I have ditched the crutches that I so required Thursday and Friday. I no longer wake up in pain and can walk a few stiff steps before I start to feel the pain. I can take steps without crying though the further in the day it is, the more I wince. For the most part, the pain is now local to just the right cheek and no longer radiates to the lower back, hamstrings and into the calf. The credit goes to rest, as much as I can get; PT-prescribed exercises and stretches; and some posture modifications.
But the experience is still frustrating. Most everything I do involves some level of pain or discomfort and a lot of things require planning and thought. Things as simple as getting in and out of the car.
I am channeling my inner Grandma, though, and trying to see the positive ... or at least not feel sorry for myself. I think I'm doing it so much that I might, well, be turning into her.
Happier times (read August) when my only complaint was that it wasn't 80 degrees on the lake. I could also see my toes.
1. I say things like, "As long as I can hold onto the cart, I'll be fine." I did this at Target and Menards over the weekend. My grandma uses the cart instead of a walker, and I used the cart to help take some of the weight off my leg.
2. I had to have a therapy session to learn how to get in and out of bed. I also had to get tips on getting in and out of a car. My grandma fell three years ago and the medical complications that ensued left her with little strength. She had to learn how to use her good side to get up and out of bed. For me, I have to avoid agitating the piriformis and, as such, get out from certain positions in a similar manner. To get out of bed, I use my heels to push myself to a side-lying position. I use my upper body to push to sitting. The legs, then, swing over the edge and I scoot bottom till it's nearly falling off before putting my feet on the floor.
3. The first steps are always the worst. I think that I have some problems with stiffness because my gait is altered. So, even if the step doesn't hurt, my body doesn't know how to move. If I can get a few steps in, usually I can build some momentum to get where I need to go. I have seen, on occasion, too, where some prolonged movement can work out the kinks ... or I become more used to the pain.
4. I sometimes do things that I probably shouldn't because I forget that I'm hurting, like going to the basement to do laundry and then trying to take stuff upstairs to the second floor. My grandma, on the other hand, likes to move around without her walker because she left it in the other room. And because she's sassy and stubborn. I guess I get it from her.
5. Breathe in the good, breathe out the bad. My grandma is no yogi as I'd call her more religious than spiritual but her No. 1 tip during stressful times has been to breathe in the good and breathe out the bad. When the butt is screaming, I focus on inhaling and exhaling and visualize the pain leaving my body.
6. Change what I can – my attitude. My grandma often quotes the serenity prayer, and I'm fairly certain it's her way of getting through her struggles. I was a bit ridiculous in my reaction to the idea of not running but I've warmed to it a bit in the passing days. Don't get me wrong. I want to run. However, the down time will allow me to shift my focus from feeling like I'm not running enough or running too slow to being glad to just run. As I approach these last eight weeks of pregnancy, I think it will be an important mindset to adopt.
Also, it's been friggin' cold and dumb outside. If I had to pick a good time to be sidelined, I sure did. As I pedaled on the recumbent bike on Saturday, my friends ran in –8 windchill, faced 43 mph gusts and experienced white out conditions.The bike stunk, being inside didn't.
Grandma agrees. On the weather being dumb, that is.