Monday, January 28, 2013

Frozen Stiff

I don't seem to have much to say these days.  Sometimes during the course of the day I have a fleeting thought on one thing or another and think I ought to write that down for the blog.  Then I don't and of course I can't remember what in heck it was I wanted to write about.

The weather is warming up around here this week.  "Warming" is, of course, relative, but anything will be better than the minus zero temperatures and wind chills we've been having during the past couple of weeks' deep freeze. Seriously, the temperature never went over 20 degrees during the day and sometimes not even over 10 or 12, dropping to zero or less at night.  I commented on Lori's blog that I actually have felt stunned by the cold.  It has made it hard to want to do much more than get to work and come straight home to pajamas and the fireplace.  To help you understand, here is a photo of some falls that are near my place of work, taken on Saturday by a co-worker.

I struggled so much with exercise last week that Mr. Helen finally told me I should just let it go and think of the week as a rest week.  I didn't quite take a full week off but did very little exercise compared to what I normally do. This was the temperature inside our garage when I went out there to run on Saturday morning.

Yes, just 20 degrees.  The only advantage is the lack of windchill. Do you blame me for not wanting to exercise in these conditions?  Of course I dressed appropriately and once I got going, I ended up having one of the best runs I've had in recent memory.

I think I've also struggled because, truly, I haven't been feeling well.  It's not like it was any one thing, just a bunch of minor irritations that added up to a general feeling of malaise.

Last Monday I went to the doctor for my annual physical, but also wanting to talk with her about a couple of things that I know were contributing to my not feeling 100%.  As she went through the physical, she was listening to my lungs and heart and then asked me to breath deeply and to cough a couple of times.  She sort of diagnoses out loud while she's moving around and as she listened to my lungs she said, "good clear lungs" then as she had me cough she said, "What the heck?  Cough again please!"  So I did.  Then she asked me if I'd been feeling short of breath and I told her yes that I'd been having trouble breathing deeply while running and also noticed that the 3 flights of stairs I take each day when I get to work left me completely winded.  Turns out, she feels I never completely got over the bronchitis I had last September.  Plus she feels I've developed asthma.  I left the office with prescriptions for antibiotics, prednisone, and a nebulizer to inhale albuterol.   I'm taking the drugs and using the nebulizer in hopes of wiping out this bronchitis and asthma. Even though the albuterol leaves me feeling pretty jittery for a bit, I am breathing better - and that's probably why my run was better on Saturday.

I also spoke with her about the pain I've been having in my back.  It's very odd pain - gets worse when I sleep at night and once I'm up and about, by the end of the day I feel nothing.  Doesn't bother me with sitting or standing for long periods, but once I go to sleep after about 4-5 hours it's so painful it wakes me up.  This actually started last spring and we ended up buying a new mattress.  That didn't solve the problem but we needed a new mattress anyway.  She ended up sending me to get an x-ray to rule out disastrous things like tumors/cancer (which are usually indicated with night time back pain).  She called on Friday to let me know that I am cancer and tumor free and that I have no bulging discs or anything like that. Great news! What I do have is a touch of arthritis in my lower spine along with a tiny bit of narrowing of the spinal column.  Did you know most people over the age of 50 have a bit of that?  I wasn't surprised as arthritis runs in my mother's family.  Additionally, I was surprised to learn where the bulk of my pain is coming from.  It's coming from muscles, tendons and ligaments, just to the right of the spinal column.  Guess what caused that?  My stupid stupid fractured foot!

Because of the fractured foot and torn tendons on my left side, evidently I changed my stride and gait enough that I messed up my back.  Deep in my heart I knew that diagnosis was right because the back pain started soon after my foot started hurting.  And remember, long before I was in the cam boot, I never stopped running, so pretty much I did this to myself.  The recommended treatment is physical therapy, which I will start this week.

I am beginning to feel that maybe I have Humpty Dumpty syndrome!  But what I HOPE is that this is the beginning of healing and feeling better and a brighter, happier 2013 for me.


  1. I look back at all the damage my former fattie diet must have done to me.... and all I can think is - AT LEAST I am not doing that junk NOW!
    Here's to an awesome year of putting good ol Humpty back together again!

  2. HUGS HOPE AND HEALTHY HUMPTY (for both us humpties) in 2013.


  3. I am glad you got checked out to rule out anything very serious. Bronchitis is a bitch, it just wants to hang on forever! Hope the meds work, and that PT helps with the back. No worries, you'll be put back together again! :D

  4. Helen, this sounds like a post I could have written! You know I am not a cold weather fan! Your temperatures have been ridiculous! Here's to warmer weather! That picture of the falls is pretty though. I hear you about the general malaise, same here. It's really a struggle to accept the fact that my body is no longer 20 and needs time and help to heal. So not fair! I hope you feel better soon!


