YOUR fall favorites… & stimulatin’ like a BOSS

Hello hello again from the bus! Haha I like this blogging-whilst-commuting thing. Makes the trip go so much faster! Sorry though – this post probably wont be posted until I get home tonight!

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Well, a winner has been chosen, and tomorrow a box full of goodies will be embarking on its journey to Pennsylvania! Hope you enjoy it Susan!!

If I had been picking winners based on how good their photos looked… man that would have been hard! I didn’t get as many entries as I had hoped – only 8 people submitted photos, but a lot of you hopped on the multiple entry thing and many of you did all four options to enter! I really appreciate it guys!! It’s not like I get sent stuff from companies to give away, so I can’t promise that I will do many of these, but my first giveaway was definitely fun!

Here are some of the good lookin yummies you lovely ladies sent me (wait.. I didn’t have any male entrants did I? I don’t think so…)

apple crisp

cider

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Martha Pumpkin Stew (14)

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Looks like yall are lovin the fall flavors as much as I am!

CHANGING SUBJECTS…

As I mentioned yesterday – the bone growth stimulator was delivered! Apparently they’re a lot more commonly used than I thought! I asked the rep who brought it out to my house and set me up how many of these she did a month – she said she does at least one every day! Based on the reactions I’ve gotten when I told people I was using a bone growth stimulator… I would think that they’re like a rarity. Apparently not! Here is my gift from the orthopedic Santa:

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And here is my trying to demonstrate how the BGS will work from a very awkward angle:

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Hahah fail! My roomie offered to take a photo of me and my new BFF later in the evening. Clearly the novelty hadn’t worn off yet:

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Excuse the hot mess of hair.. I just got home from spin.. put on the PJs.. and hunkered down with Grey’s! (Close to definition of a perfect night.) I am supposed to use the stim for 30 minutes one time every day. And no trying to cheat or extra stimulate them bones either – it will ONLY work once a day. Clever thinking Mr. Manufacturer! I am excited that this finally came through, and although its pretty much a crap-shoot (that is the phrase.. right?) if it’ll actually WORK or not, I’m game to try.

Haha I just realized almost no one will be making this whole BOSS connection. Toooo much to explain for now. Sorry!

[Location change! Now home with my stim chillin on the hip and a bag of popcorn]

WELL I think I can wrap this post here. It went from a 57° partly sunny morning to a coldddd 36° rainy night. Unfortunately, I dressed for school during that 58° temp, so when I finished practice in the pool and went to catch the bus with wet hair, a long sleeve shirt, and a light running jacket, I turned into this:

Only I can guarantee you this little toots had on way more layers than I did, and I didn’t look nearly as cute with my “cold face” on. Anyways, sob story over – I’m warm now. Enough complaining!

Man I hope this bone growth stimulator is working. When I sit for half an hour at any other time, it seems like no biggie. But when I’m doing it off my own schedule, it feels like a chore! Hhaha more complaining. I think I should go now.

-E

p.s. you guys should help me come up with a nickname for this bad boy. Bone Growth Stimulator is a mouthful! And “the Stim” just sounds dirty… help!

Giveaway Winner!!

NO I didn’t forget… but any and all hopes of posting this week have been thrown out the window for the sake of my education. Tests, midterms, papers, the whole shebang. Hey, at least it’s a good excuse, right?!

Without further ado… the winner of Sperly’s First Giveaway selected by Random.org is…..

Martha Pumpkin Stew (14)

Susan from SusanRuns!!! I know this Pennsylvania lady will enjoy it, and hopefully if her small-town town outside of Philly doesn’t have stores that carry the coupon items, she’ll get a chance to load up next time she’s in Philly! Susan – please email me your address and I’ll get that off to you ASAP!

Today is a rainy drizzly day here in the Mini-Apple. Definitely not my cup o’ tea, but luckily I have a killer spin class at 6:00 and Grey’s at 8:00 to cure me of my rainy-day blues.

