Archive for the ‘yoga’ Category

Os Trigonum Crush Saga

I’m having surgery in the morning to have an extra bone removed from my ankle.  It’s called os trigonum, and it occurs in about 10% of the population.  It doesn’t bother most people, but a series of unfortunate events can lead to the bone becoming inflamed and it can cause all sorts of problems.  It’s a problem that plagues ballet dancers, and can also be called “the nutcracker syndrome.”  From what I understand, it’s hard to diagnose, and not a common injury unless you happen to be a ballet dancer.  I am not a ballet dancer.  I guess I’m just gifted at being different.  Paul said maybe I’m just an especially evolved individual (the fact that I was born without my lateral incisor teeth supports this hypothesis).

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In fall of 2012, I was going to yoga two or three times a week, playing tennis once or twice a week, and trying to get a few runs in.  I started running a mile and a half before yoga, and I really enjoyed being outside and then getting the awesome stretch of yoga.  I was playing enough tennis to not lose every game, and I had a string of marathon matches.  At some point in October, my foot started to hurt.  Towards the end of November, I had a really long, really cold tennis match, and I could barely walk by time it was over.  Like an idiot, I went on with my plans for the Reindeer Run, and I played one more tennis match in December.  I was convinced that if I stopped running and playing tennis for most of December and a couple weeks in January, that it would get better.  Obviously, I should have curtailed the traipsing around downtown Charleston in high heels.  But Christmas and the New Year just scream high heels to me, and being tall is fun, and I’ve been wearing high heels with no real problems for most of my adult life.  I wore heels every day for four years, and I don’t wear them every day anymore, so who knew it was that big of a deal?

mentioned back in January that I thought I had broken my foot.  In February, I was diagnosed with posterior tibial tendonitis and planter fasciitis, and I wore a big tall boot for a full month, and I tried just about every NSAID imaginable.  I was extremely diligent with my NSAIDs and my boot, and I basically went to work, came home, and iced my ankle for a month.  I played a ton of candy crush.  In March, Briscoe tried to keep my entertained, and I had an MRI, that was basically negative.  I was able to get it together to walk around during the masters, but after the tournament my foot still hurt a lot, so I wore the boot for another three weeks.  The hardest part was that the pain moved around.  Sometimes my toes hurt, and some times the top of my ankle hurt, sometimes the back of my ankle, sometimes my posterior tendon was absolutely killing me.  The bottom of my foot hurt, right in my arch.  The most frustrating part was that I couldn’t figure out what made it worse, and what made it better.

I went to a foot surgeon in Charleston, and I went to a foot surgeon in Augusta.  They both said that I had tendonitis, although the one in Augusta was sure there was something else going on.  Neither doctor had much to offer as far as a game plan.  The one in Augusta said I could try physical therapy, the doctor in Charleston said he was sure physical therapy would exacerbate the problem.  The Charleston doctor diagnosed me with a “subtle cavus foot” and sent me to get orthotics to correct the fact that the arch in my right foot was higher than the one on the left.  The Charleston doctor kept telling me how tight my ankle cords were in my right foot, and that my problem was never going to get better if I couldn’t improve my ankle range of motion.  I promised him I stretched religiously, and he said I should stretch more.  .  Both doctors agreed maybe I shouldn’t worry about it for a while.

I stopped worrying about.  I figured if it was going to hurt when I did absolutely nothing, then I might as well do something and have it hurt.  I started going back to yoga, and I started running a mile once or twice a week.  The orthotics essentially eliminated my planter fasciitis.  With my planter fasciitis improving, I was able to increase my activity level without immediate pain increases.  Strangely, I noticed that going to yoga two days in a row, even for just an easy 45 minute basic class, was something I could not tolerate.  If tendonitis was the main problem, I would have expected the running to be more painful than the yoga.  I also noticed increased pain when it rained.

However, after about three weeks of this new “screw it, I do what I want” attitude, I left my keys at the deli by my house on a monday night, and by the time I walked back to my house, I had about five minutes to sprint back before it closed for the night.  I sprinted back, in my new Brooks glycerin and my orthotic inserts, and I got my keys, but I felt like my ankle was angry about the sprinting.

