Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

Calming Down…


Let the Annual Foodgasm Commence!

OK, team.  Auntie DJ is sorry she got all superpissed about…well, everything last week.  I’ve gone to my corner, come back a new woman, blah blah…

The crazy has been coming back to a certain degree.  Remember my tarot card post?  That was riiiight when this whole injury started nagging away.  A part of me has wondered if perhaps the tarot cards brought this on — that the unholy demon that has attached itself to my left patella and has been humping away at it for a month and a half was brought home from Barnes and Noble in that one fateful seafoam green box.  So when I came home from school in my usual exhausted heap the other night, that little part of me reached for the cards and held them dramatically above the kitchen garbage can, ready to send them the way of coffee grounds and Red Bull cans I’ve slammajammed at 3 AM during paper-writing-fests.

But hey.  Let’s all calm down for a second, because we know which “part of me” is talking here.  It’s the part of me that went to Bible camp and came away convinced that Ouija boards (manufactured by Satan himself) (oops…no, I was mistaken…Parker Brothers) would condemn me to a life of damnation and sadness and that perfectly nice gay people would one day be dragged into the fiery pit to assume their places alongside murderers, single mothers, genociders, and Buddhists.

So I did not throw away the cards.  I decided to take a deep Goddamn breath, close my eyes, count to ten, sing a few calming choruses of Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend,” and take stock of life.

The truth is that I’ve learned a few extremely valuable lessons in this time off from running.  Yes, this is where the oboe starts playing and we all get didactic-ified.  So sit down, sack up, and deal with it, pussy.

1) If I stop running, I will not cease to exist.

…not that I thought I would actually wink out of existence upon not doing my morning fartleks (but then, who knows?  I had never tried it.).  But it sort of was my “thing.”  It was how people (people who don’t know me terribly well, mind you, but still) introduced me at parties.  And somehow — though I am a smart, fantastically interesting person — I let it become my definition.  Which is scary, because we’ve all met that guy who can ONLY TALK ABOUT WEIGHT-LIFTING, and eventually we just want to punch ourselves in the teeth just hearing him talk about Romanian dead-lifts and squat-thrusts and Muscle Man 9000 Creatine Powder.  I fear that I was becoming VO2-max-and-shin-splints girl.  Perhaps I was.  And then it disappeared for <shudder, hands to mouth> SIX WHOLE WEEKS.  And I only barely held on to my sanity.  Which leads me to:

2) I need to take a freaking chill pill.

Yeah.  Know who’s in friggin’ grad school?  Me.  Know who needs to graduate and find a job?  Me.  Know who let running, a running injury, and then freaking the shit out about a running injury get in the way of a crapload of schoolwork?  This kid.

3) If I stop running, I will not become morbidly obese.

Militant feminist though I may be, the patriarchy’s obsession with having a kickin’ bod is still residing comfortably in my head.  And to be perfectly, brutally honest, it took me two or three weeks of doing a crapload of elliptical and subsisting on dust and sparkling water to understand that I wouldn’t be muffin-top-ing all up in everyone’s face if I didn’t get to jog every morning.  Sad?  Perhaps.  But we’ve learned our lesson.  As I type this, in fact, I am currently chomping down a handful of nature’s most perfect food, Cadbury Mini-Eggs (Slogan: “Ruining your life deliciously — every spring since you were 5.”).

4) Yoga is really kind of fun.

And here I thought I’d hate it.  But it allows me to be strong, flexible, and oh yeah make lots of fun observations about the yoga culture.  For example:

5) Most men only go to yoga when dragged by their girlfriends.

OK.  I hate gender-based generalizations.  I really do.  And I wish I could say differently, but this appears true in 99 cases out of 100.  Trust me, ladies, next time you’re hoisting your thigh over your shoulder to the strains of Thievery Corporation, take a glance over at Kevin.  He hates every second of this.  He’s red and shaking not because of a good workout but because his scrotum is stretched so thin it’s transparent.  Know what?  Next week, when Heated Bikram 1-2 rolls around, let ol’ Kevin stay home and drink bourbon and scratch his hairy ass (How do I know it’s hairy?  He was doing 20 gazillion downward dogs in front of me in those silly shorts you made him wear, OK, Brenda?) and sniff your undies for a few hours.  You’ll both be happier.

6) Physical therapy works…eventually.

