Injection #?

I went back to Bone and Joint yesterday for yet another caudal epidural.  When I went in last month for a follow up with the doctor, she told me that she could basically keep doing the injections, up to 6 times a year…maybe 7 times, since I don’t have diabetes.  Steroids can really mess with your blood sugar.

I don’t think that getting multiple injections a year is necessarily the best answer to the pain problem, but it is what I have available to me right now. 

Yesterday’s procedure when really well.  The entire process was the same as before.  But, the pre-op nurse did remind me that I should let the scheduler know that since I don’t take the valium, I can come in 30 minutes later for my arrival time.

I will say that this was the most effective use of lidocaine.  She did such a great job of numbing my tailbone that I didn’t feel anything for the rest of the procedure.  Once that local anesthesia wore off, I was a bit sore for the rest of the day. 

The other thing that I talked about with the doctor at my last appointment was the plan of getting a surgical consult with a spinal surgeon.  There is a pretty good spinal surgeon at Bone and Joint.  One who works at the hospital where I work.  Everyone has good things to say.  However, since Bone and Joint is not in my insurance network, I decided to go see a doctor at the Marshfield Clinic. 

I called last week to see if I could get an appointment, but they want the referral to come through my doctor at Bone and Joint.  So, I had to call back to the nurse who works with my case and ask her to get the ball rolling for me.  I swear, insurance is so annoying.  I am hoping to hear something back from someone in a week or two so I can schedule the appointment.

The weird thing about this whole process is that I don’t want surgery.  And my doctor doesn’t think I am a good surgical candidate.  But, she wants to make sure that we are pursuing all possible avenues.  So I guess I’ll be talking to a surgeon trying to convince him that he can’t operate on me.  In all seriousness, if there is a surgical procedure that will get rid of the pain, while still allowing me to do all the things I want to do, I would really consider it.

Today, I got on the treadmill for 6.5 miles.  That is the furthest I have run in over a year.  It felt pretty good.  I kept the pace slow.  While I am slowly building up my mileage, I haven’t gotten anywhere close to the pace I used to run.  I wish I could run faster, but beggars can’t be choosers, right? 

I am still tossing around the idea of running the Cellcom half marathon in May.  That race has always been one I have wanted to run.  Since I am definitely going to be running fewer events going forward, I am going to be a bit more selective when deciding on races. 

I am also planning on volunteering at the Oshkosh half and full marathon in April.  If I can make things work out with the rest of my schedule, I will be in the medical tent at the finish line.  Again, I would rather be running, but this is a great way to help out and still be involved.

Let me know if you are going to be at either of those races.  I would love to see you.

February month in review

February was a pretty decent month for running…at least the first half was.  Sometime around the middle of the month, the back pain started returning.  I saw my doctor and I’m getting another epidural Monday morning.

I managed 65 miles of running for the month.  I’m pretty happy with that, considering it is a short month, and I am only averaging three runs a week (not counting my daily mile at lunch on the days I’m working).  I worked my ‘long run’ up to 6 miles.  I’m only increasing it by 1/4 mile each week.  I’m tossing around the idea of a spring/summer half marathon, so I might need to increase a bit faster.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t been in the pool.  My work schedule doesn’t allow me to get there during the times the pool is open.  However, my almost-6-month orientation is complete and my schedule opens up a bit now, so I’m hoping to be able to find the time to hit the pool again.

Speaking of work, I had a second weekend of ‘buddy call’ toward the end of February.  I was really hoping that it would be a huge confidence booster and I would feel ready to tackle anything that comes my way when I am on call by myself.  Well, I certainly wouldn’t call it a confidence booster.  I still feel like I have so much to learn.  During the days, I know that there are people around and I generally don’t worry too much.  If I have questions, or I can’t find something, I can just ask someone.  But when there is a procedure in the middle of the night, my options are much slimmer.  To say I am nervous about my first night of call (next week) would be an understatement.

I am still really enjoying tae kwon do.  I will finally promote to a high white belt next weekend.  I feel completely ready and I can’t wait to start learning even more skills.  My favorite part of tae kwon do is kicking.  I love feeling strong and powerful with a great roundhouse kick.  I can’t wait to add the spinning and jumping to my kicks!  Jaden enjoys giving me his ‘advice’ on how I should be doing things in class.  Smile  I think he is really enjoying being ahead of his mom. 

January month in review

January has been quite the month.  I started tae kwon do.  I’m still working on running without too much pain from my back injury.  And I’m desperately trying to avoid the seasonal depression that seems to grab me every year around this time.

Let’s start with the job.  I LOVE my job.  It is so awesome to have finally found a place where I love going to work every day.  (I don’t always love getting up at 4:45 to get there, but that is another story.)  I am learning a ton every day and I am only about three weeks away from finishing my orientation and being ‘on my own.’  Of course, they never really throw me to the wolves…there is always someone there to answer questions or help out.

On the exercise front, I’ve been mixing things up a bit.  I decided to join tae kwon do.  After two years of watching Jaden do this, the timing worked out so that I could join as well.

This is another way for me to stay active and not put quite as may miles on my injured back.

I have been running.  I put up a total of 78 running miles for the month.  That really surprised me, but the one mile I get on my lunch break everyday certainly started to add up.  I ended the month with a 5 mile run…my longest in about a year.  The 78 miles was the highest monthly total since last January. 

I added an additional 16 miles of walking.  The bummer is that I didn’t get in the pool at all during January.  My work schedule has me working late most Wednesdays, so the local high school open swim isn’t an option for me.  I do hope that once I finish my orientation at work, I will have some extra time to get in the pool.

This is typically the time of the year when I try to put together my race schedule for the year.  In a perfect world, I would be able to sign up for the Oshkosh half marathon in April.  I really like that race, but I just don’t think it is a smart idea to put my money there just yet.  There is a local 5K in April that I would like to do.  And I’m thinking about putting together a relay team for a local marathon this spring.

In the meantime, I’m just going to try to keep running (slowly) and hope that I can do it pain free.

Does anyone else think that January went by in the blink of an eye?  What’s on the docket for February?