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Archive for the ‘Surgery’ Category

Anniversaries and Neurons

Today, I had the pleasure of visiting my neurologist. I have this pleasure every six months, so it’s nothing new (and I’m not being sarcastic, it’s really not that bad to see her). But today was my two year anniversary with her! Well… technically Wednesday was.

Now, I’ve mentioned my neurological issues before. But this is actually a different issue and a different doctor… because my surgery was done at children’s hospital and now I’m a grown up and needed to find someone else… and I don’t need a neurosurgeon for this, just a regular neurologist.

I always find it funny going to see her, because she always hates her diagnosis because I’m atypical with some of my symptoms, but by the end she ends up agreeing with her diagnosis. Today, not so! So I get to go have an MRI. I have an MRI taken about every 3 years, so nothing to worry about. Heck, in the month of February of 1999, I went for 3 different MRI sessions (and then one 6 months later… and then one 6 months after that). Personally, I find MRIs to be easy. The tube is womb-like and it’s just somewhere to nap for 45 minutes. Some people say they are loud, but at least it’s usually rhythmic.

MRI image of a brain... but not mine because I can't remember where I put my last MRI films...

So I guess in the next few weeks we’ll find out if my doctor still thinks I’m suffering from atypical trigeminal neuralgia or not. If you’re wondering what that is, it means that the muscles on the right side of my face go into spasm (the atypical part) and it’s a lot of fun. It gets worse if I have hot foods  (the typical part) and I’m a big fan of soup and tea so I like to keep this taken care of.

Two years and nine months ago, I hadn’t yet been diagnosed and I just suffered with half of my face, head, and neck in spasm. I was a horrible person to pretty much everyone, I didn’t leave my house except to go to work, and I gained 10 pounds (in those 9 months).

I should probably also publicly apologize to the HHS class of 2010. When I was directing their competitive play, I was a giant cranky face (literally). I still feel bad about not being able to give them my all (on a directing and a personal level).

So happy anniversary, doc!

Don’t baby it!

Since my last post, I survived my crazy-busy day and had a lovely vacation. My wonderful boyfriend and I went to Cape Cod for the weekend. It was pretty much a weekend of sloth and gluttony. Let’s just say, there was plenty of ice cream to be had. No mini golf though.

Tavis showed me two of his favorite places in the world when he was a 17-year-old: his high school’s soccer and baseball fields. I’m a total child about life and made him play tag with me around the soccer field. We even raced. Tavis is one fast man! He was almost faster than me when I ran forward and he ran backwards. He attributes this to playing the striker position on the soccer team and spending a lot of time having to run backwards.

Not actually us… but that’s the concept

I’m really excited that we did this because now he wants to sprint with me at a local field. I’m excited for two reasons. 1) It will help motivate us both to mix up our work outs. 2) I think it will make me faster if I’m chasing someone who will be leaving me in the dust. This also caused him to give me some tips for running. He doesn’t run with me typically because he has doctor’s orders not to, thanks to a back surgery he had a few years ago. However, he is allowed to run short distances. He noticed that I run flat-footed instead of on my toes. He thinks that’s what’s slowing me down; I have less of a spring action.

I was thinking about it, and I have a feeling that I’ve been doing this because I baby my right foot. Prepare yourself for a little tangent. When I was in the 4th grade, my ballet teacher told me (and the class) that we should work on our feet when pointing our toes. We should imagine our toes touching our heels, and work towards that. And I did… for about a decade. By the time I was 17, I had a beautiful point, my foot was a gorgeous arch. However, when I was 17, I had to have a tumor removed from my spinal cord. If I didn’t have surgery I would have died; my organs were starting to shut down, blah, blah, blah. If it weren’t for the awesome neurosurgeon I was blessed with at Children’s Hospital in Boston, who was simply a master of his craft and did an amazing job, I could have been paralyzed forever.

If we’ve been friends for years and you’re sitting there shocked to read this information, please don’t be. I don’t typically share this information with people if they didn’t know me when it happened. It’s not that I won’t share this info, it’s just that I typically don’t. If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask, I’ll  answer anything about it. I’ll talk for hours about it if you’d like. Except for when grad school classes lead me to, I prefer not to tell people when we first meet (or before you know me well) because I don’t want anyone analyzing my every movement trying to decide if it’s obvious that I had to retrain my muscles how to walk again. And then, it’s just a weird subject to bring up most of the time.

My surgeon was simply a master and he did an amazing job. I often think about how wonderful he was because, thanks to him, I can walk, and I’m not in a wheelchair, and I didn’t die. I don’t complain about his work, EVER. However, inevitably, I do have some nerve damage. For weeks after my surgery, my right foot would tingle for hours  at a time like it was asleep and there was nothing I could do about it. Additionally, it would cramp, but luckily only for a few minutes at a time. So now, over a decade after my surgery, my foot still cramps when I try to point my toes. That lovely point that I mastered in the ’90s is long gone.

I pride myself in the fact that no one could guess this information about me by watching me move… and I guess in my effort to do that, I have also convinced myself of that by completely babying my foot. I went for a run yesterday and I decided that after the first mile, I would try to run on my toes like Tavis suggested. Literally two seconds into this, my right foot was SCREAMING. I backed off a little bit, but kept going. I was determined to work that foot.

I’m glad I did. Today, so many muscles are aching from the new workout. I clearly worked a new set while up on my toes. In fact, my hamstrings were already hurting on my walk home. My flabby knees and soft abs have been engaged. I will have to keep this up!

Last night, I ran 3.5 miles, interspersed with some walking to add up to total 6.5 miles. I got a pedometer too, so I’m pretty sure this mileage is accurate. I probably could have done better if I had a banana before leaving the house, but instead I had some cheddar cheese and carrots with a 100 calorie pack of guacamole. I’m not sure if that’s energy food… But I’m still feeling pumped!

(sorry for so much text!)

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