I will see my doctor about once a week until my recovery is complete. She’s encouraging me to take my recovery, and my return to activity, on a week-by-week basis, and I’m starting to think this is a pretty good strategy. One week is a short enough period of time that I can suffer through almost anything, from unbelievable pain, à la last week, to a slow return to normacly this week. At the same time, a week is long enough that I can see a real improvement. A week ago, my wrist still hurt so badly, I was counting down the minutes until I could take my next maximum dose of Percocet. I’m going on my fourth day without any Percocet at all, and there are a host of other indications that this week marks a new phase of my recovery:
- First, there’s the rest of my doctor’s assessment. When I bragged that I’ve been taking seriously the charge to do absolutely nothing, my doctor, a runner herself who’s aware that I’m a runner who is anxious to get moving again, smiled and told me she could tell, because everything is healing “perfectly.” Luckily, my desire to be perfect (personality flaw) actually trumps my endorphin addiction, so this was exactly what I needed to hear. And I got the official go-ahead to go for walks, provided I don’t risk infection by sweating, and to move my fingers, my elbow and my shoulder in ways I’d previously been avoiding.
- I have a brand-new purple cast, which greatly reduces my fear that I’m going to screw something up bumping into something or falling.
- I’m not so darn tired anymore. Even on Monday, which I thought would be my first “normal” day post-surgery, I ended up napping the entire afternoon. This, from the girl who couldn’t even nap during the regular afternoon siesta while studying abroad in Italy. Napping Amy=sick Amy. But now, I’m not only staying awake all day, I’m getting antsy, which brings me to my final indicator of better health…
- In addition to short walks through my neighborhood, I’m going to start doing my hip-strengthening lineup a total of once a day. I have the thumbs-up from my doctor on this, as I’ve promised to leave enough time between them–a set of lunges here, a few squats there–to make sure I don’t get sweaty. As if I needed any more reason to get back to my routine with these, who did I see on the way out of my hand surgeon’s office on Tuesday but Beefcake Brad, the sports physical therapist I’d been seeing once a week for hip and ankle issues. I knew his office was just down the hall from my surgeon’s, but it was still a surprise to almost literally run into him after my appointment. I’m taking it as a sign from the sports injury gods to get back to work, at least to the extent that I can. Here’s the lineup I’ll do every day this week:
3X10 Cook hip lifts
3X10 clamshells with a resistance band (shown here, along with lots of other interesting-looking running-specific exercises)
3X10 deep squats
3X10 single-leg squats
“Monster walks” with two resistance bands.
Lateral lunges, backwards lunges and leg curls with a towel placed beneath the working foot.
In other getting-back-to-normal news, I’ve set a new post-recovery running goal: a fast 5K, maybe the Earth Day 5K in Silver Spring on April 18. I’m not 100 percent counting myself out for the the Blue Ridge Parkway Half-Marathon the following weekend; I’m just developing a fun and do-able Plan B in case I don’t get enough time to train for it.
Better yet, I got a respite from my convalescence when I met my running buddies for a post-run happy hour at our favorite spot, a wine bar called Adega. Not only did I have a great time there, there was a sweet get well-card from the whole gang waiting for me when I checked my mail back home. If I can’t run, knowing my running buddies are thinking about me is the next best thing.