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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 “pinched nerve”

Well, that sucked. YAY!!!

I did six miles this afternoon and it sucked ūüôā ¬†I can’t hold a pace under 9:45 without an oxygen mask dropping from the overhead, I’m maxing my HR and my heart looked pretty much like this:

bugs bunnyOnly it wasn’t because I saw a sexy bunny.

This means that, one, I really am back to running because I’m no longer jogging along comfy just for the sake of being on the pavement. ¬†Two, I’m running. ¬†You can’t complain about a run if you can’t run. ¬†Thus I had the very sweet luxury of running along thinking *&^% this SUCKS. ¬†I SUCK. ¬†This run SUCKS, and as I thought it I found myself smiling with the joy of a sucking run.

Again proving runners are #crazynutjobs. ¬†But – we’re happy crazy nut jobs so you gotta love us, right?

This week has sort of sucked. ¬†First, I guess because Jen and I had talked about him, and then I wrote about it, Tuesday night I dreamed of my brother. ¬†I never dreamed of him when he died. I wanted to, I’d have taken any chance to see him even if just in a dream, but it never happened. ¬† This dream was incredibly real. ¬†Nothing special, Bret I were talking, about mom and anything else you’d talk to your brother about if you were in the kitchen one afternoon, and I remember nothing other than that. ¬†Then I woke up, which surprised me because I thought I was awake talking to my brother, and I realized it wasn’t real. ¬†It was SO real, and then it just wasn’t, it didn’t exist, and I started crying. ¬†I couldn’t quit and poor Hubs was lying there patting me on the shoulder. ¬†“Is it Murphy? ¬†Are you upset about Murphy?” but I just kept snorting all over, my pillow wet with tears. ¬†It was, quite frankly, rather stupid. ¬†Here I am, again, with my body doing something I have no control over. ¬†I mean, I tried. ¬†I bit the pillow, I clenched my jaw, I stuffed my face in the pillow – nothing. ¬†Just kept crying, except when I stuffed my face in the pillow because then when I sniffed I kinda choked because of course there was a pillow stuffed into my face. ¬†I guess actually you could say it was successful, in that I did quit crying while I choked. ¬†Anyway, I finally drifted off to sleep still crying and then the next morning I looked like I’d run into a wall.

Du Maurier

When I woke I realized I was going to have to call the Vet about Murph T. Dog because he’d been limping around since Monday afternoon and now he wouldn’t eat or drink, and he kept yelping when he moved wrong. ¬†Mostly he just wouldn’t move at all and I had to lift him into the Explorer and back out of the Explorer and he does weigh about 36 pounds hanging there in my arms, miserable. ¬†Then he pooped on the Vet’s front door step. ¬†“My dog just pooped on your door step,” I announced, carrying the limp bag of dog cement into the office, “do you have some paper towels I can use?” ¬† They were very nice and refused to let me try to pick up poop while holding the aforementioned 36 pounds of useless dog and one of the techs cleaned up my dog’s poop for me. ¬†I’m sure this is not the first time she’s had to do that but I still felt bad.

He has a couple vertebra that have been a problem in the past and sure enough, he hurt it somehow, so they filled him with shots and I carted home two pill bottles about the size of a jelly jar.  He moped around in pain and finally hid under the bed, having eaten one little doggie biscuit and two very large, peanut butter wrapped pills.

Thursday morning he came downstairs almost sort of perky and Chunk was not upset when she saw him so I figured that was a good thing since she gets rather insulted when people don’t feel well, like it’s a bother to her somehow. ¬†“Oh, I’m sorry I’m vomiting out most of my insides, Chunk, I know you find it offensive,” I feel compelled to apologize. ¬†Oddly, despite her complete irritation and disdain for all things sick or injured she is strangely fascinated, roaming about smacking inanimate objects and the offender, yet she refuses to leave their side. ¬† “Smack! ¬†Quit it!,” she seems to be saying and it makes me think she was a neurosurgeon in her past life as my experience with neurosurgeons evidenced about the same level of compassion, not that I’m bitter or angry, just stating facts.

Unfortunately Thursday afternoon he stood up, yelped quite loudly and refused to move, just stood there, head hanging, heart pounding. ¬†Well crap, I thought, maybe he’s ruptured a disc or something. ¬†It was too late to call the vet so I carried him upstairs, he scooted under the bed and never came back out. ¬†In fact he appeared ready to stay under the bed the rest of his life so this morning I had to get the mattress and box springs off the bed and carry him downstairs. ¬†Despite not eating much in the past 48 hours I can attest that he has not lost any weight, and we repeated Wednesday morning only omitting the pooping on the door step, which made me happy.

