I haven't posted much because I have just been depressed and kinda stuck on the couch. I did the New Year's Eve and New Year's Day Double Double which consisted of a 5K at 7am followed by a marathon at 9am each day. It was in Allen TX with unseasonably cold temps. NYE was just cold and windy and NYD was an ice storm. I still felt better when I was running and would get up a couple hours early to take my medicine so that when it gets closer to time to leave things start to kick in a bit and its a little easier to get dressed and put shoes on and move. After the Double Double I had 2 weeks off and then was a pacer at Mississippi Blues on Jan 10 and ran First Light in Alabama on the 11th. This was my first pacing gig and I had a blast. I think knowing I was going to be having a new experience helped me keep the pain at bay. I had 8 folks start with me and 8 finish with me. 7 were original starters. At first light I really was hurting and had to take a lot of pain meds....running with a group of anywhere from 6-18 and I had everyone high fiving at each mile like I did the day before makes the time go much faster. We were hooting and howlering and really had a fun time! When I returned home I was scheduled for a myleogram since the week before we tried one last injection...this time in the L5....it didn't help at all either.
The myleogram was a test where contrast dye was injected into my spine and a CT scan was done after. The results of this test showed why the other options had not been working because things are much more severe then what the MRI even shows. There is severe spinal stenosis in 2 places, a synovial cyst near the L5, severe arthritis and a couple disc are blown or something? After the myleogram I had some spinal fluid leakage and was ill and on bedrest for almost a week. The pain in the hip/glute/leg has become unbearable and pain medication doesn't even touch it.
My doctor got my appointment with the surgeon moved up because I was almost at a point to drive to the hospital in columbus and see if I got lucky with that surgeon being on call. I have never experienced pain like this in my life and each night I don't want to go to bed because by 8 or so in the evening the pain has subsided some and I know around 2or so am it will wake me up and start all over.
I got to see the surgeon and his first impression after seeing my test results were that I need a spinal fusion...this scares me. We discussed this option and he became aware of my activity level and could tell what it means to me at this point of my life and then he decided he would like to try a minimally invasive surgery first to relieve the pressure on the nerve ending with hopes it will work and buy me 3-5 years before a fusion. I now am hoping this works and I again will be a medical marvel and not need the fusion in 3-5 years....remember 4 doctors told me I would need a new knee by 2012 if I continued to run and at that time I had only ran a couple marathons. I have to be hopeful even though it is unlikely as what I have are not injuries but conditions that are most likely hereditary but we don't know where they came from. My fathers parents were in there early 50's when they passed away..he was still in high school and my mothers family didn't have any issues and actually lives forever. I do however have those genes of my mothers side of the family with health related issues when it comes to cholesterol levels, sugar, blood pressure etc.
Just when you think you can't worry more I had to have a pre op chest X-ray....this X-ray shows a small nodule on my right lung which is recommended to be checked better. So they have told me that being small it is probably nothing to worry about and that 1 in 500 people will have a nodule show up on a chest X-ray and 60% are non cancerous - but being a formal smoker of 3 packs a day - stopped 14 years ago - we are not just going to monitor it to see if it gets larger in 6 months they are going to do a chest CT with contrast this week.
My back surgery is scheduled for monday the 23rd...2 days before my birthday. I have no clue what the recovery is but when I told him I was signed up for Ironman Louisville in October but I did buy the insurance because of my shoulder issues and not knowing if I could swim as well as when I signed up I was just getting my hip and back issues looked at and had no clue what was really wrong but knew the pain I was in things were not good. The good news is he felt that the surgery he is going to do will work and that I will be recovered to be able to train and do the Ironman - this is positive however I have not registered for any other events that I had not already registered for until after the surgery and I see if it works and how recovery goes. I can't wait to wake up after the surgery and see if the pain is gone!!!
I am schedule for Zion 100K which is only 6 weeks after surgery and I haven't been able to really move since Jan 15th. I am still going but they have a 25K and 50K option which depending on what the doctor says I will drop to one of those...I can hike them - I know I won't be able to run the mountains and jerk the back around that much that soon but I would hike out there all day long!! I am staying a week and my friend Amber is coming down from Montana so we are planning to make it a girls week getaway....not focusing on the event at all rather then checking out the area and hiking lots of cool places. I think that will be great for recovery!!
The downfall is weight gain....Im unable to do anything but sit on the couch in a certain position. I can't stand longer then a few minutes at a time without wanting to cry so Im not cooking anything healthy and grabbing what ever is easy. Being on different types of medicines trying to find something to help with the pain has it's side effects but right now I don't really care. Somedays I don't eat hardly anything because my stomach hurts because of the pain and then somedays lots of ice cream and comfort food is what helps. I know once I get fixed I will be back stronger then ever and will get the weight off...sometimes I tell myself the more I gain the more I have to lose but it just seems to be the less of my stresses now.