How do I know?  Because…

HOLY FUCKING GOD I RAN EIGHT MILES TODAY WITH MINIMAL PAIN AND I FELT LIKE A REAL PERSON AGAIN!  I mean, OK, yes, I could be a person without running, but I was also a person who was forgetting what Georgetown or the Mall looked like or what it feels like to blow past some 50-year-old buzz-cut tool who refuses to let a girl of all things pass him.

And then?  You guys?  I came home?  And walked down some stairs?  And felt almost NO CLICKING!  How did this happen?  WHO CARES, BITCHEZ?  TOUCH MY KNEE AND BELIEVE, YE WHO DOUBT ME!

Interestingly, a very good friend and fellow marathoner, who I will call The Mountie, has been nursing runner’s knee for I think even a little longer than me, and she also started magically getting better this week.  It’s, like, a CONNECTION, man.  Like we just KNOW in our bones that it’s HEALING TIME, right?  Far out, yo…

Anyway.  I salute you, Mountie.  We are kicking this.  Tasty-style.  I’d invite Mountie to do a victory dance with me, but she’d put me to shame.  So I’ll just sit here in the corner and sing a triumphant rendition of the Indiana Jones theme song while she busts a move.  Are you all watching?  Goddamn right you are.  This is what VICTORY looks and sounds like in the Republic of DJ — off-key and hilarious, yet strangely sexual.

Yes, I’m aroused, too.  It’s OK.  Embrace it.

Underdeveloped Butt


This is apparently what I'm going for now. BRING ON THE CREAM-BASED SOUPS!

So I’ve received some saddy-pants texts and e-mails asking where the blog-posting has gone.  Well, I’ll tell you where — it has gone to the land of shadows and sadness and Mordor and doom and poop and awfulness.

See, here this was going to be a HILARIOUS post about physical therapy, and how apparently one of my key problems is that my butt is underdeveloped.  Yeah, that’s right.  The nice therapist lady pushed and pulled on my leg, then had me push and pull against her, and when we got to the butt exercises, she said, “OK, go!”

“Um, I AM going,” I said.

“Huh.  Your butt is weak.”

I’d giggle if I didn’t want to cry.

So excuse me if today’s post isn’t all clowns and helicopter hats, because I am PISSED.  What was the first thing I did when I got out of bed this morning?  Well, aside from getting rid of my morning boner (???) and hopping into the shower, I cried as I put on my makeup.  Yes.  Cried.  True story.

Because MOTHERFUCK, people.  I can’t run Boston, which is bad enough, but what if I just can’t run a marathon EVER AGAIN?  Like, I had been going jogging for a few days but then it started to hurt and this physical therapist lady, lovely as she is, doesn’t appear to be able to do a goddamn thing for me, or even to know exactly why my knee is fucked up, or how to fix it, or IF she can fix it.

Motherfuck.

And I love you readers, I really do, and ordinarily I would tell you to publicize the blog and send it to alllll your friends and up my hit count so some awesome media organization can discover me and sweep me off to a land of creativity and employment and job security.  But today I’m so angry I could just spit.

So I promise better posts after today.  But until then…

YOU WILL READ THIS POST AND YOU WILL LIKE IT BECAUSE IT’S ALL I CAN DO AT THIS POINT TO EVEN WRITE ANYTHING, PERIOD, GODDAMMIT.  I AM GETTING A MASTER’S THAT I DON’T REALLY WANT, IT TURNS OUT; I AM NOT SLEEPING; I AM WRITING THE WORST THESIS EVER WHICH IS APPARENTLY TWICE AS LONG AS ANY OTHER SCHOOL REQUIRES; I HAVE A TRULY MINDBLOWING CASE OF JAWLINE ACNE; I HAVE NO ROMANTIC PROSPECTS; I UNCLOGGED THE BATHROOM DRAIN LAST NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT AND IT SMELLED LIKE ASS.  AND ALL I WANT TO DO IS RUN AND RELIEVE ALL THE STRESS AND MAKE THE PAIN GO AWAY AND THE UNICORNS COME BACK AND I CAN’T DO IT AND I JUST WANT TO DIE THE END LOVE AND KISSES, DJ.

<throws puppy>

Hope!


WEATHER: Mid-30s, rainy and gross.

MILES: Not since high school have 3 measly miles felt so good and non-measly.

WHERE TO: Logan Circle and surrounding area

MOOD: Cautiously optimistic, once again.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

The hole lets the happy in.