The next morning, a Tuesday, when I started to walk down my steps, my ankle locked up.  I’ve never had my ankle lock up.  I don’t guess I’ve ever really had a joint lock up at all, because this was a new, excruciatingly upsetting experience.  My ankle was stuck in a pointed position, like when I put my foot on the ground and tried to take a step, I couldn’t put my entire foot on the ground, and the attempt caused me blinding pain.  I hobbled around on my toe for a about five minutes, and then my foot magically corrected itself and I could walk normally.

I had seen the Charleston doctor the day before (of course), but I was able to see the Augusta doctor that Friday on my way to Athens for the Georgia South Carolina game.  I explained to the Augusta doctor about how my ankle locked up, and he said he wanted to look at my MRI again.  He came back in the exam room, looked at my ankle, and said, does this hurt? and I yelped, YES!  He looked up at me and said, GOOD NEWS!  I think I know what’s wrong with you!  And I can fix it! (when I had my appendix taken out, after the CT scan came back, the doctors seemed extremely pleased that i did actually have appendicitis, and that I “got” to have surgery.  To be fair, I think that kid was a med student, and I guess I sort of get it because it is better than the alternatives, but I feel like the enthusiasm can feel vaguely awkward).

Augusta doctor explained I have an extra bone in my ankle, and that he’s never taken this bone out of a person’s foot who didn’t see improvement from the surgery.  I found that encouraging and said sign me up! (My ankle has continued to lock up off and on, and I would do most anything to have that stop happening, because it is most unpleasant.

So.  Here we are.  I originally took two weeks of sick leave to have this surgery, but since the government is still shut down*, that leave has been cancelled, and I have plenty of time to convalesce in the comforts of my parents backyard.  I never have to have a real cast, and he said I can walk on my foot as soon as I feel comfortable, but that I should spend a week or two with it elevated and taking it easy.  I will be in a short boot for the next month, but after that I’m allowed to ease back into whatever I want to do, which is exciting.

Wish me luck, I will be here catching up on all my television shows for the next week to ten days.  XOXO

* if I wasn’t having surgery, I would buy a plane ticket somewhere and go on a trip.  Tomorrow.  Too bad.

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This might be extremely difficult to believe, but I think of things I want to blog about every day. But then I get distracted, and the blogging never happens.  I actually have a note on my iphone notepad that has a list of things I meant to blog about.  For example, the most recent three are as follows:

1.  Standing up in airplanes

2.  Dick’s sporting goods is like a disappointing date that had such potential

3.  Low music and television standards

Hopefully I will get to those topics one day.  Today I’m going to tell you about my foot.  In the past week I’ve seen two well respected orthopedic foot surgeons.  Why two?  Partially because I had the opportunity, and partially because I’m a hypochondriac.  I had an MRI, both doctors read my MRI.  Both surgeons agree on three things, my posterior tibial tendon is irritated, nothing is torn or broken, and I’m not going to further aggravate it with stretching.  One thinks it is entirely too early to consider surgery, one thinks it’s been hurting long enough where it won’t heal on it’s own without surgery.  One said I should walk all I want and go to yoga and not think about it for a while.  The other one said I should go out and run and do whatever I want and maybe further aggravate it so he can better pinpoint the problem.

The one thing I’m sure of is that the boot made my foot feel ten times worse than anything else, including walking all week at the tournament.  I’ve decided that I”m going to not think about it anymore.  I’m not going to take the anti-inflammatory anymore, at least for a little while.  I’m going to go to yoga, and I’m going to ease back into that with a lot of modifications.  I’m going to make a couple yoga classes my goal, and walk around everywhere I want to go.  I might wear heels one night if I’m feeling especially crazy, even though that is probably the worst thing I could do.  I’m going to go to New York at the end of next week, and I’m going to walk my little heart out, but I might tape my foot up if I think it helps.  And I’m going to ignore it.

Wish me luck, I’m off to Cara’s yoga class to get a good sweat in and listen to my friend talk over awesome music for an hour.  It’s good for the soul.  We’ll see about the sole.  Gah, STOP.

