Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nothing says good morning like...

waking up at the ass-crack of dawn to have an MRI. That was the story for me last Friday. Coming off a St. Patty's Day buzz, I stumbled out of bed at 7:00, threw on some sweats and made my way to the OA center. There was no need to shower or beautify because I wasn't doing anything but lay down in a tiny tube for 40 minutes and panic. Oh joy.

I get there, and the whole place is more or less dark. I was there before most of the staff. Its 7:15 and all I want to do is go back to sleep, but I have a knot the size of Mt. Washington in my belly. I'm already feeling the anxiety of my claustrophobia and I'm only in the waiting room. The sweet lady at the front said "ok I can take you out back now." We walk through that maze of a building and land in another waiting room. She was shocked to see on my file that my insurance was going to cover the procedure 100%. "Where do you work and are there openings?" she asks. We talked for a bit about jobs and the economy, my hip surgery and books (I had brought The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) to read while waiting. Then she has me look through a book of possible music choices. I know from my first MRI back in August that it doesn't matter what I listen to, I will barely hear it anyway. I choose John Mayer's Heavier Things because I dig it and its kind of mellow. Then I wait an excruciating 20 minutes. The intake nurse comes out and said they are running behind because the girl in there now is highly claustrophobic and keeps freaking out and having to get out of the machine. Yikes bikes.

I try to breathe deep and get more lost in my book. I was supposed to go in at 7:45 and its 8:15. I just want to get it over with. I also try to remember that I took half a Xanax so I wouldn't have a panic attack. The last thing I want is to be like the girl before me and have to extend the miserable process even longer. Finally, I get to go in and in a moment of panic, I realize I forgot to take my bra off. Obvs, no metal can go into a giant magnet machine, and my bra had an under wire. I thought I was all prepared, wearing sweats with no metal or zippers, but I forgot about my boob-hammock. I run back to the bathroom/locker room and take it off, breathing a sigh of relief that I didn't have some scary House moment where the machine broke or something scary happened.

When I get into the room, the technician started the music and told me it would be only 25 minutes- which made me breathe a bit easier. I laid down on the table, she put the headphones on me, gave me the panic button and sent me in. The sultry sounds of John Mayer eased my mind a bit, but all the loud buzzing and banging gave me a headache. I made the mistake of opening my eyes, only to see that my nose is only a tenth of an inch from the plastic and I immediately shut them tight. I feel like there's no way out. The technicians voice comes through the headphones informing me I am "doing great" and that I am "halfway done." I could have sworn I'd been in there half a DAY already. Blerg.

Its all over after 25 minutes of loud noises. I grab Ethan at the office so he can have the car. I go home change and decide to wear my favorite flats because the sun is out and I want to boost my mood. Ethan drops me off, I step out onto what looked like dry grass and hear a disgusting squish noise. This tells me that I have stepped in mud. My foot was fully covered. As I squish my way into the building I detour to the bathroom, cursing my bad morning. I wash my foot and proceed to my office. The day did get gradually better, but an early morning MRI and then stepping in mud in my favorite shoes (the shoes are fine- they stood up well and cleaned up easy!) was not how I wanted my Friday morning to begin.

Now its a waiting game to see what the magic magnet reveals about my spine. April 4th is the follow-up with the doctor, unless they find anything "that needs immediate attention." Oh joy.

I'll be sure to keep you posted.



Wednesday, March 16, 2011


About 2 weeks ago, I got clearance from PT Chris to get on the elliptical Ethan and I have at home. I've been leery about doing so, since I'm having this new back issue. However, Monday night I decided that I was going to try it out. My Lent discipline this year is to cut out sweets, so getting more exercise is an added bonus of fitness. I did 20 minutes on the variable intensity workout. I was able to keep up, and didn't feel any hip pain! I had forgotten how good it felt to do an awesome cardio workout. Physical therapy has really been all strength training, so I've been missing the cardio element. I also got on last night and did 15 minutes at high intensity. My muscles are a bit sore today, but only in the manner I'd expect them to be after not having really worked out in a few months. It feels amazing to get back into working out. Yesterday was really stressful, and the intense workout made me feel better!

The need to report this as part of the hip story is that I had to stop working out pre- surgery for the pain (I also met Ethan and got swept away by love etc etc lol) and I've always had pain after working out. Now that's no more, so it feels worth sharing!

Bikini 2011- here I come! :)


Monday, March 14, 2011

A back story?

I know its been a while since I updated. There hasn't, in truth, been too much to report. PT is going well. I am down to once a week through March, then every couple of weeks as needed. Exercises are to be done on my own. I feel a lot stronger; I can even feel my ab muscles being more defined, which is an awesome bonus.

The left hip being fixed has shifted my focus to my right hip, which like the left prior to surgery, has its good days and bad days. I follow up with Alli in May and we'll see where things stand. An interesting new thing, is happening however. I've been having increased back pain, as well as numbness/tingling in my feet at PT. I am still also having the "dead-leg" pain and numbness in both legs periodically (something I had attributed to the hip problem). My hands and arms also go numb during some PT sessions. Chris mentioned this to Alli one night when she was passing through on her way out of the office We chatted and decided I should see the spine specialist. Chris can't progress me any further at PT right now because of the back/ tingling problem. Alli made the referral the next morning and put me at the top of the list to get me in to see Dr. Findlay, the spine specialist. She went out of her way; I swear OA has the best people on the planet. Including Alli, I see three 4 doctors and a physical therapist at OA. I am definitely a regular there now.

I had the spine appointment today with Dr. F and he is super nice. Ethan sees him too for his neck/back, so I knew he was a good guy. We took some x-rays and went over the history. I told him about how I have scoliosis and had a brace for it when I was in middle school. It never goes away, so I thought that might be the problem. He took a look at me and the x-rays and figured the scoliosis is idiopathic and that I am very loose-jointed. Most of my joints hyperextend, and my ligaments are very loose. Dr. F said that all of these factors are related and may have contributed to the hip issue. He decided he wanted to take an x-ray of my lumbar (lower) spine and work from there. The MRI is on Friday morning. We shall see.

Anyway, that's the latest development. Add it to the list of things! At least all the doctors/records are in one place, and everyone is awesome. I'll keep you all posted with treatment, etc.