  5. Helen, hope you feel better soon and it does sound like you are on your way! You wouldn't believe how many times I think of something to blog about and by the time I sit down at the computer, it has completely vanished from my head. Another perk of being over 50 :-(

  6. Sweety, life and/or your body is not treating you very nice lately. I truly hope that you are on your way to a healthier and healed you. All these pains must drive you crazy.

    Boy oh boy, that's cold. We had a cold front too, although never as cold as it is where you live. But colder than we usually have. I was jumping up and down when I woke up yesterday morning and it was raining. By this time all the snow is gone and it's warmer. Bring on Spring. I'm ready.

    Take care sweety.

  7. THE COLD. I cannot even really imagine it being that cold for that long. Don't you burn a lot of calories just being in that cold?! The picture of the falls is amazing.

    And the progressive injuries. Ah, yes, its wonderful how we can compensate for an injury. And horrible how we compensate for an injury and make another one. But how good to get some diagnoses and start to feel better.

  8. That is just darn cold Helen! When I had my treadmill in the garage I got a little space heater to put near by that I would turn on when about 15 minutes before using the treadmill. It would take the chill off and make things more comfortable.

    Injuries in one area of our body do snowball and cause complications elsewhere! It really stinks but I am so glad you got things checked out and can now begin to heal from it.

    I have plenty of side issues going on right now post foot surgery - from limping and favoring my right foot. I am hoping that as my gait improves and so forth that these other symptoms go away!

    Wishing you a speedy recovery!

    Oh and to answer your comment on my last post - my surgeon thought the treadmill was a better choice for me because he was afraid if I walked outside I would get too far from home and foot pain would set in and then I would have to walk back home past the point of pain. He wants me to stop walking as soon as it gets painful.

    We actually have a very good, commercial treadmill (the kind found in health clubs)that has built in shock absorbers in the walking bed so it is better than walking on a side walk as concrete doesn't have any give to it!

    I actually walked on it twice over the weekend and it felt so good to move!

  9. I would be hibernating in that kind of cold. Thank goodness for heaters and warm clothing, right?! Still, I know you'll be glad to see warmer, sunny days, and hopefully fairly soon.

    Glad that the Xray didn't show anything devastating. But compensation injuries - I always say that's just adding insult TO injury! Not fair. On the bright side, PT should be able to take care of that for you.

    May this be the start of a healthy Helen!

  10. I think the cold can be as debilitating as the heat, and coming from MN, we can have both. It has been very cold here recently, as well, (below zero and not getting much above during the day). It has zapped my ambition, and all I want to do is to keep warm and cozy with a book or a good TV program.

    I'm glad your tests turned out fine, but the injuries that result from another injury can sneak up and be just as nagging or debilitating as the original problem. Take care of yourself. Spring is coming, Helen, and I wish for you good health, freedom from pain, and sunny days ahead!

  11. I am sorry you are having all these issues! At least the weather is warming up. I went out for a 2 mile walk yesterday. It was only 20 degrees, but it was sunny and nice not to wince going out in the cold like previous days. It's all perspective isn't it?

    The nagging injury thing. I hate it. Between my back and my shoulder, I find things very frustrating and end up taking Tylenol PM, especially after doing rehab. I hate taking meds. It reminds me I am getting older.

  12. Hope you are feeling better soon:)

  13. I hate the cold and keep trying to tell myself to NOT be a wimp and to just bundle up and DO IT. And I just can't....I wimp out each and everytime! :-)

    Yay for being cancer free and getting a solution to the out of breath thing! :-)

  14. The "cold" picture is amazing! SOOOO glad your back pain is nothing ominous. I had the same thing after my foot surgery - my back was sooo sore because my gait was different and it threw everything off. Owch! Hang in there Helen!!! Hugs

  15. This sooooo sounds like me this week. Cold, not feeling well, not exercising like I should, arthritis in my back... I feel ya. Take care!

  16. I'm sending lots of healing thoughts your way. It was a blessing that you had a doctor's appointment.

    My husband kept a fire burning all through the weekend and I spent as much time in front of it as possible. It really was too darn cold.

    I'm sorry to hear about your back, but what a relief to know that there is nothing cancerous going on. I am wishing you a happy end to January and a fabulous February.

  17. Yikes, I did not realize it was so cold out by you! We were having our second relatively mild winter, until we finally got some of those frigid temps last week. Stunned by the cold is a very apt description.