Friday, July 29, 2016

PT Week Three 2016

Week one to week two saw dramatic change in reduced pain. Week two to week three has remained consistent.

On the bright side, it’s not getting worse, right? The goal is to not have any pain anymore. I don’t want random spasms of pain during the day or no reason. I want to run pain free.

Today I learned how hard it was to describe “what makes it worse”. Other than running, I didn’t have a concrete answer because the pain can come randomly during the day. There is no consistent activity other than running that could make it worse. I haven’t been able to get a read on it, which is disheartening.

It makes me wonder whether all this stuff I’m doing at PT is temporary. I don’t even know if all the pain is going to go away. If it does, how long before it comes back? I’m under the impression that Graston and all these stretches and exercises are only delaying the inevitable that the pain will come back. No matter how hard I keep up with the stretches and exercises post-PT, it will still come back.

I already set low expectations and so far I feel as if I was right to do so. There’s still plenty of time to turn this around, but the change needs to come quickly. If not, I might as well forget attempting running again.

As for stretches and exercises, there was nothing new. Just the standard from week 2.

Leading up to day 2, things were better. I didn’t feel as much pain. Not sure what that means. What magic had happened? There was not much difference between activities so, I can’t explain the roller coaster of pain scale here.

As for the session, nothing was dramatically new at this point. We’re getting close to winding down to the end. Two new exercises dealing with a foam board to throw me off balance. Lunge and squats, along with the normal routine of stretches.

I got fitted for new orthotics today. A different type than what I had been fitted for 5 years ago. Hopefully this will play true to my feet. Your feet can change over time, so maybe mine had changed over the course of 5 years and need support in a different area. I’m willing to give this a shot, but still haven’t been able to get out and try a run yet. Maybe that will come soon.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Technology As A Distraction

We live in an age where we’re surrounded by technology. How could it NOT be a distraction!?

Computers, phones, televisions, tablets, you name it. Hell, your car probably counts at this point. They’re all distractions. Using them to surf Facebook or Reddit or PornHub or some shit going on in the world.

Just don’t do it while driving. I don’t think your car is smart enough to stop for you before you hit that pole, but hey, technology, right?

It helps us procrastinate at this point. First ten minutes of the workday on Facebook rather than catching up on email.

Your entire hour class just surfing Reddit because I mean, math is boring and hard anyway and this is what Wolfram|Alpha is for.

I mean, is technology really even a distraction when it’s an essential part of our daily life now? Other than what I mentioned above, the only real distraction currently is Pok√®mon GO. Just be aware of your surroundings and play smart, internet. Though this is the internet. It’s full of surprises.

Dumb. I tried at least. Ohhh, what’s that on Facebook!?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Performing Well Under Pressure

I guess I perform well enough. Depends how much pressure is being put on you and how well you adjust to it.

One thing to never do is put pressure on yourself while others are putting pressure on you. Kind of destroys the whole performance. The most notable example is almost indirect, but imagine presenting something to someone.

Let’s start small. Imagine it’s your college class, with 12 other students and the professor. The pressure by the professor are their guidelines to your presentation and the expectation that you will do well. The pressure from your classmates is the 24 eyeballs staring at you as you try to make words come out of your mouth.

My method? Have fun with it and take the worry out of your head. Your only worry is the practice you put in before it. When you are prepared, then the presentation is easy. No need to worry about it. What I had done was run through the facts in my head a few days ahead of time, then the day of the presentation, not even worry about it. I come into the presentation, joke around with a few classmates to soften the mood and just roll with it. It worked wonders for me in college and I kind of wish I had done that in high school as well. Would’ve made things less panicky.

Of course, if you’re getting hammered with pressure from all sides, then I can’t help you. Might as well just sit in a corner and take it all in. You lose. Sorry.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

PT Week 2 2016

How’s it going? Ready for this?

Overall, the pain has decreased significantly. I can only attribute it to the Graston, since that’s the only thing that was different to what I did 5 years ago. So far, so good.

