when they were looking for steak.

On the plus side, ground turkey has less cholesterol.

Hmmm hmmm hmmm.  Saw the ortho yesterday.  The short of it:  She’s thinking it’s the S1 disc but did another SI joint injection just in case.  I was supposed to call her later to let her know if it worked.  She even said I could go for a run to see how it shakes out.  Since I got home and it wasn’t any better I called and reported in.  I moved forward through my day assuming that it was the S1 and we might be looking at surgery.

Hmmm hmmm hmmm.  Today – it hurts less.  WTFudge flavored brownie crusteroles?  Is my butt falling off or is it not?

Damn.  I’m going for a run tomorrow.

BAZINGA

Cleaning house

As I folded sheets today I thought of my mother.  She folds a bottom sheet perfectly.  They are square and flat without any extra fabric poofing out, carefully stacked in the closet, next the fitted sheet; pillowcases on top.

I stand in the hallway by the laundry closet, holding the bottom sheet.  I shove one corner into the other corner and hold the point.  I take the third corner and bring it up to the first two as my mother always did and begin fishing for the fourth corner.  It’s there somewhere.  It had four corners when I took it off the bed.  Where the &^%$ is the corner?  Oh – there, underneath.  I drop the other three corners when I reach.  I pick them back up.  The fourth corner is now INSIDE the other three.  Screw it.  I wad it in a ball and shove it in the corner of the closet.

No one has ever yet come to see if I’ve torn the do not remove tag off the bed, I’m sure the sheets are fine.  And they’re wrinkled the first morning after you sleep on them, anyway.

++++++++++++

It’s like life, isn’t it?  You get a good hold on one thing, so you bring in the next.  Things are hanging together well.  Then you toss in the third, it’s a bit tricky but you’re doing ok until you reach for the 4th and then *poof* it’s all a big wad.

++++++++++++

We have a new cat:  Chunklite.  She lost a pound!  I think playing with Mo is good for her.  Except now she doesn’t hang with me as much so I feel sad and abandoned.  First I want her to have a friend, then I don’t.  What, I’m in 7th grade?

++++++++++++

I measure my life by the yardstick of catlove

++++++++++++

Mo is my kind of guy.  He’s in love with my Keurig, but he doesn’t take my coffee.  What more could you want?  Affection without control.  Every time I start it, if he’s anywhere near, he runs and jumps onto the counter, watching the coffee pour into the cup with his head tilted to one side.

I’m trying to type with myhead thiled to one side and it doesn’t wori very welland infact I’m going to keep the thyping just the weay it came out while my ehad was sidewasy.  try. it  Weird how such a little thing makes such a big difference.

+++++++++++++

Life lived Full Tilt.  No stopping me, I’m a wild and crazy guy.

+++++++++++++

This morning’s view out my window was 50 Shades of Grey only rated G.  We had a foggy mist covering everything in a monochrome black/grey.  It was neat.  Do you ever look around during your day and see how different every day looks, physically?  Sometimes blurry, sometimes sharply clear; sometimes bright and crisp, sometimes hazily humidly softly-edged.  I was busy for a while and when next I turned toward the window I was surprised by bright blue skies and brilliant fall colors.  What a change in an hour!

+++++++++++++

And, yet, I think that the world will never change.

+++++++++++++

Someone needs to create a casserole recipe that is only crust.  The crusterole. I try to be evenhanded when I dish up a casserole.  But the truth is:  I give me the crust scrapings.

+++++++++++++

I console myself.  No one else wants the crusteroles, they’re a little dry and crunchy.

Of all the Joints…

I’m at the computer for the first time today, having spent the day on the couch but definitely needing a different position for a minute.  The short of the story is I did get the S1 Epidural steroid injection; I also got an SI joint injection which I didn’t expect but when the Dr. hit that magic sore spot in my lower back we realized I have an issue there, too.  Checking in with Dr. Google on the SI joint and accompanying issues I think that’s been part of it all along but I’m not a Doctor nor do I play one on TV.

I said, “all I want is to get back running.”

I’m thinking no response was a good response.  Don’t you two think so?

Here’s what I know right now:

  • It hurt much less than I’ve been led to believe from Dr. Google
  • Like, none
  • I’ve spent the entire afternoon on the couch and even HGTV can get old after a while
  • It did take about four hours for HGTV to get old
  • It takes a lot longer to get old if you get to watch Scott McGillivray, who makes me feel happy because he resembles T1
  • I have the first four seasons of True Blood, thanks to Lisa O, so that’s next up on the DVD rotation, or maybe my laptop in bed.
  • I hear Eric Northman is pretty dreamy, for a blond
  • I am very blessed with wonderful friends
  • Who are really good cooks
  • There are doctors out there that do look you in the eye and discuss with you what’s going on without their hands on the doorknob (or, in this case, the skimpy curtain separating me and my enormous hospital gown from the rest of the world)
  • To all of you docs out there that do that:  Thank you.

Hi, so mom got up and went back to the den, I guess she got tired of writing to you.  She put some silver plate into the TV box and now she keeps saying something about Eric Northman who I have no clue who that is but she like, sighs a little bit so apparently he does a really good job on HGTV building houses or something.

