Sunday, April 26, 2009

May 11th

That's my big day. Surgery day.

Saw the orthopedic surgeon last week, who reviewed my MRIs with me in lightening-fast speed. He flipped through images like a comic book, pointing out structures still in tact and commenting on the lack of a cyst. Then he stopped dead on 3 frames, moving back and forth saying, "mmm hmmm...." My radiologist indicated a "linear oblique signal abnormality of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus," but also went on to comment that she could not tell if it penetrated the articular surface. In case you're not a science geek and didn't spend the last week googling these terms, if it even touches the articular surface, you have a meniscal tear.

Ortho basically said, "well, I SEE it. Don't know why she didn't." He points out the tear on the MRI, indicating that it's pretty deep. So he tells it to me straight:

"Missy, what we have here is a problem, but it's a problem I think I can repair. Now, if you go and do more damage to this between now and the time we go in to repair it, you may have a heck of a lot more than a problem and you're looking at arthritis at 45."

How's that for scaring the pants off of me? SO scared, as a matter of fact, that all I managed to do this week was some weight training and a few hour-long trainer rides. I'm scared!

So, the plan of attack is surgery, the afternoon of May 11th, the day after I get back from Vegas. He's going to attempt a meniscal repair, which involves glycolic acid darts and 8 weeks of non-weight bearing time on CRUTCHES!!! Nightmare. After that, it's a very slow and methodical rehab. Based on what I've read, you get cleared for swimming first (probably not much kicking), then stationary bike, then road biking. Running gets the shaft until 6-8 months out. Since the meniscus isn't highly vascularized, healing, if any, is slow.... So, patience shall have to be my name. Of course, this assumes he gets in there and still sees the tear. If he doesn't, he sutures me back up and back to PT I go....

The bummer about all of this, of course, is my season! I put in for a medical deferral on the 5430 series..... so now I have a credit for when I register in 2010. I've also downgraded from Olympic to Sprint in Las Vegas. At first, I thought it would be impossible to compete, but he DID clear me to swim and bike. He warned me about walking the hilly run course, so I'm thinking I may throw in my first DNF. I just feel like I paid my money and am driving an entire day to get there....I ought to TRY to compete, right??

So here we have the silver lining to DH's unemployment. We get to take one last mobile trip together to Las Vegas, and then he can help me maneuver around whilst I'm crippled for 8 weeks. Cannot wait.

Good thing I bought Guitar Hero. I have a feeling I'll be an expert in 3 months.....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Out for the Count

So, MRI came back. While it can't positively diagnose a meniscal tear, I'm about 90% certain I've got one. I meet with the surgeon on Wednesday to discuss my options. Naturally, I don't want to injure it any further, and it's fairly impossible for me to continue my triathlon hobby without substantial pain and recovery that hinders my every day life.

It looks like Iron Girl might be out. If they do an arthroscopy and I have to wait until after Iron Girl, I might entertain the idea of downgrading to the Sprint and just walking the run....but those hills are so brutal that I question whether I'd be able to walk up them at all??? (Of course, the swelling and pain take 36 hours to get full-blown, so by then I'd be out of Vegas and on my way back to CO.....but if I hurt it worse, I'll never forgive myself...)

Can't you see how agonizing this is?

Quite frankly, I'd much rather scrap it all and go on an Alaskan cruise!

Hubby never heard anything. Back to square one. Oh, and get this. He gets a debt collector call from a uniform company.....apparently the airline he never got hired on with (that flunked him out of training on the last day, remember that lovely point in my life?) claims that he received a $600 uniform from them! Of course, rather than contact us first, they send him to collections for something he's never received. Knowing DH, he probably signed some stupid form that said his ordering the uniform on day 1 of training constituted receipt of said uniform. We are BEYOND devastated, shocked, and appalled by all of this. How can you get sent to collections for something you never received?! We're trying to work it out with the airline, but I'm not holding my breath. We were originally going to be having him on our loan application for a mortgage, but now I think I need to take him off while we deal with this disaster. I'm doing a lot of reading....tempted to just hire a lawyer, to be honest. But what a freaking nightmare. I mean, this airline already destroyed his they want to destroy his exceptional credit? How dare they!

