Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

An update on the dog and the runner

Since a few of you have asked...

Puck is doing very well. As I said earlier, his pain seems better controlled this time around. He is able to put weight on his operated leg already. He's figured out how to lie down and get back up without hurting himself, crying, or making his mom cringe! Last night, he even picked up his "hotdog" (a stuffed hot dog given to him after his first surgery) and wanted to play.

Believe it or not, there are actually two silver linings here. First, Puck hadn't yet fully recovered his range of motion or strength in his previously operated knee. He still favored that leg, although I think this was more out of habit than true weakness, and he did not have full knee flexion which altered his gait. As a result of this surgery, he is being forced to use that leg and knee, which should break his habitual movement patterns and improve his strength.

Ironically, the other silver lining is due to those habitual movement patterns and poor strength. Because he had not fully regained stability, strength and range of motion in his previously operated leg, he is also being forced to use his current "bad" leg more! Thus, he's already weight bearing on it, and he's already bending and straightening it more than he ever did with the first one. As a result, I think he will maintain more strength and motion in this leg. Both of his hind legs may be improved by the time he heals from this surgery! Two silver linings to an otherwise horrible situation. Imagine that!

As for the runner, 'er, me, things are a bit more gray. I made a choice not to run at all this week. The combination of fatigue and right shin pain were inhibiting my motivation. Primarily, I was hoping some time off the road would improve my leg I can't hope to finish a marathon if I have pain with every step. So, I hit the pool and the bike. The good news is the pool was kind. I hadn't forgotten how to swim laps, although I'm sure I don't have the prettiest stroke in the pool! I bullied out one mile two or three times, and then last night did my "long run" in the water.

After a long, sleepy day, I entered the pool without a plan. As I hopped into the water I decided to swim a ladder--200, 400, 600, 800, 600, 400, 200 yards with 20 breaths in between each swim. Don't ask me why I decided to do that. It sounded like a challenging workout that would take awhile!

It did take awhile, but by the end of the first 600 I was thinking, "You idiot!" Nevertheless, I persevered through all the negative mind games, and I did it! In fact, I must have been brain dead after the second 400 because I swam a final 300 rather than the 200 I had planned! Needless to say, I was pretty happy with myself! Later, I figured it out. I swam 1.9 miles in approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. I believe 45 minutes and just over 1 mile were previously my longest swims! Hmmm...I wonder why my shoulder is sore today??

So where does all of this leave me? Oh, I don't know!! The marathon is next Sunday. Lots of locals are running it, so I would like to give it a shot. However, I don't want to do more damage than good to my leg or my psyche. I'm worried about Puck--he needs almost constant attention these first couple weeks. I'm concerned about the weather. It's getting cold here! And finally, I'm afraid of not qualifying, which is the all-time poorest excuse not to run. In fact, if that were my only excuse, I would definitely have to push through it! Bottom line, I need to make a decision! I just need to make a decision. As usual, I'll let you know...

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