They knocked him out with a muscle relaxer, Xrayed his back and gave him some different steroids and gave me another big bottle of pills. ¬†Since Murphy was splayed out in a kennel like a freshman at 4am during rush week I left him there and will get him later this afternoon. ¬†The Vet prefers – and we concur – to try to treat this medically. ¬†Surgery is an option but I really hope that is not going to happen. ¬†I expect if you could ask Murphy he’d agree.

So – my week kinda sucked but it’s a luxury to have a sucky week with a tough run and a sick dog because I know a whole bunch of people with way worse things going on, marriages and cancer and death so I think what you should do is ruefully shake your head at this week’s travails and go kiss your loved ones and also kiss your dogs and cats despite the fact you will get hair in your nose and sneeze.

The End.

Just keep swimming


I’ve had trouble writing lately. Not with the writing, but with the focus. I’ve been scattered, disorganized, distracted, flitting from one thing to another, suddenly forced to stomp out the flames of something I’ve forgotten or ignored until it became an issue.

I’m very lucky – and aware enough of that luck to be grateful – that BFOS has not been life-changing for me. It has changed my life in that I was unable do something that I enjoy, that defines me, directs me, focuses me. But it has not changed the way I can live day-to-day, to clean my house, go to the grocery, be with friends.

It is, however, a constant presence. I live in awareness of my body, not focused outside of my body. I expect neither of you walk around Kroger thinking, “I have an arm. I have an arm. I have an arm.” Since last fall there is always a knowledge, an awareness of my leg, and I do not like it. I get into the car and shift in the seat until I can get comfortable. I literally feel my right leg every time I take a step. It’s narcissistic except I don’t love it.

And – I had not realized that until today.

In a continuing effort to solve this stupid puzzle, to get the numbers in sequence, I saw a neuro last week. I’d put it off for weeks because I’m tired of this merry-go-round, but I finally made an appointment. Considered to be one of the best in the mid-south, Dr. Neuro walked in and sat down, took off his glasses, rubbed his eyes. “I cannot see anything wrong with your back,” he stated. “I’m sorry, but there is nothing I can offer to help you, that disc is perfectly healthy.” He punched around my hamstring, trying to find some trigger point that does not exist (I’d have already gotten the Finder’s Fee for that if it existed, as many times as I’ve uselessly prodded, rubbed, rolled, tennis-balled that damn leg). He was wonderfully nice, thoughtful and painstaking, but what can you do when a healthy person doesn’t need you?

Next on my list was chiropractor and then some deep tissue massage, because as much as I want to just quit trying, I’m too damn stubborn. Meanwhile one of my BRFF’s, “Becky” started having some back issues and had gone to a new chiro. She called, singing, “You have got to go see this guy!”

Friday I got in to see Dr. Chiro who also poked all around in my hamstring to find the Phantom Source. Nothing. He started manipulating my leg and hit the hot spot. The doc explained that we have a small muscle, the semimembranosus, which runs along the hamstring on the outside of the leg from the hip. This muscle is innervated by the tibial nerve, which is a branch of the sciatic nerve. He believes I have a mixture of irritation of that branch of the sciatic, along with Meralgia paresthetica, which is the ten dollar name for numbness or pain in the outer thigh not caused by injury to the thigh, but by injury to a nerve that extends from the thigh to the spinal column, along with piriformis syndrome, in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve.

In other words, as we’ve always known, I have a lot of damn nerve. Also, apparently, I’m impressed with multi-syllabic words.

He did some pressure point therapy on the outside of my thigh and hip which had me grateful for having learned proper breathing techniques during Lamaze classes and sent me home with a set of stretches.

This morning I realized that I actually don’t “feel” my right leg any more than my left, which is when I realized I had been for the past few months. It does actually feel better and so I hold out hope.

Meanwhile I will
even though it’s a truly ugly thing.

Having bailed on two classes I resumed swimming hell last Tuesday. First, we warm up. Then, we do some drills. Things like swimming with one arm extended permanently in front and stroking with only one arm, or an exercise called the “Dolphin Kick”. WTH. If I wanted to swim with dolphins it would not be at a YMCA in the mid-south. Look around: No dolphins in the Mississippi River.

I have lost a lot of conditioning, as evidenced by the skyrocketing heart rate in 10 seconds flat, and I have firmly proven that you can inhale enough water to lower the level of a swimming pool. This does not, unfortunately, have any beneficial effect on your sinuses or asthma, although you will be well hydrated. It occurred to me that perhaps I could walk down the lane, extending my arm and pretending to swim, but apparently you can also see through water. I call bullshit. Don’t those little kids pee in the pool enough to make it opaque??

Oh, and guess what? There’s a deep end. What kind of special idiot put a deep end in a swimming pool? You cannot walk on the deep end. Well, you could. If you had one of those diving suits like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Only then the ginormous octopus legs would surround you and drown you. Which I’m watching for, carefully. You never know.

