Thursday, August 30, 2012

Here's The Good News!

Home is where the magic happens.  I am convinced of it.  When I am home, my life seems to sort itself out.  Maybe it's that I am just happier when I am home.  Maybe it's that I have a better support network at home.  Maybe it's... ah, who knows.  WHO CARES?  Point is, I am home.

I went to my A.R.T./chiro/PT place and the whole team took a crack at my shoulder and knee.  The shoulder apparently was jarred loose in the crash and the humerus keeps unseating itself from the socket.  That is why my progress has been one step forward-two steps back.  They performed some ROM and strength tests, which I flunked flamboyantly, to confirm the suspicion.  The PT guy (Brandon Williams- super smart dude) is apparently particularly good with shoulders (and all other broken parts would be my guess) and while I was explaining myself to the TP (trigger point) guy, he jumped in and it became a group project.  He showed me how to reset the joint using a towel (can I tell you how awesome THAT felt) and then repeated the tests.  It was painful, but I passed.  With the shoulder aligned properly, I was able to generate strength in the arm.

This applies to my situation in far too many capacities.

I was then passed on to the A.R.T/Chiropractor, Dr. AJ Zelinski (The Wizard for future reference), who got REALLY aggressive with both the shoulder and the knee.  When I whimpered, he said "You said fix it, right?"  Ugh.  Did I say that?  Of course I did.  Awesome.  But he had some really good news.  He confirmed Dr Mike's original confirmation that the meniscus was undamaged, just bruised and inflamed. He actually said that if I was in the sprint race at Tri Rock Austin, I could do it.  He didn't think I should push for the Olympic distance, which is where I am entered.  (Of COURSE, I sent them an email asking if I could switch.)  He cleared me to run and swim, being mindful of pain, and gave me very specific instructions for going forward.

He said GO!  

I then finished up with more TP work, focusing particularly on some things I had been doing wrong, and then an rather extensive list of ice, heat, ultrasound and E-stim therapies.  In all, I was there for a couple of hours but it was time well spent.

After the initial irritation settled a bit, the broken parts all felt pretty good so I headed to the pool (but not before stopping at Lane 4 and getting a kick board and INCREDIBLY cute, new, green plaid swimsuit!!)  My clearance to swim included one caveat.. ONLY if I had good body roll.  I was not to move the shoulder in certain planes of motion for a while but so long as I had good rotation, my swim stroke would stay out of those.  Did I mention that I don't have the best rotation in the world?  I figured if all I did was kick sets and slide-and-glide drills, so be it.  It was better than nothing.  In all, I was surprised to find my catch and pull were back on line.  I felt really powerful in the water, actually.  Apparently that joint being displaced was robbing me of quite a bit.  Previous swims have felt a little like rowing a boat with a fly swatter!  I alternated swim and kick sets until I felt like my form was deteriorating a little. I stopped immediately but had still logged the longest yardage since the bike crash at the end of June and it was all really high quality work.
SUPER cute and in a smaller size!

I then went for a short run.  It was such a relief to be back on the Town Lake Trail.  It was dark but that groomed crushed granite surface was easy to run on and very forgiving to the joints.  I picked out a 5K loop and took off.  I got rolling a little too fast (oh maybe at or around my 5k pace) about 3/4 of a mile in- it felt so good that my self control was less than perfect- and the IT band began tightening up just before mile 2.  I didn't wait for it to become a big pain, instead I walked immediately.  It took about a 1/4 of a mile to sort itself out and I tested it out again, this time a little (about 2:00/mi) slower.  I surprised myself when I got to the end of the loop and was rolling along just fine.

It began to ache on the way home so when I got home, I iced the joint and followed that with a warming liniment (an awesome formula that I get through some horsey connections) on the entire IT band.  THAT was the right answer.  The ice had been making the IT band tight which was irritating the knee and countering the positive effects of the ice on the knee.  By following it with a warming rub, the tissue loosened back up and let the joint enjoy the cooling benefits of the ice.

The particularly good news is this morning, both the shoulder and the knee are better than they were yesterday.  I am a little muscle sore from all the TP work but that is to be expected.  I am planning a walk in the country with Seabiscuit today, followed by more of the new treatment protocol developed yesterday.  My volume and intensity (and endurance, I might add- use it or lose it I guess) may be greatly reduced but the happy news is that I am back in action!!

Happy Duck... Don't you see the smile?  :)

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