ANNNNND… regarding the bone growth stimulator, I got approved! Approved by my insurance AND approved for financial assistance due to my basically-no-income student status. I guess being broke is OK in some respects! The lady from the medical device company is coming to my house TODAY to get me all set up. Actually, she’ll be there in about an hour, and that would mean I should be there in an hour too! Bus comes in 15 minutes, so with that, I will say adios mis amigos! I will try n get back in here tonight with the rest of the crazy-good looking fall foodie photos that were submitted!

Until we meet again my friends!

-Erika

Fibrous Dysplasia // the Sperly Hip // A History in the Making…

Update 10.05.13 – Follow me now: www.offtheDL.com

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Well, if the post doesn’t give a hint, the status on the hip is not very positive. Waking up today, I had the feeling that it was going to be one of those days… 10 minutes before my alarm went off someone called my cell phone and woke me up (suuuch a big pet peeve! I know I’m not the only one), it started pouring just before our last “long” run this morning, I was dropping sh!t all day, the bus was late, shoes were soaked, just in general I got that no-good-can-come-of-this feeling.

 


On the [very late] bus on the way to school [in the rain] I got a call from my doctor with the results of yesterdays tests. (Haha.. am I painting enough of a dramatic picture here? Ok.. I’ll cut it..) The bone scan had shown “abnormal activity” in my left hip, and PET/CT showed that there was indeed a fracture in the inferior femoral neck. Basically right in the same place it was almost exactly a year ago (“last fateful run”… Sept. 29th, 2008). I am thinking that the fracture healed after surgery with all that rehab time, but that in amping up my mileage for this marathon (Twin Cities.. 9 days from today) I refractured it. 

 

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(Rehab post-surgery: December, 2008)


Given my medical history and the fact that I have fibrous dysplasia.. am I surprised? Yes and no. I thought the fracture would have for sure healed, but now that I think about it, when you have fibrous dysplasia, it is essentially scar tissue where it’s supposed to be bone. So if it’s not “real bone”.. then how can it generate new bone growth if there is no “bone” there to begin with? Am I making sense? 

 

So I had all of this gloomy glorious day to sit and dwell contemplate. What am I going to do from here? What about the marathon? If there’s no marathon.. can I still run.. at all? Can the severity of the fracture be quantified? Is it as bad as last time? It doesn’t feel as bad as last time… What about the marathon? What about cross-training – is that still OK? Am I going to be back on crutches? How long will this take to heal? And.. what about the effin’ marathon!?!

 

My doctor is pretty amazing.. no doubt about that. I would definitely recommend him to anyone in the TC area who is dealing with an athletic injury. If you want his name, I can definitely pass it on to you, but I’m not sure if he would want his name publicly included in this so I will just leave it at that. Anyways, being the amazing doctor that he is, I have his phone number, his email, I see him at my restaurant, and he said I could call with any questions I had. Seeing as that questions were ample, I wrote down all the valid ones, and called him after class. (Just about 15 minutes ago actually.. I am posting again via public transportation – the 114 bus.)

 

Regarding the “Will it ever heal?” question, he wanted to consult with a doctor who specialized in fibrous dysplasia before giving me an answer. I really appreciate that, because that plays a huge role in what I decide to do about the marathon. If the answer is “no”, then that means I will probably not be able to ever DO another marathon, in which case I might just say eff that, and make TC my last. If the answer is a definite “yes”, and the prognosis is that I will be able to still competitive run distance, then I would probably hold off on TC.

 

My question about “How severe is the fracture? Is it as bad as last time?” had an answer.. and that one was at least positive. The answer is no, at least not right now. Last year I was given crutches.. I was limping hard core.. it was bad. And I knew that. The fracture doesn’t at all feel like it did then, and just looking at the scans, the doctor was able to say that “this time”.. it isn’t “as bad”. 

 

(edit: location change – I’m off the bus, at home, and about 4.5 hours out from when I started this post.. went over to my mom’s house.)