Anyway, we did finally get rid of all those miniature humans banging on the door last night and mom let Murph T. Idiot out of the bedroom and he ran around the house barking and sniffing everything like he thought they’d all buried bombs around here.  Which that is just stupid because he can’t be a bomb sniffing dog because I think bomb sniffing dogs, for the most part, have to be around men and Murphy hates men.  Except dad and my brothers.  And PUNKIN.  He likes PUNKIN a lot.  Probably because of the food dropping thing that goes on. Murphy is an idiot, but he knows where to find food, I will give him that.

Wish he could find some food for me.  Mom keeps hiding it all.  Mo gets a bunch and I get a little tiny bowl.  Sometimes Mo doesn’t eat all his and I sneak in and eat it.  Except mom has supersonic hearing and makes me quit.  Then I try to eat some of The Idiot’s food but mom keeps putting a saucepan lid on it.  I thought the saucepan lids went with the saucepans, but it doesn’t look like it.  Maybe it’s like a steering wheel which doesn’t have wheels, as far as I can tell the few times I’ve had a near death experience and mom says STOP I have to hold onto The Steering Wheel which doesn’t have a wheel.  Then she started cramming me into the box of Near Death so now I can’t try to escape that car thing, I’m just stuck inside it inside the Box Of Death.

I hate the car thing.

Anyway, since Mom is asleep in the den, drooling, I thought I’d spend some time surfing the net and I found a new video of my favorite cat Henri.  *Sigh*.  He’s french and he speaks french and he’s so swavy and debahnair and aloof.  Aloof is very important in a cat.  I love Henri.  If I ever learn how to write a letter on this internet thing I’m going to ask for his autograph.

He just released a new movie, if you’d like to watch it.  I think you should.  He’s quite excellent and handsome.

Here’s a link to the video

I’d like to paste the video in this page but I can’t find mom’s credit card to buy that option.  She’s so cheap.

*sigh* Isn’t he dreamy???

Now Mom’s in bed so I’m going to go sleep on mom’s head and dream of Henri.

Oh, here’s my favorite picture of Henri.  This is the picture I would have him autograph.  Maybe he’d sniff my nose, too.  It would be nose sniff love at first sight I bet.

See?  He understands me.

Howling Weenie

Mom was going to go visit the little human PUNKIN this evening.  Let me tell you, it does not look the least bit like a PUNKIN or even a pumpkin; it has all the appearances of being a small human, but PUNKIN it is, at least according to mom.

Mom seldom makes sense.

She didn’t go visit the PUNKIN tho because she said her damn butt won’t fall off and it hurts too much to drive and she hopes they block her nerve tomorrow and if not someone is going to hurt.  I’m a cat so I’m not a someone so I should be safe.  But I can tell you what, she also said something about not getting to have coffee in the morning and I think someone should call for help.  Meanwhile probably tomorrow morning Mo and me will be under the bed.  Far under the bed.  What stupid person told mom no coffee?  I will poop in their sink.

Anyway I’ve only been in that horrid car thing with her a few times and I was about to die so maybe I missed some details but I never noticed she drove with her butt.

Anyway, now Murphy the Idiot Dog is howling and barking like a fool, locked into the bedroom so he won’t growl at a bunch of other little humans – little humans who are obviously delusional as they are wearing clothing that makes them appear to be things we all know they aren’t and cannot be.  For instance, earlier, some little human came to the door begging for food – and not even healthy food, we have apples on the counter and low fat cottage cheese in the refrigerator but, no, the little human asks for candy and a trick.

I was trying to tell the little human we have no candy and Mom does not allow candy in the house even though that makes her cranky and I think if something makes you cranky you should stop doing it.  But, no.  She keeps no candy in the house and then opens cupboards looking for candy she already knows isn’t there.

And people think cats don’t make sense.

Anyway, I tried to tell the little human that I knew he was not a spaceman, and that in fact his space suit is made of cheap Chinese plastic and he will suffocate in about 39 seconds if he goes into space wearing that and that second, we have no candy.  Mom said, Chunker!  Get in the house! like she thought I was heading out for a stroll or something.

Dammit.  She’s onto me.

So I looked at her innocently and wrapped myself around her legs purring like all I really wanted was to tell her I love her while she gave the little human idiot who wasn’t a real spaceman:  CANDY.  Now the little human is going to get rotten teeth and is still delusional that his space suit will keep him from dying in outer space.

Wait.  What???  We have CANDY IN THE HOUSE?  and I’m putting up with her cranking all the time about how many weeksdayshoursmintuesseconds it’s been since she ran and she could instead be eating chocolate and shutting UP?

Dammit.

The damn dog is making me crazy, the irritating little weenie won’t quit HOWLING and barking.  I guess that’s why it’s calling Howling Weenie.

Me and Mo are the only ones in this house with any brains.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAA

(Credit for today’s post title goes to Chunker, who just walked across my keyboard – cool how it fits perfectly.)

Six weeks and 3 days since my last run.