Besides the the same stretches, there wasn’t too many new exercises for day one. Just one where I did thirty repetitions moving my ankle like a windshield wiper. That one was interesting I guess.

Day two brought some unusual moments.

The night before, the pain increased for no reason. I did nothing different from my regular routine. Just shot up to a 5 in the pain scale. Then today, it didn’t feel so bad up until I arrive at my appointment. Probably about a 4 at that moment.

After another round of Graston, felt significantly better. The stretches were the same.

Exercises were “new” for the session, but not new for me. Side and forward lunges 2x15 on a wedge. On a balance board, 2x10 squats. I wobble like a maniac. Thank you, based railing. Then to end it, the heel drop 2x15.

So compartment syndrome, I’m not convinced it’s going to go away just with PT. Today felt like a small hiccup where I felt I did nothing wrong. A little discouraging. It’s almost as if I’m doing PT to delay the inevitable of the pain coming back at some point. Then we’ll probably just go forth and get surgery. I don’t know. I set low expectations for PT and it’s still early in the game, so I’ll try my best to not let this hiccup get to me.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Lessons from Teenage Years

Ready for another installment of completely negative lessons?

I learned that your reputation precedes you. Once a loser, always a loser. Makes it hard to make friends that way. Oh well. Accepted.

You find something that you might actually be decently good at, but everyone decides to think otherwise and bring you down because they can’t imagine you being good at anything. Once a loser, always a loser.

High school was better than college. Strange to say, considering the two lessons above stemmed from high school.

Interests diverge from your friends over time. If you don’t stay up to date, or don’t agree with their interests, you’ll be left in the dust. Prepare for the gradual process of being left out of weekend activities and suddenly not fitting into the synopsis of their weekend.

Set low expectations for everything. It’s still going to hurt when expectations aren’t met, but hey, you can’t control everything.

Every person you meet is the same. You’re not their priority. You’re a spec in a piece of dust of what they call life. Set your expectations low here because when they don’t meet it, you can easily just accept this fact. Remember, it’s still going to hurt. That is life. It’s going to suck.

Did I summarize well enough of how I’m a sad little man? No empathy, please. Not that I’d expect it anyway. Remember, low expectations.

Friday, July 15, 2016

PT Week One 2016

Welcome back, roughly five years later.

I did an installment of my physical therapy updates in 2011 when I had shin pain lingering from my days as a high school athlete. It was a documentation to basically help me remember what I had done so I could continue doing those exercises and stretches to prevent any more injuries.

BOY that didn’t help much! I’m here again, however.

This isn’t a post to seek attention about my ailments. Personally, I wouldn’t even let people know I had physical ailments. Sounds too attention seeking to me. I do want to continue doing this documentation stuff because it will really get down to what I’m thinking as I go through this process again.

First off, it sucks that I have to go through this process again. Running hasn’t been nice to me the past several years, but it’s the only thing I know how to do. To have pain like this come on and off is certainly demoralizing even if I just want to stay in general shape. To come back to doctors giving me the same answers over and over again doesn’t help because I feel as if I’m going through an endless cycle of getting better and getting hurt. Plus the money that I feel goes down the drain to fund this cycle.

So, let’s get to day one, shall we?

It was the standard introductory appointment, outlining the complete history of my injuries to a physical therapist, again. We continued on to make observations on my walking, take measurements on my lower legs, test the strength of my lower legs, and talking about footwear. No real standout points. My moral is already low here, thinking I have pain, I have a problem, yet there’s nothing to be found.

I got the standard recommendations to do the stretching and exercises I had done from my last round of physical therapy five years ago, so nothing new here, again.

Though we keep coming back to “compartment syndrome”, where the muscle swells too big, causing chronic pain. It’s their last resort diagnosis if four weeks of physical therapy does nothing. They’ll test to confirm that it is what they perceive as compartment syndrome, then perform a fasciotomy to relieve the pressure. That’ll be fun if that happens! Just think about how sad I’ll get because I probably caused it and made it worse by not going to the doctor sooner. My own stubbornness.