Next she giddily announces we are going to do 5 – 100’s, then 5 – 75’s, then 5 – 50’s with a 10 second recovery between each set. This is like me going to Italy and thinking the first day I’m going to know what the waiter just said to me. Point to the picture on the menu and hope that’s what you get. I looked at Becky. “swim to the end, 25 yards, back, 50, back to the end, 75, back here, 100”.

gonna pee

NOW the kid finally pees. Cue maniacal laughter. Dammit, I’m gonna do this. I swim 25, hold the side of the pool, gasp for 30 seconds, swim back. Slow going but I’m gonna kill this sucker. I’m gonna kill it, and I’m gonna get stronger. I’m Wonder Woman. I’m Swimming With the Fishies Woman. I get to the shallow end, gasping.

I see her blurry face hovering above me. I lift my foggy goggles. “How many 100’s have you done?” she asks.



While I would not be the first to admit it, because I am very happy wallowing in my own misery, there is something worse than BFOS, and that is the BSOD.


Which, unfortunately, I woke to last week.

They do a have a few things in common, the most obvious being they are both a huge pain in the a$$ followed by the 2nd most obvious, you are jumping on a merry-go-round right here and now in a vain attempt to find any solution.

My current vain attempt to find resolution on the Falling Off Butt is a trip to a Neurologist which will happen Tuesday. I don’t want to but have been mercilessly nagged by friends and family for weeks to please make an appointment which I finally, grudgingly did. If he comes within 20 feet of me with a steroid he’d better never plan on having children.

Being my own IT department at Chez Terrilee’s Running Club Secretary’s Top Secret Laboratory, I quickly triaged the situation.  Upstairs at one end of the house:  The dead or dying laptop.  Downstairs at the other end of the house:  The still useful desktop.

Here’s a thought:  bring the laptop downstairs and try fixing it there, next to the working computer.

But, no, that never, in six hours of running back and forth, occurred to me. First I’d google the most recent error message on the desktop and run upstairs to implement that fix. Then I’d run downstairs to google the next step, run up the stairs, run down the stairs, six hours. The next day I could not figure out why my knees hurt so much. Finally it occurred to me I’d done six hours of a stair workout…in Uggs.

Anyway, eventually I came to the realization that nothing was going to help so I held a pillow firmly over the screen until it quit kicking. Resolutely, sadly, I closed the lid on my laptop for the final time and stuck it in the Closet Of Death. We all have one, the closet where you stick everything you no longer need but have no idea what to do with. I thought I heard a faint whirrrrrr and sigh as I dropped it on top of that ugly quilt someone gave the twins when they were babies. They probably quilted it while watching Top Gun. You can’t really say too much good about color combos of the 80’s, not that I wasn’t extremely grateful for the quilt at the time. Now I just do everything beige. Light Beige, Medium Beige, Beige Beige. It’s boring, but I won’t look at pictures 20 years from now and say, what the h@ll was I thinking? Because everything will be beige including me, and I won’t be able to see anything. The pictures won’t paint a very colorful history of our family, little beige squares stuck in a photo album, but there will also be no evidence of my poor taste, evolving hairstyles and expanding waist.

There’s something else that might be worse than BFOS, and that is the BPOD:


Swim class, or as I like to think of it, Torture, is on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Last week I spent Thursday putting the laptop out of my misery, and this past Tuesday I spent eagerly awaiting the highly touted ice and snow storm. I was less eager than usual because I had not taken time to buy several loaves of white balloon bread, 13 gallons of milk and some firewood being sold by the side of the road out the back of an old red pickup truck to use in our gas fireplace. Fail to plan, plan to fail. The cats glared at me accusingly. “What kind of mom are you?,” I could see them thinking. Meanwhile, the television screamed.






I tried to turn off the TV but apparently at the hint of ICE AND SNOW the television becomes sentient and immediately stations itself on NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY. You can beg and plead but you are not going to see anything other than large words superimposed over photos of last year’s SNOWMAGGENDON 2012 while Bob joyfully exclaims the worst that could possibly happen, so I kept watching, anticipating, ready for the power outage so I could try to rewarm my coffee over my dad’s old Zippo lighter, but nothing happened. No snow. No ice. No power outage. It was like being five and getting clothes for your birthday. And while I watched and anticipated, swim class passed me by. Darn.

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:  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‚Äôt 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 Рit hurts less.  WTFudge flavored brownie crusteroles?  Is my butt falling off or is it not?

Damn. ¬†I’m going for a run tomorrow.


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‚Äôve been led to believe from Dr. Google
  • Like, none
  • I‚Äôve 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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.

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