 

And finally, “So what about the marathon?” All sorts of crazy illogical thoughts have gone through my mind about that today, from “of course you can’t run it” to “there’s no way I put all that effort in for nothing…” Up until just a little bit ago, my head was not even able to make one concrete thought and stick with it for more than a minute. Talking to my mom really helped, and so did talking to the doctor. At the current moment, my train of thought is somewhere along the lines of this: I will not run at all right now until race day. I will run TC, but not race it. After that, no running the fracture heals. (That is if it CAN heal.) 

 

I know I’m going to get mixed reactions to this one.. some people will say that that’s being ridiculous – what good can running the marathon do? It will only set you back. Other people might agree.. I guess just depending on your background, your opinion will be different. Like I said though, that is just my CURRENT thought.. and my current thoughts have been changing like every 5 minutes so nothing is set in stone here, and I’m not holding myself to anything. Twin Cities marathon is 9 days away, and I’m sure I will have “made” 25 different “decisions” between now and then. 

 

Sorry to be the lil downer here.. as I’m sure you know, I wish I could be posting with GOOD NEWS and happy faces. All I can do at this point is count my blessings, try my best to keep a solid head on my shoulders, and live the life that I have been given to the fullest. 

 

When I was doing core at the gym today, I was thinking about this post. There was so much that I wanted to include, but to keep it manageable I’m going to split it into two. In my next post, I really want to put together a little timeline of my running history, and how this injury has come into play. More so for myself, but I have gotten a few comments from newer readers who didn’t know I pretty much went through this last year. I think it would also be good to have a little bit of my running history and background so no assumptions are made.. it’s not like this is an overuse injury from suddenly jumping on the I-need-to-do-a-marathon-or-my-life-isn’t-complete-bandwagon (I think that pretty much sums up how I feel about THAT one…). Fibrous dysplasia is a genetic condition you are BORN with, and is something that is beyond my control. A little education goes a long way, and I feel like I could lend a little insight to a couple (or one?) of anonymous commenters. 

 

Anyways, it’s only 10:00.. it’s Friday night.. and I’m on the couch. Lame, but I’m pulling the get-out-of-jail-free card and saying I’ve had a pretty long day. Week. I’m going to watch the news through the sports and then take the advantage of the night and just crash early. Sleep is super important in recovery, and that’s an easy thing to forget.

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(knocked out post surgery – December 2008. LOL I slept like 15 hours a day for like 2 weeks.. thankk you pain meds.)

 

Truly, I love you guys. Thank you for your support, and yes, your sympathy. I’m a big girl.. I can handle it. 😉

 

G’night to all.

 

-E

A fun filled day at the hospital

Well, in short, I will just tell you guys that I had a fun filled day at the hospital. I didn’t want to bring it up earlier on the blog because I already feel like I’m getting all this “sympathy” here at home.. and honestly sometimes it’s just hard to take.


(University of MN Fairview Hospital. photo credit!)

Don’t get me wrong – I am so thankful for my support network: my family, my friends, my teammates, here on the blog.. you guys are all amazing. I think I struggle with even talking about my hip/health problems because that means I’m admitting that there is something wrong there, and that potentially it could be a big deal.

But anyways, yep – the hip. Again. MAYBE. 

I have been experiencing some discomfort/pain/feelings that I know shouldn’t really be there for about a month now. I have an amazing doctor who is the chairman of the sports medicine department at University of Minnesota Fairview. He is also the physician for all of our athletes, and I definitely know I am in good hands. On Tuesday I had xrays done, which were basically inconclusive. Good news is my pins are all still in place… for a while I got myself thinking “what if they’re poking through the other side of the bone!?!”

Today I had lab work at 1:00, injections at 2:00, part 1 of a bone scan at 2:10, a ct scan at 2:40, and part 2 of the bone scan at 4:00. That was all I was scheduled for today, but they could see some “abnormal activity” in the bone scan, so then I went in for a combo PET/CT scan. It was actually really relaxing.. I fell asleep on the table! My only battle wound for the day are a blown vein in my left arm, and a huge blood pool under the surface of the skin on my left hand. I can’t blame them… I have some tiny freaking veins. 

