The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Friday, June 25, 2010

My NFL Career

The new NFL policy on concussions means I cannot return to active play until I am totally asymptomatic and cleared by an independent physician. I am being encouraged to be completely candid with my team medical staff and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion. I have been honest and I have spent most of the past week sitting in a chair in front of a TV watching World Cup soccer, assorted reruns and The People's Court. But I am getting bored and impatient. And I am starting to worry. Nobody is irreplaceable. If I don't get back in the game, I may loser my spot on the team. I should be thankful that the new policy gave me this week off!

I have no doubt that this is really the way NFL players think about concussions, even with the new policy. And I don't know how those guys go back a week after suffering this type of injury. My concussion was probably less severe than anything suffered by an NFL player, and yesterday I needed a nap after sitting in a chair for 3 hours. Its no surprise that these men have so many issues later in life.

I had a good day yesterday. DH and I went out for breakfast and then to the local farmers market. Then he dropped me off at the nail salon for some manicure therapy. We watched the soccer game, which was really exciting even though the US team lost. In the evening we went to a graduation party for a couple of hours. Tomorrow I am going back to work. I'm actually looking forward to it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Road to Recovery

The Road to Redemption has been replaced by the Road to Recovery. I am getting better, but I now realize that this is going to take time. I wouldn't be fair to myself if I didn't give myself a chance to heal. Now is not the time to push the envelope.
Today I went down to the dental clinic at the hospital to have my stitches removed (I was stitched up by an oral surgeon). This 10 minute procedure was accompanied by 2 hours 50 minutes of waiting. When I returned home after holding my head up for 3 hours without the support of a big comfy chair, I had to take a nap. I still get dizzy when changing from horizontal to vertical positions or moving too fast. It is becoming obvious, even to me, that I need to be more patient. And so for the next few weeks, its all about me, and healing. On the positive side, all the lacerations and road rash are healing, and my physical appearance has been upgraded from horrible to awful to terrible.
I took my bike in today for an evaluation and Dolce will be fine. Like me, she may have a few scars, but nothing is broken!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dear Bell Helmets,

Dear Bell Helmets,
Thank you! Today I crashed and my helmet cracked but my head did not. I'm not sure why I crashed. I remember some rough road and then the realization that I was going down. My friends got me off the road and called 911. Although my first thought was "I don't need to go to the hospital," I soon realized that not only was resistance futile (that's what friends are for), but I needed to go get checked out. I have bad road rash all along the left side of my body, multiple lacerations all over my face, 9 stitches along the right side of my nose, a goose egg on my forehead, a soreness along the left side of my head that corresponds with the part of my helmet that cracked, and a dull headache. I had a CT scan which was negative, but the ER doctor did use the word "concussion." I will heal. I may have some "battle scars," but I will be fine. I am resting comfortably, after popping a couple of Advils. During the whole event, I kept thinking about how grateful I am. I thanked everyone that helped me; my friends who were with me; the EMTs who immobilized my head and neck (because that is protocol); the nurse who very gently washed all the sand and grit off my road rash; the technician who did the CT scan; the ER doctor; the plastic surgeon; and my husband who stayed calm and kept me calm. And thank you, Bell Helmets. I am thankful that I was wearing your helmet. I am thankful that my friends from the Westchester Cycling Club are very safety-conscious and I always stress wearing your helmet appropriately tight. I don't like to think about what would have happened to me if I was not wearing a helmet. I just know it would have been much worse. I will be back on my bike. But not before I replace my Bell Helmet; with a blue and silver model to match my bike!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nosocomial Car Infection

A nosocomial infection is an infection that results from treatment in a hospital or other health care setting. Take a patient, free of infectious disease, stick him/her in the hospital for a couple of days, and the patient comes down with a bad bug which makes the patient sicker than when they entered the hospital. That's what happened to my Subaru. I took it to the dealer for a minor recall and an inspection. There was nothing wrong with the car. When I picked it up, the "check engine" light was flashing. Of course I picked it up after hours on Friday evening and I was not able to talk to anyone in the service department until Monday morning. I was told by the service agent, "OMG!! Do NOT drive the vehicle!! Go home immediately!! Where are you? How far away are you? Do you need a tow truck??!!" Translation: DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!!
I didn't have the heart to tell him that I had been driving it all weekend because one of their nosocomial infecting technicians forgot to hit the reset button, or something equally ridiculous. I bet you didn't know that I am capable of providing automotive diagnoses and treatment plans for Japanese-born vehicles.
So this afternoon I have to bring the nosocomial infected Subaru back to the dealer for what I hope will be a very short visit so they can disinfect it. And of course, that is the time that I had planned to work out. I'm still on the merry-go-round of an ordinary life.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bumps in the Road

I hit a couple of bumps on the Road to Redemption this week, but most of it was good bumps. On Saturday, I drove out to Newark airport to pick up son #2, who has been in Croatia for the last 4 weeks. Son #1 has been home for the past 2 weeks but left for his summer job in Pennsylvania last night, so for 24 hours, I had both of my kids home. DH returned home from the Bresnan Bike Ride for Special Olympics last night, and the 4 of us had dinner together! This only happens on holidays and special occasions, so it was nice to have the empty nest not be empty. Of course son #2 had many wonderful stories to tell us about his volunteer/service mission in Croatia followed by the adventure tour. It was a great big joyful bump in the road and I am so glad i embraced it instead of obsessing about getting ready for upcoming triathlon.