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JT, I love you. Forever and EVER. Nothing makes my inability to go out for a run more upsetting than finding a gem like this. I could run to this sound on repeat for a long time. The version on my phone is eight minutes long, so I could listen to it on repeat like three times and feel like I got in a good workout. Right now I don’t think I could run for three minutes, which is sad. I thought I was doing better, I was really convinced of it. I went to one yoga class, and I really was okay, and my arms and shoulders and back were just as sore as my foot, and I was encouraged. Then a week later I went to a second yoga class, and during that class I felt AWESOME. I felt like I could do this yoga class every day and feel great. But that was Tuesday, and since then my foot has been a lot more painful than it was before. But I also haven’t been quite as careful with it, and I haven’t been taking the anti-inflammatory medication like I was before. I think I’m going to wear the boot for a couple of days and see if that helps at all, and take the medicine again.

Briscoe just got out of bed, I got up at 8, but she felt the need to sleep until after 10. I think she has already fallen asleep again on the floor.

I went to the Good Friday service last night, because Easter really snuck up on me and I felt like it would help me get into the Easter spirit. The service was REALLY long, but other than that, it was great. There was one passage that I really liked:

Hebrews 10:22-25

“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you the Day approaching.”

Obviously this is a pretty sincere affirmation of God’s promise for his people, but I think that even if you don’t believe in God or Jesus, the idea that we should “provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet…but encouraging one another” is an inspirational aspiration. My own personal history with Church could be compared to an interstate slowly changing into a gravel road, but I’ve been a peace with that for a long time. We all take our own paths, but I believe that as long as you are searching for enlightenment and approaching the world with love and gratitude, the day to day theological problems will sort themselves out. And maybe I don’t go to church all the time, and maybe you never do, but the comfort of the ritual is there.

In other news, I just finished the book Gone Girl, and I thought the ending was really stupid. I had been warned that the book was questionable, and I went into it knowing it was questionable, but whatever. I am proud of myself for checking the book out from the library. I live directly behind the library, and I always say I’m going to check out books, and then I never ever do. And this time I did. And I was justified, because now that I’m done with the book I want to throw it across the room, but tossing it into the return box will have to suffice. My horoscope swore to me that this most recent full moon was going to be the most difficult full moon of 2013 for me, and that I was going to get some bad news that would leave me tense and possibly very angry between March 27th and March 30th. Since I had Miami wining the NCAA tournament and they lost to some stupid school that starts with an M by more than ten points, thereby ruining my previously beautifully unbroken bracket, I’ve decided that this was my bad news. But I’m also going to attempt a spray tan today, so if this goes extremely poorly, that could also be my bad news. It is amazing how much I care about my bracket, considering that I have yet to watch an entire (or even a large majority) basketball game this season.

I have so many things I need to do today, starting with taking my dog outside. I’ve already brushed my teeth and consumed a great deal of coffee. Oh! And I got dressed. Now I just need to put on some sunscreen (no one should ever leave the house without sunscreen, on any day, regardless of where or what you are doing. Pouring down rain is a maybe excuse, but it might clear up, you never know) and I will be ready to brave the world! After I take a zyrtec. I really want a shark mop. I think today is the day to investigate. Life is full of excitement and possibilities.

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Briscoe is trying to make me feel better about not being able to work out. My yoga mat and tennis equipment have been crying to Briscoe during the day about feeling neglected and abandoned, so she thought we should pull them out and make them feel loved. Just making it onto your mat and breathing deeply counts, right? Oh, and what I really want is a mini trampoline, so, if anyone has a mini trampoline laying around, I’d be happy to take it off your hands. I NEED it. For rehab.

We started with child’s pose.




As you can see, Briscoe is a ball hog.


We volleyed for a little while.




Briscoe’s favorite pose is shavasana.


And we all say, Namaste, bitches.