My doctor wanted another doctor to read the scans.. and he said he’d call me within 48 hours, so hopefully then I will have a better idea of what is going on. My plan is to still run Twin Cities Marathon, although ultimately if I’m putting myself at risk of needing another surgery or fracturing something again, I will listen to the advice of my doctor for sure.

Anyways.. just wanted to keep you guys in the loop. I don’t like feeling like I’m hiding something! And as much as the “sympathy” is something that is hard for me to deal with, I am not too big to ask for prayers and thoughts. I really appreciate all the support I have found in you guys in the past, and I know it’ll be there in the future.

I’m off for a quick ride with some of the team.. will be good to clear my head. Be back soon!

-E

the first day…

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning, and ERIKA RAN – the first day.

– Genisis 1

Comrades, the day has finally come – I HAVE OFFICIALLY BEEN CLEARED TO RETURN TO RUNNING. 

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That would be the legit note from señor Dr. Denis Clohisy at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, and I have also been cleared by dear Dr. Millis here in Boston, as well as my physical therapist (who I haven’t talked a lot about, but he’s amazing too 😉 ), Ian.

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Now let’s be clear on some things… “Return to running” does not mean return to where I was at when I stopped. It does also not mean intervals, or tempos, or 400 repeats on the track. It does not mean that in 10 weeks I will be toeing the line at Boston, no matter how badly I want to/how much I think I “could”/how many times I look over at this posted on my wall next to my desk:

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Running Boston THIS YEAR is out. You better believe I’m keeping my number though.. because while you can “defer” your time for a second year, you can’t “defer” your payment, and that is $110 I will not be getting back. 😦 More than the money though, being able to run, but not being able to RUN, is going to kill me. It already is. Going to watch is going to be ridiculously hard, but there is no way I’m not going. I have two people from home that are flying out here to run, as well as 3 friends from here that are running it this year too. I will be there to support them for sure.

While the news that I get to run again is honestly the best thing I’ve heard since, “Hi, this is Marathon Sports. Your Asics just came in…” it did come with some setbacks. (Oh wait.. so did the Asics situation. Pink? Really? The website said RED.)

Hearing I can run? I’m ecstatic. Thrilled. Elated. Overjoyed. Over the moon. Top of the world. I don’t know how many ways I can say it.. but it couldn’t make me happier. EXCEPT.. I was/am scared. So scared. I’m scared that despite how great my hip (/hips) feel, I’m gonna get out there, and be like, “Shit. It’s not supposed to feel like that.” That hasn’t happened yet, and I feel that with each new run I go on, that fear will dissipate,  but that fear is real. 

So what.. 5 mile? No prob? Mmm… not quite. My doctor cleared me for 10 minutes/2x per day (ideally, or just 20 minutes once). As much as I want to take what he said and be like, “Sure.. no probs.” I honestly know that it’s a bit much. Not that I don’t think I could do that, but because I don’t think I should. The coach here.. even after little stress fractures, he starts his runners out at 10 minutes, every other day. 20 minutes every day.. kinda a big step up from that. I’m sticking to every/other right now for this first week, and I’m planning on evaluating with my PT tomorrow at my appointment. 

So yes. I’m back. Lots is going on right now in my life… I have this huge “Project Lent: 2009” thing that I’m doing.. more on that later maybe, and oh yeah, that little thing called college:

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Sad story – my roomie put my absolute favorite from-home Caribou Coffee travel mug through the DISHWASHER. And the hot water melted the seal. And melted the red outside color. And now its dunzo. She offered to buy me a new one, and I bring to you:

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I know I’m all “RunRoamRECYCLE”, but this is kinda overkill. It was the only one that had a solid closing though.. and I need to be able to toss it in my bag, so there you go. “Made with 28% post-consumer recycled content”. Yeah.. it says that.. plus a lot more lil recycle-happy quotes. I am ALL FOR being environmentally conscious, but I don’t like to preach. You’ll never see me wearing one of VS’s “Think Pink, Go Green” shirts. NEVER. 

Oh.. and that lil guy.. I got a new tattoo. It was kinda one of those last minute decision things.. and I’m not so sure about it now. 😦 Sorry mom. 