God bless the good people at Ace bandages.   My God, I feel fab.  Not fully rehabilitated, mind you, but at least somewhat human.

Random Internet Strangers are the BEST.


WEATHER: Over 40!  Sunny!

MILES: YOU GUYS!  2.5 MILES!  YOU GUYS!

WHERE TO: A magical land of KICKASS!

MOOD: OMG!  You guys!  Guess what!  You guys!

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

YOU GUYS.  Today I ran 2.5 miles.  Without pain!  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO….

Why did I decide to run?  Runner’s World forums, that’s why.  I went on and asked the good fellow-injured runners about whether my doctor was a dumbass or not for telling me to run on a clicking knee.  As it turns out, other people have gotten this advice before.

Upon reflection, maybe I’m the dumbass.  Seasoned medical advice?  No, thank you.  Advice from a bunch of other yahoos who are probably also 50 kinds of pervy?  Helllls yes!  So.  I tied on my running shoes and out the door I went.

Now, let’s not freak the hell out with joy yet, because I came home and iced and — graawwwrrr — there was indeed some hurt.  But LESS, kids!  And — strangely — it has migrated from the outer corner of my kneecap to the inner edge.

Huh.

I’m just gonna take this as a sign of progress (right?  RIGHT???).  I think I have to, because I’m starting to lose touch with reality in a very small but very real way.  My brain has been living in my left knee for the last month; every time I sit or stand or go down stairs or go up stairs, all I can do is tune every sense to this one stupid joint and think, “Is it popping?  Yes?  No?  Whoa!  Wait!  Stop!  Did we feel something there?  No?”

People wouldn’t know it to look at me, but at any given moment, I’m internally either celebrating a successful stand-up or mourning the teeniest imagined twinge from hopping off of a curb.  So today I tried a new experiment — I spent an hour today running errands and imagining that my right knee was the hurt one, and just focused on that.  And suddenly I realized that I could totally mentally fabricate these little aches and stings — IS MY RIGHT KNEE POPPING OUT?  HOLY FUCK!  SIT DOWN!

Which is encouraging — maybe I’m more healed than I thought! — or upsetting — maybe I’m a running-injury-hypochondriac! — depending on how you look at it.

Anyhow, at least we know that recovery is possible, but it will be slow.  <sigh>

In other news, I ran into S. at Starbuck’s the other day.  He was little help.

“My knee does that too!  I run on it!  Don’t worry about it!  Let’s go for an 18-miler!”

Needless to say, I walked home drinking a Grande Pike’s Place Roast seasoned with bitter tears.  Screw you, S.  You’ve been running all of what — 2 years?  Bah.  You’ll get yours.  <sniffle>  You really <choke, sob> will.  OH GOD COME OVER TO MY HOUSE AND MASSAGE MY LEG YOU STUPID HANDSOME EDUCATED SOMEWHAT FUNNY LAWYER-Y PERSON. <tantrum on floor>

It strikes me now that I end up crying in like half of these posts.  So here is a picture to up today’s happy quotient by like a BAZILLION.  Hoo-wah!

He's totally defeating Gannon. WITHOUT Game Genie.

You might want to sit down. Repeatedly.


Hey, readers.

Are you ready for awesome?

<stands up>

Did you hear that?

<sits down, stands up>

No, you did not.

<sits down, stands up>

<sits down, stands up>

<sits down, stands->

Wait.  Dammit.  There it was.

But still.  We’re batting about 0.500 for being able to stand/sit without clickage.  Let’s get blasted!

Let’s Play Doctor.


"My GOD. Her x-rays are BREATHTAKING!"

Apparently Mother Nature had some bad shellfish or just one too many espresso-and-grapefruit breakfasts (don’t know what I’m talking about?  Try it sometime!), because as you might have heard, this past week she dropped trou and let loose a massive dooshing of snow, plus a spatter-painting of slush, onto Washington, DC.

But when your knee is clicking and you are going to yoga EVERY DAY out of cabin fever/boredom and the instructors are wondering why this hopeless case with the all-spandex wardrobe is there all the time, especially when she’ll never be able to do full lotus pose or even the half-tiger or double-earthworm, well, then it’s time to get shit taken care of.

So on Monday I traipsed down to Foggy Bottom (2.5 miles away, kids…no buses and spotty Metro service, of course) and saw Dr. Fine.  Really.  This is his name.