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Yesterday, I went to yoga for the first time since before Christmas.  In the past year, I’ve been fairly dedicated to my yoga practice, mostly because if I only go once a week, it is difficult to walk and breathe the next day I’m so sore.  I’ve also made some fantastic friends through yoga, and I hate missing them.  When I’m consistent in my practice, I sleep better, I work better, I feel better, I eat better, and I am significantly more in control of my anxiety.  Plus, I feel stronger and more aware of my body.  There is very little excuse for me to not be dedicated, especially since there are no real negatives.

In the summer, I was running and doing yoga, but in the fall when my tennis season started back, running became more difficult.  The high impact of running and the high impact of tennis do not live harmoniously in my joints.  Too much working out causes me to have debilitating muscle cramps. I’ve tried everything, believe me, and the only sure fire way to stop the cramps is to not work out every day of the week and cut back on my high impact activities.  I’m better off with one or the other.  I’m sure I will start running again in February, if only so I can enjoy the bridge run.  I’m happy to go out and run a 5k when I haven’t been running on a regular basis, but running a 10k without prior consideration sucks.  I can do anything for an hour, and I’ve done it before when not prepared, but I was miserable the whole time.  My masochistic qualities are spotty at times.

The yoga class I went to yesterday was at the studio in Mount Pleasant, which is the largest yoga studio I’ve ever practiced in, and there were more people there than I’ve ever seen. It was SLAMMED with people.  This is what Saturday morning yoga looks like in January.

I went to the movies last night – Django – because, as you know, movies make me happy.  We went to the local Carmike, because the movie was not playing at the smaller arts theater that is infinitely preferable (but also significantly more expensive).  We got there about 15 minutes early, and the theater was already starting to fill up.  By the time the movie started, it was 3/4 full, and after 20 minutes of previews, it was slammed.  This is what the movie theater looks like on a Saturday night in January.

This morning, I went to church.  I love my church, it is the greatest little Episcopal church.  I can walk there, all of the preachers are great, and the congregation is a perfect mix of diversity.  I should go more often.   I love that my Episcopal church here retains so many qualities of the church where I went to school growing up, and the Episcopal church in Athens.  I feel confident I could find an Episcopal church in most places in the world, and some aspect would remind me of home.

You know how if you’ve been traveling abroad for long enough, and you find yourself at the McDonald’s eating a McFlurry, simply because it feels like home.  I never go to McDonald’s, and even when I do, I rarely get McFlurries.  But every McFlurry I’ve ever eaten in a foreign country sticks out in my mind as the greatest McFlurry ever made.  I don’t mean to imply that McDonald’s and the Episcopal church have a lot in common, I’m just saying there is comfort in familiarity.  As a side note, the McDonald’s in Greece serves something called the McGreek – which is a hamburger patty in a pita with tzatsiki sauce on it.  I have it on good authority that the McDonald’s in India serves something called a McVeggie.  Way to assimilate Micky-D.

Apologies for that ridiculous tangent.  Back to church this morning.  It was Epiphany – which is one of the happiest services of the year beyond Easter and Christmas.  I like using Epiphany as a noun.  I felt lighter when I left.  I like to sit in the balcony, and in the summertime, the balcony might have five people in it.  This morning, the balcony was at capacity.  This is what church looks like the first Sunday in January.

In other January news, I’ve been toying with the idea of Drynuary – I normally have little interest in absolutes, and believe that life should be lived in moderation – but the holidays left me feeling a little pickled, and I thought it couldn’t hurt to try out.  I also made this decision on New Year’s day, at Home Team after the polar bear plunge.  I don’t feel convicted enough to last the whole month, but my goal is 10 days, maybe two weeks, of no alcohol, and then a commitment to moderation.  This seems reasonable, healthy, and doable.  I’ve given up drinking for lent a couple of times, but that was at a time when I was much more interested in absolutes and convictions.  And my masochistic tendencies were less spotty.

It is raining today, and there is a  woodpecker outside of my window – going to town on the carolina cherry.  At first I thought it was a redheaded woodpecker, but further investigation reveals it to be a Red-bellied woodpecker.  Apparently redheaded woodpeckers have red all over their head and their neck, and this dude most definitely only had red like a cap on his head, and a white stomach, with a speckled back.   Learn something new every day.