6.5 miles walked this week.  I wasn’t Little Miss Positive this morning when I stated glumly to the hubs that I walked 3-1/2 miles yesterday and cranked that today my butt (my real butt, not my falling off butt) is sore; apparently I’ve lost a lot of conditioning in those 6-3/7th weeks.

The new cat is sitting on the kitchen counter next to me, purring.  Sweet, but more on Mr. No Mo another time.  I do have to state, however, that this cat farts more than any animal I’ve ever met. Every. single. time. he. eats.   And, repeatedly.  If there were a cat farting Olympics he would win gold.  But no one and nothing can possibly fart that often and that smelly without some type of aid, so probably USADA would soon be after him to determine if he were taking farting steroids.  OMG.  Thank you, little baby Jesus in your little wooden crib, for ceiling fans.

The Doc’s office called yesterday, 8 days after the nerve conduction test, to tell me what I already knew (pinched nerve) and to tell me something new:  they want to do a nerve block.

That’s a bit worrisome in view of the thousands of people now waiting to hear if they have meningitis.  Not that I’m trying to be negative, but the positive thinking thing is getting to be a constant effort and since I am, by nature and nurture, a realist (for more on being a realist read here and here), and with the euphoria of having a real diagnosis worn off and the pain not abated, struggling to squash that is, basically, a struggle.  It doesn’t help that (aided by Dr. Google) I’ve come to realize that a pinched nerve is the gift that just keeps giving.

Uh-Oh – news flash – don’t pick Mo up by the tummy.  It squishes out Mo farts.  Just let him walk across the keyboard and then erase the extra typing.  GAH.  Be back in a minute, I’m going outside.

Ok, I’m back.  *WHEW* Do you think I could find mustard gas masks on Ebay?

Friday I stretched as instructed by the PT and began some core work as instructed by the PT.  Then, I did something very radical:  I stood up.  As I stood, Thor, the god of thunder, stabbed me in the back with his bolt of lightning.  I looked at Killer, and Killer looked at me.  “I guess we’re done for today,” she stated, staring at my bulging eyeballs and fried hair, and I hobbled to the car and drove home sitting sideways.  By Sunday morning it had calmed down quite a bit; I was still getting random jolts causing me to jerk erratically as I walked, but the Finish Line Crew expects erratic and random things from me and no longer notices much of what I do, thank you again, Little Baby Jesus.

The realization that this is going to be a recurring issue the rest of my life, according to the PT, is still a bit new and still stings.  I realize it can be controlled, that it will probably only rear its BFOS head occasionally, and I don’t have cancer or heart disease and I’m not under investigation by USADA (yet, but then so far the Mo farts have not escaped the house).  But I’m still kinda bummed about the issue.  Monday I rode my bike.  Unfortunately afterward my first two toes went numb, which made the PT frown.  Hey, the feeling came back after an hour or two.  Cheer down.

OK, then, no biking.  No running, no biking.  I can: walk carefully, do the elliptical or swim (at which her beady little eyes began to gleam).  You both realize that I no longer hate swimming, but I do not, to any degree, like it.

So here we are, Wednesday morning, I’m still Gloomy Gus despite all my mental rah-rahing and positive thinking.  Probably positive thinking needs to drop words such as never, don’t like, don’t wanna and dammit.  Replacement words:  coffee, cat, dog, um…yay…um…ice cream (no, skip that, too many calories, dammit) ah, crap, I just said dammit.

Hopefully the Doc’s office will call today with the info on the nerve block, I’m sure it will be next week before it can be done at this point; apparently it will be 4-6 weeks after that for everything to heal and maybe my Christmas gift will be a run.

In the meantime I’m going to go check out gas masks.  Or move my office outside.  While I’m doing that, I’m going to paste below a very very nice note my friend, um, “Missy” posted on my FB page this morning (to meet “Missy”, visit here, “Missy” loves Zombies.)  I thought you both might enjoy it.  I know it made my day, even if she is a crazy nutjob runner.

++++++++++++++++++

Terri – Last Saturday I ran a 10k and when Sunday morning came around I just really didn’t feel like getting out of bed to run The Beast. I volunteered to help before the race so I had to go. It was nice talking with you and being the genuine person you are, it was impossible for you to hide your disappointment and frustration with your injury and not being able to run. (Oh how we crave that daily dose of endorphins to keep our minds and souls at peace.) When the race started and I started running I already had in my mind that it was going to be bad. Too little hormones and too much lactic acid was not a good mix that morning. Close to mile 4 I thought, “I’m done….. not feeling it this morning.” I figured when I pass that parking lot I am going straight to my car. Then there you were at the water station. I remember telling you I want to stop. And you told me I can if I want. But there was something about the look on your face that told me the rest….. “How dare you stop now?” “Wish I could finish it for you?” “WTF is wrong with you?”  Something. I knew I had to finish. I guess I just want to let you know that your passion for running carried me this past Sunday and I am going to let it carry me through New York in a few weeks too. Thank you for sharing your passion, your pain, and your disappointment, because although it is awful for you, I bet there are many more of your friends out there who, like me, you encourage without you even knowing it. Stay strong, heal quickly, and keep encouraging others. Thank you sweet girl…

:

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