“Lie back, DJ.”  <grabs my left leg>  “Now, let it go looooose….”  <bends it this way and that>

As it turns out, his name is disturbingly apropos:

“Mmmm…yeah, OK.  Your leg is fine.”

“…really?”

“Does it hurt?”

“…no…”

He puts his hands on his hips.  “It just clicks?”

“…yes…”

“…well, just don’t become a CIA agent then!”

<blank stare from me>

“You know…….it’s tough to sneak around…..when you’re clicking.”

“Oh.  Ha.”

So after my appointment with Dr. Comedic Genius, I trudged home over piles of solidified slush and streets (unplowed, natch) coated with 8″ of packed snirt.  Aside from the single-lane-traffic sidewalks, fruitless (literally) grocery store run on the way home, angry motorists, angry pedestrians, angry God, and steadily moistening socks, I was also tormented by persistent questions I SHOULD have asked Dr. Genius and that he neglected to even address.  I mean, really non-pertinent stuff here — like, oh, I don’t know…”When will this be better?” or “Are you sure I’m OK?” or “CAN’T YOU FEEL THAT?  CAN’T YOU?  AM I ON CRAZY PILLS?”  By the time I got home and put my meager food purchases away, I was sniffling and reaching for the cell phone, ready for “I’m-losing-my-flipping-mind-phone-call-to-Mom” number 8 of the week.

This post has taken me forever to write and I’m not staying on track, so perhaps I should just get to the simple main points:

1) Dr. CG said I should elliptical for 2 weeks (1 of which is about up now), then try running again, a mile at a time.

2) Dr. CG said he would give me a referral to a physical therapist.  “<scoff> If you really want one.  I mean, if you think that’s NECESSARY.”

3) Dr. CG gave me exercises to do as well — exercises he treated with the same flap-of-the-hand, “Do them as you will, dahling” attitude with which he seemed to treat the rest of my well-being, Goddammit.  I have been doing said exercises with a level of commitment I can only wish I brought to studying, religion, or any relationship ever.  I do them while watching TV.  I do them while studying.  I do them on the bus.  I do them in the bathroom stall at work.  I have even done them during every single time I have had intercourse over the last week.

Ahahaha.  A little circumstantial-celibacy humor for you all there.  Go ahead and laugh.  It chases the sad away, and if you do it hard enough, it almost reminds you of what an orgasm feels like.

Wait.  No it doesn’t.  Does it?  Doesn’t it?  Holy freaking jeez, do I remember?  OH GOD I’M GOING TO DIE ALONE WITH A LEAN CUISINE SEASONED WITH TEARS SITTING IN MY LAP <sound of “Legends of the Fall” being inserted into DVD drive>

—-

In “keeping-myself-sane” news, yoga continues to at least somewhat fill running’s place, if only in the way that a teaspoon of skim vanilla ice milk can take the place of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food with a can of Reddi Whip on the side.  <sigh>

However, all is not lost, as I had a class today led by The Most Gorgeous Man in The World (TMGMTW).  TMGMTW is a tall man with fantastically dark skin and long beautiful dreads and these shoulders.  These SHOULDERS.  Hohhhhh these shoulders <falls off chair, writhes on ground delighting in the knowledge that there is such beauty in the world>.

Anyway.  TMGMTW actually didn’t teach that spectacular of a class, though perhaps it’s not my place to judge.  I have all the balance of a drunk Holstein, so naturally TMGMTW incorporated every one-legged pose EVER into today’s class, and also threw in a few that I suspect he made up on the spot, just to mess with my wobbly ass as he strode up and down the rows, giving feedback.

ME: <grunt, moan, wobble>

TMGMTW:<in a tone one would use toward a puppy trying to do organic chemistry> Good job!  Keep trying!

ME: <face-plant>

I’ma go ice my nose, y’all.  Bye.

Deep breathing exercises.


INJURY DURATION: 6 days

PAIN LOCATION: Left kneecap region, but starting to bleed into my very soul.

PAIN ON A SCALE OF 1-10: 2

OTHER SYMPTOMS: Quitting.  Just quitting.

HURTS WHEN I: live.

HURTS SORT OF WHEN I: contemplate a life that less closely resembles hell.

DOESN’T HURT WHEN I: drink.

TREATMENT: cuteoverload.com …best website ever.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.