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So, I’m a terrible friend, and I forgot Denise’s birthday.  Then I apologized, and all she asked for in restitution was for me to write a blog entry for her.  Have I done that?  Obviously not.  But that is to be remedied immediately.  Per Denise’s request, I have four topics on which to touch upon during this blog post.

Tervis tumblers are not necessary, but they definitely can make life easier.  For instance, James left a Burnett’s vodka tervis tumbler at my house a while back, and I had no idea how much better my homemade milkshakes would be in this particular tervis tumbler.  I am also comforted by the thought that he probably received this particular tumbler as a free gift from the liquor distributor, and that I have not absorbed into my life permanently an object that cost him money.  In case you were wondering, my milkshakes include trader joe’s ice cream – either the joe joes in cream or the mint chocolate chip.  I mentioned to James recently that he might never get that tumbler back, and he seemed okay about it.  It is the perfect size, and keeps my little hands from getting cold.  In similar news, I have one of those oversized koozies that I got from the big oyster roast at Boone Hall a couple years ago – the ones that fit over the pints of ice cream.  It is awesome and makes me happy.  Not like I sit around eating pints of ice cream and drinking milkshakes.  Most of the time I sit around eating cookies and brownies.

Emotionally abusive relationships are terrible.  I think this term is probably thrown around a lot, but I also think a lot of people have been in some pretty horrible relationships.  And they don’t just have to be romantic relationships.  Some people have emotionally abusive relationships with a parent, or a boss.  It can be really hard to realize what is going on until later.  Then when you date someone who treats you right, or you get a job where you are treated like an adult and respected, it can sort of all crash over you and make you seriously worry about yourself that you would put up with such awfulness.  It can make you doubt your own decision making skills, and self esteem.  Don’t do that.  It happens to the best of us.

Sweet potatoes are something that I rarely want to eat, but the one time I really do want to eat sweet potatoes is at thanksgiving, in the form of a casserole.  So, my mom was sick this thanksgiving, and I was suppose to make the sweet potato casserole, but I waited til the last minute, and it was a total bust.  Maybe the biggest failure of my cooking career.  I was frazzled, there were a lot of things out of my control, but all I know is I did something WRONG.  I threw the whole thing away right after dinner.  Everything else turned out excellent, and my mom is doing better, so NBD.  I am still perplexed about what I did wrong, because sweet potatoes + butter + sugar + eggs + pecans = what in the world could go wrong and how could that not taste good?  Maybe the pecans were bad?  Life mysteries.

And Finally – this last one is more like a public service announcement –

You know those people in your yoga class who don’t wear shirts?  Guys, or girls in sports bras?  I find this irrational and confusing.  I went for a time where I liked to run in a sports bra, but that was short lived, because in general, if you are going to sweat, wearing a shirt is necessary.  I enjoy mostly hot and high intensity yoga, so I can’t imagine not wearing a shirt in yoga. When you don’t wear a shirt, the sweat has no where to go, and you just end up dripping sweat all over your mat, or on the person next to you.  Or a large puddle collects and the people in the next class have to deal with it.  When it is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hot outside – like, July at 6 pm, and I run a few miles outside, when I finish – I might take my shirt off.  Mostly to mop the sweat off my face or something.  But not while I’m running.  And you should wear a shirt during yoga for the same reason.  To soak up the sweatiness and save us all from sweat puddles.

I have a lot of other thoughts about yoga etiquette – my dad likes yoga – and he and I discuss these rules on occasion.  If you are male, in a yoga class, try to not talk until you get out of the yoga room.  Honestly, these rules apply to males and females, and mostly involve common courtesy and boundaries with strangers.  Once out of the yoga room, if you must talk to a stranger, try to refrain from ever mentioning any part of the body to a stranger.  Examples – do not inquire as to how that hip opener made the stranger in your class feel, or make any comments about surrendering into the pose, or observations on the other person’s body.  Awkwardness is not a competition.

In other news, Denise and I made Christmas cookies on Friday night.  Here are some pics.  We made a mess, but it was worth it, and I’ve eaten enough to make anyone sick.  First you roll out the doughThen after you bake them, you ice themTa-Da!

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