It's just been a fabulous week in our household, let me tell you. If all this weren't enough, we're hit with yet another snowstorm. I've been housebound for 24 hours and am going a little nuts. Fortunately, we just bought Guitar Hero for Wii, so at least we have some duels to look forward to the rest of the day. (Not to mention I ordered Labyrinth on VHS, so now I can go on the trainer and totally jam out to some awesome 80's movies!)

And with that, Pity Part OUT!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


It's that time of year, isn't it? When I try desperately to get back into racing form while taking too much time off over the winter, and then I screw something up and have to face down my first race whilst 50%.

Calf problem turned into Hamstring problem, although the jury's still out on what is going on. It's definitely put a damper on my training plan for the past month, sabotaging brick's and shortening runs. I should be lucky I can still do these things, but at the same time, it just gives me this "panicky" feeling that perhaps I'll disappear on the Iron Girl course out in the middle of the desert.

Old Coach and New Coach say I am fit, but that I need to throw the PR wishes away because it's not going to happen anymore. Old Coach says if I downgrade to Sprint, I'll cause even more damage to myself. New Coach, who doesn't even know me that well, pretty much said the same exact thing. I guess they are right. They both think the distance of the Olympic will make me slower and less prone to injury....

I have this long laundry list of things that cause pain these days : kicking in the swim (I have HeMan shoulders now after a month with the pull buoy!!), accelerations from 0 mph on the bike on the highest gear, walking in high heels, walking up hills, and running off of the bike. How's that for a mess?

Tomorrow I meet with an ART therapist who apparently works almost exclusively with triathletes. I have been told there will be tears. I have NO DOUBT that this will be the case.

On the biking front, I've yet to do a long bike outside yet. Yesterday was supposed to be a 30-mile hilly group ride, but when I showed up at the meeting place, it started raining horizontally! I made up my mind not to ride right then and there, but subsequent text messages made it clear that nobody else was planning to ride, either. So I went home, popped in "Naughty Marietta," a 1936 operetta with Nelson Eddie & Jeanette McDonald, and did a pretty hard 2 hour trainer session. I don't think I've ever ridden the trainer so hard in my life! Hubby says the downstairs smells like sweat and burnt rubber...he refuses to come down. Oh well. Wonder if I'll be prepared for Iron Girl on trainer rides alone?!

Oh, and to just kvetch a little bit more, this Colorado weather is killing me!!! Oh, I miss Orange County perfection so much it hurts. I have had more rides in the wind over the past few weeks than I've ever had. I've seen people blown over while clipped into their bikes. I've been pushed several feet in the trail by wind gusts. I've gotten my face chapped because of it. And it takes 10mph away from my speedy flat riding, making me want to cry. I've yet to have an actual time trial with no wind yet.... Right now, I'm convinced I'm the slowest cyclist on the planet. Who happens to be afraid of her tri bike.

On the personal front, my life is still exceedingly boring. DH is still job searching, although he did have an interview last week so we could use all the juju in the world that we will hear back this week. If not, I fear he will be devastated.....and that much farther away from getting him back to being occupied and feeling like a contributing member of the household.

The house hunt is on hold until June. It's hard to sit back and watch properties you like disappear, but it's the right decision for us. We'll be more stable with DH in a job, and the timing will be better to coincide with our lease. I still need to get over the fact that I may end up permanently living in the town I grew up in. Granted, the town has exploded in growth since the 1980's and you no longer run into anybody when you go grocery shopping, but I will know. I guess it doesn't count that I lived in several different states for the past few years.....

With that, I should stop procrastinating and go do my long run this morning. We're going to test out 5 miles today.... I suspect I'll be lucky if I can make it 1 without pain, but we shall see. Now, if only this rain would stop!