For now, as I said before, the same old stretching and exercising just like the last time. Friday, they would like to try the “Graston Technique”, which is taking a tool and more or less massaging the key muscles to either relieve the pressure or break up surrounding scar tissue to try and improve range of motion. Sounds as if that’s going to hurt. Hope I don’t cry.

Let’s move to day two.

No real improvement from day one to day two. Pain scale was about 6.5 by the time I got to the appointment.

Graston Technique? Not as painful as I thought it would be. No crying was involved. I felt no new pain while the massaging was going on and by the time it was done, I didn’t feel any pain at all. Not sure if it’s working or not, however. It’s only the first one and I’ve got 3 weeks worth of sessions left to go.

When we got to stretching, the pain slowly crept its way back up to about a 4.5. It was there, but very subtle. Stretches were basically the same as I was told to do on day one and from five years ago.

As far as exercises go? The only exercise I did was one I remembered from 5 years ago. Stand on a box, have your pain leg on the box, take the other leg and lower heel to the ground , but making sure your pain leg doesn’t lift its heel up. 2 sets of 10. Then ice down.

So week one was relatively lackluster minus my interest in the Graston Technique. Basically I’ll have to measure the pain scale over the course of the week and continue with the stretching and exercises.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What I Want to Do With My Life

Retire by 40 or be dead by 40.

I guess that is a question that can be branched off with two answers. Both are pretty good turnouts I guess.

Traveling would probably be a good experience, but with virtual and augmented reality technology in the fold, you probably wouldn’t even have to travel that much any more. Saves money on that plane ticket. What about smellovision? I want to smell what Emeril Lagasse is cooking. Or what The Rock is cooking (come on Dwayne, I want to know).

Be healthy enough to train for a marathon. Run a Boston Marathon qualifying time (because I want to fail the right way) and then run the Boston Marathon. Should probably see a doctor before I hit my 30’s and everything goes downhill and that marathon plan becomes nothing. Lazy butt.

Continue the lone wolf activities because let’s face it, that’s never going to break its routine.

Now the dead part. I think 40 is a good number to go. By that point your body is starting to fail and reject you anyway (in my case it’s been happening since I was 16) and why live to make it worse? Gotta take 80 pills a day for condition xyz abc 123. If I retire by 40, I could probably live that way until 50. No more though. If I get some food condition or allergy, just cut the cord there. I’m not changing my diet. I like food too much to regulate my choices.

Plus I got some pretty rotten lemons in this game of life. Sure, there are probably people worse off, but we’re talking about me here and this writing piece is most certainly about me and not them.

Also, don’t give me this bullshit about “What about your spouse and kids? Your perspective might change then”. Look. I’m 24 years old. I got plenty of time to think about companionship and children. My current perception is that I have no plans to have children and don’t even think I’m lucky enough to find a person to spend the rest of my life with. I mean I only got until like, 35 to do it anyway. Don’t want to find someone when I’m 40 because well, that’s the magic number. For now, I’m content with being alone. Well, ‘content’ might be the wrong word. It’s bothersome, but not enough to do anything about it.

Is it time for bed yet?

Monday, July 4, 2016

What I’d Like to Memorize

One of the biggest challenges I have is remembering stuff that’s going to get me through life. The things I learned in school in order to prepare me for the real world are the important things I tend to forget. I can remember what day I wore shirt X, but I can’t remember how to use a pointer in C. What if I need that and Google isn’t my friend!? This is my struggle.

I’d like to think developing a process allows you to memorize things more easily. I used to do that with vocabulary words. Flash cards to run through 5 times before the test. Except after the test is over, I’ve completely forgotten the definitions. That short term memory, man. I wish it was like riding a bike.
Even if I can’t memorize the things that’s going to keep me alive after 40, I guess what’s more valuable to me is memorizing events that take place in life. I like to go through them with such accuracy because I don’t want my brain to make stuff up. Memories are great and they can be a good memorization exercise because you want to remember the events that are important to you.

Does this even make sense? Am I throwing words in here again? Sigh… I shouldn’t write when I have a headache.