Love to you all, and to all a good night. GREYS!

my little hardware store..

Aright.. well due to multiple comments I received on that last post (two which were kind and respectful, several which were very NOT), I decided to delete it. Apparently people can’t take the MEDICAL pictures for what they are. Glad we’re all so mature.

So. Here is an altered version of those apparently promiscuous xrays I had up. This first one is from October 30th, before surgery. You might not be able to see the fracture.. but it’s there. If you look at the xray and go left of the greater trochanter, and coming about 2/3s of the way up from the bottom side. 

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This is from January 16th, one month and one day after surgery. I had no idea the screws were this big! 

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This next one is from the same day. This position is called “The Frog” haha for obvious reasons.

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I donno about you.. maybe it grosses you out, but I think it’s pretty awesome. I am so thankful for all the amazing doctors I have been privileged to work with – Dr. Millis, Dr. Clohisy, and Dr. Troung – and then there are all the doctors I saw in the beginning who first diagnosed this problem – Dr. Corrado, Dr. Stein, and Dr. Gephart. I wonder how long I could have/would have kept running on it if Dr. Corrado hadn’t referred me to Dr. Stein. I remember his exact words and the tone of his voice – caring, but serious, “Hey kid, you know your limping? You’re gonna need to get that x-rayed before you can be cleared to run.” Thank you all times 1,000,000

I just sent these latest x-rays off to my surgeons at the U of MN this last week, so they should have them by now, and hopefully I can get in touch with them this Monday. I am also supposed to go in for a visit with my surgeon here in Boston for a follow-up. He went out of town last week, but he should be back this week, so hopefully I can get scheduled! My physical therapy also starts up this week – two times a week for now. I’m really excited because I know it will only make me stronger.

Pool workouts and cross training have been going well. My hip honestly feels really good. I told my dad the other day.. I seriously had forgotten what “normal” felt like. I am also really happy with the lifestyle changes that this surgery has brought about. I feel a lot more flexible these days – I feel a lot less concerned with things needing to be so black and white, or so scheduled. Take this: I had signed up for Campus Rec today at the gym.. I’ve taken a lot of the GF classes before, but not this one. Well, after we warmed up and were about 15 minutes in, the instructor said we were going to do suicides, and then go up to the track. Yo dog.. I haven’t been cleared to run yet. And even when I am cleared, it will be easy and short stuff, not suicides and sprints. Instead of thinking “shit.. this was my workout for the day. and I’m already 15 minutes in..” I showed the instructor the big ass scar on my hip, and said “I think I’m gonna have to bail for the rest of class. I haven’t been cleared to run yet..” She was fine with that obvi, and I decided to just call it a day. I have a fun spinning class tomorrow, and I can just make today a rest day. I did some core work, went home and took a shower, and headed to my roomies swim meet!

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This is the diving well where I do all my pool running. 😀

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My roommate is the one in lane 6 on the far left. She is a killer swimmer.. she made the championship team as a freshman! She rocked it. ❤

As far as general life stuff, I have plenty of stuff on my plate right now. We find out if we make it to round 2 of the RA apps at the end of the month, and if we get the position we’ll know by the end of February. I am also toying with the idea of being an orientation leader this summer.. which means being here, in BOSTON, this summer. I’d get to be home for a month between the end of the term and the time OL training starts.. so I donno. It pays pretty dang well, plus room and (partial) board, so it’s something to think about. Sorry about the big gap in posting, but I’ve been adjusting to life as a pre med student and all my sciences classes. I LOVE IT. Greater trochanter? Yep. I knew that one. Maxillary alveolus? Hahaha… still workin’ on it. 

Loves you,
-E 

OH OH OH! Vegetarian disciplinarian?! You left a comment on my last post. I would LOVE to answer any questions you have about Northeastern!! But the email left in your link isn’t working for me for some reason.. shoot me an email with all your questions and I’d be happy to answer! e.imhoff@homail.com

post surgery – week one…

Arighty.. I’m editing this each day.. so if things change tenses from present to past and I’m confusing, sorry! I’ll post it at the end of “week one”. Here’s a little rundown on how things have gone since surgery:

Monday – Surgery in the A.M. Slept most of the rest of the day. Got to go off of the IV drip by that evening, and finally figured out that pain medications are there for a reason – if it hurts, take them.