One of the adventures of son #2 was an opportunity to go hydrospeeding. Its white-water rafting on a kickboard instead of a raft. You wear a full wetsuit and fins (and a helmet) and navigate down a freezing cold river. This looks so fun! I would totally do this given the chance. Might even be worth a trip to Croatia!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Road to Redemption

July 11-- Tri N Du Putnam. Over the next 30 days, I am going to do my best to prepare for my second sprint triathlon. The Road to Redemption will be physical, mental and nutritional. There will be more mileage, more consistency, and less crappy food. I am bringing back Dab the Wussy. Dab the Wussy is an acronym for “Once A Week, Do What Sucks, At The Body Shop, Until Your Eyeballs Hurt.” So once a week, probably over the weekend, I will totally annihilate my body, empty the tank completely, doing what needs to be done. Sounds like bricks to me.

Yesterday was Day 2 on the Road to Redemption. I did a strength workout (something that I have not been doing consistently for several months) and then I got in the pool for Masters Swim (also something I have not been doing consistently for several months). The staff let us know that the coach would be late because he got on the wrong train, but he never made it. So we improvised with a “People’s Choice” workout. Each team member designed a 400 yard portion of the workout. It might have been a little choppy, but it got the job done and we all worked hard. We spent the last 10 minutes sitting in the hot tub. That was my favorite choice!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

A Fight to the Finish--Pawling Traithlon

Today was the Pawling Triathlon, and I finished, but it was a tough one, from start to finish. I know I should be incredibly proud of what I did today, and I guess I am, but I must admit I am also a little disappointed. I know I could have been better prepared, but it just felt too hard, from beginning to end.
I really struggled with the swim. I couldn't get a rhythm going, I swallowed a bunch of water, and I found myself in a downward spiral of negative thinking..... and this is like 5 minutes into the race! I can't do this. I shouldn't be here. That buoy is so far away. I can barely breathe in this wetsuit. I realized that swimming real slow would be much better than whatever it was that I was doing (which was sucking up gobs of energy), so I forced myself into a very slow rhythm and I started to feel much better. The second half of the swim was much easier.
The bike ride was fine, except ridiculously slow.
The run was tough. I really struggled to keep moving. I couldn't slow down because then I would have been moving backwards. Somehow I got through it. I probably set a PR for my slowest 3 miles.
I made it to the finish line, and there was DH with the camera. Just to add insult to injury, he took a picture of me finishing FROM THE BACK. Just what I needed-- a picture of my ass crossing the finish line. You won't see that one on this blog.

After the race, I had 2 voices in my head. Voice #1: you suck! It's supposed to be a sprint--how can you be that slow? Voice #2: you are awesome! you just finished a triathlon. How many women your age can finish even 1 of the 3 events that you did today? why are you beating yourself up for being slow? But I soon realized its not the slow part that is bothering me-- its that it felt so hard!! Slow is supposed to be beautiful, and this one was kinda ugly.

Having fallen off my horse today, I decided I need to get back on. So I signed up for another sprint triathlon on July 11. What do I need to to do to get ready? I need to do a few open water swims, I need to ride harder, and I need to do a few more bricks. Onward and upward.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I Want to Be Yoshimi

Her name is Yoshimi, she's a black belt in karate
working for the city she has to discipline her body
'Cause she knows that it's demanding
to defeat those evil machines
I know she can beat them

Oh Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots eat me
Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots defeat me

Those evil-natured robots, they're programmed to destroy us
she's gotta be strong to fight them, so she's taking lots of vitamins
'Cause she knows that it'd be tragic
if those evil robots win
I know she can beat them

Oh Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots defeat me
Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots eat me


Random Thoughts From West Palm Beach

  • Four nights on the pullout bed is more than enough.

  • Swimming in 80 degree water sucks all the energy out of you very quickly.

  • You can wear anything (or close to nothing) on a Sunday evening in South Beach.

  • On Sunday evening in South Beach, I had the most unusual Bat Mitzvah party diiner-- pizza, sushi and chicken wings.

  • Having a daughter that rides horses competitively is VERY expensive.

  • Having a mom that enjoys shopping and occasionally buys you clothes is a great treat!

  • Having a mom that lives far away when you sense that she is a little lonely is hard.

  • A good foreign film is like opening a present. You are not sure what is inside, but you’re confident you are going to like it.

  • Spending a few days with my mom renews my commitment to use the telephone to reach out to people I love and don’t speak to often enough.

  • Spending time with family members you don’t see very often is a gift to be treasured.

  • Southern Florida has a vibrant triathlon community, and the Wellington Mall has a great running/triathlon store. But I don’t know how they do anything in that unrelenting summer heat.

  • It might be time to think about having surgery on my foot to get rid of the bone spur. Besides the pain (which is not terrible), I am really having a shoe problem.

  • I really want an iPad. But that has nothing to do with West Palm Beach. Other than having extra time to think about it.