Thursday, April 22, 2010

Catch-up entry! Frozen Otter aftermath

I guess I’ve been busy! I haven’t written an entry here for quite a while! But I’ve had so many fun things happen and some amazing adventures coming up that I figured it would be good to get some update/intro entries written.

Well, if you’ve visited my blog in the past, you know the last thing I wrote about was the Frozen Otter. That was a great experience, and today I am still seeing some of the aftermath from that. 64 miles is a long ways to go, and doing it in 22 hours really pushed my body passed its comfort zone – which is one of the reasons why I do it. After the race I got some nasty blistering underneath my toenails. They got really swollen and were very painful so I went to the clinic and had them drained (I know, yuk, right!?). I kept draining them for a few days and finally let them dry out on their own. After another week or so of babying them and applying a lot of triple antibiotic ointment to them on a daily basis, they hardened back up good as new – and they turned a pretty tie-dyed color! It looked like I was wearing some super-funky nail polish! I questioned each day whether or not they might fall off. Well, believe this – only ONE WEEK AGO I lost my first toenail from the Frozen Otter!! 3 months after the fact! It didn’t hurt either, so queezy tummies can subside. I know it’s hard to understand the thought of losing a toenail not being painful – this is the first one I’ve lost, so I know! Before this, whenever anyone mentioned it to me, I would cringe too. But seriously – an ingrown nail is waaay more painful than this was. I taped it up during my Wednesday treadmill run last week, and afterward I just very gently pulled the tape off – with no pain – then gently pulled the toenail off – with no pain. It was crazy-weird! My toe looks SO naked now… I was really getting used to the purple tie-dye look. But my left big toe is still that weird purple color, and so are a couple of my little toenails. I imagine those will fall off in time too, but I’m in no hurry. :)

In addition to the toenail thing, I’ve been dealing with another “Frozen Otter aftermath” experience in the past couple of months. About a week after the race my right knee was a little swollen – I mostly noticed it when I bent it sharply. A bulge would stick out on outside of my knee and it looked sort of deformed – and that was the only time I really felt any sort of pain. I applied some RICE therapy – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (well, I didn’t do the compression part – so I did RIE instead). It didn’t seem to help. I took ibuprofin and that didn’t help, either. It wasn’t bothering me during my workouts too much. It really only bothered me during specific movements involving landing on a straight leg (like jumping jacks) in aerobic classes. I finally decided I better have it checked out. My doc took an x-ray and told me there was edema (swelling) in my knee. Well, I knew that! So she had an MRI scheduled. I had an appointment with an orthopedic doctor and told me the MRI results. I had a baker’s cyst on the back of me knee (this is why me knee looked all wacky when I bent it sharply). The baker’s cyst is pretty common – people can have them their whole lives and not even know it. It’s just a fluid-filled sack in the back of your knee. But my MRI showed the reason for the extra fluid was due to some cartilage wear on the inside of my kneecap. Doc said there’s like a little flap of cartiliage that’s being irritated and causing the extra fluid. The only way to cure that is to smooth it out with orthoscopic surgery, but I opted to try a cortizone shot first. I didn’t notice any effect from the shot until about a week later, and I’m happy to say right now that my knee feels almost back to 100%. I’ve decided I’m not going to even think about surgery until there’s a point when pain gets in the way of doing the things I love to do. I don’t want to start digging around in there until I have to.

So that’s that. The aftermath from the Frozen Otter. I’ll take it with a smile, too. I’m really proud of myself for finishing that sucker, it was an awesome experience, and I wouldn’t take it away to have perfect knees and fresh toenails. I know the consequences of my crazy-crazy… and I’m okay with it.

Well, I suppose that’s good for now. I’ll add a few more entries in a bit. I’ve got a couple of weekend camping/outdoorsy things to tell about – with some pictures! Adam graduated, and that’s super-awesome, I had a girl’s weekend getaway, a very busy Lent and Easter, and I’m getting very excited about a vacation that Adam and I are planning! So I’ll have a couple more updates coming.

Oh, and Happy Earth Day!

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