Tuesday – Physical therapy at 10:30 am. Was supposed to have a second session at 2:00, but she said I was doing so well with the crutches that I didn’t need it. Well, me and the sticks had a pretty exclusive relationship goin’ on earlier this year, so I’d say yeah – I got em’ down. Left the hospital mid afternoon.. came home to a nonfunctioning heater = I had to relocate to upstairs = I mastered the up-stairs.

Wednesday – Definitely the worst day pain wise. Dr. Truong said it was gonna be though, so at least I knew what was coming. I stayed on the futon the better part of the day.. slept on and off. Worked on some Christmas presents.. worked on an essay.. nothing better to do! Took the Vicodin and Vistaril each every for hours, but I staggered the Vistaril so it was two hours after the Vicodin. Seemed to work OK. My sister and her BF and my dad finally got here from Michigan!

Thursday – Still feeling a good bit of pain in the morning, but feeling much better as the day went on. An old friend who’s home from school at ASU came over in the afternoon and we just talked and caught up for like 4 hours. First attempt at getting out of the house – we went to CostCo. I would like to think it was semi-successful. 

Friday – My mom noted that I was moving a lot better. I started doing alternating feet on the stairs (versus always stepping down with my right.. you know, like you do when you’re little..) although I was using a LOT of support from the railing and wall. Easier to do going down than up, and scary at first, but once I did it once it became easier. I’m figuring out all these little systems to do things. 😉 PT exercises going well, except for some reason I can’t do the gluteal squeezes AT ALL on the left side. ?? It’s like the muscle isn’t responding. Despite the Vistaril (which is supposed to be a muscle relaxer) my left thigh is still really tight. Didn’t realize it until I was doing the thigh squeezes that are part of my PT, and realized I couldn’t contract my left thigh muscle because it ALREADY was contracted! Watched a great good movie, The Squid and the Whale, although I hated the ending and hated several parts in the middle. Hahah but aside from those, it was good. 😀

Saturday – Lots better! Big milestone – slept on my stomach for part of the night! It’s hard because I’ve ALWAYS slept on my left side, which is obviously a no-can-do right now. Sleeping on my stomach lets me relax my leg muscles a little. Another big milestone – I SHOVELED!! I never thought that sentence would end with exclamation marks, but it was great. I felt really good in the morning, and promised my mom that if it hurt at all, or felt “off”, I would stop right away and come in. Well let me tell you.. I shoveled our whole entire corner lot plus both walkways and the front steps. And it was fabulous. Plus, the fresh air felt sooo good in my lungs! Ahhh before long, I’ll be RUNNNNING! 😀 Back at CostCo today, but I used the electric cart [with success] this time. Didn’t want to do too much on my feet all in one day.

Sunday – Ohh such a roller coaster. Daily milestone: slept on my side. Not my surgery side of course.. but I put a pillow between my legs so my knee and hip were supported, and it worked pretty well. I also am taking the meds less frequently. I got to/had to shovel again this morning (it snowed for 14 hours straight yesterday!) and that still felt good. It was WAYY colder today than yesterday though, and I don’t know if that affects how my bones feel? Anyways, was fine until about noon, when I started feeling sick to my stomach. We left for CostCo (again.. damn Christmas card is more work than it’s worth!) and didn’t end up coming home until 4:45, and I felt sicker than ever. Which is where I’m sitting right now, on the couch, like I’m about to throw up. If something has to hurt, I’m glad it’s my stomach and not my hip. Still can’t seem to do the gluteal squeeze on the left side.. other PT exercises are going well. 

And because I need to post something, here is the dang Christmas card that I made that has been so much trouble to print. Grrr. But they’re finally done, and they look pretty. My mom, myself, and my sister. 

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Love yall,
-E